Elizabeth (Gaumer) Welker was born in about 1783 in Oldtown, Allegany County, MD, or on Sept. 22, 1787 in nearby Londonderry Township, Bedford County, PA, the daughter of Johann "Jacob" and Maria Catherine (Sowash) Gaumer. Her maiden name also has been spelled as "Gomer."
Elizabeth married John Welker Sr. (1777?-1869), of German descent and a native of Maryland. By the early 1800s, they migrated to Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, where several of their children were born in 1804 and 1805.
In about 1808, when Elizabeth was age 25, and John 31, they traveled to Ohio with John's brother David and secured farm property in Knox County. As such, they were considered "among the first settlers of the county." The location of their settlement was in Section 15.
Other Welkers who migrated to Knox County include Abraham Welker and Paul Welker in about 1806 or 1807.
When the War of 1812 broke out, it's reputed that John took up arms with the United States Army. He is said to have held the rank of "high private." As compensation for his services, he allegedly was given a grant of land. This needs to be researched more fully.
The Welkers produced a large family of 14 children. Among the known names are Esther Simon, Samuel Welker, Rev. John Welker Jr., Delilah Meredith, Catherine Tucker, David Welker, Daniel Welker, Nelson Welker, Judge Martin Welker, Drusilla Moffitt, Edith Dillon, Edwin Welker and Jacob Welker.
In the book History of Wayne County, authored by Ben Douglass, John is mentioned as "an early settler in Ohio, and having but little means to educate a large family, [his children] were obliged to rely almost exclusively upon [their] own resources, which did not consist of money, influence or friends."
John is said to have built the first brick house in Union Township, Knox County, and to have been the first merchant and first postmaster in the town of Millwood, Knox County.
John also is profiled in Albert Adams Graham's 1881 book History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present [link]. A profile of John reads as follows:
These pioneers were industrious, energetic, hard-working. men. They had to encounter all the privations of early occupation of unsettled territory. At that early day they packed their salt and other necessaries with horse and pack saddle from Zanesville, through an almost unbroken wilderness, and did their milling at the same place. In the War of 1812 John Welker served as a high private, and received a land warrant for his services, and that was the highest position he ever sought. Although often urged by his neighbors to accept office, he always refused. He reared a family of fourteen children, all of whom lived to the age of manhood and womanhood.... John Welker, sr, lived many years in the enjoyment of the fruits of his pioneer labors.
Elizabeth died in Knox County on May 14, 1865, at the age of 79 years, seven months and 22 days. She was placed into eternal repose in Workman Cemetery, Danville, Knox County.
John survived his wife by almost four years. By 1862, all of the children had migrated away from Knox County except for their son Daniel.
During the American Civil War, at least seven known Welker descendants, including spouses, took up arms in the Union Army cause -- Matthew " Stewart" Welker ( 115th Illinois Infantry), Col. Martin Welker (aide-de-camp to Gov. William Dennison and assistant adjutant general with Gov. David Tod), Dillon W. Moffitt (54th Illinois Volunteer Infantry), David C. Parish (59th Illinois Volunteer Infantry), James Tucker (Illinois regiment), Claborne Welker (65th Ohio Infantry and Jones Tucker (Illinois regiment). Sadly, two of them gave their lives -- Moffitt and Parish. Details are below.
He was swept away by the Grim Reaper on Feb. 3, 1869 in Union Township, Knox County. His remains were laid to rest with his wife in the Workman Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
The Welker family is outlined in part in the 702-page book A Givens-Hall Family History from Pre-Revolutionary Times to 1970 (Commonwealth Press, 1971).
~ Daughter Esther (Welker) Simon ~
Daughter Esther Welker (1804- ? ) was born in about 1804 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA. As a girl, she migrated with her parents to Knox County, OH.
On March 6, 1828, when she was 24 years of age, she was united in holy matrimony with William Simon ( ? - ? ). The ceremony took place in Knox County.
The couple may be the same as "Wm. and Esther Simmons" who, in 1850, lived in Harlem, Delaware County, OH. If so, William was a stone cutter, and they had two daughters, Elizabeth Simmons and Louisa Simmons. But this all needs confirmation.
~ Son Samuel Welker ~
Son Samuel Welker (1805- ? ) was born in about 1805 in Southampton Township, Somerset County. As a young boy, he accompanied his parents to Knox County, OH.
Samuel was married to Sophia Darling (1807- ? ), a native of Virginia. Their known children were Milan Welker, Claborne (or "Clayborne" or "Clayburn") Welker, Normanda Welker, Sherman Welker, Nora M. Welker, Wilson "Shannon" Walker and Lybrand Welker, plus several who died in infancy.
Census records of 1850-1860 show Samuel as a grocery keeper in Millwood and Union Townships, Knox County. The 1862 History of Knox County, Ohio states that Samuel operated a tavern. He "kept his tavern in the old style... always had plenty to eat and drink of the substantial kind, his table literally groaning under its load...and all felt they were at liberty to wait upon themselves.... Sam was a jovial fellow, and his house was a favorite with wayfaring men and those disposed to be joyful. The students of Kenyan College occasionally navigated the waters of Owl Creek to Welker's port." The sign over his bar read: "As many a man has trusted to his sorry, Pay today; and I will trust tomorry."
Dr. Robert Moffit of Millwood served as the family physician in the years before the Civil War.
Samuel is believed to have passed away during the decade of the 1860s. By 1870, the widowed Sophia led a Union Township household including her unmarried sons Shannon (age 24) and Lybrand (17).
Son Milan Welker (1830- ? ) was born in about 1830. At the age of 20, in 1850, he was unmarried and made his home with his parents. He has not yet been located on the 1880 federal census.
Son Claborne (or "Clayborne" or "Clayburn") Welker (1831-1902) was born on June 26, 1831 in Millwood, Knox County. As a young adult, he stood 5 feet, 4 inches tall, with a fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. On July 13, 1856, when he was age 25, he was united in marriage with 20-year-old Almira Strong Pasco (1836-1913). Knox County justice of the peace William Walker -- apparently no relation -- officiated the nuptials, held in Millwood. The couple produced one known daughter -- Temperance L. "Tempie" Burris. Claborne was a farmer and often worked with neighbor Ransom Lydick. During the Civil War, at the age of 30, Claborne in company with his fourth cousin Oscar D. Welker and others enlisted in the Union Army as privates on Oct. 8, 1861. They were assigned to the 65th Ohio Infantry, Company A. Their company was commanded by Capt. Alex Cassil. The regiment was ordered to Camp Buckingham in Mansfield, OH for training, which included drilling, standing guard and cooking poor quality mutton. After about 10 days in camp, he and a number of fellow soldiers contracted chronic diarrhea, which led to hemorrhoids and what Claborne claimed to be disease of the rectum. The health problems lingered when the regiment went to Camp Bull in Louisville, KY. Fellow soldier Jasper R. Lybarger remembered seeing him "going to the sink" eight or 10 times a day. Claborne remained behind in a regimental hospital in Louisville when the 65th Ohio moved again to Bardstown, KY. He rejoined his regiment in Bardstown and received an honorable discharge on Dec. 23, 1861, after just two-and-a-half months of service. He returned home to Millwood, and while one friend Constant C. Gamble said he "looked pretty bad" upon arriving, Dr. John C. Winteringer, who had known Claborne before the war, said he saw him "going around as usual. Couldn't say that I saw any difference in him." Then in 1863, Claborne was offered a $525 bounty by Bethlehem Township if he and 11 other local men would re-enlist. The men went to Newark, OH for a medical examination, and while five were accepted, Claborne and six others were rejected due to poor health.
