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History of the Winters Family Reunion

In the early 1970's, Irene Dintelman, a†descendent of James Winters began researching the Winters family in order to compile a history.† At this time there was no Internet, PC's or on-line databases and searches.† Irene spent eight years on the history and in 1979 she had her results, The James Winters Family, typed and bound with a yellow paper cover.† This has affectionately become know as "The Yellow Book".† It was the inspiration of our first family reunion in June of 1991.†

Donna Haefner and her husband, Mike, and Mary Jane White and her husband, Gerald, were organizers of the first reunion.† They worked for two years with Irene and other family members to compile addresses, hunt down missing links and assemble a program for the reunion.† The Winters Family Newsletter was an outgrowth of this endeavor and has kept our family connected for several years.† It is our hope that this website will not only keep us close, but interest other family members in their heritage and help find the "missing" families of the ancestors that we were unable to locate in 1991.

Following are excerpts from "The Yellow Book" detailing the early history of the Winters family in Schuyler County Illinois.

JAMES WINTERS

James Winters, my great-grandfather, was born in Ohio in 1819. The names of his parents, his place of birth, when and why he came to Illinois are unknown. From an old tin-type I acquired a year ago, I learned his motherís maiden name was Baird (Beard, Beird?). He was in Illinois by 1845, because the deed to the first piece of land he bought was signed by Thomas Ford, Governor of Illinois, on March 24, 1845. On November 9, 1845, he married his first wife, according to records in Schuyler County. His tombstone in the cemetery at Littleton, Illinois, a tall white obelisk-type stone, states he died April 8, 1868, at the age of 48 years, 3 months and 27 days. So he was born December 12, 1819.

To the first piece of land (40 plus acres), he added an adjoining 40 plus acres the following year, and on this original farm he established a home. The land is just about a mile west of Littleton on the Brooklyn Road, and a half mile north, the N. Ĺ of the S. W. ľ of Section 16. For this land he paid $2.50 - $3.00 an acre. The house was made partly of logs. I saw it once before it was torn down. I think it was in the late 1920ís. This land later belonged to Harry Garrison and is still in his family.

James Winters was a farmer all his adult life, hard working, thrifty, and respected by his neighbors. He believed in the land and bought as much as he could afford. In June, 1845, he bought 100 acres in Section 29, mostly wooded, from Sam and Maria Thompson for $84.00. In 1860 and 1863 he bought about 160 acres in Section 10, and in 1866 another 80 acres adjoining it in Section 3, all in Littleton Township, and at a total cost of about $2500.00. All of this land, some 420 acres, he owned at the time of his death, and it was kept in his estate for some years. At the time of his death it was worth about $10,000.00. None of it is now owned by a Winters descendent. The original deeds for this land are in the Schuyler County Jail Museum. His picture is there also, and the pictures of his ten children will be there later.

The first wife of James Winters was Mary Ann Thompson, daughter of John and Sarah Tullis Walker Thompson. She was born September 30, 1828, in Schuyler County, Illinois, and died July 23, 1861, at the age of 32 years, 9 months, and 23 days. She is buried to the left of her husband in the Littleton Cemetery and has a stone similar to her husbandís. She bore six children: James Beard, Joseph Arthur, William Harrison, Sarah Ann (my grandmother), David Joel, and George Washington. A seventh child died at birth and is buried with her. Her family history will be told later.

On June 29, 1862, James Winters married Edmonia Frances Finch. She was the third child of Wellington and Ellen Anderson Finch and was born in Prince William County, Virginia, May 23, 1840, according to her obituary. She died July 14, 1915, and is buried on the right of her husband in the Littleton Cemetery. She bore him four children: Mary Ellen, Celeste Elizabeth, Amanda, and Hosea David. A few years after James Wintersí death, Edmonia married again. Her family story will be told later.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

MARY ANN THOMPSON WINTERS

Until about five years ago I knew very little about Mary Ann or her family. My Grandmother Finch was about eight years old when her mother died, and she seldom spoke about her, my mother said. I am grateful to the people at the Schuyler County Jail Museum for putting me in touch with my main sources of information for this account. The fall and winter issues of the 1972 Schuylerite, compiled by the Museum staff, carried the story of the Tullis family, and I secured more information by contacting Mrs. James Blackburn and Mrs. Russell Chapman. I also studied the material about the family in the "History of Schuyler and Brown Counties", published in 1882 and reprinted in 1970 by the Schuyler-Brown Historical Society. There is some doubt about the historical accuracy of some of these materials and certainly they are not complete, but the major part of the story I shall relate must be accurate.

The story of Mary Annís parents and their backgrounds I shall relate as one. Almost nothing is known about the Thompson side. Mary Annís mother, however, was born Sarah Tullis, and the Tullis family was one of the early pioneer families in Schuyler County.

The original Tullis (Joel or John) came to America with his wife, (Mary?) from Scotland, possibly with some brothers. (Their children, it is said, were Joel, John, Elizabeth and Sarah.) Where they lived has not as yet been determined, but their son, Joel, is said to have been at Valley Forge with Washington during the Revolution. No proof of this has been found. After the war, Joel married Catherine Poppin, a girl from the Netherlands, and they are said to have gone to Kentucky with Daniel Boone on one of his trips. Their children were Joel, Sarah, Hosea, Catherine, Elizabeth, Peter and John.

Joel may have died in Kentucky or he may have gone to Ohio. There is a theory that there was another generation between the Joel of the Revolutionary War and the Joel of Illinois. According to one theory, the second Joelís daughter, Elizabeth, married John Henry Walker in Hardin County, Kentucky (now called Breckenridge County). Their children were William, John Henry, Lucinda, Cassandra, and Felix Grundy. All of these children, except John Henry, later settled in Schuyler County, Illinois. Felix Grundy married Rachel Watts, and they are the great-grandparents of Mrs. James Blackburn (Sally Jo Irvin). The other theory is that Catherine Tullis married a Peter Peckenpaugh and their daughter, Catherine, married John Henry Walker and their daughter, Mary, married a Joel Tullis. The Tullis, Peckenpaugh, Walker and Snyder families all lived in Hardin County, Kentucky, and settled in Buena Vista, Littleton and Brooklyn Townships in Illinois.

The Joel Tullis who came to Illinois was born April 3, 1800, in Breckenridge County, Kentucky. He married Cassie McKee on June 17, 1824, in Crawford County, Indiana. In 1826, he and his wifeís father, William McKee, led a group of settlers from Indiana into Illinois. They had heard high praises of Schuyler County from Williamís brother, Thomas, who had come earlier. A small group, mostly men, but including the families of Joel Tullis, his sister, Sarah, and a man named Hammond, crossed the Illinois at Beardís Ferry and came on to the home of Thomas McKee. William selected the N. E. ľ of Section 18 in Rushville Township as their home. They built cabins and put in crops.

Joelís sister, Sarah Tullis, had been married earlier in Kentucky to John Henry Walker. They had two sons: Henderson and Anderson. After Walker died, she married John Thompson, around 1824. They were the parents of three children: James David (born August 11, 1825, in Kentucky); Mary Ann (born September 30, 1828, in Illinois); and Joel Tullis (born July 30, 1830, in Illinois). John Thompson had been named guardian of Anderson Walker, and he also came to Illinois later. Johnís unmarried brother, James, was also a member of the first group which came to Schuyler.

After crops were planted, William McKee, Joel Tullis, and the two Thompsons returned to Indiana and brought the rest of the settlers to Schuyler by boat and wagon train. In the spring of 1827, Joel Tullis moved to the N. W. ľ of Section 2 of Buena Vista Township and the Thompsons followed. John and James bought land in the N. E. ľ of Section 1 on December 4, 1827, and built a cabin. In 1831, James sold his interest to John and moved to Littleton Township. John lived on this land until his death, February 15, 1831. I do not know where he is buried. James bought the S. W. ľ of Section 21 of Littleton Township from a son of Thomas McKee and built a house. Then he returned to Kentucky and married Catherine Crawford on January 1, 1832. They made their home on the Littleton farm. James died October 3, 1843, and his wife died in 1863. They and their young daughter, Lucinda, are buried in the Thompson Cemetery west of Littleton. Jamesí son, William, lived on the Littleton farm many years.

After twenty years, Joel Tullis became restless again and sold his land on April 4, 1844, and started for Oregon with his wife and children. We do not know who else went with him, but his daughter Hannahís husband, John McKee, and their daughter, Mary, were in the group and his nephew, Joel Thompson, Sarahís younger son, and his wife. In Oregon, illness beset the group, and Joelís granddaughter and five of his children died. Hannah may have died earlier. The news of gold in California soon reached Oregon, and Joel decided to go there. They probably found some gold, but they did not care to live in California so they returned to Illinois around 1850. Joel, Cassie, and six of the children are listed in the 1850 census for Schuyler County. Joel bought a farm in Buena Vista and lived out his life there as Squire Tullis. His sons were in the Civil War, and later all his children went on west to make their homes. His wife died March 30, 1870, and he died October 26, 1888, in Schuyler or Hutchinson, Kansas. Perhaps he lived with one of his children the last few years. Joel and Cassie are both buried in the Moore Cemetery northwest of Rushville.

