William Levitt Wells

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William Levitt Wells

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William Levitt Wells (1853-1918), and his wife Elizabeth (Bessie) Lucy Lidbetter (1852-1925), both Friends (Quakers), sailed for Tasmania in 1884 on the SS. Bonnington with their children, Edith (1879-1917), Frank (1880-1957), Arnold (1882-1938) and baby Mary (born 17 Sept. 1883). Two more children were born in Tasmania, Martin (1885-1965) and Hugh (1888-1922). W.L. Wells was the son of William Wells, draper and tailor of Kettering and his wife Mary (formerly Levitt) both members of the Society of Friends (Quakers). Bessie Lidbetter was the daughter of Martin Lidbetter headmaster of the Friends School, Wigton, Cumberland, where she also had been a teacher. The Wells family were accompanied by two Friends (ie Quakers), Margaret Elizabeth (Maggie) Greer (1854-1901) and Mary Ellen (Minnie) Greer (1859-1939), daughters of Thomas Jackson and Eliza Greer of Belfast. Maggie Greer married William Lewis May in 1887 and Minnie married Richard P. Furmage in 1888. On arrival in Hobart the family were welcomed by the Mather family, also Friends and relatives by marriage (lFrancis Mather had married Margaret Ann Lidbetter in 1874). William Wells worked in Mather's store for a time. In February 1886 Wells was appointed manager of the Don branch store of the Don Trading Company by John Henry, the owner, and about 1888 he took over the store, which became William Wells & Co. Wells moved to Latrobe in 1893.


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