The Cottage

August 4, 2009

 

The cottage as it looks today.

The cottage as it looks today.

Kate and Orla Bailey built a cottage around 1932 on Bass Lake, 35 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.  (Kate was a granddaughter of William Tuthill Plowman.)  The cottage was on a large lot on a hill facing west as one looked over the lake.  The cottage could sleep around 15 people without resorting to pallets or sleeping bags.  No doubt, the cottage’s sleeping capacity was tested many times over the years when family reunions and gatherings were held there.  Donald and Mary Winegar honeymooned at the cottage in 1938. 

The original cottage.  Auntie Kate Bailey is standing on the porch.

The original cottage. Auntie Kate Bailey is standing on the porch.

Throughout the years, the growing Winegar family vacationed at the cottage each summer.  The dock would be laboriously carried down the hill and put in place.  The motor boat would be readied, and the fun would begin.  Water skiing, fishing, and swimming were favorite activities.  Croquet, card games, and reading were other favorite past times.  Many years’ worth of National Geographic sand Reader’s Digests provided for hours of enjoyment.

The cottage in winter.  Photo by Sharon Pierce, a neighbor.

The cottage in winter. Photo by Sharon Pierce, a neighbor.

The cottage was furnished mainly with cast offs from the family.  If some article of furniture was no longer needed, it was taken to the cottage for use there.  The cottage became a veritable museum of antiques – furniture, pots and pans, linens, silverware, and much more.

In the 1960’s, Auntie Kate, as she was called by everyone, saw how much the Winegars enjoyed the cottage and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse:  buy the cottage and pay me when you can.  Don and Mary gladly took Auntie Kate up on her offer.

The cottage was extremely rustic – unfinished floors and walls, no insulation, and no screens on the windows.  Don replaced the windows that lifted up and were hooked in place with sliding glass windows and screens.  A wall mounted gas heater was installed and the front and back porches were enclosed to make sunrooms.  An enclosed stairway to the cellar/garage was also added.

A cottage sunset.  Photo by Donald S. Winegar.

A cottage sunset. Photo by Donald S. Winegar.

After Don died in 1987, Mary continued to spend her summers at the cottage until she was in her mid-80’s.  Mary was always concerned that Auntie Kate might come and not like the changes, so she always kept the inside of the cottage as it was when it was when they bought it.

Just as the cottage was a magnet for the whole family in its early days, so it continued as the Winegar clan grew up, married, and had children.    No one minded the rustic and somewhat shabby character.  It was The Cottage.

Jim stands in front of the fireplace at the cottage.  The Bliss-Daniells 1907 wedding picture hangs above the mantel.

Jim stands in front of the fireplace at the cottage. The Bliss-Daniells 1907 wedding picture hangs above the mantel.

When Mary died in 2003, my wife and I bought out my sisters’ and brother’s shares.  We knew the cottage needed some renovations, but we resolved to keep the essence of the original cottage.  One goal was to have a low-maintenance and comfortable interior without changing the exterior.  We had a gas insert installed in the stone fireplace, which provides adequate heat from June until September.  One of the four upstairs bedrooms was turned into a nice bathroom.  The walls were paneled with bead board and the floors were refinished.  We refinished and kept the old farm kitchen sink.  We built a boathouse down by the lake for storing the dock and boat.  No more carrying the dock down the hill piece by piece!

The remodeled cottage can still sleep nine without making beds on the floor.  Our plan is to spend our summers at the cottage, and hopefully, the cottage will continue to see its share of family gatherings.  Just as the Bliss home in Wacousta was known as The Pivot because it was the family center around which everything and everyone revolved, the cottage is a Pivot for our family.  A dream would be for our children and grandchildren to continue to enjoy the cottage long after we are gone. 


Mary Deone Daniells Winegar, 1910-2003

July 26, 2009
Mary Daniells Winegar

Mary Daniells Winegar

Mary Deone Daniells was born on her parents’ ranch near Mercedes, Texas.  Her grandmother, Dora Bliss helped with her delivery.  The house in the picture is the house where she was born.  Her parents, W.C. and Iva Daniells, were proud of their new glass window that they got before Mary was born.  Her middle name is the name of one of her mother’s closest friends, Deone Oppenlander.

House in Mercedes, Texas, where Mary was born.

House in Mercedes, Texas, where Mary was born.

