WELDER, JAMES FRANCIS
WELDER, JAMES FRANCIS (1863–1931). James Francis Welder, rancher and banker, was born in November 1863 in San Patricio County. His father, John Welder, had moved to Texas as a child with his family in the 1830s as part of the John Charles Beales colony. His mother, Dolores Power, was a descendant of empresario James Power. Welder, a Catholic, was educated at St. Joseph College in Victoria, at Soules Business College in New Orleans, and at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. After completing his education, he returned to Victoria to work in his family's ranching business. Welder eventually inherited his father's lands and rose rapidly in the cattle industry, owning and operating ranches in Refugio, San Patricio, and Duval counties. He was one of the first ranchers in Texas to supplant longhorn cattle with thoroughbred cattle, and to adopt more modern ranching methods. He and his brother, John James Welder, were among the first to build dipping vats to eradicate fever ticks (see TEXAS FEVER). Welder was president of the Victoria National Bank from 1894 to 1919. He then served as chairman of the bank board of directors until his death on May 26, 1931, in Victoria. He was survived by his wife, Katie Owens, whom he had married on January 15, 1889, and by one son and three daughters.
Hobart Huson, Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953 (2 vols., Woodsboro, Texas: Rooke Foundation, 1953, 1955). San Antonio Express, May 28, 1931. Victoria Advocate, May 27, 1931. The Victoria Sesquicentennial "Scrapbook" (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1974).