Henry W. Winemiller (1810-1901)

A Biographical Sketch

Written and contributed by Vickie L. Winemiller Marklin.  Thanks, Vickie!

          Henry W Winemiller was born February 4, 1810 in Posey County Indiana the son of Coonrod Winemiller and Hester.  Henry died January 21, 1901 in Franklin County Illinois.  Henry married Mary “Polly” Downen on October 18, 1832 in Posey County Indiana.  Mary was born about 1814 in Posey county Indiana the daughter of Elizabeth Ann Oliver and David Downen.  Mary is the granddaughter of Josiah Downen Revolutionary War Soldier.  It is unknown when or where Mary died.  I have documented her life from 1832 at the time of her marriage to Henry through the 1880 Franklin County Illinois Federal Census.  I have found no further trace of Mary.    

          The 1850 Marrs Township Posey County Indiana Federal Census includes Henry and Mary and their eight children all of whom were born in Posey County Indiana.  Also living in the household was Henry’s father Coonrod.  Shortly after the death of Coonrod in 1858 Henry, Mary and at least seven of their children migrated to Hamilton County Illinois.  They first settled in Knight’s Prairie Township and are found there in the 1860 Illinois Federal Census.  On November 10, 1861 Henry enlisted into the Union Army with the 60th Regiment Illinois Volunteers Company D.  His obituary notes that he served 2 years and 8 months and was then “discharged on account of disability for service”.  It is interesting to note that Henry would have been 54 years old at that time.  Two of Henry’s sons; John and Jacob also served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  Jacob survived and returned to Illinois to marry Elizabeth Boster before migrating to Arkansas where their ancestors live today.  John however was captured by the Confederate Army and was held as a Prisoner of War at the infamous Andersonville Prison in Georgia where he died on August 7, 1864 of “debilitas” one of perhaps  a hundred men who died there on that day.  He is buried in Grave # 4941. 

          Upon his return Henry is found in the 1865 Illinois State Census living with his wife Mary and two sons and 3daughters.  He lived near Akin for a time and then “moved to his farm one mile east of Smothersville” with Mary and two of his daughter as well as two of his grandchildren. 

          At the time of the 1870 Illinois Federal Census Henry and Mary are found living in Northern Township Franklin County with their daughters Elizabeth 24, Hester 21, Jane 13 and son Lewis 18.  Their son Allan and his wife Melvina and their two daughters Edith 2 and Cora Lena 4/12 were living next door.  Not far away lived their daughter Louisa J, her husband Henry Risley and their daughter, 2 year old Mary J.

          The 1880 Illinois Federal Census finds Henry and Mary living in Eastern Township, Franklin County with their daughters Elizabeth 32 and Hester 30 their son Louis (Lewis) 28, granddaughter Edith 11 and grandson Odus age 4.  

          Franklin County Illinois List of Pensioners 1850-1884 includes “…Henry Winemiller, chronic diarrhea, $2, Macedonia, #119,145”    

          On July 13, 1894 a Benton Illinois newspaper article notes:  “Uncle Henry Winemiller of Smothersville, one of the eldest men in the county, came to town for the purpose of competing for the prize offered for the oldest man who attended the races at the fair ground that day.”

          Henry and Mary raised at least two of their grandchildren. Edith Winemiller the daughter of their son Allen and his first wife Melvina Thorpe likely came to live with Henry and Mary when Melvina and her baby daughter Cora Lena both died around 1871.  Allan remarried soon after and it appears Edith remained with Henry and Mary until her marriage February 10, 1888 to R(obert) G(reen) Neal.  Odus (Odius) Winemiller was living with Henry and Mary from at least 1880 when he was four years old according to the 1880 Franklin County Illinois Federal Census.  It is likely that Odus is the son of Lewis Winemiller but this has not been confirmed.  What is certain is that Odus lived with his grandparents until his untimely death on April 6, 1895 when at the age of 19 years he “committed suicide by jumping in the well on his grandfather’s farm, near Smothersville” 

          It is not certain what became of Mary “Polly” Downen.  I have found no trace of her after the 1880 Federal Census.  However it appears she passed on before 1901. 

          Henry died on January 25, 1901.  He reportedly died at his home near Smothersville attended by his daughter Elizabeth Ann Winemiller Oliver, from a “stroke of paralysis”.  He was 90 years 11 months and 16 days old. 

          Descendants of Henry W Winemiller and Mary “Polly” Downen still live in Hamilton and neighboring counties in Illinois and in Indiana.  

Children of Henry W Winemiller and Mary “Polly” Downen:

  1. John Winemiller born about 1834 in Posey County Indiana and died August 7, 1864 as being held as a Prisoner of War in Andersonville Prison in Georgia. 

  2. Jacob Winemiller was born about 1839 in Posey County Indiana.  He married Elizabeth Boster August 24, 1865 after being mustered out of the Union Army.  Jacob and Elizabeth migrated to Bird Township, Jackson County Arkansas before 1880. 

  3. Allen Winemiller was born about 1841 in Posey County Indiana.  He first married Melvina Thorpe before 1870.  They had two children Edith born about 1868 and Cora Lena born about 1870.  Melvina and baby Cora Lena died soon after the 1870 Census.  Allen remarried on June 23, 1872 to Martha L Bradford daughter of James Bradford and Elizabeth Ann Dixon of Jefferson County Illinois.  Allen and Martha had at least three children including Georgia Ann Winemiller born about 1874, Fred Winemiller born on December 26, 1875 and William Winemiller born about 1879.  Allan’ date and place of death are unknown. 

  4. Louisa Jane Winemiller was born about 1844 in Posey County Indiana.  She married Henry Risley in Hamilton County Illinois on August 13, 1863.  They had one known child, a daughter Mary J born about 1868.

  5. Elizabeth Ann Winemiller was born about 1846 in Posey County Indiana.  She married at least twice the first time prior to 1901 to Mr. Oliver and the second time in July of 1901 Joel S Clark in Franklin County Illinois.  Elizabeth was caring for her father Henry at the time of his death.

  6. Hester Ann Winemiller was born about 1848 in Posey county Indiana.  She is found living with her parents through 1880.  No other trace has been found of Hester.  It is not known if she ever married.  Hester is named for her paternal grandmother.  

  7. Lewis Winemiller was born about 1850 in Posey County Indiana.  I believe him to have been married twice the second time to Maggie E King in White County Illinois on November 23, 1882.  I believe Lewis to be the father of Odus. 

  8. Jane (June) Winemiller was born about 1857 in Posey County Indiana and she died in 1880 in Franklin County Illinois.   She was 23 years old, the youngest of Henry and Mary’s children.  It is likely she never married. 

1820 Marrs Township Posey County Indiana Federal Census
1850 Marrs Township Posey County Indiana Federal Census
Indiana Marriages through 1850 Database
Posey County Indiana Probate Records
1860 Knights Prairie Township Hamilton County Illinois Federal Census
1865 Illinois State Census
Illinois 56th Infantry Roster
Illinois 60th Regiment Company D Roster
Andersonville Prison Profile # 94941
Illinois Marriage Database
1870 Franklin County Illinois Federal Census
1882 Franklin County Illinois Federal Census
1880 Hamilton County Illinois Federal Census
1880 Jackson County Arkansas Federal Census
1880 Franklin County Illinois Mortality Schedule
Franklin County Obits & Tidbits

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