Thomas M. Welch was born Feb. 28, 1939, in St. Louis. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri. He served as a Circuit Court Magistrate from 1965 to 1971, Madison County Assistant State's Attorney from 1971 to 1972 and attorney for the City of Collinsville. He practiced law as a partner with the firm of Welch, Welch and Welch from 1971 until his election to the Fifth District Appellate Court in 1980. He is a member of the Illinois, Madison County and Tri-City Bar Associations. Judge Welch is married; he and his wife, Cynthia, have three children.