Ira and Minerva Winans

Ira Winans was one of the "seven heroic Winans brothers" who served in the American Civil War. We've accumulated so much information on his life, and on his descendants, thanks to cousins Jay Winans (his great-great-grandson) and Glen Winans, that we felt it would be appropriate to give him a page of his own in our Carey Family Album.

Ira Winans and his family settled in Harvey county, Kansas, in 1870, living first in Darlington township, then in the town of Newton, which is about 25 miles due north of Wichita. His descendants continued to live there until recent times and their obituaries in the local newspaper have provided us much interesting information. Ira Winans' biography is taken from the Harvey county section of William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL:

IRA WINANS, farmer, section 10, P. O. Newton, owns 160 acres, ninety acres in cultivation, twelve in orchard and three in cultivated timber and a good frame dwelling and about thirty head of stock. He was born in Ohio in 1827 and moved from there to Indiana where he spent a number of years, then to Minnesota and Missouri and from there to Kansas, locating on his present farm in the fall of 1870, being one of the first settlers in Darlington Township, and building the first house in this locality.

He entered the service in 1861, in Company B, Thirty-first Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was in the battle of Fort Donelson where he was severely wounded and was discharged on a surgeon's certificate of disability from effects of wound.

He was married in 18501 and has seven children: Mr. W. is a member of the First Baptist Church in Newton also a member of the G. A. R. Has been treasurer of the School Board for four years and Township Supervisor of Roads. His sons, Carmi H., Winans and John W. are now farming the place, their father being disabled from performing manual labor.

During the winter of 1875 and '76, following the grasshopper visitation, the family being large, were compelled to make extra exertions to supply their wants, and so two sons, Isaac A. and John W. went with a team with their neighbors on the ranch to kill buffalo for meat, and the hides of which were some value. During the time, they suffered great privations, being chased by Indians, but fortunately escaped and were snowed in a great distance from the frontier and had to subsist on buffalo meat alone for twenty-one days. They were, however, very successful, the party having killed about 400 buffalo and came in after the storm with wagons loaded with meat and buffalo hides.

He was one of the delegates to the first Republican Convention ever held in Harvey County.

Ira's biography neglects to mention his wife, but Jay filled in the following information on his great-great-grandmother:

Minerva, Ira's wife, by the way, was also from a very old American family. She was born Minerva Esther Hollenbeck in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, to Aramont Hollenbeck and Louisa Larkins. Her father, Aramont, served in the War of 1812 and lived to be about one hundred years old as well. The Hollenbecks originally settled in New York near Albany and the Larkinses were from Rhode Island, both families settling back in the mid-1600s.

According to her lines in the 1870 and 1880 censuses, Minerva was born about 1833. Her tombstone lists her birth date as 16 Mar 1833. Judging by the birthplaces recorded for their children in both of these censuses, Ira and Minerva must have moved their family from Minnesota back to Indiana from about 1860 to 1868, before moving on to Missouri. After the move to Kansas, Ira Winans requested an increase in his Civil War soldier's pension, writing the following letter:

Ira Winans, Aged 70, P. O. Newton Kans., I received the enclosed letter from my Atty. John C. Johnston and reported to Winfield Kansas and was examined and I had the order signed by the Secretary of the board, and I gave the order to my Atty. who entered the same on the Jacket containing the papers in my case and the entry shows that the order was forwarded to the pension department June 27, 1896. I am now and always have been ready to comply with any order from your department, that it was in my power to comply with. I hereby file my Attys letter in evidence of my compliance.

The attorney's letter, which Ira forwarded, is noteworthy for its description of Ira's disabilities and their causes:

John C. Johnston,
U. S. Claim Attorney and Notary Public.
Newton, Kansas, May 5 1896

Ira Winans Sergt. Co. B, 31st Regt. Inda Vol Infty Cert #29,977, age 68 years. $16.00 per mo. Topeka, Kansas, pensioned for "Gun shot wound of right arm and disease of left eye" Application for Increase, on account of "Increase of disability of right arm, Increase of disability of left eye and total deafness of left ear, the deafness being the result of the exposure caused by lying on the ground which was covered by Snow at Ft. Donaldson, Tenn, Feby 14, 1862, during the siege of Ft. Donaldson, from which exposure he contracted a bad cold, which settled in the left side of his head and resulted in the total loss of left eye and the total deafness of the left ear together with wound in right arm has rendered him totally unable to perform even the lightest of Manual labor. He requests that he be ordered before the examining board at Winfield Kansas.

Ira and Minerva Winans' later years were marred by the sudden death of their son, Ira Edward "Ed" Winans, which was reported at length on the front page of the Friday 28 Apr 18992 edition of the Newton Evening Kansan-Republican:



Was Down Town Last Night, in Good Spirits and Apparently in the Best of Health--An Inquest Being Held This Afternoon.

From Saturday's Daily.

Ed Winans was found dead in his bed this morning2 at the home of his father, Ira Winans, 426 East Eighth Street.

The cause of his death is a mystery. He is a robust man, about twenty-eight years of age, and always considered healthy and vigorous. He was down in town last night and attended the Mission prayer meeting on Fifth street till ten oclock, when he went home. There are conflicting stories as to his feeling sick last night. Some of his associates say he complained and they wanted to go home with him. He left the prayer meeting before it closed. He was in Lew Ball's store before going home. This was about ten o'clock, and Mr. Ball says he was as jolly as ever then. His mother said he came home and read a paper before going to bed. He had not been complaining of late, other than he has done for the last year. His stomach seemed to trouble him.

He had a job of painting to do today, but as it was raining his parents did not go to his room at the usual breakfast hour. About nine o'clock his father went upstairs to call him and found him dead. The body lay in the bed with the head over the side.

Coroner McKee was summoned immediately. He found the body partially warm, indicating that death had come but a short time before. The doctor examined the body hurriedly and found the stomach very hard.

The corpse was taken to a downstairs room and left until an inquest could be held this afternoon. The following jury was summoned. E. E. Pollard, B. F. Evans, P. Becker, C. Cooke, C. E. Brining and Chas. Johnson.

Winans was a single man and lived with his father, who is an old soldier. He was in the employe of the Santa Fe at the round house several years ago, but went out in the strike of 1894.

Since that time, he has been doing odd jobs around the city. He was an industrious man, of a jolly and companionable nature and well liked. He was a good son and the parents are prostrated over his death.

He was the youngest of seven children: Isaac, now in Old Mexico; Carmi H., in Missouri; J. William, in Round Grove, Oklahoma; George C., formerly in the employ of the water works, but now in Oklahoma; Bradford G., a Santa Fe engineer of this city, and Mrs. Lillie Haas of Arkansas City.

At the time of going to press no arrangements have been made for the funeral yet.

From Monday's Daily.

Ed Winans' Funeral.

The coroner's jury Saturday afternoon brought in a verdict that Ed Winans, who was found dead in his bed Saturday morning, came to his death from natural causes.

The funeral was held Sunday afternoon, the services being conducted at the home on East Eighth street by Rev. W. A. Elliott. A large number of sympathizing friends were present, there being three times as many outside as inside the house. The procession to the cemetery was long.

Ira Winans' obituary, from an unidentified newspaper, follows:


Ira Winans Passes Away at His Home On East Eighth Street.

The death of Ira Winans, one of the early settlers of Harvey county, and an aged and highly respected citizen, occured this morning at about four o'clock. For five years or more Mr. Winans' health has been poor and the last few weeks he has declined rapidly. His ailment was a complication of diseases, chiefly heart trouble.It was known to the relatives that Mr. Winans' condition was not hopeful and the death was not entirely unexpected. Day before yesterday, Mr. Winans complained of feeling bad although he did not seem to be in a serious condition. Yesterday his condition was much better and he seemed to be in good spirits. This morning about four o'clock he left the bedroom for a few minutes and upon his return remarked that he was feeling fine and would probably have a good day. He lay down on the bed, and in less than five minutes was dead. Death came quickly and painlessly and with hardly a tremor of the body his soul passed to the great beyond.

