He was born on 2 December 1836 (12, 28; 8 (26 in 1861), 6 (44 in 1880), 13 (72 in 1910), 35 (13 in 1850), 36 (35 in 1870)). He was born near Birmingham, England (6, 9, 12 [PA], 13, 1428, 35, 36).
He immigrated in 1844 (13).
In 1850, he was living with Benjamin and Mary Ann Welch (presumably his parents), with John, Jane, Ann, Benjamin, and Sarah Welch (presumably his siblings), and with others (35).
He was naturalized in 1851 [?] (13).
In 1860, he was living with a physician, John R Reading, (and others) in the 23rd ward of Philadelphia (9). He was a Methodist Episcopal clergyman (9). He was 22 years old, and had been born in England (9).
In 1862/63, he married Mary E [unknown family name] (12). In 1900, she had had two children, both of whom were alive (12).
When he enlisted, he was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (8).
He enlisted on 28 October 1861, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (8, 10 [28 Aug 61]). He was mustered into service as chaplain on 4 December 1862 (1 , 2 , 5 ; 4 suggests he was an original member of the regiment; 8 has 4 Dec 61, 40-41).
On 27 November 1861, he and other commissioned officers of the regiment attended a dinner given by Mr Harmer, a neighbor of Camp Chase (17). Gregory and others gave after-dinner speeches (17)
On 14 February 1862, he thanked the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Germantown and Dr C E Cady for their donation of various supplies (15).
On 29 June 1862, he, along with the other commissioned officers in the regiment (except Colonel Gregory), signed a statement denying accusations that they were on the verge of open mutiny, that the regiment had been reduced to 400 men, and that Colonel Gregory was too lenient to Confederates and too harsh to men in the regiment (16).
On 2 August 1862, he spoke at a dress parade (39).
In August 1862, he supplied information about Alexandria to a newspaper reporter (34).
On 18 February 1863, he married Mary E Taylor (12, 23, 37). They were married by D W Bartine (37). She had two children, both of whom were alive in 1900 (12).
After the war, the Methodist Conference (and in particular Bishop Simpson) sent him to Texas as a missionary, in 1865 (24, 37; see also 38). His wife went with him (37). He was appointed superintendent of schools (apparently by the federal government), and served there for four years (24, 28).
He preached in the Temperance Hall in Austin in October 1868 (30). He presided at a weekly meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Temperance Hall in Austin Texas at least in November and December 1868 (31).
In February 1869, he was presiding over the Houston District of the Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church (32).
In August 1869, he was Superintendent of Colored Education for Texas (33).
He had left Texas by February 1870 (29).
In 1870, he was living in Easton, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania (36). He was a clergyman, and owned $5,000 [?] in personal property (36). He was living with his wife Mary, his son Benjamin, a domestic servant, and with Mary Welch (probably his mother) (36).
When he returned to Philadelphia, he became the presiding elder of the northwest Philadelphia district of the Philadelphia Methodist Conference (4).
In 1880, he was living at 763 South 15th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (6). He was a minister (6). He was living with his wife, Mary, and his children Benjamin and Helen, along with a servant (6).
In 1888, he worked full time at the Eastern Penitentiary (20).
On 12 September 1889, he gave the address at the dedication of the monument to the 91st Pennsylvania at Gettysburg (4).
In 1890, he was living at 1742 North 16th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (10, 11). He had a "[g]eneral breaking up of [his] system", from which he had "never recovered" (10).
In 1891/92, he was appointed chaplain of the Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (24).
In 1896, he was the Moral Instructor at the Eastern State Penitentiary (19).
In 1900, he was living at 1723 15th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (12). He and his wife Mary E Welch were boarders (12). He was a minister (12).
In 1903, he was placed in charge of the prison (I assume briefly), when the Warden was removed because the prison wInspectors discovered a counterfeiting ring (22).
On 4 June 1904, his wife died, in Hughsville, Pennsylvania, at the home of their son B[enjamin] Harvey Welch (37). She had been ill for two years (37). She was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery (37).
He applied successfully from Pennsylvania for a pension on 11 July 1904 and 1 March 1907 (2, 11).
On 20 April 1906, he married Horace P Wattson and Margaret O'Donnell, in Philadelphia (license 198251) (7).
In 1910, he was living at 2117 Green Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (13). He was a minister (13). He was a widower, and was living with his children Benjamin H and Helen R Welch, and a servant (13).
In 1910, he was the Moral Instructor for the Eastern Penitentiary (21). His report mentions difficulties with foreign languages and inadequate space for instrumental music, but overall emphasizes success (21).
On 1 December 1918, the Christian Endeavor Societies' choirs (which gave weekly song services for inmates) gave him a silver loving cup in honor of his 82nd birthday (28).
In 1920, he was living at 2117 Green Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (14). He was a chaplain, at a penitentiary [?] (14). He was living with his children B Harvey and Helen R Welch, and a servant (14).
The State Board of Charities investigated allegations of maladministration by Warden Robert J McKenty, Eastern State Penitentiary (26; see also 27). They cleared McKenty of all charges, and recommended that William A Dunlap (the member of the Board of Inspectors who raised the accusations) and Welch be removed, because of their attempts to have McKenty removed (26).
He was dismissed as chaplain of Eastern Penitentiary on *Wednesday (24). He had been chaplain for 28 years (24).
In the morning of 18 January 1920, he wrote a letter replying to a letter of sympathy from Thomas Latimer (24). He claimed that he advised inmates how to be heard by the committee investigating the management of Eastern Penitentiary, passed their letters to the committee, and did not play any other role in the investigation (24).
He died suddenly in the afternoon of 18 January 1920, four days after he was removed (2, 23, 24). He "was seized by a violent hemorrhage and expired before medical aid could be summoned" (24). His son claimed that he had been ill for years, and that his dismissal did not hasten his death (24).
Invited to his funeral were Melita Lodge, No 295, Free and Accepted Masons; Melita Chapter no 284 RAM; Mary Commandery No. 36 Knights Templar, and George Meade Post GAR (23). The funeral was held on Wednesday from his late residence, 2117 Green Street (23, 24). The prison inmates sent flowers to his funeral (25). He was buried in South Laurel Hill Cemetery (23, 24).
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster) (Joseph Welsh)
2 pension index, by regiment (Joseph Welch)
4 Pennsylvania at Gettysburg: Ceremonies at the dedication of the monuments erected by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to Major-General George G. Meade, Major-General Winfield S. Hancock, Major-General John F. Reynolds, and to mark the positions of the Pennsylvania commands engaged in the battle. Volume 1: 1914, pp.500-507. 'Dedication of monument', by Chaplain Joseph Welch.
6 1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 643, microfilm series T9, film 1189, page 4 D = 8 handwritten (Joseph Welch)
7 message, at GenForum (http://genforum.genealogy.com), Welch Forum, posted by Ash, 8 March 2000 (Joseph Welch)
8 Civil War Veterans' Card File, available at the Pennsylvania State Archives, searched 5 May 2004 (Joseph Welsh; rolls have 'Welch')
9 1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 23rd ward, page 960 (Joseph Welsh)
10 1890 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 29th ward, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 672, page 2, line 24 (Joseph Welsh)
11 pension index, by name (Joseph Welch)
12 1900 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 710, ward 29, page 146=4 handwritten, lines 57-58 (Joseph Welch)
13 1910 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 232, 15th ward, page 153=handwritten sheet 10, lines 20-23 (Joseph Welch)
14 1920 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 309, ward 15, page 277=10 handwritten, lines 5-8 (Joseph Welch)
15 'Ninety-first Pennsylvania Regiment', Philadelphia Inquirer, 14 February 1862, page 8 (Jos. Welch)
16 'Ninety-first Pennsylvania Regiment'. Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 July 1862, page 2 (Joseph Welch)
17 'Camp Chase', Philadelphia Inquirer 30 November 1861 (Joseph Welsh)
18 'Departure of Col. Gregory's regiment', Philadelphia Inquirer 22 January 1862 page 2 (Joseph Welsh)
19 Smull's legislative hand book and manual of the state of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg PA: State Printer, 1896. Page 87 (Joseph Welch)
20 'Visiting committee at the Eastern Penitentiary'. The journal of prison discipline and philanthropy. January 1888. [journal of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, with committee reports etc.] page 54 (Joseph Welch)
21 Moral instructor's report . Eighty-first annual report of the inspectors of the State Penitentiary for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for the year 1910. Philadelphia, 1911. (Joseph Welch)
22 'Counterfeiting in prison'. New York Times, 14 September 1903, page 5 (Joseph Welch)
23 death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 19 January 1920, page 10 (reprinted 20 January 1920 page 19) (Joseph Welch)
24 'Prison chaplain 28 years; ousted; died in 4 days'. Philadelphia Inquirer 19 January 1920, page 1 (Joseph Welch)
25 'Bury prison chaplain', Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 January 1920, page 3 (Joseph Welch)
26 'M'Kenty is cleared by prison probers; Dunlap is ousted', Philadelphia Inquirer 10 January 1920, page 1 (Joseph Welch)
27 'Governor demands early report on prison inquiry', Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 December 1919, page 1 (Joseph Welch)
28 "Presented with cup. Moral instructor at eastern penitentiary remember on anniversary", Philadelphia Inquirer, 2 December 1918, page 2 (Joseph Welch)
29 'General Davis' first official act', Flake's Bulletin, 12 February 1870, page 4 (Joseph Welch)
30 'Methodist Episcopal church', Austin Republican 29 October 1868, page 3; also at 26 October 1868 page 2 and at 23 October 1868 page 3 (Joseph Welch)
31 'Methodist Episcopal Church', Austin Republican 2 November 1868, page 2; also at 11 November 1868 page 3 and 1 December 1868 page 2 (with inconsequential changes) (Joseph Welch)
32 'The Texas Conference', Flake's Bulletin 3 March 1869 page 4 (Joseph Welch)
33 'Howard University', Flake's Bulletin 1 September 1869, page 5 (Joseph Welch)
34 'Our Alexandria letter', Philadelphia Inquirer 23 August 1862, page 1 (Joseph Welch)
35 1850 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County, Kensington, ward 3, microfilm series M432, film 806, page 192 = 148 handwritten (Joseph Welsh)
36 1870 US census, Pennsylvania, Northampton County, Lehigh, 286th district, Easton [?] Ward, microfilm series M593, film 1382, page 71 = 45 handwritten (Joseph Welch)
37 'Mary E Taylor Welch'. Minutes of the ... session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church ..., 1902, pp.91-93 (Joseph Welch)
38 Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the year 1866. New York: T Mason and G Lane, 1866. Page 8 (Joseph Welch)
39 'Local', Alexandria Gazette 5 August 1862 page 3; transcribed 26 March 2011, from GenealogyBank (Rev Mr Welch)
40 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (Joseph Welsh)
41 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (Joseph Welch)
|Name||Benjamin Welch||Mary Ann||John||Jane||Ann||Joseph||Benjamin||Sarah||William Keese||Joseph Wills||George Feilds [sic]|
|Occupation of males over 15 years||Bridlbit [sic] mkr [?]||Clerk|| ||Bridlbit [sic] mkr [sic]|
|Real estate owned||2000|
|Married within year|
|Attended school within year||1|
|Over 20 & can't read/write|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Occupation||Meth E Clergyman|
|Value of real estate owned|
|Value of personal estate|
|Place of birth||England|
|Married within year|
|Attended school within year|
|Cannot read & write|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Name||Welch, Joseph||- Mary||- Benjamin||Lambert Hulda||Welch Mary|
|Occupation||Clergyman||Keeping House||Domestic Servant|
|Real estate value|
|Personal estate value||5000 [?]|
|Father foreign born||1||1||1|
|Mother foreign born||1|| ||1|
|Birth month if born within year|
|Marriage month if married within year|
|Attended school past year|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Male US citizen at least 21 years old||1|
|Male US citizen at least 21 years old who can't vote ...|
|street name||South 15th St|
|dwelling visit #||69|
|family visit #||90|
|name||Welch Joseph||- Mary E||- Benjamin||- Hellen||Laws Bridget|
|month born if born in year|
|married during year|
|occupation||Minister||Keeping House||At School||At School||Servant|
|school this year||1||1|
|name||Welch, Joseph||- Mary E.|
|birth date||Dec 1836||Aug 1832|
|# years married||[blank] [sic]||37|
|mother of how many children?||2|
|# of children living||2|
|# years in USA|
|# months not employed||0|
|# months in school|
|free or mortgaged|
|# of farm schedule|
|street||Green st. North side|
|name||Welch Joseph||- Benjamin H||- Helen R||Magee Sarah|
|#years present marriage|
|mother of # children|
|mother of # living children|
|birthplace||England Eng||Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania||Ireland Eng|
|father's birthplace||England Eng||England Eng||England Eng||Ireland Eng|
|mother's birthplace||Eng Eng||Delaware||Delaware||Ireland Eng|
|nature of industry etc.||church||Wood [or perhaps 'Wool'?] Industry||private family|
|out of work 15 Apr 1910?||no|
|# weeks out of work 1909||5|
|school since 1 Sep 09|
|owned free or mortagaged|
|nr on farm schedule|
|civil war vet||U [?]|
|deaf & dumb|
|dwelling visit number||167|
|family visit number||249|
|name||Welch, Joseph||- B. Harvey||- Helen R||Lavelle Kate|
|relationship||Head||brother [sic]||sister [sic]||servant|
|free/mortgaged (if owned)|
|age at last birthday||83||56||48||55|
|year of immigration||1844||1889 [?]|
|year of naturalization||1851 [last digit unclear]|
|attended school since Sept 1919|
|father's native language||English||English||English||English|
|mother's native language||English||English||English||English|
|can speak English||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|industry, business||Penitentiary [??]||Railroad||Private family|
|number of farm schedule|
|NUMBER OF EACH GRADE.|
|NAMES. PRESENT AND ABSENT.|
|JOINED FOR SERVICE AND ENROLLED AT GENERAL RENDEZVOUS--COMMENCEMENT OF FIRST PAYMENT BY TIME.||WHEN.|
|MUSTERED INTO SERVICE.||WHEN.|
|LAST PAID.||BY PAYMASTER.|
|TO WHAT TIME.|
|TRAVELING.||To place of rendezvous, No. of miles.|
|From place of discharge home, No. of miles.|
|Clothing Act||Due U.S|
|AMOUNT for clothing in kind, or in money advanced.|
|VALUE OF equipments, arms &c., received from the United States, to be paid for if lost or destroyed.|
We have earnest, faithful christian workers on this committee, some of whom are ministers of the Gospel, of different denominations. These, with other efficient members, are untiring in their efforts to "rescue the perishing," spending many hours every week in proclaiming the glad tidings of salvation so freely offered in the Gospel.
Rev. Joseph Welch devotes his whole time to the work, and labors earnestly for the conversion of souls. My intercourse with him is of the most pleasant character.[source: Eighty-first annual report of the inspectors of the State Penitentiary for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for the year 1910. Philadelphia, 1911.]
The Board of Inspectors of the Eastern State Penitentiary of Pennsylvania:GENTLEMEN:--
With devout gratitude to God, for His mercies vouchsafed us during the year, I respectfully present this report.
There has been prevalent a continuance of the healthy tone of the moral and physical life of the Institution, that commends itself to those interested in its welfare and work.
The modifications in the discipline and methods that have been wrought, by a gradual development of the purpose of the Board for the well being of the inmates, have produced a marked effect in the production of an ambition healthful and stimulating, throughout our community.
The growth of occupation incidental to these various changes, is one of the beneficial results thus produced; and the training thus fostered in industry and economy, is a vital element in the formation of a character of good citizenship.
The cultivation of the principle of self-help, is carried on to the utmost extent, so that learners in all the various fields possible to be utilized among us, are trained to do practically the chief part of the work by which the ends have been accomplished.
In our school work, the Teacher has been assisted very successfully by several of our inmates familiar with some of the foreign languages spoken among us; this facilitates greatly the teaching of them in our own, in which some of them make remarkable progress.
The same principle obtains in the teaching of instrumental music, in which we have over a hundred learners.
Our efforts are embarrassed by the fact that no adequate facilities exist adapated to the purpose in view.
The library is doing good work, and we are feeling our way to a limited equipment in the foreign languages, to help us in the better teaching and training of those who come to us from other lands.[page 76]
We are aided in our social and religious work by visiting clergymen of the various churches, who administer the sacraments to members of their respective Denominations.
Visitors of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, the American Society for Visiting Catholic prisoners, the Protestant Episcopal City Mission, and the Prisoner's Guild of the King's Daughters, are in regular attendance, contributing to the comfort, encouragement, and general up-building of our people.
The Pennsylvania Prison Society by its General Agend Frederick J. Pooley has given us very valuable services, especially providing clothing for those in need at the time of their discharge; in this connection we mention the active sympathy of John J. Lytle for over fifty years a worker among the inmates of this Penitentiary, still devising in his sick room, plans of help and ministry.
We are bountifully supplied with Magazines and Journals from various societies and clubs, through the thoughtfulness of faithful friends, who patiently collect them for us.
Religious and educational papers are supplied by the Prison Socieites, the Rev. S. W. Thomas D. D. of the Philadelphia Conference Tract Society, Mrs. Maud Ballington Booth of the American Volunteers, and Miss Eva Booth of the Salvation Army.
We have had the services of the Right Reverend Bishop Prendergast of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Right Reverend Bishop Mackay-Smith of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the administration of the ordinances of Confirmation to large classes of candidates.
The regular Sunday services at 9. o'clock have been well sustained: preachers and choirs from our city churches have been promptly in attendance.
A song service at 3.30 P.M. arranged for by the Protestant Episcopal City Mission is regularly held; and a Bi-monthly choir is furnished by the American Society for Visiting Catholic Prisoners.
In occasional need, we call on the Orchestra of the Penitentiary, which has been organized and trained by a willing and competent teacher and friend.
Our thanks are due to the various helpers who have so constantly served with us; the local preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Lutheran City Mission, the Friend's Yearly Meeting, and the King's Daughters.[page 77]
Many are aided in obtaining employment on their discharge by the Rev. H. L. Duhring D. D. of the Protestant Episcopal City Mission, the Rev. J. P. Duffy D. D> of the City Missionary Society, and faithful friends who are ready at all times to give us assistance as we call upon them.
The Home of Industry, F. H. Starr Supt. and Hope Hall in New York in the care of Mrs. Maud Ballington Booth extend a welcome and a helping hand, to those in need.
The work of the Parole Law is expected to afford efficient relief in this direction.
The work of our Printing and Bindery rooms, is being well done, though under the disabilities of insufficient equipment: they furnish valuable training to young men for future usefulness.
The reports of the Teacher and Librarian herewish presented furnish but a faint idea of the work done in those departments.
The twenty-seven thousand lessons given during the year, cover an amount of mental effort of both Teacher and Scholar, that is not expressed in figures.
I am deeply indebted to the Board for the ready sympathy and willing encouragement that I have received.
I am deeply indebted to the Board for the ready sympathy and willing encouragement that I have received.
I appreciate very highly the frank and faithful support of the Warden, and the courtesy of the Officers and inmates.
The following figures were gathered in my interviews with those admitted, the total number being 409.
|Number who||had attended||Sunday School||269|
|" "||" "||Church||221|
|" "||were members of Church||155|
|" "||" abstainers from use of liquor||75|
|" "||" moderate users " "||178|
|" "||had been||intemperate||156|
|" "||" "||users of Tobacco||367|
|" "||" gambled||on cards||24|
|" "||" "||" dice||23|
|" "||" "||" Horse races||8|
|" "||" visited||immoral women||141|
|" "||" kept||mistresses||10|
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 13--Following closely upon the exposure of gross irregularities in the cigar department of the Eastern Penitentiary, came the public announcement to-night that the illegal coinage of minor silver pieces has been carried on by convicts in the big institution. No details of the counterfeiting scheme can be learned from any of the officials connected with the prison, or from the Government officials that have been assigned to the case.
The fact that such a daring scheme has been carried on in the penitentiary was made public by George Vaux, Jr., one of the prison Inspectors, who summoned newspaper men to his home and voluntarily made the disclosure. He gave out a brief statement, which is as follows:
"Dr. W. D. Robinson and George Vaux, Jr., who are at present the visiting Inspectors on duty at the Eastern State Penitentiary, made the statement that there has come to their official knowledge that within a short time an attempt has been made by certain convicts now confined in the penitentiary to manufacture counterfeit silver coins.
"But a few pieces were made, and a number of these have come into the possession of the Inspectors, together with metals and dies used, the attempt thus being nipped in the bud. The evidence in the case is not yet complete, but all that has been secured has been submitted to the United States authorities."
Mr. Vaux refused absolute to give any more details than contained in his statement. From other sources, however, it was learned that dimes, quarters, and half dollars were the coins manufactured.
The discovery was made several days ago, and United States Secret Service officials were immediately called in. Their investigation, it is learned, is still in progress, their principal object being to learn whether there was collusion between the convicts and employes [sic] of the institution.
It is believed the discovery of counterfeiters in the prison was the result of the investigation now being carried on in the place as a result of the irregularities in the cigar department. These irregularities became public matter last week, and pending an investigation Warden Daniel Bussinger and the overseer of the cigar department were temporarily relieved from duty and the penitentiary placed in charge of the Rev. Joseph Welch, the chaplain.
It is alleged that thousands of cigars made by convicts are unaccounted for, that thousands of them did not contain the internal revenue stamps, and that in many instances the law requiring prison-made cigars to be stamped "convict made" was ignored. How long this has been carried on is yet to be learned.
The government of the penitentiary is vested in a board of five Inspectors appointed by the Governor, who serve without salary. This board is now making an inspection of each branch of the institution, and has employed an expert accountant to go over the books. In addition to this the internal revenue officers are carrying on a separate investigation.
Dr. William B. Robinson, one of the Inspectors, in speaking of the affair, said that the Inspectors have not found anything that militates against the personal integrity and ability of the Warden, but have found abundant evidence that the old methods so long in vogue are faulty and antiquated. Warden Bussinger has been permitted to engage an accountant to protect his interests.["Presented with cup. Moral instructor at eastern penitentiary remember on anniversary", Philadelphia Inquirer, 2 December 1918, page 2]
Rev. Joseph Welch, for the past twenty-eight years moral instructor at the Eastern State Penitentiary, was presented with a large silver loving cup in honor of his 82d birthday anniversary yesterday morning.
The choirs of all the Christian Endeavor Societies, which each Sunday morning during the past year gave a song service for the inmates, combined in making the gift. Rev. Joseph Welch was born December 2, 1836, near Birmingham, England, and came to America 75 years ago.
He was Chaplain of the 91st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry, during the Civil War and at the conclusion was made Superintendent of Public Schools in Texas. He has been the pastor of many Methodist churches.['Prison chaplain 28 years; ousted; died in 4 days'. Philadelphia Inquirer 19 January 1920, page 1]
Rev. Dr. Joseph Welch, who was dismissed last Wednesday upon recommendation of the Board of Charities from the post of chaplain of the Eastern Penitentiary after twenty-eight years of service, died suddenly at his home yesterday afternoon.
Shortly before his death Dr. Welch had written a letter to a fellow clergyman in which he accepted his discharge philosophically and made it clear that he bore no malice against anyone on its account. The letter, typewritten by his only daughter, Miss Helen R.--and later mailed by his son, B. Harvey Welch. [sic]
The dismissal of Dr Welch last Wednesday came as the result of an investigation by the Commitee of State Board of Charities of the manner in which the prison was conducted. This investigation was ordered by the Governor last March after the receipt of certain charges against Warden Robert McKenty from the Board of Inspectors. The committee judged the accusations against the Warden unfounded, and exonerated him completely. It ordered dismissal of Prison Inspector William A. Dunlap and recommended that Chaplain Welch be removed from office as being members of a coterie [page 6] which had conspired to obtain the discharge of Warden McKenty.
Although Dr. Welch's health has been broken for some time, he seemed cheerful despite the affair at the penitentiary. Shortly after breakfast yesterday morning he wrote a letter in reply to a note of sympathy from Rev. Thomas Latimer in regard to his dismissal. Dr. Welch at that time seemed in perfect health, according to his son. About 1.30 in the afternoon he was reading when suddenly he was seized by a violent hemorrhage and expired before medical aid could be summoned.
His last letter, summing up his liberal-minded attitude toward the penitentiary situation, reads as follows:"Dear Brother Latimer:
"I was glad to get yours of the 16th instant. I appreciate its sympathy. But you are off about 'my side.' I have no side. It is God's or nothing. I had no idea of being involved until the Governor announced his intention to make an investigation and that it was 'a close corporation with a one-man power'--those were his words.
"The prisoners at once began to come to me for advice as to how to get before the investigation commission. I advised each man to draw his own statement, many of which I forwarded to the Governor, who turned them over to Judge Johnson, the president of the State Board of Charities. I was summoned before the board. That is how I am in it.
"The result to me is a dismissal as my reward. I am satisfied; my case is with God, not the Governor."Fraternally yours,
In commenting upon Dr. Welch's death and practically the last act of his life yesterday, B. Harvey Welch, his son, said:
"Although this letter seems to be an act of Providence, I do not believe that the situation at the prison had any effect on his sudden demise. My father was 83 years old and had been failing in health for many years. It seems that this was a nature lend [sic] to a very full life, an end which was not hastened by his dismissal. He has been exceptionally cheerful of late and had accepted his discharge philosophically. His frank attitude is more completely and better told in his last letter than I could possibly hope to tell it."
Dr. Welch had been a member of the Philadelphia Methodist Conference for sixty years, and had held many charges. During the Civil War he served as chaplain in the 91st Regiment and upon the declaration of peace was sent as a missionary to Texas by Bishop Simpson of the Methodist Conference. His work in that State came to the attention of the United States Government and he was appointed superintendent of the schools there, a position he occupied for four years.
Upon his return north he became presiding elder of the northwest Philadelphia district. Twenty-eight years ago at the age of 55, he was appointed chaplain of the penitentiary.
He was a past master in the Malita Lodge of the Masonic order and was also a member of the Mary Commandery, Knights Templar. Funeral services will be conducted in his home, 2117 Green street, Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment will be in Laurel Hill Cemetery.['M'Kenty is cleared by prison probers; Dunlap is ousted', Philadelphia Inquirer 10 January 1920, page 1]
The administration of Robert J. McKenty, warden of the Eastern State Penitentiary, is upheld in the report filed yesterday with Governor Sproul by the Committee of the State Board of Charities, ordered last October to conduct an investigation into the manner in which the prison was conducted.
At the same time that the charges against McKenty have been declared unfounded, the Governor ordered the removeal from office of Prison Inspector William A. Dunlap, the stormy petrel of the Board of Inspectors, whose allegations against the warden are discredited in the report.
The report of the State Board also recommends the removal of Rev. Joseph Welch, the prison chaplain. Governor Sproul has asked Dr. Charles D. Hart, a former prisoner inspector, to take the place made vacant by Dunlap's removal.
Dunlap, Mrs. L. V. Howe, an investigator described in the report as a "drug addict," and half a dozen "restless and dangerous convicts," are heavily scored in the report, which charges they were part of a concerted movement that had for its object the overthrow of Warden McKenty and the dismissal [page 11] of all the prison inspectors, excepting Dunlap.
In announcing he had removed Dunlap from his position, the Governor also said he had sent the report to the Prison Labor Commission and requested the careful consideration by its members of such portions as related to the work in which they are engaged, and that he had also called the attention of the Board of Inspectors of the penitentiary to the recommendations made by the investigators.
Immediately following the publication of the report exonerating Warden McKenty, a meeting was called at the office of Francis C. Menamin, an attorney, who represented the family of William Stehilk, a convict who recently died at the Eastern Penitentiary.
Startling disclosures in connection with Stehilk's death will be made today, said Mr. Menamin.
Each of the thirteen charges made is dealt with in the committee's report, and a specific answer furnished. In conclusion, the investigators made nine recommendations as follows:
"We are of the opinion that the usefulness of Mr. Dunlap, as a member of the Board of Inspectors, is at an end.
"The same suggestion is made with regard to Chaplain Welch, as moral instructor.
"A strict examination should be made into the conduct of certain overseers concerning alleged criticism of the management. Also, with regard to any knowledge on the part of overseers of food, drugs, and other articles being brought into the prison in violation of the rules.
"Recommend the discontinuation of the Honor and Friendship Club.
"Recommend the repeal of all laws restricting the employing of convicts in jails and penitentiaries.
"Effective control and inspection over the introduction of food, drugs and other arrticles into the prison by persons not connected with the institution.
"Require overseers to keep a long [sic] in which shall be noted the condition of each convict, number of hours per day in cell, complaints made by him, communications received by him, also packages. And also, a personal inspection of the prisoners' cells each day. All of which shall be certified to the 'Centre' every day.
"We recommend the adoption of a set of rules covering the entire internal management of the institution, setting forth the duties of each officer and attendant, with such other information as shall enable each one to ascertain their duties by a reference thereto, and for the guidance and information of the inmates.
"The restriction of vistors to members of convicts' families, spiritual advisors, official visitors, attorneys-at-law visiting clients, or persons having business relations with convicts."
The committee making the report consisted of Judge Isaac Johnson, chairman; Howard B. French, Norman McLeod, D. J. McCarthy, Peter F. Moylan and Bromley Wharton.
"The weight of evidence, not only in quantity but in quality, is overwhelmingly in favor of the retention of the present management," the report says.
"In the main, evidence against the management comes from Mr. Dunlap and a group of restless and dangerous convicts, helped out by the testimony of some convicts not shown to have been connected with the concerted movements of Mrs. Howe, Dunlap and Chaplain Welch and the convict coterie.
"It must be admitted that Mr. Dunlap's testimony is very much weakened, and that out of a desire for revenge against his fellow inspectors he inaugurated this movement or joined hands with those who had inaugurated it.
"The testimony of the convicts, especially those who are in the propaganda, must be taken with many grains of allowance. The balance of the testimony making for the attack is light. On the other hand, the evidence in favor of and giving support to the warden and the present management is of the most convincing character.
"A number of prominent persons of the city of Philadelphia who had been visitors in professional and other capacities, came before us. Among them Father O'Shea, a Catholic clergyman; Dr. Ohl, a Lutheran clergyman; Rev. Mr. Bamford, a Presybterian clergyman; Rev. Floyd Tomkins, an Episcopalian, and Rabbi Medoff, a Hebrew.
"Also Albert H. Votaw, secretary of the Pennsylvania Prison Society; Samuel D. Worthington, foreman of the August grand jury, 1919; George Wharton Pepper, attorney-at-law; Vincent A. Carroll, attorney-at-law; Mrs. George Taylor Smith, representing the King's Daughters; Dr. Charles D. Hart, Fred Pooley, prison agent Pennsylvania Prison Society; Mr. Boyle, president of the Catholic Society for Visiting Prisoners; Dr. J. H. Egan, Philadelphia police surgeon, and others.
"They said they had been visitors in one capacity or the other at the Penitentiary, and had various opportunities of observing conditions and management. All spoke in the highest manner of Warden McKenty's fitness for the position he holds, and especially of his humanity and his kindliness."
In referring to the activities displayed by Mrs. Howe the report says:
"She is a clever, shrewd, intelligent, energetic woman and so far as appearances go, looks as though she had furnished the brains for the outside work, being in touch at all times with Mr. Dunlap. She denied being a 'dope fiend' and said she was only an 'addict.' She says she came here from New York at Mr. Dunlap's request to get a statement from a prisoner, and Dunlap had paid her fare from New York."
Summing up the answers to the various charges the report says:
"The food is sufficient in quantity as well as quality. Treatment of prisoners is not cruel, but on the contrary is most kind and humane. Sick prisoners are not neglected but are properly cared for. Meat and other foods are properly inspected. There is no evidence of partiality and favoritism. Immorality and vice are not openly practiced. Punishment is not inhumane nor unduly severe. A prisoner can at all times see the Warden either to make complaints or ask questions. Charges that one of the inspectors took yarn from the prison for his own purposes are false."
"Complaint upon the part of Mr. Dunlap, that Warden McKenty was incompetent and tyrannical; that he dominated, and controlled the Board of Inspectors; that the Inspectors neglected their duties was entirely unfounded."['Bury prison chaplain', Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 January 1920, page 3]
The funeral of the late Rev. Joseph Welch, for many years chaplain at the Eastern Penitentiary, was held yesterday afternoon. Rev. Dr F. B. Lynch, pastor of the Ebenezer M. E. Church, of West Philadelphia, had charge.
Inmates of the Penitentiary sent a floral tribute accompanied by a letter, in which they expressed regret over the former chaplain's death.
"We feel that we are expressing the unanimous sentiment of all the inmates in these few words to you in your loss," they wrote, "and we are glad further to say that this floral tribute is sent as a result of the voluntary contributions of the men in here to whom the chaplain was so true a friend."[death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 19 January 1920, page 10 (reprinted 20 January 1920 page 19), Joseph Welch]
WELCH--Suddenly, Jan. 18, Rev. JOSEPH, husband of late Mary T. Welch. Relatives and friends, also Melita Lodge, No. 295, F. and A. M.; Melita Chapter, No. 284, R.A.M.; Mary Commandery, No. 36, K.T., and George Meade Post, G.A.R., invited to funeral, Wed., 2 P.M., from his late residence, 2117 Green st. Int. South Laurel Hill Cem.['Governor demands early report on prison inquiry', Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 December 1919, page 1]
Tired of the interminable wrangling and bickering that have accompanied the investigation of conditions at the Eastern Penitentiary, Governor Sproul yesterday took the situation in hand and ordered the State Board of Charities, which is conducting the inquiry, to speed up its work.
Ever since the investigation was begun, there has been an avalanche of charges and counter-charges, and the Governor, apparently, has decided that the time has come for less talk and more action. He has demanded an early report and has told the members of the Board of Charities that their findings must be so explicit that the public at large will be fully informed as to existing conditions in the penitentiary.
Indications were given last night that those who have been pressing for an investigation will not remain quiet should the report of the Board of Charities favor the present management of the penitentiary.
Evan B. Lewis, an attorney, stated that he is one of counsel engaged to press for an open investigation by District Attorney Rotan and for a report of conditions to the grand jury. He stated that he is acting upon behalf of members of a number of patriotic and fraternal organizations which have adopted resolutions protesting against any effort by the Governor or the Board of Charities to remove Rev. Joseph Welsh, chaplain of the penitentiary, or William A. Dunlap, a member of the Board of Inspectors.
Governor Sproul said last night that he believed it probable that the board would be ready to present its report this week.
"I have been in communication with Judge Isaac Johnson, who is chairman of the investigating committee," said the Governor, "and have been working to secure an early report. The Board has made a most careful examination of conditions, but I can make no comment upon the case until the report is in my hands. It may be necessary, in view of recent occurrences, to extend the time of the investigation a little, but I believe the work is about completed."
Friends of the Governor understand that he intends to act promptly upon any recommendations that may be made in the report. A recent Grand Jury urged that some means of employment be found for the prisoners, and the Governor is known to be of the opinion that the enforced idleness of so many men in such small quarters is a most undesirable condition.
"I hope the report of the investigation is made public this week. I am not worrying a particle about it," was the comment of Warden McKenty yesterday.
The warden was asked if he had completed his investgation of the tunnel which had been discovered leading from the cell of one prisoner.
"In the first place there was no tunnel," replied the warden. "There was a ditch leading to nowhere. If it had been completed it could have afforded no means of escape. I have been asked by several why prisoners should attempt such work. All I can say is that there are 1400 men here to whom we can give no employment. Under these circumstances it is not strange that some of the men would attempt anything for the sake of keeping their minds occupied, even though they know it was useless effort. It is a bad condition and should be changed."
The warden refused to discuss the activities of a woman investigator employed by William A. Dunlap, an inspector, who is the principal antagonist of McKenty.
"I have seen the woman here," said the warden, "but I do not know anything about her or what the Board of Charities have found out about her. I am not fighting women."
Associates of the warden recalled yesterday, however, that upon at least one occasion, concerted yelling by some of the prisoners had followed shortly after one of the visits to the prison by the woman investigator.
Mr. Dunlap stated yesterday that he had nothing to say regarding the progress of the investigation, but might have a statement to make today. Mr. Dunlap is chairman of the Municipal Affairs Committee of the United Business Men's Association, to which was referred a resolution presented at the last meeting of the association favoring a new investigation of affairs at the penitentiary. At the time he suggested that no action be taken pending the result of the investigation by the State Board, but if this report should prove not to be in accord with his views, it is believed that his committee will ask, through the Business Men's Association, for renewed inquiry.
Ignatius J. Horstmann, one of the Board of Prison Inspectors, visited the penitentiary yesterday. He was accompanied by another inspector and two members of the Board of Charities. Mr. Horstmann said:
"One of the latest reports given circulation in an effort to make it appear that Warden McKenty is lax in his methods is to the effect that Jesse Williamson, secretary of the Pennsylvania Company for Insurance on Lives and Granting Annuities, who was sentenced to from eight to twenty-four years for embezzlement, had been seen riding about in an automobile with the warden.
"I investigated that report and can say that it is absurd and ridiculous."
Mr. McKenty was indignant when asked regarding the report. He said:
"Williamson has never been out of prison garb since he was sent here. He has not been outside the walls. No prisoner has been out of here except when he has been sent for by some officer of the law and in accordance with the law.
Evan B. Lewis, an attorney, stated last night that, together with Luther S. Kauffman and Francis C. Menamin, he had been engaged as counsel to strive to bring about an open investigation into the affairs at the penitentiary. Mr. Lewis said that a meeting was held at his office in the Land Title Building, Saturday night, at which about a dozen representatives of patriotic and benevolent organizations adopted resolutions favoring such an investigation.
"I cannot give the names of those present at the meeting," said Mr. Lewis, "nor state who called the meeting. It was decided that it would be wise at the present time not to make these facts public. We mean business, however."
The resolutions were adopted after hearing certain evidence. It was decided to organize an "Independent Publicity Committee on Prison Conditions" for the purpose of conducdting an investigation for the public benefit.
It was unanimously resolved that the facts presented be laid before the District Attorney and grand jury for action and that the matter be taken up in all lodges, churches and other organizations by furnishing the facts ascertained, in each of the meetings, with a view to holding a mass meeting to bring about correction of any abuses found to exist.
The resolution protest [sic] against the threatened removal from office by the Governor of the Board of Inspectors of the Eastern State Penitentiary of Rev. Jos. Welch, chaplain of the institution, and William A. Dunlap, one of the Board of Inspectors, because of their attempt to better [sic] the prison conditions. A copy of the resolutions will be sent to the Governor.
Warden McKenty, when he learned of the resolutions, said:
"It looks as if some persons have an idea what the report of the Board of Charities may be and are getting afraid of being hurt. I cannot see what the District Attorney or the grand jury have to do with a State institution and am not at all concerned at what was done at any meeting."[Flake's Bulletin, 12 February 1870, page 4]
I, Edmund J. David, Governor of the State of Texas, having confidence in the loyalty, integrity and ability of Professor E. Stremme, William Alexander, Lawson Collins, J. G. Tracy and Rev. Joseph Welch, do, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the said State, hereby appoint the Professor E. Stremme, Wm. Alexander, Lawson Collins, and Rev. Joseph Welch, as Trustees of the Institution of the Blind in Texas, in place of A. H. Longley, Wm. Styles, George Saunders, M. K. Ryan, who are removed, and T. McRae, who has left the State.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed, at the city of Austin, this 4th day of February, A.D. 1870.EDMUND J. DAVIS,
The Rev. Joseph Welch has returned to his home in Philadelphia.[Austin Republican 29 October 1868, page 3; also at 26 October 1868 page 2 and at 23 October 1868 page 3]
THE TEXAS CONFERENCE.--In the New York Methodist of Feb. 20th we have the official report of the Texas Conference (Methodist Church North). Perhaps we ought to say that "North" and "South" are no longer the technical designations of the branches of the Methodist Church, but that we use them for the sake of perspicuity. We make the following extract:
Our Texas work is divided into five districts this year, one of them German, presided over as follows: Texas District, W. R. Fayle; Houston District, Joseph Welch; Galveston District, George W. Honey; Waco District, T. B. Ferguson; German District, Gustavus Elly.
The membership is 4,170, being an increase of 800 during the past year.[Flake's Bulletin 1 September 1869, page 5]
We have received from Rev. Joseph Welch, Superintendent of Colored Education for the State, a copy of the prospectus of the Medical Department of Howard University. The University is located at Washington, D.C., and is devoted to the education of colored persons in the higher branches of knowledge. The second course of lectures will commence on the 6th of October. The array of the faculty is excellent; many of the names are those of persons of well ascertained standing in the sciences they profess. Colored men of ambition cannot find a more promising feld [sic] for advancement than that afforded by medicine. It is one in whichi they will not come in contact with the prejudices of white men; for if a colored man is the best doctor in his neighborhood, the most inveterate opponent of his race will be the first to call him in. A sick man never pauses to consider the social or political standing of his medical adviser; all he asks for is the man's ability--ability to fight a successful battle with death. Even the law does not afford the opening that medicine does for the colored man. In it they will at once, if studious intelligent and successful, overcome all ideas that may be entertained against them. The negro doctor who shall save a man's life, at once becomes his friend, and a trusted one at that. We therefore can conscientiously urge all ambitious colored men to attend the Medical Department of Howard University.[ Minutes of the ... session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church ... 1902.]
Mary E. Taylor Welch was the daughter of Lewis and Isabella Taylor. She was born in Wilmington, Del., August 28th, 1832. The family subsequently removed to Unionville, Chester County, Pa. This locality became the scene of her early life.
When but a child she manifested striking qualities of mind and heart, that made her interesting and attractive. She was possessed of such thoughtfulness, amiability and swettness of disposition that to know her was to love her. She was unassuming, gentle, cheerful and entertaining. Her spiritual sense discovered itself by her questions about Jesus, heaven, angels, redeemed saints, living forever, etc., suggestive [sic] that her youthful spirit was in touch with the supernatural.
The elementary principles of a true life were cherished by her in childhood. She was cradled in religion. Her parents were experimental Christians of the best Methodist type. Her maternal grandmother was an exemplary follower of her Saviour, a Presbyterian. She gave much of her time to nursing and training Mary, her favorite grandchild, upon whom her affections were ardently and unwaveringly placed. She taught her in harmony with the teaching of her parents, of God, and His infinite perfections, the sacredness and inexorable character of His law, His love and boundless mercy in redemption, and of the Bible, the infallible rule of life.[page 92]
Her father's house was a religious home. The altar of prayer was a family institution. This was the first Methodist home in the village, and from it true gospel light shone upon the community. Her father was instrumental in forming and building a Methodist Episcopal Church in Unionville. He was the class leader, a trustee and a steward. His house was a Methodist center and a home for the itinerant. Frequent and delightful were the welcome visits of the preachers to this family. Often were hymns sung, Scriptures read and prayers offered by these holy men of God in this Christian home.
The elements of religion impressed Mary's youthful mind and moulded her life. She pictures in her mind what a truly religious life should be. She knew good examples, and held a high ideal of Christian character.
She had a little Testament presented to her in 1840 by Rev. David E. Gardner. It became a golden link with the olden times. It was very precious to her as a memento, awakening fond recollections of the scenes of childhood and the light of other days around her.
She received her education at the Unionville Academy under the training of Jonathan Gause, a superior educator.
The family removed to Philaelphia and united with the Sanctuary Methodist Episcopal Church. Mary was converted there in 1852 under the ministry of Reb. James Sewell. Her conversion was accompanied with convincing evidence that a supernatural work had been performed. Her heart thrilled with joy and her face glowed with celestial love. her faculties were well developed. There was a nice balance of the intellect, sentiments and will. In conversion these were renewed, illumined and crystallized by the Spirit of God, forming a complete and beautiful character. She united with the Sanctuary Church.
She was united in marriage February 18th, 1863, to Rev. Joseph Welch, of the Philadelphia Conference, by Rev. D. W. Bartine, D.D., Presiding Elder of the North Philadelphia District.
In 1865 Brother Welch was appointed by Bishop Simpson a missionary to Texas. She accompanied him to that field of labor. In the trials and difficulties of his arduous work she was a true helpmate, holding up his hands, consoling him and doing her full duty as the wife of a Methodit [sic] preacher. All through her life there was nothing left undone that she could do to comfort and encourage her husband in his calling to preach the gospel and save sinners. And equally great were her efforts and prayers for the salvation of their children and a united Christian home. Hence, it has been said by him who best knows, "She was emphatically the blessing of God in our family."
For two years she endured suffering from an illness which finally proved fatal. She passed from earth to heaven June 4th, 1904, at the home of her son, B. Harvey Welch, at Hughsville, Pa.
Divine grace sustained her. She had a full assurance that He who had promised and had kept her so many years would never leave her nor forsake her, but would lead her safely through the valley and across the river. Being armed for victory overy the last enemy, she was patient, gentle, uncomplaining, confident in anticipation and expectation of the heavenly home and the rest promised to the people of God.
She leaves to mourn her departure a bereaved husband, a devoted son and a loving daughter. They hope to meet her in heaven, and she expects them to come to her in that happy home. She sang with loved ones here. She now sings with saints and angels in heaven.
Funeral services at Hughsville were conducted by Rev. L. W. Brady, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Rev. J. W. Barb, D. D., of the Lutheran Church. A selection of her favorite hymns were sung by a choir of personal friends.
Services were held in the Philadelphia home of the family at 2117 Green Street, June 7th, in charge of Rev. S. W. Thomas, D.D., assisted by Revs. J. Richards Boyle, D.D., J. F. Crouch, D.D., Richard Turner, D.D., and Rev. L. D. McClintock.
Solo, "Lead, kindly Light," was sung by Miss May Gibson. Interment was private at Laurel Hill Cemetery, where her mortal remains await the resurrection morn.PREPARED BY L.D. McCLINTOCK. [Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the year 1866. New York: T Mason and G Lane, 1866. Page 8]