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My notes in this color.

    This is a family I have only dug into recently. I had done some work about 5 years ago on a connecting family for a client. That person said they had all they needed on the other lines in the family so I did not persue them at the time.
    That changed when I found a "Coupon" as I was sorting through family records recently with the name of one of the Welker's on it.
    This of course piqued my interest. It means William F. Welker would have been a merchant in Vernon in 1896. I decided to see what I could find out about him and these are some of the items I found.
    It got very confusing because although research said he came here as a child I could find nothing on his early family life. It didn't take long to figure out why (all the usual reasons). Spelling of his surname was often wrong. His parents died young, using court records I find a probate for his mother filed in January of 1868. Then the maternal grandparents who stepped in to care for the children died in the same week in 1874. In the 1860 census he is living with his parents in Vernon, listed as Peter and Elizabeth Walker with four children in the household. In 1870 they have vanished but 3 children - named Wilker are living with a couple named William & Mary Christover they were too old to be their parents and I was suspious of the name Christover. I found the will of William & Mary Christopher on Ancestry - of course it caused more questions because I have seldom seen a couple with one will, William died on April 4 of 1874 and Mary died on April 6 of 1874. It does list the names of the children I was looking for as heirs and children of their daughter.

Here are the records I have found thus far.

Will Record Book 2 - Pages 377 & 378, Jennings County Courthouse
Last Will and Testament of William & Mary Christopher

  Be it remembered that on this 4th day of April 1874 the last Will and Testament of William and Mary Christopher deceased was duly proven and admitted to probate in the clerks office of Jennings County Indiana, which will and the proof are in the words and figures following to-wit:
    This is to certify that this is the last Will and Testament of Wm. Christopher and Mary Christopher, that after our death every thing owned and held by us Real Estate and personal property is to be sold and the money outstanding at the time is to be collected in and after it is in the possession of the Administrator appointed by the Court it is to be divided between the following persons named below;
    Our Son Wm. Christopher is to have one half of the whole amount and the other one half is to be equally divided between the children of our Daughter Lina Welker deceased, Wm Welker, Henry Welker, Peter Welker, Charles Welker, Caroline Welker.
George Specht
Jacob Fabel

{Signed}Wm X Christopher

{Signed}Mary X Christopher

    Be it Remembered, That on the 4th day of April 1874, Jacob Fabel and George Specht the Subscribing witnesses to the within and foregoing last Will and Testament of William and Mary Christopher late of Said county Deceased personally appeared before Joseph L. Reiley Clerk of the Circuit Court of Jennings County, in the State of Indiana and being duly Sworn by the Clerk of Said Court upon his oath declared and testified as follows, that is to say that on the __ day of ___ 1874 - they Saw the Said William & Mary Christopher Sign their names to Said instrument in writing as and for their last Will and Testament and that this deponent at the Same time heard the Said William & Mary Christopher declare the Said instrument in writing to be his last will and testament and that the Said instrument in writing was at the same time at the request of the Said Wm & Mary Christopher and with his consent attested and Subscribed by the said Afflants in the presence of the Said Testator and in the presence of each other as subscribing witnesses thereto, and that the Said Wm. & Mary Christopher was at the time of the Signing and subscribing of the Said instrument in writing as aforesaid of full age (that is more than twenty-one years of age) and not under any coercion or restraint as the deponents verily believe and further deponents says not.
Jacob Fabel
George Specht
Sworn to and Subscribed by the Said Jacob Fabel & George Specht before me Joseph L. Riley Clerk of Said Court at Vernon the 4th day of April 1874 In Attestation whereof, I have hereunto, Subscribed my name and affixed the Seal of Said Court
                Jos. L. Reiley Clerk
The State of Indiana Jennings County SS:
    I Joseph L. Reiley Clerk of the Circuit Court of Jennings County Ind, do hereby certify-that the within annexed will and testament of Wm & Mary Christopher has been duly admitted to probate and duly proved by the testimony of Jacob Fable & George Specht and duly proved by the testimony of Jacob Fabel & George Specht one of the Subscribing witnesses thereto that a complete record of Said Will and of the testimony of the Said Jacob Fabel & George Specht in proof thereof has been by me duly made and recorded in Book __ at pages __ of the records of Wills of Said County.
In Attestation whereof, I have hereunto Subscribed my name and affixed the seal of Said Court at Vernon this 4th day of April 1874,
{SS}            Jos. L. Reiley Clerk
             Circuit Court of Jennings County

    Now that I had the correct people I found where someone has listed them on Find A Grave with a detailed obit but no paper from which it came - it states Urbana - April 16, 1874. Link to Find A Grave It was written like it is from here so I asked Ed Kellar at the Jenning County Public Library to check the local papers and he found it in the Vernon Banner of April 8, 1874. He also found the name of the paper in which it was copied on April 16, 1874 as the Urbana Ohio, Citizen And Gazette on page 8.

