The Stowells in the 1800s

July 18, 2009


Parents of Catherine Stowell Daniells

John Stowell

John Stowell

John Stowell was born in Burlington, New Jersey in 1819.  He moved his family to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he worked in real estate. He was also Commissioner to the Indians in Grand Rapids. 

John Stowell acquired a large Bible July 5, 1847, when his daughter Catherine was about three years old.  The Bible is in very good condition despite some age spots and contains family records for several generations.  The Bible is in the possession of Jim Winegar. 
Stowell Family Bible

Stowell Family Bible

John Stowell died in 1888 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Achsah Jones was born in Green Ridge, New Jersey, in 1820.  She was the daughter of Abram Jones, a Revolutionary War veteran.  In 1830 or 1831, when she was about 10 or 11 years old, she cross-stitched a sampler that was of excellent workmanship.  The verse on the sampler is: 

By cool Siloam’s shady rill

How sweet the lily grows

How sweet the breath beneath the hill

Of Sharon’s dewey rose.

Achsah Jones

Achsah Jones

The 179-year-old sampler is stitched with fine thread on linen canvas and has been well-preserved through the years.  It is currently in the appreciative care of James Winegar.

Achsah and John had four children:  Anna E. (called Annie by the family), Catherine, George W., and Ella V.  Ella died when she was only a few months old.  Achsah and her daughters were members of the Fountain Street Baptist Church.  Achsah died in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1902 and is buried in the Oakhill Cemetery, along with her husband John Stowell. 



Achsah Jones

Achsah Jones


Carey Reed Daniells in the 1800s

July 17, 2009


Carey Reed Daniells, 1845-1912

Carey Reed Daniells

Carey Reed Daniells

Carey Reed Daniells was born in West Bloomfield, Michigan.  He was a farmer, a general merchant, a miller, and a salesman.  He attended the University of Michigan for a time and roomed with Howard Ingersoll, the eldest of the Ingersoll brothers from Wacousta.  He married Catherine (Katie) Stowell in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  They had met at Fountain Street Baptist Church when he visited his sister, Mary Escott, in Grand Rapids.  

Prior to his marriage, he had purchased a farm in Wacousta.  There were no buildings on the farm, so he rented rooms from neighbors across the road.  That is where he took his bride and where his first child was born.  During the first year after his marriage he built a barn, and in the second year he built his house.  Sometime later he sold the farm and built a general store which he ran successfully for several years.  When the grist-mill owned by his uncle Nelson Daniells burned, he traded the store for the mill property.  Twenty-four hours after completing the transaction, the dam went out.  He repaired the dam at a cost of $16,000.  To make matters worse, it was at the time when the method of making flour was changing from the Stone to the Roller Process.  He did not have the capital to upgrade to the new technology.  He continued to run the mill for a time, but this venture was not very successful.  (The Daniels-Daniells Family, vol. 2, 263, 266)

Katie Lowden Stowell Daniells

Katie Lowden Stowell Daniells

In about 1900, he went to work as at traveling salesman, selling watches for Robert Ingersoll.  On one trip, he was impressed with Texas, so he sold his Michigan property and bought a Texas ranch, still continuing to sell watches.  In 1905 he was badly injured in a train wreck, and, although he went back to work after a year, he never fully recovered.  He and Katie died in 1912 and 1923, respectively.  Both are buried in Fort Worth Texas.

Carey and Katie had five children, Estee Stowell, Mary Anna, Allan Louis, Will Carleton (our ancestor), and Lucinda Augusta.

Daniells in the 1800s

July 16, 2009


Nathaniel Irish Daniells, 1832-1899

Nathaniel Irish Daniells 2

Nathaniel Irish Daniells

Nathaniel was born in Scipio, Cayuga County, New York.  He married Lucinda Reed in February, 1832, and in May of that year, they left for West Bloomfield, Michigan, where two years earlier he had purchased land and had hired 10 acres to be cleared and sowed to wheat.  They went by Erie Canal and Lake Erie steamer.  In six years he had 140 of his 240 acres cleared.  He taught school three winters.  He was a gifted penman and made quill pens for his students.

In about 1835, he and Joshua Coonley started a general store, but they were soon ruined in the “Wild Cat Panic.”  [Note: This may have referred to the banks with their free lending policies and their issue of paper currency (called specie) that were not backed up by gold or silver. Bank after bank closed its doors, causing a financial panic in 1837.] 

Lucinda Reed Daniells

Lucinda Reed Daniells

In 1848, he moved to Wacousta and started a long round of legal battles with Benjamin Silsbee who tried to keep him off the land he had bought.  The problems lasted until 1854 when Nathaniel finally gained clear title.  Several of his brothers, Elias, Nelson and David, also located in Wacousta and built a saw mill and grist mill.  

