Thompson, Wells (1837–1914)

By: John D. Thompson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Wells Thompson, lieutenant governor, lawyer, and legislator, son of Asa W. and Nancy (Lewis) Thompson, was born in Marengo County, Alabama, on December 12, 1837. The Thompson family immigrated to Texas in the early 1840s and settled in Matagorda County. In 1859 Thompson graduated from the University of North Carolina and in 1861 from the law department of the University of Georgia, taking first honors in his class. He enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private and rose to rank of captain. He was twice wounded. From 1866 to 1868 he practiced law at Matagorda and from 1868 to 1881 at Columbus. He was elected district attorney for the Matagorda district in 1866 but was removed by Gen. Philip Sheridan as "an impediment to Reconstruction." In 1876 Thompson was elected state senator and served one term, in which he was chosen president pro tempore. He served as district judge of Matagorda district and from 1878 to 1880 was lieutenant governor. He married Caroline Tait of Columbus on February 28, 1871. He was an Odd Fellow, an Episcopalian, and a member of the board of regents of the Texas A&M. He died at Bay City on January 17, 1914.

Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas (New York: Southern, 1880). Galveston News, January 18, 1914.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

John D. Thompson, “Thompson, Wells,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995