Walsh County, North Dakota

Welter, Peter H. and Theresa (Tracy) E. (Gigler) Family

A research biography by Mary Kovarik, Walsh County Historical Society

Peter H. Welter was born 1 March 186920 in Port Washington, Ozaukee, Wisconsin.  He was the second child of Nicholas P. and Catherina (Stemper) Welter. Shortly after his birth, by 1870, the family moved to Belgium, Ozaukee, Wisconsin2.  They moved to Cass County, Dakota Territory prior to 18803, and by 18854 they were living in Acton Township, Walsh County, North Dakota, where the family finally settled.

Peter married Theresa “Tracy” E. Gigler in Crookston, Polk, Minnesota in about 190320.  Tracy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gigler, was born in Norman County, Minnesota on 19 March 188320. They originally stayed in Acton Township and were living there in 19106, but in 1916 they moved to Oakwood, where they settled12. Tracy (Gigler) Welter died on 31 Jul 1946 at age 63.  Peter H. Welter died on 28 Dec 1955 in Grafton, Walsh, North Dakota. They are buried at the Grafton Lutheran Cemetery.

Peter and Tracy had seven children together:

  1. Roy Anton Welter: Born 21 Jan 1905 in Acton Township, Walsh, ND21. Baptized in the Grafton Lutheran Church on 6 Aug 190521.  Moved with his family to Oakwood township, Walsh, ND, in 19167. Was confirmed in Grafton Lutheran Church on 28 Nov 1920 at the age of 1521. Roy married Clara Helen Knudson in about 1930. They had 2 sons: Gordon Welter, born abt 1932 and Kenneth Welter, born abt 1933, both born in Grand Forks. According to his father’s obituary, the family was living in Grand Forks by 195520.  Roy died on 26 Apr 1971. Clara died on 10 Oct 2001. They are buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Grand Forks17.
  1. Lawrence George Welter: Born 18 Feb 1906 in Acton Township, Walsh, ND6,12,22. Baptized 8 Jul 1906 and was confirmed at age 14 on 28 Nov 1920 at Grafton Lutheran Church in Grafton, ND22.  He moved with his family to Oakwood Township, Walsh, ND in 1916, where he lived most of his life as a farmer20. He married Evelyn Juliet Strand on 6 Jun 1938.  They resided in Oakwood township up to 1940, but by 1955 they were living in Grafton20. Three children were born to Lawrence and Evelyn:  Donald Keith Welter, born 1939, Janice Lorraine Welter, born 1943, and Lana Jane Welter, born 1946, all born in Grafton14,21.  Lawrence died unexpectedly on 20 Mar 1972 in Grafton at his farm home and was buried on 21 Mar 1972 at Grafton Lutheran Cemetery in Grafton17.
  1. Frank Peter Welter: Born on the family farm in Acton Township, Walsh, ND, on 11 Oct 190920,21  He moved with his family from Acton Township to Oakwood township in 1916, where he was raised7.  He was confirmed 14 Dec 1924 at Grafton Lutheran Church at age 1522.  He was the operator of Welter’s Repair Shop in Grafton. He did not marry20 . He died on 6 Jul 1946 in Grafton when a tractor he was driving overturned in a ditch about 1-1/2 miles north of Grafton and he was crushed beneath it20. He was buried at the Grafton Lutheran Cemetery.
  1. Gladys Marie Welter: Born 24 Apr 1911 in Grafton, Walsh, ND12,17,22 . She moved with her family from Acton Township to Oakwood township, Walsh, ND in 1916, where she was raised. She was confirmed on 14 Dec 1924 at Grafton Lutheran Church in Grafton22. She married Arthur “Art” W. Schaler. They had 2 known children; a son and a daughter.  Art died on 10 Mar 1995, and Gladys died on 8 Sep 2000 in Bellingham, Whatcom. Washington20.  They are buried together at Greenwood Cemetery in Greenwood, Whatcom, Washington17.
  1. Glenn Walter Welter: Born 23 Jun 1913 in Acton Township, Walsh, ND12,13,22. He moved with his family to a farm in Oakwood Township, Walsh, ND, in 1916, He lived there for 23 years. He was confirmed on 4 Dec 1927 at Grafton Lutheran Church in Grafton, Walsh, ND.  He moved to Grafton, Walsh, ND, when he married Mae Johnson on 15 Nov 1939 in Grafton23.  Glen was a farmer and a Walsh County Commissioner for 18 years. He retired from farming in 1978.  Glen and Mae were the parents of four children:  Daryl G, Wayne R, Glen L, and Marlys Mae.  All were born in Grafton and graduated from Grafton Central High School.  Daryl graduated from the State School of Science in Wahpeton, ND; Wayne graduated from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks; Glen, Jr. graduated from UND; and Marlys Mae graduated from Mayville State College, Mayville, ND.

Wayne Welter is married to Pam Johnson of Fargo, ND, and they are the parents of two daughters, Amy Jo and Allison Leigh. Wayne is head football coach at Grafton Central High School; teaches health and physical education; and also coaches senior high track and girls’ volleyball.

Marlys is married to John Pederson of Grafton and they have a daughter, Sara Nicole. Marlys is also a teacher and gives private piano lessons. Her husband is also a music graduate from Mayville State but is currently employed with Marvin’s Jewelry in Grafton. Daryl is employed in Mission, Tex., and is a semi-truck driver.  Glen L., Jr., works for Quad County in Pembina County.  Glen and Mae have lived at 643 Prospect Avenue in Grafton for 41 years.

  1. Evelyn Frances Welter: Born on 19 Feb 1916 in Grafton, Walsh, ND12,13,22. She was confirmed on 30 Jan 1920 at Grafton Lutheran Church, in Grafton. She married Warren “Harry” Strong in Portland, Washington, in about 1946, and it is reported they had two children. Her father’s obituary from 1955 stated that she lived in California, and her brother’s obituary from 1972 stated she lived in Kenwood, California18. Evelyn died on 24 Jun 1991 in Sonoma, Sonoma, California18.
  1. Francis Elsie Welter: Born 14 Mar 1920 in Grafton, Walsh, ND14,17,22. Baptized 2 Jul 1922, and confirmed 18 Feb 1934 at Grafton Lutheran Church in Grafton22. Raised in Oakwood Township, Walsh, ND, and graduated from high school in Grafton. She married to J.A. Rudolph Johnson in Grafton on 26, 194017. They settled on a farm near Grafton.  Rudolph died on 11 Oct 1972. Frances remained on the farm until moving to the town of Grafton in 199217. In 1999 she moved to Fargo, Cass, ND17. Francis died on 26 Jul 2008 at her home in Fargo and was buried at Grafton Lutheran Cemetery in Grafton17,20.

Rudolph and Francis had 4 children:  Sharon (Johnson Cutler, residence Lacey, Thurston, Washington; Duane Johnson (3 children, Gary, Brenda, and Duane), residence Castle Rock, Colorado; Terry ”Rocky” (Roxanne) Johnson, residence Fargo, Cass, ND; and Linda “Lynn” (Johnson) Oby, residence Bismarck, Burleigh, ND17,20.


  1. 1860 US Census, Belgium, Ozaukee, Wisconsin
  2. 1870 US Census, Belgium, Ozaukee, Wisconsin
  3. 1880 US Census, ED 62, Cass, Dakota Territory
  4. 1885 US Census, Acton Twp, Walsh, North Dakota
  5. 1900 US Census, Acton Twp, Walsh, North Dakota
  6. 1910 US Census, Acton Twp, Walsh, North Dakota
  7. 1920 US Census, Acton Twp, Walsh, North Dakota
  8. 1925 ND Census, Acton Twp, Walsh, North Dakota
  9. 1930 US Census, Acton Twp, Walsh, North Dakota
  10. 1940 US Census, Acton Twp, Walsh, North Dakota
  11. 1910 US Census, Stockton, San Joaquin, California
  12. 1920 US Census, Oakwood, Walsh, North Dakota
  13. 1930 US Census, Oakwood, Walsh, North Dakota
  14. 1940 US Census, Oakwood, Walsh, North Dakota
  15. Wisconsin Birth and Christenings Index
  16. Index to Marriage Records, Walsh County, North Dakota
  17. Find-A-Grave.com
  18. Social Security Death Index
  19. Social Security Applications and Claims Index
  20. Obituary
  21. com Family Tree File
  22. Grafton Lutheran Church Records
  23. “Walsh Heritage” Vol 3, pg 603
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