Eliza Madsen Welker

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Eliza Welker (Madsen)

Birthdate: (61)
Birthplace: Rostrup, Aalborg, Nordjylland, Denmark
Death: December 31, 1910 (61)
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA
Place of Burial: Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Jacob Madsen and Dorothea Christine Madsen
Wife of Alfred Welker
Mother of Alfred Franklin Welker; David Ephram Welker; Amy Letitia Welker Merrill; Dorthea Annnie Welker; James Jacob Welker and 1 other
Sister of Christen Madsen; Hans Jacob Madson; Anna Madsen Salisbury; Christian Madsen; Niels Madsen and 4 others

Occupation: Came to America from Denmark in 1857; Married Alfred Welker in 1869 while living in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. Her brother's wife was a cousin of Eliza's husband Alfred Welker.
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Eliza Madsen Welker

Eliza was born April 22, 1849, 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 naming system, since his father's name was Christen Madsen. Jacob's own children, while living in Denmark, followed the same system and used the surname 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 were listed on the ship's roster as follows:

Jacob Christianson, 50, farmer, Dorothea Christianson, 39, wife, Hans Christianson, 18, farmer, Annie Christianson, 6, Neils Christianson, 2, Eliza Christianson, 7, Anton P. Christianson, 4, Inger, infant, and Franklin, infant. One of their sons, Christian, born in 1844 in Denmark, had already come to America with another family in 1853 at the age of just 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 several years later.

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, an infant 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, some of the Madsen's 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. Eliza married Alfred Welker, Inger married James Welker, and Christian married Roxanna Louisa Welker. Roxanna Louisa Welker's father was John Welker, and James and Alfred Welker were John's nephews, being the sons of John's older brother, James Wilburn Welker and his wife, Annie Pugh 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, Roxanna Louisa Welker Madsen, was born there that year to John Welker and his wife, Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker.

Eliza married Alfred Welker in about 1869 in Bear Lake County, Idaho. Her brother, Christian, had married Roxanna Louisa Welker, a couple of years earlier. In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Bloomington, Eliza was 21 and Alfred, 23, and their son Alfred F., 8 months old. Sadly, little Alfred F. Welker passed away the following year in 1871.

Living next door was Eliza's brother, Christian Madsen, 25, his wife, Roxanna Louisa Welker Madsen 19, and their one year old daughter, Dortha, my great grandmother. Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen was the daughter of John Welker and his wife, Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker. John Welker was the brother of James Wilburn Welker, the father of Eliza's husband Alfred Welker. Next door were Eliza and Christian's parents, Jacob Madsen, 64, his wife Christina, 53, and their sons Niels, 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.

Eliza and Alfred had another daughter in 1877, Dorthea Annie, but she too passed away when she was only 6 weeks old. Another baby, Ada Eliza, was born in 1878, but passed away in 1880.

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, Welker, Dustin, Stevens and Greenhalgh families moved from Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, to Safford, Arizona, a distance of about 1,000 miles and they traveled by wagon train.

Christian and his wife Roxanna owned a livery stable in Safford, and for a while ran the Groesbeck Hotel. Sadly on Christmas Day in 1896, for some reason, Eliza's husband, Alfred Welker, passed away, but I do not know the cause of his death. He was only 49 years old at the time of his death. Eliza had endured so much heart ache by then, losing three of her children as well as her husband before she was even 50 years old.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Graham County, Arizona Territory, Eliza was a 51-year old widow, living with her two sons, David, 28, and Arthur, 17. Her daughter, Amy Letitia, had already been married by the time. 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, 60, was living with her son David, 38, who was working as a salesman in a retail liquor store, which is odd considering the family were all Mormons, who did not believe in consuming alcoholic beverages. Next door was Eliza's brother, Christian Madsen, 65, his wife Roxanna Louisa, 58, and two of their children, Bertie (Louisa Albertina Madsen), 30, and Roy (Royal Eller Madsen), 24. Also living in Christian's home was his father-in-law, John Welker, 84, who was a widower, his wife Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, having passed away in 1904.

The census record stated 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 and Christian in 1853. The record indicates that Eliza had had 7 children, 3 of whom were still living. Christian and Roxana Louisa had been married 42 years and had 10 children, 7 of whom were still living.

Christian was the owner of a livery stable, his son Roy was working as a teamster for the livery stable, and both John Welker and Eliza Madsen Welker, had 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 Cemetery in Safford, Graham County, Arizona.

Eliza's son David Ephram Welker, born August 6, 1871, passed away on July 6, 1915, in Safford, and his death certificate says his cause of death was Syncope with La Grippe being a contributory factor. I had never heard of the word "syncope", 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. David was only 44 years old at the time of his death, and about 5 years younger than his father when he died at age 49.

David's brother, Arthur Elijah Welker, also died at the young age of only 43 years old. He was born February 15, 1883, in Idaho, and passed away, February 28, 1926. Arthur 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 was working as a barber. I believe Alfred and Mary had at least one son, Alfred Melvin, and possibly other children.

By the 1930 census, Eliza's daughter, Amy, 54, and her husband, Henry Morgan Merrill, 63, were living by themselves in Solomonville, Arizona, on River Road in a home they owned valued at $5,000 and they had a radio in their home. Henry was still farming but six years later, he passed away in 1936 in Solomonville, Graham County, Arizona. They had at least five or six children. One son, Morgan Clair Merrill, born August 14, 1897, passed away February 7, 1918, and died in the service of his country at Chelsea, Massachusetts. Perhaps he had been stationed stateside during World War I.

Their daughter, Amy Lucille, born in 1899, married William Eustace Walbrom, and daughter, Zelma Eliza, born in 1902, married Lloyd C. Willoughby. Amy and Henry's son, Arthur Bruce Merrill, born in November of 1904, passed away at the age of 69 in February of 1964. I don't know if he ever married or had any children. Another daughter, Ruth Merill, was born in 1905, but I'm not sure when she passed away. She was listed with her parents in the 1920 census, as follows: H.M. Merrill, 52, Amy, 44, Zelma, 17, and Ruth, 15.

By the 1940 U.S. Census for Tucson, Amy Letetia Welker Merrill, a 65-year old widow, was living with her daughter Zelma Willoughby, 37. Zelma was listed in the census record as being single, so she must have divorced Lloyd Willoughby, who was born in 1898, but his death date is unknown. Amy and Zelma were living in a home they owned valued at $2,500 located at 1122 Central Avenue and Zelma was working as a stenographer for a soil conservation service company. Amy, who was born April 25, 1875, in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, passed away November 12, 1963, in Safford, Arizona, and her daughter, Zelma, passed away eleven years later on May 5, 1974.

Daughter Amy Lucille Merrill Walbrom passed away April 11, 1979, in Safford, Arizona. I don't know if she ever had any children with her husband, William Eustace Waldrom, who was born September 15, 1893, in Malacoff, Henderson, Texas, and passed away at the age of 57 on September 9, 1951, in Los Angeles, California.

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Eliza Madsen Welker's Timeline

April 22, 1849
Rostrup, Aalborg, Nordjylland, Denmark
November 25, 1869
Age 20
August 6, 1871
Age 22
Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, USA
April 25, 1875
Age 26
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
August 11, 1877
Age 28
May 15, 1880
Age 31
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
February 15, 1883
Age 33
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
December 31, 1910
Age 61
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA
January 1911
Age 61
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA