Richard and Hester Winans

The biography below appeared in the Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL, 1887, and was provided by cousin Glen Richard Winans. Although the people mentioned in it are only distantly related to me, I included it in this Carey Family Album because I found it to be a moving and interesting description of pioneer life, such as many of our other family members must have experienced as they trekked westward.

HESTER A. WINANS was born in Harrison County, Ohio, October 31, 1837. Her parents were Samuel and Margaret (Beeman) Heaviline, the former a native of New York, and the latter of Maryland. Her paternal grandparents were Samuel and Mary (Layport) Heaviline. Her maternal grandparents were Moses and Sarah (Poland) Beeman. In 1851 her parents immigrated to this county, locating in Blue Creek Township, where her father purchased forty acres of land, which was entirely uncultivated, but there were about ten acres partially cleared. At this time the family consisted of parents and ten children, all of whom were living:

  1. Christina J., born August 10, 1828;
  2. James L, born May 30, 1831;
  3. Enoch J., born October 20, 1833;
  4. Joseph, born December 12, 1835;
  5. Hester A., born October 31, 1837;
  6. Sarah E., born July 20, 1840;
  7. Mary M., born November 13, 1842;
  8. Rebecca J., born January 15, 1846;
  9. Samuel 0. D., born January 31, 1849, and
  10. Iantha L., born March 30, 1851.

August 27, 1863, Hester Heaviline was united in marriage with Richard Winans, who was a descendant of one of the oldest and most honorable of the pioneer families in St. Mary's Township. His father, Benjamin B. Winans, came from Miami County, Ohio, to St. Mary's Township in the fall of 1836, bringing a load of goods and entering his land. He left two sons, one daughter and one son-in-law in the new home, then returned to Ohio. In February, the following year, he returned to his home in Indiana, bringing his movable goods, the remainder of his family and his stock.

Thus equipped, the father of Richard Winans began the development of this wild tract of land, consisting of 244.65 acres. A little cabin, 16 x 16 feet, was all the room the family of fourteen children had to live in. When beds were spread upon the floor the entire space was occupied, and great fears were entertained lest the bedding should take fire. At this time matches were unknown, and the pioneer depended upon the stump or log heap to keep him supplied with that essential article. Sometimes flint was used to start the fire; and in cases of emergency the early settler would go to the nearest neighbor, perhaps two or three miles away, and borrow fire. Thousands of ways were improvised by the pioneer. The milk, which was kept until in proper condition, would be confined in a vessel and placed in a wagon, and as the emigrant pursued his lonely journey over rough and almost impassable roads, the jostling and shaking wagon would churn the butter; and at the next camping place the delighted family would regale themselves on hot pone, fresh butter and roast venison.

Richard and Hester Winans moved upon a farm of 160 acres, one mile west of the village of Pleasant Mills, which Mr. Winans owned previous to his marriage. A commodious frame dwelling was erected and other improvements were made; although obliged to pay over $3,000 bail bonds, he nevertheless left a handsome property to his wife and children at his death, which occurred October 5, 1885. Mr. Winans served the people in many capacities - constable, deputy sheriff, administrator and guardian, being at one time guardian of tweny-eight wards. He served as township trustee two terms, and was a liberal contributor to educational and religious enterprises. When there was need the hand of Richard Winans was always extended, and never empty. He was an expert mechanic, being a mason by occupation as well as a farmer. He was a devoted member of the Masonic fraternity, and was buried with all the rites and sacred honors of this institution. Seven children were left, as follows:

  1. Samuel A., born February 24, 1849;
  2. Jasper H., born December 14,1851;
  3. Sarah I., born December 14, 1854;
  4. Joseph D., born January 27, 1858;
  5. Charles S., born February 22, 1862;
  6. Ira F., born June 6, 1864, and
  7. William H., born November 17, 1865.

Charles S. served five years in the regular army, having enlisted September 27, 1881, and being mustered out September 27, 1886. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal for meritorious service. His was the First Regiment Company I, United States Infantry. Jasper H. is a minister of the Baptist church at Warsaw, Indiana, having been ordained in 1878. The children have all acquired a liberal education, two of whom are teachers. Mrs. Winans taught several terms previous to her marriage. She is a member of the Missionary Baptist church, and is very comfortably situated in the old homestead. Her son Ira F., and his wife, Geneva Cowens, make their home with her. The Cowens belong to the honored and respected pioneer families.

The biography implies, but doesn't mention, that Hester is Richard's second wife. Mrs. Egy's book lists Rosabelle Flagg as Richard's wife. She appears in the 1850 and 1860 censuses in St. Mary's township as Rosabell, along with all the right children. Daughter Sarah's name is given as Isabel. 79-year-old Benjamin, listed as B. B. Winans is in Richard's household, working at "farm labor"! I was unable to locate any record of a marriage for a Richard Winans in the Indiana State Library's usually very complete data base of marriages through 1850. It is possible Richard and Rosabell tied the knot a few miles away in Ohio.

For further information on Richard's descendants, please visit Charles' great-granddaughter Cathy (Allen) Carey's page.

Last updated: 14 Apr 2014.