We don’t know much about these grandparents, especially their family backgrounds.
Sometimes with genealogy, you hit a brick wall. That’s the case with Jacob Welter and Agnes Wahlen. I just haven’t been able to find them before they came to Kansas.
I’ll relate their story from the sources we have.
Jacob Welter was born September 24, 1847 in Ogendorf, Germany.
He immigrated to America in 1862, at age 15.
We will use Welter as the official spelling. It’s on the headstone, his land deed, his will and probate records.
Other citations use various spellings of Welter, Walter, Walters. And it seems that the name morphed to Walters over the years. Many official citations of his children use the spelling Walters.
Agnes Tuhey Wahlen
Agnes was born August 15, 1853 in Kentucky.
It’s unclear what Agnes’ maiden name was.
- Wahlen – her obituary
- Walling – Alice Teply Karr’s letter (probably a variation of Wahlen)
- Tuhey – her brother or half-brother John’s name
- Tuhey – daughter Katie’s marriage license mother’s name
It seems likely that Wahlen is correct. I’ve chosen to use Tuhey Wahlen in the Ancestry tree, as it may help in future searches.
Jacob Welter and Agnes Wahlen married February 22, 1872. Perhaps they married in Marion or Shelby County, Missouri.
Jacob and Agnes lived in Missouri. They may have lived in Marion County, as reported in her obituary. Two daughters list their birthplace as Shelby County, next county west of Marion.
Alice Teply Karr’s recalls hearing that the Welters were “burned out” in Missouri.
In April, 1879, the Welter family left Missouri and arrived in Kansas, settling in Washington County, near Hanover.
The Welters rented a farm in Hanover Township. Based on neighbors in the 1880 US Census, it was likely in the southeast part of the township.
In 1886, Jacob and Agnes Welter purchased a land grant from the State of Kansas for $280.
Jacob and Agnes had twelve children:
- Anna Mary – b. 1872 – m. 1892 Frank Teply
- Margaret Maggie – b. 1874 – m. William Wenke
- Katie – b. 1874 – m. John Brychta
- William – b. 1877 – m. Anna Triska
- Julia – b. 1879 – m. Clarence Odgers
- Clara – b. 1881 – m. Frank Donovan
- Jacob – b. 1884 – m. Ida Donovan
- John – b. 1888 – m. Rose Soder
- Benjamin – b. 1890 – m. Bertha Ruhkamp
- Agnes – b. 1893 – m. Fred Evert
- Henry – b. 1897 – d. 1897
- Emma – b. 1898 – m. Charles Hora
Jacob Welter, age 62, died October 16, 1909. He was buried in St. John’s Cemetery, Hanover.
Agnes continued to live at the Welter farm. Her son Ben lived there and was the farmer. Sometime around 1935, Agnes moved to Greenleaf and lived with her daughter Emma and her husband Charles Hora.
Agnes Welter, age 87, died April 8, 1940 at Greenleaf. She was buried in St. John’s Cemetery, Hanover.
1880 US Census
Our first citation of Jacob and Agnes is the 1880 US Census.
- Last name spelled Walters or Watters, but should be Welter
- Jacob Welter was age 36 (should be 33), born in Germany
- Both Jacob’s parents were born in Germany
- Agnes Welter was age 36 (should be 24), born in Kentucky
- Both Agnes’ parents were born in Ireland
- John Tuey, age 19, Jacob’s brother-in-law, was living with them
- John Tuey was born in Iowa, his parents in Ireland
1885 Kansas Census
- Jacob Welter, age 36 (should be 37)
- Agnes Welter, age 31 (should be 28)
1895 Kansas Census
- Jacob Welter, age 47
- Agnes Welter, age 41 (should be 38)
1900 US Census
Alice Teply Karr’s Letter (Excerpts)
Jacob Walters (really Welters – name was no doubt changed.) He was born 9-4-1847 (from tombstone.). He was born in Ogendorf, Germany. He married Anna Walling. I know they lived in Montrose, MO where our Grandma Teply was born. They migrated to Marshall Co when Grandma was a young girl somewhere around 1880. They came in covered wagons – 3 families: Echerts, Walters and Alexa. Margaret and Grandma (Anna) were 2 children in family then.Anna Teply Karr’s letter to Arthur Teply, 2000 – later to Nick Teply, 2003
I can remember Grandma telling me this. Mother told me they left MO because they were burned out –apparently.
Grandma told me in all they have 11 children. Julia, (Mrs. Clarence Ockgers, Kate Brychle, Clara Donovan, Agnes Everett, Emma Hara, Will, Ben, John, Jake, Tom. Tom died in infancy.
Grandma remained on farm with son Ben until he married. Later she lived with Emma and died in 1940 at age 84. She died in Greenleaf and I remember going to her home and saying Rosary.
I knew Grandma Walters quite well as I often visited with her. She was a very small short lady and seemed Irish.
Will of Jacob Welter
Obituary – Agnes Welter
Nibbles Extra Credit
Here’s a tantalizing morsel. A 1961 letter from Evelyn Hedrick to Anne (probably Anna Mengers). It posits that Jacob Welter and Agnes Tuhey/Wahlen were both orphans.
Evelyn is the daughter of Clara Welter Donovan. Clara is a daughter of Jacob and Agnes Welter, younger sibling of Anna Welter Teply.
Even if true, that still doesn’t explain why we can’t find any records of their marriage or the births of their children in Missouri.
But it’s very interesting.
- 1880 US Census, Hanover Township, Washington County, Kansas, p. 24
- 1900 US Census, Hanover Township, Washington County, Kansas, s. 13
- 1910 US Census, Little Blue Township, Washington County, Kansas, s. 6
- 1920 US Census, Little Blue Township, Washington County, Kansas, s. 4
- 1930 US Census, Little Blue Township, Washington County, Kansas, s. 4
- 1940 US Census, Greenleaf City, Washington County, Kansas, s. 4
- 1885 Kansas Census, Hanover Township, Washington County, Kansas, p. 1
- 1895 Kansas Census, Hanover Township, Washington County, Kansas, p. 12
- 1925 Kansas Census, Little Blue Township, Washington County, Kansas, p. 6
- 1905 Kansas Census, Little Blue Township, Washington County, Kansas, p. 1
- Anna Teply Karr’s letter to Arthur Teply, 2000 – later to Nick Teply, 2003
- Obituary – Agnes Welter – The Hanover News – 1940
- Photos – Mark Jarvis – October 2015