From the History of Shiawassee and Clinton Counties Michigan 1880, page 527:

N.I. and Nelson Daniells arrived in 1848 (having been former residents of Cayuga County, New York), and at once repaired the mill property.  The grist mill which was in a condition unfit for service, was at once remodeled, and the saw mill thoroughly rebuilt.  A store was opened by them and in 1855 the old grist mill was replaced by a new one, which is now owned by Nelson Daniells.  This mill has three run of stones, and is devoted to both custom and merchant-work.  It is located upon the Looking Glass River, from whence its power is derived, and has a capacity of four hundred bushels per day.  Much patronage is enjoyed from the adjacent country, though Lansing and the East furnish a market for its merchant-work.

The saw mill, which is also owned by Mr. Daniells, embraces planing machinery, and has a capacity of two thousand feet per day.  It does custom-work exclusively.

nihouseNelson’s oldest daughter, Cornelia Hazard writes:

The Daniells brothers were all men to take an active interest in public affairs, and though somewhat aggressive in their views, yet were all of uncompromising integrity, upholding and maintaining the rights of others in all respects, and so made themselves a force in the community.

In the spring of 1852, Nathaniel was elected Justice of the Peace and served for 17 years.  It was often asserted that he did more business than all the other Justices within the reach of his jurisdiction and paid more fees into the county treasury.  He built his home and conducted his business in the rear of the home.

In 1850, Nathaniel was Census Enumerator for Clinton, Gratiot, Isabella, and Clare Counties.  That same year he was appointed Deputy Marshall to go to Lake Michigan and to prosecute trespassers who were logging off public lands.  In 1867, he was elected to the Constitutional Convention for the State of Michigan.  [Note: family tradition holds that the Constitution was prepared in his handwriting.]  In 1870, he was again Census Enumerator for the east half of Clinton County.

50 years before the Daniells and Bliss families merged, N.I. Daniells recorded the Blisses in the 1850 census.

50 years before the Daniells and Bliss families merged, N.I. Daniells recorded the Blisses in the 1850 census.

Nathaniel and Lucinda had seven children.  Our ancestor is Carey Reed Daniells.  Lucinda died in1885, and Nathaniel married Susan Stansell.  He died in 1899, and both Nathaniel and Lucinda are buried in Wacousta Cemetery.  His brothers Nelson and David, and sister Cornelia are also buried in Wacousta Cemetery. 






The N.I. Daniells Family.  Front row from left to right: John Graham, Nathaniel Irish Daniells, Elias Daniells, David Daniells, Nelson Daniells.  Back row: Matilda Daniells Graham, Lucinda Reed Daniells, Almeda Daniells Davis, Sarah Harris Daniells, Laura Philips Daniells, and Olive Boorn Daniells.

The William Daniells Family. Front row from left to right: John Graham, Nathaniel Irish Daniells, Elias Daniells, David Daniells, Nelson Daniells. Back row: Matilda Daniells Graham, Lucinda Reed Daniells, Almeda Daniells Davis, Sarah Harris Daniells, Laura Philips Daniells, and Olive Boorn Daniells.




Wacousta Mill

Wacousta Mill

The Daniells Family in the 1800s

July 15, 2009


William Daniells, 1775-1866

William Daniells

William Daniells

From notes of Betty Daniells and The Daniels/Daniells Family, vol. 2, pages 236, 251:

William was born in 1775 in Worthington, Massachusetts.  He moved to Scipio, New York, in 1798, and settled in what came to be called “Daniel’s Settlement.”  He married Mary Irish in 1799.  He was a farmer; taught the first year he was in Scipio, but no more, as he was not qualified. 

He was for many years a deacon in the Baptist Church. 

He and Mary spent their declining years with their son Benjamin in Michigan.  He died in 1866 at Birmingham, Michigan, and is buried in the Crooks Cemetery. 

He passed through Wacousta on the way to Grand Rapids in the spring of 1836 and admired that section, so may have been partly responsible for so many of his sons settling there.

More Stephensons in the 1800s

July 14, 2009

 Edward William Stephenson  (1854-1931)

Edward William Stephenson

E.W. Stephenson

E. W. ”Will” Stephenson was born in Long Island, New York, but traveled to St. Johns, Michigan, when he was an infant.  He grew up and attended school in St. Johns.  As a teen, he learned telegraphy at the local railroad station, and, at 18, went to work for the Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad.  In 1873, he was appointed station agent at Eagle, Michigan, where he served for about five years. He then took up farming in Eagle Township, three miles west of Wacousta.  He served as Town Clerk of Eagle Township in 1878-79.

He married Alta Swiler in 1876, and they had two daughters, Bertha and Myrtie, our ancestor.

