He returned to the United States in 1877. In 1896, he succeeded Anthon H. Lund as the president of the European Mission of the church, headquartered in Liverpool, England. In December 1898, Wells returned to Utah.
In the United States election in 1900, Wells was elected to the Utah House of Representatives.
He did not stand for re-election in 1902. Following the death of J. Golden Kimball in 1938, Wells became the senior president of the Seventy, a position he held until his own death in 1941.
Wells died in Salt Lake City from colon cancer. He had been a general authority of the church for almost 50 years.
In April 1893, Wells was chosen as a member of the seven-man First Council of the Seventy. He served as a member of the house for its 4th session, which lasted from January to March 1901.