Howard M. Welsh, M.D.



HOWARD M. WELSH, M. D., physician of Leechburg, Pa., was born in Allegheny township, Westmoreland Co., Pa., Feb. 12, 1874, son of William Welsh and grandson of John Welsh.

John Welsh was born in Scotland, and in company with a brother came to the United States, both locating in Pennsylvania, the brother near Philadelphia and John at New Alexandria, in Westmoreland county. He passed the remainder of his life in that county, following farming as an occupation, his death occurring in 1881 at a place called Crawford's Mill, about three miles north of Leechburg. He married a member of the Bolinger family, and they had fourteen children, not an unusual number in those days. Those who survived childhood were: Peter, who is a farmer residing near Greensburg, Pa.; Alexander, who is a resident of Chicago, Ill.; Charles, who remains in the old home at Crawford's Mill; William; Abraham, who lives at Chicora, Butler Co., Pa.; John, who resides at New Kensington, Pa.; Sophia, who is the wife of John Wolf, residing in Gilpin township, Armstrong county; Elizabeth, who died in 1911, at Ann Arbor, Mich., the wife of James Brokaw; Mary, who is the widow of Adam Norris, and resides at Tarentum, Pa.; and Annie, who is the wife of Jeremiah Wray, living in Gilpin township, Armstrong county.

William Welsh, son of John and father of Dr. Howard M. Welsh, was born Feb. 5, 1847, in Westmoreland county, Pa., where he began his business life as a farmer, later becoming more especially interested in the stock business, in which he continued for twenty years. In 1898 he moved to Vandergrift, Pa., where he continues one of the representative business men. He is largely interested in dealing in real estate and is vice president of the Citizens' National Bank, of which he was one of the organizers. He married Catherine McCracken, daughter of James and Ann (Mears) McCracken, and they have three children: Howard M.; Edward H., who is editor of the Vandergrift Citizen, a well established weekly newspaper; and Curtis C., who is an employee of the Vandergrift Foundry & Machine Company.

John McCracken, grandfather of Mrs. William Welsh, was of Scotch-Irish parentage. He lived and died in Indiana county, Pa., where he was an agriculturist.

James McCracken, father of Mrs. William Welsh and grandfather of Dr. Howard M. Welsh, was born in Indiana county, Pa. He spent the larger part of his active fife as a farmer in Westmoreland county and when he retired came to Leechburg, where his death occurred some years later. He married Ann Mears, daughter of James Mears, and seven children were born to them, namely: James and John, both of whom died in infancy; James (2), who is deceased; John (2), who is a minister in the Presbyterian Church, residing at Vandergrift; Martha, who died in infancy; Catherine, who married William Welsh; and Samuel, who is deceased.

Howard M. Welsh attended public school in Allegheny township until he was fifteen years of age, making good use of his opportunities, for at that unusual age he secured a certificate and began to teach school, his first effort being at the Stewart school in Allegheny township, after which he taught the joint school, in Lower Burrell township, both in Westmoreland county, later the Evans school, on the site of the present town of Vandergrift, and still later the McGreary school, in Allegheny township, four terms in all. The young teacher then sought more thorough training for himself and entered the Indiana Normal School, where he was graduated in 1895, as honor man of his class. Resuming teaching, he took charge of the Ross school in Lower Burrell township, Westmoreland county, and after a winter there taught summer school at Markle Academy, later accepting the position of principal of the Pitcairn schools and subsequently of the Freeport public schools. His success in the educational field was gratifying, but it did not satisfy his ambition, the profession of medicine having been the goal toward which he worked from youth. On May 29, 1902, he was graduated from the medical department of the Western University, now known as the University of Pittsburgh, and immediately located at Leechburg, where he has built up a very satisfactory practice. In 1908 he took a post-graduate course of one year at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., and in 1912 did a year's post-graduate work in the German University at Munich, Germany.

Dr. Welsh was married in October, 1902, to Edith E. Barr, daughter of Dr. John A. Barr, of McKees Rocks, Allegheny county, and they have one son, John William. Dr. and Mrs. Welsh attend the Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Welsh is an active and thoroughly interested citizen, but gives little of his valuable time to politics. He is identified with numerous medical organizations, belonging to the Phi Rho Sigma College fraternity, to the Armstrong County Medical Society, and the State and National Medical Association. He is also a member of the Leechburg Scientific and Protective Association, a local organization of medical men, and is its treasurer. It was organized in January, 1911, with Dr. U.O. Heilman as president; Dr. C.C. Parks as secretary, and Dr. H.M. Welsh as treasurer. He belongs to Allegheny Lodge, NO. 221, F. & A.M., Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

Source: Page 468-496, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed May 1999 by Michael S. Caldwell for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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