ELMER WELSH, a representative citizen of Ruffsdale, where he is serving at the present time (1905) in the capacity of justice of the peace, is a lineal descendant of John Welsh, a native of Maryland, from whence he migrated to the state of Pennsylvania, settling in Beaver county about the year 1790, where he took up land, followed farming and was also the proprietor of a hotel. In May, 1905, he built a new store room and business block on the main business street of Ruffsdale, with residence and banquet hall in connection, and does a general merchandise business, dealing in dry goods, notions, hardware, groceries, furniture, in fact everything to be found in a first class general merchandise store, and has built up a good business. He was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary war, and during one of the battles in which he participated lost one of his legs, thus incapacitating him for further active service. He was the father of two sons: John and William Welsh.
William Welsh, son of John Welsh, was born, lived and died in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, where he followed farming and contracting, furnishing the stone for the Erie canal. His life was a useful and honorable one, and in all the relations of his career he displayed the utmost integrity. He married Beulah C. Cooper, whose father was a doctor of some note. He practiced his profession in Bedford county, where he also conducted a hotel for a number of years. Their children were: Seth McClure, of whom later; James; Mary, married Samuel Barnes; Annie, married Anthony Douhett; Beulah, married Samuel McClure; George B.; Sidney; Benjamin F., deceased.
Seth McClure Welsh, eldest son of William and Beulah C. (Cooper) Welsh, was born A. D., 1819, in Beaver county, Pennsylvania. He was a farmer and a rural coal operator, which lines of work he followed successfully for a number of years in his native county. Accompanied by his family, in 1878, he went to Kansas, where his death occurred in 1879. He was also a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church, and his influence for good was largely felt in the community. He married Sarah Ann Hannum, daughter of John and Margaret Hannum, and their children were: Philip, a farmer of Kansas; Artemus, a resident of Kansas; Mary J., wife of Abram Simberly; Anna M., wife of Henry Simberly; Charles, died in childhood; Elmer, of whom later; Emma E., wife of William Shanafelt of Portland, Oregon.
Elmer Welsh, youngest son of Seth McClure and Sarah Ann (Hannum) Welsh, was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, March 2, 1864. He was educated in the common schools and the State Normal School of Illinois, and when fourteen years of age accompanied his parents to Kansas. In that state he engaged in farming, was night machine man two years for the Consolidated Barbed Wire Manufacturing Company, and for a period of one year followed the building of bridge abutments. He returned to Pennsylvania, in 1886, settling in Westmoreland county, where he was engaged mostly in farming until April, 1904, since which time he has been engaged in the coal business, buying and selling coal lands in Washington and Westmoreland counties. He is a member of the Episcopal church of Scottdale, and of the Grand Fraternity, Lodge No. 8, Ruffsdale, in which he passed several chairs: He is a staunch Republican in politics, and exerts his influence in behalf of the party whose principles he advocates. He has held several township offices, and is serving as justice of the peace, having been elected to that office in February, 1905. Mr. Welsh married Annie Porter, daughter of W Newton and Mary Porter. Their children are: Mary A., born May 26, 1888, a graduate of Scottdale high school, class of 1905; Florence A., born June 28, 1890; Emma K., born December 24, 1892; Nelson P. and Nellie I., twins, born September 18, 1895; Elizabeth C., born August 16, 1897; W. Newton, born April 12, 1903; and Elmer Edward, born October 1, 1905.
Source: Page(s) 173-174, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed May 2007 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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