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Minnie Welch Kelly's autograph book - Subscriber Home Pages

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									Minnie Welch’s
Autograph Book
      The Autograph Book of
   Mary Janice “Minnie” Welch

       Scanned and transcribed by

           Susan M. Petersen

Great-granddaughter of Minnie Welch Kelly
                                      Mary Janice Welch
Mary Janice “Minnie” Welch was born February 24, 1865 in Waterbury, Connecticut. She was one of seven
children born to Mark Welch and Sarah Conneally, both of whom were born in Ireland. Minnie’s siblings
were Edward (b. about 1860), Mark William (b. about 1861), Nellie (b. about 1863), Annie (b. about 1864),
Marcella (b. about 1869), and Agnes (b. about. 1872). There were also three half-sisters born to Mark
Welch and his first wife, Bridget: Sarah (b. about 1851), Catherine (b. about 1855), Jane (b. about 1857).
As more information becomes known about this family, this book will be updated.

As a young woman in her early twenties, Minnie traveled from Connecticut to Nebraska, eventually
residing in Greenwood, a small pioneer community located between Lincoln and Omaha in Cass County. It
was there she met and married Daniel Kelly who had come to the area with his parents, William D. Kelly
and Mary Casey, both of whom were born in Ireland. The Kelly family moved from Elgin, Illinois to St. Paul,
Minnesota to Omaha, Nebraska to Council Bluffs, Iowa before settling in Greenwood and the northeastern
section of Lancaster County, Nebraska.

Minnie Welch and Dan Kelly were married December 27, 1888. Sources differ on the location of the
marriage, but for now, I will go along with the source that says they married in St. Joseph’s Church in
Greenwood, Nebraska. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on December 27, 1938.
Dan Kelly died two years later on February 6, 1940, with Minnie’s death coming on August 13, 1942 at the
age of 77 years. Her life spanned from the Civil War to World War II.

The couple raised three sons: Francis John (1889 – 1941), William Leroy (1892 – 1968) and Paul Daniel
(“D.R.”) (1897 – 1946).
                                 About Minnie’s Autograph Book
As with many families, photographs and mementoes are saved, put away in boxes and attics. Many are
long forgotten or thrown away by those with no interest in preserving family history. Many of the
memorabilia from the Kelly family passed on to my mother upon the death of her father, William Leroy
Kelly, in 1968. I was fascinated with the sepia toned family photographs from my childhood, wondering
who were these interesting looking people from whom I came. At some point in my twenties I discovered,
among the various family items, two autograph books. One had belonged to Minnie Welch. The other had
belonged to her sister, Nellie Welch.

As I read through the writings and signatures, I found that the two books provided me with the first
documentation that weaved together the names of the members of this family. It immediately became
clear that the two autograph books chronicled the two young women’s journey from their home in
Connecticut to their new western home in Nebraska.

The pages chronicle many of Minnie’s friends and family between 1883 and 1888. There are people from
Goshen, Litchfield and Waterbury, Connecticut; Rochester, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Dover,
New Hampshire; Seneca Falls, New York; and finally, Greenwood, Nebraska. The Greenwood entries
appear to be written in January 1888 and are the last chronological entries in the book. Minnie became
the wife of Daniel Kelly in December of that year. The time frame makes me wonder where and how they
met, what was their courtship like? How did a young lady from the east fall in love with a hard-working
Nebraska farmer whose family had travelled by covered wagon from St. Paul, Minnesota? The answers to
those questions may never be known, but what these pages show is that Minnie had a wealth of loving
friends and family who undoubtedly contributed to the woman, wife and mother she became.

Some of the writings on the pages have long since faded away, with little hope of being able to read their
messages with the naked eye. Other pages have been neatly excised from the book, which makes me
wonder what stories and secrets were once between the burgundy wine colored fabric covers of Minnie’s

I am still piecing together the pieces of the family history puzzle. As I continue my research on my family, I
will continue to update their story here.

I have included an index of names of people who signed Minnie’s book, in the hope of helping other
genealogists and family historians whose ancestors crossed paths with my great-grandmother. If you
discover any of your family members among these pages, please write to me (sumaree@inebraska.com)
and let me know. I would also like to know if you can assist me with some of the missing words of the

As I again read through these pages, the message written by one of Minnie’s friends gave a wish which
became Minnie’s reality:

             May you live in bliss from sorrow away,
             Having plenty laid up for a rainy day
             And when you are ready to settle in life,
             May you find a good husband, and
             make a good wife.
             Is the wish of your friend
             Mrs. G. T. Oviatt
             Torrington, Conn.

