Anderson County Historical Society


Welda

WELDA

The Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad was completed to the south line of the county in 1870 and a station was located near the northline of Ozark Township, now Welda Township, and called Welda. (Welda Township was not formed until early in January, 1880, and before that time all the southern third of Anderson County from north of Welda to the southern line of the county was included in Ozark Township.) With the coming of the railroad, settlers began to spread out over the prairie. Heretofore, settlements were made chiefly along the streams.

Soon after the laying of the railroad J. M. Kauble came to this neighborhood and decided to settle near this station. Consequently, he laid out the north side of the town and built a house (now the Mose Brecheisen house), the second house in town. A section house was the first building in Welda. The railroad company laid out the south part of Welda.

Thus, the town of Welda had its beginning. Although Welda was considered a station on the railroad, it did not have a depot, and in August, 1880, the citizens of the town circulated a petition for a depot, which was built during the following September. From that time on the town made a steady growth. By 1883 Welda claimed two dry goods and grocery stores, one grocery store, a wagon and repair shop, a hotel, a broom factory and a post office and a population of some 200 residents.

At this time three churches had been organized but all occupied the schoolhouse. The Methodist Church was built in 1895 and is still in use. Later the United Presbyterian congregation built a church of that denomination at Welda. However, this structure was struck by lightning in July,1913, and destroyed by fire. The schoolhouse had been erected in October, 1879, and in November the first Welda school opened with George Peterson, the first teacher, in charge of twenty-five pupils.

The Welda postoffice had been established in 1874 with J. M. Kauble, the first citizen, as postmaster. D. H. Morey was also an early postmaster. When he resigned in 1881, Ed Post was appointed to succeed him, who, in turn, was succeeded by H. T. Hill, who years earlier had kept a stage station at Hungry Hollow, north and a little west of the site of Welda.

Welda has never had a boom or made a soaring rise to fame. Neither has it been abandoned, as was the fate of so many of Anderson County's ambitious towns. But it has settled into a good, substantial, country town, adequate for the needs of its residents, sufficient unto itself. It has several business houses, two church organizations and excellent school facilities, and a population of some 150 residents.

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