Wells

Wells is at the junction of U.S. Highway 69 and Farm Road 1247, twenty-three miles south of Rusk in extreme southern Cherokee County. It was established in 1885 as a stop on the newly-constructed Kansas and Gulf Short Line Railroad and was named for Maj. E. H. Wells, a civil engineer for the railroad. A post office opened in 1886, and by 1890 the town had a sawmill, a hotel, a Methodist church, three general stores, and a population of fifty. Shortly after the railroad was completed, the state penitentiary established a satellite camp just outside the town to produce charcoal for the state-run iron works at Rusk. The presence of the prison camp discouraged many potential settlers, and the town's population remained small until after 1900, when the charcoal camp was closed. During the 1910s, however, the town boomed; the First State Bank of Wells opened in 1913, and the following year the population reached 300. During the 1920s the community incorporated, and in 1936 Wells reported 475 residents and twenty businesses. The population continued to grow after World War II, rising to 761 by 1990. Over the same period, however, the number of businesses has gradually declined, falling from twenty-six in 1952 to seven in 1990. Farming, cattle ranching, and lumber are the principal industries. In 2000 the population was 769 with twenty-six businesses.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Wells is part of or belongs to the following places.

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Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Wells is classified as a Town

Locations

  • Latitude
    31.49155320
    Longitude
    -94.94732700

Has Post Office

Yes

Is Incorporated

Yes

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Wells by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Wells
Pop. Year Source
846 2019 Texas Demographic Center
790 2010 Texas Demographic Center
769 2000 Texas Demographic Center
761 1990 Texas Demographic Center