WILLIAM THOMAS WELTY, who was one of the leading factors m the business circles of Westmoreland county, and a man who was always held in high esteem by' his friends and business associates, was born at Delmont, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, June 5, 1862, a son of John H. and Margaret J. (Craig) Welty.
Daniel Welty, grandfather of William T. Wetly, was born in Greensburg, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, September 13, 1806. He was an active member of the German Lutheran church, with which he was connected from his childhood to 1847, when he became one of the organizers of the English Lutheran church. He held office in this church for a long period of time, and during his membership, which continued until his death, the communion roll showed him absent but twice, and on both of these occasions he was unable to attend owing to illness. Mr. Welty married Barbara Bierer, and twelve children were born to them, seven of whom survive: Daniel, resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth, wife of Rev. Samuel Aughey, geologist, late of Lincoln Nebraska; Frank E., of Pittsburgh; Thomas J., of Washington; Robert F., of Turtle Creek; Susan, wife of Rev. V. B. Christy, Ellerton, Ohio; and Clarissa, of Ada, Ohio. Daniel Welty married for his second wife Sarah A. Craig. His death occurred December 8, 1874, when he was sixty-eight years of age. His widow survived him several years. William B. Welty, son of Daniel Welty, participated in the Civil war. He was a member of the Flag Company, and fell in the battle of Antietam. In the same company were nine cousins, all of whom were wounded and one of whom later succumbed to his wounds.
John Henry Welty, the second child of Daniel Welty, and father of William Thomas Welty, was born in Pleasant Unity, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, September 25, 1834. He was reared at home, and early in life was an assistant in his father's store in Hannahstown, and later was employed for a year in the store of Lewis Trauger, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. His experience in these stores gained for him much valuable information relative to the mercantile business, which was of inestimable aid to him in later years. He subsequently engaged in the general mercantile business for himself in Delmont, Westmoreland county, there conducting an eminently successful and prosperous business for ten years. At the expiration of this time he removed to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where he became a member of the firm of Welty Bros., in the carpet business, retaining his connection with this firm for four years. In 1886 he moved to Greensburg, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in business, and was for a number of years one of the best known and highly respected merchants of that town. Mr. Welty was a consistent member of the Lutheran church for forty-five years. November 10. 1858, he was united in marriage to Margaret J. Craig, daughter of James and Jane (Brown) Craig, of Hannahstown, Pennsylvania. Her father was one of the well known farmers of that section. Their children were: Duella M., widow of J. M. Bortz of Greensburg; Jennie, Blanche. Martha and William Thomas Welty. All of these children are deceased excepting Duella M., who resides in Greensburg. John H. Welty died July 20, 1901, after a useful and well-spent life.
William Thomas Welty, the second child and only son of John H. and Margaret J. (Craig) Welty, was but a boy when his parents moved to Pittsburgh where they remained a short time. They then returned to Hannahstown, where William T, was reared. His early educational training was acquired in the common schools of this town and later at Greensburg Academy. In 1883 then in his twenty-first year, he went to Greensburg, Pennsylvania to enter into the employ of Mr. Lewis Trauger, then one of the prominent dry-goods merchants of that town. His genial disposition soon won for him a host of friends in his newly adopted residence, and for fifteen years he held a responsible position in Mr. Trauger's business. In 1898 Lewis Trauger died, and Mr. Welty purchased the entire stock of goods. This seemed a large undertaking, but it was one in which he prospered even beyond his own expectations, and in 1901 he purchased the building in which he transacted his business. He enjoyed the confidence and respect of his fellow-townsmen, won for him by the upright and general fair dealing which characterized all his business transactions. Mr. Welty was one of the leading members of the Zion Lutheran church, was for over twenty years a member of the church choir, was a deacon of the church for several years, and was always prominently and actively identified with Sunday school work. He was a member of the I.0.of H. and the J.0.U.A.M.
April 27, 1893, Mr. Welty was united in marriage with Ada S. Thomas, of Westmoreland county, daughter of Abraham W. and Sarah (Henry) Thomas. Her father, Abraham W. Thomas, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, June 18, 1839, a son of John and Catherine Thomas. He is a member of one of the old families of Westmoreland county, and has always been held in high esteem by his fellow-citizens. Until recent years his life was spent on his farm three miles east of Greensburg, but he is now a resident of Greensburg. When the great Civil war was in progress Mr. Thomas enlisted, September 14,1863, in Company H, Seventy-sixth Regiment, serving until the close of the war when he was honorably discharged, July 18, 1865. He is a member of the G.A.R. In religious matters he affiliates with the Reform church, in the affairs of which he was always interested. Mr. Welty's mother, Sarah (Henry) Thomas, was born in Hempfield township, daughter of Nathan and Sarah (Miller) Henry. Her death occurred in March 1894. The sudden and unexpected death of Mr. Welty, which occurred September 24, 1903, was a great shock to all of Greensburg, his death being caused by a clot of blood in an artery leading to the heart. The evening previous to his decease he had been about his work as usual. By his death the community lost an honorable citizen and a man whose character remained unblemished to the last. Mrs. W. T. Weltv now resides in Greensburg with her daughter and only child, Margaret L. Welty. She is an intelligent and accomplished woman, an active church worker, and prior to her husband's death was a member of the church choir and a teacher in the Bible class of the church.
Source: Page(s) 101 - 103, History of Westmoreland County, Volume 2, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed June 2001 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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