Plowman/Daniells Poetry: Ode to a Bedpan

August 28, 2009


The following poem, undated and not attributed, was found among the poetry of the Plowmans and Daniells.  It was probably written by one of the five Daniells sisters, granddaughters of Dora Plowman.  Each of the sisters had a wonderful sense of humor — sometimes outrageous — , so the poem could have been written by any of them. 

Ode to a Bedpan

While recovering from an illness, I was very much annoyed,

For the toilet was denied me and a bedpan was employed.

I much preferred a thunder-mug, but nurse just shook her head;

“You’re far too weak,” she sternly said, “to be getting out of bed.”


My experience with the bedpan, to this day doth make me quail,

And I’ve been prevailed upon to write this harrowing tale.

In the wee small hours of morn, before the break of day

Came a yearning I could not ignore, nor very long delay.


The nurse brought me a bedpan, slipped it under my back-side,

While the chills ran up and down my spine as the cold thing touched my hide.

I tipped back my shoulders — soon my legs grew stiff and numb

The odds were all in favor that I’d die before ‘twould come.


In this upside down condition the leverage wasn’t there,

But with a mighty effort I released a little air.

And when at last I got results I grew faint with dread,

I wondered if I’d hit the pan or piled it on the bed.


While my heart was weakly fluttering I felt with cautious care,

With a sigh of satisfaction I discovered nothing there.

But my trouble wasn’t over, as I very soon would find,

For how could I maneuver to wipe the place behind?


All my muscles bulged with tension as I stood upon my head,

And I gave a few wild passes — then fell weakly on the bed.

With patience I continued, regardless of my pain,

For modesty prevents me from leaving any stain.


I had no more than finished this rear Herculean feat,

When I then became aware of something sticky on the sheet.

Cold sweat was beaded on my brow — I slowly raised my gown,

And there upon the lovely sheet a hideous spot of brown.


The law of gravitation once more proved sure as fate

That you cannot stand upon your ear when you evacuate.

‘Twas then I voiced a fervent prayer, as a soul in anguish can,

For something to improve upon this medieval plan.


Sick people often give up hope and here’s the reason why:

The bedpan is the rock upon which they’re tortured till they die.

There’s a fortune for the genius who’ll invent some kind of diaper

Or a back adjusted thunder-mug with an automatic wiper.



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.

The Stephensons in the 1600s

June 24, 2009

The first record we have of the Stephensons is the marriage of Henry Stephenson to Susan Clark in 1691, in Hogsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England.  Lincolnshire is located on England’s east coast about the center of the country.  They had five children.  Henry, our ancestor, was born in 1697 in Hogsthorpe.   The church pictured below is possibly where Henry married Martha Richardson.

St. Mary's Church, built in 1393 in Hogsthorpe.

St. Mary's Church, built in 1393 in Hogsthorpe.

The Daniells Family in the 1600s

June 24, 2009

(The following information is gathered from The Daniels – Daniells Family, Vol. 2, A Genealogical History of the Descendants of William Daniell of Dorchester and Milton, Massachusetts 1630 – 1957, compiled and edited by James Harrison Daniels, Jr., 1959.)

The Mary and John

The Mary and John

William Daniel (   -1678)

On March 20, 1630, a group of Puritans sailed from England on the Mary and John, a ship of 400 tons.  Among the passengers on the ship was John Grenaway (Greenway), whose daughter Catherine was to become the first Daniels mother in the new world.  The voyage took 70 days and was comfortable and accompanied by daily “preaching and expounding on the Word of God.”  They settled at Dorchester, Massachusetts which is now a part of Boston.  The town prospered.  A meeting house was built in 1831 which was a place of safety in case of problems with the Indians.  Everyone was required to attend church and come armed and all houses had to be built within one half mile of the meeting house.  Dorchester established the first free tax-supported school in America.  Girls were not admitted for several years but Katherine somehow learned to read.

Katherine married William Daniel (there was no uniform spelling of the last name for several generations) about 1645.  There is no record of how or when he came to America but recent researchers have reported that he was the son of Peter Daniells and Christina Grosvenor.  John Grenaway left land to William and Katherine in the area which became Milton and they built a tavern there.  For many years the people of Milton had to travel to Dorchester for church which was mandatory in the colony.  This was a great hardship in bad weather “perhaps with the father on horseback, the mother on a pillion behind him and the children trudging through the snow”.  The church was not heated.  The people stood during prayers which could last an hour.  The sermon might last two hours. 

Katherine undertook to teach some of the local Indians to read and was so successful that the commissioners of the colony commended her and provided 12 pounds in payment   plus another 3 pounds to continue for another year.   

The couple had 6 children including John, our ancestor.   Their daughter, Mary married Jonathan Wood.  When her husband was killed in an Indian uprising, Mary who was pregnant went into shock and died in childbirth.  The child was named Silence.

Memorial in Windsor, Connecticutt, with names of passengers on the Mary and John

Memorial in Windsor, Connecticutt, with names of passengers on the Mary and John

 John Daniel (1648-1718)

John was born in Dorchester but spent most of his life in Milton where he was an Inn keeper and was active in town affairs.  He was married to Dorothy Badcock.  They had 11 children including two sets of twins, but only 7 survived to adulthood.  John prospered as an Inn keeper and was one of the wealthiest men in the town.  In 1683, a public holiday was held and a minister read an address of loyalty to the king.  Many signed it but John and several others chose not to.  This was almost 100 years before the revolution.

17th Century map of Dorchester and Boston Harbor

17th Century map of Dorchester and Boston Harbor

Winegars in the 1600s

June 23, 2009

Ulrich Winegar was the patriarch of the Winegar in America.  Almost all of the American Winegars descended from him.  We know very little about his early years.  He was born in 1668 in Zurich, Switzerland, and moved to the Wurttemburg region of Germany along the Rhine River (in the vicinity of Stuttgart and Heidelberg on the map).  Ulrich and Anna lived in the Palatine region where residents were called Palatines.  His first child Anna was born about 1698.

The name Winegar probably comes from Ulrich’s occupation as a vine dresser or worker in the vineyards.  The name may have been pronounced something like Vine-ak-er.  For at least the first four generations there was no uniform spelling of the name.  Since the family spoke German, it was as likely to have been spelled and pronounced with a V as with a W.  Early records show the name also as Weyniger, Winniger, Viniger, and even Von Wegener.

A vinyard on the Rhine River

A vinyard on the Rhine River

Coming to Wacousta – 1600s

June 22, 2009

During the 1600’s, European colonies were founded in the New World.  Among the earliest families to arrive in New England were the Daniels who settled in Dorchester and Milton, Massachusetts, and the Blisses who settled in Springfield, Massachusetts.

 The first Winegar in our records was Ulrich who was born in Switzerland in 1668 and by the end of the century was living in southern Germany under extremely harsh conditions.

 Our earliest record of the Stephensons was Henry who was married in 1691.  The Stephensons lived in Lincolnshire on the east coast of England.

Maps of England and Germany in the 1600s

Maps of England and Germany in the 1600s

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.