Frank George Welch
Frank George Welch



Alonzo Fay Welch
1832-1909


Lucy Anna Reed
1839-1921

Frank George Welch

Born:    24 Jun 1864   Skokie, Lee County, Illinois
Died:    12 Mar 1941   Baca County, Colorado

Spouse:   Amelia Pauline Raesler   (b. 25 Jan 1871   d. 19 Mar 1963)
Married:   27 July 1872 in Lake City, Hinsdale, Colorado

Children of Amelia (Raesler) and Frank Welch
Roy Eugene Welch (1893-1982)
Richard Raymond Welch (1894-1982)
Alonzo Frank Welch (1897-1985)
Louise Albertia Welch (1899-1987)
Clarence G Welch (1901-1984)
Robert E Welch (1903-1946)
Wallace Edgar Welch (1905-1996)
Lucy Ernestine Welch (1910-1992)

A brief history of Frank George Welch

Frank George Welch was born 24 Jun 1864 in Skokie, Lee County, Illinois to Lucy Anna (Reed) and Alonzo Fay Welch.

The first two boys in the Alonzo and Lucy Welch family were born in Michigan; however, when Frank came along the family had moved to Illinois. Then, when Frank's younger sister Josephine was born the year after Frank (1865), the Welches were back in Michigan. The Welch family moved to Iowa and Frank's brother Alonzo was born in 1870 in Des Moines. In the 1870 census, the family was listed as living in Council Bluffs Ward 6, Pottawattamie, Iowa where Alonzo was working as a carpenter. Effie May was also born in Iowa in 1871, but by the time brother Roy came along in 1875, the Welches had moved on to Colorado.

In the 1880 U.S. census, the Welch family was living in Arapahoe, Colorado and Alonzo was raising cattle. (Frank was 17 and working on the farm.)

[The rest of this biography on Frank was written by his Granddaughter Nellie (Welch) Fry:]

One Day Frank was eating a bowl of oyster stew in a restaurant in Creede, Colorado, a mining town in the Rocky Mountains. A young woman named Amelia was visiting Creede briefly, and because she worked in Harvey Houses, she was used to people leaving food in their hurry to board the train. She assumed this gentleman had to leave his oyster stew for some pressing engagement. So... she sat down and continued to eat the stew. To her embarrassment, he returned and found her eating it. This is how Amelia met Frank Welch, her future husband.

Frank ran a livery stable in Creede and one day he was thrown from a horse and injured. He developed brain fever and was nursed back to health by Amelia. They were married July 27, 1882, in Lake City, Hinsdale County, Colorado.

Frank Welch and Miss Mamie (Amelia) Raesler, both of Creede, Hinsdale County, applied for a marriage license on July 27, 1892. The couple was married by Rev. R.J. Cooper at Lake City on July 27, 1892, with Eva M. Ferguson and Lena Burrows serving as witnesses.

The Welch family first lived in Jimtown between upper and lower Creede where he searched for gold. Shortly after the birth of their first son they moved two or three miles east of Regnier, Oklahoma, in the Oklahoma panhandle in what was then Oklahoma Territory. It was just east of what is now Kenton, Oklahoma. Cattle ranching was their livelihood.

They moved again, onto the Conkle place by the Cimmaron River in southeastern Colorado. One day their youngest daughter was playing with fire and accidentally set the house on fire. It burned to the ground and everything was lost.

They moved into a two room rock and mud house 21 miles west of Campo, Colorado. Grandpa added to this house four more rooms and a front and back porch. Around it was his many rock collections. Beautiful yellow roses bloomed abundantly in the yard. It became the family ranch house. As the children reached twenty one, they all homesteaded around the ranch until they owned a very large cattle ranch.

The ranch house was located on a bend in Pat Canyon. It had been a favorite meeting place of the Indians. Tell tale signs were all around. Just above the ranch house was a deserted village of rock circles where they had camped. There were Indian pictures on a rock by the spring, telling their stories and areas where many arrowheads were found. Searching for arrowheads became Grandpa's lifetime hobby.

There were rolling hills covered with buffalo grass, deep rocky canyons and with a clump here and there of cottonwood or hackberry trees and wild choke cherries on the hillside. Speckled over the hills were cedar trees. It was a land that could be kind and beautiful or harsh and cruel as it was one winter when the snow piled so deep that it buried the cattle alive.

Disaster struck their cattle herd twice.... once when hoof and mouth disease struck the country wiping out entire herds and again with the "black blizzards" of the 30's. The 30's brought two blows simultaneously: the great depression and the dust storms.

On the east and north of the ranch as far as you could travel, the farmers and "nesters" had moved in with barbed wire and plows and plowed up every inch of buffalo grass. A great drought came and the winds picked up the dirt and the sky at midday was dark as at midnight. Dust blew nine days out of ten. It was everywhere. It was on everything. It was on every twig, every blade of grass, every strand of wire. It was in the hair of the half-starved jack rabbit and prairie dog. It changed the color of the bull snake.

