Thomas Welch, a general merchant of Vineland, Mo., was born in the 
State of New York, March 27, 1845.  His father, James Welch, was a
blacksmith by trade, and a native of Ireland.  His parents both died
when he was small, and he was brought up in St. Francois County, Mo.,
receiving his education in the subscription schools.  His teacher was
Eliza Carrollton, now of the Carrollton Institute, of Farmington, Mo.
Mr. Welch was reared on a farm, and for six years was engaged in mining 
in the Valle Lead Mines, Missouri.  In 1871 he settled on a farm in 
Valle Township, two miles west of Vineland, which he still conducts 
in connection with his store.  He engaged in mercantile business at
Vineland in October, 1881, and carries a full line of everything 
generally kept in a first class general store.  January 25, 1871, he 
married Elizabeth Blackwell, daughter of William Blackwell (deceased),
a pioneer of St. Francois County.  Mr. and Mrs. Welch have six child-
ren, viz.: Frances A., William C., Albert H., Barthlow T., George V.,
and Leslie L.  Mr. Welch served as justice of the peace ten or twelve
years, and in 1882 was appointed postmaster of Vineland, which office
he still holds.  He has taken an active part in politics, and in 1884 
represented the Democrat party of Jefferson County in the State 
Convention.  He is a Chapter Mason, a member of the De Soto Lodge, of
which lodge he has served two terms as Master, having also filled 
various other positions of trust.