Obit: Wells, Charles H. (1894 - 1917)
Surnames: WELLS MCCRAY
----Source: HUMBIRD ENTERPRISE (Humbird, Clark County, Wis.) 02/10/1917
Wells, Charles H. (22 JUL 1894 - 1 FEB 1917)
Early last fall, about September, two young men who were formerly residents in this vicinity (Humbird, Clark County, Wis.), and who had been at work here during the summer months, Clifford and Charles Wells, obtained permission to cut wood and fence posts on the Howe place six miles east of town. The land is now the property of B. J. Stallard, and a deal was readily made with them to cut the wood and posts and clear the land. Both were reliable young men of good habits, industrious and energetic, and as soon as the fall weather set in they commenced work. They possessed a team, wagon, sleighs, etc., and also all the necessary household utensils for keeping bachelor's ball on the place while they were at their labors. Success was crowning their efforts and the boys had flowery visions for the future when they expected to become the owners of a piece of land themselves. Everything went well up to the stormy period which settled over this section a month ago.
The snow storms of the last few weeks had blocked the roads and the boys were no longer able to get their wood to town for delivery. Provisions were running low, and at last someone must get out and break the track for more four and groceries. Clifford was not feeling well and Charlie offered to go. He had not eaten breakfast and made the way to town all right last week Thursday afternoon. Here he purchased part of a sack of flour and some other eatables, and arranged to ride home with F. D. Green, as far as the latter went. Mr. Green waited until school was out for his children and others going that way, and left with them about 4:30, Charlie riding in the sleigh with the others. The storm had again begun and upon reaching home, Mr. Green urged Charlie to remain at his place until morning, but the young man would not listen to it, as he feared for his brother who needed the food and might be sick.
He started from Mr. Green's place afoot and when last seen by the family was making his way readily through the snow toward his home.
Friday morning came and Charlie had not returned home. Clifford became anxious and started on a search for him. He went at once to the home of F. D. Green, and there was appalled by the information that Charlie had left there afoot for home about six or before the evening before. Mr. Green went along to assist in finding the unfortunate youth, knowing that he must have frozen to death, unless by chance he had gotten onto some other road and reached shelter. He and Clifford followed the trail the brother had taken from Mr. Green's place, and although the tracks were nearly obliterated they were able to trace them along the road, to a place where he had entered the woods. From there the trail was more distinct and soon the frozen body was found. The body was found about noon, laying in the snow some hundred rods or more from their home, and about thirty rods from the road across the swamp. The cap and mittens had been removed and the pack of provisions which he was carrying home was in the snow but a short distance from where he had fallen exhausted to succumb tot he cold. Clifford was nearly overcome with grief at the sight of his brother, and bemoaned the fact that he had allowed him, the younger of the two, to make the trip alone to town. Mr. Green returned with Clifford to the hanty where the boys lived, and together they unloaded wood from the sleigh, got out ht team and started to bring the body to the village. When at W. E. Gregory's farm the team became exhausted from breaking roads through the deep snow, and Mr. Gregory's team was secured to make the rest of the journey. The body was taken to M. Kretschmer's undertaking rooms, where it was prepared for burial, and the parents at Cataract notified. His mother is in a very serious condition with illness and has not yet been told of the death of her son. The father was also unable to come, but the older brother George came to the village as soon as possible.
On Saturday, Bert, Peter and Archie Fradenburg and Earl Bemis with teams, went out to the shanty occupied by the boys and brought their belongings to town, Clifford being unable to continue with the work alone.
Charles Herbert Wells was born near Sparta on July 22, 1894, and came to his death Feb. 1, 1917. When a small boy his parents moved onto a farm east of this village, where they resided a number of years, and there he spent his boyhood and youth and attended school. About ten years ago his parents returned to their former home near Sparta, and that has been his home for the greater part of the time. Since last fall he and his brother have lived on the Howe place, and were engaged in clearing the land and cutting wood for sale. Both were industrious young men and had met with good success in the undertaking, until the death intervened to close the chapter. Mr. Wells is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Wells, two sisters, Mrs. Ed McCray and Pearl, all of Cataract; two brothers, George of Sparta, and Clifford of Humbird. One little sister is buried in the Mentor Cemetery. The funeral services were held at the Free Methodist Church on Tuesday afternoon, his brothers George and Clifford, being the only members of the family enabled to be present at the last sad rites. Services were conducted by Rev. J. K. Peckham, assisted by Rev. J. D. Crandell. Pallbearers were Ernest and Russ Putman, Bert and George Fradenburg, Omar Gregory and Fred Barr. On account of the badly drifted roads and the almost impossibility of entering the cemetery, only a few followed the cortege to the silent city, but the sympathies of a large number of sorrowing friends are with the family in their affliction. The burial was made in the Mentor Cemetery.
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