Samuel E. Welch, an honored veteran of the Civil War, and one of the early settlers and much-esteemed citizens of Des Moines county, now residing in the village of Middletown, was born in Washington, Iowa, July 16, 1841, and came to Des Moines county in 1845 with his parents, John D. and Mary (Elliott) Welch. The father was a native of Virginia and came to Iowa in 1838, locating in Washington county, where he followed farming until 1845. He then removed to Danville township, Des Moines county, where he purchased two hundred and fifty acres of land, which he cultivated and improved for some time. On selling that property he took up his abode in Middletown, where he lived a retired life until called to his final home at the age of fifty-four years. His wife was born in North Carolina, and they were married in Iowa. Her father was Samuel Elliott, who came to this State in 1838, settling in Union township, where he followed farming for many years. He then removed to Danville township, and later lived retired in Middletown until his death, which occurred when he had reached the advanced age of eighty-three years.
No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for Samuel E. Welch in his boyhood days. He remained at home until twenty-one years of age, and then responded to his country's call for aid, enlisting in 1862 as a member of Company C, First Iowa Cavalry, with which he served until the close of the war. He took part in several of the principal engagements, but most of his service was on the frontier. He was, however, wounded at the battle of Little Rock, Ark., and was in the hospital for some time. He was discharged and mustered out at St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 5, 1865.
When the country no longer needed his services Mr. Welch returned to his home in Danville township, where he carried on farming and later purchased a small farm of forty acres in Middletown. There he erected a large and handsome dwelling-house, which he has since occupied, and here he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising, having a well-developed property.
In 1866 Mr. Welch was married to Miss Mary Cline, who was born in Augusta township, Des Moines county, and is a daughter of Wilson S. and Maria (Brown) Cline, both of whom are now deceased. Mr. Cline was born in Indiana, and came to Iowa at an early day. Throughout his entire life he engaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Welch became the parents of two children: Nellie M., the wife of David O. Crawford, a farmer of Danville township; and Charles C., who assists in the operation of the home farm. He married Myrtle Lyon, but she is now deceased.
In his political views Samuel E. Welch is a Republican, having continuously supported the party since attaining his majority. He belongs to the Presbyterian church, and gives support to all that tends to promote the upbuilding of his community.