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Lewis Sheldon Welch Papers

Call Number: MS 1084

Scope and Contents

The Lewis Sheldon Welch Papers consist of correspondence, business records, printed matter, and photographs which document Welch's business, civic, and Yale activities. The papers, which date from 1870 to 1934, are most voluminous during the period 1901 to 1921 and nearly half concern Welch's investments in the Saddle Mountain Mining Company of Arizona. Welch's participation in New Haven civic affairs and Yale alumni matters, and his interests in World War I and the repeal of the prohibition amendment are also highlighted in the papers.

Series I contains the majority of material in the papers and all material on Welch's business affairs. Both series include correspondence, clippings, printed matter, and photographs, which are arranged by topic.

Series I includes a small quantity of Welch's incoming general letter files. These alphabetical files date from 1896 to 1898 and 1902 to 1904. Many letters in these files are from Yale classmates and other friends or concern the details of the construction and furnishing of the Welch house. Welch's general outgoing letters for the period 1903-1905 are included in letterpress copybooks in boxes 19 and 20.

These volumes also contain many of Welch's letters relating to the Saddle Mountain Mining Company. The chronologically arranged volumes supplement the large quantity of material on the company, which is arranged by correspondent or type of material, in folders 52-151. The company owned copper mines in Gila County, Arizona, and Welch invested heavily in its operations. He interested classmates, family, and friends in investing, and served on the company's board of directors. In 1906 Welch lost control of theYale Alumni Weeklyand, was almost forced into bankruptcy because of this investment. The files, ca. 1901-1907, contain correspondence with stockholders, officers, and other board members including George B. Chittenden, general manager of the mines; William W. Delano, treasurer; Z. Taylor Emery, president; Stuart Hotchkiss, director; and Story B. Ladd, secretary. Folders entitled "Financial records" and Miscellaneous" contain reports of the general manager, contracts, payrolls, balance sheets, executive committee resolutions, minutes, notices of meetings, lists of stockholders, stock certificates, receipts, furnace reports, and other records which detail company policy, management, and mine operations. Additional reports on conditions at the mines can be found in correpondence with Burnett Goodwin.

Most material under the heading "Yale University" in Series I relates to Welch's activities in behalf of the class of 1889. The files contain correspondence and programs for class reunions, drafts of obituaries for class members, and correspondence concerning financial support for classmates and their families. Only a small quantity of material reflects Welch's service on theYale Alumni Weeklyor the Yale-in-China executive committee.

Welch's civic activities are represented in files on Grace Hospital, the Military Training Corps Association, and the New Haven City Hall. Welch as a director of Grace Hospital participated in discussions of a proposed merger of the hospital with New Haven Hospital, and this topic is reflected in correspondence with Orville Pelty, Harry C. Knight, Isaac Ullman, and B. Austin Cheney. With Knight, Ullman, and Frederick W. Campbell, Welch also discusses a site and plans for a new New Haven city hall. The files also contain minutes of meetings of the City Hall Building Commission. Other discussions of New Haven matters are contained in Welch's correspondence with Norris Osborn, editor of theNew Haven Journal Courier. The files for the Military Training Corps Association relate to Welch's chairmanship of the association's Civilian Examining Committee.

Other files in Series I relate to Welch's insurance business and to his own and his friends' business investments. Folder 46 includes correspondence and royalty statements from the publisher ofYale: Her Campus, Class Room, Athletics.

Topics covered by material in Series II include Welch's participation in the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, the Sentinels of the Republic, and civilian activities during World War I. For both the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment and the Sentinels of the Republic there are speeches, correspondence, and association literature. The files for the Sentinels of the Republic, an organization opposed to perceived encroachment of the federal government upon the rights of states and individual citizens, include several issues of theWoman Patriot. The World War I files also include material which Welch collected as background for speeches on behalf of the Connecticut State Council of Defense. Folders 202-204 contain copies of theFour Minute Men News, which was issued by the federal government's Committee on Public Information. The correspondence in folders 207-208 includes Welch's reports to various persons in the Military Intelligence Section of the Army War College on activities of alleged German sympathizers at Yale and in the New Haven area.


  • 1870-1934


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the estate of Lewis S. Welch, 1940.


Arranged in two series: I. Correspondence, 1895-1933. II. Subject Files, 1870-1934.


9 Linear Feet (23 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers include correspondence, business records, printed matter, and photographs which document Lewis Sheldon Welch's business, civic, and Yale activities. Nearly half the papers concern Welch's investments in the Saddle Mountain Mining Company of Arizona. The papers also highlight Welch's role as an active Yale alumnus and his interests in New Haven civic affairs, civilian efforts to aid the military during World War I, and repeal of the Prohibition amendment.

Biographical / Historical

Born July 9, 1867, in Hartford, Conn.

Died March 29, 1940, in New Haven, Conn.

Father, Henry Kirke White Welch (B.A. 1842). Mother, Susan Leavitt (Goodwin) Welch. Yale relatives include: Rev. Daniel Welch (B.A. 1749) (great-great-grandfather); Rev. Moses C. Welch (B.A. 1772) (great-grandfather); Sheldon C. Leavitt (B.A. 1802), George Goodwin (BA. 1806), Richard E. Goodwin (B.A. 1807), and Jonathan A. Welch (B.A.1813) (great-uncles); Edward Goodwin (B.A.1823) and Archibald Welch (M.D. Hon. 1836) (grandfathers); Rev. Moses C. Welch (B.A. 1850) and Sheldon Goodwin (B.A. 1858) (uncles); Arthur S. Goodwin, ex-'oo (cousin); and Franklin D. W. Glazier, '04, W. Stuart Glazier, '06, and Philip A. Glazier, ex-'07 S. (nephews).

Hartford Public High School. Oration appointment Junior year; dissertation appointment and Commencement speaker Senior year; second declamation prize Sophomore year; first Junior exhibition prize; editor Yale Literary MagazineSenior' year; assistant superintendent United Church Mission School three years; member Junior Promenade Committee, Committee to Preserve the Fence, Yale Assembly, Porter Literary Society, Hé Boulé, Psi Upsilon, Scroll and Key, and Chi Delta Theta.

On staff New Haven Register 1889-1890 and associate editor 1893-1895; City editor Hartford Courant 1890-1893; founder and first graduate editor Yale Alumni Weekly 1895-1896; established the magazine as permanent graduate publication and published and edited it until September, 1906, under supervision of an advisory board of graduates; New Haven representative Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company since 1909; president and treasurer Lewis S. Welch, Inc., general insurance, New Haven, since 1928; vice-president Life Underwriters' Association of New Haven 1927-1928 and president 1928-1929; director Brick Row Print and Book Shop 1922-1925 and Grace Hospital 1927-1929; member Committee on Revision of the City Charter, New Haven Chamber of Commerce (chairman town and city improvement committee 1909-1915,a vice-president 1921-1925, director 1923-1926), and Municipal Building Commission; chairman executive committee New Haven Thrift Week Committee 1924; chairman New Haven Branch, Military Training Camps Association; member Troop A, Connecticut State Guard, and civilian aide to Adjutant General of the United States during World War; treasurer New Haven branch Veterans Association of the Second Military District, 1921; vice-president Yale Alumni Association of New Haven 1921-1922, representative on Alumni Board 1923-1926 (member executive committee); member executive committee Yale-in-China 1903-1908, and on the council 1908-1914; secretary Kingsley Trust Association 1898-1908; chairman Class committee and member reunion committees since 1899; co-author: Yale, Her Campus, Class-Rooms, and Athletics (1899); author of a number of poems and pamphlets and contributed to Atlantic Monthly; honorary member Elihu Club; member national executive committee Sentinels of the Republic, New Haven chapter National Aeronautic Association, Elizabethan Club, and United Church (Congregational), New Haven (deacon 1918-1921).

Married December 8, 1897, in South Glastonbury, Conn., Mary Stuart, daughter of William Stuart and Mary Edwards (Goodwin) Williams, granddaughter of Solomon Williams ( ex-1803) and George Goodwin (B.A. 1806), great-granddaughter of Thomas Williams (B.A. 1748), and sister of George G. Williams, '80 S. Children: Emily Williams (B.A. Vassar 1921; Yale Graduate School and Yale School of Music 1922-1923), the wife of James Greil (Cornell ex-'29); Frances Goodwin (Columbia Univ. 1935-1939); and Elizabeth Edwards (B.A. Smith Coll 1927; M.A. Columbia 1932).

Death due to cerebral hemorrhage. Buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford Survived by wife (died August 17, 1940), daughters, a grand-daughter, Mary Stuart Greil, a' sister, Mrs. Bernard T. Williams, and a brother, Henry Kirke White Welch, both of Hartford. Another Archibald A. Welch, '82, died in 1935.

Yale University Obituary Record, 1939-1940, pp. 43-44.

Guide to the Lewis Sheldon Welch Papers
Under Revision
by Diane E. Kaplan and William E. Brown, Jr.
July 1986
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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