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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


JOHN WELSH. The substantial character of this name itself is quite indicative of the qualities of the man. A well-to-do reliable and unassuming citizen, he never seeks popularity, but has been content to pursue the even tenor of his way in his own particular sphere, shedding a healthy influence around him, and being recognized as the encourager and supporter of everything that is worthy and elevating in the community. He is one of those rare characters whose word is considered as good as his bond, and who has a healthy contempt for a mean action.

The native place of our subject was County Tipperary, Ireland, and his birth occurred March 10, 1832. His father, Patrick Welsh, was a native of the same county as his son, and there spent his entire life, engaged in farming. The maiden name of the mother was Mary Lewis. She was also born and reared near the childhood home of her husband, and is now deceased. The parental family consisted of seven children.

Our subject sojourned in his native county until a youth of eighteen years, receiving a common-school education, and employing himself mostly at farming. In early youth he had become interested in the country on the other side of the Atlantic, and from what he could gather from reading and hearsay, it appeared to him that here were opportunities not to be found on his native soil. He determined to emigrate thither, and accordingly, in 1850, bade adieu to the friends and associates of his childhood, and embarking at Waterford, landed seven weeks and four days later in New York. Thence he proceeded to Chester County, where he found employment as a farm laborer, and where he continued to lived until 1855. The spring of that year found him first in this county, and he rented a tract of land on North Prairie. With the exception of two years spent in Morgan County, and two years in Greene County, he has since made Scott County his home.

Mr. Welsh settled on his present farm in December, 1866, and for a period of twenty-three years has given his undivided attention to agricultural pursuits. He has wisely made of these a science and a profession, and from the first set up for himself a high standard which he has endeavored to follow. It cannot be denied that he has succeeded in an admirable manner. His farm, 160 acres in extent, has been brought to a thorough state of cultivation, his buildings are neat and substantial, and his machinery and live stock indicate in a forcible manner his progressive and enterprising spirit. He makes a specialty of graded horses, Short-horn cattle, and Poland-China swine.

Our subject was first married in Jacksonville, in the spring fo 1863, to Miss Susan, daughter of Richard Sponsler. Of this union there were born three children - Edward, Lucy and Ella, who are at home with their father. The wife and mother died in 1873. Mr. Welsh contracted a second marriage, in 1875, with Mrs. Mary (O'Neill) Ryan, a native of Ireland. This marriage likewise resulted in the birth of three children - Katie, Margaret, and John. Mrs. Welsh by her first husband, William Ryan, became the mother of one child. Mr. W. meddles very little with public affairs, and has never sought office. Upon becoming a naturalized citizen, he identified himself with the Democratic party, and is a member in good standing of the Catholic Church.

1889 Index
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