Note: The Luman Welscher farm was purchased from Nicholas B. Schmitz by Peter M. Privet (Grandpa). Grandpa designed and built the house where our family was raised. Currently, the farm is being operated by Jim and Tom Welscher, and the house is the residence of Jim Welscher's family.
Dad was struck by lightening at an early age in his farming career. Attached is an article from the town paper: Luman Welscher, 34, Caledonia farmer was hospitalized last Tuesday afternoon as a result of injuries incurred when a bolt of lightening struck near the tractor on which he was seated. Welscher was hurled to the ground by the force of the bolt which struck as he was working on his farm 6.5 miles southwest of Caledonia. Welscher was repairing fences on his farm when an electrical storm cut loose early in the afternoon. At about 2:45 P.M. the intensity of the storm increased to the point where the farmer decided to return to his home. He had just mounted the tractor when two or more bolts of lightening struck. Welscher was knocked from the tractor seat and his throat and arms were temporarily paralyzed by the shock. He managed to crawl and stumble a distance of about 200 feet to his house and went to bed. His injuries proved so painful, however, that he dressed himself and crawled toward his brother-in-law's home less than a quarter of a mile away. Welscher's wife was not home at the time of the mishap. While he was making his way slowly toward the Laverne Privet home, a power company repair crew working on a transformer noticed the injured man crawling on the road. They took him to the Privet house and his sister took him to the hospital. Because Welscher was not burned, it is believed that bolts of lightening struck a short distance from the tractor. Two trees were splintered and there is a possibility that a third bolt may have struck almost simultaneously. After Welscher had been knocked to the ground, the driverless tractor continued through the field, broke through two wire fences and finally came to a stop after overturning in a 10 foot ditch.
After dad's injuries, he spent the summers working around the farm and training his sons, Jim and Tom the skills to run the farm. Due to his lack of mobility, he spent the winters inside either oil painting very tedious pictures with a small brush. He also took care of a large quantity of house plants that were transplanted from the garden. My recollection was that he had over 80 geranium plants every winter.
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