After John Thompsonís death, Sarah Tullis Thompson married Randolph Rose on August 7, 1832. He was born November 8, 1786, in Kentucky. Randolphís first wife was Rebecca Bozier, and they had eight children: Commodore A.S.D., William, Richard, Barbara, Sarah, Eda, Rebecca Jane, and John. Randolph and Sarah had three children. Sarah Josephine (June 29, 1833 - July 22, 1895) married William Lambert (January 21, 1832 - March 19, 1910). They had six children who lived: Maybel, William L., Edward, Josephine, Ella and Fannie. Thomas J. and Benjamin F. Rose both died young and are buried near Randolph and Sarah Rose, who are buried just north of James and Mary Ann Winters in the Littleton Cemetery. Randolph died September 19, 1861, and Sarah died May 30, 1872.

Sarahís older son, James David, is listed in the 1850 census for Schuyler County. Mary Ann married James Winters November 9, 1845, and they lived on the farm near Littleton until they died. Her life was typical of the times: early marriage, many children, hard work and early death. I have no picture of Mary Ann and doubt if one exists, but I imagine she was small with fair skin and light brown hair. Many of her children were short and fair as was her Dutch grandmother. How I wish now I had learned more about her from my grandmother!

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

EDMONIA FRANCES FINCH WINTERS

The second wife of James Winters, Edmonia Finch, was born in Prince William County, Virginia, on May 23, 1840, according to her obituary. One of her younger brothers, James, married Sarah Ann Winters, daughter of James Winters, and they are my maternal grandparents. So I have an equal interest in the Winters and Finch families, and many of the people in this story are related to me two ways.

The parents of Edmonia and James were Wellington and Ellen Anderson Finch. On a trip to Virginia in May, 1976, in the Prince William County Library at Manassas, Virginia, I found this census record for June 1, 1850, which lists the children in proper order and gives their ages: Wellington Finch, age 34, a farmer; his wife, Ellen, age 34, both born in Virginia; Marshall B., 13, Amanda B., 10, Edmonia, 9, Georgeanne, 7, Wellington, 6, Richard A., 5, James W., 3, Phillip, 1, John Anderson, 48. I suppose John was a relative of Ellen. I had heard all these names of the children before except Wellington. Some time later in an 1860 census record for Camden Township, Schuyler County, Illinois, I found the same list, but there was added a John T., born in 1852. Wellington was called Wellington J. so perhaps he is the Jack Mother spoke about. Also, in this list was a Richard Anderson, 40, who was a brother of Ellen, I believe. My efforts to learn the names of Wellingtonís parents when I was in Virginia met with no success. In the 1850 census records, I did find a Marshall B. Finch, his wife Kitty A., and three children. I think Marshall may be Wellingtonís brother, but I have no proof.

At the court house at Manassas, Virginia, I found a record of the estate of Ann Anderson which was settled April 30, 1854. The estate included 826 acres of land, and among the heirs is listed Ellen Anderson Finch, who received 93 acres and a house in one plot and 25 acres in another. Also listed as heirs are David and Richard Anderson and men named Rowley, Robinson, and Gaines. This land is located between Kettle Run and the Brentsville-Greenwich Road, southwest of Manassas, close to the Fauquier County line.

In the summer of 1976, I received a letter from Mrs. William L. Finch (Leona) of Galesburg, Illinois, who had learned my name at the Schuyler Jail Museum. Since then we have exchanged much family information and are certain there is a relationship, but so far we have found no proof. From her I learned about the book, "Finch Families of Dixie", by Ruby Finch Thompson, and I ordered a copy. Mrs. Thompson believes the William Finch family and mine are part of the Westmoreland County Finch line which she traces back to before the Revolution. She has no proof, however, for some of the early generations. But it is certain that in 1775 a William Finch, Jr., (sixth generation) bought land in Fauquier County. He had seven children, one of whom was Griffin, who married Elizabeth White in 1796 in Richmond County. He had three children: Marshall, Amanda, and another son, name unknown. I feel Wellington must be this other son. He named his first children Marshall and Amanda. Leona Finch and I have written, with no success, to many court houses in Virginia counties in an effort to prove that Wellington was a son of Griffin. The Virginia State Library also offers no help. Griffin had a younger brother, John, who is the ancestor of the William Leland Finch family of Galesburg. Some of his descendents came to Schuyler County, Illinois, about the time the Wellington Finch family came, and both families lived in Buena Vista Township. The complete story of the John Finch family has been compiled by Mrs. William Finch and a copy can be found in the Schuyler Jail Museum as well as a copy of "Finch Families of Dixie" by Ruby Finch Thompson.