Ira Wlnans was born in Pickaway,3 Ohio, June 1st, 1827. He moved from there to Indiana where he spent a number of years, then moved to Mlnnesota and Missouri and finally to Kansas, locating on a farm in Darlington township in the fall of 1870, being one of the first settlers in Darlington township and building the first house in that locality. He enlisted in the Union army as a sergeant in Company B of the 31st Indiana Volunteer Infantry September 5th, 1861, and was discharged September 29th. 1862, on account of a gun shot wound la the right forearm received in tho battle of Fort Donaldson. He was married November 19, 1850,1 in Cloverdale, Putnam county, Ind., and to the union seven children were born, Isaac A., John W., Carmi H., George C., Bradford G., Lillie M., and Ira E. The eldest son, Isaac, is now in San Blas, Mexico. John W. is on a farm thirty-five miles from Guthrie, Ok. The daughter is now Mrs. Geo. Haas and resides with her husband in Guthrie. The youngest son, Ed, died suddenly about two years ago. Most of the children will be here for the funeral. The deceased became a member of the Baptist church when eighteen years of age and during his residence in Harvey county, had been identified with the first Baptist church of Newton. He was one of the charter members of Judson Kllpatrick post of the G. A. R., having become a member of that organization January 14, 1882. Mr. Winans was one of the delegates to the first republican convention ever held in Harvey county.

The funeral services wlll be held Sunday afternoona at two o'ciock at the family home, 426 East Eighth street. Rev. W. A. Elliott will officiate and Judaon Kllpatrlck post will bo in charge.

The description of Ira Winans' funeral and burial appeared on page 4 of the Newton Evening Kansan-Republican for 7 April 1902:


Funeral Was Largely Attended By Friends and Old Soldiers.

The funeral of Ira Winans, who died Friday morning [4 Apr 1902], was held at the family residence on East Eighth street, Sunday afternoon at two p. m.

At that hour Judson Kilpatrick Post No. 30, G. A. R., of which the deceased was a charter member, met at the post hall and forming in procession carrying the flag and the banner of the post, marched to the residence. The attendance of the old soldiers and comrades was very large, showing the esteem in which Comrade Winans was held by those with whom he fought in a common cause thirty-eight years ago. At the residence a very large concourse of friends and neighbors had gathered. The funeral services at the house were conducted by Rev. W. A. Elliott, pastor of the Baptist Church of which the deceased was a member, assisted by Rev. C. J. Howes of the M. E. church.

The music was furnished by the choir of the Baptist church. The funeral discourse by Rev. Elliott was a very touching and appropriate one and was attentively listened to by all who could find room in the dwelling and many on the outside who could get near enough to the open doors or windows to hear. At the conclusion of the services at the residence, the post took charge and escorted the remains to the cemetery where they were deposited in the tomb by loving comrades according to the impressive rites of the order.

The pall bearers were selected from the post and were comrades Mears, Kempinsky, Burgener, Eppell, Sykes and Fessler.

Minerva Winans' obituary is from page 4 of the Newton Evening Kansan-Republican for 4 Jan 1916:


Newton relatives and friends are in receipt of the news of the death of Mrs. Ira Winans, which occurred last night at her home in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where she had been living with her son George Winans. Mrs. Winans was for many years a resident of Newton, having come here with her husband before there was really any Newton. Her son, Bradford Winans, still lives here and her niece, Miss Minnie Gilchrees, and the body will be brought here for interment, the funeral service to be held at the home of B. G. Winans, 411 East Second street tomorrow afternoon at two thirty.

Mrs. Winans is survived by four sons, Will, C. H., B. G. and George, and a daughter, Mrs. George Haas, of Guthrie. Her son, C. H. lives in California and cannot arrive here in time for the funeral. It is probable that her other children will be present and her granddaughter, Mrs. Cora Finefrock, of Arkansas City, and a nephew, G. I. Winans, of Manhattan.

