Page 854-855, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


James T. Welch is a Kansas pioneer and an early settler in Milton township, Butler county. He came to Butler county in 1882, and after spending a short time there, he went to Newton, Kans., where he remained until 1886, working at his trade, which is that of a carpenter. In 1886, he came to Brainerd, which was then a new town, that being the same year that the railroad was built through that section.

Mr. Welch was born in Fulton county, March 4, 1847. His mother died when he was five years old, and two years later his father passed away, and he, therefore, was left an orphan at an early age. His lot was that of an unfortunate orphan child. His guardian placed him in the hands of a family in the neighborhood, and the treatment, which he received as a boy, early developed within him a spirit of self preservation, and a confidence in his ability to shift for himself. He learned, one night, that he was to be whipped the next morning, for some minor fracture of the family rules, and after thinking the matter over, he decided in his boyish mind that he would not be present when the whipping took place, and accordingly during the night, he slid down a lightning rod, and that was the last seen of him in that neighborhood.

He was twelve years old at that time, and, for a few years, drifted around, from one place to another, working at whatever he could find to do, and finally got employment at Payson, Ill., where he got an opportunity to learn the carpenter trade. From there, he went to Stone Prairie and became a successful contractor and builder for a number of years. From there, he came to Kansas, in 1882, as above stated.

Mr. Welch was united in manage to Miss Lucy A. Strawmatt, a native of Pike county, Illinois, born May 29, 1869, and a daughter of William and Margaret (Chambers) Strawmatt. A more extended history of the Strawmatt family appears in the sketch of Mrs. Mary Sturdyvin, a sister of Mrs. Welch. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Welch resided for a short time at Newton, Kans., when they went to Guthrie, Okla., where they remained a short time, when they came to Butler county, and bought a farm near Whitewater, which they have improved, and which is the present family home. To Mr. and Mrs. Welch have been born the following children: James T., Jr., born August 24,


1891, a carpenter residing in Whitewater, and well known for the excellency of his workmanship; Cecil T., born April 1, 1896, graduated from in Whitewater High School in the class of 1914, and later took a course in a business college at Chillicothe, Mo., and is now teaching school; and Fannie R. Welch, the only girl, was born February 1, 1904. The Welch family is well known and highly respected in the community.

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