Joseph Morrill “Wellsy” Wells

Joseph Morrill “Wellsy” Wells

Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 2 Feb 1890 (aged 36)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Medford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Oak Ave, Lot 209, Grave 3. Intrd 4-4-90
Memorial ID 63831839 · View Source
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Architect, the "fourth partner" of McKim, Mead, and White in the Gilded Age. McKim hired Wells in 1879. He was a relative of the great Samuel Adams. Father was Thomas F. Wells, and his brother was MIT mathematics genius Webster (1850-1916).
Webster Wells

In Sept. 1879, MM&W started with Wells as Chief Designer. Until his premature death at 37, for over 11 years, he had a profound effect on American Architecture. The Villard Houses in NYC are of his design. He is given credit as the Premier designer of MM&W, and was best friends with the partners, Charles McKim (1847-1909), William Mead (1846-1928) and Stanford White (1853-1906), and with Thomas Hastings and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. He loved Music and architecture and helped arrange regular classical concerts.

Most of the info on Wells comes from Mosette Broderick's 2010 excellent book, "Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White". It tells the story of their world and times, and the buildings they built: houses for the rich like Astors and Vanderbilts, Trinity Church in Boston, Judson Memorial Baptist Church in NY, and the Boston Public Library.

He helped mold the US into a love of Italian Renaissance, got an offer of partnership, just as he contacted pneumonia, and died shortly thereafter. His huge 1st-ever drawings by an American of Italian palaces exist at the Century Club.
He worked after high school for Luce, then Peabody and Stearns, and Richard Morris Hunt, before starting at MM&W.

Family Members



In Memory of Joseph Morrill Wells, Architect- Born Mar. 1, 1853 -- Died Feb. 2, 1890

Gravesite Details Headstone broken and on ground in pieces. Designed by Stanford White. Very sad. Morrill was Joseph's Mom's maiden name.



  • Created by: RR
  • Added: 6 Jan 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 63831839
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Morrill “Wellsy” Wells (1 Mar 1853–2 Feb 1890), Find a Grave Memorial no. 63831839, citing Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by RR (contributor 47378554) .