Independence Pioneer Village


The Mattie Welch Cabin


Jeremiah and Francis E. Welch purchased the cabin around 1846.  Mrs. Welch’s daughter Mattie told us that Francis said it was an old cabin when they bought it.  The cabin was originally a two-room dog-trot with a kitchen added to the back. 


The cabin was located about two miles east of the Bartholomew farm in Darden, TN.  Mr. Welch farmed 100 acres with horses and mules.  Mattie stated that they also raised hogs and cattle.


Jeremiah and Francis raised nine children in the cabin.  In 1888 one of their sons, Felbert Lee Welch, married Nancy “Addie” Chumney and moved into the cabin with Jeremiah and Francis.  Felbert and Nancy raised twelve children in the cabin.  They were:  Troy F., Sally Maudie, Alfie Omega, Clyde, Dewey, Flossie, Nettie, Charlie, Lucy, Edith, Maude and Mattie.  Three of these children were still living in 1990.


Mattie told us that in the main room of the cabin there were two beds, a dresser, a sewing table, and a plantation secretary.  She also said that she and her mother slept on a trundle bed that slid under the other bed when not in use.  Mattie also told us that there were holes in the ceiling over the bed because one night (after a considerable amount of drinking) her father thought he saw a snake and shot at it.  Fortunately her brother Dewey, who was sleeping upstairs was unharmed.


Mattie walked and sometimes rode the mule to the Garrett School.  She said when she got there she’d send the mule back down the road towards home, about a half hour before school was to be let out, Mattie’s father would send the mule back down the road toward school.


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