Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen

Is your surname Madsen?

Research the Madsen family

Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen's Geni Profile

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!


Roxana Louisa Madsen (Welker)

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
Death: Died in Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States
Cause of death: Apoplexy with Brights Disease as a Contributary Factor
Place of Burial: Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John R. Welker and Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker
Wife of Christian Jacobson Madsen
Mother of Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins; John Christian Madsen; Ezra Jacob Madsen; Aseneath Musette Bingham; Zina Albertina Madsen and 5 others
Sister of Mary Amelia Welker and John Eller Welker

Occupation: Married Christian Madsen 10/10/1867 by George Q. Cannon in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Geo. Q. Cannon was an appostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen

Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen was born August 20, 1851, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, while her parents were getting ready to migrate west to Utah with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They finally left Iowa in 1852 with the Isaac Stewart Company of Saints. Her father, John Welker, was born in Madison, Ohio, in 1826, and her mother, Roxana Mahala Dustin, in Genesse County, New York, in 1833. They joined the church in the 1840's and lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, during the time of Joseph Smith's murder at the Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844. John's father died of intermittent fever there in 1844. John's widowed mother, Elizabeth Stoker Welker, came west with John, his wife Roxana, their daughter Roxana Louisa Welker, who was a one year old infant at the time, and the rest of the Welker and Dustin family members who traveled in that Pioneer Company of 1852.

By 1860, per the U.S. Federal Census for Willard, Box Elder, Utah Territory, Roxana was 9 years old and living with her father, mother, and 7 year old brother, John Eller Welker. In this census, her father was listed as a farmer, with real estate valued at $1,000 and a personal estate of $300. In the same area were other family members, including her uncle Jacob Welker and his wife, Harriet Angeline Lish Welker, and their children, Harriet, 2, and Charles, 1 year old.

Also living nearby was her grandmother, Elizabeth Welker, 60, who was living with her youngest son, Adam, 19. Her aunt Rebecca Welker, 24 (her father's sister) and Rebecca's husband, Alexander Roswell Stephens, 27, were also living nearby with their children Alex, 6, Charles, 4, and Rebecca Malinda, 1 year old. Next door were George and Georgiana Osmond, both 22 years old, with their first 2 children. They are the great grandparents of Donny and Marie Osmond of the famous Osmond Family singing group that was popular in the 1970's. Clara Osmond, daughter of George and Georgiana Osmond, married Adam Pugh Welker, son of James Wilburn Welker (John Welker's older brother) and his wife Annie Pugh.

Around 1863, most of the Welker and Madsen familes moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, at the request of the Mormon church. Their party was led by Charles C. Rich, an apostle of the church. By the 1870 U.S. Census, John Welker, 44, his wife Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, 36, and their children, Roxana Louisa, 19, and John Eller, 17, were living in Bloomington, along with Rebecca Malinda Stephens, 11, John and Roxana's niece.

Rebecca Malinda Stephen's mother, Rebecca Welker Stephens, (John's sister) died in 1863 after the birth of her fifth child, Julia. Also living in their home was Levi Jerome. Dustin, 5, who was the nephew of Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, and the son of her brother, Seth. Levi was born in 1865 to Seth and Hannah Sophia Loveland Dustin. Since his mother, Hannah, passed away in 1867, that may have been why Levi Jerome Dustin, was sent to live with his aunt and uncle, because they had fewer children to raise than his father Seth did.

In this census John was working as a farmer and Roxana was keeping house. Their real estate was valued at $450 and personal estate at $600. Living next door was Christian Madsen, 24, who had married their daughter, Roxana Louisa, October 10, 1867, at the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. They were married by George Q. Cannon, who was an Apostle in the LDS Church. Living with Christian and Roxana was their one year old daughter, listed as Dorothy R. (her correct name was Dortha Roxana), who was my great grandmother.

Why Roxana Louisa was listed in both her father's household and her husband's household in the 1870 census record is unknown, especially since she was listed as being 19 years old in her father's household and 18 years old in her own home with her husband. Roxana Louisa was born in August of 1851, so she would have been 19 years old when the 1870 census was taken on July 22nd that year.

