Peyton Young Welch


PEYTON YOUNG WELCH, one of the venerable pioneers and successful agriculturists of the great Golden State, resides on his fine ranch near Plainsburg, Merced county. He was born in Kentucky in 1821,  a son of Peyton and Jemima (Rider) Welch, natives of Virginia; the father was a minister, and for many years a "circuit rider." He and his wife reared a family of six children, of whom our subject is the youngest. In 1847. he went to Missouri, and ten years later he set out to cross the plains, his point of destination being the Pacific slope. May 1, 1857, he left La Fayette county, Missouri, with a company numbering fifty souls; they had encounters with the Indians and three men were shot, though not fatally wounded; they lost 300 head of cattle, and were only forty miles from the scene of the Mountain Meadow massacre. They entered California through San Bernardino county, and thence through Los Angeles county to Merced county, where they arrived April 1, 1858, having been on the way eleven months.
Mr. Welch located on Mariposa creek, twenty-two miles from Snelling; here he purchased the claim to 160 acres of land, for which he paid $1,000; he then entered the same. He has since bought 520 acres adjoining this tract, and now owns the entire tract of 680 acres, one and a half miles from Plainsburg. Since coming to the State he has seen the towns of Plainsburg and Merced spring into existence, and the county of Merced transformed from a wild cattle country to a cultivated agricultural district, thickly settled with an industrious, intelligent class of people. He is a practical and successful farmer, and his good judgment is shown by the excellent results of his labors.
While the county seat was located at Snelling he served as Supervisor of his district, and has always taken a deep interest in the growth of the county and the development of her resources. He is a member of La Grange Lodge, F. & A. M., at Merced, and in his political views affiliates with the Democratic party.
Mr. Welch was married in 1842, to Sarah Aspley, a native of Tennessee and a daughter of John Aspley, who was a soldier in the war of the Revolution. To them were born the following children: Lucilus Arthur, of  Fresno county; John Simeon of Stockton, and Martha Jemima, wife of Joseph L. Turner.  The mother departed this life in April, 1888.
Facsimile Reproduction
Memorial and Biographical History
Merced, Stanislaus, Calaveras,
Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties
The Guild McHenry Museum of Art and History
Modesto, California - 1980

Contributed by: Carol Lackey