Richard Welch Oral History
Richard Welch was born January 1, 1943, in Crookston, Minnesota. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Moorhead State University; a Master of Science from St. Cloud State University; and a Master of Arts from Syracuse University. He and his wife Marie have three children. He served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1977 to 1984. Here he represented Anoka, Benton, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Sherburne Counties, serving in District 18A (1977-1982) and District 19A (1983-1984). He lived in rural Cambridge, Minnesota. Before entering the Legislature, he was a special education teacher and administrator.
During his senior year in high school in Crookston, Minnesota, he and three friends joined the National Guard. While in the Guard, Welch and his friends envisioned being sent off to war during the Berlin Wall crisis and the Cuban Missile crisis. Welch met his future wife during their junior years at Moorhead State in Moorhead, Minnesota. After two years teaching sixth grade in the White Bear Lake school district, he was hired to teach special education in St. Cloud. After receiving his master’s degree, Welch was hired as director of special education for 10 school districts in the Wadena area. Beginning in 1973, he directed the special education program at Cambridge State Hospital. In the 1976 election, Welch was the DFL nominee and he won a three-way race for the Minnesota House of Representatives where he served from 1977 to 1984. He served on the Appropriations, Criminal Justice and Health and Welfare committees. Legislation relating to youth employment was a major concern. Welch avoided proposing legislation affecting his profession to maintain credibility with his colleagues. He focused on education programs at the state’s correctional institutions and improving post-secondary education in his district. Welch talked about how his legislative district was split three ways – people who lived and worked in the area, commuters to the Twin Cities, and commuters to St. Cloud.
St. Cloud State University, "Richard Welch Oral History" (1977). Minnesota Legislators and Politics. 4.