Charles Wesley Welker (1859 - 1939)

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Birthplace: Willard, UT, USA
Death: Died in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
Cause of death: Intestinal obstruction and gangreen of small intestine due to strangulated intestinal hernia
Occupation: married Logenis Olsen date unknown
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Charles Wesley Welker

SKETCH OF CHARLES WESLEY WELKER'S LIFE AS REMEMBERED BY MARY LUZON DRANEY HIS DAUGHTER (from Family Search): Willard Utah is a little town snuggled at the foot of the high mountains of the Wasatch Range. In this town lived a young couple named Jacob Stoker Welker, and Harriet Angeline Lish Welker. They were among the first settlers in Willard and the first couple to be married there, obtaining their sealing and their Endowments at the Council House at Salt Lake 31 March 1857. They were married February 1855 at Willard, Utah, which at that time was called Willow Creek. Their first child, Jacob Welker, was born 27 May 1856; died 1 May 1860 at Willard, Utah. Their second child, Harriet Ann Welker, was born 3 December 1857 at Willard, Utah. Their third child Charles Wesley Welker, was born 4 May 1850 at Willard, Utah.

There was great joy at the birth of this son because of having lost their first son. He was always a source of pride and happiness to them; he was taught to love the gospel and his Heavenly Father. He was also taught to have great faith in prayer and was a very religious boy and never neglected his priesthood activities. He helped his father on the farm and also took other work whenever he could to help his parents. He loved his parents very much and sincerely believed it was a child's duty to help their parents whenever they could. He was one of a family of twelve and as he became older and was able to earn more money he always helped his younger brothers and sisters. He always kept the Word of Wisdom and always paid his tithing and taught his children to do the same.

The year he became five years old his parents moved to Bloomington, Idaho. Being an intelligent person, he was always a leader in his classes and felt that a good education was very essential. At the age of fifteen he was President of the Mutual. He attended Paris Academy for two years. Also during 1881 and 1882 he attended BYU at Provo, where he had Professor Carl G. Maeser as a teacher. He loved this man and always considered this one of his great blessings in life. He taught school and was very highly respected and considered one of the leading young men of the community. He was a handsome man (6ft. 2 in. in his stocking feet), lots of dark brown hair and brown eyes, but I thought it more beautiful in latter years when it turned white. I have never seen more beautiful hair, not even a streak of yellow, just pure white and so thick.

In 1883 he helped his parents move to Safford Arizona, he ploughed, planted the seeds and helped them get settled. One day as he was plowing the ground he uncovered a seven-foot rattlesnake that had hibernated for the winter. He was not happy in Arizona and as soon as the crops were planted he returned to Bloomington, Idaho, leaving his parents and their family in Arizona. A short time after he returned to Bloomington, he met a young schoolteacher from Logan, Utah. They fell in love and made all arrangements to be married, but two weeks before they were to be married she became ill and died 26 July 1884. Her name was Logenia Olsen. This was a great shock to father and he grieved for her deeply.

On the 29 January 1885, my mother, Ruth Briscoe Welker, stood proxy for Logenia Olsen and had her sealed to her husband, Charles Wesley Welker Sr., the day after Father and Mother were married. Several months later father met a beautiful young convert from England. She and her sister were baptized and became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before they left England. They formally belonged to the Methodist Church. They came to the United States with a group of Elders returning from the Mission Field in England. Her name was Ruth Briscoe, born in Bottomboat, Yorkshire, England, 1 October 1868. They loved each other dearly and were married 28 January 1885, by M. W. Merrill in the Logan Temple, he (Charles Wesley Sr.) being 26 years and she (Ruth Briscoe) being 16 years old.

Mother was a great strength to father her faith never wavering; she walked beside him until her death. A wonderful Mother, wife and companion, never had an enemy in her life, always inspired and strengthened those around her. This marriage brought them twelve children as follows: Ruth Logenia born 5 December 1885; Chloe Rosella born 17 October 1887; Charles Wesley born 6 November 1889; Elma Undrea born 2 August 1892; Vivian Welker born 13 October 1894; George Eldo born 5 February 1897; Mary Luzon born 6 July 1899; Elton Vernon born 24 Jan 1902; Angeline Welker born 25 June 1904; Lowell Briscoe born 15 February 1907; Eulalia Welker born 21 November 1909; and Ethan Lish born 25 December 1914. George Eldo Welker died 27 August 1898, at Bloomington, Idaho, of spinal meningitis and pneumonia. Father and Mother never recovered from the death of this child. His suffering was so terrible they could not forget it or become reconciled to it.

