John Carver Winans, 49er

John Carver Winans was one of several Winans pioneers who came to California among the gold-seekers known as 49ers. His departure from New York City was described in this article in the 6 Feb 1849 New York Herald:


Sailing of the Strafford - departure of the New York Mining Company
This noble bark, with her precious living freight, got under weigh and stood out to sea at an early hour Sunday morning, accompanied by the steam boat Samson and a host of friends, who sought this last opportunity of bidding farewell and God-speed to as noble band of adventurers as ever left their homes for a country "far off and distant." ...
The following list of officers and members was kindly furnished by Mr. Freeman, the active and gentlemanly secretary:--
J. W. Winans, Finance Committee
J. C. Winans

The J. W. Winans who was mentioned in the article turned out to be Joseph Webb Winans, while J. C. Winans is John Carver Winans, his first cousin who is listed in Alice Winans Egy's Winans Family Genealogy as [1-5-6-2-9-2].

Many details of John C. Winans' life can be found in his obituary, which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle of 16 Jul 1903:


John Carver Winans, Secretary of Realty Syndicate, Dies Suddenly at Home.

JOHN CARVER WINANS, secretary of the Realty Syndicate, died on Friday last [10 July 1903] at his home, 1533 Sacramento street. He had passed the day at his office, and, returning home in the evening, was preparing for dinner when he fell unconscious and died in a few minutes.

He was a member of the Merchants' Association, and also of the Pioneers' society. The funeral services were held in Trinity Church, from whence the remains were taken to the Odd Fellows' Cemetery, where the Pioneers paid their last tribute to their honored and respected brother, John Carver Winans, born in New York, November 2, 1828, was the son of a distinguished merchant, John C. Winans,1 whose ancestors were among the first settlers of Manhattan.

He received his education in New York, and at the age of 17 entered the office of an Engllsh importing house on Pearl street. In New York, during the winter of 1848, he was one of 100 men banded together under the name of the New York Mining Company, with a written constitution, which each one was required to sign. They drafted by-laws, bought and provisioned the bark Strafford, and, amid the ice flow from the Hudson, on Sunday morning, February 4, 1849, set sail for California. After a delightful voyage of seven months they reached port and sailed up the river to Sacramento, where the ship was used as a clubhouse and headquarters for the members, but where each man was his own cook. After a brief stay Mr. Winans went up to Murderers' Bar, on the Middle Fork of the American river, where he engaged in mining for about twelve months. He then returned to Sacramento and entered the merchandising business on an extensive scale, which he continued until the fall of 1852, when he came to San Francisco.

In 1862 he purchased a seat in the pioneer San Francisco Stock Exchange Board, where for many years he did an extensive and prosperous business, and accumulated considerable wealth. In 1853 he made a trip to the Atlantic States, remaining nearly a year, and in 1857 was married and lived in his country home at Menlo Park. Some years afterward, accompanied by his family, he made a tour of Europe.

After severing his connections with the stock exchange he embarked in the manufacturing business, which was also crowned with success. In 1894 Mrs. Wlnans died, after which time he and the daughters moved to San Francisco, where they have since resided. Mr, Winans was a member of the Bohemian Club, and, notwithstanding his advanced years, he would roll his blankets and journey to the "midsummer jinks" with the same zeal and enjoyment of younger men.

Of the 100 that set sail that Sunday morning in tht springtime of youth, only three remain.

Marriage. John Carver Winans was married 24 Dec 1858 to Mrs. Jane Maria (Everett) Wheeler, who was born in New York about 1830.

Children. John and Jane had the following children:

  1. Florence Ulyn Winans, born 28 Sep 1859 in San Francisco.
  2. Blanche Winans, born 4 Dec 1864 in San Francisco.

At the time of the 1870 census, John and Jane and their children were living on their farm in Sonoma, about 50 miles north of San Francisco.

1 John Carver Winans' father is John Calvin Winans [1-5-6-2-9].
Last updated: 13 Apr 2009.