In December 1863, Claborne accepted a job as a clerk in Gamble's dry goods store in New Castle, OH. He later earned a living as a carpenter, farmer but primarily paper hanger and inside painter, residing in Danville, Knox County. They moved to New Castle, Coshocton County, OH in 1871, only eight miles from Millwood, where Claborne clerked in another dry goods store. After four years, in 1875, they left New Castle and relocated to Mt. Vernon, Knox County, with Claborne accepting another clerking position. But his health was so poor, he said, that within a year he had to quit the job. On Sept. 6, 1877, he began receiving a military pension as compensation for his wartime ailments. [Invalid App. #241.604 - Cert. #321.322] A number of family members, neighbors and fellow veterans consented to provide written affidavits in support of his (and later Almira's) efforts to receive a pension increase, among them were Enoch Trimble, Barnett Tucker, second cousin Simon Welker, Constant C. Gamble, fourth cousin Oscar D. Welker, Jonathan Hammond, Professor H. Lockhart, Dr. John C. Winteringer, Levi Frost, George Logsdon, cousin in law Ransom Lydick, Alex Cassil, Jasper R. Lybarger, Zachariah Hibbets and John Tucker. They resided in 1880 in New Castle, Coshocton County, OH, with Claborne earning a living as a laborer and Almira as a dress maker. He was a member of the Leroy Baker Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veterans organization. When examined by military physicians in March 1894, they reported this description: "body spare, beard white, hair dark, skin dark but moist, tongue clean, eyes clear." In 1900, the family lived in Union Township, Knox County. During his final months, he was "entirely helpless and was obligred to have the constant attention of a nurse," said his physician, Dr. C.R. Bradfield. "Hemorrhoidal tunors as large as hen's egg protruded from the anus." Claborne died on Nov. 8, 1902 at the age of 71. Almira outlived her husband by more than a decade. On Nov. 17, 1902, she was awarded a the widow's pension and began receiving payments of $12 per month. [Widow App. #773.425 - Cert. #558.619] She passed away on April 14, 1913 and was placed into eternal repose beside her husband in Workman Cemetery in Danville, Knox County. [Find-a-Grave]
Daughter Normanda Welker (1835- ? ) was born in about 1835. In 1860, at age 15, she lived under her parents' roof in Union Township, Knox County.
Son Sherman Welker (1839-1843) was born on July 28, 1839 in Knox County. Sadly, he died at the age of four years, two months and 21 days, on Oct. 18, 1843, of causes not yet known. His precious remains were buried in the Millwood Cemetery in Millwood, Knox County.
Daughter Nora M. Welker (1841- ? ) was born in about 1841 in Knox County. When she was 19 years of age, in 1860, she lived at home. Her paper trail ends here.
Son Wilson "Shannon" Walker (1844-1931) was born in about 1844 in Millwood, Knox County. He never married and spent his career as a painter. At age 24, in 1870, he was unmarried and lived at home with his widowed mother and younger brother Lybrand, and earned a living as a painter. In later years, he was admitted to the Knox County Home in Liberty Township. On the fateful day of May 16, 1931, at age 82, standing in an open window on the fourth floor of the Home, he fell to the ground, fracturing the base of his skull and dying instantly. The county coroner viewed the corpse and ruled it an accident, writing "Never saw him alive." Burial was in Millwood, with C.F. Colwell of Mt. Vernon, Knox County signing the death certificate. A newspaper reported that he had suffered a heart attack and that "No close relatives survive."
Son Lybrand Welker (1853- ? ) was born in about 1853. He grew up in Union Township, Knox County. On April 9, 1888, when he was age 35, he married Ora E. Hobler ( ? - ? ). Justice of the peace Harrison Atwood led the nuptials.
~ Son Rev. John Welker Jr. ~
Son Rev. John Welker Jr. (1806-1865) was born on Nov. 16, 1806 in Southampton Township, Somerset County. He relocated at a very young age to Ohio with his parents and older siblings.
When he was 23 years of age, in about 1829, he was united in wedlock with Elizabeth Giffin (1811-1897). They had six children, of whom four are identified -- Robert G. Welker, Marilla Hammond, Matthew Stewart Welker, Leonidas Bruce Welker and Eliza M. Lawler.
In about 1831, when he was age 25, John and his brother Martin departed the farm where they had grown up, and established a store at Millwood, Knox County. They remained in business for more than a decade, until the brother left the firm to study law. John also was a postmaster of Union Township and served as a local justice of the peace for 15 years, from 1831 to 1846. In September 1853, he became an ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Knox County.
He and his work are noted in the 1881 book compiled by N.N. Hill entitled History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present. The entry reads:
Among the early ... preachers were Rev. John Welker, jr., and Rev. Charles Waddle, both for several years residents of Danville. Both were men of much note in the Methodist church and in the community at that time. They were men of great ability and eloquence, and were instrumental in doing much good. The frame church in which the society now worships was erected many years since.
The Welkers decided to migrate further westward in the early 1860s. They pulled up stakes and moved to Woodstock Township, Schuyler County, IL. In 1862, John was named a justice of the peace in Illinois.
Sadly, he died in Woodstock on Aug. 23, 1865 at the age of 59. Burial was in Serrot Cemetery, Woodstock Township. [Find-a-Grave]
Elizabeth survived her husband by more than three decades. She appears to have spent her final years in Rushville, Schuyler County. There, she died on Dec. 4, 1897, and joined her husband in eternal repose in Serrot Cemetery.
Son Robert G. Welker (1829-1883) was born on Dec. 17, 1829 in Millwood, Knox County. He was married twice. The identity of his first bride is unknown. His second spouse was Eveline Linley ( ? - ? ). In all, Robert produced two children, Martin Welker and Daisy Welker. The family apparently relocated to Kansas City, MO, where Robert passed away on Oct. 14, 1883 at the age of 54.
Daughter Marilla Welker (1833-1871) was born on June 25, 1883 in Millwood, Knox County. She married Henry C. Hammond ( ? - ? ). Heartache shook the family when, at age 38, she passed away on Aug. 12, 1871 in Rushville Township, Schuyler County, IL.
Son Matthew Stewart Welker (1842-1928) was born in about 1842 in Millwood, Knox County. On Sept. 1, 1865, he was joined in holy wedlock with Margaret E. Little ( ? - ? ). The couple moved to Iowa, to the town of Council Bluffs. Matthew died in Council Bluffs on Sept. 13, 1928. He potentially could be the same Stewart Welker who served in the Civil War with the 115th Illinois Infantry and later lived in Iowa where he drew a military pension. [Invalid App. #727.422 - Cert. #503.622]
Son Leonidas Bruce Welker (1843-1909) was born on May 4, 1843 in Millwood, Knox County. In 1873, when he was 30 years of age, he married Algelean ("Angelina"?) Jones ( ? - ? ). Leonidas died in Chicago at the age of 66 on April 30, 1909.
