Commander-in Chief of the territorial militia, the Nauvoo Legion
Wells coordinated the efforts to convict Lee in the second trial
More on the "Shooter and Clubber" Daniel H. Wells
Born 1814 Trenton, New York
Married Eliza Rebecca Robison 1837; later practiced plural marriage
Mormon Shooter and Clubber
Ordained an Apostle 1857; never sustained to Quorum of the Twelve
Second Counselor to Brigham Young 1857-1877
Counselor to the Twelve Apostles, 1877-1891
Died 1891 Salt Lake City, Utah
General Daniel H. Wells
DANIEL HANMER WELLS, a MORMON SHOOTER and CLUBBER, Commander-in-Chief of the territorial militia, the Nauvoo Legion, it is not known as to how much knowledge Wells had prior to the attack that took place at Mountain Meadows. However, as third in command in the military hierarchy, he, as well as his superiors, George A. Smith , and Brigham Young , are culpable under the military rules of accountability. Further, there is little question that he and superiors were involved in the cover-up that followed the brutal and cowardly slaughter.
Wells was born on October 27, 1814 in Trenton, New York to Daniel Wells and his wife Catherine Chapin. When he grew up he married Eliza Rebecca Robison on March 12, 1837 in Commerce (later Nauvoo), Illinois. The couple made their home in Nauvoo and Wells was a "Jack Mormon", a term applied to non-church members, who defended the church and its members. He was personal friends with Joseph Smith which helped him get elected to the Nauvoo City Council and later as a judge. After his friend, Joseph Smith, was killed in June, 1844 and the Mormons were expelled from the area, Wells decided to join the church. Made an official church member in 1846, Wells remained in Illinois until 1848, when he went to Utah and began working toward the organization of the State of Deseret. However, his wife, Eliza, who never participated in plural marriages, did not accompany him. In Utah, Daniel, on the other hand, would take six wives.
In the year of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Wells was ordained as an Apostle, was the second counselor to Brigham Young, and the commanding officer of the Nauvoo Legion, the territorial militia. Later he would preside over the church's European missions while living in Great Britain and when he returned to Utah Territory was elected mayor of Salt Lake City in 1866, a position he held until 1874.
In 1872 Wells was arrested for being an accessory in the murder of Robert Yates, a murder that occurred in 1857 at the mouth of Echo Canyon. Though a man named Bill Hickman would eventually confess to killing Yates, Wells was the official commanding officer of the military operation which resulted in the death of Yates, thereby making him an accessory. However, a year later the charges were dismissed.
In 1879 he was jailed for failing to disclose information regarding the various polygamist marriages he had performed. Jailed for a couple of months and accessed a $100 fine, he was released.
In 1884, he was back in Europe, returning in 1888. At the age of 76, he died in Salt Lake City on March 27, 1891.