Winans Articles

Articles in this page:
David S.
E. H.
H. E.
J. Cory
Captain J. J.
Ross R.
Susan S.
Thomas D.
William L.
See also:
Winans obituaries
Winans photo album
Isaac Huntting

This is a collection of articles about miscellaneous Winans relatives who don't have their own biographical pages elsewhere in this Carey Family Album. If they are listed in Alice Winans Egy Woolley's book, we'll include links to their pages in our transcription of that book. This page will include a few obituaries or other death notices for people we can identify. We have a separate page which contains the obituaries of a number of other Winans whom we can't identify.

Some of these articles were transcribed from very old photocopies which weren't very legible. We've done the best we can with what's available. If you can provide clearer copies, please let us know. You're also welcome to send us your comments, or further information, or additional articles for this collection.

Ada (Winans) Troubetzkoy (1-5-6-2-4-1) (1831?-1917?):

Ex-mayor Smith Ely was at Milan on the 20th ult. as the guest of the Prince and Princess Troubitzkoy. The Princess will be pleasantly remembered by many as Miss Ada Winans, formerly of New-York.

New York Times, 31 Mar 1889

The following article appeared in a magazine published by Doane Academy, in Burlington, NJ. Although it is not clear who wrote the article, the magazine was edited by Pam Heckert:

From the Archives

Who was Ada Winans? Do you know her fascinating life story? I have to admit that I did not until I received an email from Diane Dallal, Director of Archaeology at a New York City firm. Ms Dallal was researching Ada for a chapter in New York Stories: Archaeology, Artifacts and People, a book she was writing with Meta Janowitz, that will be published in summer 2010.

Ada's father, Anthony van Arsdale Winans [1-5-6-2-4], was a New York City merchant who owned a warehouse that burned in the Great Fire of 1835. The remains of the warehouse, including some goods, were discovered over 150 years later. A clipping from a New York newspaper indicated that he had a daughter Ada. She was later found listed as a teacher of music in the 1860 federal census of Burlington.1 This led to Ms. Dallal contacting Doane Academy. After searching the handwritten entries in our student enrollment logs, I discovered that Ada had not only taught music at St. Mary's Hall, but also was an 1853 graduate.

She later traveled to Italy to study opera in the early 1860s, where she met and married Prince Peter Troubetzkoy, a member of a Russian dynasty. They settled in Villa Ada on the Lago Maggiore at Ghiffa, where they lived a Bohemian lifestyle. The family was very artistic – Ada in music and the Prince in botany and landscape design. Son Paolo was an internationally famed sculptor, and Pierre became a noted portrait painter.

I highly recommend reading Diane Dallal's book if you want to learn about one of our famous graduates. There are many other interesting biographies of New Yorkers included in it too. As an aside there is another book titled "Archie and Amelie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age" by D.M. Lucey. It is the story of southern aristocrat and goddaughter of General Robert E. Lee, Amelie Rives, and her stormy first marriage to John Armstrong "Archie" Chandler, great grandson of John Jacob Astor. After the divorce, she married Prince Pierre Troubetzkoy, Ada Winans' son. And so the saga continues–our colorful past! Google any of the above names for hours of interesting research!

Ivy Leaves, Fall 2009, page 4

Beatrice (Winans) de Béarn de Chalais (1-9-1-1-1-7-1-2-2) (1884-1907):



Romance That Promised Violent Termination Reaches Culmination In Secret Ceremony Before Parisian Mayor
Special Cable to The Herald.

PARIS. June 22.--The sensational romance of wealthy Miss Beatrix Winans of Baltimore and Newport and Prince [Henri] De Bearn de Chalais culminated today in their secret marriage by the mayor of the seventh arrondissement.

Incidentally De Bearn avoided a duel with Prince Hely de Sagan by dropping his title when the ceremony was performed. Prince Hely De Sagan had asserted that he was the only Frenchman living who had a right to the title of Prince De Chalais and that if De Bearn made use of the title when the marriage ceremony was performed he would challenge him to a duel.

De Bearn evidently notified the police that De Sagan intended interfering with the marriage and demanded that he be arrested if he made any disturbance. De Sagan went to the races unusually early today, avoiding the four detectives who had been assigned to search for him.

Los Angeles Herald, 23 Jun 1905, page 1


Baltimore Girl Married to the French Prince in Paris.

PARIS. June 24.--The marriage of Prince Henri de Béarn et de Chalais and Miss Beatrice Winans, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ross Winans of Baltimore, Md., was celebrated at noon to-day in the Church of Ste. Clotilde. There was a large and fashionable attendance, including Ambassador and Mrs. McCormick and many members of the old French aristocracy. The bridegroom is the head of the ancient family of Béarn-Brissac.

A wedding breakfast followed the ceremony. The Prince and Princess received many beautiful presents.

The Prince de Béarn was formerly an attaché of the French Embassy in Washington and was recently appointed a member of the Embassy in St. Petersburg. In the last few days Paris has been discussing a quarrel between the Prince and Prince Hélie de Sagan, who attacked M. de Béarn's right to the title of Prince de Chalais. There has been talk of a duel, but so far none has been fought.

In a statement defending his right to his second title the Prince de Béarn said:

"The title of Prince de Chalais, to which the rank of Grandee of Spain of the first class was attached by Philip V. by a cedula dated Oct. 1, 1714, in favor of Daniel Marie Anne de Talleyrand-Périgord, was recognized in France by Louis XIV., and was submitted to royal ordinance Aug. 29, 1774, regulating the transmission in France of the rank of Grandee and other Spanish honors as a consequence of an agreement between the royal houses of the two countries.

"The title was transmitted without interruption to the descendants of Daniel de Talleyrand-Périgord as far as Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, who died in 1883 without issue.

"The titles in the female line of this branch then reverted by virtue of the stipulation mentioned above to Cécile de Périgord, the last heir of the elder branch of the Talleyrand-Périgord family.

"She married, in 1873, Gaston de Galard de Béarn, my father, who died in 18[??], and then I inherited in my turn these titles and honors, which were recognized by a royal cedula under date of April 7, 1904, and published more than a year ago in official historical publications."

The following day Prince Hélie de Sagan published a reply in which he said:

"The Prince de Béarn purposely confuses matters in regard to the title 'Prince de Chalais' and that of Grandee of Spain, which latter distinction undoubtedly passes through the female line. The title of Prince de Chalais is much older and dates from the end of the twelfth century in François de Talleyrand and since then has never left his direct male line.