When she was about six months old, the Daniells family moved to Chicago and, about 18 months later, to Watertown Township near Wacousta.  Except for her third grade year, Mary and her sisters attended Watertown Center School until she completed eighth grade.  The family spent her third grade year in Tavares, Florida.

This is the school Mary attended.  Mary and her two sisters, Dora and Betty, are among the children pictured.

This is the school Mary attended. Mary and her two sisters, Dora and Betty, are among the children pictured.

In 1923, the family moved to Eustis, Florida, where Mary graduated from high school.  She enrolled in Florida State College for Woman in Tallahassee.  Money was scarce during the depression, and she worked in the school lunch room and supplemented her income by darning silk stockings.  Her mother assisted by taking in teachers and also repairing stockings.  At the end of her junior year, Mary moved back to Michigan to live with her grandparents and completed her last year at Albion College.

Her first teaching job was at the Everett School in Lansing.  She taught first and second grade.  Then she taught for two years in Grand Ledge, Michigan, where she taught first and second grade music, Jr. High music, and ninth grade grammar and literature.

Donald Winegar and Mary grew up attending the same church in Wacousta and knew each other slightly.  They attended different schools and really had little contact other than at church.  In 1928 the Daniells family visited Michigan during the summer.  She attended the Epworth League at the church.  It was decided that there should be a debate.  Nina Winegar, Don’s older sister, and the minister’s son were the negative side, Mary and Don became the affirmative side.  Mary doesn’t remember what the topic was, but she remembers that she and Don won.  This was the first time that they saw themselves as a couple.  They were married 10 years later.

Bass Lake cottage where Mary and Don honeymooned in 1938.

Bass Lake cottage where Mary and Don honeymooned in 1938.

Don and Mary spent their honeymoon at the lake cottage near Greenville, Michigan, built by Orla and Kate Bailey around 1932.  Kate Bailey was a cousin of Iva Daniells, Mary’s mother.  The Winegar family loved Bass Lake and the cottage so much that 22 years later, Kate insisted that they should have it and arranged an open ended loan that allowed them to pay it off as they were able.  Many years later after the death of Mary, her son Jim bought out his brother and sisters and now owns the cottage.

The Winegar family in 1987: left to right, Mary E., Carl, Mary D., Don, Jim, and Donna.  This is one of the last pictures made of the entire family.

The Winegar family in 1987: left to right, Mary E., Carl, Mary D., Don, Jim, and Donna. This is one of the last pictures made of the entire family.

After their marriage, Mary worked full time as a minister’s wife and a mother of four.  They had twin daughters and two sons. They were:

  • Donna Lorraine, b. 1939
  • Mary Elaine, b. 1939
  • James Steven, b. 1944
  • Carleton David, b. 1952

After Donald’s death, Mary moved to Bishop’s Glen retirement home in Holly Hill, Florida.  She and her sister Eleanor had apartments on the same floor.  As Mary’s health declined, Eleanor played a major role in her care.  Mary passed away in 2003 in Holly Hill, Florida.  Mary and Donald are buried in Wacousta Cemetery.  Eleanor Daniells, the last remaining of the five Daniells sisters, died in 2008 and is also buried in Wacousta Cemetery.


Donald Stephenson Winegar, 1909-1987

July 24, 2009

 

Donald S. Winegar

Donald S. Winegar

The following is an autobiography written in 1972 by Donald Winegar:

I was born in the little town of Wacousta, Clinton County, Michigan, twelve miles northwest of Lansing, in the house which had been built by the great grandfather of the girl who was to become my wife.  N. I. Daniells as he was called built the house to serve as a courtroom for his Justice of the Peace Court.  The living quarters was a twenty-one foot square room with a pantry taken out of the northwest corner next to the kitchen.

  
Wacousta School graduating class of 1926: left to right back row - Larry Arthur, Charles Main, Donald Winegar; seated - Vera Jones.

Wacousta School graduating class of 1926: left to right back row - Larry Arthur, Charles Main, Donald Winegar; seated - Vera Jones.

I attended the public school located two blocks from our farm home.  Farm chores and a paper route kept me busy for a good share of the time.  As my parents were active members of the Wacousta Methodist Community Church, I was brought up in the faith, and in my teens took a very active part in the youth program which was called in those days the Epworth League.  These experiences of Epworth League Institute at Albion College served to turn my attention to the possibility of going into full time religious work.

