Thomas Everett Welles
|Thomas Everett Welles|
|Occupation||Sea captain, civic leader|
Ruth Alden Langford
Welles was born in 1854 in Mystic, Connecticut and was educated in the schools of that city. In his youth he was employed by Captain T. C. Cobb of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, who operated a fleet of ice-harvesting ships. In the early 1870s, Welles was the purser of a ship delivering ice to the E. E. Saunders Company, a leading fishing company in Pensacola. The owner, E. E. Saunders, was apparently so impressed by Welles that he offered to sell him a stake in the company. Welles returned to Massachusetts, where he married Captain Cobb's daughter, Caroline Brown Cobb, and borrowed money from him to purchase his stake in the E. E. Saunders Company. Thereafter he moved with his wife to Pensacola and Welles assumed the position of manager of the company. At the time, the E. E. Saunders Company employed over one thousand men, operated ice and fishmeal manufacturing plants, and had an annual payroll exceeding $100,000.
Welles became very successful and in later years entered the banking industry, serving as vice president of the Citizens National Bank and a director of the Peoples National Bank. Welles was the president of the Good Government League, and a member of the Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the World, and the Masons. Welles owned a home at Gadsden Street and 12th Avenue, as well as a large plantation in north Alabama.
Welles served as Mayor of Pensacola from 1903-1905. After E. E. Saunders' death in 1913, Welles bought his shares of the Saunders operations from his widow, and operated the company until his death in November 1914.