Daughter Eliza M. Welker (1845-1928) was born in about 1845 in Millwood, Knox County. When she was 19 years old, on April 6, 1864, she was united in matrimony with George Washington Lawler ( ? - ? ). Elizabeth passed into eternity in Schuyler County, IL on June 24, 1928.
~ Daughter Delilah (Welker) Meredith ~
Daughter Delilah Welker (1808-1855) was born in about 1808 in Southampton Township, Somerset County. As an infant, she would have made the trek to Ohio with her family, settling in Knox County.
On Nov. 28, 1833, when she was 25 years of age, she married Benjamin Meredith (1810-1847). Justice of the peace Josiah Ewing officiated.
They produced seven children -- Elizabeth J. Meredith, Margaret M. Tucker, Sarah E. Meredith, Mary S. Meredith, Leander W. Meredith, Lucinda F. Meredith and John S. Meredith.
Sadly, Benjamin died at the age of 37 on the Fourth of July 1847 in Howard Township, Knox County. The cause has not yet been determined.
Daughter Elizabeth J. Meredith (1834- ? ) was born in about 1834. She was deceased by 1881.
Daughter Margaret Marilla Meredith (1836-1915) was born on Aug. 6, 1836 in Union Township, Knox County. On Nov. 27, 1853, in Knox County, she was married to her first cousin Barnett Tucker (1831- ? ), son of Jonas and Catherine (Welker) Tucker. See their expanded bio elsewhere on this page.
Daughter Sarah E. Meredith (1838- ? ) was born in about 1838.
Daughter Mary S. Meredith (1841- ? ) was born in about 1841.
Son Leander W. Meredith (1843- ? ) was born on Jan. 4, 1843 in Union Township, Knox County. He grew up in Knox County with his Moffitt cousins and spent a lot of time playing with his cousin Dillon Moffitt, who was about seven months younger. In about 1864, when he would have been age 21, he was wedded to 16-year-old Martha J. Dillon (1848- ? ). Their children were Eva Meredith, Charles Meredith, Louis Meredith and Mertie Meredith. Sometime in the late 1860s or early '70s, the family migrated to Illinois, where their son Charles was born in 1874. But they eventually moved back to Knox County. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the couple resided in Union Township, where Leander earned a living as a plasterer. Then again in April 1882, they relocated to Indiana, settling in Rochester, Fulton County. Leander gave testimony in an affidavit in January 1893 supporting a claim by his uncle and aunt, John W. and Drusilla Moffitt, for a military pension following the Civil War death of their son Dillon.
Daughter Lucinda F. Meredith (1845- ? ) was born in about 1845.
Son John S. Meredith (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848. He was deceased by 1881.
~ Daughter Catherine (Welker) Tucker ~
Daughter Catherine Welker (1809-1845) was born on May 30, 1809 in Southampton Township, Somerset County. Her birth occurred after her parents relocated to Ohio, so it's possible her birthplace actually was in Knox County.
At the age of 17, on July 27 or Aug. 2, 1826, she was joined in holy wedlock with 20-year-old Jones Tucker (1806-1870). He was a native of Somerset County and the son of William and Rachel (Jones) Tucker. Justice of the peace Benjamin Butler officiated at the wedding ceremony.
Jones is profiled in the 1881 book compiled by N.N. Hill entitled History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present. The entry reads that he:
... was brought to Knox county, Ohio, by his parents ... in 1811, who settled in Union township near Mt. Holly or Gann station. William Tucker erected a log cabin which served his family as an abode for a number of years. He followed clearing, farming, hunting, and fishing as his vocation. There were but few settlers in the neighborhood, and they were far apart at the time of Mr. Tucker's settlement in the township.
The couple produced these known children -- Elizabeth Tinker, Barnett Tucker, William Tucker, John Tucker, Wilson Tucker, Mary Frances Tucker, James Tucker and perhaps others.
After 13 years in Knox County, the family relocated to Fayette County, IL in 1839. Reported the Vandalia (IL) Leader many years later:
Jonas and his family migrated further west on the newly constructed National Road to its termination in Vandalia where they settled in about 1839. The National Road was no 'ribbon of concrete'. Specifications for the Road required a cleared thirty foot wide route, but allowed large stumps to remain in the Road to a height up to fifteen inches. No doubt the emigrant family of Tuckers traveled the Road at a crawling pace in a canvas covered wagon in which the mother Katherine and the smallest children rode by day and slept by night...
Sadly, Catherine met her demise there on Nov. 18, 1845, at the age of 36, about three months after the birth of her youngest child. The grieving widower returned to Knox County with his eldest four sons, and left three behind -- Mary Frances in the care of her 16-year-old sister Elizabeth, and baby James with the family of James Suber. He then left Ohio after enlisting with the U.S. Army in the Mexican War, serving with the 2nd Regiment, Ohio Foot Soldiers.
Jones went on to marry two more times. His second wife, from whom he later was divorced, was on Nov. 10, 1853 to Jane "Ginny" Woolsley ( ? - ? ), in Fayette County, IL.
During the Civil War, Jones is said to have served with an Illinois regiment. The identity of the regiment is unknown, and no record has been found for Jones in databases of Civil War soldiers from both armies.
On Feb. 15, 1866, he married for the third time, to Anna Haney (1824- ? ), an immigrant from Prussia. A son was born to the third marriage, Benjamin Obadiah "Ben" Tucker, in about 1867.
Further tragedy decimated the family on March 2, 1870, when Jones was "run over by one or more of three wagons whose 'drivers were drunken Germans racing their teams'," reported the Leader. Jonas "died within nine hours of broken legs, broken ribs and spinal injuries." The month of his death also has been given as August. Unable to support herself, Anna and her three-year-old son went to live in the household of George and Hettie Werts in Otego, Fayette County.
The fate of Anna has been obscured by the misty haze of the past. It's possible that she migrated to Pleasant Valley, Cowley County, KS where an "Anna Tucker" with an 11-year-old son "Obediah" resided in 1880.
Daughter Elizabeth Tucker (1829-1925) was born on Nov. 22, 1829 in Union Township, Knox County. When she was age 10, her family left Ohio and migrated to Fayette County, IL. There, at the age of 17, on April 23, 1846, she was united in marriage with Missouri native John Jacob Tinker (1817-1881). The ceremony took place in Fayette County, where the newlyweds put down roots. When Elizabeth's mother died in 1845, they took in Elizabeth's two-year-old sister Mary Frances to raise. In 1860, federal census records show that their home was in Hickory Creek, Cumberland Township, Fayette County. The couple produced 10 children, but Elizabeth is believed to have outlived all but four. The known offspring are Benjamin "Wilson" Tinker, George W. Tinker, Laura J. Tinker, William M. Tinker, Jacob M. Tinker, Sina Catherine "Kate" Tinker, Cary May Tinker and Celura "Lou" Stapp. Sadly, John Jacob died in 1881 and was laid to rest in Haley Chapel Cemetery in Bluff City, IL. Elizabeth lived as a widow for her remaining 44 years. She passed into eternity on July 8, 1925 in Fayette County.