Here is the Vernon Banner version of the Obituary
Sudden Death
    Last Wednesday, William H Christopher, a German aged 74 years, who resided just beyond the second railroad bridge east of town, died very suddenly of pneumonia, it is supposed. He had been unwell for some time but had refused to keep his bed or even remain in the house. On the evening of, and just previous to his death, he had gone into the yard and dispatched his little grand daughter to town for a physician and after her departure, being unable to return to the house, either fell or laid down, and on the little girl's return, about 5pm, was found dead.
    While the husband was lying dead in the yard, his wife Mary, aged 70 years, was also sick in the house, unconscious of his demise. She had been an invalid for several years, scarcely able to go about but at this time was also prostrated with pneumonia. While the preparations for the husbands burial were going on, the wife requested the friends not to be in haste for she would soon follow and that one funeral would answer for both. True to the prediction, she died on Friday at 1:30am.
    On Friday at 2pm, the funeral services were held at the Presbyterian Church, conducted by Rev WH Wittenweiler and the bodies of both husband and wife were deposited in one grave in the Vernon Cemetery.

    I then followed the Christophers estate through the Probate Courts - In the May term of the court in 1874 the location of their property is described and it was just north of the railroad on the edge of Vernon. The final settlement of the Estate was in October of 1880 with the payment to William's younger brother Charles Welker after he turned twenty one. I then turned my attention to William F. Welker.

    On November 17, 1875 William F. Welker married Maria L. Wagner here in Jennings County. This is another case of indexing on a research site caused issues. Ancestry has no picture of the marriage document, and has Maria marrying a William Wilker so I checked FamilySearch and they have two listings one without a picture which gives the registration of the marriage (license) date of November 15, as marriage date - the other, the image I have included here is indexed as Maria L. Wagner and William Wilson but has the correct marriage date for Maria and William Welker.
    Maria was the daughter of Samuel Wagner & Telitha (Branham) Wagner. They continue to live in Jennings County and in 1888 William Welker runs for Sheriff of Jennings County.

North Vernon Plain Dealer - June 6, 1888, Page 2
Political write up for William F. Welker
    The working men never had on any ticket a better representative than they have in Jennings county in the name of William Welker. He works by the day in Wagner's plow factory, goes in at six o'clock in the morning and works till night. He is a natural gentleman, and makes friends wherever known by his agreeable manners, and kind treatment of all. He has won fairly and honorably by his merit the promotion which his party has conferred on him. His father Peter Welker, was a native of Germany and came to Jennings county when William was three years old. He lived near Chris Herman's on the Driftmeier farm, near the fair grounds. When the war came in 1861 Peter enlisted as a private in Co. I, of the 6th Indiana volunteers, served during the war, and was mustered out with the regiment. William was still a child, and soon after was left an orphan by the death of his parents. He proved himself capable of taking care of himself, and has lived comfortably though unable to accumulate much property. After a protracted contest he was selected by the Republican convention from among seven excellent gentlemen whose names were before it as the party's candidate for the important office of Sheriff.
He won the Election.

By 1905 William has gone into some businesses with his only child a son Edward J. Welker, here is an add for one of their businesses.

    On April 6, 1934 William's wife Maria (Wagner) Welker died and was buried in Vernon Cemetery.

North Vernon Plain Dealer Republican News - April 12, 1934
    Mrs. William Welker, aged 83 years died at her home here on Friday evening of a heart attack. She is survived by the husband and one son Edward J. Welker and by four grand children. Funeral services took place from the Presbyterian Church, Sunday afternoon with burial in the Vernon Cemetery.

    Only three years later William died in Madison State Hospital and was also buried in Vernon Cemetery. Unfortunately, William's obituary has him with the wrong middle initial. His Death Certificate has the correct middle initial but the Ancestry transcription has him as William F. Walker rather than Welker.

February 4, 1937 - North Vernon Plain Dealer

    William J. Welker, aged 83 years, died at the hospital at North Madison about eight-fifteen Tuesday morning, after a long serious illness.
    Mr. Welker was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 28, 1853, but was brought by his parents to Jennings County when but a small boy.
    He was married to Maria L. Wagner and to this union one son was born, Edward J. Welker, of Vernon, who survives.
    Mr. Welker was Sheriff of Jennings county from 1888 to 1892 and held other important offices as Mayor and Marshall of Vernon.
    The funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at the Presbyterian church in Vernon, with burial in the Vernon cemetery. Rev. Merle Kennedy, officiating.
    Besides the son, he is survived by two granddaughters, one grandson, six great grandchildren, and one brother, Henry Welker, of Urbana, Ohio.

    At this point I started looking at William & Maria Welker's only son Edward J. Welker..On June 28, 1899 he had married Almeda O'Hair here in Jennings County, she was the daughter of Calvin O'Hair and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Stott.

