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WELCH, STANLEY

WELCH, STANLEY (1846–1906). Stanley Welch, lawyer and politician, known as the "silver-tongued orator of Southwest Texas," was born on June 6, 1846, and raised in New Orleans. After the Civil War, in which he served in the army of the Confederacy, he moved to San Antonio, where he worked as a teller in the San Antonio National Bank. He became a friend of Edmund J. Davis. During Davis's term of office as governor, Welch resided in Austin. After Davis's unsuccessful campaign for reelection in 1874, Welch moved to San Antonio and became city editor of the San Antonio Express. At an Independence Day celebration in 1876, he lost an arm in an artillery salute accident. After the accident he stayed in Corpus Christi and formed with John McCampbell a successful law partnership. A vigorous campaigner and speaker, Welch led the local Democratic party and was a personal friend of James B. Wells, Jr., the regional Democratic leader. Welch was elected Nueces County attorney and then city attorney for Corpus Christi. In 1898, when an appointed incumbent declined to run, Welch won an election, succeeding John C. Russell as district judge of the vast South Texas Trans-Nueces region, and was reelected twice. While judge, Welch heard the case against Gregorio Cortez Lira for the murder of Sheriff W. T. Morris on April 25, 1904; the murder and trial eventually became a well-known corrido. Early on the morning of November 6, 1906, Welch was murdered as he slept in the Casa de los Abogodos at Rio Grande City. In town to supervise a hotly contested election, he had been accused of favoring local Democrats over the Republican "Red Club" (see REDS AND BLUES). He was buried in the Knights of Pythias lot of New Bay Cemetery in Corpus Christi. In 1908 Alberto Cabrera of Starr County was tried in Cuero and convicted for the murder of Stanley Welch. Welch married Azalie F. Brewster in 1884, and they had one daughter. In 1889 he married Georgia, with whom he had three sons and a daughter.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Joe Robert Baulch, James B. Wells: South Texas Economic and Political Leader (Ph.D. dissertation, Texas Tech University, 1974). Dallas Morning News, November 7, 1906. Corpus Christi Caller, November 16, 1884. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Joe R. Baulch

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Joe R. Baulch, "WELCH, STANLEY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwe67), accessed September 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.