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Thomas Winters

WINTERS, WHEELER

Posted By: Marthann Kohl-Fuhs (email)
Date: 5/18/2009 at 14:55:07

1889 BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF
SHELBY AND AUDUBON COUNTIES, IOWA
W. S. DUNBAR & CO., PUBLISHERS
113 ADAMS STREET, CHICAGO

pages 712-713

THOMAS WINTERS, who may be num-
bered among the pioneer settlers of
Audubon County, Iowa, was born in
Yorkshire, England, November 5, 1833. He
is a son of John and Mary Winters, who
emigrated to America when Thomas was one
year old; they landed on Long Island, where
they were shipwrecked, having intended to
land in New York City. They crossed the
Eastern States to Upper Canada, and stopped
in Brantford, where they settled permanently
and lived the remainder of their days. The
father was a shoemaker by trade. At the
age of fifteen years Thomas left home to learn
the carpenter's trade, and served an appren-
ticeship of five years. After this period of
time he worked as a journeyman on the rail-
road through Canada, building bridges on
the Great Western. He then left the British
dominion and came to the United States,
spending two years in Michigan and one in
Missouri; from Missouri he went to work on
a farm in Mercer County, Illinois, and re-
mained there one year. In the year 1862,
when there was a call for men to defend this
country's flag, he entered the army, enlisting
in Company G, One Hundred and Second
Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He remained
in Illinois some time; was then ordered south
through Kentucky and Tennessee, and joined
Sherman's army, participating in the cam-
paign from Nashville through to Savannah;
then back through the Carolinas on to Wash-
ington, D. C., where he took part in the
grand review. After being honorably dis-
charged and receiving his pay he returned to
his home and engaged in agricultural pur-
suits for the three years following. In the
fall of 1868 he removed with his family to
Audubon County, settling on what was known
as the swamp land. The following spring he
bought of the American Swamp Land Com-
pany eighty acres of land on the Nishnabotna
River, in what is now Viola Township; the
county had not been divided into townships
at that time. Mr. Winters broke out his land
and built a shanty, into which he moved his
family. He had no neighbors, and his near-
est market place was Glidden, Carroll County,
Iowa, at a distance requiring two days to
make the trip. All the hardships met by
pioneers were endured by Mr. Winters and
his family. The second winter they spent in
Exira, returning to the farm in the spring.
The farm is rich bottom land, finely located,
and well stocked with hogs and cattle of high
grades. Being a carpenter by trade, Mr.
Winters built his own home, the lumber for
which was sawed at the mill of Nathaniel
Hamlin, the first settler of the county. In
1861 Mr. Winters was married to Susanna
Wheeler, a daughter of Caleb Wheeler; she
was born in Ohio, but was a resident of
Mercer County, Illinois, at the time of her
marriage. Eight children have been born to
this union - Eva, Blanche, Nora, Laura, Min-
nie, Mary, Lois and George. Little Eva died
at the age of four years. Death again came
into the happy home and called away Lois,
the youngest girl, a bright child of ten years.
She died May 14, 1888. Mr. Winters has
represented his township as treasurer, and as
school director. He is a member of the G.
A. R. Politically he affiliates with the
Democratic party.


 

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