Son Barnett Tucker (1831-1917) was born on Feb. 9, 1831 in Union Township, Knox County. He too is profiled in the 1881 book compiled by N.N. Hill entitled History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present. He went to work at age 16 in the cabinet shop of his uncle John W. Moffitt, and did not move with his parents to Illinois. Later, he acquired the Moffitt farm in Union Township. At the age of 22, on Nov. 17 or 27, 1853, he was united in wedlock with his 17-year-old first cousin Margaret Marilla Meredith (1836-1915), daughter of Benjamin and Delilah (Welker) Meredith. The nuptials took place in Buckeye City, Knox County. Federal census records show the family residing in 1880 and 1900 in Union Township. Their two daughters were Hallie E. Tucker and Lura B. Tucker. Margaret endured heart valve problems and, at age 79 died from their effects a week before Christmas in 1915. Barnett outlived her by two years. At the age of 86, he was failing in health, having become senile, stricken with gangrene and vomiting blood. He died on Dec. 30, 1917 in Union Township. Burial followed beside his wife in the Workman Cemetery.
Son William Tucker (1834-1916) was born on Dec. 14, 1834. He was 11 years of age when his mother died. He was sent to dwell with his uncle Daniel Welker in Howard Township, OH and remained there until reaching the age of 18. He then was employed by Joseph Martin in cabinet-making and eventually migrated to Paris, IL, where he worked for four or five years. Continuing to feel restless, he relocated again to Vandalia, IL, but moved frequently after that. He is said to have patented several of his inventions, among tem a middling purifier, clothespins and a window stop. On April 26, 1858, in Vandalia, Fayette County, he was united in marriage with Caroline Gerich (1849-1890). Their two children were Grace Covert and William Tucker Jr. Sadly, Caroline passed away on May 19, 1890 a few months shy of her 41st birthday. William outlived his bride by more than a quarter of a century. He died in Vandalia on May 11, 1916. Burial was in South Hill Cemetery in Vandalia. [Find-a-Grave]
Son John Tucker (1837- ? ) was born on Jan. 15, 1837 in Gann, Union Township, Knox County. At the age of three, he migrated with his parents to Vandalia, IL but returned to Ohio after his mother died and made a home in Holmes County. A brief story of his life is told in the 1881 book compiled by N.N. Hill entitled History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present. He was taken into the residence of his uncle Thomas (?) near the town of Jimtown, OH. Said a family manuscript:
He was small of stature and very active. His uncle used him as a jockey for racing horses. Not liking that, John went to live with his grandfather John Welker in Millwood, OH, where he helped on the farm until 1855. He accompanied his Uncle Obadiah, going west in wagons as far as Keokuk, Iowa. There he left his uncle and took odd jobs, traveling around Iowa. When he'd saved $200 he returned to Millwood to learn the cabinet trade with his brother Barnett. He lived in Gambier, OH for about a year with his wife's family, then returned to Millwood and work as a cabinet maker and undertaker. He also bought a hotel and ran a store.
John was married at the age of 24 to 21-year-old Rose B. Welker (1840-1888), daughter of Paul and Rose Welker of Gambier. The ceremony took place in Knox County on Aug. 25, 1861. They settled in Millwood, Knox County and had one son. Said the History of Knox County, "In 1871 he purchased the hotel stand in which they are now living, and entertain the travelling community. Good accommodations given to travellers, and all who wish to stop by them. The place is known as the Tucker house. His cabinet rooms are in the same building, and prompt attention is given to all work in his line. He has filled the office of justice of the peace two terms, and postmaster of Millwood five years, and also held various township offices."
Son Wilson Tucker (1840-1863) was born on March 11, 1840 in Fayette County, IL. At the age of five, he was rendered motherless upon his mother's death. He grew up and worked in horse shipments in Vandalia during the early years of the Civil War. On March 12, 1860, he married Isabella George ( ? -1863). Tragically, at the age of 22, he caught an incurable fever and died on Jan. 26, 1863. Burial was in Haley Chapel Cemetery in Bluff City/Vandalia. Compounding the heartache, Isabella joined him in death six months later. [Find-a-Grave]
Daughter Mary Frances Tucker (1842- ? ) was born in about 1842 in Fayette County. Her mother died when Mary Frances was only two years old. She was sent to dwell with an aunt and uncle, Elizabeth and John Jacob Tinker in Hickory Creek, Cumberland Township, Fayette County. On July 21, 1865, when Mary Frances was age 23, she married widower Henry Stephen Slother ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in Delphos, OH and had three children: Allie Echroth, Uriah Slother and James Slother. More will be added here when discovered.
Son James Tucker (1845-1926) was born on Oct. 18, 1845 in Fayette County, IL and was but a newborn when his mother died. He then was taken into the home of James Suber, apparently in or near Vandalia, Fayette County. James was age 16 when the Civil War broke out, and he joined an Illinois regiment and served in the Union Army throughout the duration of the conflict. On Nov. 19, 1868 in Fayette County, the 23-year-old James married 19-year-old Mary Fannie Peyton (1849-1917). She was the daughter of John W. and Maria Frances (Miller) Peyton. The Tuckers had four children -- John "Robert" Tucker, Rose M. Hix, Lila "Maude" Miller and Grace Tucker. They resided in Wilberton Township, Fayette County and Ross Township, Edgar County, IL. The couple may have separated, as James resided in 1900 with his married sister Elizabeth Tinker in Hickory Creek, Cumberland Township, Fayette County. Mary Fannie passed away in Martinsville, Clark County, IL on April 8, 1917. James lived for another nine years. He succumbed one day before his 81st birthday on Oct. 17, 1926 in Vandalia.
Many years later, Gertrude (Tucker) Fitzpatrick prepared a Tucker family history about this branch which was forwarded to Gilbert Gaumer and thence to the Moffitt family.
~ Son David Welker ~
Son David Welker (1810-1863) was born on May 30 or 31, 1810 in Union Township, Knox County, the first of the family to be born in Ohio.
David was twice married. His first bride was Margaret Darling (or "Durbin") (1811-1856), daughter of Abraham and Rhoda (Shrimplin) Darling. They were wed on March 29, 1832 in Knox County. The couple produced 10 children over the span of two decades, from 1833 to 1853. They include Rhoda Workman, Dickson Lemuel Welker, Dora Price, Lilburn Welker, Mary Markley Stephens, Jane Butler, Sarah Welker, Marilla Shaw, Catherine Welker and Wilburn Morgan Welker.
In about 1848, the family relocated to a farm in Kerton Township, Fulton County in Central Illinois.
Sadly, Margaret died there on March 26, 1856, just three days before what would have been her 45th birthday. Her remains may have been transported back to Ohio for interment in Pleasant Valley View Cemetery in Monroe Township, Knox County.
After eight years as a widower, David married again, to Rachel M. (Riley) Morningstar (1820-1891). She was the daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah Riley, originally of Washington County, PA who had migrated to Ohio in about 1805. Their nuptials were officiated by justice of the peace Doty Farmer in Knox County on Jan. 6, 1857. She brought four children from an earlier marriage -- Abraham Morningstar, James Morningstar, Carrie Morningstar and Philander Morningstar.
The couple produced four more children -- George Riley Welker, Eda L. Welker, Emma Welker and Charles W. Welker. Sadly, the youngest three of these offspring died in childhood.
