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Mathew Welsh of Knox County Ohio Biography


For many decades Mathew Welsh has been a highly respected citizen of Knox county, and is well deserving of a place in a volume which contains the histories of the county’s most substantial men. He has made an untarnished record and unspotted reputation in industrial circles, and in all places and under all circumstances he is loyal to truth, honor and right, justly regarding his own self-respect as infinitely more desirable than wealth, fame or position.

Mr. Welsh was born in Lower Canada, about nine miles from Montreal, on the 2d of October, 1839. His father, Morris Welsh, was a native of Ireland, but when a young man he left the land of his birth for the new world, locating in Vermont, where he was married to Julia Dewire. Afterward he removed with his wife to Canada, and about 1845 tney came to Ohio, locating in Richland county. In the following vear they took up their abode in Howard township,Knox county, and the father’s death occurred in Paulding county, this state, when he had reached the age of sixty-three years. His wife died at the comparatively early age of forty-three years. She, too, was a native of the Emerald Isle. Unto this worthy couple were born six children, five sons and one daughter, namely:

-Edward, who laid down his life on the altar of his country, having been killed at the battle of Gettysburg;
-William, who is engaged in the insurance business in Mount Vernon;
-Mathew, the subject of this review;
-John, a retired farmer of Nebraska;
-Johanna, the wife of William Sapp, of Knox county; and
-Morris, who is a painter of Centerburg,Ohio.

Mathew Welsh was about six years of age when he was brought by his parents to Knox county, Ohio, and in the district schools of Howard township he received his early educational privileges. He was left an orphan when eleven years old, and at that early age he was thrown upon his own resources to fight life’s battles as best he could. He has indeed battled earnestly and energetically, and by indomitable courage and integrity has achieved both character and affluence. In 1859 he crossed the plains with an ox team and cart to Pike’s Peak, seven weeks and four days having been consumed in the journey from St. Joe to Denver, Colorado, and in that state he was engaged in mining for the following three years. In 1862 he returned to Knox county, and in the following year he offered his services to the Union cause, enlisting in Company I, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, entering the ranks as a private. During his army service he took part in many of the important battles; and for three months served as a guard to General Scofield. During his entire term of service he was never wounded, but at the battle of Morristown he received nine bullet holes in his clothing, one bullet having passed through his hat. For meritorious conduct on the field of battle he was promoted from a private to first sergeant of his company, and at the close of hostilities, in 1865, he was honorably discharged at Nashville, Tennessee, after which he returned to his old home in Knox county.

After his marriage, which occurred in 1866, he located on a farm in Howard township, where he remained until 1892, and from that time until the 1st of May, 1901, he made his home upon a farm of one hundred and forty acres-which he had purchased in Monroe township. At the latter date he retired from the active duties of the farm and located in Howard, where he is now living in quiet retirement, enjoying the fruits of former toil.

On the 14th of November, 1866, occurred the marriage of Mr. Welsh and Miss Eleanor Critchfield, who was born in Howard township, Knox county, on the I5th of April, 1844, a daughter of Lewis and Mary J. (Dawson) Critchfield and a sister of Joseph Critchfield, whose history, together with that of the family, will be found on another page of this volume. Mrs. Welsh, the fourth child and eldest daughter in her parents’ family, was reared and educated in the place of her nativity. By her marriage with Mr. Welsh she has become the mother of two sons,
—Lewis C., who married Cora Leonard and resides on the home farm; and
-Charles Francis, who married Sarah B. Brillhart, and is a prominent agriculturist of Knox county. He has one daughter, Julia May.

Mr. Welsh, of this review, is a member of Joe Hooker Post, No. 20, G. A. R., of Mount Vernon, being transferred from Leroy Baker Post at Danville, in which he had filled all the chairs, and is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 316, of Mount Vernon. Religiously he is a worthy member and active worker in the Christian church at Millwood.

pg 242-243

The Biographical Record of Knox County Ohio, Illustrated, Lewis Publ Co, Chicago, 1902

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