I believe Wellington and his family came to Illinois in late 1855. A record in the Manassas court house shows he sold his crops and possessions to a William Lipscomb in 1855. Perhaps after Ellen received her inheritance and they paid their debts, they sold their land and moved. A deed recorded February 21, 1856, in the Schuyler County, Illinois, court house says Wellington bought from George Wyant the S. Ĺ of Section 17 in Buena Vista Township (320 acres). However, he sold this land to Thomas Wilson in 1860, except for a small piece (40 acres) in the southwest corner. This piece in 1870 was owned by Joseph Snyder, who married Amanda Finch on February 6, 1856. Wellingtonís family is listed in the census of 1860 as living in Camden Township.

According to Motherís family, Wellington and Ellen Finch are buried in the old Hughes Cemetery, northwest of Rushville just north of the Camden road. For years it was impossible to get into it, but now it is well kept. Several years ago I found two pieces of white slab-type stone lying together which seem to be Ellen Finchís tombstone. Together they read in part "Ellen A. Wife of W. Finch, Died October 9, 1865. Age 58." The age is puzzling when compared to the census figures for 1850 which I found in Virginia, and I have no reason to doubt their truth. To make the date of her death and her age more confusing, a record of deaths from the "Schuyler Citizen" lists "October 8, 1866, Wife of Wellington Finch." Another record reads "August 24, 1875. Died Mrs. Finch, Buena Vista Township, mother of Mr. James Finch." The mother of the James W. Finch in the Galesburg line did not come to Illinois, Mrs. Finch tells me. So I do not know for sure when Ellen Anderson Finch died and I have no information at all about Wellington Finchís death date. I can find no marker in Hughes Cemetery for him or for their daughter, Amanda. Both Amanda and Joseph Snyder are supposed to be buried there.

Edmonia and James are the only members of the Wellington Finch family I ever saw. I know Mother said she never saw any of her grandparents, and I do not believe she ever saw any of her fatherís brothers or sisters except Edmonia. I have managed to learn a few things about the other children. Marshall B., always called "Bush", served in the 119th Infantry, Company E., in the Civil War. He was mustered out at Camp Butler, Illinois, September 14, 1865. He married Ruth Ann Mintz on June 24, 1868, and I think they lived in Camden Township. They then moved to Rice, Kansas, where he farmed. They had three children: Laura, Phillip, and Lilly. Laura married Charles Murch, and they lived in Concordia, Kansas, and are buried there. The Murches had two daughters, Gertrude and Edna. Mother wrote to Laura, and I wrote to the daughters and have their pictures. The girls married and moved to California, I believe. Phillip married and lived at Belleville, near Rice. Lillie was a retarded child.

Amanda Finch, who was born in 1839, not Ď40 as her obituary says, married Joseph W. Snyder on February 6, 1856. He was, I think, the son of John W. (born in Virginia) and Cynthia Snider who lived in Buena Vista Township in 1850. They farmed first in Buena Vista Township, I believe, but settled in Section 28 in Littleton Township. They had twelve children, her obituary says. Joseph, who was born July 9, l833, died April 12, 1906. Amanda died February 12, 1914. They are buried in the Hughes Cemetery, Mother said, but I find no stones and no record. I can find seven of the children, who are by name: Jacob W., James W., George, David H., Celeste, Charles, and Dora Nay. Five of these were living when Joseph died in 1906. James W. had died when the census of 1880 was taken. When Amanda died in 1914, her living children were J. W. Snyder of Omaha, George M. of Keokuk, David H. of Huntsville, Celeste (wife of Ed Elliot) of Schuyler County, and Charles of Macomb. Charles married Lena Wheat and owned a store in Macomb. I remember them. Dora May married Frank Miller and must have died before 1914. I have her picture. Celeste and Ed Elliot rented Grandpa Finchís farm for several years. I remember them.

Georgeanne, born in 1844, married David Sorrells, and they farmed in Morgan County near Woodson. I think she died in 1899. They had four children: Hiram, Oliver, Lillie B., and Claude C. When we lived in St. Louis, we often visited with Hiram and his family who lived there. He was a streetcar motorman. His wife was Lyda, and he had a son, Merle, and a daughter, Marie. Merle married Mae Wiegand, and he has now been dead about eight years. They had no children. Marie married William Gaterman. I know they once lived in Oklahoma City and later in St. Louis. I believe they are living. Oliver must have died young. Lillie married and lived in Birmingham, Alabama. Claude never married. He also lived in St. Louis, and he died while we were still living there in the 1920ís.