Upon graduating from the 10th grade high school in Wacousta, my sister Esther and I attended Central High School in Lansing, Michigan where we graduated in 1928 in a class of 286 students, quite a contrast to the graduating class two years before of four students in the class at Wacousta.

  
   
Don Winegar on his Harley.

Don Winegar on his Harley.

A job of selling bottled milk in the Motor Wheel shop became a stepping stone to getting a more profitable job on the assembly line.  Times were good and the desire to earn money for further education became the main objective.  Then came the “bust “ of 1930 and the depression that followed.  I was laid off at the Motor Wheel and there followed a series of jobs to keep busy: work in a store in Wacousta, a cemetery, work on the road for the township, day labor for farmers during the summer harvest for $1 a day, an 11 month jaunt to the West Coast where I picked apples in Washington, and later a job in a Piggley Wiggley in California where I lived with my cousin, Ellis Wood and his wife.  While living with them, I had my Harley Davidson crated up and sent to me from Wacousta.  The depression hit California in the winter of 1931 and I lost my job again.  In June of that year, I strapped all my worldly goods on my motorcycle and started for Michigan via the southern route.  This 3000 mile trip was accomplished in six sweltering days.

That fall because work was still scarce, I enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corp and went to Camp No. 689 at Shingleton in the upper peninsula near Munusing and Lake Superior and the pictured rocks.

In March of 1932, George Bateman, a farmer in Watertown Township asked me to work for him by the month.  With the promise of work, I left the C. C. C. and went home again.  My wages were $15 a month, room and board in winter, and $20 a month in summer.

The Herman Bliss farm was located but a half mile from the Bateman farm and their granddaughter Mary Daniells who had then returned to Michigan, attended the Wacousta Methodist Church with her grandparents.  Our friendship was encouraged to grow.

Don Winegar BenchFor a number of years, I had had a feeling that I was not yet doing the work which I had been brought into the world to perform.  After consulting with some minister friends, I decided to enter the Christian ministry.  That decision behind me, I had to secure the necessary educational foundation.  A local preacher’s license from my home church at Wacousta was the first step.  Admission year work at the Conference Course of Study was the next step.

Finally, in September, 1936, I was appointed to a three point charge in the Michigan Conference of the Methodist Church.  I served Price, Green Bush and Fowler Methodist Churches for the next nine months, going part time to college at East Lansing.  It was during this nine months that the friendship between Mary Daniells and I began to deepen.

In June of 1937 I was appointed to the single point charge of Howard City, Michigan.  I attended Central Michigan College at Mt. Pleasant during the school year, coming home weekends to do the work of the church.

  
Donald Winegar and Mary Daniells wedding, 1938.

Donald Winegar and Mary Daniells wedding, 1938.

It was in the following year of 1938, that Mary and I were married, August 25 at the Bliss House [Note: the Pivot, JSW] in Watertown Township.

October 18, 1939 twin girls were born in the parsonage at Howard City.  With the husband and father in school during the week and church and family responsibilities on the week end, it was a busy life.  Mary was left alone during the week to cope with the problems of a family and a needy church.

I graduated from college in June of 1942.  Seminary lay ahead.  World War II was going full speed ahead.  Tires were difficult to get as was gasoline which was rationed.  In June, 1942, the Conference appointed me at Centreville and Nottawa Methodist Churches in St. Josephs County, Michigan.

There followed five busy years there.  I entered Garrett Seminary in the winter of 1943, commuting each week end to take up the work of the family and the parish.  A son, James was born March 17, 1944.  Three years in Seminary was at last completed with graduation in the spring of 1947.  Seven Years of higher education had been completed in ten years.

In June, the Conference appointed me to Bellevue and Kalamo Methodist Churches in Eaton County.  Three years later, we were moved to Ithaca, a single church situation.  It was there that Carleton was born October, 23, 1952.  June of 1956 saw us moving again, this time to Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

In June of 1960, the family was extremely busy.  The two daughters Donna and Mary were married — Donna in Eaton Rapids and Mary in Ithaca.  During the same month, we moved to Urbandale Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.

After six very busy years the family moved to Clare to service the Clare United Methodist Church.

 

Donald wrote this autobiography in 1972.  In June of that year he had a heart attack and was unable to continue preaching.  In December, he and Mary moved to Daytona Beach, Florida.  After several years, he recovered so that he was able to be on the staff of the Community United Methodist Church in Daytona Beach.  He did a lot of calling on shut-ins or hospitalized members.  During these years, he devoted a great deal of time to genealogy and family history.  The Stephenson and Winegar records reported in this project are only a small portion of the data he collected.He had open heart surgery in 1984 and died of a stroke April 4, 1987.


