John James Welder, rancher, son of John and Dolores (Power) Welder, was born in San Patricio County, Texas, on July 14, 1854. He was a descendant of Francis Welder, Felipe Roque de la Portilla, and James Power, all early colonizers of Texas. Welder was reared in San Patricio County and attended school there and at Corpus Christi. Upon the death of his father he assumed the management of the family estate. He moved to Victoria from Refugio County about 1886 but maintained his ranch headquarters at Sinton, San Patricio County. Welder's ranchlands were in Victoria, Calhoun, Refugio, and San Patricio counties; his herd was one of the largest in South Texas. He recognized the value of tick extermination long before it was made compulsory (see TEXAS FEVER); his experiences in exterminating ticks were of great benefit to other cattlemen and were the subject of special commendation by the government and magazine articles. Welder also was among the first cattlemen to appreciate the fattening and sustaining qualities of ensilage as a food for livestock; he built numerous silos, mostly of concrete and, to fill them, raised feed on a large scale. At one time he was an extensive cotton grower. His leadership in herd improvement had much to do with the passing of longhorn cattle from southern Texas. Welder also engaged in manufacturing, cotton ginning, navigation improvements on the Guadalupe River, and railway construction. He was an original stockholder of the First National Bank of Victoria and was its president and chairman. He also was responsible for the construction of the Welder Building, a five-story structure completed in 1913 that served as the home of the First Victoria National Bank. Welder married Eliza Hughes in Victoria on April 20, 1883; they had four children. Welder died at his home in Victoria on December 31, 1923.
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Cattleman, January 1924. Roy Grimes, ed., 300 Years in Victoria County (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1968; rpt., Austin: Nortex, 1985). Keith Guthrie, History of San Patricio County (Austin: Nortex, 1986). Hobart Huson, Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953 (2 vols., Woodsboro, Texas: Rooke Foundation, 1953, 1955). Leopold Morris, Pictorial History of Victoria and Victoria County (San Antonio, 1953).
Ranching and Cowboys
Ranchers and Cattlemen
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Mrs. Patrick H. Welder,
“Welder, John James,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 27, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
August 1, 1995