Wells Bottom


Submitted by Phyllis Slater.

Three years after George Washington made his journey down the Ohio River (1773), James McMechen descended the river valley to a point about 28 miles below Wheeling and took up a claim of 400 acres. The land became known as Wells Bottom as his daughter Rachel married Charles P. Wells. who came to the community in 1806. They had several children who settled there, thence the name.

John Scott came to the community, purchasing a farm in 1828; he married Catherine Whitten, and had six daughters and one son. Early settlers otherwise were James Campbell, Thomas Pollock, Erlewine Clark, John Kent Booth, Michael Moore, David H. Arrick, Henry Daugherty and James Cresap.

The first school was a subscription school located on the Wells farm. Welcome Grade School closed in 1969. One school building of unusual interest was the Octagon School, constructed in 1855 by John Scott, made of material similiar to cement. It was probably the first free school.

The first post office called Welcome, opened in 1884 with David Arrick the first postmaster. The first railroad through the community was completed in 1884 and the first paved road in 1929.

There are several old cemeteries in the community which date back to the late 1700s. Most are located within the boundaries now occupied by the chemical plants. The village of Kent, located in the northern part of the community, was formed in 1924 from the New Martinsville Land Co., from the Cyrus Yoho farm.

Natrium is the name given the area after Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. and DuPont Co. purchased the Arrick, Austin, Booth and Wells farms in 1942. Mobay Chemical Corp. purchased the land at the lower end of the bottom and constructed another chemical plant. At one time, the area boasted three railroad stops...Clarington Station, Wells Pit and Proctor Station.

From: "History of Welcome Community," by Arthur L. Booth, Sr.
Copied from History of Marshall County, 1984.