James Wilburn Welker

Is your surname Welker?

Research the Welker family

James Wilburn Welker's Geni Profile

Records for James Welker

163,970 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


James Wilburn Welker

Birthplace: Jackson, Ohio, United States
Death: Died in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States
Place of Burial: Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Robert Welker and Elizabeth Welker
Husband of Anna Welker and Susan Caroline Welker
Father of Alfred Welker; Hettie Esther Dunn; Philena Welker; Orlena Emaline Palmer; James Albert Welker and 13 others
Brother of David Welker; John R. Welker; Jacob Stoker Welker; Mary Catherine Nelson; Susan Welker and 3 others

Occupation: LDS Bishop, LDS high councilor, Member of Nauvoo Legion, Blacksmith, Sawmill operator
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About James Wilburn Welker

James Wilburn Welker was born 17 January 1825 in Jackson County, Ohio to James and Elizabeth Stoker Welker. James was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January or June of 1841. He received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple 21 Jan 1846.

On February 27, 1845, in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, he married Annie Pugh, who was the daughter of Isaac and Martha Harris Pugh. They were later sealed 20 June 1863. Annie was born 31 January 1821 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was baptized 27 Dec 1841. James and Annie came to Utah in 1853 in the Isaac Steward Company. They had 9 children. The family resided Willard, Utah, and later Bloomington, Idaho. James married Susan Caroline Stevenson 20 June 1863 (or 27 February 1864) in Salt Lake City, Utah. Susan was born June 29, 1833. James and Susan had 8 children.

James served as Bishop and as an alternate high councilor. He was a member of Nauvoo Legion. He moved to Alpine, Utah, in 1853. He later moved to Willard, Utah, and then to the Bear Lake Valley, Idaho, in 1870. In 1870 records show he was a blacksmith. He is noted for erecting one of the first sawmills at Bloomington, Idaho. James died 4 May 1912 in Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, at the age of 87.

James Wilburn Welker participated in the fight against Johnston's Army during the Utah War started by President James Buchanan

SOURCE: http://cw4ru.blogspot.com/2005/12/brothersister-on-wall.html#1943back

From Another Source: The book, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah:

James Wilburn Welker was born January 17, 1825, in Jackson County, Ohio. Came to Utah in 1853 in the Isaac Stewart Company. Married Annie Pugh Feb. 17, 1845, In Pottawattomie Co., Iowa (daughter of Isaac and Martha Pugh, latter pioneer 1853, Isaac Stewart company). She was born Jan. 31, 1821. Came to Utah with husband. Their children: Alfred, b. July 22. 1847, m. Eliza Madsen; Hetty Emeline b. Nov. 1, 1848, m. Alvero Dunn; Orlena b. Jan. 4, 1850, m. Journal A. Palmer; James Albert b. July 6, 1851, m. Inger Marie Madsen; Adam b. Feb. 4, 1853, m. Clara Osmond Feb. 1, 1878; Gilbert, b. Aug. 24, 1855, m. Charlotte Nelson; Wilbern b. Sept. 10, 1857, m. Hannah Solsby; Ephraim b. Feb. 3, 1860; Rebecca Ann b. Jan. 24, 1864, m. Peter Greenhalgh. Family resided in Willard, Utah, and Bloomington, Idaho.

Married Susan Caroline Stevenson, who was born June 29, 1833. Their children: Isabel Jane b. Nov. 9, 1864, m. Walter Ackroyd; Susan Eveline b. March 19, 1866, m. Warren Lindsay; Sarah b. Jan. 28, 18G8, and Francis Marion b. Jan. 23, 1870, d. children; Harris Alexander b. Nov. 17, 1872; Abraham b. May 7, 1875; Catherine Almira and Caroline Alvina b. Dec. 22, 1876, d. children. Family home Bloomington, Idaho.

