Frank O. Welling was born in Buck Creek township, Hancock county, Indiana, on August 18, 1857, youngest child of the family of nine children of Hamilton and Rachael (Corbin) Welling.
Hamilton Welling will be well remembered by many of the older residents of this county as a man of high ideals and sterling character, dividing his energies between preaching the Gospel as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, managing his farm, crying sales and doctoring horses. Few men live more active lives than he. Hamilton Welling was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, of Scotch-Irish parentage, February 18, 1816, and died at the home of his son, Frank, on March 18, 1913, at the age of ninety-seven years and one month. He passed the years of his youth and young manhood in Ohio, receiving such education as his day and community afforded and being early trained in farm work. He was united in marriage with Rachael Corbin, also born and reared in the same county, being of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock, and to their union were born nine children, eight of whom were born in Ohio, namely: Rebecca, William, Anna, Dorcas, John, Hannah, Sarah, Mary and Frank O., all deceased with the exception of Dorcas, Sarah, Mary and Frank.
In the early fifties the Welling family came to Hancock county, making the trip overland in a covered wagon. Arriving in Buck Creek township Hamilton Welling bought eighty acres in section 26, being the east half of the northeast quarter. This land was purchased from James Harvey and was entered government by a previous owner. The place, which is located near Buck creek, was covered with heavy timber, there being but three acres cleared and only a one-room log cabin and a stable on it. This cabin was most inadequate to the needs of so large a family and it is laughingly related that when night came, all the furniture would have to be moved out of doors while the beds were laid on the floor for the family, and in the morning the furniture would be moved back again, after removing the snow or rain which had fallen during the night. After enduring many inconveniences and hardships, Hamilton Welling finally succeeded in clearing most all of the one hundred and forty-two acres which he owned and put it under the plow. Also a few years after settling here he built a hewed log house, sixteen by eighteen feet, which is a part of the present residence on the farm. This house was rebuilt about 1860, converting it into a six-room house, which is still in an excellent state of preservation. After Hamilton Welling's sons became old enough to assume partial charge of the work of the farm, he then devoted most of his energies along the lines above mentioned. He was very active in church circles, erecting two churches at different points and continued preaching as long as health permitted.
In 1869, when Frank O. Welling was a little past eleven years of age, his mother died in June of that year. She was a strong and beautiful character, a loving wife and mother, and after her death her daughter, Hannah, bravely assumed the duties of housekeeper and looked after the small brother. In that fashion they continued until April 8, 1885, when Frank was married and his sister Hannah passed from life on December 24 following. In this manner, Hamilton Welling came to pass his closing years with his son, Frank, having shortly after Frank's marriage presented him with the title to forty acres of the home farm as an inducement to him and his wife to remain there and keep a home for him.
Frank O. Welling attended school at Welling's Corners, being located on his father's farm, his first school being a summer term, presided over by his sister, Anna, his first winter teacher being Eli Graham. After school days were over, he took up his work on the old homestead, where he has spent his entire life with the exception of one month. When twenty-one years of age he rented the place from his father, which arrangement continued for some time. In addition to the forty acres of the old farm which he owns, Mr. Welling also owns forty acres about two miles north of Mt. Comfort, being a portion of the old Daniel Stoner place, and he also rents twenty-tow acres of the old home from other heirs.
Mrs. Frank O. Welling before her marriage was Frances Oliver Stoner, born in Buck Creek township, July 29, 1864, a daughter of Daniel and Martha (Hatfield) Stoner. The Stoners were also early pioneers of this section and were the parents of ten children, Frances being one of the younger members of the family. To Mr. and Mrs. Welling have been born six children, as follow: Vinton M., who married Maude Rasener and resides in Buck Creek township, has one child, Wilbur; Vernie is the wife of Anton Ploenges and resides in Warren township, Marion county; Earl married Frieda Kentworth and lives in Buck Creek township; Effie May, Martha and Isabelle are at home with the parents. Both Mr. Welling and his wife are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Mt. Comfort, of which he also is a trustee. He is a Republican in politics, although never aspiring to office, and is generally conceded to be one of Buck Creek's most highly respected citizens.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 990-992.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 22, 2001.
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