A third generation member of his family to be involved in the ownership and management of the Homer Laughlin China Company, Joseph M. Wells, Jr. was born December 14, 1915.Following graduation from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio and the University of Pennsylvania -where he received his Bachelors Degree in Marketing in 1939 - he volunteered for service during World War 11, serving in the Pacific Theatre with the United States Navy.
Joe Wells' association with Homer Laughlin could well be dated back to his boyhood days when he first became involved at the Newell, WV plant. Throughout his more than 65 years' involvement with the company - known for its manufacturing of world famous Fiesta Ware - he has served as plant superintendent, secretary/treasurer, executive vice president, general manager, and chairman of the board of directors. Although officially retired, he maintains a full-time schedule at the company's corporate headquarters, providing both his time and talent generously to see the company continue to grow. A well-documented bonus plan by the Laughlin's has been a major economic boom to the Tri-State area.
Throughout his life, Mr. Wells has been active in the Boy Scouts movement, the YMCA, and the East Liverpool City Hospital, of which he has been a significant supporter for many years.
An avid golfer, his personal friendship with Arnold Palmer is a source of great pride to him, along with his association with Coach Lou Holtz.
On January 15, 1940, he married the former Elizabeth Thomas of Akron, Ohio, the couple having three children, Mr. Joseph M. Wells III, Mrs. Pete Jean) Wicks, and Mrs. Jack (Liz) Mclivain, and later eight grandchildren. His wife passed away on June 19, 1981. Mr. Wells is founding vice-president and member, of the Lou Holtz /Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame and is hereby inducted into the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame this day, July 5, 1998.