"I fail to see why it should now, contrary to all the laws and customs of France, be diverted from the legal course."

New York Times, 25 Jun 1905


The Former Miss Winans of Baltimore Left All to Him, But an Error Was Made.

Estate Was Divided Among Children and Suit of Prince to Recover It Finally Suceeds.

News of a substantial legal victory in the Court of Appeals of Maryland by Prince Louis de Bearn was received yesterday in this city by his counsel, Maurice Leon. By the decision of the court the Prince is adjudged the sole and absolute owner of the estate of his wife, who was Miss Beatrice Winans of Baltimore.

This is a decision of the Superior Court which overrules a previous decision in favor of Ross R. Winans, father of the late Princess, and Ferdinand Latrobe, former Mayor of Baltimore, and Trustee with Mr. Winans, of a trust fund held by them for the Princess. This fund, amounting to about $350,000 in securities, had been willed by the Princess to her husband.

Litigation over the fund arose over a division of the estate into three parts, one to the Prince and one each for his daughters, Princess Beatrice Neva, and his son, Prince Elie Ross Gaston. This division followed advice given to the Prince as to his rights by Judge Block of the Orphans' Court of Baltimore, and Manuel Jacobus, an American lawyer of Paris.

In the opinion of the lower court the Prince de Bearn had been badly advised in consenting to this division, holding that he was entitled to the whole of the trust fund, but that his action in signing various releases submitted to him by the trustees and consenting to the division, had destroyed his rights irrevocably. It was from this ruling that the Prince appealed, through his counsel, Maurice Leon.

Prince de Bearn explained his desire to overthrow the division of the estate by declaring that he regarded it as most undesirable that his children should come into tbe possession of large sums of money immediately upon attaining their majority. The court held that these apprehensions were well founded, but nevertheless decided against him. This extract from the opinion of tbe trial court, written by Judge Sharp, was cited by Mr. Leon in his brief on appeal:

Court Finds Nothing Wrong.

He (appellant) was entirely ignorant of the laws and procedure of this country. It was afterward (after he had signed the releases) when he had been positively and distinctly informed by counsel of his own selection that his right to the entire estate was certain, and that no grounds for controversy existed that a mistake had been made, and the whole matter had been explained to him that he first fully realized the consequences of what he had done--that he had given up a large sum, undoubtedly his own, had put himself and his children in a position of being at an annual expense of $500 for the premium on his bond as guardian, that the difficulties of managing such an estate, looking after investments, collection of income, &c., for one in his profession, which took him to remote parts of the world--he had just moved from St, Petersburg to China--might be great, that apprehensions again arose about the danger of his children, particularly his daughter, from receiving the entire control over such a large sum so early in life--apprehensions too often well founded, in such cases.

There is certainly no evidence in this case which warrants the inference that the plaintiff was influenced by unjust or mercenary motives, or was seeking to obtain anything which was not, by the intention of the donor, the terms of the deed, and the will of his wife, not legally and properly his own, as in fact it was.

It was natural for him to feel that his interests had been neglected by those in whom he trusted so implicitly.

Prince de Bearn has been in the diplomatic service of France for the past eight years. His title is one of the oldest in France. His full name and title are Louis Elie Joseph Henry de Galard, de Brassac de Bearn, Count and Prince de Bearn, prince of Chalais, Prince of Viana, Duke of Cantabrie, Count of Brassac and of Marsan, Marquis of Excideuill, Grandee of Spain of the first class. He is a second cousin of the Prince de Sagan. Miss Winans, whom the Prince married in France in 1905, was famous for her beauty and accomplishments. Her father, Ross R. Winans, was reputed to be the wealthiest citizen of Maryland. His estate is estimated at $30,000,000. Before the marriage the Prince relinquished his rights under the French law to the control of his wife's estate.

Gave All to Her Hnsband.

Mr. Winans settled upon his daughter a trust fund of $350,000 in bonds, making himself and ex-Mayor Latrobe of Baltimore the trustees. By the terms of the trust the Princess was to have the income of the bonds during life, with the right to will them as she please after her death. Five days after her marriage the Princess made a will naming her husband as sole beneficiary.

The marriage proved ideally happy. Mr. Winans stated publicly that he could not have wished for a better husband for his daughter. The Princess died Oct. 17, 1907, in St, Petersburg, where the Prince was attached to the French Embassy. After her death Mr. Winans wrote the Prince requesting that he make his home in Baltimore with his two children.

All the difficulty over the will arose over a doubt as to whether French law or the law of Maryland applied to it. The American lawyer of Paris to whom the Prince was referred by Mr. Winans wrote an opinion in which he held that French law applied and that the Prince was entitled only to a third of the trust fund.

Prince de Bearn made a journey to America and urged considerations against the division to his father-in-law and his co-trustee, Mr. Latrobe. The latter took him to the Orphans' Court, in Baltimore, where Judge Block advised him that the trust must be divided. This advice caused the Prince to yield and sign the releases asked by the trustees. He regretted the action when he learned that it was not necessary, and then he sought to undo it, but the trustees withheld consent, on account of legal doubts.

News of his victory on appeal was cabled yesterday to Prince de Bearn at Peking, where he is Secretary of the French Kmbassy. His cable of congratulation and thanks was received by Mr. Leon last night.

New York Times, 5 Dec 1909

David Sheldon Winans (1-7-2-10-10-1) (1834-1919):


South Side Resident Home from Long Trip on Wheel With Cousin, 69, Who Tips Scales at 215 Pounds.

David S. Winans of No. 108 McAllister avenue, 77 years of age, has put Dr. Osler to shame by completing a long bicycle trip, during one day of which he covered eighty-two miles.

For thirty years, Mr. Winans has ridden a wheel. He began when the bicycle craze swept over the country.

On his long eastern trip from which he has just returned Mr. Winans left Syracuse in the morning and spent the night in Herkimer, sixty-seven miles away. In reality he traveled eighty-two miles, owing to detours made around highways closed for improvement work and to a mistake in a route at Oneida, which took him to Sylvan Beach, six miles out of his way.

On the following day, Mr. Winans met a cousin, Gerardus Winans (1-7-2-6-11-4) of Schenectady, 69 years of age, at Canajoharie, and they wheeled together to Schenectady and from there to Middleburg in Schoharie county.

