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
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
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
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,
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:
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