Thomas Everett Welles
|Thomas Everett Welles|
|Born||November 24, 1855|
|Died||November 26, 1914|
|Occupation||Sea captain, civic leader|
|Spouse||Caroline Brown Cobb|
|Parents||Russell and Fannie Peabody Welles|
Ruth Alden Langford
Welles was born in 1855 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 Pensacola Fish 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 Saunders' company. Thereafter, he moved with his wife, first to Key West, before settling in Pensacola around 1878, at which time Welles began working for Saunders. Around 1883 Saunders reincorporated the company as the E. E. Saunders Company, with Welles as partner and manager. 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. He served as the president of the Young Men's Business League and the Good Government League, and was a member of the Knights of Pythias, Knights of Honor, the Improved Order of Red Men, 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.
Thomas Welles is of English descent and has several notable ancestors:
- Lionel de Welles, 6th Baron Welles
- John Welles, First Viscount Welles, who married Cecily of York, daughter of King Edward IV of England
- Thomas Welles, 17th-century governor of the Colony of Connecticut
- John and Priscilla Alden, Pilgrims, passengers on the Mayflower
Welles is also related to Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy during and after the Civil War.
References and notes
- Armstrong, Henry Clay. History of Escambia County. St. Augustine: 1930. (digital copy)
- According to Armstrong's History of Escambia County, Welles was "not a member of any church" but "his preference was for the Presbyterian faith".
- Pensacola’s Heritage at St John’s Historic Cemetery