Winegars in the 1900s

July 21, 2009

 

Edwin Ashbel Winegar, 1873-1946

Edd and Myrtie Winegar on their wedding day.

Edd and Myrtie Winegar on their wedding day.

Edwin Ashbel was born in Vergennes Township, near Lowell, Michigan.  In 1879, his father, Ashbel, died leaving his mother, Mary Rease Roberts, with four young sons and no one to help raise them.  In 1883, she moved back to New York to live with her sister.  She died in 1889.

The next record we have of is of Edwin aged 16 and his younger brother Ira age 14, living in Clinton County, Michigan with a Howe family.  According to Howe records, the boys were orphaned and found shelter in an unused shack.  Fred Howe felt this was not a proper place for the young boys and took Edd in.  Ira went to live with Fred’s brother Rozelle.  Edd worked for room, board and school and became a member of the family.  A young son of the Howe’s reports on how he cried when he learned that Edd was not his brother.  Edd stayed with the Howe family until he was ready to attend Michigan Agricultural College and learn the dairy business.

The Howe home was not far from the Edward W. Stephenson farm and he became acquainted with the Stephenson sisters, Bertha and Myrtie.  At first, he courted Bertha until Myrtie was old enough to date.  He and Myrtie were married in 1900 at the bride’s home.

Edd worked for a short time in a creamery then worked on a farm until he could afford to buy his own.  He purchased a small farm in Wacousta, a small town of 150 inhabitants.  Across the street was a creamery, and he ran that as well as farming.  The house they lived in had been built by Nathaniel Irish Daniells, the great, great, grandfather of Mary Winegar whom Donald Winegar would later marry.  N.I. Daniells had his office as Justice of the Peace in the house.  Demand for the creamery fell off, and Edd turned to farming full time.

Edd’s son Donald Winegar writes:

Dad had a very good mind and was a great reader, always trying to improve his knowledge.  He worked hard and faithfully.  He was honest as the day was long.  I never heard my father swear or say anything that could not be used in mixed company.  His favorite expression when perplexed or exasperated was ‘Oh, Shaw.’‘

But for all his goodness, he had one failing.  He was not a good manager, nor was he of mechanical mind, both qualities that a farmer should possess.  He ‘toggled up’ machinery, harnesses, buildings and the like.  Many people who knew him best, said he was out of his element as a farmer.  He should have been a teacher, for he was a good one.  But this I can say for him, in spite of his inadequacies, he kept on keeping on.  He didn’t give his children property nor money; he gave them the legacy of a good name.

Dad was a Christian.  From earliest memory, he was faithful in things of his faith.  He was a good churchman.  He was faithful in attendance and in giving.  He lived his faith seven days a week.

For several years, Dad was postmaster of the little community of Wacousta.  Progress dictated, however, that the post office be eliminated and the people of Wacousta put on rural routes.  I can still remember people coming to the office, which was in a small room in the southeast corner of the house.

Dad wanted his children to have a high school education.  Because Wacousta had only a ten grade school, this meant that the other two years had to be gotten elsewhere.  This took money, in fact more money than dad and mother could afford.  But they managed by paying for their children’s education rather than paying off the mortgage on the farm.

After my grandfather, E. W. Stephenson, died in 1931, his farm was divided between his two daughters, and as one part of the farm had a tenant house, my folks fixed up the old house and moved in.  The old farm in Wacousta was allowed to go for its mortgage.  The man who took over the mortgage discovered he had gravel on the property. Dad had made tests before but not at the right locations.  The first year the pit was in operation, the owner realized $6000 in profit.  But such is life!

Edd continued to farm until age 72 when he had to retire because of illness.  He died of cancer of the stomach in 1946.

 

Myrtie Louisa Stephenson, 1880-1954

Edd and Myrtie Winegar in later years.

Edd and Myrtie Winegar in later years.

Myrtie was born in Wacousta in 1880.  She and her sister Bertha were very close and remained so for all of their lives.  According to Donald Winegar, she and her husband rarely spoke of their early life, and he knew very little of their past.  Myrtie had rheumatic fever as a child and was left with a bad heart.  She could do a lot of work but occasionally had to rest her heart.  During those times, the children had to help with all the heavy work.  Donald remembers that his work included churning butter and pumping the washing machine in the back room.

