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SGT: DAVID THOMPSON WELCH of the 13th Army Corps of the 3rd Division. Civil War Veteran and local Politician of Monterey County.

David Thompson Welch was born on July 22 1843 in Ashville, Ohio. At the out break of the Civil War, he enlisted in the 13th Army Corps, 3rd Division under General Canby, he was made a Sergeant. At the close of the war, he mustered out in 1865. By profession, Mr. Welch was a banker, later served as Mayor of Pacific Grove and as a city Councilman. He had two wives, Mariah McMillan and later Elizabeth Snively. David Thompson Welch was present and was a speaker as Mayor of Pacific Grove representing Pacific Grove among other mayors of the local city’s, during the dedication of the “Com. John Drake Sloat” Monument on Old Fort Mervine, on the lower quarter of the Presidio of Monterey. David T. Welch died on Monday, March 3, 1930 in Pacific Grove. His internment was made at the El Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove, California. He was a member of the Lucius Fairchild GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Post #179, based out of Pacific Grove, California.

The following transcription is from a biographical sketch and his obituary from the Pacific Grove’s “High Tide” newspaper, issue March 7, 1930.

WELCH, DAVID T (1843-1930?) El Carmelo Cemetery (History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties pages 330-31)
David T. Welch

A banker and capitalist whose experience, coupled with his foresight and optimism and conservative progressiveness have frequently been of great service to others as well as to himself, is David T. Welch, of 202 Willow street, Pacific Grove.  He is a native of Ohio, born July 22, 1843, but when three years of age, was taken by his parents to Oskaloosa county, Iowa, and in the Hawkeye state he attended the district schools.  When Civil war threatened to break asunder the cherished Union, he entered the service of his country and remained in the field until the close of hostilities in 1865.  He enlisted from Warren county, Iowa, as a member of the thirteenth Army Corps, Third Division, under General Canby and was made a sergeant.  He saw hard service at Columbus, Kentucky, and Yazoo Pass, Arkansas, and was wounded at the battle Helena, July 4, 1863, when he was shot through the hand.  For a time he was in the hospital at Memphis, Tennessee, and then returned to his home for treatment, but later rejoined the army at little Rock, Arkansas.  He was with the reinforcement sent to General Bank on Red river and was in the battle of Salina River, at Jenkings Ferry, where he served under General Steele.  On being taken prisoner he acted as a hospital steward in the prison, but escaped, however, and was five days in the woods, finally reaching Little Rock.  With his command he was ordered south to Mobile, Alabama, in General Canby’s division, and there he was under fir for thirteen days before Spanish Fort Surrendered.  After that he was ordered south to the Rio Grande and was mustered out at the close of the war.

Mr. Welch then returned to his home in Iowa, where for a time he attended school and was afterward a teacher.  In 1867 he started clerking in the general store of A.W. Collins in his home town of Knoxville, Iowa, and later he and Mr. McMillan formed a partnership in the general mercantile business at that place under the firm name of Miller & Welch, continuing in that way from 1873 to 1882.  On selling out, Mr. Welch went to Winterset, Iowa, where he and his son, A.M. Welch engaged in the dry goods trade, and later they started a store at Waterloo, Iowa.  In 1903 they sold out and removed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where they established business under the name of the Welch-Cook Company, importers and jobbers, for the handling of dry goods.  In that concern the son was president and treasurer. He died in 1915.

In 1903 David T. Welch retired from business and came to Pacific Grove California, leaving the Welch-Cook Company, which was one of the largest and leading institutions in Cedar Rapids.  At Pacific Grove he became associated with TA Work, under the firm name of the TA Work Company engaged in the hardware business, also dealing in lumber and erecting buildings.  They purchased some eight hundred acres of land, and this is now subdivided as the fashionable residential section popular as the Highlands.  Mr. Welch was chairman of the finance committee of the company and under his leadership the business certainly flourished, but he sold his interests and retired some eighteen years ago.  He became a director of the Bank of Pacific Grove and he is still on the board.  He has also served as a member of the board of trustees of Pacific Grove and as its president has been virtually the mayor of the city.  He is a deacon in the Mayflower Pacific Grove Congregational church, and is allied with the Grand Army of the Republic, serving as quartermaster of Lucius Fairchild Post, No. 179.

Mr. Welch has been twice married.  In 1867 he married Miss Mariah McMillan, a native of Lafayette, Indiana, now deceased, and later he married Miss Harriet N. Snively, of Illinois, who is still living.  He has two grandchildren; David T. Welch, Jr. a student at Cole College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Elizabeth B. Welch, a graduate of Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois.

Pacific Grove High Tide March 7, 1930
Death Calls D.T. Welch, G.A.R. Man
Prominent Local Business Leader’s Death Leaves But One in Post

David Thompson Welch, for the past 25 years one of the best known of local residents passed away Monday.  Funeral services were held this morning.

With the passing of Welch, the membership of the Fairchild Post, Grand Army of the Republic, once a most prominent patriotic organization of this city, has been cut to one survivor, J.H. King.

Deceased was born in Ashville, Ohio, June 23, 1843.  He was 86 years of age at the time of his death.  For a number of years, he was a prominent business man of Waterloo, Ohio, and played an active part in the building up of one of the largest department stores of that city.  He was also a director of one of the Waterton banks.  At the time of his death, he still had property holdings in farm land near that city.

In coming to Pacific Grove, Welch became a member of the TA Work Company and retired from active business life upon the dissolution of that group some 18 years ago.  He became a director of the old Bank of Pacific Grove and continued to be a member of the supervisory board of the successor, the Bank of America, until his passing.  He was prominent in a number of local organizations, notably the G.A.R. post, he being a veteran of the civil war.  He was a deacon of the local Mayflower Congregational church for many years, and was one of the most faithful loyal and best respected members.

He is survived by his widow, who resides at 308 Willow street.

Rev. I Morse Dryer, pastor of the Congregational church conducted this morning’s funeral service held from the J.K. Paul Mortuary.  The service was brief, but impressive, and was attended by many of the deceased’s wide circle of friends.  Members of the Fairchild Women’s Relief Corps took part in conducting the services, especially the final rites in El Carmelo cemetery, where the remains were laid to rest.  Music was furnished by members of the Congregational choir.

At the meeting of the city council last night, the session was adjourned in respect to the memory of D.T. Welch, who was formerly both a city councilman and mayor of the community.  For a number of years, he took a prominent part in local civil affairs.  


Compiled and Submitted: by Tim P. Reese, PCC

Camp Abe Lincoln #10 based out of Santa Cruz, Ca

Dept. of Calif. and Pacific

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

P. O. Box 1641, Monterey, Ca. 93942-1641


Sep 2009



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