Although his cousin weighs 215 pounds, Mr. Winans says they were able to hit up and maintain a speed that many men of half their years would have found difficult to equal.

It was not the first bicyle trip the two Winans had taken together. A year ago they wheeled to Princeton, N. J., on a tour which with side trips consumed seven weeks. On his return to Syracuse at that time Mr. Winans found he had gained seven pounds, his cousin losing about fifteen pounds.

Mr. Winans resided in Cohoes for twenty years prior to taking up his residence in Syracuse in 1904. He rode in a number of bicycle races at the Rensselaer and other county fairs, entries to which were limited to men over 45 years of age. He still wears a large diamond shirt stud which he won as a prize in a race at the Rensselaer County Fair.

"No, I never had any desire to tackle a motorcycle," Mr. Winans said yesterday afternoon. "The bicycle is good enough for me."

The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, 7 Sep 1911


David S. Winans, 81 years young, of 108 McAllister av. has recently returned from a trip into Broome County which he made on bicycle, a rather rare and strenuous venture for a man of his years. Mr. Winans being a great believer in out-door life and exercise, is far more active than many men 30 years his junior. While on his recent trip he barely escaped being caught in the storm zone which fastened its destructive grip on Broome County, destroying 48 bridges and which was declared by many in that vicinity to be the tail end of the big blow that left Galveston in such a sad plight.

Mr. Winans, who is an interesting talker, states that while in Middleburg, this state, the damage was slight, in the surrounding sections conditions were worse. The severe wind and rain taxed the rivers and brooks to their capacity and after overflowing from the sudden cloudburst, they as well as every other depression were transformed into raging torrents, that uprooted everything in their path, carrying away trees, foundations of buildings, and even livestock.

Syracuse Journal, 1 Sep 1915, page 7

E. H. Winans:2


President of a Water Company Looking for Workmen.

E. H. Winans, president of the Highland Water Company, was congratulating the community generally yesterday on the difficulty he found in getting workmen. "Last summer," he said, "skilled workmen, masons that always got their $3 per day, came to us and asked that we give them work at any wages they could keep alive on. We had work done that we didn't need done then, just to keep them going, and because they offered to work at such a bargain it made it to our interest to have the work done then.

"Now we can hardly find a workman out of work. Everybody seems to be busy. It is wonderful that such a change could be brought about so quickly among seventy millions of people, and throughout the length and breadth of this great land. It is marvelous that it should have been done solely through the known stable character and sterling integrity of only one man, Maj. McKinley.

"Whether free silver or the gold standard, or the monetary question in any phase, was the issue of paramount importance last fall, is still a debated question. But there is one thing certain in my mind of which my conviction is unshakable. That is, that with Mr. Bryan in the Presidential chair, good man as he may be, inexperienced as he is, and not universally understood as to his settled convictions in governmental policies in general, I would not be looking for workmen today--they would be looking for me."

Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct 1897, page 23

Although the following article doesn't give the full name of its subject, we've been able to identify the doctor as Howard Eugene Winans (1-9-1-1-2-1-7-7) (1864-?) The article was sent to us by our cousin Sharon Olson:

H. E. WINANS, M. D., is one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Newburgh, where he has been practicing his profession since February, 1889. He is a homeopathist, and, being a careful student of his profession, has gained an extensive practice, which is well merited. He was born in Caldwell, N. J., on the 14th of July, 1864, and is a son of Dr. H. D. Winans [1-9-1-1-2-1-7], whose birth occurred near Goshen, Orange County. The paternal grandfather, William Winans [1-9-1-1-2-1], was a native of the Empire State, and for many years was a farmer of Orange County. The father graduated from the university of New York City with the degree of M. D., after which he there engaged in practice for three years. He then located in Caldwell, N. J., where he continued the prosecution of his profession until his death, on the 9th of September, 1889, at the age of sixty-two years. In the latter part of his career he became a homeopathist. He served his city as Justice of the Peace for many years. In New York City he had married Miss Mary E. Hotto,3 who was there born and who was of German descent. She is a daughter of Harold Hotto, who was a cabinet-maker by occupation, and who aided his country in the War of 1812.

Dr. H. E. Winans is one of a family of seven children, four of whom reached adult age, but only three are now living, he having two sisters. His boyhood and youth were passed in Caldwell, and after graduating from the academy at that place he studied in a private school. He began reading medicine with his father, and in 1885 entered the New York Homeopathic College and Hospital, where he took the regular course and was graduated in the Class of '88, receiving the degree of M. D. For about a year he then remained in practice with his father, but in February, 1889, located in Newburgh and has since engaged in general practice. For the last two years he has had his office at No. 206 Liberty Street. He makes a specialty of electrical treatment, in which he uses a galvanic and farradic battery of his own invention and manufacture, it having seven different currents.

In Newburgh was celebrated the marriage of Dr. Winans and Miss Frances Leon. Mrs. Winans was born here and is a daughter of David D. Leon, who resides on Gidney Avenue, and who is one of the oldest citizens of this place, being now seventy-three years of age. He is a dealer in agricultlural implements, and is serving as a member of the Board of Aldermen, in which he is acting on the House Committee. The grandfather of Mrs. Winans, Pedro Leon, was born in Madrid, Spain, where he remained until he had reached the age of eighteen years, when he came to America, locating at Newburgh, where he resided until called from this life. The Doctor and his wife have many friends in this community, where they are widely and favorably known, and with the Reformed Epicsopal Church they hold membership. Besides his general practice he is serving as examining physician for six insurance companies.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Orange County, New York, Part 1, pages 493-494

This biography of Isaac [Smith] Winans (1-7-7-3-6-2) (1822-1901), at the Delaware County, NY Genealogy and History Site, was recommended by cousin Sharon Olson. It is notable for the amount of information it contains on the close relatives of its subject. We have trimmed out some of its material about their wives' ancestors.

For more than a half-century Mr. Winans has been a resident of the town of Sidney, and during the time has established a good reputation as a man of industry, intelligence, and thrift. He was for many years an important factor in the industrial interests of the town, carrying on a successful business in the manufacture of boots and shoes. He is a native of New York, born in the town of Unadilla, Otsego County, March 14, 1822, being a son of Silas [1-7-7-3-6] and Elizabeth (Smith) Winans.

