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William Harris Welch was born at Erie, Pennsylvania, December 15, 1862. He moved from there to Lock Haven with his parents the following year, and was educated in private and public schools, finishing with a special one year’s course in the State Normal at that place in 187980. During the next five years he studied and practiced civil engineering with his father, Edwin H. Welch, on the Pennsylvania railroad. In February, 1885, he entered the maintenance of way department of the Northern Central railway at Elmira as rodman. In June of the same year he came to Canandaigua as assistant to Supervisor William J. Jeudevine. At the death of the latter in 1891 he was appointed supervisor of the Canandaigua division, which position he still holds. For a number of years he acted as village engineer, building a number of the village sewers, and in 1899 the Chapin street brick pavement, the first laid in the village.
He is on his father’s side a direct descendant of William Bradford, who came over in the “Mayflower” in 1620, and Alice Carpenter, his wife. His father is still living and is practicing his profession in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. His mother died in September, 1893. A sister, L. Helen Welch, and a brother, Paul H. Welch, are still living at the old home.
On October 10, 1888, William H. Welch married Grace, second daughter of the late Hon. John Raines. They have three daughters. Catherine E., Edith H., and Alice Irene, and one son. William H. Jr.