- Edward L. Lach, Jr.
Wells, Henry (12 December 1805–10 December 1878), businessman, was born William Dwight Wells in Thetford, Vermont, the son of Shipley Wells, a minister, and Dolly Randall Wells. In 1814 Wells relocated with his family to Palmyra, New York, and later also resided in Seneca Falls and Port Byron, New York. He attended local country schools irregularly and worked at various times as a mercantile clerk, a farmer, and an apprentice with Jessup and Palmer, a tannery. By 1836 he became interested in transportation and gained experience working for a number of firms operating on the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. In 1841 Wells joined William Harden’s express company as an agent on a line that transported money and other valuables between New York City and Albany. An ambitious man, Wells saw potential in westward expansion. In 1843, when Harden refused to leave the East Coast, Wells founded his own firm, known successively as Pomeroy and Company; Livingston, Wells, and Pomeroy; and finally Livingston, Wells, and Company....