Bishop; alternate high councilor. Member of Nauvoo Legion. Settled at Alpine 1853; moved to Willward, Utah, and later to Bear Lake Valley, Idaho. Blacksmith. Erected one of first sawmills at Bloomington, Idaho.

From FindAGrave.com:

Birth: Jan. 17, 1825, Jackson County, Ohio, USA

Death: May 4, 1912, Bear Lake County, Idaho, USA

Burial: Bloomington Cemetery, Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, USA

James Wilburn Welker was born January 17, 1825, in Jackson County, Ohio to James and Elizabeth Stoker Welker. James was Baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January or June of 1841. He received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple January 21, 1846. February 17, 1845, in Pottawattamie County, Iowa he married Annie Pugh, who was the daughter of Isaac and Martha Harris Pugh. They were later sealed June 20, 1863. Annie was born January 31, 1821, in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was baptized December 27, 1841. James and Annie came to Utah in 1853 in the Isaac Steward Company. T hey had nine children.

The family resided Wlllard, Utah, and Bloomington, Idaho. Later he married Susan Caroline Stevenson June 20, 1863 (or February 27 1864) in Salt Lake City, Utah. Susan was born June 29, 1833. James and Susan had eight children.

James served as Bishop, and as an alternate high councilor. He was a member of Nauvoo Legion. In 1853 he lived in Alpine, Utah, and later moved to Willard, Utah. In 1870 he settled in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. In 1870 records show he was a blacksmith. He was noted for erecting one of first sawmills at Bloomington, Idaho. James died May 4, 1912 in Bloominton, Bear Lake County, Idaho at the age of 87.

SOURCES: Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah


James Welker


Elizabeth Stoker Welker 1800 - 1868



Anna Pugh Welker 1821 - 1893


Susan Caroline Stephenson Welker 1833 - 1907



Hetty E Welker Dunn 1848 - 1900


Orlena Welker Palmer 1850 - 1907


Adam Pugh Welker 1853 - 1926


Isabell Jane Welker Ackroyd 1864 - 1942

Created by: Clint Dunn

Record added: Jun 16, 2009

Find A Grave Memorial# 38426787

The following information was found on Family Search.org:

James Wilburn Welker was born 17 January 1825 in Jackson County, Ohio to James Welker and Elizabeth Stoker. Where James and Elizabeth were married is not known but according to a history written by their son John their first child, David, was born in Henry County, Indiana. However James Wilburn gave the birth of David as Jackson County, Ohio in the temple records when the family met in the Logan Temple to have the children sealed to their parents. In 1830 they bought 100 acres in Jackson County from James' father, Adam, who moved to Henry County, Indiana. According to John’s history his parents joined the LDS Church in Jackson County, Ohio in 1834 or 1835. They sold the land February 2, 1836, to prepare to join the Saints in Far West, Missouri.

Bureau of Land Records state James filed on SE1/4 NE1/4 of section 8 in Caldwell County, Missouri. The Stoker's filed in the same area. The family went through the trials of Far West and their expulsion from there into Illinois. Their place was plundered by the mobs and all the good livestock driven off. They had to leave everything behind except three old horses and one old wagon. They had corn which they lived on and a little meat. They had hogs running wild in the woods but they didn’t dare go out and find them. They traveled through rain, snow, mud and water, lying out in the storms to sleep during the night. There were three families that had to travel with this one old wagon.

They stayed in Adams county, Illinois, for three years working for a man by the name of Coleman Wilks. James filed on a homestead about 15 miles south of Nauvoo in the township of Bear Creek. James and his sons had time to work some for others so John and his father went into Pike County to work in the harvest. Here James contacted intermittent fever which caused his death. This was probably in 1844 as this is when John and Catherine state their father died.

James Wilburn married Anna Pugh, daughter of Daniel Pugh and Martha Harris, 23 February 1845 in Hancock County, Illinois, by John Stoker. James Wilburn was twenty years old and she was twenty five. We do not know when they left Nauvoo but on 21 January 1946 Elizabeth, her mother Catherine Eller Stoker, James Wilburn and Anna Pugh had their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple. Elizabeth and her children couldn’t get much for their farm as James had not proved up on his land.

