John A. Welch was born in Paris, Edgar county, Illinois, November 24, 1834, and was the fourth son and fourth
child of a family of seven children. His father, John R. Welch, was born May 24, 1805, in Bath county, Kentucky,
and died on the 18th of May, 1891, in Salem, Oregon. He was of English parentage. The mother of our subject, Matilda
Lowry Welch, was of Irish and German descent. She was born on the 27th of November, 1807, and died in Butler, Missouri,
November 28, 1880. The father moved with the family to Iowa in the year 1843, making the journey with ox teams.
They located temporarily in Jefferson county but after a residence there of ten or eleven months moved on further
west in May, 1844, and located in an unorganized parfof the country, which was later organized and given the name
of Marion county.
Here John A. Welch grew to manhood. During the summer of 1854 he with his brothers, James and Isaiah, drove cattle
overland to California and was four months lacking a few days in making the trip. He worked in the gold mines most
of the time in the central and northern part of the state for three years. In the spring of 1857 he with his brother
Isaiah returned to Iowa by way of Panama and New York. James had previously returned by the same route. After reaching
home he attended school and taught school alternately until the commencement of the Civil war in 1861.
On account of a war scare along the southern border of the state he with nearly one hundred other men from Marion
county volunteered their services to aid others from different parts of the state to repel the invaders. On arrival
at the war threatened district the expected invaders had returned south. After a reconnoissance lasting four weeks
through northwestern Missouri without a conflict, all parties returned to Iowa and were disbanded without the loss
of a man. Soon after returning home from this expedition Mr. Welch enlisted and was regularly mustered into the
United States service in G, Company Fifteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. After nine months' service he was discharged
at Corinth, Mississippi, on account of disability.
About one year after returning home from the army he engaged in the mercantile business in Attica in the southeast
part of the county, with J. M. Cathcart as a partner, under the firm name of Cathcart & Welch. A few years
later, in 1872, a change of location was made to Knoxville, the county seat, where a mercantile partnership was
formed with D. T. Welch, and they did business under the firm name of Welch & Welch. From this time on he was
in business in one way and another in Knoxville for ten years. In 1882 he moved to Burrton, Harvey county, Kansas,
where he resided for twenty six years, during which time he was engaged in mercantile, banking or lumber business,
at the end of which time he retired and removed to Hutchinson, Kansas, where he now resides at 620 North Main street.
A few days after Mr. Welch had volunteered his services to the United States, he was married to Mary E. Haines,
October 22, 1861. She was of Welsh and Scotch lineage and of Quaker parentage, born in New Jersey, January 27,
1840. Both are now living and have passed their fifty third wedding anniversary.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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