Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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Luther W. Welch

LUTHER W. WELCH, who has had a remarkably successful career in railroading, has worked his way up from the position of water boy to that of superintendent of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway. He is located in the city of Parsons, Labette county, Kansas, where he is well and favorably known as a man of upright principles and sterling qualities.

Mr. Welch was born in Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, in 1841. Becoming an orphan at the age of thirteen years, he at once set out to support himself, and from that period he has been his own supporter and the architect of his own fortunes. Entering the employ of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company, he carried water for a time for the service and construction gangs on that road. Subsequently, he entered the transportation department of the road, and at various times served as fireman, engineer, dispatcher and conductor. He was in the employ of the company sixteen years, with the exception of two years spent in the Civil Service of the Government during the War of the Rebellion. He was then for a short time trainmaster on the Ithaca & Athens Railway, after which he was advanced to the position of assistant superintendent. In 1876, he came west to enter the service of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, with which he has since continued, with the exception of two years passed in the service of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, as roadmaster. He entered the service of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company as a train man and was gradually promoted, until in 1886, he was made superintendent of the Cherokee, Neosho and Parsons divisions, with office at Parsons, Kansas. He has been successful in his position, and is in high favor with the officials of the road.

In 1890, Mr. Welch was united in marriage with Lelia Smith, a daughter of Robert B. Smith, of Parsons, and they have two children: Lute T. and James Norman. The subject of this sketch has been a member of the different railway orders, and formerly took an active part in their work, which the pressure of official duties has compelled him to relinquish. Fraternally, he is a Mason and Knight Templar, and a member of the B. P. 0. E.