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Family Materials and Personal Documents

Family Correspondence 1831-1934

Brief Notes on Welch's Family

Family: Welch's mother, Emeline Collin Welch (1822-1850), and his father, William Wickham Welch (1818-1892), married in 1844 and had 2 children, Emeline Alice Welch Walcott, known as Emma (1847-1910) and William Henry Welch (1850-1934). Welch's mother Emeline died when he was six months old. Sixteen years later, in 1866, Welch's father, married Emily Sedgwick (1819-1901).

Welch's major family correspondence was with his sister Emma, from 1864 to 1909, and her daughter, Elizabeth Walcott Kellogg, known as Bessie, from 1890-1934. Bessie corresponded with Simon Flexner after Welch's death and was a major source of family information. Welch also corresponded with Emma's husband, William Stuart Walcott Sr., and their son, William Stuart Walcott, Jr.

The family correspondence includes letters by Welch's parents written before his birth, as well as letters exchanged between Welch and his father from 1869 to 1891, and with his stepmother, from 1866 and 1901.

The family correspondence also includes letters from Welch's grandniece, Lois Kellogg Jessup, his grandnephew and namesake William Welch Kellogg, and from his grandmother Elizabeth Loveland Welch. There are letters from cousins (Collins, Bidwells, Pettibones) and others dating from 1863-1934.

Letter to his sister Emma

Written while vacationing at Atlantic City New Jersey, July 3, 1901.
(Box 69 F 28)

"My Dear Sister,

Baltimore is a fiery furnace, and I have fled with my [mss.] proof and work to the sea-shore... Doubtless this is a vulgar place...but I am contented, and you can be as quiet as you like. There is the most terrifying, miraculous, blood-curdling affair called the "Flip- Flap" Railroad.
[Click on image to view page 1.]

It takes you around on the inside of the periphery ..."

[Click on image to continue reading and view diagram, page 2.]

Detail of (roller coaster) trolley track drawn by Welch, on page 2

     trolley.gif (34014 bytes)

"They put Roman candles on the back of my car, so that the effect was a continuous circle of flame. As you go around the circle, the affect is indescribable... "

[Click on image to read page 3.]

"I shall probably be here a week or so, unless destroyed on the centrifugal road."

[Click on image to read conclusion of letter on page 4.]