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Anna Welker (Pugh)

Also Known As: "Anna", "Annie Pugh Welker"
Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, United States
Death: August 9, 1893 (72)
Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, United States
Place of Burial: Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Daniel Pugh and Martha "Patty" Harris
Wife of James Wilburn Welker, Sr.
Mother of Alfred Welker; Hettie Esther Dunn; Philena Welker; Orlena Emaline Palmer; James Albert Welker and 5 others
Sister of John Pugh; Mary Stephenson; Susan Bright; Jane Alexander; Ivin Pugh and 8 others

Occupation: Married James Wilburn Welker in 1845
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Anna Welker

The book "Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude" by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers has the following biography for Annie Pugh Welker, who is the wife of Elizabeth Stoker Welker's eldest living son, James Wilburn Welker. Elizabeth appears to have lived with them and their story gives additional insight into Elizabeth's life.

Annie married James Wilburn Welker on Feb. 17th or the 23rd of 1845 in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. James Wilburn Welker's family had established themselves on a farm not far from the town of Carthage, Illinois, where the founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred by mobs while they were held captive in the Carthage Jail.

The Welker family in their histories recall this challenging time for members of the church. The Mormons were eventually driven out of the State of Illinois. They established several temporary communities within the State of Iowa. A major encampment of these refugees was at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. Annie and her husband, their three children, along with other members of the Welker family joined the Isaac Stewart Company for their pioneer trek to the valley of the Great Salt Lake.

Capt. Isaac Stewart's Company consisted of 245 souls, of which James Wilburn Welker was the captain of a group of ten wagons. They left Kanesville, Iowa in June, 1852, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on Aug. 28, 1852. Annie and her husband made their first home in Mountainville, Alpine, Utah, a little town about forty miles from Salt Lake City. Their first home was a dugout in the side of the mountain. They lived here only about one winter and then moved to Willard where Annie's husband built the first molasses mill in that town.

During the Summer of 1864, the family moved to Bloomington, Idaho in Bear Lake Valley. One of Annie's children recalls walking all the way, barefooted driving the sheep, cows, and pigs. They entered the valley on July 4, 1864. In order to spend the few remaining weeks of warm weather in planting and preparing food for the coming winter, the Welker family lived in a brush shanty made by driving four posts in the ground and covering the roof and sides with brush.

For the winter they built a two-room log home, 18' by 20' with a blacksmith shop in between. The house had a dirt roof and floor with no windows. Arriving as late as July 4th, their planting was done about six weeks late. Then an early and extremely severe winter set in so their wheat was frozen before it ripened. The flour brought from Utah gave out before the winter was over so their main article of diet was bread made from this frozen wheat which Annie ground in a coffee mill. For a change they cooked this ground wheat in milk.

The winter was so severe that all but one lamb from their small flock of sheep died. It had to be saved, otherwise there would be no food except the frozen wheat, so they raised this lamb in the house. Annie and her husband James lived a life of service to their family, their community, and their church and God. Family history indicates that they were very active in church responsibilities with James serving for some time as a Bishop and a High Councilman.

Following is some additional information taken from census records, which show that James, Annie, and his plural wife, Susan Caroline Stevenson, (Annie's niece) lived near each for nearly 30 years until Annie's death in 1893.

James Wilburn Welker married Susan Caroline Stevenson June 20, 1863, in Salt Lake City and they had 8 children. James served as a Bishop, and as an alternate high councilor. He was a member of the Nauvoo Legion. He had been living in Alpine, Utah in 1853, then moved to Willard, Utah, and Bloomington, Idaho in 1863. James was noted for erecting one of the first sawmills at Bloomington.

In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Bloomington, Bear Lake (then Rich County), Idaho, dated July 22nd, Susan Caroline Stephenson Welker was living next door to her plural husband, James Wilburn Welker, who was living with his first wife, Annie Pugh Welker, Susan's aunt. Susan, 37, was living with her children, Alice, (the daughter of her previous husband Mr. Young), 12, Isabella, 5, Evaline, 4, Sarah, 2, and Marion, 6 months old. Living next door with James Wilburn Welker, 45, and his first wife, Annie, 49, were their children, James A., 19, Adam, 17, Gilbert, 15, Wilbern, 13, Ephraim, 10, and Rebecca, 6. James Wilburn Welker was working as a blacksmith and his real estate was valued at $500 and his personal estate at $800.

Next door on the other side was Harvey Alvaro Dunn, 21, and his wife, Hettie, 21 (James Wilburn Welker and Annie Pugh Welker's daughter), and Harvey and Hettie's son, Harvey A., Jr., who was one year old.

Next door to them was George 32, and Georgianna Osmond, 33, and their children, Clara, 14, George, 12, Alfred, 9, Rosa, 7, Ira, 5, and Ida 1. George and Georgianna were the great-great grandparents of Donny and Marie Osmond, the singing duo from the 1970's. Later Clara Osmond would marry into the Welker family when she married James Wilburn Welker and Annie Pugh Welker's son, Adam Pugh Welker.