Alta Adel Swiler

Alta Swiler Stephenson

His grandson Donald Winegar writes:

In later years, he became an agent for farm insurance.  As a small boy, I can remember going with my grandfather in the Model T Ford touring car to call on clients to settle claims.  As a rule, he traveled about 12 to 15 miles per hour if the roads would permit.  At times, however, when he was in a hurry, he would ‘open it up’ to 20 or 25 miles an hour.  What a thrill this gave me.  I thought we were flying.

I can never remember my grandfather without a beard and mustache.  Indeed, my mother, Myrtie, once told me that she could not remember her father without a beard.

E.W. Stephenson Family

The Stephenson Family - Alta and E.W. front row, Bertha and Myrtie back row.

I do not remember much about my grandmother, Alta, except that she was always very good to me, her oldest grandson.  I doubt if there was anything she would have withheld from me, if she thought it would be right to give it.  I was only seven years old when she died.  I was permitted to go to the funeral because I loved my grandmother.


Bertha and Will Parks

 After the death of his wife, Will invited his daughter Bertha and her husband Will Parks to live with him. They lived with him until his death in 1931.  Both E.W. and Alta are buried in Niles Cemetery, Clinton County, Michigan.

The Stephenson bedroom suite was passed down to Donald Winegar and then to me.  It is still in continuous use in our home.

Stephenson Bedroom Suite

Stephenson Bedroom Suite

EW Stephenson and Bill Winegar

E.W. Stephenson and his grandson Bill Winegar


The Stephenson Home

The Stephenson Home

The Stephensons in the 1800s

July 14, 2009


George Wold Stephenson, 1813-1896

George Wold Stephenson

George Wold Stephenson

George was born in 1813, the son of George Stephenson and Elizabeth Would.  Family tradition has it that he was named for his second cousin, George Stephenson, the inventor of the first practical railroad steam engine.  To this date, we have not been able to verify this connection.

George was apprenticed at the age of 11 and worked faithfully for seven years.  At the age of 18, he went to London and became involved in the trade union movement.  It became his lifelong ambition to free the labor class from the oppression of the rich. The following year, he marched with 90,000 men to appeal to the King.  He walked 200 miles to Liverpool.

Agnes Catherine Hamilton

Agnes Hamilton Stephenson

He married Agnes Hamilton in Liverpool 1835.  They had five children there, but two of them died very young.  In 1844, with three sons, George and Agnes left for America. The family stayed one year in New York City, and then moved to Long Island where they lived for ten years and had five more children.  The last child born was Edward William, our ancestor. In 1855, they set out for the “West,” settling in St. Johns, Michigan.  George’s son, James, described their arrival in St. Johns in a letter:

In September, 1855, during a heavy storm of rain, which had continued for about a week, my father and mother with seven children, came into this town from Corunna by team with one wagon loaded with furniture and household goods.  In the wagon there was only room for two besides the driver and the roads being in such primitive state and so terribly muddy, all of us were compelled to walk a great share of the way.  I never shall forget my first view of St. Johns.  Emerging from a dense forest on a prominence overlooking the infant village, a strange sight greeted our eyes.  A hole in the wood, about 20 houses and muddy unimproved streets were before us.  Our home was to be the upper story of a store building and our provision to be potatoes, cod fish, and hulled corn.  Nothing else would be obtained in the place for at least six weeks, at the end of which time father succeeded in securing a cow which added miraculously to our commissary.  The roads were utterly impassible and our beds and bedding were in Lansing.

George established a business as a merchant tailor which prospered throughout the years.  He was very active in community affairs.  He was president of the village trustees and was appointed by the governor to serve in management of the State House of Corrections.  When the Clinton County Courthouse moved from Dewitt to St. Johns, the court rented space in Clinton Hall from George for several years.  The Clinton Independent  was started in 1866 by two of his sons, and it operated in the back of his store.  He also helped establish a “Live Association,” the intent of which was to provide a good burial at a reasonable price.  He was treasurer of the association for the next 29 years.

He was a member of the Knights of Labor for fifty years. He was considered a “free thinker,” and was a liberal in many fields, including his Christian faith.  He was one of the founding members of the Episcopal Church of St. Johns, and the names of George Wold and Agnes Stephenson were inscribed in a memorial window in the church.  Donald Winegar saw the window in 1936.  I don’t know if it is still there.

G.W. Stephenson's Watch

G.W. Stephenson's Watch

Agnes died in 1879. George retired in 1888 and died in 1896.  They are buried in St. Johns.   At his death, his pocket watch was given to his son, E.W. Stephenson, who carried it for 53 years and gave it to Donald Winegar, his oldest grandson, in 1931.  James Winegar, Donald’s son now has possession of the watch, and it is still working.

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.