Foley Brothers, Welch & Stewart Company (FWS)

Original name of the Company Foley Brothers, Larsen and Company

Peter Larsen was the Larsen partner.
He lived at Helena Montana
b- 1849, Island of Fuyen, Denmark
d- July 12, 1907 in Helena Montana
His wealth was estimated to be 25 to 50 Million dollars, in 1907!
Banker, Railroad Contractor, Mining Man, Lumber Magnate, and Philanthropist
Immigrated to America when he was 20, penniless

He owned prime lots on Kaien Island in 1904, which were sold to the GTP for their terminus, Prince Rupert.
An inquiry was held into this deal in 1906.
Larsen worked with a James Anderson, a friend at that time.
James Anderson acquired land on Kaien Island, via South African War Land Grant Act
He surveyed some of the lots himself.
He also surveyed lots in 1912 in Fort George for the GTP
(see link below for Inquiry info)

Principals in the FWS company that were contracted to build the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway to Prince Rupert.

Tim Foley, Michael Foley, Patrick Welch, and John W. Stewart

Hannah Foley
b- May 14, 1837
d- Jan 6, 1919

b- Aug 20, 1838, Lanark ON
d- May 24, 1920, St. Paul, Ramsey Co., MN, USA
buried in Calvary Cemetery, Saint Paul, Ramsey Co., MN
married Mary Louise Guthrie Nov 22, 1870

Part of a group of Foley Brothers born in Lanark ON,
Family moved to Minnesota in 1881
Foley's became Northern Pacific Railroad contractors.
Wholesale Company- Foley Brothers & Kelly, St. Paul MN
John F. Kelly partner

Thomas Foley
b- Apr 5, 1840
d- Feb 29, 1907 in St. Paul MN
Papers show him as a millionaire when he died.
they show him part of Foley Brothers & Guthrie, Railroad contractors
partners- Thomas Foley, Timothy Foley, Archibald Guthrie, and Charles J. Folliott

Thomas married Jessie Craig

John Foley Jr.
b- Feb 17, 1842
d- Aug 11, 1907 age 65
He was the main person to form what became the city of Foley MN
on a site that was their logging grounds.
He was known to be very wealthy

b-Oct 17, 1846 in Lanark ON, Canada
(1849 in other sources, but passport application 1905 clearly shows 1846)
d- Oct 20, 1920 in Wentworth, ON, Canada
married Helena “Helen” Agatha White, 1886, in Prescott Co., ON,
Lived at 1003 Summit Ave., St. Paul, Ramsey Co., MN
They had a daughter Rachel Foley (1891-1945)
she married Francis Joseph Anderson

He came first to Minnesota in 1870, and seen the lumber possibilities there.
He returned to Lanark to talk his brothers into moving there.

From The Book of Minnesotans, page 165…Foley, Michael, H., Railroad Contractor; native of Lanark, Co., Ontario; educated in public schools in Canada; came to Minnesota 1882 and began contracting, same year, with headquarters in St. Paul. Treasurer, Foley Bros, railroad contractors, Foley Bros. and Kelly, wholesale grocers; member Foley Bros. & Larson, railroad contractors; director, Foley Bean Lumber Co., Foley, Lock and Larson wholesale grocers, Winnipeg, Canada. Married at Prescott, Canada 1886 to Miss Helena White. Clubs: Minnesota, Town and Country. Office: Gilfillan Blk. Residence: 1203 Summit Ave., St. Paul.

George Richard Foley Sr.
b- June 22, 1847
d- 1881
married Octavie Joassin
had a daughter Avelina Foley, who married William Joseph Towle
and a son George Foley Jr.

Richard Foley
b- Mar 25, 1852, age 8 in 1861
d- Apr 21, 1879

Catharine Foley
b- Feb 14, 1844, age 16 in 1861, in ON
d- 1938

Elanor “Ellen” Foley
b- July 19, 1850, age 10 in 1861
d- Nov 25, 1937

Elizabeth Foley (twin)
b- Feb 26, 1856, age 5 in 1861
d- May 6, 1863

Mary Ann Foley (twin)
b- Feb 26, 1856, age 5 in 1861, in ON
d- Dec 18, 1915

Julia Ann Foley
b- Aug 13, 1858, age 2 in 1861
d- Sept 2, 1880

Father- John Foley Sr.,
b- June 24, 1806, in Bagenalstown, County Carlow, Ireland
d- June 28, 1873, St Paul, MN
shown living in Lanark ON in 1861
settled in Benton Co. Minnesota in 1881

mother- Johannah (Hannah, Hanora?) O'Brien
b- Aug 30, 1816 County Cork, Ireland
d- Mar 17, 1859 in Ferguson Falls, ON

The Foley family became very rich, in Railroad and Lumber interests.
They were also involved in the wholesale business.
Foleyet Ontario and Foley Minnesota, named after this family

b- Feb 15, 1859 in Marcellus, Onondaga Co., New York, USA
d- Jan 2, 1929, Coronado Hotel, Coronado, CA
buried Jan 7, 1929 in Fairmount Memorial Park, Spokane,
funeral in Peace Abbey, Spokane WA

father- Austin Welch
b- 1812, County Galway, Ireland
d- Sept 11, 1872, Jones Co., Iowa, USA
He immigrated in 1852

mother- Margaret Maley
b- 1820 in County Galway, Ireland
d- July 22, 1872, Iowa, USA
buried in Saint Peter's Cemetery, Temple Hill, Jones Co., Iowa

Patrick was a Millionaire by 1907

wife- Susan Welch, nee Moran, married Nov 14, 1881, Temple Hill, Jones Co, Iowa
b- Apr 19, 1859, age 41 in 1900, in Monuth Iowa
d- Feb 11, 1935 at her home W321 8th, Spokane WA
a large and grand home bought by Patrick in 1907
daughter of James Moran and Mary Madden
she was the sister of the late Mrs. Peter Larsen, Margaret Moran
and Mrs. John Stewart, Elizabeth, of Vancouver BC
so now we see this was an all family Company.
Another sister Mrs. Richard B. Porter of Spokane
both her parents born in Ireland

they had 2 daughters and 2 sons:
Mabel B. Welch
b- Nov 1883, age 16 in 1900, in Iowa
married Frederick Wilson

Eleanor (Elenore?)Welch
b- May 2, 1889, in Montana, USA
d- Sept, 1966 in Spokane, WA
She married Monroe K. Miller

son- Hurbert “Raymond” Welch
b- Feb 9, 1895 Montana, USA
d- Jan 27, 1934 in Spokane, WA

son- James Austin Welch
b- Feb 3, 1884, in Montana, USA
d- Sept 22, 1924, Newman Lake, Spokane, WA, age 39
died in a car accident with his wife Hester Welch,
He worked on the railroad in the Lillooet BC area

His brother Martin Welch was a partner
He owned mining interests in Fiddler Creek area.

Martin Welch
b- ca 1868, in New York, New York, USA
d- aft Jan 1929
found a headstone in the Dalles, OR, b- 1863, d- 1937, him?
He was from Spokane WA. in Oct 1914
when he was at Fiddler Creek looking over his property
He was a wealthy railroad contractor in Spokane,
see the Fiddler Creek page for more info

besides brother Martin Welch, he had 2 brothers,
Thomas Martin and Henry Martin of Seattle WA.
and 2 sisters, Mrs. Duke and Mrs. Manning of Stanbury Mo.
brother- Henry Welch-
b- Mar 17, 1856 Marcellus, Onondaga Co, New York, USA
d- Mar 24, 1940, Saint Joseph, Buchanan Co. Missouri, USA

b- Dec 12, 1862, age 61 in 1924, in Scotland (Dec 4 in another source)
d- Sept 24, 1938 in Vancouver BC
Immigrated in 1882, worked as a farm labourer,
became a Surveyor, then a Railroad Engineer.
Came from the Assynt village of Need, Scotland.

Father- William Stewart
Mother- Peggy McLeod

married Elizabeth Jane Moran, in 1897, sister to Susan Moran above.
b- Nov 1871, Limerick, Ireland
d- Nov 4, 1935 Vancouver BC

Lived in a mansion at 1675 Angus Ave, Vancouver BC

Company became Bloedel, Stewart and Welch,
which became one of the largest lumber companies in the world.

FWS Company had many labour troubles and were generally not well respected in Labour circles.
But they are part of the history of the area, good or bad.

EXT Links

Kaien Island Investigation


  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 10:52
  • by dlgent