Peyton Young Welch
PEYTON YOUNG WELCH, one of the venerable
pioneers and successful agriculturists of the great Golden State, resides on
his fine ranch near Plainsburg, Merced county. He was born in Kentucky in
1821, a son of Peyton and Jemima (Rider) Welch, natives of Virginia; the
father was a minister, and for many years a "circuit rider." He and his wife
reared a family of six children, of whom our subject is the youngest. In 1847.
he went to Missouri, and ten years later he set out to cross the plains, his
point of destination being the Pacific slope. May 1, 1857, he left La Fayette
county, Missouri, with a company numbering fifty souls; they had encounters
with the Indians and three men were shot, though not fatally wounded; they
lost 300 head of cattle, and were only forty miles from the scene of the
Mountain Meadow massacre. They entered California through San Bernardino
county, and thence through Los Angeles county to Merced county, where they
arrived April 1, 1858, having been on the way eleven months.
Mr. Welch located on Mariposa creek, twenty-two
miles from Snelling; here he purchased the claim to 160 acres of land, for
which he paid $1,000; he then entered the same. He has since bought 520 acres
adjoining this tract, and now owns the entire tract of 680 acres, one and a
half miles from Plainsburg. Since coming to the State he has seen the towns of
Plainsburg and Merced spring into existence, and the county of Merced
transformed from a wild cattle country to a cultivated agricultural district,
thickly settled with an industrious, intelligent class of people. He is a
practical and successful farmer, and his good judgment is shown by the
excellent results of his labors.
While the county seat was located at Snelling
he served as Supervisor of his district, and has always taken a deep interest
in the growth of the county and the development of her resources. He is a
member of La Grange Lodge, F. & A. M., at Merced, and in his political views
affiliates with the Democratic party.
Mr. Welch was married in 1842, to Sarah Aspley,
a native of Tennessee and a daughter of John Aspley, who was a soldier in the
war of the Revolution. To them were born the following children: Lucilus
Arthur, of Fresno county; John Simeon of Stockton, and Martha Jemima, wife of
Joseph L. Turner. The mother departed this life in April, 1888.
Memorial and Biographical History
Merced, Stanislaus, Calaveras,
Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties
The Guild McHenry Museum of Art and History
Modesto, California - 1980
Contributed by: Carol Lackey