Calvin Wells (1827-1909)

The following is from: Historic Structures Report: Appendices: Clubhouse, Brown Cottage, Moorhead Cottage, and Clubhouse Annex, for the National Park Service:

"Calvin Wells was born in Genesee County, NY, on December 26, 1827 to Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Wells, Sr. He received a common public school education in the county of his birth but had always wanted a better education than he had been given. In 1847, Calvin Wells wrote his brother, Rev. Samuel Taggart Wells about this subject who responded warmly and invited Calvin to move to Pittsburgh to live with him and attend the Western University. Calvin Wells did so and remained there until 1849 after which he worked in the dry goods store of Benjamin Glyde.

In 1850, Wells came into contact with Dr. C.C. Hussey and two years later they began a pork and bacon business of the name Hussey and Wells. The business continued until 1859 when it became called Hussey, Wells and Co. and became specialized in steel manufacturing. Wells was soon made manager, then sent east to learn all he could about steel, and upon his return he completely sunk himself into the business which grew rapidly as a world competitor. In 1876, he sold his share of the firm and engaged in the railway elliptic spring business owning half of the firm of A. French and Co. The next year, he joined in the purchasing of the Philadelphia Press. In 1878, he was chosen as president and treasurer of the Pittsburgh Forge and Iron Company of which positions he held for some time.

Calvin Wells also engaged in other business interests including being president and treasurer of the Illinois Zinc Company, a director of the Exchange National Bank of Pittsburgh and Consolidated Gas Company, and associated with the Chartiers Natural Gas Company. He was a member and trustee of the Third Presbyterian Church.

In 1854, Calvin Wells married Annie Glyde, daughter of Benjamin Glyde. She died in 1859 and in 1861 he was remarried to Mary (Glyde) Chaffey. To them were born four children: a son who died at one year, Mary C., Benjamin Glyde, and Anna.

After working a full day, Calvin Wells died of sudden heart failure, on August 2, 1909, in his home on the Northside."

Last updated: February 20, 2021

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