Ira K. Wells

  1. Ernest Knaebel
  2. Francis J. Kearful
  3. Frank K. Nebeker
  4. Leslie C. Garnett
  5. William D. Riter
  6. Ira K. Wells
  7. Bertice M. Parmenter
  8. Seth W. Richardson
  9. Harry W. Blair
  10. Carl McFarland
  11. Norman Littell
  12. David L. Bazelon
  13. Augustus "Gus" Vanech
  14. William Amory Underhill
  15. James M. McInerney
  16. Perry W. Morton
  17. Ramsey Clark
  18. Edwin L. Weisl, Jr.
  19. Clyde O. Martz
  20. Shiro Kashiwa
  21. Kent Frizzell
  22. Wallace H. Johnson
  23. Peter Taft
  24. James W. Moorman
  25. Carol Dinkins
  26. F. Henry “Hank” Habicht, II
  27. Roger J. Marzulla
  28. Richard B. Stewart
  29. Lois Jane Schiffer
  30. Thomas L. Sansonetti
  31. Sue Ellen Wooldridge
  32. Ronald J. Tenpas
  33. Ignacia S. Moreno
  34. John C. Cruden
  35. Jeffrey Bossert Clark

Ira K. Wells (1924-1925)

Early History/Schooling:  Ira Kent Wells was born on June 18, 1871 in Seneca, Kansas to Abijah and Loretta Williams Wells.  He attended the University of Kansas, graduating in 1893 with a Bachelor of Laws degree.

Tenure as AAG:  President Coolidge appointed Wells as AAG in charge of the Lands Division in February 1924.  As AAG, he oversaw eminent domain litigation, including Old Dominion Land Co. v United States and United States v. Forbes, in which the federal government extended its right to maintain ownership of lands condemned during the First World War.

Career:  After graduating from law school, Wells began practicing law at his father’s Seneca, Kansas, law firm.  He then served as a city attorney and as Nemaha County attorney.  During World War I, Wells was a Major in the Office of the Judge-Advocate General, and later served as both Judge Advocate and Provost Marshal of the Panama Canal Department.  In September 1921, Wells became the U.S. Attorney for Puerto Rico, and held that role until his nomination to the AAG position in 1924.  In May 1925, Wells left the Justice Department when he was named a federal district judge for Puerto Rico.  He served in that position until January 1934.

Personal:  Wells married Zula M. Thompson from his hometown of Seneca in 1895.  His wife was a sister of Senator William Thompson (D-KS, 1913-1919). The couple had two daughters, Loretta and Dora.  Wells died April 2, 1934.

This material is based on the review of a variety of historical sources, and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  If you have any corrections or additional information about this individual or about the history of the Division, please contact ENRD.

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Ira K. Wells
Updated November 28, 2018

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