Obit: Winters, John Merrille (1827 - 1922)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Winters, Hitchcock

----Source: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Thursday; 02/23/1922 Winters, John Merrille (18 Sept. 1827 - 2 Feb. 1922)

John Merrille Winters, one of the oldest residents in Clark county died at the home of his son, T. M. Winters in Shortville Feb. 16, 1922, aged 94 years, 4 months, and 28 days.

Mr. Winters was born in Genessee County, New York, Sept. 18, 1827. From boyhood on till he was 34 years of age he worked at the carpenter trade. He then enlisted in the Civil War as member of the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves with whom he served three years. After his discharge he moved to Waukesha County, Wis., where he re-enlisted in the 7th Wisconsin Infantry and served six months, till the end of the war. He took part in the Grand Review held at Washington D. C. at the close of the war and had the honor of shaking hands with President Lincoln.

After the war he came to Waupaca county, and there married to Sarah Hitchcock. They moved to Clark county in the fall of 1867 and took homestead in Section 2, town of Washburn, later moving to Section 4, where they developed a farm which was their home till 1917; at that time their house burned and since then they have made their home with their son, T. M. Winters.

Mr. Winters took an active part in developing the wilderness into a farming community. Soon after coming to Washburn he built a sawmill which he ran for years, a part of the time acting as a timber cruiser. He worked at the carpenter trade, cleared land on his farm and sometimes worked in camp in winter. He took an active part it public affairs; he served as assessor and as town clerk for several years and helped in the organization of the local school district. He was one of those men who led the way and to whom the present and future generations owe much of the constructive work done in pioneer times.

As a pioneer Mr. Winters had many hardships and thrilling experiences. The trip from Waupaca county to the town of Washburn was made with an ox team and took a week’s time. From Grand Rapids he blazed out a trail. Some of the hills on the route were so steep that a tree was cut down and tied behind the wagon to hold it as they descended the hill. Mr. Winters’ saw mill was the first built in the town of Washburn.

He leaves his wife, and three children: Levi of Ladysmith, Thomas of Shortville and William of Tripoli, Wis., also 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren. The funeral was held at Shortville church, Saturday, Rev. W.T. Scott officiating.



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