Their marriage lasted for six years, until David's death on May 22, 1863 in Kerton Township, Fulton County. As with his first wife's, David's body is believed to have been brought back to Knox County for burial.
Rachel lived for another 28 years as a widow. She suffered the death of her 21-year-old son Philander Morningstar on Nov. 5, 1870. She passed into eternity on Nov. 15, 1891. She was placed into repose in the Morningstar Cemetery.
Daughter Rhoda Workman (1833-1924) was born in 1833 in Jackson Township, Knox County. She married (?) Workman ( ? - ? ). Rhoda died on Sept. 26, 1924.
Son Dickson Lemuel Welker (1835-1899) was born on Aug. 20, 1835 in Jackson Township, Knox County. On April 6, 1868, in Fulton County, IL, he was united in holy matrimony with Caroline Potter ( ? - ? ). Dickson died in Woodland Township, Fulton County on April 2, 1899.
Daughter Dora Welker (1836- ? ) was born in about 1836. In about 1850, she married (?) Price ( ? - ? ).
Son Lilburn Welker (1838-1864) was born on Feb. 2, 1838 in Jackson Township, Knox County. In about 1848, he relocated with his parents to a farm in Kerton Township, Fulton County in Central Illinois. Sadly, he died at the age of 26 in Kenton Township on Nov. 29, 1864. The cause of his untimely death is not yet known. His remains were placed into repose in Morningstar Cemetery in Fulton County.
Daughter Mary Welker (1840-1925) was born on Aug. 17, 1840 in Jackson Township, Knox County. When she was age eight, in about 1848, she migrated with her parents to a farm in Kerton Township, Fulton County in Central Illinois. She was trice married. Her first wedding was to Adam Markley ( ? - ? ) in about 1859. She married for a second time in about 1864 to William Stephens ( ? - ? ). She died in Woodland Township, Fulton County on July 29, 1925.
Daughter Jane Welker (1842- ? ) was born in about 1842 in Jackson Township, Knox County. She married (?) Butler ( ? - ? ). Nothing more is known.
Daughter Sarah Welker (1845-1857) was born on Oct. 6, 1845 in Jackson Township, Knox County. When she was age three, in about 1848, she migrated with her parents to Illinois, settling on a farm in Kerton Township, Fulton County. Sadly, she did not live to adulthood. On Jan. 15, 1857, she passed away at the age of 12. Burial was in Morningstar Cemetery in Fulton County.
Daughter Marilla Welker (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848 in Jackson Township, Knox County. As a newborn, she traveled with her parents and older siblings to Central Illinois, making their home on a farm in Kerton Township, Fulton County. On March 22, 1868, in Bluff City, Schuyler County, IL, she was married to Daniel Shaw ( ? - ? ).
Daughter Catherine Welker (1850) was born in 1850 in Kerton Township, Fulton County, OH.
Son Wilburn Morgan Welker (1853-1916) was born on Sept. 27, 1853 in Kerton Township, Fulton County. He married Emma J. Smith ( ? - ? ). He died in Fulton County on Aug. 16, 1916.
Son George Riley Welker (1858-1898) was born on Jan. 10, 1858 in Kerton Township, Fulton County. At age 25, on May 13, 1883, he married Alice M. Farwell ( ? - ? ). George died in Woodland Township, Fulton County on Oct. 11, 1898.
~ Son Daniel Welker ~
Son Daniel Welker (1812-1887) was born on Dec. 5, 1812 in Union Township, Knox County.
At the age of 28, three days before Christmas 1840, Daniel was joined in holy matrimony with a cousin, 18-year-old Sabra "Sabry" Critchfield (1822-1901), daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Welker) Critchfield. Daniel's brother John Welker Jr., a justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. Sabra's father, a native of Somerset County, is profiled in the 1881 book compiled by N.N. Hill entitled History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present.
The couple's six children were Shipley Welker, Curtis Welker, Edith F. Lydick, Maria L. Welker, Dillon Welker and Elizabeth Welker. Heartache shook the family in 1846 when two-year-old son Curtis died in Howard Township, with burial in Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Monroe Township.
The Welkers initially made their residence in Union Township, Knox County, but during the 1850s moved within the county to a farm in Union Township. When Norton authored his History of Knox County in the mid-1860s, Daniel was the only one of his siblings to remain in the county. They were back in Howard Township by 1880 when the census again was taken.
Daniel is profiled in the 1881 book compiled by N.N. Hill entitled History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present.
Daniel died at the age of 74 on Sept. 4, 1887. Burial was in Valley View Cemetery, Monroe Township, Knox County.
Sabra survived her husband by 14 years. She joined him in eternity on May 1, 1901, while living in Monroe Township.
Son Shipley Welker (1841-1914), sometimes misspelled "Shelby," was born on Oct. 9, 1841 in Howard Township, Knox County. On Oct. 9, 1871, at the age of 30, he married Nancy Maria "Mary" Ryan (1850- ? ) of Millwood, Knox County, whose parents were natives of New York State. The ceremony was performed by justice of the peace W.H. Taylor. Nancy was nine years younger than her husband. The couple produced these known children -- Daniel B. Welker II, Cora Nadine Roller, Mordecai M. Welker, Abram R. Welker and Laura Welker. The federal census enumeration of 1880 shows the Welkers residing on a farm next to his parents in Howard Township. Now retired, Shipley spent his final years residing in Akron, Summit County at the address of 968 Jefferson Avenue. He died there at the age of 73 on Dec. 21, 1914, a physician noting the cause of death as "exhaustion." Interment was in Glendale Cemetery.
Daughter Edith F. Welker (1845-1928) was born on Sept. 11, 1845 in Howard Township, Knox County. On Christmas Day 1867, when she was age 22, Edith was united in wedlock with Ransom D. Lydick (1845-1919), son of Reuben and Calista Lydick and a native of Danville, OH. Jacob Hammond Sr. performed the nuptials, held in Knox County. In June 1879, Ransom and a presumed brother William C. Lydick bought a 60-acre portion of their parents' farm in Section 15, Township 7 and Range 10 of Knox County. The Lydicks later migrated to Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH. At the age of 74, on June 26, 1919, Ransom died in Cleveland due to heart valve problems. Burial was in Danville, with Grant Lydick signing the Ohio death certificate. Edith survived her husband by nine years and lived at 2040 East 69th Street in Cleveland. She joined him in eternity the day after Christmas 1928, after having been admitted to Cleveland State Hospital for senility. Burial was in Danville.
Daughter Maria L. Welker (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848 in Howard Township, Knox County. In 1870, at the age of 21, she was unmarried and lived at home with her parents.
Son Dillon Welker (1850-1873) was born on March 16, 1850 in Howard Township, Knox County. Just a few weeks before his 22nd birthday, Dillon died in Howard Township. His death is mentioned in the 1881 book compiled by N.N. Hill entitled History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present.
Daughter Elizabeth Welker (1852- ? ) was born in 1852 in Howard Township, Knox County.
~ Son Nelson Welker ~
Son Nelson Welker (1815- ? ) was born in about 1815 in Union Township, Knox County.
On June 21, 1835, in Knox County, the 20-year-old Nelson was wedded to Elizabeth Wolford ( ? - ? ). Nothing more is known, other than that he was still alive in 1841.
