Thomas Everett Welles

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Thomas Everett Welles
Born November 24, 1855[1]
Mystic, Connecticut
Died November 26, 1914
Occupation Sea captain, civic leader
Religion Presbyterian[2]
Spouse Caroline Brown Cobb
Parents Russell and Fannie Peabody Welles
Children Frank Everett Welles
Ruth Alden Langford

Thomas Everett Welles was a sea captain, Mayor of Pensacola, and stakeholder in the E. E. Saunders Company.


Welles was born in 1855 in Mystic, Connecticut and was educated in the schools of that city.

Around 1875 he moved south, first to Key West, before settling in Pensacola around 1878, at which time Welles began working for the Pensacola Fish Company. On June 24, 1882 he married Caroline Brown Cobb of Pensacola.

Around 1883 Welles, in partnership with E. E. Saunders, incorporated the E. E. Saunders Company, with Welles acting as manager. At its height, the E. E. Saunders Company employed over one thousand men, operated ice and fishmeal manufacturing plants, and had an annual payroll exceeding $100,000.[3]

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 also served for a time as president of the Gulf City Coffee Company, and formed a joint venture with grocer Sol Cahn called the Welles-Cahn Company. Welles 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.

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.


Welles was a Democrat, and served for a number of years on the state Democratic Executive Committee. He served as Mayor of Pensacola from 1903-1904.


Thomas Welles is of English descent and has several notable ancestors:

Welles is also related to Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy during and after the Civil War.

Other images[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. Armstrong, Henry Clay. History of Escambia County. St. Augustine: 1930. (digital copy)
  2. According to Armstrong's History of Escambia County, Welles was "not a member of any church" but "his preference was for the Presbyterian faith".
  3. Pensacola’s Heritage at St John’s Historic Cemetery

Preceded by:
Celestino Moreno Jones
Mayor of Pensacola
Succeeded by:
Charles Henry Bliss