Welch died 26 Mar 1899 and David Welch died 4 Feb 1905. Both are buried in the Hesper public cemetery. At the time of David's death there were many Welch descendants in the area, but now there is only one great-great grandson with the Welch surname - Todd Welch, of rural Decorah. After David, Sr. died, his farm was split in half, with half going to his son David James and the other going to his daughter Margaret (Welch) Wells. Margaret’s daughter Birdie (1886-1981) married Amos Moore (1889-1977) in 1922; they ran that part of the farm until 1975.

On Memorial Day, when walking through the Hesper Public Cemetery, it is possible to see the monument of David and Margaret Welch, a fine Irish couple who brought their hopes and dreams to the land of plenty. Hard work and industry brought them many fine descendants. And with that in mind, may they not be forgotten.

Welch, Jennie (Allen) and David, Jr.

(Barry M. Dahl)

Bio Photo

David Welch Jr. and Jenny (Allen)

Susan Jane Allen, more commonly known as ‘Jennie” was the second child of John and Susan (Darrington) Allen. She was born 28 Nov 1869 in Bedford, Bedfordshire Co., England. In Apr of 1874 she came with her parents and her brother Tom and sister Anna to the United States. They settled in Highland Twp., later moving to Hesper, IA. She attended the Hesper public school. On 24 May 1893 she married David James Welch who was born 10 Jul 1866inNewburgTwp., Fillmore Co., MN. His parents were David and Margaret (Robinson) Welch who had emigrated from Ireland in 1850.

Dave and Jennie lived on a farm just one mile south of Mabel, MN where they spent the duration of their married life. Dave had several inventions such as the shield on the corn plow; however, none were ever patented. In addition Dave also raised fine horses. He died 28 Jun 1939 and was buried in the Hesper public cemetery. David was then 72; little did Jennie know that she would spend the next 31 years waiting to join her husband. David and

Jennie had 3 children: Mvron (1923-19841 married Emma Klegseth 14 Feb 1923. They were parents of 3 children: Marion (1923-1971), Donald (1928-1987); and Lois (1930-1930). Myron took over the farm after his father died. Evelvn (1905-19881 married Oscar Olsen 7 Mar 1923. They were parents of 8 children: Francis; Eloise Maxine; Reginald; Juanita; Cheryl; Lolita; David James; and Charles. The Olsen family lived in Mabel for most of their life, moving to Caledonia, MN in their later years. Dave and Jennie also had a child who died in infancy, Eva Mildred (13 Feb 1897-9 Jul 1897).

An interesting article about Jennie appeared in the Mabel Record to note her “100th” birthday. It states that she had spent most of her life in the Hesper-Mabel area, but now she has been residing at the Caledonia nursing home for the past 10 months. It goes on to describe her physical condition as fair with a keen mind and a slight problem with her hearing. Although only 4 1/2 years old when she left her native England for the U.S., Jennie recalls two incidents that occurred while enroute with her family who spent 3 weeks aboard ship. It seems that the food was not the best and she remembers that the biscuits were so hard she couldn’t digest them. A hole in the floor of the cabin she occupied was where little Jennie filed her biscuits away. She remembers how the crew paid so much attention to her younger brother Thomas who celebrated his third birthday on the voyage to America. Upon their arrival in the U.S. the Allen family came to the home of Jennie's uncle, Joseph Darrington, who resided on a farm southeast of Hesper. Here the family lived until a log cabin was built near the Darrington farm.

Jennie stated that over the century she has always remained interested in current events, and loved to read, especially about events of her native England. She did a lot of hand work over the years, and even last April, in her 100th year, embroidered a pair of pillow cases for her daughter. Although Jennie only had a grade school education she became a proficient penman and her writing was admired by young and old even into the autumn of her life. Her last Christmas she addressed all her own greeting cards.

My fondest memories of her are when she made her famous apple sauce cake, and when we celebrated our birthdays on the same day, November 28. I was privileged to have lived in the same house with her in my youth while I lived in my grandfather’s farm south of Mabel. Jennie taught me how to hook rag rugs, something she could do with her eyes closed. She would sit in her rocking chair and sing hymns, such as “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Rock of Ages," at the same time working on something for her many grandchildren and friends.

After complications with a broken hip Jennie died in Caledonia on 12 Nov 1970 just short of her 101st birthday. She is buried next to her husband in the Hesper public cemetery. Jennie was an inspiration to all who knew her.


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.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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this page was last updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2021