until she reached Luckenwald near Berlin. There Erich was born.

Through Immanuel's imprisonment and Johanna’s flight they lost track of each other for almost 10 months, not knowing if the other were still alive. In Nov of 1945, through messages left on bulletin boards, they found each other and moved to Heilbronn near Stuttgart where Siegfried was born. At that time the United States accepted the first German displaced persons through Church World Service. They applied with 54,000 others and arrived in Eagle Grove, IA in 1952. Immanuel found work with the United States Gypsum Company in Fort Dodge. They lived in Pastor Gerhard Menzing’s parsonage because a family with 5 children was hard to place. Then they worked on Otto Wassum's farm near Humbolt where daughter Gerlyn was born.

In 1955 they rented a farm near Whitemore where Arnold was born. Because the land in Winneshiek Co. was cheaper they were able to buy their present farm in 1959. Their house, known as the Ruffridge place, was built in the late 1850’s from rock quarried on the farm.

Immanuel and Johanna both lost their parents early in life and had many struggles and hardships, but they are grateful and happy to be in their home near Locust. In 1995 they have 14 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren and enjoy traveling to see family and friends.

Welch, David, Sr. and Margaret (Robinson)

(Barry M. Dahl)

Bio Photo

Top left: Margaret, David James, Kathryn, William and Jane.
Bottom left: Fanny, David Sr., Margaret, John and Mary.

David Welch, Sr. was born 2 Feb 1828 in the town land of Bally Knock, Parish of Loughuile, Antrim Co., Ireland. He was the son of James Welch. I cannot relate much as to the childhood of David Welch, but Ireland in the 1840’s must have been a very difficult place to live. The potato famine started in 1847, and one and a half million people died at this time; another million emigrated to other countries. The hardships that took place would be hard to comprehend. For an in depth look at the famine, I suggest The Great Hunger by Cecil Woodham-Smith, published in 1962.

David married Margaret Robinson, daughter of John Robinson and Jane Rodgers born 8 Feb 1850 in the Parish of Loughuile. Margaret was born 21 Jun 1829 in the same parish. On 12 Oct 1850 David and his wife Margaret, along with Margaret’s sister Diana and her husband James McGowan, arrived in the port of New York from Liverpool, England, on the ship Franchise. This is recorded in the five volume ship passenger list The Famine Immigrants. which contains Irish immigrants arriving in New York between 1846 and 1851.

It took ten years before the Welch’s arrived in the Hesper-Mabel area, and this was still 20 years before Mabel became a village. The Welch’s spent some time in New York where their first child was born. Jane entered the world 16 Sep 1851. When Jane was 3 months old the family moved to Pittsburgh, PA, staying there for 3 months. Then they departed for Johnstown Center, Wl, where they lived for 9 years. It was there that Kathryn was born 5 Feb 1854, William was born 11 Sep 1856, and Margaret on 16 May 1860. Margaret Welch’s sister Diana, and her husband James McGowan, also lived in Johnstown Center with their children. In 1861 the Welch family moved to the Hesper-Mabel area where the rest of their children were born. Mary was born 1 Feb 1861, Fanny 8 Dec 1863, David James (my great-grandfather) 10 Jul 1866, and John on 12 Aug 1870.

Here are David and Margaret’s children and descendants in more detail: Jane married Allen Stroud 25 Feb 1874; they had no children. The Stroud's lived a half mile south of Mabel, MN. Jane died in 1927; she and her husband are both buried in the Hesper public cemetery. Kathryn married Levi Antrim (1855-1933) on 28 Apr 1875. Their children were Rose born 1878; Ernest born 1881 later published the Mabel Record for many years; and Matie born 1891 was a school teacher in the area and in Wisconsin for many years. Kathryn died in 1934 and is buried next to her husband in the Hesper public cemetery. William married Anna Darrington (1863-1946) on 21 Feb 1883. It was a double wedding - William’s sister Mary married Anna’s brother, John Darrington. William and Anna’s children were Frank (1887-1956), Willie (1886-1954), Charlie (1895-?), and Fanny (1897-1986). William died in 1931 and is buried with his wife in the Hesper public cemetery. Margaret married George Wells (1852-1931) on 24 Sep 1885. They were the parents of Birdie (1886-1981) and Charles (1889-1915). Charles was the first auto fatality in Mabel, MN. Margaret died in 1931 and is buried in the Hesper public cemetery next to her husband. Marv married John Darrington (1861 -1957) 21 Feb 1883. Their children were David (1884-1974), Roy (1891-1961), and Cecil. Mary died in 1935 and is buried with her husband in the Hesper public cemetery. Fanny married Frank Babcock and resided in Elliot, ND. David James married Susan Jane Allen (1869-1970) on 24 May 1893. Susan Jane was better known as Jennie. Their children were Eva (1897-1897), Myron (1899-1984), and Evelyn (1905-1988). John never married, and died 11 Jul 1939.

The Welch family farmed their 160 acres for almost 45 years. They attended both the Methodist Church in Mabel and the Friends Church in Hesper. Margaret (Robinson)


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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this page was last updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2021