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Charles D. Welch. Since his admission to the bar in 1899 Charles D. Welch had built a reputation as a sound, hard working and able lawyer, and had also been a factor in public affairs and is one of the leading republicans of Coffeyville, where he had been in practice for the past twelve years.
His ancestors were New York State people, having settled there probably before the Revolution. His grandfather, Daniel Welch, was born in New York, but moved from that state to a farm in Indiana and died in Illinois.
It was in McLean County, Illinois, that Charles D. Welch was born January 14, 1872. His father was the late R. B. Welch, whose record is of special interest in a Kansas history. He was born in Indiana in 1850, was reared in that state, went to Illinois as a young man, where he married, and in 1879 moved to Emporia, Kansas. There he became president of the Emporia State Normal, a position he held until 1882. Then, removing to Topeka, he set up in practice as a lawyer, and was thus engaged until his death in 1906. For two terms, four years, he served as county attorney of Shawnee County, and for many years was president of the Topeka Board of Education. He was a republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. R. B. Welch married Margaret Hammond, who was born in Ohio in 1851 and is now living at Seattle, Washington. Charles D. Welch is the oldest of the four children. His sister, Belle, is the wife of B. H. Pugh of Topeka, an extensive farmer and a potato raiser on a large scale, and also engaged in the commission brokerage business in potatoes. William S., the only brother of Charles, is now in the regular United States army, with the Twelfth Cavalry, stationed at Yellowstone Park at present. Kate, the youngest, is the wife of Ralph H. Bollard, who is in the loan business at Seattle, Washington.
Charles D. Welch attended school for a time while his parents lived in Emporia and in 1890 graduated from the high school of Topeka. He then entered Washburn College, where he completed the course with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1894. During the greater part of the next five years he was engaged in teaching, spending two years in the high school at Topeka and for three years was in the Central High School of Kansas City, Missouri. While at Kansas City he was a student in the Kansas City School of Law, where he took his LL. B. degree in 1899, and in the same year was admitted to the Kansas bar.
Until 1904 Mr. Welch was in practice at the capital city of Topeka, and during that time was elected and served four years as county auditor of Shawnee County. His home had been in Coffeyville since January 1, 1905, and here he quickly built up a practice in civil and criminal law which places him in the front ranks of the lawyers of that section. For eight years he had served as attorney for the state board of health, his first appointment coming during Governor Hoch’s administration. As a republican he served eight years as chairman of the central committee at Coffeyville. The Montgomery County Bar Association honored him by electing him its president for two years.
Mr. Welch had his offices in the Plaza Building, and his home is at 516 West Fifth Street. In 1897, at Stockton, Kansas, he married Miss Gertrude Dewey, daughter of C. H. and Mary E. Dewey, who are now living retired in Topeka. Mr. and Mrs. Welch have one child, Dorothy, born in 1899, and now in the freshman class of Washburn College, her father’s alma mater.