On the previous census page was John Welker's older brother, James Wilburn Welker, 45, who was working as a blacksmith. His two wives were listed as Ann, (Annie Pugh) 49, and Susan C. (Susan Caroline Stevens) 37. James Wilburn Welker's children at the time with his two wives were listed as: James A., 19, Adam, 17, Gilbert, 15, Wilber, 13, Ephraim, 10, Rebecca, 6, Alice, 12, Isabella, 5, Evaline, 4, Sarah, 2, and Marion, 6 months old.

The Osmond family was living next door to John and Roxana Mahalia Dustin Welker and their children were listed as: Clara 14, George 12, Alfred 9, Rosa 7, Ira 5 and Ida 1 year old. Clara later married into the Welker family when she married Adam David Welker, the nephew of John and Roxana. Adam David Welker was the son of John's youngest brother, Adam, who was born in 1841, just three years before their father passed away in 1844 of intermittent fever while they were living in Nauvoo, Illinois.

On the same census page, was Hettie Esther Welker and her husband Harvey A. Dunn and their one year old son Harry, Jr. Hettie was the daughter of James Wilburn Welker and Annie Pugh Welker, so it appears a lot of the Welker's were living very close to each other in those early days in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho.

I read somewhere that when the Welker', Dustin's, Madsen's and Stephens, and a few other related families left Bloomington in 1883 to relocate to Arizona, it looked like the entire town was leaving. I think that was written in James Robert Welker's autobiography. He was the eldest son of Adam David Welker, the youngest son of James Welker (1804-1844) and Elizabeth Stoker (1800-1868), and the brother of James Willburn Welker, John and Jacob Stoker Welker.

In the 1880 U.S. Census, Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen was still living in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho with her husband, Christian Madsen, and their children, Dortha, 11, John 9, Ezra, 7, Musette 5, and (Zina) Albertina, who was 1 year old. Sadly, little Zina Albertina passed away the following year. Christian was working as a laborer, Louisa was keeping house and the children were at school. The Osmond family was living right down the street with their children: Alfred, 19, Rosabell, 17, Ira, 14, Ida, 10, Ella, 8, Nellie, 5, and Alice who is 9 months old. Roxana Louisa's parents, John and Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, were also still living in Bloomington with their 14 year old nephew, Levi Dustin, and he was working as a helper on their farm.

Living next door was Roxana Louisa's brother, John Eller Welker, 26, and his wife Sarah Ann Thornock Welker, 24, and their first two children, Sarah O., 4, and John P., 2. John was working as a laborer. Nearby was Adam David Welker, Jr., 24, and his wife, Clara Osmond Welker, 23, and son Anson R., 1; and James A. Welker, 29, and his wife Inger Marie Madsen Welker, 25, (Roxana Louisa's husband Christian's sister) and their son, James A., 9 months old.

We know the family moved from Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, in 1883 to Arizona, per diary records written by Roxana Louisa and Christian's daughter, Dortha, in 1940 when she was 70 years old. The story about their trip from Idaho to Arizona is shown on Dortha's profile page here on Geni.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Graham County, Arizona Territory, Christian and Roxana Louisa were living with some of their younger children, Louisa Albertina, 21, Sylvia Elizabeth, 18, and Royal Eller, 14. Christian owned a livery stable and he stated that he had lived in America for 51 years, that he came to America in 1848 and was naturalized. However, family records indicate he did not arrive in America until 1853 at the age of 9 years old.

Little Christian was sent with some friends of the family to America from Denmark while his parents were working to divest themselves of all their worldly possessions in order to immigrate and go with the church to Utah. Christian's parents, Jacob and Dorthea, and their other children, did not immigrate to America until nearly four years later in 1857. Christian's youngest brother, Jacob, was born in Utah in1860, and was the only child of Jacob and Dorthea who was not born in Denmark.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Roxana Louisa's parents, John, 74, and Roxana, 66, were living alone in Graham County, Arizona, and they had been married for 50 years and had three children, two of whom were still living. They had a daughter, Mary, who died as a child. When or where she was born and died is not known, and she doesn't seem to be documented in any census record found to date.

