Fountain Street Baptist Church

August 29, 2009


Fountain Street Baptist Church in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, was important in the lives of Achsah Jones Stowell and her daughters Anna and Catherine during the latter half of the 1800s.  Catherine Stowell met her future husband Carey Reed Daniells at this church when he visited family in Grand Rapids.  They married in 1871.  Excerpts from her diary indicate that Catherine was a deeply religious person who frequently reflected on her relationship with God and her own human failings.

Today’s Fountain Street Church is no longer affiliated with the Baptist Church or any other mainstream church.  The FSC website states:

Although founded as early as 1842, between 1896 to 1956 Fountain Street Baptist went from being a mainstream Baptist church to being a non-creedal liberal church, ultimately severing its ties to the American Baptist Church and eschewing any denomination.

The website goes on to say, “Our current sanctuary and church house were built in 1924 following a fire that destroyed the previous structure in 1917.”

During a recent visit to Grand Rapids, Sandra and I toured the sanctuary.  Church staff was unable to provide us with photographs of the original structure that burned, but we took pictures of the current edifice. 

Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, built in 1924.  Photo by Sandra Winegar.

Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, built in 1924. Photo by Sandra Winegar.


Catherine “Katie” Daniells in the 1800s

July 18, 2009


Catherine Lowden Stowell Daniells, 1844-1923

Catherine Stowell

Catherine Stowell

Catherine Stowell, our ancestor, was born in Burlington, New Jersey, and moved with her family to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The following are excerpts from her diary between 1862 and 1867 when she was between 18 and 23 years old.  (The excerpts are found in notes taken by Betty Daniells. I have no idea who has the original diary. Following clues from the diary has been an adventure. Surprisingly, we were able to identify James as James Lothian, who fought for the Union in the Civil War.  He was wounded at the Battle of Petersburg, but died a month later after having his leg amputated.  We don’t know how he is connected to the family, but he doesn’t appear to be a relative.  It is possible that he was a suitor for Catherine’s sister, Annie.  We learned that Carey’s sister’s family, the Escotts, and Catherine’s family were members of the Baptist Church and shared a pew.  This is where Carey and Catherine met.  JW)

July 26, 1862 James and Loucinda and Mrs. H. and myself went into the country to Mr. Baxter’s after Annie and Mary, had a fine time, stopped at Ada, and got home about 7 o’clock in evening.

July 26, 1863 I was taken sick with my throat.

Jan. 30, 1864 James came home, was very much surprised to see him, next day spent the afternoon and evening.


Catherine Stowell Daniells

Catherine Stowell Daniells

Feb. 1, 1864 James called before starting to Muskegon, stayed til Friday, called Friday and spent the evening.

March 12, 1864 James started to join his regiment, arrived there on the 17th, was gladly received by his company who had been urging his return. He was immediately placed in command of the reg., as the Lieut. Col. had been wounded.

June 16, 1864 James was wounded while leading a charge upon Petersburg, after lying 13 hours, he was removed to Alexandria by order of Lieut. Col. H. H. Wells. He had his left leg amputated but died upon the 12th of July, just four weeks after receiving the wound. His body was taken to Breadalbane C. H. by his parents who arrived a few days after he died.

July 3, 1864 Class of 1864 graduated at Luces Hall. I was invited to a festival in the evening given in honor of the class but was not able to attend. I was unable to graduate with my class on account of sickness during the past year.

Feb. 8, 1863 My friend Mary and myself were baptized in Grand River by P. Vanwinkle (pastor). We were received into the church upon the first Sabbath of March. God grant that we may be faithful until we are called home.

Oct. 20, 1864 A great republican mass meeting, large procession. Three cheers for honest old Abe of the west.

Oct. 22, 1864 A great Democratic mass meeting, large turn out.

Dec. 12, 1864 There is still much fighting going on. Day by day new homes are desolated and many, many hearts broken. Grant, Oh God, this cruel war may close, that those who have not tasted of the bitter cup, which this rebellion has mingled, not be called to drain its bitter dregs.

March 13, 1865 Today is my birthday. I am 21. Oh! How much of my life has been spent in sin. God grant that my future may be spent in his service.

April 3, 1865 Richmond was taken today by our forces together with several thousand prisoners.

April 9, 1865 Gen. R. E. Lee surrendered to Gen. U. S. Grant.

April, 10, 1865 A day of great rejoicing throughout all the loyal cities in the United States.

April 14, 1865 Tonight between nine and ten o’clock President Abram Lincoln was assassinated, shot through the head. Upon the same night, Secretary Wm. H. Seward was assassinated while confined to his bed, cutting his throat. The son of Sec. Seward was also knocked down senseless. His head was badly bruised.

April 15, 1865 Every city and nearly every house in mourning.

May 28, 1865 Attended church today for the first time since July 26, 1863. Feel very thankful for the privilege of again worshiping God in his house.

June 2, 1866 Was examined today and received certificate for teaching.

June 4, 1866 Commenced teaching today in the Union School at Cold Brook.





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.

Ancestors of Donald Stephenson Winegar and Mary Daniells Winegar

June 20, 2009
Ancestors of Donald Stephenson Winegar

Ancestors of Donald Stephenson Winegar


Ancestors of Mary Daniells Winegar

Ancestors of Mary Daniells Winegar

These charts are included so that viewers can see who my ancestors are and have an understanding of what family lines I have information and pictures on.  The first pictures I posted on are from a family photo album of Carey Reed Daniells and Catherine Stowell Daniells the grandparents of Mary.

As I add more pictures, I will provide information here as to what has been added.

Welcome to my genealogy blog

June 20, 2009


Daniells Mill, Wacousta, Michigan

Daniells Mill, Wacousta, Michigan

 I am the son of Donald Stephenson Winegar and Mary Daniells Winegar.  Both grew up in Wacousta, Michigan.  I have recently retired and have time to devote to genealogy.  My situation is quite different from most people getting involved in genealogy.  I am not seeking information on my ancestors but looking for a way to share and organize the information that I have.

On both sides of my family, a genealogist/historian preceded me.  My father, Donald S. Winegar, spent much of his retirement collecting data on the Winegars, the Stephensons and anyone who married into these families. My aunt, Betty Daniells, traced the Daniells genealogy back to the royalty of England.  Both of these historians collected their data in the era before the Internet, traveling to genealogical libraries and writing letters.

I inherited all of the data that that Donald and Betty collected.  I have an incredible amout of family information.  In particular, the Daniells saved everything related to their family.The majority of the data they collected has been entered into Family Tree Maker into a very large file.  I have a wealth of family pictures from the Winegars, Stephensons, Daniells, Blisses, Plowmans, and many others. 

My plan initially is to publish many of these pictures on the internet so they are available to those interested.  I am not familiar with the various internet tools so how I provide information will change as I get better. Right now, I am putting pictures on under jswinegar.  They are tagged with Wacousta and Daniells.  I have 32 pictures on flickr that come from a family album of Carey Reed Daniells (1845-1912)and Catherine Stowell Daniells (1844-1923).

More information will follow.