15 Facts About Henry Wells


In higher education, Henry Wells was the founder of Henry Wells College in Aurora, New York.


Henry Wells was born in 1805 in Thetford, Vermont, the son of Dorothea "Dorothy" and Shipley Wells, a Presbyterian minister at what is the First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls, New York who moved his family to central New York State in the westward migration of Yankees out of New England.


Henry Wells was a member of the seventh generation of his family in America.


Henry Wells's original ancestor was an English immigrant Thomas Welles, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 and was the only man in Connecticut's history to hold all four top offices: governor, deputy governor, treasurer, and secretary.


In 1836, Henry Wells became a freight agent on the Erie Canal and soon started his own business.


When Wells suggested that service could be expanded west of Buffalo, New York, William F Harnden urged Wells to go into business on his own account.


Henry Wells was president of American Express from 1850 to 1868.


Henry Wells retired from the board of Henry Wells Fargo in 1867.


Henry Wells retired as president of American Express in 1868 when it was merged with the Merchants Union Express Company under the presidency of William Fargo.


Also in 1868, Henry Wells founded Henry Wells College in Aurora with an endowment to make it one of the first women's colleges in the United States.


On September 5,1827, Henry Wells married Sarah Caroline Daggett, the daughter of Levi Daggett and a descendant of the Doggett colonial settlers.


Henry Wells died in Glasgow, Scotland, on December 10,1878, two days short of his 73rd birthday.


Henry Wells was brought home for burial in Aurora and was buried at Oak Glen Cemetery in Aurora.


Henry Wells's body was transported back to the United States aboard the steam-ship Ethiopia.


Henry Wells's funeral was held at his home in Aurora.