John Welker (my great-grandfather) was born about 1821 in OH. His wife Mary Elizabeth (surname not proved) (my great-grandmother) was born in Feb 1828 in OH. A John Welker and Mary E. Critzer were married 25 Dec 1843 in Stark County, OH. This may be the above John and Mary Elizabeth.
John and Mary had six children, all born in Ohio: John A. (born Oct 1845), Augustus (born ca 1848), Emma Sylvia (born 22 Aug 1849)(my grandmother), Clara (born ca 1855), Franklin Filmore (born 02 Dec 1856), and Michael (born 21 Jul 1858). Sometime after Michael?s birth but before the 1870 census, the Welker family moved to Jackson Twp., Huntington County, IN where John and Mary bought a large farm. The 1870 census lists John?s occupation as a lumber and spoke manufacturer.
Sometime before the 1880 census, John and daughter Clara moved to Manchester, TN. Mary and son Franklin were still in Huntington County, IN during the 1880 census. After settling in the Manchester area, John operated a sawmill on Maple Springs Road and lived nearby. Little is known about their years in Coffee County. John died before the 1900 census, which lists Mary as a widow with two grandchildren residing with her. Mary was still living in Manchester at the time of the 1910 census. Both John and Mary are buried in the Welker Cemetery on Maple Springs Road. No birth or death dates are shown on their tombstone or in cemetery records.
John and Mary Elizabeth?s children are discussed below.
John A. and Dora (surname unknown) were married about 1870. They had six children: John (born Jan 1872 in WI), Clara (born Nov 1882 in MI)*, Birdie (born Oct 1892 in TX)**, names of other three children unknown. By 1900, John A. and Dora were living in Hardin County, TX where John A. was a mill superintendent for a large lumber company. Their son John was a foreman at the mill, and he, his wife Nannie and daughter Nannie lived three houses from John A. Welker. Dora and John A.?s daughter Clara married Victor Williams sometime before the 1910 census. This census shows Clara and Victor, their daughter Victoria (one year and nine months old), and Clara?s sister Birdie were living in Winchester, TN near Peter Meech and his second wife Melissa Emma. Victor was a lawyer.
Nothing is known about Augustus.
On 15 Dec 1868, Emma Sylvia and Peter King Meech (my grandparents) were married in Huntington County, IN. At the time, Peter was working in one of his father?s flour mills. Later, Peter was in the hardware business (Meech Hardware in Huntington County). Emma and Peter had seven children.. In 1891, Peter and Emma and probably four of their children (Lloyd, Clara, Donald Earl and Harry) moved to Middlesboro, KY; to Grand Rapids, MI in 1892; and to Manchester, Coffee County, TN in 1893. At one time, they lived on Woodbury Road in Manchester. Emma was killed 05 Sep 1902 in a runaway horse and buggy accident, and is buried in the Welker Cemetery on Maple Springs Road in Manchester. Peter later remarried (Melissa Emma Putnam Grimm Shank). They lived in Manchester and for awhile in Winchester. They, too, are buried in the Welker Cemetery.
Nothing is known about Clara. However, this Clara may be the Clara Welker who married Paul Atkins and had two children: Paul, and Virginia who married H. R. Moyer. The Moyers had three children: Jack (killed in the service), Dick and Lavone, according to Margaret Bickel (my cousin).
Frank was married twice. His first wife died, and his second marriage ended in divorce. The name of one of his wives was Annas Thomas. At some point, Frank moved to the Beaumont, TX area. When his health began to fail, his niece Virginia Atkins Moyer came to Beaumont and took Frank to her home in California. Sometime later (about 1932) she brought him back to Coffee County, TN. He died on 09 Jul 1940 near New Union, TN. He is buried in the Welker cemetery.
The only information we have on Michael is from an old photograph of Michael, his wife and small child. Written on the back of the photo is Michael?s death date 27 Jun 1886, and date of photo (11 Jun 1886).
1. 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910 Federal Population Censuses
2. LDS IGI
3. Meech family history
4. Tombstone inscriptions
5. Frank Welker obit
6. Michael Welker photograph
7. Family recollections
*The 1900 Census gives Clara?s birth year as 1880 and that she was living with her grandmother Mary Welker in Manchester. The 1910 census gives Victor?s birth date as about 1874 in TN.
**On the 1910 Census, Birdie was listed as being 18 and living with sister Clara in Winchester.
The 1900 census shows a Frankie Welker, born Aug 1883 in Tennessee, living with grandmother Mary Welker.
In a photo of Earl, Clara and Mary Meech; there is a Clifton Welker and Virginia and Paul Atkins. All children appear be under age 10.
A Clara Welker, granddaughter of Mary Welker, married W. N. Vaughan from Beaumont, TX sometime prior to 17 Apr 1903. A personal item in this 17 Apr issue of the Manchester Times mentions a Mrs. W. N. (Clara Welker) Vaughan of Beaumont, TX was visiting her grandmother Mary Welker.
Leslie, Let me know if you can add anything to this, please. We want to know more about this branch of our family.