James Melvin Welker

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James Melvin Welker

Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Death: June 27, 1934 (54)
Buhl, Twin Falls, Idaho, USA
Place of Burial: Wilford, Fremont, Idaho, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of John Eller Welker and Sarah Ann Thornock Welker
Husband of Margaretta E. Brown Welker
Father of Baby Boy Welker; Melvin Leon Welker; James Arthur Welker; Warren Dean Welker; Alfred Wayne Welker and 1 other
Brother of Sarah Olivia Welker; John Percy Welker; Estella A. Welker; Ernest Bechias Welker; Zella Ann Stanger and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
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About James Melvin Welker

James Melvin Welker was born June 14, 1880 to parents John Eller Welker and Sarah Ann Thornock. His grandparents, John Welker and Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, were early Mormon Pioneers, coming to Utah from Ohio after living in Missouri, Nauvoo, Illinois, and Pottawattamie County, Iowa. They traveled to Utah in the 1852 Isaac Stewart Company of LDS Saints. They settled in Utah for a few years, and in 1863 were sent by the church to settle the Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, area under the direction of church leader, Charles C. Rich.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Wilford, Fremont, Idaho, James, 19, was living with his parents, John E., 46, and Sarah A., 44, and siblings, Estella A., 17, Earnest, 14, William, 11, Elzina, 9, Arthur, 6, and Lowell, one year old. His parents had been married for 25 years, had 11 children, 9 of whom were still living. James' father, John, was working as a farmer, and his mother was keeping house. James was working as a day laborer, and his sister, Estella, was also working as a house keeper. All the other children were still at school,

By 1910, James, 29, had married his wife, Margaretta, 18, and the census record for Freemont, Fall River, Idaho, indicates they had been married for 10 months, and since the census was dated May 3, they must have been married in June of 1909. They owned their own home free from a mortgage. Living next door were James' parents, John, 56, Sarah, 54, and siblings, Earnest B., 23, William E., 21, Arthur, 16, Hyrum (Lowell ?), 11 years old. James and his father John were working as farmers.

When James completed his U.S. World War II Draft Registration card on September 11, 1918, at the Fremont County, Local Board in St. Anthony, Idaho, he described himself as being of tall or medium height, 5'11", with a medium build, blue eyes and brown hair. At the time he was 38 years old, and was living in Chester, Freemont, Idaho, with his wife, Margaretta, and was still working as a farmer for himself.

By 1920, James, 39, Margaretta, 28, and their children, Warren, 3 years, 3 months old, and Wayne, one year old, were living in Fall River, Fremont, Idaho, and James was still farming. His father had passed away, and his mother, Sarah, a 63-year old widow, was living next door with two of her sons, Ernest, 35, and Lowell, 21, and Sarah was also working as a farmer. I found no record of James or Margaretta in the 1930 census, and sadly, James Melvin Welker, passed away on June 27, 1934, at the relatively young age of 54 years old. At the time he was living in Buhl, Twin Falls County, Idaho, as his obituary below indicates:

OBITUARY: Welker Rites held at St. Anthony (Special to The Post-Register) -- St. Anthony, July 3, 1934. Funeral services for James Melvin Welker, 54, who died at his farm home near Buhl last week, (27 June 1934) were conducted at the Chester L.D.S. church on Saturday afternoon with burial in the Wilford cemetery under the direction of William Hansen. Mr. Welker was born 14 Jun 1880 at Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, and came to this section with his parents when a youth. He married Margaretta Brown of Chester in 1902 and lived here until eight years ago, when the family moved to a ranch near Buhl. He is survived by his widow, two sons and one daughter all of Buhl.

After James Welker's death, in the 1940 U.S. Census, Margaretta, a 48-year old widow was still living in Buhl, Idaho, with a man named James E. McMillan, 50, and her occupation was listed as house keeper. Also living in the home was her daughter, Wanda May, 18, and son, Alfred W., 21, as well as Ray E. McMillian, 36, listed as a nephew. James McMillian was working as a gardener on a farm, Wanda was a seamstress in a sewing room, and Alfred had entered the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) building roads the previous week. Ray McMillian was working as an edger man at a saw mill. James earned $306 for the 52 weeks he worked at 48 hours per week in 1939, Wanda earned $45 for the 4 weeks she worked at 35 hours per week, Alfred earned $102 for the 17 weeks he worked and Ray E. McMillian earned $785 for the 43 weeks he worked that year.

I'm not certain of Margaretta's whereabouts after 1940, but I did find a death record for her daughter, Wanda Mae Welker Virgin, who was born July 25, 1921, in Idaho, and passed away April 15, 1973, in Los Angeles County, California. Following is he obituary found on Find A Grave.com.

Beloved wife of Merle. Mother to Tammy and John. Beloved Grandmother of Dawn, Nikki, Jaime, and Stacey. Great Grandmother of Kirsten, Ian, Logan, Erin, Aden, Hannah, Carson, Morgan, and Ethan. Passed away a month after an accident in the Azusa Mountains caused by a person on drugs. Only the oldest, Dawn, has the honor of remembering this beautiful woman out of all the grandchildren.

Wanda was buried in the Rose Hills Memorial Park Cemetery in Whittier, Los Angeles County, California. Ironically, I lived about 3 miles from that cemetery in 1983, but that was 10 years after her death. Wanda's husband, Merle Harold Virgin, was born November 19, 1919, in Salem, Madison County, Idaho, and passed away March 23, 1999, in Pomona, Los Angeles County, California. He was a PFC in the U.S. Army, and as a result was buried in the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California, Plot: 48, 0, 5347

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James Melvin Welker's Timeline

June 14, 1880
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
October 3, 1888
Age 8
October 3, 1888
Age 8
October 3, 1888
Age 8
February 14, 1910
Age 29
Chester, Fremont, Idaho, USA
January 26, 1911
Age 30
Chester, ID, USA
May 6, 1915
Age 34
Chester, Fremont, Idaho, USA
October 12, 1916
Age 36
Fremont, Idaho, USA
December 24, 1918
Age 38
Chester, Fremont, Idaho, USA