Grafton L. Wells

Grafton Lee "Tab" Wells, Sr. (March 24, 1916 - January 12, 1979) was a Fairfax County Police Officer.

Wells graduated from Clifton High School in 1934. He married Elizabeth Lula Hawes in 1936.

Wells joined the Fairfax County Police in September of 1938. When the department became independent of the Fairfax County Sheriff's office on July 1, 1940, Sheriff Eppa P. Kirby retained Wells, making him a sheriff's deputy. Wells would join the department within the year. On July 1, 1941, upon the promotion of Alton Poole to Sergeant and the creation of an accident prevention squad, Wells was assigned to the new squad.

Also in 1941, the Fairfax County Police Beneficiary Association was formed, and Officer Wells became its first treasurer.

Wells served in the Coast Guard during World War II, and upon returning from his service, was reappointed to his position as Sergeant on October 15, 1945. The next year, Wells was sent to the FBI Academy, graduating in October, 1946. As both a detective sergeant and lieutenant, Wells was involved in both managing and teaching police schools over the subsequent years.

On February 3, 1948, Detective Sergeant Wells was promoted to lieutenant and given command of the Detective Squad, replacing Henry T. Magarity, who had been promoted to the newly-created rank of inspector.[1]

As head of the Detective Squad, Lieutenant Wells would be involved in investigating the February 1949 murder of Frances Holober by her husband, Charles.

Lieutenant Wells and was promoted to Captain in December, 1955. Captain Wells continued to head the squad until July 1, 1967, when Captain David R. Eike became acting chief of detectives.[2]

Wells retired from FCPD on October 16, 1967.[2]

Wells died on January 12, 1979 at Commonwealth Doctors Hospital, and is buried in the Fairfax City Cemetery.

Wells' son, Grafton, Jr., would follow his father into law enforcement, eventually becoming Chief of Police for Staunton, Virginia.


  1. "Fairfax Police Promote Magarity to Inspector" Evening Star, 4 Feb. 1948, Three Star, p. 24. NewsBank. Accessed 10 Feb. 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Lester Named Chief of Fairfax Detectives." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973): 1. Oct 03 1967. ProQuest. Web. 10 Feb. 2018.