J. Henry Welsh

Posted by Janet on Sat, 17 Feb 2001

Source: 1918 History of Clark Co., WI, by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge, pg. 223


J. H.Welsh, a respected resident of the village of Loyal, where he has lived for the last 30 years, was born in Steuben County, New York, June 12, 1843. His parents were Uri and Rhoda (Kilburn) Welsh, the father a native of that state and a carpenter by trade. They were married in the same state and there two children were born to them, J. Henry, subject of this sketch, and Albert. Later the family moved to Shabbona Grove, De Kalb County, Ill., and there Mrs. Rhoda Welsh died. Later Uri removed with his children to Dodge County, Wis. A year after they removed he, himself, died at Watertown, Jefferson County. The subject of this sketch and his brother, being only five and three years old respectively, then went to live with their grandfather, John Welsh, at Iron Ridge, Dodge County, Wis., and there J. Henry remained until he was 17 years old. By this time the Civil war had broken out and on April 24, 1861, he enlisted for three months in the First Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, under Capt. 0. B. Twogood and Col. J. E. Starkweather, the company being organized in response to President Lincoln's first call for 76,000 men. He was discharged at Milwaukee, Aug. 21, 1861, at the expiration of his term of service. On August 7, 1862, he again enlisted as a private, this time in Company 1, 29th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, for three years' service, under Capt. O. C. Bissell and Col. C. R. Gill, the regiment being assigned to the First Brigade, Hoovey's Division, 13th Corps, Army of the Gulf. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant the same year. June 26, 1863, he was wounded by a minie ball at Vicksburg and spent the next six weeks in Geosha Hospital at Memphis, Tenn. Mr. Welsh saw plenty of hard fighting during his military career, taking part in the following battles or military actions: Falling Waters, Va.; Helena, Ark.; Friar's Point, Diwall's Bluffs, Port Gibson, Fourteen Mile Creek, Champion Hill, the siege of Vicksburg, Carrion Crow Bayou, Spanish Lake La.; Sabine Cross Roads, Cane River Crossing, Alexandria, Marksville, Simport, Atchafalay River, Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. He was honorably discharged at Madison, Wis., June 22, 1865, and returned to Iron Ridge, where he worked out for awhile.

In the fall of that year, however, he came to Loyal, Clark County, and went to work for his uncle in the woods, being thus employed through the winter. He then returned to Iron Ridge. The next year he came back to Clark County and took a homestead of 160 acres of wild timber land in Loyal Township, on which he cleared a space and built a shack, starting to clear the land.' For three winters also he hauled logs in the woods. At the end of that time Mr. Welsh went to Kansas, where he worked out and was also deputy U. S. marshal for three years. For eighteen years he resided on the southern boundary of Kansas, and was married, near Caney, Kansas, Dec. 10, 1874, to Mary E. Hodges, daughter of John and Jane (Stradley) Hodges. Her father was a wagon-maker, born and reared in Virginia, where also he and his wife were married, but had resided in Illinois, from which state they had come to Kansas. Mrs. Hodges was a native of North Carolina. Mr. Welsh lived in Kansas for fourteen years after his marriage and then returned to Loyal, Wis., finding only three of the old settlers' houses then in the village. Not staying here long, he went on to Spencer, where he and his family resided two years. At the end of that time he rented a farm in Loyal township, on which he lived three years, subsequently purchasing a tract of ten acres. About 1890 Mr. Welsh took up his residence in the village of Loyal, where, altogether, he has spent nearly 30 years of his life. He was treasurer of the school board for four years and has always taken a warm interest in the progress and development of the village. He is a member of Col. C. R. Gill Post, G. A. R., and was a charter member of the local. camp of Modern Woodmen of America. Both he and his wife belong to the Royal Neighbors, as also does their daughter, Laura Jeanette; and Mrs. Welsh for many years was an active member of the Woman's Relief Corps, the ladies' branch of the G. A. R. Mr. Welsh is now 74 years old and his wife 62, both enjoying good health. They have long been recognized as people of sterling worth and are highly respected. They and their family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Welsh have had six children: Laura Jeanette, Carrie, William W., James Albert, Lula H., and Cora. Three are now deceased, Carrie dying in infancy, James Albert at the age of six years, and Cora, in Loyal, at the age of 18 years. Laura Jeanette, who was born in Caney, Kansas, graduated from the Loyal high school, after which she taught school for several years. She then took the full course at the Stevens Point Normal School, graduating in the class of 1912, and is now a proficient teacher. William W., who was born in Illinois, married Maggie Vogel, and they reside in Montana and have one child, Jeanette. Lulu H., born in Kansas, is now Mrs. Walter Mack, of Loyal Village, and has one child, Mildred.



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