The Welker's and Stoker's all left together. They arrived in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Anna and James Wilburn had their first child there on 22 July 1847. They had four children while living in Iowa. They stayed there until June 1852 when they joined the Isaac Stewart Company to go west. The Journal History of the Church states, as reported in the Desert News, that the company arrived 22 August 1852. The Welker's were in the second ten with James Wilburn Welker as Captain. He is listed as having 7 in his family, 4 oxen, 3 cows, 1 loose cattle and 1 wagon. His brother, John had about the same.

When they arrived in Salt Lake City they were sent to Alpine, Utah, to live. It was known as Mountainville then. They lived in a dugout in the side of the mountain for the winter. The next spring they were sent to Willard, Box Elder, Utah. James Wilburn built the first molasses mill in town. He built and operated a blacksmith shop and ran a successful farm. There is also some indication that he was a miner. In a biographical sketch written by a granddaughter she said he dug many holes during his stay in Willard but was never successful in opening a mine. When Johnson’s Army came to Utah they packed up, buried anything of value and went back to Alpine to live until the crisis was over. They then returned to Willard.

On 20 June 1863 James Wilburn Welker married Susan Caroline Stephenson in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Polygamy was an accepted practice at this time. James was sealed to both wives, first Anna and then Susan. Susan was a daughter of Anna’s sister Mary Pugh. Susan had been married previously to Basil Riley Young and had a daughter, Alice Ann. She had gone with her father Isaac Henderson Stephenson to Beaver Island, Michigan to join the Strangites where it is likely she became the wife of Basil Young. They practiced plural marriage there. Her father died there. When the Strangites were driven off the island her brothers and she returned to Fremont County, Iowa. Basil and his first wife went to Missouri. They crossed the plains and came to Utah with the Milo Andrus Company in 1861. The brothers finally settled in Cache Valley, Utah and she married James Wilburn.

In 1864 the family moved to Bear Lake Valley in Idaho, settling in Bloomington. By this time the families had grown considerably. There were nine children from the first marriage and Susan Caroline was expecting the first child of the second marriage. They arrived in the valley on July 4th. There was little time to build a shelter as the planting season was quickly slipping sway so the family lived in a sagebrush covered shanty during the summer months. They later built two large rooms with a blacksmith shop in between to accommodate the two families. The house had a dirt floor and roof and no windows or doors. Quilts were hung at the openings the first winter. The next summer James Wilburn cut trees and sawed boards for the floors and doors. Glass was brought from Utah for the windows.

They had arrived late and there was an early frost that year that left the wheat that had begun to mature frozen. The supplies that had been brought from Utah gave out and the families had to make do with the flour ground from frozen wheat. The animals suffered a great deal during this hard winter and all but one lamb perished. James and Susan Caroline had eight children. Four of them died in the spring of 1881 within two weeks of each other. Their son, Abraham, lived in Canada for some time but sold out and went into business with his brother-in-law, Warren Parks Lindsay, in Moreland, Bingham, Idaho. After a while he left stating he was going to South America. He was never heard from again.

James Wilburn made his living with his blacksmith shop. He made the bellows and all the tools for his shop. He built and operated one of the first sawmills in the Beal Lake Valley. The members of the church in Bloomington, Idaho were asked to live the United Order. This was established in 1874. James was appointed a director in this plan. The movement was abolished in 1879. He served as a Bishop and as an alternate high councilor.

Anna Pugh died 14 May 1889 at Bloomington, Idaho. James Wilburn died 3 May 1912 at Bloomington. Susan Caroline died 22 September 1907 in Magrath, Alberta, Canada where she had gone to live with her daughter Isabelle Ackroyd.


