From The Winkler Genealogy
October 1st, 1908
A partial history of the ancestors and descendants of John Winkler, who lived in Green Township, Wayne County, Ohio, from 1814 to 1886.
It is the purpose of the writer to record as much as possible of the genealogy
of the Winkler family, not with the intention of writing an elaborate history
of their lives, but merely to record facts as
to nationality, births marriages, deaths, etc. that it may be handed down the line of descendants in future years. As no family history has been kept in the past, it has been impossible to obtain a complete record. Mr. John Bissell, of Orrville, Ohio, has been gathering facts for some time, and the writer wishes to thank Mr. Bissell for many of those contained herein.
Mrs. Hester E. Taggart furnished the writer with the earlier history of the family, and allowed us to copy from a diary written by her in 1873. Great credit is also due her for collecting dates and information and assisting in getting up these records. Her diary contained the information we have regarding the ancestors of John Winkler, who was living at the time the diary was written, and he related these facts to his daughter, Hester E. Taggart, who remained at home, and helped care for him until his death. Therefore, we have reason to believe that the records are reliable.
Lawrence Winkler, father of John Winkler, was born near the Rhine River, in Prussia, on January 15, 1771. He emmigrated to New Jersey while a young man, and there married miss Fannie Payne in the year 1795. She was a native of New Jersey, and was born November 18, 1775. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Burke County, North Carolina, where they lived until 1806. He was a farmer by occupation, of strong physique, hardy constitution, honorable, pious, of strong will power and determination. He was brave, industrious and enterprising, and a fit man to fight the battles and endure the deprivations the early settlers had to encounter. He was one of nature's noblemen, and we are proud of being descendants of Lawrence and Fannie Winkler.
Lawrence Winkler, being opposed to slavery, decided to leave North Carolina
and seek a home in one of the free States. Therefore, in 1806 he, with his
family left North Carolina, intending to locate at
Steubenville Ohio, where he had relatives, but after traveling to some point in Virginia was obliged to stop on account of sickness, and finally settled down and remained there until the year 1814. However, he still had a desire to move on to Ohio, and in 1814 his family and affairs were in such shape that he decided to investigate the new territory. Therefore, in April, 1814, he started, taking with him his son John, who was then in has fifteenth year. They took one horse on which to carry provisions and ride them about. They also took one cow and calf. They crossed the Ohio River at Steubenville, where some relatives lived, and where he had expected to locate. Not being pleased with the country there, he obtained considerable information about the country farther north, and decided to travel on to northern Ohio. His brother-in-law, Jacob Brakefield, had preceded him, and already located in what is now Wayne County, Ohio. The country was almost an unbroken wilderness. After they left Canton, Ohio, it was with great difficulty he found his way, and arrived at the cabin of Jacob Brakefield safe, but weary and foot-sore. They were greatly encouraged by the glowing account that this brother-in-law gave of the splendid opportunities to all who wished to make a home for their families in this new country.
After a few days' rest, and with Mr. Brakefield as guide, they started out to look up a location. The land was all grown over with heavy timber, and there were but two log cabins in what is now known as Green Township. He had almost first choice of location, and selected a half section of land three miles west of where Orrville, Ohio, is now located, and known as section twenty-two. He lost no time in returning to Canton, where there had been a land office established. He paid for and received an absolute title to the land. On returning he set to work immediately with the help of his son John to build a camp to shelter them from the weather and wild animals, also to erect pens for their horse, cow and calf. The calf they kept in a pen so the cow would not stray away during the day. They cleared a small place and planted some potatoes, getting the seed from Mr. Brakefield. They then staked off four acres and commenced the laborious task of chopping down trees, piling and burning the brush, and preparing logs with which to build a cabin. This required very hard work, and it took a man of strong constitution and heroic spirit to face the trying situation, but Lawrence Winkler never knew the word fail. His son, John, was a great help and comfort to him as there were often two or three weeks at a time that they did not see the face of a whiteman. The Indians were numerous and often called at their camp, but were peaceable and friendly.
