Born: June 16, 1820 Died: November 11, 1906
Burial: Maysville Cemetery Place: Maysville, Benton County, Arkansas
Mary is the mother and wife of well known Quantrill guerrilla, Warren Welch and his father, Simeon. Warren's brothers, Lemuel and James, were also partisans with Quantrill. Her story is quite deep in the border wars struggles! From being burned out of her home to burying a well known guerrilla and being arrested, Mary saw her share of the war up close! In war remembrances, Warren spouted his anger about the family being burned out of their home and captured by Jayhawkers......
"then I heard the Federals, they had taken my mother and family prisoners and banished them. Then everybody knows how our blood boiled, then everybody in the brush (the guerrillas) was mad. Then, among the men was what would we do next? We thought the best thing to go east and pay them back in something that they don't like and we done it. So we found them on every side. It was a sorrowful thing for them and I think they did not banish anyone after that time for it was a warning to them."
It's been written that their banishment was being taken to an island in the Missouri River and being dumped there with just the clothes on their backs. They would later be found, ironically, by Warren and Simeon. Son and father relayed the information to General JO Shelby who sent a rescue party to retrieve them. Shelby helped provide a home for them until Simeon could rejoin them.
Naturally, Mary knew some of the guerrillas including Andy Blunt. It would fall upon her to have the terrible task of retrieving his body and taking care of him after death. Warren remembers again....
"Blunt left the camp with one man with him and went to Lafayette County and the county was full of the enemy and they routed him and his partner and they followed them back to Jackson County and came on him at my mother's house. And he fought them and they got him off his horse, then followed him something near a mile and killed him and the other man made his escape and come into the camp with a slight wound on the neck. And Blunt's horse came to camp as soon as he lost his rider. Then we mounted our horses and made way towards the place. Blunt was and my mother had found him and, with some other women, a yoke of cattle and wagon, had moved him to the house and had laid him out before we got there.
Captain Blunt was buried at the Austin graveyard near the Lafayette and Jackson County line on the old Steve Austin farm. My mother and the other neighbor women buried him."
Warren's brother, Thomas, would write this in a letter years later.....
"Warren, ma says that Blunt had Andy Blunt printed on his arm and if he had any other name, she did not know it, she help dress him when he was killed."
Mary and Simeon found their peace in northwest Arkansas. Upon Mary's death, family wrote to Warren and broke the news in a November 13, 1906 letter from Maysville, Ark. It states ...
"Dear Brother, I will try to write to you and tell you our sad news. Our Dear old mother died Sunday five minutes to One O Clock. Funeral at the house Monday at 11"
Their combined history, along with their sons, stands as one of the landmark finds for the QSCR collection and the education of the Kansas-Missouri border wars in NW Arkansas.