Updated: 06 Sep 2009
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Sapulpa Herald, Creek Co., OK
CO. COMMISSIONER JOHN WELCH DIES ON COLO. VACATION
John K. Welch, chairman of the Creek county board of commissioners and pioneer
Sapulpa merchant, died yesterday afternoon in a hospital at Colorado Springs
following an heart attack. The body will arrive here tomorrow or Monday when
funeral plans will be made.
The commissioner had gone to Colorado Springs about two weeks ago for a rest and
vacation. He had been in poor health for some years having undergone a major
operation at Mayos last spring. He is survived by one brother, W. B. Welch, now
in a hospital at Oklahoma City, where he was taken a few days ago for treatment.
It was not known here today whether he would be able to attend his brother's
John Welch was serving his third term as county commissioner and was chairman of
the board at the time of his death. He was a member of Sapulpa Masonic Lodge 170
and of the Commandery 133. He was never married.
John Welch came here from Missouri in 1906 and for more than 25 years was
engaged in the clothing dry goods business. At first there were two firms of
which he as a member. One was that of Graham and Welch Bros. which handled dry
goods and ladies' ready-to-wear. The other firm was Unger & Welch and this
was the clothing store. Unger is now Sapulpa's postmaster. The two stores were
located on North Main street about where the Farmer's Exchange grocery is now
located. Later they moved to Dewey in the room now occupied by May-Miller
Hardware. While in this location the firm of Graham & Welch Bros. went out
of business and Unger & Welch dissolved. John and Bill Welch moved across
the street in the Berryhill building where they remained for a number of years
before quitting business.
Out of courtesy to this grand ole gent, the courthouse remained closed all day
and the employees attended the funeral in a body.
The funeral was held at 3 o'clock Tuesday in the Presbyterian Church.
Burial was made at the South Heights Cemetery with
Rev. Todd officiating. Pallbearers were made up of members of local Masonic
lodge 170 of which Mr. Welch was a prominent member.