He was born in Durham, New Hampshire on August 15, 1801. He studied at local school and later studied law. He had a successful career in law. He served as an associate justice of the Maine Supreme Court from 1847 to 1854. Wells became Governor of Maine in 1856. He was unsuccessful in his re-election bid and left office on January 8, 1857. After leaving office, he moved to Boston and practiced law. He died on July 15, 1868.
^There is a brief account of his life in an obituary of his son Samuel (1836–1903), a lawyer and member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts Green, Charles Montraville (1907). "Memoir of Samuel Wells, A.B.". Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts (The Society): 27–31. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Greenwood Press, 1988. ISBN 0-313-28093-2