Father and Mother lived in Bloomington, Idaho, the first years of their marriage. They had a small farm and father worked at odd jobs whenever he had time. He also taught school in Bloomington for a while. Later he freighted between Bloomington, Woodruff and Evanston, Wyoming. This being the time of plural marriages, father married mother's cousin, Margaret Ann Ward, in 1888. They were the parents of two boys, Victor Hazen Welker born 25 Jan 1890, Freedom, Wyoming, and Alma Lubin Welker born 25 November 1891 Woodruff, Utah.

Margaret Ann Ward had been married and sealed to Peter Cornia, before father married her. They were the parents of three girls, which were included in father's family. At the time of this marriage there was much bitterness toward plural marriages, the Manifesto becoming law 24 September 1890, it was therefore necessary to separate the families, so father moved Aunt Margaret into Star Valley Wyoming, in a home on Salt Creek a few miles south of Thayne, Wyoming. Because of heavy snow fall that winter father was not able to get a team through, so he made several trips walking on snow shoes from Bloomington, Idaho to Star Valley, Wyoming, carrying supplies on his back to take care of them. This was not a happy marriage and eventually ended in divorce.

Father loved his two sons dearly; his sorrow was great because he knew they would belong to the family of Aunt Margaret and her first husband. They lived with us much of the time while they were growing up, but as they grew older realizing their mother was sealed to her first husband and that they would belong to that family, they became more sympathetic with their mother. She later married Cornia Edwards. Aunt Margaret lived, died and was buried in Ogden, Utah. We all loved Victor and Lubin very much; in fact Elma and Lubin all have happy memories of them as brothers we loved.

In 1891 father homesteaded a piece of land in Woodruff, Utah; the family alternating between Bloomington where they went to school in the winter and Woodruff where they homesteaded in the summer time. They moved to Woodruff May 10, 1899, going by team and wagon, and they arrived May 12,1899. Father sold part of the homestead and bought and home and a small store in town. The older children and mother were able to take car of the store part of the time and father was able to do some freighting to Bloomington, Evanston, and Kemmerer.

In the spring of 1904 father traded all his property in Woodruff for 160 acres in Star Valley, Wyoming. He took Wesley, Chloe, Elma and Lubin and Olie Henderson (a boy that lived with them for quite a few years), with him to Star Valley. They moved with wagon and team, the children walking most of the way driving cattle behind the wagon. Logenia stayed with Mother and the younger children in Woodruff. Mother was expecting a child in June and was unable to travel in the wagon. Angeline was born 25 June 1904. Father came back with team and wagon and moved Mother and the rest of the family to Star Valley the first part of August 1904.

The land they bought in Star Valley was located in the mouth of a Canyon; rolling hills as a south border and Stump Creek running along the north side of the ranch. They raised different kinds of grain and alfalfa. There was plenty of water for irrigating. The land was entirely fenced and there was a lane running through the center for traveling. There was quite a lot of trouble with the Indians at the time they move to the valley. Several people were killed by the Indians during the first year Mother and Father lived in the Valley. The children that were left on the ranch to take care of the cattle while Father went back to Woodruff to get Mother were very frightened at being left alone. They were young and inexperienced and had many difficult experiences. Father and Mother taught their children to have great faith in their Heavenly Father and the he was only a prayer away.

Father liked the Indians and made friends with them whenever he could. When they came to the house he fed them. Father always said it was better to feed them than to fight them. Some times a group of Indians would sit by the house for hours at a time, but they never interfered with our work. Father and Mother worked very hard. Father was up at 4:30 every morning the year round. He was very strict with his children. Each child had his own responsibilities according to his age and we were expected to take care of them without any complaints or arguing. Every day was started with all the family kneeling around the table in prayer, each child taking his turn. And almost every morning we could look forward to hot biscuits for breakfast with Mother's delicious jam and preserves.

When our work was done we were free to wander over the hills, picking arms full of wild flowers, which were more beautiful than those you raised at home, also wild fruit in the summer. We were a happy family, active in the church and seldom missed a meeting. We lived about one mile west of Auburn and walked much of the time to church and school. There was a cemetery between the ranch and town and at night we were some times very frightened especially if it was thundering and lightening, to pass the cemetery – but it usually helped us to get home in a hurry.

