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Welsh, George Winston

Posted by ceddleman 
Welsh, George Winston
March 06, 2007 04:11PM
KENTUCKY: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, 4th ed.,
1887 Boyle Co.

GEORGE WINSTON WELSH was born in Lincoln County, Ky., September 9, 1809.
His grandfather on the paternal side was James Welsh, a native of the
North of Ireland, who married a representative of the prominent (Scotch)
Douglass family and immigrated to this country at a period somewhat
antedating the Revolutionary war. He established himself in the
neighborhood of Harrisburg, Penn., where he passed his days in the
peaceful pursuit of agriculture. He had a large family of children all
of whom removed to Kentucky early in life and became identified with
the pioneer growth and development of that now prosperous State.
Thomas, Joseph, and John located at Stanford, Lincoln County, about
1790 and engaged in mercantile pursuits. James, about the same period,
settled at Lexington, whence he removed to Jefferson County, where he
died; Edward passed his life at Lexington engaged in teaching; William
became a tanner and resided in Barren County and Andrew engaged in
farming operations in Jefferson County. Two daughters married; one
into the Darby family and the other the Guthrie family and also became
identified with the early settlement of Kentucky. Of these sons, John
was the father of the subject of this sketch; for his first wife he
married Sarah, daughter of William Withers, who ended his days near the
mouth of the Salt River. Of this union were born two daughters; Sarah,
who married John Merrifield of Bloomfield, Ky., and Nancy, who became
the wife, first of William Stewart of Bedford, Penn., and secondly of
Asa Combs of Nelson County, Ky. For his second wife John Welsh
espoused Pamelia, daughter of George Lee, of Lincoln County, Ky., and
a member of one of the pioneer families of that section. It is related
of this lady that she used to take her turn standing guard in the
blockhouse that formed the citadel of safety against Indian attacks in
her younger days. The result of this marriage was five children, of
whom four attained years of maturity, viz: Joseph, who died in Georgia;
Elizabeth, widow of James Nichols and mother of Joseph W. Nichols,
cashier of the Farmers and Drovers Bank of Louisville; George Winston;
and John Welsh, who has been dead for many years. The father of this
family, having pursued the occupation of a merchant and latterly a
farmer in Lincoln County, finally removed to Hardin County, where he
died in 1823 at the age of fifty-four, surviving his wife ten years.
The opening years of the life of George Winston Welsh were passed in
Lincoln County and upon the removal of his parents to Hardin County he
accompanied them. His opportunities for obtaining an education in that
undeveloped country were at that time very limited, his entire book
training having been received within the short period of eighteen
months. After the death of his father, in 1823, he returned to Lincoln
County and soon after engaged in the business of a cabinet-maker, a
vocation which he abandoned soon after and opened a general store in
that county. In the spring of 1832 he went on horseback to Palmyra,
Mo., where he engaged in trade for a time, passing the winter of that
year in Tallahassee, Fla., whither he also went on horseback. Soon
after he began farming in Illinois where he remained until 1836, when,
being unable to outgrow the attachments and memories of his native
county, he returned and opened a store at Hustonville, Ky. There he
remained in trade until February, 1852, when he transferred his
enterprises to Danville, Ky., where he has continued in active business
since. Mr. Welsh has now attained the ripe age of seventy-eight years
but is still in possession of all his faculties. For a period of fifty
years past no citizen in this locality has been so closely identified
with the moral, religious, commercial and material growth of this
section nor more uniformly enjoyed the respect and confidence of his
friends and associates. Politically he was originally a Henry Clay
Whig, and has remained faithful to the traditions and principles of
that party and of its natural successor, the Republican party,
throughout a long life. During the trying period of the civil war,
which was so closely associated with his section and State, he remained
true to the Union cause and murmured not, though the issue of the
Emancipation Proclamation deprived him of much of what he had been
taught to believe was his rightful property. He never aspired to
public position and has uniformly declined many flattering offers of
preferment in that direction. With the business life of Danville no
man has been more intimately identified for forty years and many of the
worthy institutions and business enterprises of that place were either
conceived and founded by him or received from him the most liberal
encouragement and support. He was the chief organizer of the First
National Bank of Danville in 1865 and president of that institution for
fifteen years. He was one of the organizers of the Farmers National
Bank of Danville in 1879 and is at present holding the office of
vice-president. For a quarter of a century he has been a member of the
board of directors of Centre College, Danville, and of the Theological
Seminary, and is the president of the board of directors of the female
college in that place, of which he was one of the founders in 1859 and
of which he has been a liberal patron since. It was largely through
his energy and activity that the right of way was obtained for the
Cincinnati Southern Railroad through to Danville, which has done so
much for the social and material development of that town, and it is
not too much to say that Mr. Welsh has always lent liberal encouragement
to all movements of a progressive and elevating character in his
locality and in a generous and unostentatious way assisted them all.
Now, in the evening of his life, it is deemed but fitting and right
that some permanent record should be made of his life-work and
character on behalf of his family and numerous friends. Mr. Welsh was
married in November, 1834, to Mary, daughter of Capt. James Breath, of
Madison County, Ill., formerly of New York. The golden wedding of the
couple was fitly celebrated in 1884 and they are still in the enjoyment
of a happy married life. Of the eleven children born to them, seven
reached mature years: Elizabeth, wife of Camillus W. Metcalf, of
Atlanta, Ga.; Adeline, wife of G. E. Wiseman of Danville, Ky.;George W.,
Jr., for ten years a merchant in Danville and now cashier of the
Farmers National Bank of that place; John Edward, engaged in mining in
Colorado; Mary Louise (deceased), who became the wife of John Greenway
of Lexington, Ky.; James B., engaged in mercantile life at Kansas City,
Mo., and William L. Welsh who is in trade at Danville, Ky.
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