C.H. Winter, an old soldier, one of the representative men and extensive farmers of Arion township, was born in Pennsylvania in the year 1830. When one year of age his parents removed to the state of New York and seven years subsequently to Stark county, Illinois, where they settled on a farm near Toulon.
His father was William Winter, a Pennsylvania farmer and a soldier of the war of 1812. He died in Henry county, Illinois, June 4, 1864. His grandfather John Winter was from Scotland, and settled in Pennsylvania in the pioneer days of that state. His mother before her marriage was Mary Jackson of French ancestry. She was born in the state of New York and died in 1877.
When twenty-one years of age, C.W. Winter married and immediately emigrated to California, where he engaged in mining pursuits with considerable success for five years, but not unlike many of the western miners, he speculated and lost. He returned to Illinois in 1858, where he farmed until 1862, and then responded to the call for volunteers by enlisting in Company A, 124th regiment Illinois Volunteers, under Captain Tenney, with Colonel Howe commanding, remaining until the close of the war.
He was a prisoner six months in Cahoka, Alabama. He was fortunate enough to be under Captain Freeman instead of Captain Gatewood, who was collecting prisoners and when he had gathered a dozen, would hang or kill them. This was his established rule. He requested two of Captain Freeman's men to make out his number in this instance, but was refused and Mr. Winter escaped the fate which otherwise might have awaited him. He was in the siege of Vicksburg and Atlanta. They were taken to Black River from Vicksburg for exchange. When they arrived at their destination, they were cold, hungry and wet. The night was dark, the rebels refused to exchange on the grounds that they could not see. They disbanded and set the woods on fire to keep warm. They suffered many hardships. Finally they received the government supplies and some of the men ate so ravenously that they died as a result. They were mustered out at Springfield, Illinois, and from this point Mr. Winter returned to his family.
In the spring of 1866, he emigrated to Washington county, Kansas, then on the frontier, and took up the homestead where they lived sixteen years. In 1872, they again moved on to the frontier in Rooks county and filed on a timber claim. Mr. Winter assisted in platting the town of Stockton. Three years later he went to Colorado for a brief time and returned to Concordia where they kept a feed stable that their son might have the advantages of good schools. Three years later they returned to Washington county.
In 1831, they sold their farm and bought the Simon L. Cook homestead in Arion township, which they have added to from time to time until he now owns a whole section of land on the divide between Wolf and Coal creeks, all under fence. It is mostly wheat land and this year he has sowed four hundred acres. In the summer of 1901 he had two hundred acres that yielded from twenty-five to thirty-five bushels per acre. Mr. Winter has raised cattle and hogs, and corn until the last few years, but is now practically retired.
He was married in 1862, to Sarah E.A. Dray, of West Virginia, where her maternal grandfather was a slave holder. She is a daughter of Peter Dray, a blacksmith by occupation. When she was a small child, her parents moved to Ohio and settled near Port Homer in Jefferson county. Her father died August 17, 1855, in Stark county, Illinois where he had moved a few years previously. Mrs. Winter's paternal grandfather was of Irish birth. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. Her great-grandfather was in the church uprisings of the old country, emigrated to America and settled in Ohio in an early day.
Her mother was Martha Foster, whose ancestors were from the Isle of Jersey. She died in 1894, at the home of her son-in-law, the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Winter's maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Wolverton. Of a family of twelve children, Mrs. Winter and one sister survive; Mrs. Lasley, who lives on a farm in Arion township.
To Mr. and Mrs. Winter have been born two children, but one of whom is living. The daughter was Mary, deceased wife of John McNulty. who died June 16, 1889, leaving three daughters. Anna, Alice, and Julia. Anna is the wife of Harry Evans, of Stockton, Kansas. Alice lives with Anna and attends school, Julia lives with her grandparents. Their son is William P. (see sketch).
Mr. Winter is non-partisan and votes for the best man. The Winter family have a large and comfortable house of ten rooms. Mr. Winter has been financially successful in Kansas and his farm is a fortune within itself. He is an enterprising man and a good citizen.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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