The black dust storms would appear as a great cloud completely across the northern horizon. In a rolling motion and hissing moan they would descend upon you like a huge curtain dropping. Cattle and sheep died of starvation; prices collapsed. Finally, the government paid the ranchers $1.00 a head to shoot the cattle.

Frank and Amelia held on desperately. They borrowed money from the Reconstruction Finance Company, which was a government agency, to feed their livestock. Then they borrowed again. Just as the drought subsided, and the depression lessened, and prices began to rise, the finance company foreclosed.

Frank came down with crippling arthritis and after an extended illness, died March 12, 1941 at his ranch house 21 miles west of Campo, Colorado. He was buried in Lamar (the nearest city), in Prowers County, Colorado. During her later years, Amelia lived with her daughter Louise who kept her and cared for her until she died at the age of 92 on March 19,1963, in Denver, Colorado. She is buried in Fairmont Cemetery in Lamar, Colorado, beside Grandpa.

Research References:

1- 1870 US Federal Census -- Council Bluffs Ward 6, Pottawattamie, Iowa (Page 25 of 53)
Alonzo Wilch 41
Lucy Wilch 33
Fred Wilch 13
Corie Wilch 11
Frank Wilch 7
Josephine Wilch 5
Dick Wilch 1

Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Council Bluffs Ward 6, Pottawattamie, Iowa; Roll: M593_416; Page: 129; Image: 258. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003. Original data: 1870. # United States. Ninth Census of the United States, 1870. Washington, D.C. National Archives and Records Administration. M593, RG29, 1,761 rolls. # Minnesota. Minnesota Census Schedules for 1870. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T132, RG29, 13 rolls.

2- 1880 US Federal Census -- Arapahoe, Colorado (Page 5 or 20)
F. A. Welch 54
E. L. Welch 45
G. E. Welch 22
Josephus Welch 14
Frank Welch 17
Richard Welch 11
Effe Welch 9
Rogers Welch 5
Philamene Welch 3
K. E. Smith 35

Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: , Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: T9_88; Family History Film: 1254088; Page: 402.1000; Enumeration District: 19; Source Information: Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1880. T9, 1,454 rolls.

3- Colorado State Census, 1885 (Page 42 of 61)
Name: Frank Welch
RESIDENCE: Huerfano, Colorado
Enumeration District: 2
Birth Place: Illinois
Age: 22
Race: White
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Single

Source Information: Ancestry.com. Colorado State Census, 1885 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: National Archives and Records Administration. Schedules of the Colorado State Census, 1885. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M158, 8 rolls.

4- 1900 US Federal Census -- Harrison, Beaver, Oklahoma (Page 9 of 9)
Frank Welch 35
Amelia Welch 29
Roy Welch 6
Richard Welch 4
Alonzo Welch 3
Louisa Welch 7/12

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Harrison, Beaver, Oklahoma; Roll: T623_1335 Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 6. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

5- 1910 US Federal Census -- Harrison, Cimarron, Oklahoma (Page 7 or 9)
Frank Welche 47
P Amelia Welche 39
E Roy Welche 16
R Dick Welche 14
F Alonzo Welche 12
A Louise Welche 10
G Clarence Welche 9
Robert Welche 7
Wallace Welche 5
E Loucie Welche 2/12

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Harrison, Cimarron, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1247; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 107; Image: 610. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1910. T624, 1,178 rolls.

6- 1920 US Federal Census -- Regnier, Baca, Colorado (Page 15 of 16)
Frank G Welch 57
Amelia P Welch 49
Roy Welch 26
Richard R Welch 24
Alonzo Welch 23
Louise A Welch 31
Clarence Welch 19
Robert Welch 17
Wallace Welch 15
Lucy Welch 12

Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Regnier, Baca, Colorado; Roll: T625_156; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 13; Image: 799. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 on roll 323 (Chicago City. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1920. T625, 2,076 rolls.

7- 1930 US Federal Census -- Carriso, Baca, Colorado (Page 2 of 3)
Frank Welch 66
Amelia P Welch 54
Roy Welch 36
Clarence Welch 29
Robert Welch 27
Wallace Welch 25
Lucy Welch 19
Wayne Burlengam 38 [ranch hand]
Woodrow Brownstein 17 [ranch hand]
Vergil Smith 17 [ranch hand]
Cornelio Mestas 50 [ranch hand]
Emelia Mestas 14 [ranch hand]
Romea Sanchez 60 [ranch hand]

Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Carriso, Baca, Colorado; Roll: 229; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 7; Image: 851.0. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

8- Hinsdale County [Colorado] Historical Society
Recount marriage of Frank Welch and Mamie Raesler
July 27, 1882
Lake City Museum Marriage Records

9- A COWBOYS FUNERAL 1891
Frank Welch's name is mentioned in this story in Carriso, Colorado
http://www.bburg.com/Springfield/acowboys.htm

10- Findagrave.com Link
Frank Welch
Fairmount Cemetery
Lamar, Colorado.