His paternal grandfather, Isaac Winans Sr. [1-7-7-3], who was born in Horse Neck, Dutchess County, June 26, 1728,4 was a veteran of the Revolution; and after the close of that war he settled in Otsego County, being one of the pioneers of Unadilla. He was a farmer by occupation, but not a land-owner, and, although making a comfortable living, never accumulated much property. On July 21, 1774, he was united in marriage to Sarah Holly,4 a native of Dutchess County, the date of her birth being December 12, 1743. Of their union seven children were born, all of whom grew to maturity; but none are now living. Grandfather Winans was a man of profound convictions in regard to the great truths of religion, liberal in his views, and tolerant of the opinions of others, but rather inclined toward the tenets of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which church his good wife was a consistent member. Both spent the last years of their lives in the town of Unadilla, he passing away at the home of one of his daughters at a ripe old age...

Silas Winans, son of the elder Isaac, was born in Little Nine Partners, Dutchess County, May 13, 1785, and spent the days of his boyhood and early manhood near the scenes of his birth, being reared to the occupation of a farmer. Subsequently removing to Otsego County, he bought a small farm in the town of Unadilla, and was for some years there engaged in agriculture. In 1839 he came to Delaware County, and, buying one hundred and sixty-five acres of land near Sidney-Centre, began the improvement of a homestead. He was a man of good intellectual capacity, fond of reading and study, but not a very practical manager; it was through the excellent judgment and business ability of his wife that his farming operations were ably carried on. He married Elizabeth Smith, who was born in Leicestershire, England, August 29, 1794, a daughter of Edward and Catherine (Chapman) Smith, above named. She proved herself a helpmate in every sense implied by the term; and both she and her husband spent their remaining years in the town of Sidney, she dying in May 1861, at the age of sixty-seven years, and he in November 1873, at the venerable age of eighty-eight years. They were respected for their integrity and upright moral character; and, although not church members, he was a Universalist in his religious views, and she was a Methodist. To them were born ten children, seven sons and three daughters, of whom the following is a brief record:5

  1. Catherine, born September 23, 1820, is the widow of Joel Lee, and resides in Sidney Centre.
  2. Isaac is the one whose name heads the present sketch.
  3. Laura, born in August 1824, married Chester Pomeroy, and died August 15, 1884.
  4. Silas C., born in May 1825, is a resident of Franklin.
  5. Eliza, born in August 1827, died young.
  6. Cyrus W. was born in August 1829.
  7. Joseph, born in October, 1831, was a physician in Linn County, Iowa, where his death occurred in March 1892.
  8. Henry H., born in August 1833, lives in Sidney Centre with his sister, Mrs. Lee.
  9. Samuel, born in August 1836, was an able physician, and died in Sidney Centre in 1863.
  10. James, born on May 24, 1839, is a farmer residing in Sidney Centre.

Isaac Winans, the eldest son of Silas, remained in the place of his nativity until seventeen years of age, and there received the rudiments of his education, which was completed in Sidney Centre. He remained at home, assisting on the farm until attaining his majority, when he started life for himself, beginning as a farm laborer, working during the summer months for nine dollars a month, and during the winter seasons working at the shoemaker's trade, which he learned after leaving home. In 1845 he established himself in Sidney Centre as a manufacturer of boots and shoes, and was for thirty-six years prosperously engaged in that business. By steady application to his work and the exercise of sound judgment in his investments he has acquired a good property and a comfortable home. Clinging to his early habits of industry and thrift, Mr. Winans still leads a life of activity, and realizes a handsome annual income from the sale of honey, keeping about fifty stands of black and Italian bees; and, in addition to this business, he also raises a good deal of poultry, his principal stock being brown leghorns.

On the 3d of August 1845, Mr. Winans was united in marriage to Rhobey Hunter, a native of Sharon, Vt., and a daughter of Dr. Ira and Rhobey (Spalding) Hunter. Rhobey Hunter Winans was born on January 26, 1816, and for several years was a successful school-teacher...

Mr. and Mrs. Winans have no children of their own living, their only child, Herman Hunter Winans, who was born August 29, 1848, having passed to the world beyond on December, 29, 1861. They subsequently adopted a daughter, Edith G., who was born July 5, 1857, and, marrying James Voorhees, now resides in Brooklyn, N. Y. Mrs. Voorhees's parents were Dwight and Louisa (Hunter) Manwarring...

Biographical Review – 1895, The Leading Citizens of Delaware County, NY

J. Cory Winans, (1-7-1-5-2-5-1) (1840-1915):6


Grand Army Massing at Buffalo.

Thirty-first Encampment Will Open Today.

Col. Winans Predicts the Largest Attendance on Record.
Names of Probable Candidates for Commander.
Street Decorations.

BUFFALO (N. Y.) Aug. 22--Buffalo is all ready for the army of veterans who are on their way to attend the thirty-first annual encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic. During the night hundreds of veterans and their friends arrived, and today they are coming in by thousands. It is estimated that from 15,000 to 20,000 came in today.

The various railroads entering Buffalo report that in addition to the hundreds of regular trains, schedules have been prepared for 245 specials to arrive here by Tuesday noon. Among the prominent arrivals are J. Corey Winans of Camden, chief of Clarkson's staff, and Daniel Ross of Wilmington, Del., a candidate for junior vice-commander-in-chief.

Camp Jewett, as the city of tents is known, is all ready for the inhabitants and while it will not be formally opened until 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, a number of posts are already installed.

Ample arrangements have been made at the camp and elsewhere for the care of the sick. Three hospital tents have been erected at Camp Jewett, each in charge of a competent staff of physicians.

Among the later announcements of candidates to succeed Commander-in-Chief Clarkson are the names of John C. Linehan of New Hampshire, George H. Innes of Massachusetts, James A. Sexton of Chicago, and J. P. S. Godin of Pennsylvania.

Col. Winans of Camden, chief of Clarkson's staff, estimates the number of visitors to Buffalo during the week at 200,000, making the largest encampment ever held. In speaking of the choice of the veterans for the next encampment, Col. Winans said that so far as his information went there was but one choice among the delegates, and that was Cincinnati. There seems to be a feeling, he said, among some of the eastern people that San Francisco is preparing to make a bid in 1899.

