Alice Irene Welden Collection

Alice Irene Welden was born in Simsbury, Connecticut on 21 December 1903. She was the daughter of Reuben W. Welden (1862-1926) and Alice Louise Bidwell Welden (1870-1959). She had one sibling, a brother, William B. Welden (1902-1982). Alice was affectionately known among her family and friends as Irene. Her family had been a part of Simsbury since 1876. Her father, Reuben “Will” Welden, ran a sporting goods store on Hopmeadow Street and her uncle, Samuel T. Welden, ran the Welden Hardware store on Station Street. He was also known as an early tobacco grower and he was a florist with five greenhouses. Irene’s mother, Alice, who was from Arlington, Pennsylvania, was a Bidwell from the Bidwell family that was among the founders of Hartford, Connecticut.

Irene was head of the savings department in the original Simsbury Bank and Trust Company, retiring after thirty-nine and a half years of service. She was a lifelong member of the Simsbury United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir and served as the organist for more than six years.

Besides being a valued member of the Simsbury Genealogical & Historical Research Library, where she donated about four hundred books, she belonged to the Simsbury Historical Society to which she made many gifts, including rare historical photographs of the town and her grandfather’s Civil War uniform. She was a devoted member of the Abigail Phelps Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Irene sadly passed away on 29 December 2006.

This collection contains both the personal and professional papers of Alice Irene Welden and her family. Included are items such as:

  • High School diplomas
  • College diplomas
  • School papers for Irene and her brother William
  • Medical records
  • Bills
  • Certificates
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Citizenship Papers
  • Items from Welden’s Hardware business and political career
  • Memorabilia from Irene’s cross-country vacation and visit to Cuba
  • Photographs of the Welden family and friends

Irene’s Brother William was a graduate of Yale University. He Joined his uncle Samuel T. Welden in the Welden Hardware Co. and became the owner in 1925. He also owned and operated the Welden Farm Equipment Co., of East Hartford until he retired in 1958. William was married to Lillian Walsh in 1930. He was for many years on the Simsbury Board of Education and on the Simsbury Board of Finance. William was the Representative to the Connecticut General Assembly from 1960-1966 where he served on the Finance Committee. He also sang for 40 years in the Hartford Men’s Choral Club.

Alice Irene Welden Collection

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Simsbury Free Library • 749 Hopmeadow Street, P.O. Box 484 • Simsbury, CT 06070 • 860-408-1336