Charles W. Wellcome, a promient lumber dealer of Hiawatha, Kans., and a widely known man of affairs, in the northeastern part of the State is a native of Maine. He was born in Franklin county, March 31, 1850, and is a son of Mark D. and Eunice (Parker) Wellcome. The father was a Methodist Episcopal minister in early life, and later followed farming. In 1854 the family left their New England home, and removed to Green Lake county, Wisconsin, and here Charles W. Wellcome attended the public schools. In 1870, he and his only brother, William, who now resides in Topeka, came to Kansas, driving the entire distance. They settled in Brown county, where Charles W. worked as a farm hand, and at various odd jobs for a time. He attended Spalding's Commercial College at Kansas City, and after completing the course returned to Hiawatha, and worked for his brother, who was engaged in the grain business. Shortly after that, he formed a partnership with a Mr. Johnson, and they engaged in the grocery business. This arrangement continued but a short time when Mr. Wellcome sold out, and went to work in a local lumber yard, as a laborer. He soon became assistant manager and later manager, holding the latter position for several years. In 1887, he engaged in the lumber business at Hiawatha, in partnership with Mr. Blair, and in a short time purchased his partner's interest in the business, and since that time has been engaged in the business alone. At the organization of the Hiawatha Light, Power and Ice Company, Mr. Wellcome bought an interest in that enterprise, and is now vice-president of the company. This is one of the thriving business enterprises of Hiawatha. When the Brown County Telephone Company was organized he became its president, and was active in the affairs of that concern up to the time that they disposed of their interest, to the Northeast Kansas Telephone Company. He and his associates then purchased the telephone system at Excelsior Springs, Mo., and he became president of that organization. This venture was an exceptional financial success, as they sold the system for twice the amount it cost, after operating it about a year. At the reorganization of the Brown County Fair Association, in 1913, he was elected its president and still holds that office. This organization has held a fair every year for forty-eight years, with the exception of 1904. Mr. Wellcome was one of the organizers of the Hiawatha Commercial Club, serving as its president two years. He was united in marriage in 1887 to Miss Louisa J., daughter of Linn and Jane Herbert, natives of Pennsylvania. The family came to Kansas in 1870, settling in Brown county, where the father taught school for a number of years. Later he was elected justice of the peace in Hiawatha and was serving in that capacity at the time of his death. Mrs. Wellcome was born in Pennsylvania, educated in the public schools and took a thorough musical training, and in early life was well known throughout Brown county as a successful music teacher of exceptional ability. To Mr. and Mrs. Wellcome was born one child, Charles Ewing, who died in infancy. They have an adopted daughter, Mary, who is a student in the Hiawatha Academy. Mr. Wellcome has taken an active part in the local councils of the Republican party, and at present is a member of the central committee, of which he is treasurer. He has served the city of Hiawatha, six years as a member of the council. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the family are members of the Presbyterian church, of which Mr. Wellcome is an elder.Pages 187-188 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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