They had quite a few milk cows, Mother and the older children helped with the milking. The last few years we were on the farm father collected milk from the other ranchers and hauled it to the Creamery in Afton. This was very hard work lifting the cans of milk onto the wagon. Some times they used two wagons and the boys helped him. They raised a large garden on the ranch, Mother and all the children that were able to distinguish between weeds and garden plants, helped. Mother always raised many beautiful flowers. They also raised red, white and black currants. In the fall father would go to Logan and bring back a load of fruit. Mother and the girls would can hundreds of quarts of fruit, vegetables, pickles and preserves (Mother's canned foods were delicious).

They bought their supplies in large quantities, especially in the fall and storing them for winter use. The snow was very deep in the winter, covering the fences and we did not travel more than was necessary. But oh the happy times we had sleigh riding and skiing. Large groups of people from town would come and we would all go together and enjoy these activities, the location of our place being just right for these activities. In the summer many herds of sheep passed thru our lane. We children liked to watch them.

Many times there were new lambs that were unable to follow the herd and the herders would give them to the children and they would take them home and feed them with the bottle and how we loved and enjoyed them. All the children liked horse back riding. They spent many happy hours that way. Also horses were used as a way of transportation. Father moved to Blackfoot, Idaho, in 1909 where Eulalia was born 21 November 1909. They came back to the ranch in Star Valley in 1910.

The last few years on the ranch the water in the well became very low and all the drinking water and most of the water used in the house was brought from Stump Creek, some carried by the older children and some in milk cans. In the spring this stream was high, swift and dangerous, but in the summer the children spent many happy hours, wadding along the edge for the younger ones and learning to swim in the shallow parts for the older ones. There was always an older child to chaperone the younger ones. Many berries grew along the banks of the creek chokecherries, service berries, yellow and black currants, wild strawberries and wild grapes. These were picked and used each year. Mother never wasted anything that was good for her family. Her canning was extra special and delicious.

Fishing was very good in Stump Creek and the boys and father caught many fish. It was always a pleasant way to spend a few hours in the evening. One day I was in the lower part of the field and I found a small hollow where the water had run while Father was irrigating. Most of the water had dried up, but I could see a large fish. I wadded in the water and caught the fish. It was all that I could manage, I being about seven years old. Mother was not very happy about the appearance of my dress when I got home, but I really though I caught a whaler. (It weighted about six pounds.) Many times the fish would swim right out on the land with the irrigating water.

During the spring and summer we always enjoyed the mushrooms. After a storm we would take a dishpan and go out in the sagebrush about the ranch and fill it with mushrooms. Mother had taught us how to choose the ones there were edible. They were delicious fried in butter. Father and Mother and the children were all active in the church and held many positions in the ward. Ruth Logenia taught school in Auburn. She was my first schoolteacher and was I ever proud. How I loved her, not only then but all her life and forever.

As the boys became older they were able to take care of some of the milk hauling and farming, thus giving father more time to do freighting again between Bloomington, Evanston and Kemmerer. Father's back was getting very bad again because of so much lifting, so he traded part of the ranch for a home in Auburn and did milk hauling as a full time job. About this time my oldest brother was called on a mission to Australia and New Zealand leaving Father with just the younger boys to help him. They worked very hard with him, but his health kept getting worse until he was unable to handle the milk hauling, so they sold all their property in Star Valley and bought a home in Logan at 501 East 2nd South. This place had a lovely home, pasture, and barn where Dad could keep a few milk cows and some chickens, a lovely orchard and plenty of space for a garden, with plenty of irrigating water. This place was the fulfillment of all their dreams. They loved every inch of it. They were very happy for about four years.

Father and the boys taking care of the place and odd jobs, mostly janitorial at the hospital in Logan. He also worked at the Sugar Beet Factory. Then father began loosing the use of his legs, from arthritis. In September 1924 he had a stroke and was not able to work any more. Mother and the children were able to take care of him and the place for a few years, but it was too much for mother. Father was a large man, weighting about 250 pounds, lifting him around broke her health and she developed cancer and was operated on the 23 May 1934.

At that time we brought Father to Salt Lake. Lowell took him to his home for a month and was very good to him, doing everything he could to make him comfortable. We took father to several doctors, but they said at his age he could not stand the treatment it would take to help him (he being 75 years old). He was so helpless and heavy we could not handle him, so it was necessary to put him in the hospital in Salt Lake. He was not happy about this but we did not know of anything else to do with him.

