C.C. Wells

A Greene County Photographer

Pictures courtesy of Lee Ritter

Charles C. Wells was born in Coxsackie in November 4, 1840 to Christopher Wells and Elvira Jeffords, his wife. Charles died at Coxsackie on January 16, 1929 and in buried in Riverside Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Charles was a life long bachelor. C.C.'s parents were married on March 24, 1838 by the Rev. J. Searle. To them were born at least three children, William born about 1839, Charles born in 1840 and John H., born about 1848, all in Coxsackie. C.C. lost his father at a young age; Christopher died on February 14, 1854 at the age of 50 years and 3 months.

Christopher was one of twelve children born to William Wells (b. April 24, 1768, d. May 20, 1842) and Mary Coddington (b. September 17, 1769, d. January 31, 1837). Christopher's siblings were: Mary (b. April 8, 1788, d. at the age of 1 year and 11 months), Mary (b. April 20, 1791, d. January 14, 1830), Joseph (b. September 15, 1794, d. December 17, 1867), Anna (b. January 17, 1797, d. September 28, 1857), Margaret (b. February 8, 1799, d. November 6, 1872), James (b. September 6, 1801, d. February 6, 1874), Elizabeth (b. February 11, 1806, d. May 5, 1889), Sally (b. August 25, 1808, d. May 13, 1873), Harriet (b. February 7, 1811, d. at the age of 8 months), Harriet (b. December 23, 1812, d. October 10, 1862) and Juliette (b. April 22, 1816, d. March 11, 1888).

William's parents were Joseph Wells and Mary Daniels (b. November 22, 1732, d. February 20, 1822).


    C.C. Wells became fascinated with taking pictures of the steamboats that plied the Hudson River. Charles had a small
    skiff that he named Rambler and would row himself out on the Hudson River to take pictures of the steamboats as they
    passed by Greene County. The nautical life of the Hudson River valley became the primary subject matter of his
    photographs. Many of his pictures became postcards. C.C. also took portraits of local people and of Greene County.

    C.C. was also a well-known artist.



For almost 80 years the final resting place of C.C. Wells was a mystery. Through the efforts of Lee Ritter and Bob Bender, the Riverside Cemetery caretaker, C.C. Wells' unmarked grave was located in Riverside Cemetery in Coxsackie, Greene Co, NY. On August 29, 2008 a graveside ceremony was conducted for C.C. Wells and his new grave marker was laid. As a fitting memorial to his talent, a sketch of the Coxsackie Lighthouse from C.C. Wells own collection of drawings was used by Lee on the marker itself.

At the dedication ceremony - from left to right are:
Roy Shannon, Hudson River artist and friend of Grant Van Loan, Stuyvesant Falls; Victoria Van Loan, Lee Ritter's second cousin, from Philadelphia, PA, and Sweden; Joyce Coppleston, Coxsackie; Betty June Cure, Coxsackie; Stan Whitbeck, Coxsackie; Ray Cure, Coxsackie; Bob Bender, caretaker of the Riverside Cemetery who made this all possible; Mrs Bob Bender; Jerry Coppleston who gave us great assistance in finding the Wells site, Coxsackie; Ray Beecher, Greene County Historian, Coxsackie. The graves are from left to right C.C. Wells and Frank Ritter with the VFW flag on it.

His Pictures:


1.      2.        3.        4.        5.   

  1. Hendrick Hudson

  2.    Coxsackie Lighthouse and C.C. Well's skiff Rambler

  3. Clermont

  4. Albany

  5. The Stuyvesant at dock


1.        2.        3.        4.        5.   

  1. Onteora

  2. Kaaterskill

  3. Coxsackie ferryboat

  4.  Submerged Adirondack

  5.  Tug Cornell passing through Athens March 5, 1910 through 3 inches of ice


1.        2.        3.        4.        5.   

  1. City of Hudson

  2. Ice Jam at Athens

  3. Ursula

  4. Alexander Hamilton

  5. Mary Powell


1.        2.        3.        4.        5.   

  1. The flood at Coxsackie

  2. Saratoga

  3. Trojan

  4. Washington Irving

  5. Coxsackie Shuttle


  1.        2.        3.       4.        5.   

  1. Ferry

  2. Half Moon Replica

  3. Scott's Icehouse

  4. Ship building

  5. Storm King


1.        2.        3.        4.   

  1. Sub Chaser

  2. Jacob H. Tremper

  3.    C.C. Wells in his beloved boat, The Rambler. He took many of his photos of the Hudson River steamers from this boat.

  4. Shoveling snow at the C.C. Wells residence


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