Eliza Madsen Welker

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Eliza Welker (Madsen)

Birthplace: Rostrup, Aalborg, Nordjylland, Danmark
Death: Died in Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States
Place of Burial: Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Jacob Madsen and Dorthea Christine Madsen
Wife of Alfred Welker
Mother of Alfred Franklin Welker; <private> Welker; Amy Letitia Welker Merrill; Dorthea Annnie Welker; James Jacob Welker and 1 other
Sister of Christen Madsen; Hans Jacobsen Madsen; Anna Madsen Salisbury; Christian Madsen; Niels Madsen and 4 others

Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Eliza Welker (Madsen)

Eliza was born in Denmark to Jacob and Dorothea Christensen and the family came to the United States in 1857 after joining the Mormon Church in Denmark in 1855. Jacob was known as Jacob Christensen in Denmark, following the patronymic system of naming, since his father's name was Christen Madsen. Jacob's own children, while living in Denmark, followed the same system and went by the surname of Jacobsen. Upon arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1857 with the Mathias Cowley Company, they all took the name of their paternal grandfather, Madsen.

The family left their home in Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark, and spent the winter of 1856-1957 in Hurup, Als, Denmark. When they left Hurup, Denmark, they sailed from Copenhagen on the steamer "L.N. Hvidt," and arrived at Grimsby, England, April 21st in the afternoon, then the journey was continued the following day by rail to Liverpool. They sailed from Liverpool, England, on April 25, 1857, aboard the ship "Westmoreland" and arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1857. While on board the ship the evening of April 24th, five young couples were married. The Jacob Christianson family are listed on the ship's roster as follows:

Jacob Christianson, age 50, Farmer, Dorothea Christianson, age 39, wife, Hans Christianson, age 18, farmer, Annie Christianson, age 6, Neils Christianson, age 2, Eliza Christianson, age 7, Anton P. Christianson, age 4, Inger, infant, and Franklin, Infant. One of their sons, Christian, who was born in 1844 in Denmark, had already come to the U.S. with another family in 1853 at the age of 9 years old. It evidently took a while for the family to divest themselves of their land and possessions in Denmark before they could join Christian in Utah.

On June 2, the family traveled by rail from Philadelphia, via Baltimore, Wheeling, and then Iowa City, Iowa on July 9, 1857. Travel conditions were so terrible on the way to Iowa that they lost their youngest son, Franklin during the journey. The balance of the way to the valley was difficult and heart rending. About June 15th, the company commenced the journey toward the Great Salt Lake Valley from Iowa City with an ox-train, under the captain Elder Matthias Cowley. They arrived in Salt Lake City September 13, 1857.

When they arrived in Salt Lake City, it was during the coming of Johnson's Army, so after several days, they were sent south with the other saints. They remained in Nephi for the rest of the years of 1857 and 1858, and then moved to Ogden. In about 1863, they moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, where Eliza's father died at the age of 73 in about 1878. Several of the Madsen siblings married into the Welker family, including Eliza, Inger Marie and Christian. Eilza married Alfred Welker, Inger married James Welker, and Christian married Louisa Roxana Welker. Louisa Roxana Welker's father was John Welker, and James and Alfred Welker were John's nephews, being the sons of John's brother, James Wilburn Welker.

The Welker family members were Mormon Pioneers of 1852 arriving in the Isaac Stewart Company, and had first come to America in the 1700's from Germany. They had settled in North Carolina and then moved west into Ohio about the beginning of the 1800's. They were also very early converts to the Mormon Church, and after they were driven out of Ohio, went to Missouri, where the Mormon's were again driven out, and then to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they stayed until after the death of Joseph Smith, Jr., in 1844. They were in Iowa in 1851 before leaving for Utah, and my second great grandmother, Louisa Roxana Welker Madsen, was born there that year to John Welker and his wife, Roxana Mahalia Dustin Welker.

