The record of a life well spent, of triumph over obstacles, of
perseverance under difficulties and steady advancement from a modest
beginning to a place of distinction in the industrial world, when imprinted
on the pages of a history, present to the youth of a rising generation a
worthy example. Such a life is that of the gentleman whose name appears at
the head of this review, who is at this writing encumbent of the responsible
position of postmaster of the city of Centralia, Illinois, and the able and
conscientious manner in which he has ever looked after the interests of this
city have called forth much praise from his fellow townsmen.
Edwin L. Welton was born at New Albany, Indiana, May 16, 1857, the son of Tandy and Mary E. (Carlan) Welton, the former having been born in Harrison county, Indiana, January 4, 1827, and is still living in the Hoosier state. The mother of the subject was born near New Albany, Indiana, in 1832. They became the parents of eleven children, of whom Edwin L., our subject, was the sixth in order of birth. There were six boys and five girls, seven of whom are living.
The early education of the subject of this sketch was obtained in the common schools of New Albany. He early began working on a farm and later in the Ohio Falls Iron Works at New Albany. He came to Marion county, Illinois, in young manhood without a dollar, but possessing courage and energy he set to work and his subsequent career has been a most successful one. He now owns a costly and well furnished home in Centralia, besides considerable other property in real estate, and his rental income pays over one thousand dollars a year on his investment. He arrived in Centralia February 11, 1879.
After coming to this state our subject worked for the Illinois Central Railroad for a period of seventeen years and for thirteen years was an engineer on the road, having been one of the most trusted and efficient employes of this company. He also worked for some time in the nail mills of Centralia.
Our subject supports his aged father and mother, which he has done for years. He subscribed the first one hundred dollars for the erection of the present Catholic hospital erected in Centralia the latter part of 1908.
Our subject met with the misfortune to lose his left eye nine years ago by the explosion of a lubrication glass on an engine.
Edwin L. Welton first married Addie J. Andrews, of Centralia, October 17, 1882, by whom one son was born, Dwight E., whose birth occurred July 22, 1884. He lived eight months and seventeen days, having died in March, 1885. The subject's first wife passed to her rest October 15, 1887. Mr. Welton was married a second time, his last wife being Isabel H. See, the wedding occurring January 31, 1894. To this union five children have been born. The first died in infancy. The names of the others are Helen F., Frederick E., Winifred L. and Edna L., all living at home and attending school in 1908. Mrs. Welton is the daughter of C. M and Anna M. See, of Alma.
Mr. Welton was elected Township Collector in 1902, the duties of which he faithfully performed, as he did also while serving as a member of the School Board of Centralia from 1887 to 1889. He was appointed postmaster of Centralia in 1903 and has faithfully continued to serve the people of this city under Roosevelt's administration, still being the incumbent of this office in 1908, and according to the consensus of opinion is one of the best postmasters the city has ever had, possessing as he does a remarkable executive ability and being of a pleasing address he is popular with all classes.
In politics our subject is a Republican, having always voted this ticket and done what he could in furthering the interests of his party. Fraternally he is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Blue Lodge, also Chapter, Council and Commandery. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. Both he and his wife are members of the Order of Eastern Star.
Our subject's people and also those of his wife were Methodists. Mrs. Welton is an active member of this church. Mr. Welton, while not affiliated with any special church, contributes liberally to the support of the Methodist church and worships there with his family, being a stanch believer in practical, every-day Christianity, a man of generous disposition who has always given his aid and influence to enterprises for the public good, and since becoming a resident of Centralia he has contributed largely to the material advancement of the city and to the social and moral welfare and he keeps abreast of the times in all matters in which the public is interested. No act inconsistent with the strictest integrity has ever been imputed to him, nor has his name ever been connected with any measure or movement that would not bear closest and most critical scrutiny. Thus far his official career has fully demonstrated the wisdom of his friends in urging his selection for the position which he holds.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 546-548.