Welling, Charles E.
as found in



WELLING, CHARLES E. The father of the subject of this sketch, whose name was Edward M. Welling, was born in Novia Scotia, and came with his parents who settled in Pittstown, N. Y., in the early years of the present century. His ancestors were from Wales, England. He learned the carpenter trade, and followed that occupation for many years. In 1821, at Hoosick, N. Y., he was married to Amelia Russell. Three years later, in 1824, he moved to North Bennington, then called “Sages City:" soon after he purchased the Paran Creek grist-mill, sawmill and a small farm. He built extensively for himself and others in the vicinity, churches, school-houses, dwellings, and mercantile buildings, and in 1833 removed the old mill and built the substantial stone mill and saw-mill which are standing monuments to his memory. He continued the manufacture of lumber and milling, and did a successful business; and is remembered as one of the most thrifty, energetic, and straightforward men of the town. The fruit of the above marriage was two children, Charles Edward Welling, the subject of this sketch, who was born on October 16, 1823, at Hoosick, N. Y., and a daughter, Evaline A., who was born in January, 1827. and who became the wife of Charles Thatcher. jr.

Charles E. Welling from early boyhood was brought up to such work as his father was engaged in, on buildings, in the mills and shop and on the farm when not in school. In 1844, with his father, he engaged in the manufacture of potato starch, occupying part of the stone-mill until in 1849, when owing to the almost entire failure of the potato crop by rot, it was abondoned. In 1850, on the 9th day of April, he was married to Sarah D. Thomas, the daughter of E. H. Thomas, then of North Bennington, but formerly of Brattleboro, Vt. The same year in which he was married Mr. Welling engaged in the mercantile business at North Bennington, in partnership with Charles Thatcher, Jr., who came to North Bennington at this time, and which continued in active operation from this time until the year 1876, a period of some twenty-six years. In 1853 the farmers started a union store which divided the trade and discouraged the firm in that direction. The milling business was depressed also, and Mr. Welling's love for mechanical work resulted in his proposal to purchase and convert the mill into a paper-mill, and he to take that part of the business. Machinery was purchased and started in 1854. Without previous experience in the business, and the increasing depression from this time on in all manufacturing, which culminated in 1857 in the well remembered general crash, in which it was said more than half the paper manufacturers failed, they struggled on. and through resolute, determined and persistent effort the crisis was passed, and success finally achieved. In 1867 additions and improvements were made and entire new machinery throughout put in, largely increasing the production of the mll. It is a well-known fact that their business was quite extensive and successful, and that both members were men of the strictest integrity of character and worth. About 1870 the firm disposed of its stock of goods. and in the spring of 1875 Mr. Welling bought D. Hunter & Co.’s paper-mill situated about two miles away, put in new machinery, and with his son, Edward D., ran that independent of the firm. In 1876 Mr. Welling succeeded the firm, and in 1877 the Stark Paper Company was organized and C. E. Welling elected its president, and he has held the position to the present time. This company operated both mills, and it may in truth be called an enterprise of the Welling family, as Charles E. Welling and his son are the owners of the greater part of the stock and direct its business management almost exclusively.

While Mr. Welling has always been a very busy tnan, occupied constantly with the many cares and details of his manifold interests and enterprises, he has, nevertheless, like the good citizen, found some time to devote to the general welfare of the town and county, although he has by no means been a seeker after political honors, there is scarcely an office in the township that he has not held, and in each of these he has exercised the same care and judgment that he gives his private concerns. For a period of eight or ten years he held the office of postmaster at North Bennington, and in the fall of i888 he was elected to represent the town of Bennington in the General Assembly of the State. In politics Mr. Welling was born a Democrat, but having lived to see the predictions of the old Whig party fulfilled in 1839, that the reduction or removal of duties would flood the country with foreign goods and break down our manufactures, and the ruin and scattering of a whole village near him and the destruction of the home market, that these operations, made for the farmers, convinced him that the policy of protection to our own manufactures was the true one for this country to pursue, and caused him to identify himself with the Republican party, with which he has continued to act until the present time. He holds that the theory of free trade would be all right were the conditions of the world equal, but that is an impossibility, and consequently this country should so legislate as to protect our own interests until such time as we are able to compete with the world.

In the early part of this sketch it is stated that on the 9th day of April, 1850, Charles E. Welling and Sarah D. Thomas were united in marriage. Of this union there have been born five children, of whom three are now living, Edward D., Hattie S, and George B. Welling.

Return to [ Bennington County, Vermont Bio's. ] [ Online Biographies ]

All pages copyright 2009. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy