Mary Ella Welch
  b: 29/Feb/1860 - Grayson Co., TX
  d: 6/Jan/1917 - Stanberry, Cooper Twp., Gentry Co., MO - bur: High Ridge Cem.

Father: Francis (Frank) M. Welch
Mother: Mary Ella Wheeler

Spouse: James Johnson Evans
  m: 27/Jan/1876 - Huggins Twp., Gentry Co., MO

Child-1: Thomas Marion
          2: George Franklin
          3: Jennie L. - b: 12/Nov/1881 - Athens Twp., Gentry Co., MO
                               d: 6/Jul/1883 - bur: Old Brick Cem., Huggins Twp., Gentry Co., MO
          4: James Homer
          5: Mary Ella (Mollie)
          6: Walter Hobart

Biographical Details:

Roughly, only one out of fifteen hundred people will be born on "Leap Year Day", i.e., February 29th; however, Mary Ella Welch had this distinction when she was born in Grayson County, Texas, in 1860.  She was the oldest child of Francis M. and Mary E. Wheeler Welch, who had apparently settled in this locality with relatives a few years before her birth.  Moreover, according to longstanding oral tradition among descendants, her father, Frank, became involved in some sort of "scrape" and left Texas abruptly about 1862 with his wife and two small daughters.  Subsequently, Mary's obituary asserted that she was brought as a child to Missouri by her parents in the spring of 1865.1  James Johnson Evans and Mary Ella Welch were married in January of 1876 in Gentry County; she was not quite sixteen years old.  Subsequently, the household of J. J. and Mary E. Evans was included in the population schedule of the 1880 US Census for Gentry County, Missouri.  At that time, they were apparently living in Huggins Township in close proximity to Mary's parents, F. M. and Mary E. Welch.  The Evans family moved to a large farm in Jackson Township in the fall of 1885 where J. J. and Mary remained until 1914 or 1915 when they moved into the town of Stanberry.  In the years before her death, which occurred in early January of 1917, it is probable that she had been in poor health, which may have provided the motivation for J. J. and Mary to leave the farm.  Within this context, descendants have reported that near the end of her life Mary suffered from chronic respiratory problems and died from pneumonia.

Almost no personal details from the life of Mary Ella Welch Evans have been preserved within family tradition.  Undoubtedly, this was because she was a typical farm wife and mother of the time and, as such, her life was considered wholly unremarkable.  Accordingly, it would seem almost certain that her education was of a rudimentary kind and limited mostly to necessary domestic skills.  It is known that she became a church member as an young adolescent and was active in the Island City Christian Church in later life.  She was buried in the High Ridge Cemetery at Stanberry.

Source Notes and Citations:
1. "Obituary   Mary Ella Welch was born in Grayson county, Texas, Feb. 29, 1860; died at her home in Stanberry Jan. 6, 1917, age 56 years, 10 months and 7 days.
     She came to Missouri with her parents the spring of 1865.  She was married to James J. Evans Jan. 27, 1876.  To this union six children were born, one dying in infancy.  The others, Thomas M., George F., James Homer, Mollie and Walter Evans, are still living.  All were at her bedside when death came.  Besides the bereaved husband and children she leaves four brothers and two sisters, Francis Marion, James William, Charles Grant and George Rice Welch of Albany, Mo., Mrs. Sarah A. Yale and Mrs Rosy O. Hall of Tarkio, Mo., and a host of relatives and friends.
     She was converted under the preaching of Rev. J. H. Coffey in 1875 at Mt. Pleasant.  She later moved her membership to Island City where she still remained a faithful member.  Every child was in the church.
     Funeral held at Stanberry on Monday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock, conducted by the former pastor, Eld. Lee H. Barnum, now of Bedford, Iowa.  Funeral held in Christian church and burial at High Ridge cemetery."  (obituary: Stanberry Headlight; Stanberry, MO, Thur., Jan. 11, 1917.)
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Additional Citations:

2. 1880 US Census Population Schedule for Gentry County, Missouri, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 495B, (microfilm: roll T9_687; img. 322).

3. 1900 US Census Population Schedule for Gentry County, Missouri, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 268A, (microfilm: roll T623_855; img. 543).

4. 1910 US Census Population Schedule for Gentry County, Missouri, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 263B, (microfilm: roll T624_781; img. 526).

5. Death Certificates, Missouri State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Jefferson City, MO, (Death Certificate No. 882 - Bureau of Vital Statistics, State of Missouri, Jefferson City, MO).

6. death notice: Albany Ledger; Albany, MO, Thur., Jan. 11, 1917.

7. Ben Glick,"Old Brick Cemetery", unpublished. (Gentry County MOGenWeb Archives,, 2014.)

8. Don Raymond,"High Ridge Cemetery", unpublished. (Gentry County MOGenWeb Archives, 2005.)

9. Old Brick Cemetery, Gentry County, Missouri (, continuously updated).

10. High Ridge Cemetery, Gentry County, Missouri (, continuously updated).

11. World War I Draft Registration Cards, National Personnel Records Center, National Archives-Southeast Region, Morrow, GA, (microfilm: roll MO-1683214; imgs. 4344 & 4353).

12. Marriage Records, Gentry County, Albany, MO:  Bk. 5, pgs. 63 & 355, (Missouri State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Jefferson City, MO (microfilm: roll 37664; imgs. 176 & 324)).

13. Death Master File, Social Security Administration, Washington, DC, continuously updated.

14. Robert L. Evans, "Our Family's History", November 9, 2001.

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