While in this camp there were six consecutive nights in June during which
the most terrible thunder and lightning, wind and rain storms prevailed that
Mr. Winkler ever saw during his life. As he described it, the "heavens
and even the woods seemed to be in a blaze of fire, and the memory of the
sight and experience remained vividly with him during life. Their camp being
open at one end, they had very little protection from the storm. They afterwards
gave thanks to a higher power for what they considered a miraculous escape
from death. He with his heroic son endured three months of hard and patient
toil, working only as a brave man, husband and father could, who had left
the loved ones behind, and braved the dense forests, Indians and wild animals
to hew out and prepare a home, then return and bring his dear ones to the
new home. With this inspiration in the hearts of Mr. Winkler and his son,
they were happy even in that dreary wilderness suffering serious dangers and
privations, laboring hard, but looking forward to the time they would be settled
happily in their new home. At the end of three months they had finished clearing
and preparing logs for a house and wended their way back to Virginia. Ihere
they disposed of their property, and on the 1st of October set out with the
family for their new home. Their Journey was very slow and tedious, and they
met with many inconveniences and delays, being compelled to cut a road for
the wagon in many places. On what they expected to be the last day of their
journey they had hoped to reach their new home, but toward evening the sky
became cloudy, night set in early, and they were compelled to halt, make camp,
and remain until morning. When daylight came they discovered they were only
twelve rods from their new home. On the third day after their arrival Lawrence
Winkler sent his son John to invite what few men he could find to assist him
in raising the cabin, as they had prepared the logs on their first visit.
Several families had moved into the surrounding country during the Summer,
and the son found seven men who cheerfully responded to the call for help
to raise the cabin next day, and by dark they had the cabin, which was 18
x 20, raised, and under roof. Just as they had finished five land hunters
came along, and sought lodging for the night. Lawrence cut a door in the cabin,
built a fire and lodged them until morning. The family were now happily located
in their long looked for new home in a free State, where they could live in
peace, and proceed by hard labor to clear off their land, and carve out their
Lawrence and Fannie Winkler were the parents of nine children, as follows:
REBECCA born March 11, 1797, Burke County, North Carolina, died 1887.
JOHN Born April 22, 1799, Burke County, North Carolina, died May 22, 1886, Green Township, Wayne County, Ohio.
GEORGE Born May 6, 1801, Burke County, North Carolina, died July 28, 1877, Chester Township, Wayne County, Ohio.
JAMES Born Feb. 1804, Burke County, North Carolina, died 1846.
LYDIA Born Sept. 8, 1806, Virginia, died 1878.
MARY Born Dec. 11, 1809, Virginia, Died Dec. 14, 1826, Green Township, Wayne County, Ohio,
EADY Born April 18, 1812, Virginia, Died, 1896, Indiana.
JACOB Born March 6, 1815, Green Township, Wayne County, Ohio, died Sept 1890, Chester Township, Wayne Co., Ohio.
ENOCH Born June 8, 1819, Chester Township, Wayne County, Ohio,
All of these children grew up to be men and women, married and raised families of their own, except Mary, who died in her eighteenth year.
Rebecca, John, George and James wore born in Burke County, North Carolina; Lydia, Mary and Eady were born in West Virginia; Jacob and Enoch were born in Wayne County, Ohio. All the sons chose farming as their occupation, and were successful. Each one accumulated a competence that was greatly enjoyed in their old age.
The children always attributed a great deal of their success In life to their
parents, who set them a worthy example by their perseverance, industry, frugality
and honorable life, with a firm reliance In a higher power. Their teaching
and example had a gentle influence that remained with the children through
Lawrence and Fannie Winkler lived in comfort to a good old age, and passed away in their home north of Wooster, and are now resting side by side in the Wayne Presbyterian Church Yard.
Lawrence Winkler died March 4, 1848.
Fannie Winkler died June 20, 1859.
The many descendants of this noble couple are proud of the honorable and useful life they lived, and the community in general is butter for their having lived. The writer shall not endeavor in this history to trace any of the sons or daughters of Lawrence and Fannie Winkler, except John Winkler, who is the oldest son of Lawrence and Fannie Winkler and the grandfather of the writer.