B. A. Welch, a native of Kansas, had been a prominent citizen of Kingman County for many years, is a former clerk of the District Court, was a farmer in early life, and for the past ten years had been active in the State Bank of Kingman, in which he is now cashier and active head.
Mr. Welch was born at Valley Center, Kansas, September 8, 1876. He comes of a pioneer Pennsylvania family. His great-grandfather fought as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, Josiah Edward Welch, was a soldier in the War of 1812. He afterwards went as a pioneer to Wisconsin and died in that state about 1850.
Darius Welch, father of the Kingman banker, was born at Shinglehouse, Potter County, Pennsylvania, in 1838. He went with his parents to Wisconsin in early times, and for some years was engaged in the lumber industry, principally in rafting ties down the Kickapoo and Wisconsin rivers and also down the Mississippi. At the outbreak of the Civil war he joined Company F of the Eighth Wisconsin Infantry and was in the service three years. It was the Eighth Wisconsin which gained special fame not only for its fighting qualities but also for the fact that its regimental mascot was a live eagle, known as “Old Abe,” which remained with the regiment, circling about through shot and shell of battle, and went unscathed. It was afterwards given an honorable retirement and when it died its body was mounted and was given a place of honor in the State Capitol at Madison, where a few years ago it was burned when the State House was destroyed. Darius Welch while in service suffered a rupture, and was then assigned to duty in the Hospital Corps.
In 1875 he brought his family to Sedgwick County, Kansas, but a short time later homesteaded 160 acres in Russell County. In 1886 he went to Missouri for a year and in 1888 came to Kingman County and was a farmer there until his death at Rago in 1896. He was a republican in politics. He married at Boscabel, Wisconsin, Barbara E. Doran, who was born in Ohio in 1856 and is still living on the old farm at Rago, which she owned. Her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Doran, is now living at Wilson, Kansas, nearly ninety years of age. The children of Darius Welch and wife were eight in number: Annis E., wife of H. M. Davis, a farmer at Rago, Kansas; B. A. Welch; Calvin E., a teacher at Rago; Delbert E., who is connected with the Railroad Company at Rago; Zenos A., a carpenter at Rago; Guy E., a farmer at Rago; Olive E., wife of Clarence Hundley, a locomotive fireman with the Missouri Pacific Railroad and living at Conway Springs, Kansas; and Ruth E., who resided with her mother.
B. A. Welch was educated in the rural schools of Kingman County, and for one year attended the State Normal School at Emporia. In the meantime after his father’s death he had taken charge of the home farm and he returned to it in 1898 and was a practical farmer until his election to the office of clerk of the District Court in 1906. Mr. Welch filled that office with energy and diligence for two years. In 1908 he entered the State Bank of Kingman as assistant cashier, and since April, 1915, had been cashier and had handled practically all the executive responsibilities.
This is one of the stronger banks of Kingman County, having been established in May, 1905, by C. W. Sample, Clyde Murphy and others. It is operated under a state charter and had a capital of $25,000, surplus and profits of $10,000 and deposits approximating $200,000. The present officers of the bank are: C. W. Sample, president; David Walter, vice president; B. A. Welch, cashier; and Walton C. Sample, assistant cashier.
Mr. Welch is a member in good standing of the Kansas Bankers’ Association, the Kansas State Bankers’ Association and the American Bankers’ Association. He is secretary and treasurer of the Farmers’ Elevator Company at Cleveland, Kansas, and among other interests owned a farm of eighty acres eight miles east of Kingman. His modern home is at 925 North Spruce Street in Kingman. Mr. Welch is one of the most active supporters of church and religious affairs in Kingman, being an elder, chairman of the official board, and church treasurer of the Christian Church and also superintendent of its Sunday school. He is a republican in politics.
September 20, 1908, at Kingman, he married Miss Murphy Port, daughter of John and Mary Port, both now deceased. They have two children: John Norman, born August 17, 1911; and Mary Ellen, born February 6, 1915.