Tag Archives: Sarah Walker Davis

Wells Colton Cabinet Has a Story

Wells Colton Cabinet at Lenox Historical Society

1828 Cabinet Made by Wells Colton
1828 Cabinet Made by Wells Colton








Thanks to Victoria Salvatore and the Lenox Historical Society for this information. The cabinet is a gift of Joann Sukel Lewis in memory of her parents.

At the Lenox Historical Society every piece of furniture (well almost every piece) tells a story.  This beautiful cabinet was made in 1828 by sixteen year old Wells Colton, whose father, Rodolphus Colton, was a cabinet maker.  Clearly 19th century teenagers had a lot of sticktoitiveness.

Wells and his father lived on Cliffwood Street where Rodolphus had his workshop.

Wells went on to practice law in Illinois with the Hon. Judge David Davis, who was President Abraham Lincoln’s campaign manager.

Wells Cotton Practiced Law with Lincoln’s Campaign Manager

The following information is provided by Patricia Schley who has spent many years transcribing the correspondence of Judge David Davis and his wife Sarah Walker Davis; and, most recently, the letters of Wells Colton and his family members.

“Wells Colton graduated from Lenox Academy and went on to Williams College, graduating in 1834.  He moved to Bloomington, Illinois in 1837 where he practiced law with Judge David Davis.  Davis would marry Colton’s Lenox friend, Sarah Walker, daughter of Judge William Walker.

In January 1845 Colton moved to St. Louis, Missouri.  During the tragic Great St. Louis Fire, May 17-18, 1849, Colton and a friend, both volunteers with the as yet unorganized St. Louis Fire dept., were badly injured by debris from an exploding building.  Colton died a week later.  His friend died in July of that year.”