Louisa Alberta Branch

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Louisa Alberta Branch (Madsen)

Birthplace: Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Death: Died in Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA
Place of Burial: Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA, Block 24, Lot 1, Space 3
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Christian Jacobsen Madsen and Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen
Wife of William Lyman Branch
Sister of Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins; John Christian Madsen; Jacob Ezra Madsen; Aseneath Musette Bingham; Zina Albertina Madsen and 4 others

Occupation: Married William Branch, 7/1/1916 in Safford, AZ. No children.
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Louisa Alberta Branch

Louisa Alberta Madsen was the 6th child of Christian Jacobsen Madsen and his wife Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen. She was known to the family as Bertie. Bertie was born in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, May 5, 1879. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Bloomington, the family was listed as follows: Christian, 35, Louisa, 27, Dorathy, 11, John, 9, Ezra, 7, Musetta, 5, and Alberta, 1 year old. Another sister, Zina Albertina, had passed away as an infant in 1878. Christian was working as a laborer, his wife, Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen, was keeping house, and all of the children were in school. Their oldest daughter's name was Dortha Roxana Madsen, and was listed incorrectly by the census taker. Christian was born in Denmark, as were both of his parents, and Louisa Roxana Welker was born in Iowa, and her parents, John Welker of Ohio and Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, of New York, were just starting to cross the plains with the Mormon Church in the Isaac Stewart Company of 1852. They arrived in Utah in September that year.

In 1883 the Madsen family moved from Bloomington, Idaho, to Safford, Arizona, along with other Madsen and Welker family members. In 1885 Bertie's sister, Dortha, married John Henry Rollins, Jr, and they had two children, Dorthea Evelyn in 1886, and John Delbert Rollins in 1888. Sadly, the following year, John Henry Rollins, Jr., was killed in a tragic accident when he fell from a wagon and the wheels of the wagon crushed his head and he died the day before Christmas in 1889. Dortha did not remarry for another 8 years, when she married Joseph Thomas McKinney, an Arizona sheriff, and they had four more children, Dan Carroll McKinney in 1898, Thelma Josephine in 1899, Joseph Madsen McKinney in 1901 (who died before his 3rd birthday in 1904), and Gladys Violet in 1904. Dortha later moved to California in the early 1900's and lived in Bakersfield in 1920 and Los Angeles in 1930, and died in Simi Valley, California, in 1953, when she had been living with her daughter, Thelma and her husband, Stephan Ernst Riess, a noted geologist from Germany.

In 1893, Bertie's older brother, John Christian Madsen, married Caroline Perkins, and they had six children, John Wilford, Carl Edward, Joe Abraham, who died as a baby, Louisa Elizabeth, Glenna Melba, and Dorothy Ulah. In 1896, Bertie's brother Jacob Ezra, married Ella Owens, and they ran a successful shoe store in Safford for many years, but they never had any children. Bertie's sister, Aseneth Musette, known as Aunt Zettie, married Hyrum Smith Bingham and they had two children, a son Hyrum Glenn and daughter, Fern. Sadly, Fern, died during childbirth in 1945, and her baby daughter also died shortly thereafter. They were both buried together in the same grave.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Graham County, Arizona, The Madsen's were listed as follows: Christian, 55, Roxana L., 48, Louisa A., 21, Sylvia E., 18, and Royal E., 14. Christian and Roxana had been married for 25 years, had given birth to 9 children, 6 of whom were still living. Three other children, Zina Albertina, Joseph and Rosa May had died as babies. In this census Christian owned a livery stable, and he owned his home free from a mortgage.

Bertie's sister, Sylvia Elizabeth, married George Moyers Elledge in 1907 and they had two children, a son, George Madsen, but he died as an infant, and a daughter, Kay Aileen, who was born in 1911. She lived a long life and died in 1997, but never had any children. She was a lesbian and some family members said that she had a partner in her life, but I don't know the name of her life partner.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Safford, Graham County, Arizona, Chris Madsen, 65, and his wife, Roxana Louisa, listed as R.L. Madsen, 68, were living with their daughter, Bertie, 30, son, Roy, 24, and John Welker, Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen's father, an 84 year old widower, his wife, Roxanna Mahala Dustin Welker, having passed away in 1904. Christian was still the owner of a livery stable and his son, Roy, was working as a teamster for the livery stable. John Welker was not working but had his own income. John Welker passed away three years later in 1913 at the age of 86 from a stroke.