Donald writes:

In many ways, it was a hard life for my mother.  Money was always scarce and she rarely spent money for clothes for herself.  Things for the home to make her work easier had to pushed aside until another time.  She, too, was determined that her children should have a high school education, something she did not have.  For years, she dreamed that things would be better someday.

Through it all, she was sustained by her Christian faith.  She tried to be a good mother.  She wanted her children to have the best possible life.”

When mother and Dad decided to move to the new location, give up the mortgage on the Wacousta farm, and start again free and clear of debt, they fell to with a will, making the house liveable and the barn ready for horses, cows and chickens. I  don’t know when I ever saw her as happy and carefree.  At last, they had a place which belonged to them.  She took delight in making plans for the days to come.  She sang at her work and seemed to take a whole new lease on life.

When Edd died in 1946, Myrtie lived with her children for a number of years.  Ill health and the fact that she could not bear the confusion of her grandchildren any more led her to enter Clark Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1953.  She died the following year of hardening of the arteries of the brain.

Myrtie had a hard life.  Donald Winegar ends his biography of his mother with the following:

 They are born; they live,

They struggle; they die.

But this in no way fills in the chinks of life — its dreams, its hopes, its failings, its joys and its sorrows.  What mortal can know what it means to live, to struggle, and to die?  But we believe that God knows and remembers.  Praise be to God!  Amen.

Edd and Myrtie Winegar had six children.  Nina Irene died of tuberculosis shortly before she would have graduated from Michigan State.  Mary Louise died in infancy.  Other children were Esther Alta, Donald Stephenson (my father), William Edwin Ashbel, and Paul Ray.  Below is one of the few pictures ever made of the entire family.

The Edd Winegar Family, from left to right: Edd, Bill, Myrtie, Paul, Nina, Esther, and Donald.

The Edd Winegar Family, from left to right: Edd, Bill, Myrtie, Paul, Nina, Esther, and Donald.


Family Weddings in the 1900s

July 19, 2009

 

In the post “Coming to Wacousta,” I set out to trace the path of the families of my grandparents from Europe to Wacousta, Michigan.  By the time of the Civil War, all four families — the Blisses, the Daniells, the Stephensons, and the Winegars — were situated in Clinton County, Michigan.  In the 1900s, the families merge.  Following are pictures from the weddings.

Edd Ashbel Winegar marries Myrtie Stephenson in 1900 at the Stephenson home.

Edd Ashbel Winegar marries Myrtie Stephenson in 1900 at the Stephenson home.

W.C. Daniells and Iva Bliss marry in 1907 at the Bliss house, the Pivot.

W.C. Daniells and Iva Bliss marry in 1907 at the Bliss house, the Pivot.

Donald Stephenson Winegar marries Mary Deone Daniells in 1937 at the Pivot.

Donald Stephenson Winegar marries Mary Deone Daniells in 1937 at the Pivot.

Other Daniells Weddings

Iva Georgene "Jean" Daniells marries Don Lowell in 1942 at the Pivot.

Iva Georgene "Jean" Daniells marries Don Lowell in 1942 at the Pivot.

Dora Katherine Daniells marries John Panchik in 1950 at the Pivot.

Dora Katherine Daniells marries John Panchik in 1950 at the Pivot.

Other Winegar Weddings

Esther Alta Winegar marries Clarence Kirkpatrick in 1941

Esther Alta Winegar marries Clarence Kirkpatrick in 1941 in Eagle Twp, Michigan.

Paul Ray Winegar marries Mary Margaret Biergans in 1947.

Paul Ray Winegar marries Mary Margaret Biergans in 1947 in Grand Ledge, Michigan.

 

Bill and Ruth Winegar married 1942.

Bill and Ruth Winegar married in 1942.

A fire destroyed the original Pivot in 1911 after W.C. Daniells and Iva Bliss married.  Subsequent Pivot weddings were at the home that was rebuilt by Herman Sidney Bliss.  A description of the fire, written by Bel Gensterblum, will be in the next post. The rebuilt Pivot is currently owned by Tom Lowell, a Bliss-Daniells descendant.


