History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

Rudge-Welsh House circa 1880

Dr. Stephen J. Welsh came to Monroe in 1881 to practice medicine with his cousin, Dr. I.H. Blair, purchasing the homeplace of John W. and Carrie Rudge, which deed records indicate had been built the preceding year. Rudge, a native of France, was listed in the 1880 census as a tinsmith. 

During the 1890s and the early years of the 20th century, Welsh operated a wholesale and retail drug establishment.

Contemporary photo of 203-205 N. Crawford Street
Around 1905 he is said to have added 12 rooms to the existing three, creating the present two-story, Classical Revival style frame residence. The pyramidal-roofed, three-bay central block has gables on the front three sides that contain Palladian windows. At the front of this block is a pedimented portico with Tuscan columns and double front doors with a leaded glass transom. On either side of the main block are one-story, gable-roofed wings, that on the south having a Tuscan-columned porch at its front and clipped corners, the other having a small portico on its side. Hipped wings extend from the rear of these wings, with a screened shed porch between them. Several chimneys with corbelled caps rise from the tin-shingled roofs. (Monroe Residential Historic District nomination to the National Register of Historic Places) 

John William Rudge (1849-1915) was born in Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France. In 1870, he married Caroline Virginia "Carrie" Pae, who was born in Richmond. First settled in Wilmington, they arrived in Monroe before 1876. 1880 Monroe census: tin smith "tinner" John W. Rudge 31, milliner Carrie V. 31, daughter Carrie V. 5, son Wm. John 4, daughter Kate 1, mother-in-law Sophia Pae 58 and servant Robert Blair 35. More on the family at: W.J. Rudge Company. 

Stephen Jackson Welsh (1854-1909) was born in Lancaster, South Carolina. About 1881, Welsh married Sarah McCarten (1859-1930), who was born in Ireland. The 1900 Monroe census found Stephen and Sarah with nine children, along with three McCarten relatives. The 1910 census found Sarah with nine children, age 7 to 26; at the time son John Rushing Welsh was a druggist. Dr. Welsh’s death certificate noted his occupation as “Druggist.” He died of diabetes.

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