The following information about church history in the county was found in Lake County, Indiana, 1884: The Semi-Centennial Celebration of Lake County, September 3 and 4, with Historical Papers and Other Interesting Records, edited by Rev. T.H. Ball, (pages 213-214):
The followers of the Saviour who call themselves as a designation only "Christians," called sometimes by others "Campbellites," forming a portion of the large Baptist family, were first known as such in Virginia in the time of the Rev. Alexander Campbell, who was one of the best religious disputants in the United States. His discussion held with the noted skeptic Robert Owen, nearly sixty years ago, may well be placed among American masterpieces. There has been in this county but one congregation of this variety of Christians. The place of meeting was, for a number of years, some two miles south of Lowell, in private houses or in the schoolhouse, and of these early times there seems to be no record. According to a published statement to which I have been referred as authority the church organization dates 1841, the constituent members having been Simeon Beadle and wife, William Wells and wife, Thomas Childress and wife, and J.L. Worley. The last named of these only is now living, the present President of the County Sunday-School Association. It seems a little singular that each of these women mentioned above bore the given name of Sarah. The organization took place at the home of William Wells, the Rev. Nathan Coffinburg being the minister present. . . .
The winter of 1842-3 it was said, would long be remembered. How long has it been? How many of you now can remember it? But few I venture to say, for such is the treachery of man's memory. Yet this was "the hard winter." The winter in which people had to dig out of the snow the neglected straw and strip off the hay covering of old sheds and stables to feed the cattle to help them eke out an existence, until grass should grow. A period that many of them failed to see, for every resource of feed utterly failed their owners, and the poor brutes actually starved to death; and that too in a country where any quantity of grass can be had for the mowing and where thousands of tons of wheat straw ate annually burned "to get it out of the way." The distress of that winter was not confined to this county -- it was universal through all this region of the Northwest. The winter commenced the middle of November and one of our citizens was frozen to death on the Grand Prairie, Nov. 17, 1842. This was William Wells, a very steady, sober and stout healthy man. Snow continued very late, for here we had good sleighing into April. And usually we have but very little in March, or as for that matter, but little during the winter.
The winter of 1842-42 was called the hard winter, one, it was said, that would long be remembered. Many cattle starved to death. The winter commenced the middle of November. November 17th -- Wm. Wells, "a very steady, sober, and stout, healthy man," perished with cold in a severe snow while returning home from mill. His residence was near West Creek, and he had been to the mill at Wilmington, in Illinois. He perished on the Illinois prairie.
About 1865 a school in the neighborhood two and a half miles south of Lowell, known as Egypt, was conducted by James Wells. He was a son of that Williams Wells who lost his life in the severe snow storm of November 17, 1842. He became a Methodist minister and left this county many years ago. . . .
This undated Crown Point Star article was found in a scrapbook owned by Town Historian Richard Schmal:
A Leaf from a Scrap Book
Many have heard the story of "Bull" Wells freezing to death in early times, while coming from a grist mill at Wilmington, Illinois to his home in West Creek. W.A. Clark was on the same errand the same day, and 20 years ago, while his mind was yet clear, wrote the following letter for publication.
This 17th day of November, 1888 is the anniversary of the remarkable death of William Wells, one of the pioneer settlers of Cedar Creek Township. He was one of the original squatters, and his "claim" I believe, was the fine quarter section now owned by Thomas Dickinson, a few miles south of Lowell. Forty-six years ago the settlers of the southern portion of Lake County were almost wholly dependent upon the mill at Wilmington, Illinois, 45 miles down the Kankakee River. The custom then was among the farmers of this section, every fall, to take a full load of grain to this mill. Accordingly, on the 15th day of November 1842, Mr. Wells, with a full wagon load of wheat, corn and buckwheat started for the mill. Up to this date there had been no snow; the weather was pleasant, and the roads were dry and good. Mr. Wells had got his grist and started for home on the morning of the 17th. The morning was somewhat stormy, with rain, snow and sleet. The wind increased and before two o'clock, a regular blizzard was raging. Wells was still plodding his way homeward. He passed Bullbonas Grove about 3 o'clock p.m. and Baker's tavern before dark. This was the last house on the road to the Momence settlement. A prairie of 12 miles without a house was before him. The weather had become intensely cold, which Wells was not well provided against. He however piled up his bags for a windbreaker, and wrapped closely around him his horse blankets, and trusted his team to follow the unbroken snowy track, until late in the evening. Suddenly his wagon came to a full stop. Upon examination he found that his wagon hammer was gone and his team thereby became detached from the wagon. The next day two horses, with part of their harness on, came to the farm of William Nichols, three miles south of Momence, and were recognized as belonging to William Wells, who had stopped there on his way to the mill three days before. The country was aroused and searching parties were sent out. Eventually the wagon was found not on the road from Momence to Wilmington, but on Grand Prairie, 8 miles north of said road. The horses had taken a track leading north over a prairie 16 miles across, The searching party had little trouble in finding Mr. Wells; following his tracks from the wagon they at length became shorter and shorter until they scarcely exceeded the length of his foot, when he pitched forward in the snow, where he was found frozen solid. Death had set its seal, but left no mark on the countenance of its victim; his face was just as fresh and ruddy as when alive. Thus finished one of the earliest, and perhaps the most well-to-do of the first settlers on the "outlet" of Cedar Lake.