With regard to the encampment being held in Richmond, Va., he asserted there is nothing in it. The people down there do not want it, and the veterans do not care to go there. The chief objection, he said, was the certainty of unpleasant complications over the color line. Notwithstanding this view, the Young Men's Business Association of Richmond has opened headquarters here, and is making an effort to secure the encampment.

Col. Winans says Pennsylvania will send the most people to the encampment, with New York second and Ohio third in attendance.

Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug 1897, page 1

Captain J. J. Winans:7


What a Native Saw--A Mysterious Brass Kettle--Etc.

The whaling schooner R. B. Handy, Captain J. J. Winans, arrived from the North yesterday, having left the Arctic whaling fleet August 4th, St. Lawrence bay August 16th, leaving in port the Russian corvette Strelock, with cattle on board for the relief steamship Rodgers, which was expected to arrive in a few days, the Strelock having parted company with the Rodgers at Petropalauki [sic]. From St. Lawrence bay in the Chonmagin islands, which were reached on the 14th of September, the Handy experienced a continuation of southerly gales, thence to port good weather. Among those on board the Handy were Captain Gifford and the survivors of the crew of the lost whaler Daniel Webster.


In a conversation Captain Gifford said: While at Point Barrow I saw a native who said that he had seen a wrecked ship far to the eastward, and four white men among the natives. The conversation was conducted principally by signs and was difficult to understand. I inferred from the signs, however, that the white men were either dead or sick, as the native, in indicating their condition by signs, placed his head upon the ground in an attitude suggestive of either death or sleep.


This native also marked out in the sand the position of the wreck, the land, ice, etc., and produced a new brass kettle, which he said he got from the wreck. This kettle was new and as bright as though it had but just come from a store. I took a memorandum of the maker's name stamped upon the kettle, but unfortunately lost it, but am pretty certain that "Waterbury, Mass.," was stamped under the name. No whaling vessels have been in the vicinity of Point Barrow for two years, and the native could not have procured the utensil from one of the whalers. "There is," said the Captain, "a similarity between this story and that told by the Esquimaux about the floating wreck of the whaling ship Vigilant, in respect to the number of bodies, but at the same time there is such a great distance between the two locations as to render it impossible, in the minds of us whalers, for the stories to apply to the same vessel, nor do we believe that they do."


Both Captains Gifford and Winans state that they do not think the Rodgers will have the slightest difficulty in reaching Wrangel Land this season, which, although unusually stormy, has thus far been an open one. In regard to the location and safety of the Arctic search vessel Jeannette, Captain Winans says: "So far all theories as to the safety of the Jeannette and her brave crew are mere speculations. It is, however, known that the vessel entered the Arctic ocean, and was apparently making her way toward Wrangel Land, having been seen by Captain Barnes of the whaling bark Sea Breeze, and Captain Williams of the Francis Palmer says he saw her smoke to the northwest, in the direction of Wrangel Land.


"In the event that the Jeannette did not reach Wrangel Land, Captain De Long may have steered eastward and attempted to work around through the so-called Northwest passage, or attempted to follow the passage of the Vega around the Continent of Asia; or in different ways may have passed the whalers without being seen. I don't as yet apprehend that the Jeannette is lost. She is fitted and provisioned for a long period, and officered and manned by a crew of robust young men, who are able to stand the severity of several Arctic winters..."

San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Oct 1881, page 8

Ross Winans (1-9-1-1-1-7) (1796-1877) was a famous inventor and is the subject of numerous biographies, including one at Wikipedia. Although the following article doesn't mention his wife, Julia De Kay, it devotes considerable space to Julia's family. It was sent to us by our cousin Sharon Olson:

The progenitor of the Winans family was Isaac Winans [1-9-1-1], whose son William [1-9-1-1-1] removed from Florida, Orange Co., N. Y., to this township and located at the point known as the Williams Mountain. His [William's] children were Elizabeth, Rachel, Abigail, Matthias, Isaac, Ichabod, Ross, William R., Henry K., and Maria, all of whom were natives of Vernon.

Mr. Winans made the township his residence during the war of the Revolution, and three of his sons located in Vernon, one of whom was Ross, who followed farming pursuits. His inventive genius here first developed itself, his father's garret having been devoted to mechanical experiments. He constructed a train of cars which performed its functions successfully over the garret-floor, and its inventor spent much time in pursuits of this character, while the labors of the farm were often of secondary importance. He was also for a term justice of the peace. His brother William was an attorney in Vernon, and Henry K. was for a period of twenty years judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

In 183—, Ross Winans made Baltimore his residence, where, shortly after his removal to that city, he was appointed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company to visit Europe and investigate the railroad system of England. He had, two years before the beginning and construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, visited the city and exhibited the models of a rail-wagon in running order, the model weighing 125 pounds. This, which worked well in the presence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, was the original and progenitor of the famous camel-back engines.

Mr. Winans established extensive machine-shops in Baltimore, and constructed locomotives for many of the leading railroads in the United States. He discontinued business at the breaking out of the civil war in 1861, and has not mingled much in public life since the close of the war, taking up his residence upon a farm near the Relay House.

The De Kay family are of Huguenot extraction, and were undoubtedly among the band of French refugees who early during the last century sought the hospitable shores of America. The first of the family to arrive in New Jersey was Thomas De Kay, who became an owner of real estate in New York, about 60 acres of which he exchanged with Lancaster Symes and Benjamin Aske for 1200 hundred acres of land embraced in Vernon township and Orange Co., N. Y., as appears by the deeds, which are acknowledged as follows:

NEW YORK, 20th June, 1734.

"This day personally appeared before me Philip Cortland, one of His Majesty's Council and justice of the peace for the province of New York, Joseph Murray, who declared upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God that Lancaster Symes and Benjamin Ask executed this indenture as their voluntary act and deed, and also declared that Richard Parsons signed as a witness.


The land in New Jersey was known as the Wawayanda patent or settlement.

Thomas De Kay, on his arrival, camped out for the night, and, being charmed with the spot, selected it as the site of his future home, and also as his burial-place. He built a house, and, with his wife, Christina, and their family, became a permanent resident of Vernon. He lived to advanced years, and was buried in 1758 on the spot which he had selected, where now repose the bones of the older members of the De Kay family.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey, page 347

The amorous adventures and other exploits of Ross Revillon Winans (1-9-1-1-1-7-1-2) (1850-1912), who was the "original" Ross Winans' grandson, could easily be made into a soap opera:


The Baltimore Anglo-Maniac Sued for Divorce by a Deserted Wife.