Next door to them was John Welker, 44, James Wilburn Welker's brother, (and my 3rd great grandfather) and John's wife, Roxanna Mahala Dustin Welker, 36, and their two children, Roxanna Louisa, 19, and John Eller, 17. Also living in their home was Rebecca Malinda Stephens, 11, (John's niece and the daughter of his sister Rebecca Welker Stephens, who had passed away in 1863 shortly after the birth of her 5th child), and Levi J. Dustin, 5, Roxanna Mahala Dustin Welker's nephew. His mother had also passed away, and he was sent to live with his aunt and uncle, probably because they only had 2 children of their own, whereas Roxanna's brother Seth (Levi's father) had many other children.

Next door to them was Christian Madsen, 24, (my 2nd great grandfather,) and his wife, Roxanna Louisa Welker Madsen, 18, and their daughter, Dortha Roxanna Madsen who was one year old. Oddly, Roxanna Louisa was listed in the census record living in both her parents and her husband's home, first as being 19 years old (in her parents home) and second as being 18 years old (in her husband's home). Why she was listed twice on the same census page is unknown, since Roxanna Louisa Welker and Christian Madsen were married in October of 1867 by George Q. Cannon in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. George Q. Cannon was an apostle of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the 1880 U.S. Census for Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, dated June 13th, Susan, 48, was listed with her children, Isabella J., 15, Susan E., 14, Francis M., 10, Sarah, 12, Harrison A., 7, Abraham, 5, Catherine, 3 and Caroline, 3 years old. Two doors down was her husband, James Wilburn Welker, 55, his first wife, Annie, 59, and their children, Wilburn, 23, Ephraim, 20, and Rebecca Ann, 16. James was working as a farmer.

A few doors down was James' brother, John Welker, 50, his wife, Roxanna M., 46, and their nephew, Levi J. Dustin, 14. Next door was their son, John Eller Welker, 26, and his wife, Sarah Ann Thornock Welker, 24, and their two children, Sarah, 4, and John P., 2. John Welker was working as a farmer and his son John Eller as a laborer.

A few doors down was James Albert Welker, 29, James Wilburn's son, and his wife, Ingar, 25, (Christian Madsen's sister, Inger Marie Madsen), and their daughter, Clara, 3, and son James A., 9 months old. Next door was Adam Pugh Welker, 24, (son of James Wilburn and Annie Pugh Welker), and his wife, Clara Osmond Welker, 23, and their son Anson, 1 year old.

Sadly, four of Susan's children died from diphtheria in 1881, including 14 year old Susan, 11 year old Francis Marion, and her two youngest twin daughters, Catherine Almira and Caroline Alvira, who were only 4 years old at the time of their deaths.

By 1883, many of the Welker, Madsen, Dustin and Stevens families left Bloomington, Idaho, and moved to Safford, Arizona. John Welker and his younger brother, Adam, and their families were among those who made the move, but James Wilburn Welker and his families stayed in Idaho. James's first wife, and Susan's aunt, Anna Pugh Welker, born January 21, 1821, passed away August 9, 1893, in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, and was buried in the Bloomington Cemetery. Anna's father, Daniel Pugh, had been born 1782 in England and came to America in 1843 and settled first in North Carolina. Her mother, Martha Harris, was born in 1787, in North Carolina, and died in Utah in 1853, per Find A Memorial #38426813 for Anna.

By the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, taken on the 11th of June, James W. Welker, 75, and Susan Caroline Weker, 68, were listed with their two younger children, Harrison A., 28, and Abraham, 24,. Next door was Gilbert Welker, 44, James' son with Annie, and Gilbert's wife, Charlotte, 42, and their children Mary S., 16, Lawrence, 23, Albert 10, Bardella, 8, Carson, 6, Alfred, 4, and Laura, 1 year old.

According to Find A, Susan Caroline Stephenson Welker passed away September 22, 1907, in Magrath, Alberta, Canada. I don't know if she was there on a visit or if she had left James and moved to Canada for some reason. James Wilburn Welker passed away less than 5 years later on May 4, 1912, in Bloomington, at the age of 87 and was buried in the Bloomington Cemetery with his first wife, Anna Pugh Welker.

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Anna Welker's Timeline

January 31, 1821
Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, United States
July 22, 1847
Age 26
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
November 1, 1848
Age 27
Council Bluffs, Pottawatomie, Iowa, United States
Age 27
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
January 4, 1850
Age 28
Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
July 6, 1851
Age 30
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
February 4, 1853
Age 32
Alpine, Utah, Utah, USA
August 24, 1855
Age 34
Willard, Box Elder, Utah, USA
September 10, 1857
Age 36
Willard, Utah, USA