"GENEALOGY OF A BOWMAN FAMILY," BYRON WHITENER BOWMAN, 1956 - BIOGRAPHY OF SOPHIA WELKER POPE, 1846-1924
Sophia Perizade, the tenth child of Benjamin and Sophia Bowman, was born March 3, 1846, at the Kanawha Salt Works in Virginia.As she grew to womanhood, she had some serious trouble with her eyes and was practically blind for a long time, though she so far recovered her sight that she was able to perform her household duties, even reading if the print was fairly good.
On February 19, 1865, she was married to William H. Welker, who some time later was converted; and, though all his family were Methodists, he united with his wife to the Baptist Church and soon began to preach, showing great earnestness.He won many converts in the years to follow until his death on April 12, 1888, which was very sudden.He had gone to the home of a friend to spend the night, became ill, and died in a few hours.
Of his past life he would often say:"What a change His Word can make, turning darkness into day."If he had been a very ungodly man before his conversion, he was surely a very pious one afterward.
The children born to William and Sophia Welker were:Samuel, who became a railroad worker at Fornfelt, Missouri; Mary, who married "Bud" Lewis, a farmer at Allenville, Missouri; Ben, who became a telegraph operator and was at one time located at Caliente, Nevada, and who is still living at this writing at 4401 Braeburn Rd., San Diego 16, California (his daughter Eugenia M. Welker now lives with him); George, who became a farmer living near Blodgett, Missouri, but so far we have been unable to locate him, if he is still living; Russell, who died in Mexico City, Mexico, August 1, 1906, of smallpox; and James, who is a deaf mute who became a worker in a shoe factory in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and whose wife was also deaf and dumb.James, at this writing, is still living with son, Woodrow, on Star Route out of Glen Allen, Missouri (his wife died in 1941).James has three children, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Welker remained a widow until after all her children were grown, after which she married Judge M. J. Pope, and they lived at Marquand, Missouri.Judge Pope served two terms as Associate Judge from the southern district of Madison County, having been elected on the Democratic ticket over one of the most popular men in the Republican party who had served the county in the State Legislature.
Sophia was naturally a good woman with a strong mind and a bright intellect.She studied the Bible more than most people and was well posted on questions of Biblican knowledge.Her disposition was a cheerful one.
Besides the children mentioned above, four died in infancy and were buried in the Old Salem graveyard, where the body of Mr. Welker lies, and a marble shaft to mark the spot was erected by the Oak Ridge Baptist Church, of which he was the highly esteemed pastor at the time of his death.
June 12, 1956