They may be the same Nelson and Elizabeth "Walker" of Ohio, ages 32 and 30 respectively, who migrated to Missouri and in 1850 dwelled in District 51 of Livingston County. But this needs to be confirmed and sorted out.
~ Son Martin Welker ~
Son Martin Welker (1819-1902) was born in 1819 in Union Township, Knox County. He was one of the first lawyers, U.S. congressmen and federal judges in the extended family.
On March 4, [year?], he married Maria Armor ( ? - ? ), a native of Millersburg, Holmes County and the daughter of Professor S.G. Armor of Brooklyn Medical College. Maria has been described as "a lady of great refinement, sweetness of disposition and excellent culture, and [who] was highly esteemed by her many friends and acquaintances in Washington City."
Martin is profiled in the Albert Adams Graham book History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present, which reads as follows:
...Martin Welker, born in Union in 1819, left the farm in 1831, and went with his brother, John, jr., to clerk in his store at Millwood, where he remained several years. He intended to make a merchant of himself, but an incident occurred, which changed his plans of life. In the store one day, a man offered him a bank bill which, on inspection he found to be counterfeit, and so informed the man. It was passed on another individual, and he prosecuted, and Martin was subpoened as a witness, before the grand jury at Mt. Vernon. He attended, and was compelled to remain several days. He had never seen a court, or a live judge. He there saw judge Dean, then in the prime of life on the bench, and who seemed to him a much greater man than General Jackson, of whom he had heard. He also there saw Brown, the Curtises, Delano and other lawyers engaged in court matters, and he concluded it would be a great thing himself to be a lawyer. Sitting beside another boy of his acquaintance, he informed him that he would be a lawyer and a judge, and some day take the place of Judge Dean. He kept that resolve before him, and worked for that aim and purpose, and within twenty years, with their great changes, he became a lawyer, and was elected in 1851, judge of the district over Judge Dean, who was his opponent at the election. He sat upon the same bench, held the same court at Mt. Vernon, the holding which by Judge Dean had inspired his youthful ambition.
After deciding to leave his brother's store, Martin began to study law with Hon. William R. Sapp at Millersburg, Holmes County. In the spring of 1844 he formed a three-lawyer partnership with his former mentor and William McClelland, doing business as Sapp, Welker & McClelland, with offices in Mount Vernon, Knox County.
Then in 1851, he ran for and was elected judge of the 6th District. Six years later, in 1857, on the Republican ticket, he was elected lieutenant-governor when Salmon P. Chase ran for governor. Martin served one term, and then in 1864 was elected to Congress to represent the 14th District. Re-elections followed in 1866 and 1868.
When the Civil War erupted, he served as aid-de-camp to Governor Dennison, and also as an assistant adjutant general with Governor David Tod, bearing the rank of colonel. At some point, he is said to have been named captain of a steamship named Emma Duncan which ferried some 400 wounded men to safety following the bloody battle of Shiloh, and was present when Corinth was evacuated. Later, he became a member of the 188th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company I. He is said to have been garrisoned in Tennessee at Murfreesboro, Tullahoma and Nashville.
From 1865 through 1871, Martin served as a U.S. Congressman representing Wayne County, OH. Eight years after the war's end, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him In November, 1873 as district judge for the United States, for the Northern District of Ohio, with chambers in Cleveland. He retired on July 31, 1889. He was president of the Wooster National Bank, vice president of the Wayne County Fair Association, and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic post no. 133, a Union veterans organization.
Once, former President Rutherford B. Hayes was a guest in the Welkers' home in Wooster.
In retirement, in 1895, Martin authored the 88-page book Farm Life in Central Ohio Sixty Years Ago (Wooster: Clapper's Print), also published as tract no. 66, volume IV of the Western Reserve Historical Society. He is profiled and pictured in Ben Douglas' book History of the Lawyers of Wayne County, Ohio, from 1812 to 1900 (Wooster: Clapper Printing Company, 1900) -- and also in William H. Barnes' 1869 book The Fortieth Congress of the United States Historical and Biographical, Vol. 1 -- and John Brandt Mansfield's History of the Great Lakes, Vol. 2. Martin also donated to the Wooster College Library a complete set of the Congressional Record.
Martin died on March 15, 1902. A memorial eulogy of the Ohio Bar Association said that he "died at an advanced age, a well-preserved man, intellectually and physically, up until nearly the time of his death."
~ Daughter Drusilla (Welker) Moffitt ~
Daughter Drusilla (or "Druzella") Welker (1821-1892) was born on July 3, 1821 in Union Township, Knox County.
On Nov. 8, 1838, at the age of 17, she was united in marriage with 18-year-old John W. Moffitt (1819- ? ). He was the son of Irish immigrants Robert and Jane (Clark) Moffitt and a native of Indiana County, PA. The ceremony took place in Millwood, Knox County, with justice of the peace John Welker, the bride's brother, officiating.
John's parents were Protestants in their religious faith and emigrated first to Pennsylvania. When John was one year of age, in 1820, his parents pushed further into Ohio, making their home on a farm in Knox County, OH. When the Moffitts first arrived in Ohio, "there were plenty of wild game, such as deer, wolves, etc.,; he has visited the Indian camps," said his biographical profile in the book The History of Edgar County, Illinois (Chicago: Wm. Le Baron, Jr., & Co., 1879 -- link).
Drusilla and John had seven children -- Dillon W. Moffitt, Edith Parish, Joshua Moffitt, Charles Rollin Moffitt, M.D., Benjamin Y. Moffitt, Robert Bruce Moffitt and John H. Moffitt.
The Moffitt farm in Ohio was near the town of Jelloway. In about 1850, they continued their westward migration. Wrote grandson James Moffitt: "In 1850 they moved to Illinois. A neighbor took them in a wagon to Zanesville on the Muskingum River. Here they boarded a little river steamboat. Their journey took them down the Muskingum to the Ohio and down the Ohio to the Wabash and up the Wabash to Terre Haute and by stage coach from Terre Haute to Paris, IL. There were no roads then. He had two sisters already there. One was dead by then."
They settled on a farm in Paris, Stratton Township, Edgar County, IL. There, he became active in public affairs and served as the inaugural steward of the local poor house, earning a salary of $300 per year. During his labor at the poor house, at the age of 45, he suffered a hernia. Despite wearing a truss, he was unable after that to perform manual labor. Local teacher John W. Mapes, who later became a physician, called him "a weakly man." Another physician who examined John in 1878 noted badly ruptured varicose veins in the left leg, which caused him to wear an elastic bandage, and a severely shrunken right leg, one-half its natural size.
Wrote grandson James Moffitt: Grandfather owned two farms, was county jailor, kept the county poor farm, had a cabinet shop, then bought the Stratton Twp. farm from 1850 to 1875." Family friend Henry Van Sellar once wrote that they "were good people and of good repute amongst their neighbors and associates." Their post office in 1867 was Buck, Edgar County.
After five years in Paris, the family moved again within Edgar County to a farm at Mulberry Grove and thence to May's Station.
Several of the Moffitts' offspring -- son Dillon and son in law David Parish -- served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Dillon sent home a portion of his pay to benefit his parents. Tragically, though, both the son and son in law lost their lives in the conflict. Details are below.