Mrs. Winans was eighty-three years of age and has led a long and useful life. She leaves a host of friends to mourn with her children in their loss.

Jay tells us he has never seen a photograph of Ira or Minerva. If some other descendant has photos of either of them, we hope they'll get in touch and share the pictures.

Ira and Minerva's son, Bradford G. Winans, remained in Newton, KS, the rest of his life. The news of his death appeared in the 14 Sep 1932 edition of the Newton Evening Kansan-Republican:

B. G. Winans

Friends received the distressing word this morning of the death of B. G. Winans of 825 East Fourth, which occurred suddenly in Los Angeles, Calif., Tuesday morning [13 Sep 1932], as he and his two sons were preparing to return home from a California vacation trip upon which they started from Newton August 3.

Mr. Winans was a retired Santa Fe engineer, but was apparently in good health when he left Newton and up until the time he was stricken. He was accompanied on the motor trip to the west coast by his two sons, [William] Ira (Sonny) Winans and Bradford, Jr. His daughter, Mrs. J. Ransom Cook, the former Miss Esther Winans, resides in McPherson to which place she moved from Newton last summer.

Mrs. Winans died two years ago.

No details were received in the telegram to friends here, but it is presumed that he will be brought to Newton for burial.

The obituary of Bradford's wife, Sarah (Thomas) Winans, was printed in the Kansan-Republican's 19 May 1930 edition:

Mrs. Bradford G. Winans

Friends of Mrs. Bradford G. Winans were shocked and saddened Sunday to learn of her death which occurred at Bethel hospital Sunday morning [18 May 1930] as the result of complications resulting from kidney trouble. Mrs. Winans had submitted to an operation a week ago for removal of an infected kidney hut her life could not be saved.

She was but fifty seven years of age, and seemed young to be taken from her family and friends.

For many years her home has been at 325 East Fourth street where she and Mr. Winans have reared a fine family of one daughter and two sons, Esther, now Mrs. J. R. Cook of Hutchinson, William now of Los Angeles and Bradford G. Jr. who is a senior in the Newton High school. Her husband a Santa Fe engineer and the younger son, Bradford are the only ones left in the home now that the mother has left them.

Funeral services will be held in the Congregational church Thursday afternoon at 2:30 with the pastor Rev. Fred Smith in charge with Rev. J. E. Coe of First Methodist church assisting.

Interment will be in Greenwood cemetery.

Friends wishing to see Mrs. Winans may call Wednesday afternoon at the parlors of Duff and Son.

Bradford and Sarah's son, Bradford D. Winans, also lived in Newton. This is his obituary, from the Newton Kansan for 22 Oct 1979:

Bradford D. Winans

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the chapel at Petersen's Funeral Home for Bradford D. Winans, 66, a lifelong resident of Newton and a retired Santa Fe Railway switchman, who died Sunday in Bethel Deaconess Hospital.

The Rev. Keith Dudeck will officiate. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery. Friends may call at Petersen's this evening and until service time Tuesday.

The family requests memorial gifts to the Newton Hospice or the First United Methodist Church. They may be left with the staff of the funeral home.

Mr. Winans was born Jan. 5, 1913, the son of Bradford G. and Sarah Thomas Winans. He married Dorothy Flower in February of 1933.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, the U.T.U. and the Newton Masonic Lodge.

Survivors beside his wife include two sons, Byron D., Dodge City, and Bradford P., Arma; three daughters, Mrs. Reno (Sally) Rizzo, Omaha, Neb., Mrs. Rudy (Diane) Ludwig, Hays, and Mrs. Keith (Rosemary) Stuckey, Burrton; a sister, Mrs. J. R. Cook, Greensboro, Md., and five grandchildren.