The profile below is about James Wilburn Welker's son, James Albert Welker and his wife, Inger Marie Madsen and was written by their daughter, Fern Welker Lyman. Inger Marie Madsen was the sister of Christian Madsen who married James Wilburn Welker's brother, John's daughter, Roxana Louisa Welker. Another Madsen sister, Eliza, married Alfred Welker, who was the son of James Wilburn Welker and his wife Anna Pugh. Alfred Welker was the brother of James Albert Welker.

James Albert Welker was born in Council Bluffs, Pottowattamie County, Iowa, July 6, 1851. He was the son of James Wilburn Welker and Anna Pugh Welker, and a High Priest, Bishop’s Counselor, and a farmer.

In 1853, the family made the trip to Salt Lake Valley with the Isaac Stewart company. Father was only a baby two years old, but thought he remembered - although he admitted it may have been his mother's stories he remembered - a cow named Flower that made up half of one of their teams and gave the family milk during their journey to Utah.

Grandfather's family settled in Alpine, a little town about forty miles south of Salt Lake City. Their first home was a dugout in the side of the mountain and it was here that Uncle Adam was born. They lived here only one winter and then moved to Willard where Grandfather built the first molasses mill in that town. It was while they were living in Willard the Johnston's Army came to Utah. Father was six years old then and well remembered the move south, returning to Alpine. Father's only school teacher in Willard was George Osmond.

In 1864, the family moved to Bear Lake. Father was then thirteen years old and he walked all the way, barefooted, driving the sheep, cows, and pigs. Grandfather's party entered Bear Lake Valley July 4th. Upon arriving, the first thing they saw was Apostle Rich leading a group of children in a parade through the tall grass. Apostle Rich, with his four families, had preceded the rest of the company by a few weeks. The first summer, in order to spend the few remaining weeks of warm weather in planting and preparing food for the coming winter, the people lived in brush shanties, made by driving four posts in the ground and covering the roof and sides with brush. For the winter they built log cabins. Grandfather had two families so be built two log rooms, 18 feet by 20 feet with his blacksmith shop between.

The house had dirt roofs and floors and no windows or doors. Quilts were hung at the openings that first winter and father says when it rained it rained mud. The home was furnished with a spinning wheel and loom, homemade chairs, tables and beds. The next summer grandfather cut trees and sawed boards for floors and doors, and glass for windows was brought from Utah.

Arriving as late as July 4, 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 grandmother 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.

Every other year, during the coldest part of the winter, school was in session for three months. The rest of the time children and all worked to build a homeland out of a wild country. Their school supplies consisted of spelling book and slate. They had very enthusiastic spelling matches and often adults took part in them. Their school house was one log room with a dirt roof and a puncheon floor, made by laying logs side by side and smoothing the upper side. The children sat on homemade benches. Father's first teacher in Bear Lake was Sarah Huckvale. When Father was seventeen he started to make his own way by hauling ties from Nounan. Then he went back to Utah and worked for a sawmill, hauling logs with an ox team.

When Father was twenty years old he went back to Bear Lake and carried mail over the mountains to Cache Valley. In winter, the only way to communicate with the outside world was to cross the mountains on snow shoes. In summer, the mail was carried through the canyon by pony express. To a youth of twenty, mail isn't the only important thing in life. A pretty, fair-haired girl with dancing eyes and feet is just about the most important thing in the world. Young Jim would take Inger Marie Madsen to the dance at eight o'clock in the evening, dance until two o'clock in the morning, take her home, put on his snow shoes, throw the mail over his shoulders and start off over the mountains. If all went well, he would arrive at Franklin about noon, meet the Thatcher's with the Cache Valley mail, eat a cold lunch and make the return trip. If there were no mishaps he would get home about ten P.M.