Wellington J. must be the son, Jack, who died of measles while a soldier in the Civil War. Richard never married. He lived with James and his wife for a time when they were first married. Phillip married Harriett McKee on October 2, 1872. They had a son, Otto, and lived near Joplin, Missouri, I believe. I know nothing at all about John T. Perhaps he died young. I have pictures of all Grandpaís brothers and sisters except Wellington and John.

Edmonia was 22 when she married James Winters June 29, 1862, and went to live on the farm and care for the children. Grandmother said that she was a southern girl and not used to hard work. There were four more children added to the family: Mary (born 1863), Celeste (born 1865), Amanda (born l867), and Hosea (born 1868), a few months after James Winters died. Edmonia lived on the farm, I think, until after she married Harvey Wilson Cole in 1879. In 1882, Harvey and Mona moved to the farm just north of Rushville where she lived the rest of her life. Harvey Cole, the son of John Smith and Rebecca Fleming Cole, was born November 3, 1846, in Indiana. His first wife was Sarah Jane Snyder, who died May 3, 1878, at the age of 28. They had four children: Ella, Mary Elizabeth, Henry Walter, and Wesley. Ella married a man named West, and they lived in Montana. They had four daughters: Grace, Marie, Hazel and June. In the 1930ís, Ella, her husband, Hazel and June came to Illinois for a short time, and I knew them. Mother wrote to June many years after they returned to Montana. She married P.W. Davis, and they lived in Ronan. He was a mechanic. I know nothing about Mary Elizabeth Cole or Wesley Cole. Wesley lived in Montana. Henry Walter (January 22, 1876 - July 12, 1947) married Anna Dickason December 31, 1905. They had three boys: Harold, who died an infant, Merle, and Walter Laverne, who died in World War II. Merle is married and lives in Rushville.

Harvey and Edmonia Cole had two children: Homer Clyde (1879 - 1881 and buried at Littleton), and Mabel. Mabel had a daughter, Georgia, who was raised as Mabelís sister. Georgia married first a man named Fountain and later a Furnace. She lived in Macomb. Mabel lived in Montana near her half-brother and sister for some years. She was a school teacher and later was a graduate of Western Illinois Teachersí College at Macomb and taught there. She married Carl Wickline and they adopted a son, Eldon, who also graduated from Western and taught. Mabel died at Macomb at the age of 58, and is buried at Rushville. Harvey Cole died August 26, 1930, at Macomb and is buried in the Rushville City Cemetery.

I remember Edmonia Cole very vividly. In later years she was afflicted by severe palsy and paralysis and required much care. She always sat in a chair. I was in the home many times as a child with my mother and others of the family. In a way she united four groups of children into one family. Years later I saw her in the faces of my mother and some of her cousins as they grew older. She died July 14, 1915, and is buried in the Littleton Cemetery on the right side of James Winters.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

JAMES BEARD WINTERS

Before 1978, I knew very little about the first child of James and Mary Ann Winters. I knew he had lived in Kansas, and Mother had several pictures of him and one of a small girl who, Mother said, was Uncle Jimís daughter who was named Grace for her. Motherís cousin, Anna Winters White, wrote me she had once met two of his daughters when they had visited Uncle Joe Winters in Parsons, Kansas. In 1978, thanks to Mrs. W. L. Finch of Galesburg, Illinois, I began to correspond with James Ault of Rochester, New York, a great-grandson of James Beard. Most of what I shall write about him was sent to me by James Ault and I am very grateful for his help. The spelling of James Bís second name is in question. James Ault says he has always thought it was Beard, but on some birth certificates of his children the spelling is Beird. The old tin-type I acquired has the spelling Baird for the maiden name of the mother of James Winters. I shall use Beard in this account.

James was born July 31, 1846, on the family farm in Littleton Township. On February 10, 1865, he enlisted as a private in Company K. of 151st Regiment at Mt. Sterling, Illinois, and he served one year in the Civil War. He was honorably discharged January 24, 1866 at Columbus, Georgia. His service record describes him as 5' 6 Ĺ" tall, light complexion, gray eyes, light hair, and it states he was a farmer. His war records also tell that he left Illinois in 1871 and moved to Sumner County, Kansas, and that in l884 he moved to Barber County, address Lake City, Kansas.

