Wells is a friendly community about
ten miles east of Minneapolis. The first
building in Wells was built on the northeast corner of First
and Main Street by Susan B. Buell
in 1887. Amos Heald ran a store that
sold about all the needs of the farmers
and ranchers. A post office was in
the northeast corner of the store.
It was a two story building, with the
stairway to the second floor on the
outside of the building. It was there
that dances, socials, box suppers, pie suppers,
church services and, at first, the Woodman
and Royal Neighbors Lodges met there. Later
it was divided into rooms and the
storekeeper and family lived there.
The second building was built south
of the store for a drug store by a man named
Boyd. It was never used for that, but became the residence
for the section foreman, Mr. Brown. Mr.
Sassard was the second foreman. After he
moved away, the post office moved
into the building, around 1900, and Isaac Piper
was the Postmaster. His daughter, Mrs. Ida Collister and two
sons lived in the back and she served as assistant Postmaster.
Around 1890 A.J. Kirkby bought all the lots between
First and Second Streets facing Wells Street on the west. He built a house,
barn, blacksmith shop and a mill. He, his wife, Lizzie,
and two small children lived there. The mill was powered by a huge
windmill and farmers and ranchers brought their grain here
to be ground for feed for their livestock. The Kirkby's
third child, Jesse L. Kirkby, was the first child born in Wells,
on January 15, 1892. Other residences soon followed.
After Mr. Heald, the Gage Brothers,
Reed and Dana, ran the store with
some help from a younger brother, Clarence. They soon sold
and moved to Minneapolis to run a dry
goods store there. S.T. Dyer and his
three sons bought it from the Gage
Brothers in the early 1890's.
The sons soon left to work for themselves. Mr. Dyer
was a widower and when a young widow, Mrs. Mary Perry,
came to live with her daughter and
son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, the section
foreman, Mr. Dyer became interested in the
young woman. They were married after
church in February 1896, in the hall
over the store. She was his partner in the store from this time
In the late 1890's they built a house just north of the store.
They took over the hotel business as long as it was
needed. In 1904, Mr. Dyer sold the store
to Will Crow and they put in partitions in
the upstairs and lived there.
In September, 1903, Mr. Piper resigned as Postmaster
and his daughter. Mrs. Collister, and he moved
to Minneapolis. Fred Comfort was appointed Postmaster.
In 1904, a rural mail route was organized
to the south, east-and north of Wells. Jonathan
Todd became the mail carrier. He moved a
building from his farm, and added on to it to make a home.
It was located on the northwest corner of
Second and Jefferson Streets. His son,
Fred became his assistant. when Fred married,
they moved a small two room house
across the street east and lived there.
when his father resigned as mail carrier
about 1910, Fred became the regular carrier
and carried the mail for many years, until he retired because of
The Wells community was made up of
several school districts. The one to the
southeast, was #52, Eureka. Wells was in the northwest
corner of this district. The district to
the southwest was #96, Gibson, but was
later changed to Schur. To the northwest was
#43 At first, it was called Comfort
because the four Comfort brothers homesteaded
there but was changed to Pleasant Valley. To
the northeast was Fairview, #61 The winter 1909-10, most people
were living in Wells, and they were wanting a school house
in town. A new district was formed.
About one half of Eureka, came to
Wells. The other half was added to Rockhill,