In the 1900 census record, under the occupation block next to John's name was the word, "Invalid", so he must have not been able to work at the time, maybe due to sickness or advanced age. Roxana's parents were listed as being born in Vermont, but they were actually born in New Hampshire, which is right next door Vermont. John's parents were shown to be from Pennsylvania, but that too was incorrect since they were both born in North Carolina. However, John's grandfather, Adam Welker, was born in Pennsylvania. At the time of the census, John and Roxana owned their home free from a mortgage.

At the time of the 1900 census, Christian and Roxana Louisa's eldest daughter, Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney, had already lost her first husband of only four years in 1889 due to an accident. His name was John Henry Rollins, Jr., and he was born in 1865 and died on Christmas Day in 1889 at the very young age of 24 years old, leaving two young children for Dortha to raise on her own, my grandmother, Dortha Evelyn Rollins, and her brother, John Delbert Rollins. They were only 3 and 1 year old at the time of their father's death. Eight years later in 1897, Dortha married Joseph T. McKinney, an Arizona Sheriff. Joe was born in Alabama in 1858 and migrated with his family to Texas in the 1860's, and then later moved on to Arizona. One of his ancestors was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico in 1836.

Dortha was living with Joseph in Cochise, Arizona, in 1900, and with them were her first two children by John Henry Rollins, Jr., my grandmother, Dortha Evelyn, 14, and her brother, John Delbert Rollins, 12, Also in their home were her first two children with Mr. McKinney, Dan Carroll McKinney, born in 1898, and Thelma Josephine McKinney, born in 1899. They had two other children but the third child, Joseph, died before his third birthday, and a week after his death, his sister, Gladys Violet McKinney was born in 1904.

By 1900 Christian and Roxana Louisa's grown sons, John Christian Madsen and Ezra Jacob Madsen, had married their wives and were living on their own. John Christian Madsen married Caroline Perkins and Ezra married Ella Owens. John Christian Madsen and Caroline had several children, but Ezra and Ella never had any children. They were very active in the Safford, Arizona, mercantile business for many years, however, and I believe Ezra owned a shoe store there for many years.

Two of Christian and Roxana's daughters were also married and living with their husbands, Musette, known as Aunt Zette, and Sylvia Elizabeth, known as Aunt Syl. Zette married Hyrum Bingham, and Syl married George Elledge. Their youngest son Royal, known as Roy, and daughter Louisa Albertina (known as Aunt Bertie) were still living at home with Christian and Roxana Louisa in 1900, and Royal was working in the family livery stable.

In the 1910 U.S. Census, Christian and Roxana Louisa Madsen, were listed as Chris, 65, and R.L. Madsen, 58. They were still living in Safford, Graham County, Arizona, with their 30-year old daughter Bertie (Louisa Albertina), 24-year old son, Royal Eller (listed as Roy), and Roxana Louisa's father, John Welker, an 84-year old widower. His wife, Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, had passed away in 1904. Christian still owned the livery stable and his son Royal was working as a teamster for the livery stable.

At one time Christian and Roxana Louisa also managed the Groesbeck Hotel in Safford, and transported people from the train station to the hotel via their livery stable teams and teamsters. In the 1910 census record, it stated that Christian came to America in 1854, which is closer to the actual year of his arrival which I believe was 1853.

Three years later, on June 1, 1913, Roxana Louisa's father, John Welker, passed away at the age of 87 yeas old, and was buried in Safford, Arizona.

Christian's sister, Eliza Madsen Welker, (who married John Welker's nephew, Alfred) was a 60 year-old widow, living next door, with her son David, 38, who was a salesman in a retail liquor store. This census record states Eliza Madsen Welker came to the USA in 1855, but really she arrived with her parents Jacob and Dorothea Madsen, and their other children, in about 1857.

It is odd that Eliza's son David was working as a liquor salesman, since the entire family were members of the Mormon Church and they did not believe in drinking any alcoholic beverages or tea or coffee. But since Eliza's husband, Alfred Welker, (the son of John Welker's older brother, James Wilburn Welker) had died in 1897 and left Eliza a widow, perhaps their son David had to take what ever work he could find in order to support himself and his mother after the death of his father.

