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Historic Roadside Markers
William Wells House (Burlington/2006)
General William Wells
In 1861 William Wells joined the First Vermont Cavalry as a Private and rose to the rank of Brevet Major-General. Promoted more times than any other Vermonter during the American Civil War, he participated in over 70 cavalry battles and skirmishes. For "conspicuous gallantry" at Gettysburg, Wells was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. This French Second Empire mansion was built for General Wells in 1877 by A. B. Fisher from a drawing in G. B. Croft's "Progressive American Architecture. After the Civil War, Wells was prominent in politics and business and was a partner in Wells, Richardson & Co. of Burlington, makers of Paine's Celery Compound. He married and had two children. Daughter Bertha married Dr. H. N. Jackson.
On the other side of the marker is Wells' brother-in-law, H. Nelson Jackson, who wrote the book on the dedication of the Wells monument at Gettysburg.
Dr. H. Nelson Jackson
Inspired by a bet Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, son-in-law of General William Wells and a University of Vermont medical alumnus, Sewall K. Crocker, and "Bud" the dog set out in May of 1903 from San Francisco for New York City. In a Winton car, christened "The Vermont," the trio completed their journey in two months and nine days. They are credited with making the first cross-country trip in a motor car. Jackson became a successful businessman upon returning to Burlington: bank president, newspaper publisher, and owner of the first radio station in town. Despite his age he joined the army in WWI, earning the Distinguished Service Cross, and was one of the founders of the American Legion. He died at 82.
See other side of Marker.