In the pioneer days in Bear Lake, the people's pastimes consisted of dancing, horse racing and pulling, and home talent theatricals. For years Mother was a leading character in the theater in Bear Lake. Tickets to the theater were paid for with produce and script from the local store. Father was always at the theater if he were in town. He claims that the show could not go on without him for he played the heaviest part. You see, he always rolled the curtain and if you remember the old-fashioned curtain with the pole in the bottom, you will agree that he at least played a heavy part. How he loved to stand off in the wings and watch the play. His heart swelled with pride at Mother's every entrance for that lovely talented girl had promised to be his wife. As their many daughters came along, each in their turn played in dramatics. Mother and he were always there sitting near the front, Mother rejoicing in her girls, Father seeing a girl of years ago.

Father's hobby was his horses. He always had well-fed, well-trained and spirited horses. His horses often won the races or pulling matches. Father had lots of runaway horses; however, usually with horses he had just purchased and not yet taught that it did no good to run. Whenever his horses started to run he let them out and urged them on until they were tired and glad to stop. The winter after Father and Mother moved to Bennington, they were going back to Bloomington for a visit. The team started to run and, as usual, Father urged them on. Mother became frightened and so she quietly slipped to the back of the sleigh and let herself out on to the snow. Father was so preoccupied with his running horses that he did not notice that Mother was gone for several miles. In fact, the team had run itself out and was tired and wanted to stop. Then he realized Mother was gone. Of course he was terribly frightened, so turned around and ran those horses back until he met Mother casually walking along the road.

When Father was in his sixties he took a team, which he had just purchased, to the field to get a load of hay. On the return trip the team ran away, throwing father from the wagon. He suffered several broken ribs and a back injury from which he never fully recovered. At one time, Father, with President Young, went to Laketown where the Indians were gathering on the war-path. The Indians had stolen some horses from the Provo settlers and the officers had come to Laketown to get them. The Indians refused to give them up and became angered at the officers' demands and prepared to make war on the settlers. Bishop A. B. Wright and Sheriff Turner tried to make peace with them but were unable to do so. They sent for President Young. He finally settled the dispute by giving the Indians four fine, fat beef cattle. Father said that he would never forget the scene. The Indians were lined up on each side of the road and the white men's party was in the center with President Young standing up in the carriage talking to the Indians. Black Hawk, Pocatello, and Sangwitch were the chiefs of the assembled Indians. Black Hawk was the Indian chief that the settlers feared most. Father says he was raised with the white people and knew their ways and was, therefore, more treacherous. Whenever Father talked of his experiences with the Indians, he always said, "Old Black Hawk was a mean Indian."

Father and Mother were married February 25, 1875. Father was then twenty-four and Mother twenty-one. On their wedding night they gave a dinner dance at the church for all the town. After two years, their first baby girl, Clara Christine was born, and two years later a son James Arthur. When James Arthur was eighteen months old he drowned. It was some two years after Delilah was born that Mother lost a premature baby. The midwife caring for her did not give her the proper afterbirth care and blood poisoning set in.

When Mother was stricken, Father tried to locate the only doctor in all of Bear Lake County - Dr. Hoover - whose residence was in Montpelier. There was one telephone in Bennington - Brother and sister Jedediah Merrill's - and Father used it to call Dr. Hoover. He was informed that the doctor was out of town, they didn't know where, and they had no way of getting in touch with him. Mother was almost in delirium with a raging fever so they turned to prayer. Dr. Hoover was in Georgetown, six miles north of Bennington, and had to pass our home on his way back to Montpelier. As he passed our place he was impressed to go in, but then thought, "If Jim Welker wants to see me he'll let me know," and rode on for about a mile. But again he felt a stronger impression to go to our home and he turned around and went back. There he found Mother in that very serious condition. He went to work, did what he could for her, and left, telling Father he could do no more and she would not live until morning.

The family gathered at the foot of Mother's bed. She rallied a little, and when she saw those eight children, the tops of their heads appearing as steps, one above the other, standing at the foot of her bed, she remembered her patriarchal blessing which said she would live as long as life was desirable. She told the Lord, "I want to live to raise my family. You have promised, I have done the best I could. I have not spared myself in giving service wherever I was needed. I have done my part the best I have known how, please keep your promise." And He did. She began to improve and by morning she was much better.