Bradford D.'s wife Dorothy's obituary appeared in the Kansan for 7 Aug 1996:

Dorothy K. Winans

Dorothy K. Winans, 82, 308 E. 10th, died Tuesday (Aug. 6, 1996) at the Western Plains Regional Hospital in Dodge City.

She was born Oct. 17, 1913, in Newton to Stanley Flowers and Irene Peters Flowers. She married Bradford D. "Brad" Winans in Newton on Feb. 22, 1933. He died Oct. 21, 1979.

She was a lifetime Newton resident and homemaker. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Twentieth Century Club and Ladies Sewing Club, all of Newton.

Survivors include two sons, Byron D. Winans of Dodge City and Brad P. Winans of Newton; three daughters, Sally Rizzo of Downingtown, Pa., Diane Ludwig of Salina and Rosemary Stucky of Halstead; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two sons, Bradford K. and Thomas V.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Petersen's Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Mike Keating of the First United Methodist Church officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

Friends may call from 1 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be sent to the First United Methodist Church in care of the funeral home.

Their son Tommy's obituary appeared in the Kansan 20 Feb 1957:

Thomas V. Winans

Thomas Vane Winans, 20-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Bradford D. Winans, died this morning at the home, 1025 N. Walnut.

He had been an invalid for several years after suffering an injury as a child.

Thomas was born Nov. 22, 1936 at Salina but had spent most of his life in Newton.

The family are members of the Congregational Church.

In addition to the parents, Thomas is survived by three sisters, Sally, Diane and Rosemary, and two brothers, Byron and Bradford Jr., of the home; his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. H. Vane Shambaugh, and great grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Peters, all of Newton.

Funeral services will be conducted Friday at 10 a.m. at the Congregational Church. The Rev. David Railsback will officiate and burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

The body will lie in state Thursday afternoon and evening at Moody's Funeral Chapel.

After Bradford D. Winans' death, his widow Dorothy married a man who was such a remarkable individual that I couldn't resist including his obituary, from the Newton Kansan Online, 3 Jun 2003, even though his relationship to our family is somewhat distant:

Albert E. McRae

Albert E. McRae, 102, died Monday (June 2, 2003) at Friendly Acres Retirement Community in Newton.

He was born Feb. 12, 1901, to Albert and Jennie (Rampy) McRae in LeCompton. They preceded him in death. He married Una Mae Hayden in 1940. She preceded him in death in 1984. He married Dorothy Winans. She preceded him in death in 1996,

He graduated from LeCompton High School and worked for the Santa Fe Railroad as a wire chief in the communication department from 1920 until his retirement in 1968. He was well known at the Newton Public Golf Course. If the temperature was above 50 degrees, he played golf He walked two or three times a day. He also enjoyed feeding the birds and squirrels around the yard.

He is survived by his wife's family, many grandchildren and two sons in California.

Visitation will be from 1 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Petersen Funeral Home.

Graveside service will be 2 p.m. Thursday at Greenwood Cemetery with Chaplain Peter Hartman of Hospice Care of Kansas officiating.

Memorials have been established with Friendly Acres Retirement Community in care of the funeral home.

1 Glen has a copy, transcribed in 1902, of Ira and Minerva's marriage license from his pension file, which shows that his brother, Rev. William Winans, joined Ira and Minerva in marriage.
2 There's some uncertainty here as to the date of Ed Winans' death and burial. The story above is taken from two separate photocopies which seem to overlap, with the first photocopy ending on the words "but as it was raining his parents did" and the second beginning with the words "as he has done for the last year" and extending through the end of the article. The first photocopy, with its large headline, was of the front page of an evening newspaper clearly dated April 28, 1899. That date fell on a Friday. Could the reference at the very beginning of the article to Saturday's Daily be to the next day's edition, which would have been in process even as Friday evening's edition was being distributed? Ed's grave marker indicates he died Apr. 28, 1899.
3 This is not a misspelling of Piqua, as I once thought. There is a Pickaway county south of Columbus, Ohio, which includes a Pickaway township.
Last updated: 11 Mar 2012.