James Aultís grandmother, Jessie Maybelle, was James Beardís first child. She was born December 30, 1871, in Schuyler County, Illinois, and her mother was Julia Ann Raper. Juliaís parents were Solomon (l79l-1856) and Aseneth Miller Raper (1808-1888), and she was born September 25, 1853, in Schuyler County,.Illinois. She died November 18, 1915 in Schuyler County. James Ault has never found any proof that Julia and James B. Winters were ever married and he believes they were not. In his pension records, James acknowledged Jessie as his daughter, however. It was in 1871 that James went to Kansas, selling his 1/10th share of the estate of his father to his brother, Joseph. Jessie lived with her mother, grandmother, and uncle, and when her mother married Henry Asher, she lived with her grandmother. Her mother and step-father had two sons and a daughter. When Jessie was sixteen her grandmother died, and Jessie went to Kansas to live near her father. On August 4, 1884, James had married Elizabeth McCuen. They had no children, and she died on January 15, 1890. Jessie then went to live with her father and care for the home.

On February 21, 1898, at Kingman, Kansas, James B. Winters married Alice Viola Horton, who was born August 26, 1872, at Green Lake Wisconsin. They had seven children: William W. (born March 28, 1900), Frank (born April 14, 1901), Ralph James (born January 29, 1903), Theodore Roosevelt (born May 30, 1905), Grace Adelle (born January 25, 1908), Alvin Gaylord (born April 22, 1910), and Robert Asel (born November 8, 1912). Also in the family was Gertrude, a daughter Alice had before she married James. Most of their married life James and Alice Winters lived on a ranch near Lake City. He died at Kiowa, Barber County, Kansas, June 21, 1917, and she died January 11, 1950. They are buried at Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

JOSEPH ARTHUR WINTERS

The second child of James and Mary Ann Winters was a son, Joseph Arthur, born in November, 1848, on the Littleton Township farm. I know very little about him. Motherís cousin, Anna Winters White, sent me what little she knew some years ago. More recently James Ault sent me census figures he found in Washington, D.C.

In November of 1883 Joseph married Addie A. Beckum. She was born in October of 1862. For some years they lived on a rented farm in Colchester Township, McDonough County, Illinois. Their children were born there. There were six children, five of whom were living in 1910: John (born in December, 1884), Jesse (born in November 1886), Birdie (born in October, 1888), George W. (born in January, 1891), and Bessie (born in April, 1899). Mother had a picture of Joe and his wife with three children.

The family later moved to Kansas. Anna White told me she and some of her family once went to Parsons, Kansas, to visit him. His wife was dead and he was living with his son, Jesse. His daughter, Bessie, also lived in Parsons. He was blind in his last years, as was my grandmother. I have not found the date of his death.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

WILLIAM HARRISON WINTERS

William Harrison, the third child of James and Mary Ann Winters, was born in April of 1851 on the farm near Littleton. His first marriage was to Charlotte Hightower on January 26, 1871. She died September 26, 1873, and is buried in the Littleton Cemetery. I have a picture labeled "My brother Bill and his wife Lottie".

Later William moved to Kansas and farmed. He married Laura (last name unknown) who was born in 1861 in Texas. The 1900 census of Sheridan Township, Cherokee County, Kansas, lists the children: Fred (born November, 1880), Harry H. (born in November 1882), Mary G. (Nov. 1884), Maud (Jan. 1886), Lizzie (March, 1889), Eva (Aug., 1894), Robert and Ruth (Dec., 1896). I know there was also a Wilda, who must have been born after 1900. William was the only one of Grandmotherís three older brothers I ever saw. He, his wife, and Wilda were back in Illinois for a visit, and I saw them at Uncle Georgeís home. I also have a copy of a picture taken at that time. It includes Bill, Laura and Wilda, Dave and Retta, George and Belle and their daughters Ada and Cora, and an unknown small boy. I also have a picture of a young woman marked "Marie, Uncle Billís daughter". I suppose this is Mary. She and Mother corresponded for many years.

I do not know when or where William and Laura died or where they are buried.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

SARAH ANN WINTERS FINCH

The fourth child of James and Mary Ann Winters was Sarah Ann, my grandmother. She was named for her mother and grandmother, but she was always called Ann or Annie. She was born on the farm near Littleton on December 11, 1853. Since she was the only girl, she helped her mother with the house and children and had very little schooling. Life was still rather primitive. I remember hearing her tell how frightened she was when she saw an Indian sitting on the bank of a creek. After her mother died when she was not quite eight, the whole care of the home rested on her until her father remarried the following year. Three girls were added to the family. I remember her telling that her father bought a sewing machine, one of the first in the area, and she was soon making clothes for the whole family and many others as well. In 1868 her father died, and a few months later the last Winters child, a son, was born. On December 14, 1870, at the age of seventeen, she married James Wellington Finch, a younger brother of her step-mother. She was the first of the children to marry. As I have mentioned before, this marriage makes me doubly related to the last four Winters children.

