CHARLES K. WELLS. - Though not now engaged in the active practice of his profession, Mr. Wells has long held prestige as one of the representative members of the Kansas bar and he may well be designated as a pioneer of the state, as he has resided with in its gracious borders for a period of forty years, within which he has gained large and worthy success through his own efforts, as he started out in life without finacial resources or other fortuitous influences. He is president of the Exchange State Bank of Kansas City, one of the strong and ably managed financial institutions of the state, and in his home city he has other large business and capitalistic interests. While he has made of success not an accident but the logical result of well directed effort, he has also stood exemplar of the highest civic ideals and is a liberal and progressive citizen, always ready to give his influence and aid in support of those measures and enterprises that tend to advance the social and material well being of the community. Guaged by the metewand of popular approbation, Mr. Wells is fully entitled to the confidence and esteem so uniformly reposed in him and is distinctively eligible for representation in this publication.
Charles K. Wells was born at Painesville, the judicial center and metropolis of Lake county, Ohio, on the 7th of April, 1845, and is a son of Leonidas K. and Olive (Bachelor) Wells, both of whom were natives of the state of New York. The Wells lineage is traced back to stanch Welsh origin and that of the Bachelor family to English sources, the original progenitors of this family having settled in New England in the Colonial era of our national history. The parents of Mr. Wells moved from Ohio to Monmouth, Illinois, in 1859, and in the latter state the father devoted his attention principally to merchandising until 1876, when he came to Kansas, where he lived virtually retired during the latter years of his long and useful life. Both he and his wife passed the closing years of their lives at Kansas City, this state. Charles K. Wells gained his rudimentary education in the public schools of his native state and was a lad of fourteen years at the time of the family removal to Illinois, where he was educated at Monmouth College. He was admitted to the bar of Illinois in 1867 and his initial work in his profession was done at Monmouth, that state. In 1871 he came to Kansas and established himself in practice at Concordia, the capital of Cloud county, where he remained until 1876 and where he met with success in his professional work. In 1875 he represented that county in the state legislature. In the Centennial year, 1876, Mr. Wells removed to the city of Atchison, where he found a broader field for professional endeavor and where he long continued in the successful practice of law, with a clientage of distinctively representative order. He served four years as county attorney of Atchison county and was otherwise prominent and influential in local affairs of a public nature.
In 1890 Mr. Wells came to Kansas City, retiring from his law practice in order to have more time for the supervision of his various business and capitalistic interests, which had reached extensive proportions. He has been president of the Exchange State Bank of Kansas City since 1905 and has guided its policies with a firm and able hand, with the result that it has become one of the solid and popular institutions of this part of the state. His other capitalistic investments have been made judiciously and a number have been in connection with enterprises that have materially aided in expanding the industrial and commercial prestige of his home city. In politics, with well fortified convictions, he accords an unwavering allegiance to the Republican party and he has been a prominent factor in its councils in Kansas. He is a member of the Kansas City Mercantile Club and other civic organizations.
In 1876 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Wells to Miss Elizabeth V. Peiffer, who was born and reared at Meadville in the state of Pennsylvania, and is a gracious chatelaine of the beautiful home, which is a center of cordial hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Wells have two children, Leonidas K. and Helen E. Leonidas K. Wells is employed in the Exchange State Bank. Helen E. Wells married Charles H. Haren and resides in Kansas City, Kansas.
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