Wells, Martin, Jr. (1774–1836)

By: Jean Tidwell

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1995

Updated: June 13, 2020

Martin Wells, Jr., early settler, son of Martin Wells, Sr., was born in North Carolina on December 9, 1774. His father sold his land in New Hanover County, North Carolina, in 1796 and the family moved to Montgomery County, Tennessee, where both Martins appear on the tax rolls in 1798. Martin Jr. bought land in Stewart County in 1806 and married Sarah Boyd in 1807. The muster roll of the War of 1812 in the Tennessee Archives lists Martin as serving in Capt. James Haggard's Company of Mounted Riflemen from January to May 1814. He sold his land in Stewart County, Tennessee, in 1815 and later moved to Marengo County, Alabama. In 1829 he sold his land in Alabama, and he and his family moved to Bastrop County, Texas, as settlers in Stephen F. Austin's Little Colony, later the site of the town of Bastrop. Between 1808 and 1829 Martin and Sarah Wells had nine children, seven of whom survived childhood, including Jane, who married Norman B. Woods. Wells died on January 4, 1836, and his will was probated in the Mina County Court on July 31, 1837. In an 1844 letter to Gen. Mirabeau B. Lamar, Gen. Edward Burleson says, "Martin Wells, Tennessee, 1829, settled in Barton neighborhood, lived 2 years at Bastrop; located his Head right in a prairie below Webber's, called Well's Prairie—also called Well's Pyramid, here he lived; died 1836—an excellent citizen; he left a widow and large family who still reside in that prairie."

Kenneth Kesselus, History of Bastrop County, Texas, Before Statehood (Austin: Jenkins, 1986). Bill Moore, Bastrop County, 1691–1900 (Wichita Falls: Nortex, 1977). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jean Tidwell, “Wells, Martin, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/wells-martin-jr.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1995
June 13, 2020