JAMES S. WELCH, M.D., deceased. Sullivan, Moultrie County, is proud to name those in her foremost
rank who have fallen in the conflict of life, but who have fallen honorably and whose past record
makes them beloved and respected by those who knew them and whose example is worth of emulation
of the rising generation. Among such names we present Dr. James S. Welch who died at his home in
Sullivan, September 4, 1884. He had lived in the county for a good many years and was formerly a
resident of Shelbyville, where for some time he was in the mercantile business, Sangamon County,
this State, had been his home previous to his coming to Shelbyville.
Dr. Welch was born in Sangamon County, Ill., February 3, 1849, and as he had lost his father
when quite young he had been reared to manhood by his mother who has since died in Sangamon
County, full of years and in the enjoyment of the respect and affection of all who knew her.
Our subject was a student at Ann Arbor, Mich., and later was graduated from the St. Louis Medical
College. He practiced his profession for a short time only and then became a druggist, in which
line of business he was very successful.
Our subject was prominent in political and social circles, was active in promoting the success
of the Democratic party and was identified with the order of Odd Fellows at Sullivan. This order
took charge of the funeral ceremonies after his death and he was buried with the honors of the
lodge. His intelligence and affability brought him many friends and his business ability commanded
the respect of all.
Miss Anna Reeder became the wife of Dr. Welch in Sullivan. She is a native of Warren County,
Ohio, and a daughter of George W. and Jane (Thompson) Reeder, natives of Ohio who came of Eastern
parentage, being descended respectively from families of Virginia and New Jersey. Mr. and Mrs.
Reeder were married in Warren County, Ohio, and at once went to Wisconsin, becoming early settlers
near Monroe, Green County, in the days when the Indians were much more numerous than whites. They
traveled from Ohio by way of water, taking the river at Cincinnati, going down the Ohio and up the
Mississippi to Galena, Ill., and thence with teams to Green County, Wis., where they lived for
nine years, transforming the raw prairie into a productive farm which lies tow and one-half miles
from the present city of Monroe. That city was at one time located upon their land but during a
county seat war was removed to another site. On leaving Wisconsin they returned to Warren County,
Ohio, and in the spring of 1865 they came to Illinois, settling in Coles County near Mattoon,
where they lived for two years and then came to Shelby County. Six years later they removed to
Normal, McLean County, and there Mr. Reeder died in 1881, being then nearly seventy-two years of age.
Mr. Reeder was a strong Republican in politics and a leader among men, and was a successful
farmer all his life. His wife, who survives him, is now seventy-two years of age and makes her
home with her daughter, Mrs. Welch. She is the mother of seventeen children, ten of whom are
yet living. Four of her sons, Joseph H., Allen B., Caleb T., and James C., were soldiers during
the War of the Rebellion. The eldest of these fell at the battle of Ft. Donelson by a shot from
the enemy's guns. He was a member of the Eleventh Indiana Zouaves; the second son mentioned died
from typhoid fever upon a hospital boat after the battle of Franklin, in which he took part; he
was a Sergeant in an Ohio regiment. The last two named fought through the war and escaped unhurt,
James being now a Kansas farmer, while Caleb F. is a general merchant at Stewardson, Shelby County.
Prof. Rudolph Reeder, another son of this eminent family, is successfully filling the Chair of
Training in the Normal School at Normal, Ill., while another, Prof. George W. Reeder, has been
Principal of various schools in Kansas and Colorado; their sister, Mrs. Welch, was carefully
reared and well educated, completing her course in the Normal University at Normal, Ill., and
was for twelve years a teacher, serving both in Mattoon and Sullivan, having been only sixteen
years old when she began teaching. She is a Methodist in her religious belief and her mother
belongs to the Baptist Church. She is an earnest temperance worker and is active in promoting
every movement which will lead to the prohibition of the sale of alcoholic drinks in her town
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 230/231
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb