William H. Welch as a young boy, circa 1858
Courtesy of Medical Archives of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution
In the middle of the last century, the New England towns, and none more so than this beautiful town of Norfolk, afforded the best which this country could offer in the way of heredity and environment for the up building of that strength of character, that soundness of mind and of body, those moral and intellectual ideals which have been in the past (whatever the future may have in store for us), the determining forces in the development and prosperity of our country and happy they whose lot was here cast.
Our life's as children centered around the family, the church, the Sunday school, the walks to the cemetery on Sunday afternoon, the school, the village green, our games, our picnics in the old spring lot, our birthday parties. I was led to believe by my father, and I do not dispute it, that I owed every thing in my start in life to my attendance at the Misses Nettleton's school, and I am sure that it was an excellent school of its kind.
The Norfolk of those and later days bore no resemblance to the “Main Street” depicted so realistically in that most depressing book by Sinclair, in these beautiful surroundings there resulted a life and work of sincere grace. - Welch WH. Remarks at the unveiling of a tablet in memory of Miss Isabella Eldridge in the Congregational Church, Norfolk, Conn. Litchfield County Leader, July 1, 1921
William H. Welch, William Wickham Welch, Norfolk, Connecticut