James Finch was born December 9, 1848, in Prince William County, Virginia, and came to Illinois in 1855. After his marriage he rented a farm a few miles north of Rushville. His brother, Richard, lived with them for a time. Around 1872 James and Ann acquired an 80 acre farm in Section 10, north of Littleton, a part of the land which James Winters had owned there. Here they lived for some years, and their two children were born. Just west of them was the farm of Annís brother, David, and across the road south was the home of her brother, George.

The first child was Walter Asa, born October 12, 1871, and the other was my mother, Grace Elnora, born March 25, 1873. They attended the country school near their home, but frequently Mother could not go for Grandmotherís health began to fail. In 188? Grandfather rented the farm and moved to Rushville. He purchased a feed barn and livery stable on North Liberty Street and a house across the street. This was their home as long as James lived.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

DAVID JOEL WINTERS

David, the fifth child of James and Mary Ann Winters, was born on the farm near Littleton on October 31, 1855. His wife was Retta Frances Hathaway, daughter of Oliver and Martha Rose Hathaway, who was born January 25, 1861, also in Littleton Township. They were married on October 31, 1877, and spent much of their married life on the farm. Uncle Dave owned the 80 acres just west of the James Finch land in the N. W. ľ of Section 10, land once owned by James Winters. Later he added another 80 acres to his farm, the S. Ĺ of the S. W. ľ of Section 3. Their two sons were born on the farm. Later Uncle Dave rented the land, and they lived in the town of Littleton in a house on the west side of town on the road to Brooklyn. With my mother and grandmother I visited here many times. Uncle Dave had a heart ailment. He died March 22, 1931, but his wife lived until December 18, 1945. They are both buried in the Littleton Cemetery.

[Their children were:] Roy D. (David?) was born January 7, 1879. Wallace was born January 9, 1881.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

GEORGE WASHINGTON WINTERS

George, the sixth child of James and Mary Ann Winters was born February 23, 1859, on the farm near Littleton. His mother died when he was two, and Sarah Ann took over his care until her father remarried. All her life, Grandmother felt responsible for George. He died of cancer, I think, on November 30, 1938, and is buried at Littleton.

His wife was Arabella Crandall, the daughter of Byron and Margaret Crandall. She was born near Astoria on June 3, 1860. She died March 23, 1934, and is buried by her husband at Littleton. George and Arabella were married July 15, 1880, and spent their married life on the farm they owned six miles north of Littleton in Section 10, across the road from James Finchís farm. I remember well the large white frame house with its big front porch. On the third floor was a huge open room which was used for all sorts of neighborhood social functions. I remember roller skating there when we went to visit. The large house burned years later, I think after they no longer lived there, and it has been replaced by a smaller house.

George and Belle had five children. Like all the children and grandchildren of James and Mary Ann, all five are now dead. They were Thomas Guy, Ada Belle, Carl Crandall, Georgeanna, and Cora Gladys.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

MARY ELLEN WINTERS FOSTER

Mary, the first child of James Winters and his second wife, Edmonia Finch, was born April 21, 1863, on the farm near Littleton. In 1890, her mother and step-father, Harvey Cole, moved to a small farm north west of Rushville. Here, on October 5, 1891, she married William D. Foster.

Will, as he was called by our family, was born January 23, 1864. When he was only a few days old, he was taken into the home of Alrick Mann Foster and his wife, Cyrena, who lived on a farm about six miles north of Rushville in Littleton Township. He was always known as Will Foster, but I do not believe he was ever legally adopted. He remained a part of the Foster family after Cyrena died and Alrick married Susan Brown Snodgrass in 1879. Susan had two children by her first marriage, Lillie and Guy, whose names Alrick legally changed to Foster. In 1881, Alrick and Susan had a son, also named Alrick Mann. Alrick Sr. died in 1885. On September 19, 1888, Will married Lillie May Foster, but on February 19, 1889 she died after a brief illness.

After their marriage in 1891, Will and Mary lived for a time on a small farm just north of Rushville which Alrick had willed him. Then they moved to Rushville where Will worked for several businesses, mainly the Crandall Livery Stable on North Congress Street. At times he also worked for his brother on the farm. He was very fond of horses.