NEW YORK. April 21.--Mrs. Alice Winans,8 who says she is the wife of Ross R. Winans, the millionaire, has begun suit for divorce, which was to-day sent to a referee. Mr. Winans is represented at present as living in Scotland, where he owns an estate nearly [?]00 miles in extent. Mrs. Winans was Miss Sandfield. She says that while acting as governess in a wealthy Long Island family she met Mr. Winans in 1881. She declares she and Mr. Winans entered into a marriage agreement, but no ceremony was performed. In May of that year he brought her to this country, and they lived together for three or four months as man and wife. Mr. Winans always introduced her as his wife, and she acknowledged she was Mrs. Winans. Then he deserted her, leaving her nothing to live on. Subsequently Mr. Winans married a sister of Whistler,9 the artist, and is now living with her. It appears the defendant was served with the complaint in the case just as he was about to take the steamer to Liverpool with Mrs. Winans No. 2. Mr. Winans denies that he ever married or agreed to marry the plaintiff. He asserts that she has been living with another man since he separated from her. Mrs. Winans says she did marry a California gentleman after Winans abandoned her, but lived with him only a short time, as she was told by her lawyer that she was not his lawful wife and had grounds for divorce from Winans.

Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr 1885


A Second Sharon Case on Trial in New York.


Testimony Taken Yesterday Before the Referee--Two of the Famous Anglo-Maniac's Letters Submitted.
Associated Press Dispatches to The Times.

NEW YORK, May 19.--Stephen P. Nash, the referee appointed to take testimony in the divorce suit of Alice O'Keefe against Ross R. Winans, the Baltimore millionaire, began hearing the case at his office in Wall street at noon to-day. The plaintiff, a handsome woman, elegantly attired, was accompanied by a younger sister and Mrs. Thorne, a middle-aged woman, who is said to be an important witness for Mrs. O'Keefe. Ex-Judge D. M. Porter, counsel for the plaintiff, was with the ladies. Mr. Winans, the defendant, was present with his lawyers.

The parties to the action sat opposite each other, but Winans gave no sign of recognition, and stroked his beard nervously from time to time, while his alleged wife leisurely and gracefully fanned herself. The desk of the referee was strewn with photographs of Winans taken at various times. On the back of one of the pictures, where the dependant appears as a swell, in a loud astrakhan-trimmed coat, the following is written: "To Miss Soalfield, as help for the remembrance of Ross R. Winans." On another the following is scribbled: "To Ally from Rossy, with sweetest of kisses and best of _____. From Rossy to his little devil, Alice."

The first witness examined was the complainant. She testified that she first met Mr. Winans at the Langham Hotel in London, in 1871. She was introduced to him, and he sent her gifts of books and flowers. She left the hotel soon after because Mrs. Hunt, by whom she was employed as governess, failed to pay her salary. She subsequently obtained a position in the same capacity with Lady Dukes, of Lewes, England. When she started for Lewes Winans went to the depot with her. He told her he was fond of her and asked her to correspond with him. He wrote to her frequently. She came to London and had lunch and a drive with him.

Winans proposed marriage to her, but she said she could not wed, as her mother and family were not there. When he asked her the second time to marry him she consented, but insisted that the ceremony should take place in church. Winans said he was an American, and that in his country a church ceremony was not considered necessary, and that a man and woman who agreed to live together were regarded as husband and wife. He finally induced her to acquiesce, and they went to the Grosvenor Hotel in London, where he gave her a ring and solemnly pledged himself to take her as his wife. He put the ring on her finger.

They lived at the hotel as man and wife. She was known to the servants in the house as his wife. They then went to Cambridge, where he called her his wife before the servants and others. The couple journeyed back to London, and went thence to Spa, Germany, where they remained five or six weeks. Articles shipped to the plaintiff while at Spa were addressed to her as Mrs. Winans. Defendant spoke of her as his wife and he introduced her to Mr. Latrobe and to his own brother as Mrs. Winans. Plaintiff and defendant came to this country on the steamer Scotia, which arrived here May 30, 1871. They were booked on the passenger list as Ross R. Winans and lady. They put up at the Brevoort House, where respondent registered in his own handwriting, "R. R. Winans and wife."

Upon her arrival, Mrs. Winans, so called, [?] that her mother was living in Chicago. She wanted a public wedding, [?] demurred, alleging that his father [?] very ill and he did not want to break [?] marriage to him. Defendant consented to a repetition of the ceremony gone through in London just to ease her mind. She went to Chicago to see her mother, while he journeyed to his father's bedside at Baltimore. He wrote to her every day while she was in Chicago. They met again in this city after an interval of a couple of weeks and went to the St. James [?] subsequently removed to 19 West [?]-fourth street, where she was also known as Mrs. Winans. In addition to her wedding ring he had given her a ring which he said belonged to his mother. A number of letters from defendant to plaintiff were here put in evidence. The following is a letter written from Baltimore while plaintiff was in Chicago, on June 4, the day after arriving:

"MY OWN SWEET DUCKY: I suppose by this time my poor little pet is pretty near home. What a long, tiresome, lonely, dusty, hot journey she must have had. My poor little darling, if you had seen Rossy as he was going home on the ferry boat you would have pitied him much more than yourself. He went to the outside of the boat and cried like a regular baby, and would have been ashamed of himself if it had not been the cause had been so good, so I excused myself and let my tears come as fast as they would, which was freely, I can tell you. I swear that I regularly boo-hooed, so much in fact, that an [?] nigger came up and stared at me to [?] what the devil was the matter. I arrived in Baltimore and found my brother10 in the station. My sister10 was in the carriage while Bill10 and I walked to the carriage. My little ducky must not expect a very long letter if I write every day. I hope you have not got it as hot in Chicago as it is here. I am half dead with the heat. Do you know that I never knew how fond I was of you until now that [?] parted from you. But be at rest. [?] will not be away longer than he can possibly help. I am so anxious for a letter. I hope to goodness I shall get one to-morrow. Imust get up for breakfast. Oh, how lonely it is in this big bed all by myself. Well, my little darling, I must say good-bye. With as many kisses as will last you till to-morrow, believe me to be loving and sad

Council for plaintiff read the following letter for all it is worth:

"TUESDAY--My Little Darling: I have received no letter again to-day. They must be disgustingly irregular with the posts. You said some gentleman asked you to go to the theater. My dear little girl, how in the world--how did you allow yourself to lose your good sense so far as to get acquainted with any man so as to give him the right to dare ask you to do such a thing? My God, you ought to have got mad as hell at his presumption to ask a married lady on so short an acquaintance as that such an insolent question. Have nothing more to do with the damned blackguard, or he will want to visit your bed-room next. My darling, I can't imagine how you ever allowed him to suggest such a thing. You say you did not feel well enough to go anywhere. Why in the hell [?] must he have thought of you? [?] careful, darling. Have little to do [?] any of them. I have no time for [?] now, but continue my [?] to-morrow. Many, many kisses. [?] loving old boy."

