Francis Marion Wells was born in Pennsylvania in 1848. Wells arrived in San Francisco about 1870 and was a cofounder of the Bohemian Club in 1872. He was Douglas Tilden's first teacher in 1883 and the following year was commissioned to do a bust of Hawaii's King David Kalakua who was visiting in
Oakland. Wells was active in the local art scene as a teacher as well as a producer of portrait busts and bas reliefs. At one time a wealthy man, his loan of a large sum of money to President Carlos Ezeta of El Salvador went unpaid and left him penniless. He died in San Francisco on July 22, 1903 and was buried at public expense.
Exh: Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1881-90 (silver medal); Calif. State Fair, 1881-86; San Francisco Art Associati
Source: Edan Hughes, author of the book "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
SF Chronicle, 7-22-1903 (obit)Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here