Of all the children of James Winters, the one I knew best was Mary, next to my own Grandmother Finch. She was Grandpaís niece, Grandmaís half-sister and also my aunt on the Foster side Ė the wife of my fatherís brother. When we came to Rushville to visit in my youth, I spent much time with Aunt Mary, whose home was then across the alley back of Grandpa Finchís home. I shall never forget her parrot, Donnie, saying, "Come to supper, Will," and "Poor Donnie Foster."

Later, Uncle Will and Aunt Mary lived next door to Grandmother Foster on the corner of Congress and Adams. In April, 1912, they had taken a girl named Jessie Fox from a home in Springfield to rear. Jessie was born December 22, 1903. Her mother had died and her father could not care for the large family so Jessie and a sister were placed in the home. She was never adopted. She was very close in age to my cousin, Anita Foster, and me, and we have always felt she was a real cousin.

After Grandma Foster died in 1916. Will and Mary bought a house on North Liberty Street and lived there until they moved to Macomb in 1924. Jessie, who had been a telephone operator in Rushville after one year of high school, secured a similar position in Macomb, and Uncle Will worked for a well-known physician and surgeon, Dr. Bacon.

Will Foster died of cancer on March 31, 1943, in Macomb. Mary also died of cancer on November 24, 1946. They are buried in the west section of the Littleton Cemetery beside her sister, Celeste, and her husband. All four of the children of James and Edmonia Winters are buried at Littleton as well as David and George, their half-brothers.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

CELESTE ELIZABETH WINTERS SMITH

Celeste, the second child of James and Edmonia Winters, was born November 1, 1865, on the farm near Littleton. On September 29, 1886, she married Oliver E. Smith, who was born September 8, 1866. For many years they lived and farmed near Littleton. Then they lived in McDonough County near Good Hope. They were the parents of seven children, but one boy and one girl died in infancy and a girl, Mona, died young. She was born in 1891, died in 1904, and is buried at Littleton. Celeste died on the farm near Good Hope, of cancer, I think, on August 1, 1939. Oliver later moved to Macomb where he lived until his death on November 22, 1945. They are both buried in the west part of the Littleton Cemetery by the side of Mary and Will Foster.

[Their children were:] Fred Winters, the oldest of the Smith children, was born July 21, 1887; Bess Francis was born May 10, 1889; Olive Marie Smith was born March 25, 1898; Paul Kenneth Smith was born August 1, 1905.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

AMANDA WINTERS COX

Amanda was born October 30, 1867, on the farm outside Littleton. She was named for her motherís sister and was always called Mandy. Mother knew her quite well for she frequently visited the Finch home after her mother remarried. On September 15, 1889, according to Schuyler County records, she married Walter Orland Cox at their parentís home. He was born in Vermont, Illinois, on December 12, 1865, the son of McDonald and Minerva Boyd Cox. He had been a school teacher but was a painter most of his adult life. When we lived in Vermont, Blanche came to see us almost every summer and visited with her Grandfather Cox, who had a store there, and with other Cox relatives. Walter and Amanda lived in several places, but the children grew up in Macomb. There were six children: Blanche Maude, Edward, Fredrick Dwight, Gladys Lillian, Bess Florence and Lenore Lorraine. Walter and Amanda were later divorced. In her later years, Amanda lived with her oldest daughter, Blanche, in Adair and Macomb. She died in Macomb January 21, 1950, and is buried in Littleton. Walter died at Macomb around 1952-54.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979

HOSEA DAVID WINTERS

Hosea, the last child of James Winters, was born August 29, 1868, on the farm near Littleton. His father had died in April, but the family lived on at the farm until after Edmonia married Harvey Cole in 1879. In 1882 they moved to a small farm a few miles north of Rushville on the Macomb road. On November 17, 1887, Hosea married Grace Snyder, the daughter of Madison and Mary Jane Snyder, who was born February 7, 1869. Hosea was a farmer all his life. For many years the family lived in a large white house which stood just east of where Route 101 joins Route 67 today. All the children were born here except the first three. There were nine children: Elva Francis, Irene, Howard Madison, Herbert Berthyl, Beulah Olive, Geneva Ruth, Mary Marjorie, Clarence Maurice, and Katherine Avanelle. I did not know Uncle Hosea and Aunt Grace very well. He died shortly after we returned to Rushville to live. Since Motherís death I have kept in close touch with Elva, and with Beulah, since Elvaís death. Hosea died February 18, 1927, following a heart attack. Grace lived until September 13, 1951. They are buried in the Littleton Cemetery near the entrance.

from The James Winters Family by Irene Foster Dintelman, 1979