Jos. I. Choate of counsel for [?] his cross-examinated elicited [?] that Mrs. O'Keefe, while [?] studied music in London under [?] of Haller, and in Paris under the [?] Heller. She acquired her German and French in Wiesbaden and [?] respectively.

Los Angeles Times, 20 May 1885


Ex-Judge George M. Curtis, counsel for Mrs. Alice O'Keefe, who claims to the wife of Ross Winans and is suing him for a divorce, has obtained an order returnable on Monday in Superior Court, Chambers, on a motion by the plaintiff for leave to discontinue her suit in that court. Mrs. O'Keefe, whose case has been on trial before a Referee, made an application recently for a trial by jury, but the court held that, having elected to have the case tried by Referee, she must abide by her choice. It is understood that the object of the last motion is to withdraw the suit from the Superior Court so as to obtain a trial by jury in some other court.

New York Times, 3 Dec 1885




In the suit for divorce brought against him by Mrs. Alice O'Keefe, Ross R. Winans, the Baltimore millionaire, has won the first point. The suit was brought against him in June, 1883. It was reached for trial on April 21 of last year. Messrs. Carter and Ledyard appeared for Mr. Winans and the plaintiff and represented by ex-Judge George M. Curtis and D. M. Porter. The latter, however, retired from the case at the outset. On April 22 of last year the case was referred to Stephen P. Nash, who decided to exclude reporters from the hearings. On account of this decision the information that was obtained was of a one-sided character and generally unfavorable to Mr. Winans. The hearings were continued until about a month ago. Since that time Referee Nash has been engaged in formulating his opinion. The latter was ready for counsel in the case yesterday. At various times overtures for a settlement were made by the plaintiff. The final overture, it is said, was made after the summing up of the testimony. Counsel for Mr. Winans refused to consider a suggestion that such a case could be settled except by the courts.

Referee Nash finds for the plaintiff in a most flat-footed manner, and does not leave the other side a leg to stand on. A peculiarity of the decision is that it is found against Mrs. O'Keefe on her own testimony, the Referee not considering it necessary to make more than a passing mention of Mr. Winans's evidence. Mrs. O'Keefe, according to the decision, alleges that she was married to Ross R. Winans in New York on or about May 31, 1871. She does not attempt to prove and does not show that a ceremonial marriage or any mutual contract was made in the presence of witnesses. She first met Mr. Winans at the Langham Hotel, London, about Christmas, 1870. She was then governess to two daughters of a lady with whom she was boarding at the Langham. Winans was a student at Cambridge, and had come to London to spend the holidays. They became acquainted, and the acquaintance rapidly ripened into intimacy. The plaintiff left the family by whom she was employed as a governess and entered another family in the same capacity. This family lived at Lewes, about one and a half hours from London by rail. She came to London twice to see Winans, and he met her on both occasions. During the second meeting she says that Winans took her driving in Hyde Park, and on the drive asked her to be his wife. She hesitated, saying that her mother was in America, and that she supposed a marriage in church was necessary. He told her, she claims, that in America all that was needed to make them man and wife was a mutual contract. She accepted this assurance, and on the next day met Mr. Winans in London. He took her to the Grosvenor Hotel, and from that time they lived as man and wife. Regarding this testimony the referee says: "This testimony, so far as it bears upon a mutual contract of marriage, is not corroborated in any way."

Mrs. O'Keefe further testified that she was well acquainted with a London solicitor and had at least two lady friends to whom she might have gone for advice had she cared to do so. She told none of them of the arrangement she had made with Mr. Winans. He took her from London to the Continent, returning to London, whence he and the plaintiff sailed for New York. They arrived here on May 30, 1871. She testified that she was known at hotels and introduced by the defendant to several persons as Mrs. Winans. The Referee says that this testimony is not sustained by any other evidence than her own. A file of THE TIMES was introduced to prove that in the list of arrivals on the steamer upon which they were passengers, their names appeared as "R. Winans and lady." After a short stay at the Brevoort House Mr. Winans took his companion to Mrs. Thorne's boarding house, on Twenty-fourth street, and introduced her as Mrs. Williams [sic]. At the Brevoort Mr. Winans registered as "Ross R. Winans." The words "and wife" were added in another handwriting. Mrs. O'Keefe testified that the handwriting was the same. The Referee thinks otherwise. The Referee also thinks that the affection of Mr. Winans for the plaintiff waned during the Summer of 1871 as he spent not more than three nights at Mrs. Thorne's while the plaintiff lived there. Mr. Osman Latrobe and Mr. Jackson, of Baltimore, denied, according to the Referee, that Mr. Winans had introduced the plaintiff to them as his wife. Mr. Nash, in his opinion, says:

"If, then, the question had been raised when the defendant had, before the Fall of 1871, ceased to have intercourse with the plaintiff, and she had then claimed marital rights, the evidence now furnished by her would not, I think, have been sufficient to sustain her claim. What subsequently occurred seems to me to dissipate all pretense to such rights."