Susan M. Petersen
Lincoln, Nebraska
June 2009
The Kelly Family of Greenwood, Nebraska, several years after Minnie Welch travelled west from
Connecticut to settle in Nebraska and marry Dan Kelly.

Known family members are : Francis Kelly, eldest son of Dan and Minnie Kelly, far left, front row; Dan
Kelly, front row center; and Minnie Kelly, front row, far right. Standing between Dan and Minnie is likely
their youngest son, Paul Daniel. Standing on the far left is Dan and Minnie’s middle son, William Leroy, my

Can you help me identify the other family members?
Minnie Welch’s
Autograph Book
To Miss Welch,

May life’s pathway be illuminated by your shining virtues.

Yours very sincerely,
Maria C. Jones

Waterbury, Jan ‘83
Be you to others kind and true,
As you would have them be to you
Neither do nor say to them
Whatever you would not take again.

Your affectionate
Luke Conneally
Greenwood, Nebr
To Minnie
may you always be happy and
never grow old. May your path
through this life be brighter than gold
Yours Respectfully
T. J. Foley
Hartford, Conn
To Minnie,

(help needed with transcription)
The young ladies exclaim:

At twenty; Oh Which shall
it be. At thirty, Always ready to say (Yes. And
at forty (alhtough very few ever reach that age)
Oh where is he.
Fondly yours

Luman R Long
Waterbury, CT
When far away
In distant climes
Remember the Girl
That wrote these lines
H. A. Braxton

L. S. C. Colla--
Rochester, N.Y
To Miss Minnie
Oh what a
Tangled web we
Weave when first
We practice to deceive

S. M. Hoye
Mount Carmel, Conn
Sep 14 1884
May your path through life
Be bright with flowers
Sweet as the perfumes from Eastern bowers,
Smooth as the crystal lakes of Heaven
Where to you an Immortal crown may be given.

Your Sincere friend,
Mrs. D. A. Mag---

Waterbury, Mar 4th 1883
To Minnie,
“Kindness makes friends”
Every Your loving
Edward G. Welch
Litchfield, Conn
What write in this album
For the Critic to spy
For the Learned to laugh at
Ha. Ha. Not I

F. L. Christman
Philadelphia Pa.
“To Minnie”
“These few lines to you are tendered
By a friend sincere and true;
Hoping but to be remembered,
When I’m far away from you.”

Sincerely yours.
Anna M. Lewis
Farmington, Conn.

Waterbury 4 -23-83
Minnie –

Sincerely your friend -
Mrs. Herbert F. Hunt

Dover, N.H.

Waterbury, Conn May 13th 1883
“God bless us”

Most Respectfully Yours

H. F. Hunt

A.D. 1883 5th 13th, Dover, N.H.
To Minnie

You asked me for something Original
But I know not where to begin;
There is nothing original in me,
Except Original Sin.

Your friend
Susie E. Elliott
Torrington, CT

Mar 19 1886
To Minnie
When the golden sun is setting,
And your heart from care is free,
When of absent friends your thinking
Will you sometimes think of me.

Sincerely yours,
Etta Meaher
City of Elms
Feb 10/84
4-10-87 Easter Sunday

Hattie L. Newcomb

Townsend, N. Y.

R. C. H. _____
To Minnie,

There are times whn visions flash
Before the mind of earthly joy;
Oh! Rememember it’s but a dash
That leaves a network to decoy.

Rev. J. J. Shea

St. Joseph May 16th, 87
Dear Minnie

Vera amicizia serumpertina est ??

Yours very muchly

Emma C. Norris

Springfield, N.Y.

Dear Minnie –

May celestial happiness be there
After many years on earth.
The wish of your --- and affectionate cousin in Ill (?).


Sept 4th/83
To Minnie

With best wishes of a friend

Grace Brewster



Apr 8th 1887
Apr 26. ‘87

Dear friend: -

When you are in your Western home
With new friends on the wing
Remember your R. C. H. Friend –

L. Louise King

Seneca Falls, N.Y.
--- earth is sometimes bright and fair
And sometimes dark and lonely.
Let us forget it’s pain and cary
And mark the bright hours only.

Your friend

Minnie Dumply

Dec 10 1884
Kiss is a noun,
Both common and open,
Not very singular,
And agrees with you and me.

Your friend

Mary A. Lucas,
Goshen Connecticut

Sept 8. 1885
To Minnie

Your Sincere Friend

Mrs. T. A. Elliott

Torrington. Apr 23rd 1887
To my dear Minnie: -

May you live in bliss from sorrow away,
Having plenty laid up for a rainy day
And when you are ready to settle in life,
May you find a good husband, and
make a good wife.
Is the wish of your friend
Mrs. G. T. Oviatt
Torrington, Conn.

10 – 24 - 1885
Every joy that Heaven can send,      And each year exceed the last
Wealth and every kind of treasure,   In all that earth holds dear.
Health and love to thee my friend,
And happiness without measure.       Yours in friendship,
May your days in joy be passed       George T. Oviatt
With friends to bless and cheer.     Torrington, Oct 24, 1885
John Ryan


January 8th 1888
To Minnie,

Remember the happy
Days gone by
Which passed between you and I

Ever Your Loving
John R. Welch
Eagle Hall, Goshen, CT
June 8/85
Age 14 years

“Dear Minnie”

Remember thy Creator
In the days of thy youth.
Ever Your loving Sister.
Marcella – Welch
Litchfield, Conn.

5-5-85 (transcription note: uncertain of date)
Your Sincere Friend
Addie W. Lucas
Goshen, Conn

Sept 8th 1885
                     More about the friends who wrote in Minnie’s book
                                   [this page is being updated as information is discovered.]

Luke Conneally – Minnie’s uncle, brother of Sarah Conneally Welch. Born in Ireland, immigrated to the United States. Lived in Greenwood,
Nebraska for a brief period, then settled in Wallace, Nebraska in Lincoln County.

Maria C. Jones – Maria was born in Connecticut about 1858, a single, white teacher living with her mother, Margaret A., in Waterbury, New
Haven, Connecticut in 1880 (source: 1880 United States Federal Census). She would have been about age 25 when she wrote in Minnie’s book.

T. J. Foley –

Luman R. Long – Luman was born about 1855 in Connecticut, son of Joseph C. and Sarah Long. In 1880, he was a single, white bookkeeper, living
with his parents and grandmother, Sarah Long, in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. He was about 28 years of age when he wrote in Minnie’s
book. He continued to reside in Waterbury at least through 1920, when he was aged 65. Census records indicated he may have never married.

Edward G. Welch – Minnie’s brother, born in Connecticut, about 1860, the son of Mark Welch and Sarah Conneally. He was about 22 years of
age when he signed Minnie’s book.
     The Welch Family
          Mark Welch
     Sarah Conneally Welch

         Their children:
          Agnes Welch
          Annie Welch
        Catherine Welch
         Edward Welch
           Jane Welch
         Marcella Welch
      Mark William Welch
   Mary Janice “Minnie” Welch
          Nellie Welch
          Sarah Welch

      The Kelly Family
          Daniel Kelly
   Mary Janice “Minnie” Welch

         Their children:
       Francis John Kelly
       William Leroy Kelly
     Paul Daniel “D.R.” Kelly
                   INDEX OF INDIVIDUALS
                Those who wrote in Minnie’s book
             Grace Brewster – Farmington, New York – April 1887
                  F. L. Christman – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
                            L.S.C. Colla --, Rochester, N.Y.
            Luke Conneally (Uncle) – Greenwood, Nebraska – 1888
                         Minnie Dumply – December 1884
             Susie E. Elliott – Torrington, Connecticut – May 1886
            Mrs. T. A. Elliott – Torrington, Connecticut – April 1887
                         T. J. Foley – Hartford, Connecticut
         S. M. Hoye – Mount Carmel, Connecticut – September 1884
Mrs. Herbert F. Hunt – Dover, New Hampshire – written in Waterbury May 1883
                H. F. Hunt – Dover, New Hampshire – May 1883
           Maria C. Jones – Waterbury, Connecticut – January 1883
              L. Louise King – Seneca Falls, New York – April 1887
  Anna M. Lewis – Farmington, Connecticut, written in Waterbury April 1883
             Luman R. Long – Waterbury, Connecticut – May 1883
           Addie W. Lucas – Goshen, Connecticut – September 1885
           Mary A. Lucas – Goshen, Connecticut – September 1885
                  Mrs. D. A. Mag---, Waterbury – March 1883
                   Etta Meaher – City of Elms – February 1884
            Hattie L. Newcomb – Townsend, New York – April 1887
              Emma C. Norris – Springfield, New York – April 1887
          George T. Oviatt – Torrington, Connecticut – October 1885
          Mrs. G. T. Oviatt – Torrington, Connecticut – October 1885
                      John Ryan – Nebraska – January 1888
                         S. B. S. (Cousin) - September 1883
                 Rev. J. J. Shea – St. Joseph, (state?) – May 1987
      Edward G. Welch (Brother) – Litchfield, Connecticut – August 1882
     John R. Welch (Cousin) – Eagle Hall, Goshen, Connecticut – June 1885
             Marcella Welch – Litchfield, Connecticut – May 1885
                                 R. C. H. ___________

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