25 September, 2022

1901 Obituary: ‘Good Old Bro. Wells’

by | 24 June, 2021 | 1 comment

During the 1800s and early 1900s, a typical issue of Christian Standard carried numerous accounts of those who had “Fallen Asleep.” These obituaries—often written by friends, family members, and ministers—were no doubt widely read.

This obituary for “good old Bro. Wells” was written by O. S. Deming, a man (we assume) who identified himself as having given lessons in Latin and Greek to Wells. We believe you’ll find Mordecai Wells was a rather fascinating person.

_ _ _

Mordecai Wells

December 21, 1901; p. 31

Mordecai Wells died this morning [Nov. 3, 1901], at his home in Mt. Olivet, Ky., after an illness of about two weeks. He was seventy-six years of age, and although he long had been a sufferer, and had been totally blind for more than fifty years, he had been, until within the last few years, one of the most active workers in the Christian Church in northern Kentucky.

Elder Wells was a valiant soldier in the Mexican War, where he contracted inflammation of his eyes, and lost the sight of both. Before Elder Wells had enlisted in the United States service, he had given his heart to God and had decided to educate himself for the ministry. After coming home he entered into a solemn covenant with the Master that he would henceforth devote his time and talents to his service, and all who knew “good old Bro. Wells,” as he was affectionately called, will bear cheerful testimony that he has faithfully kept his covenant. His education was quite limited, but with wonderful energy and perseverance he set to work to fit himself for the ministry. He attended a school for the blind—Louisville, Ky.—for eighteen months, and after his return home he married Miss Elizabeth Claypoole. They had been lovers from childhood, and for over fifty years she has been not only a loving companion and a devoted teacher, but a most willing and efficient helpmate in all his Christian work. He was the father of six children. His wife and children read to him almost constantly. Possessed of untiring zeal and a most wonderful memory, he soon had the Bible at his tongue’s end, so to speak, and had fortified himself with a thorough historical and scientific education. Not satisfied with this, in the early sixties, at his request, the writer gave him lessons in Latin and Greek, and owing to his prodigious memory and close application he soon became quite proficient in these languages.  

Before he became blind he had traveled all over this and the surrounding communities, and was familiar with every road and bridle-path, and this knowledge enabled him to go, unattended, to his preaching appointments, sometimes to crossroad schoolhouses or country churches, and frequently to towns ten and twelve miles from where he resided.

Elder Wells continued to preach as long as his health would permit, totally indifferent as to salary, liberally and freely contributing the while, to the support of other ministers, and after he became physically unable to preach, he devoted his time to his family and to deeds of charity. He was always cheerful, and enjoyed an innocent joke. Elder Wells leaves a wife and six children, and numberless other relatives and friends, to mourn their loss, and by his death the community has lost a most estimable citizen, the church a most faithful and efficient worker, his wife a most devoted husband, and his children a kind and indulgent father. May God comfort them in their great affliction.

O. S. Deming
Mt. Olivet, Ky., Nov. 3, 1901.

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/admin/" target="_self">Christian Standard</a>

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

1 Comment

  1. Osmer Deming

    O.S. Deming (1837-1917) was my great-great grandfather and was revered by many during his life and after his death. The school system in Robertson County was named after him and my parents gave me his name when I was born. O.S. was from upstate New York and was a veteran of the Civil War. He relocated to Mt. Olivet, Kentucky, and spent the majority of his life there, making himself part of the community and eventually becoming the county judge. I have never read anything that he has written until I found this fine tribute to his friend, Good Old Brother Wells. Thank you for publishing this.

Latest Articles

Help Wanted

Lycoming Christian Church (Linden, PA) is seeking a full-time minister of children, youth, and young adults. Beechwold Christian Church in Columbus, OH, is searching for a student minister. Rising Sun (IN) Church of Christ is seeking a new lead minister.

Stories

By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.