Sadly, eight years later in 1918, Christian's wife, Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen, passed away at the age of 66. In the 1920 census, Christian, 75, was living in Safford with his son, Royal Eller Madsen, 34, his daughter, Alberta Louisa Madsen Branch, 40, and her husband, William Branch, 38. This record stated that Christian came to the America in 1854 and was naturalized in 1870. No occupation was listed for him, so it seems he had finally retired at the advanced age of 75. His son Royal was working as a laborer and his son-in-law, William Branch, was working as a "cowboy and stock raiser".

The following year, in March of 1921, Christian Madsen, passed away at the age of 77. Such is the life history of Christian and Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen, my second great grandparents. Of their ten children, they lost only three as infants, Zina Albertina, Wilford Delbert, and Rosa May, but all the others made it to adulthood, which was quite rare in those days of so much illness and so little medicine.

This story was written by their second great granddaughter, Della Dale Smith, on February 14, 2013, ninety-five years after the death of Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen and ninety-two years after the death of her husband Christian Madsen. They were two people I wish I could have known personally.

I believe my mother Frances Amelia Eubank Smith may have known her great grandfather, Christian, because she was 10 years old when he passed away in 1921. But I'm not sure if she ever met her great grandmother Roxanna Louisa, because my mother was only seven years old when her great grandmother died in 1918, and at that time, my mother and her parents were living in Portland, Oregon. I don't know if my grandmother took my mother and her other children to Arizona for the funeral of either Roxana or Christian.

I do have a family photograph where the Madsen's and McKinney's were featured at some sort of family gathering. This may have been on the occasion of my second great grandmother's funeral, since in 1918, my mother would have been 7 years old, her sister, Elsie Louise, 5 years old, and her brother, James Rollins Eubank, 3 years old. They are shown in the lower right corner of this photograph, and they do look to be about those ages in that photograph. Also, my great grandmother, Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney, was dressed in black, which makes sense since she would have been in mourning upon the death of her mother, Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen. Sadly, Christian Madsen was not depicted in this photograph, but he may not have been able to attend the gathering, depending upon his condition over the loss of his wife of 51 years. It must have been a very difficult time for him indeed, and it's no surprise that he passed away just 3 years later in 1921.

My cousin in Arizona, Cheryl Larkey, (daughter of Gladys Violet McKinney and John Beals) indicates that she still has one of the blouses worn by my second great grandmother, Roxana Louisa, but now it is so worn with age it is nearly falling apart. Considering it is probably over 100 years old, that is certainly to be expected. But it is wonderful that she has something that belonged to Roxana Louisa our second great grandmother.

Rest in peace, Great Grandparents, you were deeply loved!

Della Dale Smith

Obituary from the Graham Guardian, February 1, 1918: Mrs. Louisa Madsen, aged 66 years, died at her home on West Fourth Street Saturday morning, January 26, 1918, from paralysis. Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock at Layton Church. The church was beautifully decorated with flowers and white bunting. The music was furnished by the Layton Choir under the direction of William Moore Claydon. The speakers were J.R. Welker who gave a sketch of the life of the deceased and President Andrew Kimball. Interment was made in Union Cemetery. Mrs. Louisa Madsen was born August 20, 1851, at Council Bluffs, Iowa. She was married to Christian Madsen at Salt Lake City, Utah, October 10, 1867. Ten children were born to them of whom seven are living and three are dead. The family came to Safford from Idaho November 25, 1883, and have made their home here since that time. Mrs. Madsen was one of the early pioneers of the West and of the Gila Valley, having crossed the plains with her parents from Iowa to Utah when she was an infant. When she came to Safford in 1883 there were only a few white people living here, and she went through all the hardships that fell to the pioneers lot in the early days. She was a kind and loving wife and mother a good neighbor and a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Her living children who were here all before her death are Mrs. Dortha McKinney, John Ezra and Roy Madsen, Mrs. Hyrum Bingham, Mrs. William Branch and Mrs. George Elledge.

view all 14

Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen's Timeline

August 20, 1851
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
March 11, 1869
Age 17
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States
December 8, 1870
Age 19
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
November 26, 1872
Age 21
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
January 18, 1875
Age 23
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States
October 22, 1877
Age 26
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
May 5, 1879
Age 27
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
December 20, 1881
Age 30
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
February 29, 1884
Age 32
Safford, Graham, Arizona, USA