I don't yet know much about Wells' young life, but from various census reports I can tell that in 1860, at 18 years old, he worked as a clerk in Armagh, PA.
On 12 April 1864, at 22 years old, he married Emma Mayben at Lewistown, PA.
In 1870, at 28 years old, he lived in Shelby, IL, and worked as a farmer. He lived in Shelby, IL and worked as a farmer until sometime before 1910. According to the 1910 US census report, Wells and Emma were living as lodgers in Decatur, IL. By 1920 they were was living in Canon, CO with eldest daughter Zadie. They returned to Decatur around 1921.
Wells and Emma had 10 children (Zadie Mae Beck Loser, John Carson Beck, Robert Clay Beck, Effie Furst Beck Cloos Roby, Mary Laura Beck, Edna Vina Beck Coffman, Grace Mabel Beck Thompson, Hattie Bell Beck Wempen, Edgar Bruce Beck, Bessie Cornelia Beck). Wells outlived his wife and four of his children.
Wells died 5 April 1928 in Decatur, IL. His obituary was published on 6 April 1928 in the Decatur Herald.
Recently Suffered Paralytic Stroke Followed By Pneumonia
Wells Marcus Beck, retired farmer, died at 7 o'clock Thursday evening in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Wade Thompson, 235 West Cerro Gordo Street. Recently he suffered a paralytic stroke and pneumonia developed a few days ago.
Mr. Beck was born in Rosetown, Pa, Jan 9, 1842 and married Emma Mayben at Lewistown, Pa, April 12, 1864. They moved to Shelby county and lived there during the years of his active business life. Prior to coming to Decatur about seven years ago, Mr. Beck made his home for a few years in Mont Vista, Col. Mrs. Beck died in Decatur in 1922.
Until his illness during recent months, Mr. Beck had been in fairly good general health. His greatest handicap in the enjoyment of life during late years, was his impaired sense of hearing which handicapped efforts to converse with him. But his interest in life did not drag, he enjoyed frequent rides in the auto, always was especially interested in the young folks and reading enabled him to keep abreast with current events.
Mr. Beck is survived by six children, Mrs. Zadie Loser, Monte Vista, Col., Mrs. Edna Coffman, Laramie, Wyo., Mrs. Hattie Wempen, Los Angeles, Cal., Mrs. Wade Thompson, Decatur, Mrs. Effie Roby, Decatur, and Edgar B Beck, Decatur. He is also survived by 20 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was a member of the Woodmen of the World at Monte Vista, Col. No funeral arrangements have been made.
Decatur Herald, Friday, 6 April 1928, pg. 9
My grandmother, Lola, was one of those 20 surviving grandchildren and my dad was one of the surviving 15 great-grandchildren.
Wells and Emma are buried in Fairlawn Cemetery, Decatur IL (Macon County).