When Mother was seventy-two years old, she had a stroke. She did not ask to live - she knew it was time to go. She died the 20th of October, 1925, in Montpelier, Idaho.

Father and Mother were blessed with a family of eight girls and one boy who grew to maturity. The second daughter, Ada, died in childbirth just one month before I was born. Their son, Melvin, was the only boy to grow up with that family of girls and so, of course was a source of great pride and joy to Mother and Father. He was the only help Father had on the farm and would be missed in more ways than one. But, then the call came for a mission, those things were not considered and gladly they sent him off. One year after Melvin's departure from home, Mother and Father received a letter from him saying he wasn't feeling very well but supposed he would be all right soon. in a few days a cablegram came from Heber J. Grant, President of the European Mission, saying that Melvin had died of smallpox. You can imagine their grief.

The next summer while visiting some relatives in St. Anthony, Uncle Peter Greenhalgh handed Father a picture he had cut from the Deseret News and said, "Jim, is this your boy?" Father took the picture in trembling hands and looked at it for a few minutes while he cleared his choking throat and finally answered, 'Yes, Pete, this is my boy., every inch of him is my boy.' Then after a few tense moments. Uncle Peter said, 'Jim, if you had another boy and he was called on a mission and you knew he'd never come back. would you let him go? ' And though it took great effort to control his voice, my Father answered firmly, "Yes, Pete, I'd let him go - I'd have to. I'd be afraid to deprive him of that blessing."

Not long after Melvin's death, Bishop A. R. Wright told Father there was only one thing that prevented him from being called into the bishopric. Of course, the one thing was the fact that Father smoked. He had smoked from the age of fourteen and he was now fifty-four years old. But Father answered readily, "All right, I'll quit." There was no question in his mind whether he could or not, and from the time he told Bishop Wright for several years. Their association together was very pleasant. Naturally he loved the memory of Bishop Wright, as does all his family.

The signet ring I have was given to Mother at a party given in her honor when she was released from the Mutual after thirty-six years of faithful service and was made president of the Relief Society, a position she held for years.

Mother raised a family of ten children during her years of active Church work, but she was not satisfied. I think she had always felt badly because she could not give Father another son to be a help and companion to him in his later years. And, too, Melvin had always wanted a baby brother badly. In fact, one time, he raced his beloved pony all the way from Bloomington to Bennington, a distance of about twenty miles, to ask permission to trade that beloved pony for an Indian baby boy that could be gotten for a pony.

When I, their baby, was just six years old and just two weeks before they learned of Melvin's death, they took into their home and into their hearts a baby boy, and to that baby was given one of the best homes and the tenderest loves a baby could know. When he was just a little fellow, he had a very serious appendectomy performed. The doctors held out no hope for Gold's life, and it was only through the administration of the elders that his life was preserved. I can see my Father crying and hear him say, "I guess I'm not supposed to have a boy." However, he did live and was always a good boy and a help and close companion to Father.

Mother and Father celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on February 25, 1925, with seven daughters, one son, thirty-six living grandchildren, and a host of faithful friends. After Mother died in October, 1925, Father lived until he was eighty-nine years old. He died December 4, 1940, at Montpelier, Idaho.

view all 23

James Wilburn Welker's Timeline

January 17, 1825
Jackson, Ohio, United States
July 22, 1847
Age 22
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
November 1, 1848
Age 23
Council Bluffs, Pottawatomie, Iowa, United States
Age 23
January 4, 1850
Age 24
Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
July 6, 1851
Age 26
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
February 4, 1853
Age 28
Alpine, Utah, Utah, USA
August 24, 1855
Age 30
Willard, UT, USA
September 10, 1857
Age 32
Willard, UT, USA