Eliza married Alfred Welker in about 1869 in Bear Lake County, Idaho. Her brother, Christian, married Roxanna Louisa Welker, about the same time. In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Bloomington, Eliza was 21 and Alfred, 23, and their son Alfred F., 8 months old. Next door is Eliza's brother, Christian Madsen, 25, his wife, Louisa Roxana Welker Madsen 19, and their one year old daughter, Dortha, my great grandmother. Next door are Eliza and Christian's parents, Jacob Madsen, 64, his wife Christina, 53, and their sons Neils, 23, and Jacob, 10. Christian and Jacob were also working as farmers. The value of Christian's real estate was $400 and his personal estate $200. The value of Jacob's real estate was $500 and his personal estate $600,and Alfred's real estate was valued at $350 and his personal estate $200.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, Eliza, 30 was living with Alfred, 33, and their children, David E., 8, Amy L., 5, and Jacob, one month old. Alfred was still working as a farmer in this census record. In about 1883 many of the Madsen and Welker family members moved from Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, to Safford, Arizona. Christian and his wife Louisa Roxana Welker Madsen owned a livery stable there and for a while ran the Groesbeck Hotel located in Safford, Arizona.

Sadly on Christmas Day in 1896, for some reason, Eliza's husband Alfred Welker passed away. I do not know the cause of his death, however.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Graham County, Arizona Territory, Eliza was a 51 year old widow, and living with her were her two sons, David, 28, and Arthur, 17. Her son Jacob had already passed away by 1900. There was no occupation listed for any of the family members, but they owned their home free of a mortgage.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Safford, Graham County, Arizona, Eliza was 60 and is living with her son David, 38, and David was working as a salesman in a retail liquor store, which is odd considering the family were all Mormons! Next door was Eliza's brother, Christian Madsen, his wife Roxana Louisa, who are 65 and 58, and two of their children, Bertie (Louisa Albertina was her full name), 30, and Roy (Royal Eller was his full name), 24. Also in Christian's home was his father-in-law, John Welker, 84 who was also a widow, his wife Roxana Mahalia Dustin Welker, having passed away in 1904.

The census record states that Eliza immigrated from Denmark to America in 1855, and Christian in 1854, so this is slightly different that the immigration records above showing Eliza arrived in 1857. The record indicates that Eliza had had 7 children, 3 of whom are still living. Christian and Roxana Louisa had been married 42 years and had 10 children, 7 of whom are still living.

In this census record Christian was listed as the owner of a livery stable, his son Roy was working as a teamster at the livery stable, and both John Welker and his daughter Eliza Madsen Welker, have their "own income" according to the census. This census record was enumerated in April, and sadly, Eliza passed away 8 months later in December of 1910. She was buried in the Safford City Cemtery in Safford, Graham County, Arizona.

Eliza's son David Ephram Welker, born August 6, 1871, passed away on July 5, 1955, in Safford, and his death certificate says his cause of death was: "patient died suddenly from syncope". I had never heard of the word syncope before, but a Google search resulted in the following meaning: the medical term for fainting or passing out, and is precisely defined as a transient loss of consciousness and postural tone, characterized by rapid onset, short duration, and spontaneous recovery, due to low blood flow to the brain that most often results from low blood pressure. Considering David was almost 84 years old at the time of his death, this does not seem to be unusual. David was single at the time of his death and I'm not sure if he ever married or had any children.

Arthur Elijah Welker, was born February 15, 1883, in Idaho, and passed away, February 28, 1926. Aruthur married Mary Belle Greenhalgh, 1887-1955. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Arthur was 27, and living with his wife, Mary, 22, in the home of her father, Joseph Greenhalgh, 60, and mother, Lucelia, 52, and her siblings, Robert, 32, Alma, 16, Lester, 13, Samuel, 11, and Dawaine, 6. Alfred's occupation at the time was that of a barber. I believe Alfred and Mary had at least one son, Alfred Melvin, and possibly other children.

Eliza's daughter, Amy Letitia Welker, born April 25, 1875, and passed away November 12, 1973. She married Morgan Clair Merrill, 1897-1918, and they had at least five children. One son in particular was Morgan Clair Merrill, Jr., born August 14, 1897, who passed away February 7, 1918, and died in the service of his country at Chelsea, Massachusetts. Perhaps he had been stationed there during World War I.

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Eliza Madsen Welker's Timeline

April 22, 1849
Rostrup, Aalborg, Nordjylland, Danmark
November 25, 1869
Age 20
April 25, 1875
Age 26
August 11, 1877
Age 28
May 15, 1880
Age 31
April 19, 1887
Age 37
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho
December 31, 1910
Age 61
Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States
January 1911
Age 61
Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States