Mother came to Salt Lake after she recuperated from her operation and stayed until the next spring to be near father. She wanted to be with him on their Golden Wedding Anniversary, which was the 28th of Jan 1935. It became necessary for Mother to be operated on again for cancer the 30 July 1935. She died 1 August 1935 and was buried 4 August 1935 in Bloomington Idaho Cemetery beside her son George Eldo Welker. This was a great loss for all of us especially Father. I t left him so very lonely and he wished he could go with her. There were only three children in Salt Lake. We tried to visit him as often as we could. We were able to take him out of the Hospital at different time to take him for rides and especially on his birthdays. We tried to have as many of the family together as possible for a reunion. We always took father out of the hospital to be with us and he enjoyed it very much.

On his last birthday we made a large three-layer cake and put 80 candles on it. He liked it very much, but he was not feeling very well that day and we were only able to keep him a short time. Sometimes there are parts of our lives we would all like to live over again, this is one I would like to live over again, because I would never again put him in the hospital. Our intentions were good but not wise. Father had a bad hernia for many years and on the October 6 1939 it became necessary to operate on him. Gangrene set in (he being 80 years old) it was more than he could stand and he passed away October 6, 1939, at Salt Lake City, Utah.

His funeral was held at Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, on the 9 October 1939 and he was laid to rest beside his beloved wife and little son, George Eldo Welker, in the Bloomington Cemetery where most of his relatives are buried. Nearly all the people in Bloomington were related to us. Father had bought a lot when Eldo died and requested he be buried there. Father did temple work for about 200 men while living in Logan. He was re-baptized and ordained an Elder 27 May 1877. This was the custom of the church to be re-baptized before accepting any high position in the Church. This being the first ordination in the Melchizedek Priesthood he considered this a major step in his life, so he was re-baptized just before his first marriage. He was ordained a Seventy 3 October 1886, by William H. Allred; ordained a High Priest 6 Jan 1917, by Arthur Burton.

He was Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent, Assistant Ward Clerk and Ward Clerk. We the descendants of Charles Wesley Welker have much to be thankful for in the heritage he has left us. I am very proud of my father and only wish he could have had better care during the last few years of his life. He didn't live one kind of life and tell his children to live another kind. He set an example for them to follow. He loved the gospel and lived according to its teachings and taught it to his children. We were taught to honor the Priesthood, that God lives; that he hears and answers our prayer; to love and respect each other in the home; to pay tithing; to be honest and to keep the word of wisdom.

His worldly possessions were limited, but his testimony of the gospel never wavered. Father and Mother raised a family of twelve children. They worked hard all of their lives. I have often thought if father had been able to receive the kind of medication and therapy he needed at the time he needed it, he may not have spent the last fifteen years of his life as an invalid. Those years of his life required a great amount of courage, endurance and faith to keep from becoming bitter and discouraged. I wonder if any of us could endure the suffering he did as well as he did.

As I stood by his bed holding his hand he opened his eyes looking straight up and his last words were, "Dear God Forgive Me," then he closed his eyes and passed in to eternity. May we all be as worthy to meet our Heavenly Father, as he was, a beloved husband and father. Funeral Services of Charles Wesley Welker Sr., held October 9, 1939, at Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho. Prelude and Postlude Music by Marie Haddock, Bishop Joseph P. Patterson presiding, Song-Why Should We Strive For Earthy Things-by the choir, conducted by A. C. Christensen, Invocation –David A Krogue Song- My Prayer- by the choir, Speaker-Bishop John A. Hulme, Song- In The Garden- Duet by Don Windley and Vilda Windley, Father's niece and her son, Speaker-Oliver C. Dunford (a boyhood friend), Remarks- by Bishop Joseph P. Patterson, Song-Nearer Dear Savior To Thee-by the choir, Benediction-by Thomas E. Ward

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Charles Wesley Welker's Timeline

1859
May 4, 1859
Willard, UT, USA
1885
December 5, 1885
Age 26
BLOOMINGTON, BEAR LAKE, Idaho, United States
1887
October 17, 1887
Age 28
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1888
1888
Age 28
1889
November 6, 1889
Age 30
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1890
January 25, 1890
Age 30
Almy, Wyoming, USA
1891
November 25, 1891
Age 32
Woodruff, Rich, Utah, USA
1892
August 2, 1892
Age 33
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1894
October 13, 1894
Age 35
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1897
February 5, 1897
Age 37
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA