I have written about J. B. Welch before (follow this link to read his full story). He was a druggist, jeweler and watch repairman, but his avocations of poet and composer were his true passions. To this day, I receive communications from descendants and others who have kept the sheet music to some of his hymns and have heard them performed.
This is the first time, however, that I’ve had a formal portrait of him and his entire family to show. The two portraits in this post were brought to MHS by Ellen Graves, who also brought us the amazing cabinet card photograph of William G. Fearing. That Ms. Graves should have had these photos in her possession is not surprising, as she is a descendant of Elizabeth Reynolds, J. B. Welch’s wife, who was also the sister of Lydia Reynolds, William Fearing’s wife. The two sisters were next door neighbors on Union Street, just above Chandler. Only the Welch family home survives; the Fearing house was demolished decades ago.
The portrait of J. B. and Eliza below was made much earlier, sometime around 1871 to 1875 based on their youthful appearance.