North Vernon Plain Dealer - October 19, 1922
Edward J. Welker For Clerk
    Edward J. Welker was born in Vernon, Indiana, in 1877, and when a small boy served as "Devil" on the Old Vernon Banner learning the printer's trade under his uncle, Charles E. Wagner and Fred H. Nauer. At this trade he worked his way thru the Vernon high school, graduating in 1895.
    In 1896 he worked on a paper called the Butlerville News, edited by Edward Davis at Butlerville, Ind., and later went to Columbus, Indiana, and received employment on the Columbus Times, edited by Newton Marsh, returning to Vernon and entered the employment of J. H. McGuire, on the Vernon Journal where he remained for a number of years until he was married. After his marriage he and his father William F. Welker managed and owned the Vernon Livery Barn and Hack Line for nine years and during this time he took the Civil Service Examination for Rural Carrier and made the highest grade (100 per cent) in the County of 85 applicants. The result from this examination he carried the mail on Rural Route 2 out of Vernon, now N. Vernon R 4 for 10 1/2 years, where he made friends and was admired by his patrons as a very efficient carrier.
    After leaving the mail service in 1915 he took the position of engineer at the Vernon Hydro Electrical Co., and later was engineer for the Muncie Stone && Lime Co., at Vernon, Ind. While under this employment he was appointed Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff James Huntington and acted as such Deputy in connection with his other work. After the quarry closed down in late fall he became editor of the Vernon Times and still retained the office of Deputy Sheriff for two years.
    At the first of the year 1919 he accepted the appointment of Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court of Jennings County, Indiana, by Clifford H. Long, of North Vernon, Indiana. He served in this capacity very efficiently and had full charge of the office. He did the work of Clerk but received only a Deputy's salary.
    After four years experience as Deputy Clerk he is now seeking the election as the Republican Candidate at the coming election November 7th, 1922.
    During the past eight years, outside of his other work he has owned and managed the Vernon Hotel and Restaurant successfully and showing his qualifications as a business man, and here as elsewhere he has made a large acquaintance over the County and State.
    In connection with his Hotel work he has always worked a large garden, to help produce garden truck and other crops for his Hotel use.
    Mr. Welker shows, he works at all available work at hand.
    He is always employed and often puts in eighteen hours work a day.
    Mr. Welker has shown those who know him that he is not afraid of hard work.
    Mr. Welker has been commended by the State Examiners as to his manner of keeping records. Mr. Welker is genteel, polite and courteous to all who enter his office. He knows the office and the people can be assured the records are correct and the information at hand whenever desired.
    The voters can make no mistake in electing Edward J. Welker to the office of CLERK Circuit Court of Jennings County and you will elect a man who is well qualified for the position he seeks.
    He is a member of the Masonic; I.O.O.F. Encampment; K. of P. Rebecca and Eastern Star Fraternities he is and always has been a active member.
    Vote for Mr. WELKER and you will put a good man in office, capable of handling the County business efficiently.

North Vernon Plain Dealer Republican News - March 5, 1953

    Edward J. Welker, seventy-five years old, died from a heart attack at his home in Vernon, about nine o'clock Monday night, March 2nd. Funeral services will be held this (Thursday) afternoon at two o'clock at the Presbyterian Church in Vernon, with the Rev. Albert L. Tull pastor of the church in charge. Burial will take place in Vernon Cemetery.
    Mr. Welker was prominent in Republican politics in the county for many years and served twelve years as clerk of Jennings Circuit Court. He also served for several years as a member of the Board of Election Commissioners of the county and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jennings County Public Library a number of years. He was treasurer of the Vernon Cemetery Association.
    He was a member of Vernon Presbyterian Church and of North Vernon Chapter of the Masonic Lodge. He operated a hotel in Vernon for twenty years and for the last four years had operated a lunch room and gas station there. He was prominent in all business and civic affairs of Vernon and enjoyed a wide acquaintance in the county. He had suffered from a heart ailment for years but was in his usual health Monday, and his death came as a shock to his family and friends.
    He is survived by the widow, Mrs. Almeda Welker, one son Charles Welker, of Detroit, Michigan, and two daughters Mrs. James Boggs, of Vernon, and Miss Frances Welker of Indianapolis. Eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild also survive. Find A Grave Link

North Vernon Sun - December 25, 1965
Mrs. Almeda Welker dies
    Mrs. Almeda Welker, widow of Edward J. Welker of Vernon, died early Wednesday morning at Seymour hospital. Born November 18, 1880, daughter of the late Calvin and Elizabeth Stott O'Hair, she was a native and life-long resident of Vernon. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Vernon, and North Vernon Chapter OES and a past worthy matron of the chapter.
    Funeral services were at the First Baptist Church, Vernon, at 3:00 p.m. Friday with the pastor, Rev. David White, officiating. Burial was in Vernon Cemetery under direction of the Jordan Funeral Home.
    She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Bernadine Boggs, Route 1, North Vernon, and Frances Welker, Indianapolis; a son, Charles Welker, Union Lake, Mich.; 11 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Find A Grave Link

Edward J. and Almeda (O'Hair) Welker

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