Term: Wells, Horatio Nelson 1808 - 1858
Definition: lawyer, politician, b. Hinesburg, Vt. He studied law in Burlington, Vt., was admitted to the bar, and practiced in the East for several years. In 1836 he moved to Wisconsin, settling in Milwaukee, where he set up a law practice in 1837. He practiced with Hans Crocker (q.v.) and Asahel Finch, Jr. (q.v.) (1837-1841), and continued the partnership with Finch from 1841 until Wells withdrew from active practice in 1847. A Democrat, Wells was a prominent figure in early Milwaukee and territorial politics. He held local offices in Milwaukee, was territorial attorney general (1839-1841), a member of the lower house of the territorial legislature (1839-1840), and of the upper house (1847-1848). Wells was mayor of Milwaukee (1847-1848), and from 1850 to 1854 served as judge of Milwaukee County. In Aug., 1841, through foreclosure of a chattel mortgage, Wells gained control of the Milwaukee Sentinel from Harrison Reed (q.v.), conducted it for three months as a Democratic campaign organ, but, following the election, allowed Reed to resume possession. After retiring from active political affairs about 1854, Wells made his home in Milwaukee until his death. J. R. Berryman, ed., Bench and Bar of Wis. (2 vols., Chicago, 1898); M. M. Quaife, ed., Struggle over Ratification (Madison, 1920); Milwaukee Sentinel, Aug. 20, 1858; WPA field notes.
[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]