John eventually left the poor house employment after eight and one half years. In 1875, they pulled up stakes and moved back to Paris, where they appear to have stayed for some time. They owned a town lot which contained a small dwelling house. In about 1889, Drusilla applied to the federal government for a military pension as compensation for the loss of her son. Needing to show proof that the son had supported the family by sending money home, Drusilla wrote in September 1889: "The letter containing money... and other letters promising to send us money as he got it I have lost, or they have been destroyed. I have made careful and diligent search for the said letters about the house and in the places where they ought to be found...." She also reported that since the death of the son, "I have supported myself by my own labor + exertions." [Mother App. #397.689; Cert. #291.200; Father App. #541.925]
Drusilla died on Feb. 12 or 13, 1892 at home near Paris. Family friends Charles H. Hodge and David C. Ewing attended the funeral service.
The same month that Drusilla died, her widowed husband applied for their dead son's pension payments. John only lived for another 16 months after his wife's passing, owning a cow and household furniture worth $40 at the time. He joined her in death on June 9, 1893.
Son Dillon W. Moffitt (1844 -1863) gave his life for our nation during the Civil War. He was born in August 1844 in Knox County,. As a boy, he grew up in Knox County and often played with his first cousin Leander W. Meredith. Later, after moving to Illinois with his parents and siblings, he counted playmate Levi R. Miller as a friend. When maturing into a young man, he was his father's principal laborer on their farm. He also earned income working for others, including neighbors David S. Curtis, Toby Lycan, Jonathan Morehouse and Mr. Dinsmore of Hunter Township, Edgar County. When time permitted, he attended school taught by John W. Mapes. Dillon never married. Seven months after the war broke out, Dillon and Miller both enlisted on Dec. 10, 1861 in the 54th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company F. Their term was three years in duration, and Dillon's occupational specialty was as a teamster. At different times, Dillon sent home a significant portion of his army wages, telling his friend Miller that "he wanted to help his parents at home, all he could, and that he intended to send them all his pay, except a little that he wanted for pocket change, for postage, +c." Tragically, at the time of the Battle of Helena, AR, he was stricken with chronic diarrhea and was admitted to a convalescent camp after his regiment moved away. The ailment triggered a precipitous decline in his health. Said The History of Edgar County, Illinois, he "was taken sick at Vicksburg, Miss., and on his way home with his father died at the Soldiers' Home in Cairo, Ill.; his remains were buried at Mound City, Ill." Other military records show the place of his death as Memphis, TN. The date was Sept. 13, 1863. On April 8, 1865, his remains were re-interred in the Mound City National Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] Some 26 years after his death, in 1889, his aging parents filed for and began receiving a military pension as compensation for their loss.
Daughter Edith Moffitt (1840-1867) was born in about 1840 in Knox County, OH. She may have been named for her aunt Edith (Welker) Dillon. A niece once said that Edith was "redheaded, crosseyed, and not very good looking." On April 29, 1858, at Paris, the 18-year-old Edith married 30-year-old David C. Perrish (or "Parish") (1828- ? ), who was a dozen years older. Rev. G.W. Riley officiated. David allegedly a veteran of the Mexican War. They had one daughter, Carrie Drusilla Ryan. Edith's mother was present at the birth and nursed the mother in her confinement. David was a master carpenter working in and around Paris. Wrote a nephew, David was "a good many years her senior and 'good for nothing.' So one night she slipped out and ran away with him. They did not know it until morning; grandpa went to hunt them but could not find them. She never came home ... had a hard life -- washed for a living. Had this one baby and he (David) left her and joined the army. She was sick so they sent her folks word. Grandpa ... brought her home and she lived a few years, passed away with TB ... Uncle David was cleaning his gun under a tree and they 'nipped him off'." When the Civil War erupted, David enlisted immediately as a private in the 59th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company F. Said The History of Edgar County, Illinois, he "participated in the battle of Nashville, Tenn.; after the battle, he was in a skirmish where he received a wound which proved mortal." The wound -- a gunshot in the throat or head -- occurred on Dec. 3, 1864, and he died the same day. His remains are believed to have been brought back to Paris. In January 1865, Edith began receiving a government pension as compensation for her loss. [Widow App. #81.680 - Cert. #421.133]. Tragically, she contracted tuberculosis ("consumption," as it was then known). Although her mother was present to help provide care, Edith died at the age of 27, on May 18, 1867, leaving their young daughter as an orphan. She was laid to rest in Edgar Cemetery in Paris. A marker was erected at the grave with both her and her husband's names and dates, inscribed that he had been "killed in battle at Nashville." [Find-a-Grave]
Son Joshua Clark Moffitt (1846-1924) was born on April 18, 1846 in Loudonville, Knox County, OH. As a boy, he migrated with his parents to Illinois, settling on a farm in Paris, Edgar County. On Sept. 13, 1893, he was united in marriage with Katherine Bell "Kate" Sterling (1856-1915). They lived in or around Paris. Their known children were James R. Moffitt and Charles Byron Moffitt, Kate passed away at the age of 58 on May 6, 1915, with burial in Bethesda Cemetery. Joshua survived her by nine years. He died on Feb. 2, 1924.
Son Dr. Charles "Rollin" Moffitt (1850-1877) was born on March 7, 1850 in Knox County, OH. As a boy, he migrated with his parents to Illinois, settling on a farm in Paris, Edgar County. On Jan. 9, 1970, he was united in marriage with Helen Carpenter ( ? - ? ). They produced three children -- Jessie Edith Garner, Hallie Moffitt and Charles B. Moffitt. Sadly, he and Helen later divorced. Rollin obtained his medical degree from Keokuk Medical College. A niece recalled that "a doctor, smart as a whip. He was sent at one time to Hawaii by the government. He was too big for the family so lived with an aunt near Quincy, IL and Keokuk, IA (Margaret Moffitt Clifford). He came home sick with TB, dissatisfied with family, so cross, made fun of Uncle Bruce (his brother Robert Bruce) until Grandma was glad when he left, but they were mad when he left his wealth to the relatives." He practiced medicine in Hawaii but died at age 27 on July 20, 1877 after returning to the mainland.
Son Dr. Benjamin Yates Moffitt (1856-1884) was born on Jan. 6, 1856 in Paris, Edgar County, IL. He was a physician and spent his early career in Knightstown, IN. Later he went to Hawaii and survived a shipwreck in the Sandwich Islands. He came back to San Francisco but died in at the age of 28 in 1884. His remains were sent back to Illinois for burial in his hometown of Paris. A niece, Edna Wolfe, wrote that after his death, Benjamin's medical instruments were given to his brother Bruce, and that it was a thrill for Bruce's children "to look at them and wonder."
Son Robert Bruce Moffitt (1858-1915) was born on July 20, 1858 in Paris, Edgar County, IL. He enjoyed telling people that he had been born on the poor farm without explaining that his parents ran the farm. At the age of 25, on the day after Christmas 1883, he was united in holy wedlock with Emma Buckler (1866-1946), daughter of Allen and Catherine (Mason) Buckler. Their children were Fred Allan Moffitt, Louella Belle Moffitt and Hattie Drusilla "Drusie" Boller. Over the years, he worked as a farmer, cabinet maker, grocer and wagon driver. Heartache shook the family when 25-year-old daughter Louella Belle succumbed of tuberculosis on Dec. 18, 1912. Bruce died at the age of 57 on March 10, 1915 in Edgar County. His remains were placed at rest in the Edgar Cemetery. Emma lived for another 30-plus years after his death. She spent her final years on earth at the home of her daughter Drusilla Boller in Gillette, WY. She died on Dec. 18, 1946, and her remains were shipped back to Illinois for interment. Their great-grandson Ken Moffitt has graciously provided much of the outline of content on this biography.
