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Rev. John Welker Jr.


Rev. John Welker Jr. was born on Nov. 16, 1806 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of John and Elizabeth (Gaumer) Welker Sr. 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.


Book naming John

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.


John's section in the 1881 History of Knox County


~ Son Robert G. Welker ~

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) Hammond ~

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 ~

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 ~

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) Lawler ~

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.


Copyright 2000, 2015-2018 Mark A. Miner

Many thanks to Ken Moffitt for sharing his family's history compilations.