Winegars in the 1800s

July 11, 2009

 

Edwin Ashbel Winegar,  1873-1946

Edwin Ashbel Winegar age 18

Edwin "Edd" Ashbel Winegar, age 18 or 19

Edwin Ashbel was born in Vergennes Township, near Lowell, Michigan.  In 1879, his father, Ashbel, died leaving his mother, Mary Rease Roberts, with four young sons and no one to help raise them. In 1883, she moved back to New York to live with her sister. She died in 1889.

 The next record we have of Edwin and his younger brother Ira, at ages 16 and 14 respectively, is of them living in Clinton County, Michigan with a Howe family.  According to Howe records, the boys were orphaned and found shelter in an unused shack.  Fred Howe felt this was not a proper place for the young boys and took Edd in.  Ira went to live with Fred’s brother Rozelle.  Edd worked for room, board and school and became a member of the family.  A young son of the Howe’s reports how he cried when he learned that Edd was not his brother.  Edd stayed with the Howe family until he was ready to attend Michigan Agricultural College and learn the dairy business.
Myrtie Louisa Stephenson Winegar, age 18

Myrtie Louisa Stephenson Winegar, age 18

The Howe home was not far from the Edward W. Stephenson farm and he became acquainted with the Stephenson sisters, Bertha and Myrtie. At first, he courted Bertha until Myrtie was old enough to be courted.  Edd and Myrtie were married in 1900 at the bride’s home.  More about Edd and Myrtie will be covered in the 1900s section.

 

Other Winegars 

William Wirt Winegar

William Wirt Winegar

William Wirt Winegar, a second cousin to Edwin Ashbel, fought in the Civil War and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Apparently a huge number of these awards were granted, many of which were rescinded.  We do not know if his was or not.  An account of his award can be found on the Internet.

 Dr. Ira Winegar, possibly a cousin to Ashbel, served as a surgeon during the Civil War.  He was commissioned in 1861 and mustered out with a disability in 1865.

 
Another group of Winegar moved to Michigan by the Erie Canal in 1864.  At Detroit, they purchased a ticket on the train to “as far as the track is built.”  On August 19, 1844, they were a few miles out of Marshall, and the conductor told them that he was going to run into Marshall on the wooden framework even though the iron rails were not laid.  The conductor said that anyone so inclined might take the chance and ride in too.  Isaac and Jacob Winegar were on the first train to reach Marshall.  The trip from Albion was made in 40 minutes compared to the stagecoach time of two hours. The distance was twelve miles.


Winegars in the 1800s

July 10, 2009

 

 Ulrich(5)  1783-1864

  Ulrich was born in Amenia in 1783 and Married Elizabeth Winans. Elizabeth Winans Winegar is a direct descendant of one of the passengers on the Mayflower.  Consequently, all her descendants can trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower. 

Ulrich and Elizabeth had five boys and eight girls. Our ancestor is Ashbel(6).   At some point, the family moved to South Butler, Wayne County, New York. Ulrich died there in 1864.

Ashbel(6)  1823-1879

Ashbel was born in South Butler, Wayne County, New York. We have no information on his early childhood.  He worked on the Erie Canal for several years before going to Michigan. There he  worked in the retail clothing business for a time and then bought a farm in Vergennes Township near Lowell.

He was married twice, first to Eleanor Slaght, the second time to Mary Reese Roberts who was the mother of Edwin Ashbel our ancestor.  He and Eleanor had three children and she died in childbirth with the third.  He gave the infant up for adoption.  While visiting Eleanor’s parents he met Mary Reese Roberts who was teaching piano lessons to Eleanor’s sister.  Although Mary was 15 years younger than Ashbel, they were married about two months after Eleanor’s death, and over the next 11 years had four more sons.

The land on the farm that he bought was very poor and was mostly sand.  Don Winegar wrote, “This was a case of trying to farm woodland that should have never been lumbered off.  Once the top humus was gone from the soil it could not sustain crops.”  In spite of the poor land, Ashbel continued to farm the land until his death in 1879.

Donald Winegar also reports having a picture on the back of which was written, “He was a good farmer, a first class shot, and a number one hunter. It was a poor winter which didn’t furnish him with at least ten fox skins.”

With the death of Ashbel, his wife was left to care for four sons 11 and under and found this very difficult.  In 1883, she took the sons including Edwin Ashbel and returned to New York where her sister lived.  According to a letter from one of her sons, she met someone on the train that she later married.  She died in 1889.

Ashbel Winegar

Ashbel Winegar

Mary Rease Roberts Winegar

Mary Reese Roberts Winegar

 

 


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