Bertie married William Lyman Branch on July 1, 1916, in Safford, Graham, Arizona, when she was 37 years old. He was the son of Augustus and Dorcas Ann Morris Branch. His father had passed away in 1892 when he was only 10 years old. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Graham County, Arizona, William, 18, was living with his mother, Dorcas, 40, and step-father, John Williams, 50, and siblings, Orson, 16, Wallace, 14, Ophelia, 12, Mae Anna, 10, Augusta, 7, and half-brother, Nephi Williams, 11 months old. William's step-father, John, was working as a photographer, William and his brother, Orson as loggers at a mill, and his brother Wallace as a farm laborer.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Bertie and William were living on Thatcher Road in Safford with her widowed father and her youngest brother, and they were listed as follows: Christian, 75, Roy E., 34, Alberta L., 40, and William, 38. Bertie's mother, Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen had passed away in 1918 at the age of 66 from apoplexy, which was what they called a stroke in those days. According to the census record, her father, Christian, had come to America in 1854, and was naturalized in 1870. Bertie's brother, Roy, was working as a laborer doing "general work" and her husband, William, was working as a cowboy on a stock ranch. Bertie's father, Christian Madsen, passed away the following year, 1921 at the age of 77 also from apoplexy or a stroke.

Sadly, in 1925, Bertie's niece, Glenna Melba Madsen (John Christian Madsen's daughter) committed suicide at the very young age of only 20 years old. She shot herself with a .22 rifle, and death was nearly instantaneous. She had been ill with tuberculosis, and evidently did not want to be a burden to her parents as her health got progressively worse, which she evidently expected as she watched herself losing weight daily.

By the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Bertie, 50, and William, 48, were living in Miami, Gila County, Arizona, in Dairy Canyon on Elam Avenue. Living with them was Bertie's brother, Roy, 44. William and Bertie owned their own home which was valued at $2,800 and they had a radio in their home. They had been married for 13 years, but had no children. William was working as a repairman in a smelter and her brother, Roy, was working as a cowboy on a ranch.

Sadly, Bertie's brother, Royal Eller Madsen, took his own life with a .45 revolver in 1931 when he was only about 43 years old. He had supposedly been despondent over ill health and decided to end his life. I'm sure his death was a real blow to the family. Just a few years later, Bertie's brother, John Ezra Madsen passed away in 1936 at a pretty young age, however, his wife, Mary Ella Owens Madsen, lived another 13 years and passed away in 1949.

In 1940 Bertie and Will were listed in the census as William, 58, and Alberta, 60, and were living on Elam Road in Claypool, Gila, Arizona. They owned their home which was valued at $1,000. William had a 6th grade education and Bertie an 8th grade education. William was working as an electrical repairman for a copper smelter and for the 40 weeks he worked at 40 hours per week in 1939, his income was $1,854.

Bertie's brother-in-law, Hyrum Smith Bingham, passed away in 1951, the husband of Bertie's sister, Aseneth Musette Madsen Bingham. Then just two years later, Bertie's eldest sister, Dortha Roxana Madsen McKinney, passed away at the age of 84 in August of 1953, from a stroke, and was brought back to Safford, Arizona, for burial after having been living in California for many years.

Then just two years later, Hyrum Bingham and Aseneth Musette Madsen Bingham's son, Hyrum Glenn Bingham, passed away in 1955, and then in the following year, 1956, Aunt Zettie herself passed away after being paralyzed for a number of years. Her sister, Bertie, took care of her for quite a while before Zettie's death.

Bertie and William had moved back to Safford, and were living at 514 South 1st Avenue in 1956 when our family gathered on their front porch after the funeral of my grandmother, Dorthea Evelyn Rollins, Bertie's niece, who passed away in April of 1956 from a heart attack. She was only 67 years old at he time of her death. Will and Bertie's home is still there, and according to a Google map, is next door to a Mexican restaurant named Casa Manana, which means house of tomorrow, ironically.

Bertie's husband, William Lyman Branch, passed away two years later on June 6, 1958, at the Safford Inn Hosptial from a cerebral incident as well as apoplexy (again, a stroke) and diabetes mellitis. His death certificate indicated that he was working for a mining company at the time of his death. He was buried in the Safford Cemetery on June 9, 1958. I remember my parents and I went to visit Aunt Bertie in Arizona sometime during the summer of 1958, probably not long after her husband William had passed away. I was only 7 years old at the time of the visit.

Great Aunt Bertie herself lived another 14 years and passed away at the age of 92 years old on April 26, 1972, and was buried with her husband in the Safford City Cemetery. She was the last of the Christian and Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen's children to die.

Bertie's nephews Carl Edward Madsen, and John Wilford Madsen, the sons of her brother, John Christian, passed away in 1952 and 1962 respectively, but I'm not sure when his daughter, Louisa Elizabeth Madsen, passed away. Louisa's younger sister, Dorothy Ulah, was the last of their children to leave this earth in 1990 while living in Hawaii. Dorthy had 2 sons, William and Martin, and I think they both still live in Hawaii at this time.

So that is the story of the Madsen family as I know it.

Della Dale Smith

July 21, 2015

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Louisa Alberta Branch's Timeline

May 5, 1879
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
April 26, 1972
Age 92
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA
April 1972
Age 92
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA, Block 24, Lot 1, Space 3