Son John H. Moffitt (1864-1921) was born on May 14, 1864 in Paris, Edgar County. The middle initial "H." stood for nothing. It's said that his father wanted to call him "Halbert" and his mother "Herbert" and so, unable to break the deadlock, gave him the initial in the hope he would choose for himself someday. (He never did.) John was twice married. On Aug. 11, 1884, when he was age 20, he was united in marriage with 24-year-old Nancy Florence Mason (1860-1916), daughter of William and Elizabeth (Richerson) Mason. Over the years, they resided in Paris and in Webb City, MO, where he earned a living as a groceryman and merchant. Their children were Mary Edith Whitton, Edna Drusilla Holloway Stewart Wolfe, Zola Mae Gordon, Paul Maxwell Moffitt and Russell Mason Moffitt. Sadly, Nancy died on May 16, 1916 at the age of 56. Burial was in Edgar Cemetery. John remained a widower for four years and married again in 1920 to Sally Langworthy ( ? - ? ). They made their residence in Carterville, Jasper County, MO. John, stricken with cancer of the stomach, became deathly ill after only a year into his second marriage. He was admitted to St. Johns Hospital in Joplin where he died on April 14, 1921 a month shy of his 57th birthday. He is said to be "buried in southern MO with people of 2nd wife." His death certificate shows his place of interment as Mt. Hope Cemetery.
~ Daughter Edith (Welker) Dillon ~
Daughter Edith Welker (1824-1893) was born on Oct. 9, 1824 in Union Township, Knox County.
When she was 22 years of age, in 1846, she married 21-year-old Obadiah Dillon (1825- ? ), his first name also spelled "Obediah," and his late name alternatively "Dillin." The marriage took place in Knox County by the hand of the bride's brother, justice of the peace John Welker Jr. He was the son of Isaiah and Mary Jane (Hall) Dillin of Millwood, Knox County.
The couple produced at least five offspring -- Mary A. Dillon, Lucinda F. Dillon, Winfield (or "Stanfield") Dillon, Charles Roland Dillon and Lulu G. Dillon.
They owned several town lots in Millwood, Knox County and are enumerated in Millwood in the 1850 census.
Sometime between 1852 and 1857, the Dillons migrated to Iowa and settled on a farm in Marengo, Iowa County. They are shown in Marengo in the 1860 census, with 17-year-old Columbus Dillon of Ohio living under their roof and helping with farming.
In 1862, Obadiah was selected by District Court Clerk William G. Springer to serve as a judge in Springer's high profile contested election case in Iowa County. Two years later, in 1864, he was elected treasurer of the county. These events are mentioned in the 1881 book The History of Iowa County (Des Moines: Union Historical Company. Birdsall, Williams & Co.). He was a member of the Jerusalem Chapter of the Grand Chapter of the State of Iowa in Marengo.
The family remained in Marengo during the decade of the 1860s and are listed in the town in the 1870 census, continuing to labor as farmers. Obadiah also was a flour miller.
Edith passed away on Dec. 9, 1893 at the age of 69. Burial was in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Marengo, Iowa County, IA. [Find-a-Grave]
Obadiah outlived his spouse by 18 years, and moved to Laredo, Grundy County, MO. He was considered a "cripple" and was exhausted in trying to endure life's daily challenges.
He joined Edith in eternity at the age of 85 on March 25, 1911. W.S. Dillin of Brashear, MO signed the death certificate, and the remains were transported back to Iowa for interment in Marengo.
Daughter Mary E. Dillon (1847- ? ) was born in about 1847 in Millwood.
Daughter Lucinda F. Dillon (1849- ? ) was born in about 1848 in Millwood.
Son Winfield Dillon (1852- ? ) -- perhaps known as "Stanfield" -- was born in about 1852 in Ohio. At the age of 18, he engaged in driving teams of livestock in Iowa.
Son Charles Roland Dillon (1857- ? ) was born on May 13, 1857 in Iowa. He married Belle Payne (1858-1923). The couple had one known daughter, Edith Drusilla Dillin. Charles died on Feb. 7, 1893 and rests in the IOOF Cemetery in Marengo, Iowa County. [Find-a-Grave] Edith lived for another three decades and passed in 1923.
Daughter Lulu G. Dillon (1865- ? ) was born in about 1865 in Marengo, Iowa County.
~ Son Edwin Welker ~
Son Edwin Welker (1826- ? ) was born in about 1826 in Union Township, Knox County.
On Oct. 5, 1852, at the age of 26, he was joined in matrimony with Rebecca Engle ( ? - ? ) in Knox County.
Nothing more is known.
~ Son Dillon Welker ~
Son Dillon Welker (1830?-1898) was born in about 1830 in Union Township, Knox County.
He married Mary Ellen Casper (1833- ? ) on April 25, 1852. Justice of the peace Michael Miller officiated. Their two daughters were Candice Frasthing and Emma K. Lehman.
They lived in Knox County until about 1857, when they relocated to Iowa. After six years there, in 1863, they returned to Knox County, remaining for six years. In 1869, they pulled up stakes and moved again to Dallas City, Hancock County, IL.
Dillon earned a living as a butcher and carpenter. He apparently also kept a hotel in Dallas City, known as the "Welker House." Sadly, the hotel burned to the ground in 1897. He died in 1898 in Dallas City and is buried in the town cemetery.
In 1900, Mary was named in the federal census as a hotel keeper.
Daughter Candice Welker (1853- ? ) was born in August 1853 in Union Township, Knox County. She was twice married. The identity of her first spouse is not known. Her second husband was John Frasthing ( ? - ? ). Nothing more about them is known.
Daughter Emma K. Welker (1855-1920) was born in October 1855 in Union Township, Knox County. She married Charles W. Lehman ( ? - ? ). They apparently resided in Dallas City. Emma died on April 22, 1920 at the age of 65.
~ Son Jacob Welker ~
Son Jacob Welker (1832- ? ) was born in 1832 in Union Township, Knox County.
At the age of 21, on June 2, 1853, he was married to Lucinda S. Casper (1835- ? ). Justice of the peace Joseph Pinkley performed the nuptials.
Their three known children were Clement B. Welker, Ardell Welker and John Adam Welker.
Following the migration pattern of Jacob's brother Dillon, the family moved to Iowa in 1857; back to Knox County in 1863; and thence to Dallas City, Hancock County, IL (1869). When his father died in 1869, Jacob was named in the will.
Jacob passed into death in about 1890 in Dallas City.
Son Clement B. Welker (1858- ? ) was born in about 1858 in Iowa.
Daughter Ardell Welker (1861- ? ) was born in about 1861 in Iowa.
Son John Adam Welker (1866- ? ) was born in 1866 after the family returned to Knox County, OH.