25 Jul 2005
Transcribed from the Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside County
Originally published 1885 by Chapman Bros.
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
James M. Winters, a retired farmer, resident in the village of Coleta, in Genesee Township, was born March 22, 1809, in Leicester Township, Genesee Co., N.Y. His father, Timothy Winters, was a farmer by calling and was born in Pennsylvania. He was of Irish origin and was married in his native State, to Margaret Lemon. He fixed his family residence in Genesee County and lived there some years, removing thence to Washington Co., Ind. He engaged in farming there until his deth in 1841, when he was 56 years of age. The maternal grandparents of Mr. Winters came from Germany to the United States, and from them descended the families of their name in this country, who are of German origin. The mother of Mr. Winters was born in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, near the line of the State of New York, where she was brought up to womanhood and married. She went with her husband to Indiana in 1817, and died in Washington County, in 1822, aged 38 years. She was the mother of six children, three sons and three daughters.
Mr. Winter's birth was preceded by that of our sister, and he was a little less than nine years of age when his father removed his family to Indiana. Washington Copunty was in its infancy, having been organized only one year previous to their settlement within its borders. He was an inmate of his fathe's household until the years of hisminority were passed, which wee spent in obtaining a common-school education and in acquiring a complete understanding of agriculture. His education was limited according to the meagre advantages afforded by the pioneer schools, but his temperament led him to observe and reflect to an extent that sufficed as well for mental training as instruction would have done. He had also good judgement and discrimination in the choice of books, of which he was fond.
He was married Aug. 17, 1831, (the year following tht in which he became his "own man"), to Susan, daughter of George and Tabitha (Hendricks) Gyger. She was born in East Tennessee, and her parents were natives of Scotland. They remved from Tennessee to Indiana in the year in which the State was organized. Her father died in Washington County in 1831; the mother's death occurred about four years later.
Mrs. Winters died in Coleta. She was a woman of decided Christian character and passed the later years of her life in earnest, devoted labor in the cause which was nearer her heart than any other. She died June 10, 1882. In religious connection she belonged to the United Brethren Church. She is sincerely mourned by her numerous acquaintances, and seven children are left motherless by her death. Two children had gone before to the other world. George Clinton Winters, one of the deceased sons, became a soldier of the Union Army, enlisting in Co. A 34th Reft. Ill. Vol. Inf., commanded by Co. E.N. Kirk, of Sterling. He was seized with typoid fever, from which he dided in the hospital at Louisvile, Ky., soon after his regiment was assigned to its position. John M. died in 1856, aged three years. Following is the record of the seven children who survive: Catherine, who married Newton Dodd, a farmer of Clay Co., Kan.; William J., who married Elizabeth Fowler and now resides in the vicinity of Traeer, in Tama Co., Iowa; Tabitha H. who married Cephas Hurless, late Supervisor of Genesee Township. He died at Coleta in the fall of 1884. James P. married Olive Baxter and lives at Marshall, Iowa; Matild C. who married E. M. Olmstead and lives at Coleta; E.C. Winters, who married Paulina Scoville and livea at Sterlling, Ill.; Melissa is the wife of Charles Wallace, a farmer of Riley Co, Kan.
Mr. Winters was a second time married, at Coleta, Dec. 9, 1884, to Anna Skill, daughter of Timothy and Margaret (Carr) Skill. Her parents were natives of Ireland, where their entire lives were passed. Her father died at 50 years of age, in 1883. Mrs. Winters was born in the north of Ireland, Dec. 25, 1858, and emigrated to the United States in 1880, and had been in America four yers when married.
Mr. Winters came from Washington Co., Ind., to Illinois in 1847, and located at first in the township of Wysox, Carroll Coutny, where he continued to reside until the fall of 1876, the date of his retirement from the life of a farmer, when he fixed his residence at Coleta. He is the owner of four dwellings at the place, and has 11 acres of land laid out in village lots. Mr. Winters is an active member of the United Brethren Church, in which he has been a Class-leader and Trustee. While a resident of Carroll County, he was active in the administration of local affairs. He was elected Assessor of the township of Geneseee in 1884, and is now the incumbent of that position, which he has held since the date of his first election. He is an earnest and zealous Republican.
Mr. Winters is of that type of man and citizen as demands, in the estimation of the community, a representation among the portraits of this volume; and it is accordingly given, on a page oppostie the beginning of the foregoing sketch. click here for photo of James M. Winters