The subsequent occurrence referred to by Referee Nash relates to a settlement made by Mr. Winans with the plaintiff in the Fall of 1871. The plaintiff went to Baltimore with her mother and obtained the services of William Sebley, a lawyer of some ability and standing. She was about to become a mother, she said. The father of Mr. Winans was made acquainted with the affair. The plaintiff's mother said her daughter was not of age, and she agreed to sign a full release of any claim on Ross R. Winans if she werepaid thesum of $10,000. The plaintiff was to be paid $10,000 and the same amount was to be settled on the child when it was born. The child did not appear, and the $10,000 that was to be invested for its benefit was given to the plaintiff, in addition to her own $10,000 and $1,500 she had been previously given. All the particulars of the negotiations were set forth in a letter written by Mr. Sebley to the plaintiff. This letter he requested her to copy and to send him the copy, in order that he might give it to Mr. Winans. The plaintiff did as requested, and admitted in the letter that the intercourse between her and the defendant was not in consequence of a promise of marriage by him. This testimony the Referee considers as absolutely conclusive against the plaintiff's claims. In summing up the Referee says:

"Acting upon the conviction that she was free to do so, the plaintiff married in 1873 another man (O'Keefe) and the defendant has since married twice. It is not important, in view of the conclusion I have reached as to the true legal relations between the parties after their intercourse ceased in 1871, to consider any of the later incidents which have been given in evidence, nor with my view of the weakness ofthe plaintiff's case as she left, need I say anything about the testimony on the part of the defendant. None of it aids her. The defendant's narrative seems straightforward and truthful, though as to many of the incidents of the intercourse between the plaintiff and himself his memory is at fault. He denies unequivocally that there was ever any marriage, or promise or proposal of marriage, between himself and the plaintiff, and he is upon the whole case entitled to a decision to that effect."

Ex-Judge Curtis, Mrs. O'Keefe's counsel, says he will appeal the case.

New York Times, 15 May 1886


The General Term of the Superior Court has affirmed the decision of the lower court defeating Mrs. Alice O'Keefe in her attempt to secure a divorce from Ross Winans, the son of the Baltimore millionaire. Mr. Winans opposed her application on the ground that he had never been married to her, and there was a good deal of sensational testimony before the Referee, Stephen P. Nash. Between the time of her alleged marriage to Winans and her application for a divorce Mrs. O'Keefe had been married to and separated from another man. Mr. Nash reported against her claims, and the Superior Court confirmed his report. Now the General Term clinches the decision. The plaintiff announces that she will carry the case to the Court of Appeals.

New York Times, 3 May 1887


Baltimore Man's Bequest to Miss Bateman, Daughter of a Boarding House Keeper.
ESTATE WORTH $4,000,000

Son Receives $200,000 in Trust and Other Relatives $100,000 Each--Two Friends Get $50,000 Each.

Special to the New York Times

BALTIMORE, April 30.--A notable bequest in the will of Ross Winans, the late recluse and millionaire of Baltimore and Newport, filed for probate to-day, is one made last month in a codicil in favor of Dorothy Bateman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Bateman of Newport, R. I., of $500,000. Mr. Bateman is the proprietor of the Bateman House, at that fashionable resort, where Mr. Winans spent last Summer. Miss Bateman won his regard by her thoughtful attention to him. Mr. Winans has been going to Newport for many seasons, and prior to the death of his wife his family occupied their villa in a fashionable section of the resort.

The heirs to the residue of the estate, the full value of which is estimated at $4,000,000, are Ross W. Whistler, a brother-in-law, and Georges Revillon, step-brother of his mother. Mr. Whistler was named executor. To his son, Thomas George Winans [1-9-1-1-1-7-1-2-3], now living in Paris, who married a Spanish dancer, and from whom the father was estranged because of the marriage, the testator left $200,000 in trust with Mr. Whistler, the income to be paid the son at regular intervals. After his death, the money is to go to his children.

To "his old and cherished friends," Margaret M. Smith and Louisa M. Butts, he left $50,000 each absolutely. Miss Smith was a friend of long standing, and is said to have been engaged to a brother10 of Mr. Winans, who died. There is also a bequest of $50,000 to John E. Semmes, his counsel. Prince de Bearn, widower of the daughter of the testator, is not mentioned. To Julia Revillon, Thomas D. Whistler, brother of his late wife, and to Mrs. Joseph S. Whistler, sister-in-law of his wife, Mr. Winans left $100,000 each absolutely. To Miss Olga Winans, daughter of the late William M. Winans [1-9-1-1-1-8-5], he left $50,000. There are no bequests to charity.

New York Times, 1 May 1912


Not Known Yet Whether It Will Be Attacked by Prince de Bearn.

With the publication yesterday of the will of Ross Winans, the wealthy recluse of Baltimore, in which he bequeathed $500,000 of his $4,000,000 estate to Miss Dorothy Bateman, a young woman of Newport, R. I., and the remainder to elderly relatives and his lawyers, discussion was aroused as to what part if any of the estate will revert to the two infant children of Prince Henri Galard de Bearn and de Chalais, the husband of Mr. Winans's daughter Beatrice [1-9-1-1-1-7-1-2-2], who died in 1908.

Mr. Winans had given his daughter $300,000 in bonds when she married in 1905. Soon after her death it was found that she had willed this sum to her husband. Under the French law, however, an arrangement that disregarded the children of the testatrix could not be made, and Winans attempted to prevent his son-in-law from obtaining the money. Releases were obtained from de Bearn, but he sued later to have the releases set aside and all the money, instead of one-third of it, which had been offered him, turned over to him.

Maurice Leon, of 60 Wall Street, a lawyer who represented de Bearn in that suit, declared yesterday that the Prince had not had the slightest expectation of being mentioned in Mr. Winans's will, but declared it odd that the de Bearn infants were not mentioned in the will and receive nothing, while bequests are left to others more distant, including the lawyer who drew the will and codicil, who receives $50,000.

"All there is to tell for the present concerning the so-called will and codicil of Mr. Winans," said Mr. Leon, "is that these elderly relatives and lawyers, men of great shrewdness, who are beneficiaries under it, were on the spot, and had opportunities which were not open to the infant grandchildren of Mr. Winans.

"Whether any action is to be taken in behalf of the grandchildren I am unable to say. Prince de Bearn, their natural guardian, is unaware of the situation, and so far I have no instructions."

Prince de Bearn received the news of his father-in-law's death at Singapore, where, according to Mr. Leon, he was on his way to this country with the children.

New York Times, 2 May 1912

Susan (Simmons) Winans (1812-1900):


Interesting Sketch of a Notable Resident of Santa Ana.

The First White Child Ever Born in Chicago...

It is not generally known, but it is a fact nevertheless, that the first white child11 born in the city of Chicago is still living, and is at the present time a resident of Santa Ana. Mrs. Winans is yet hale and hearty, although 81 years old, and might easily be mistaken for a woman of not more than 60 or 65 years of age. She lives at the present time with her son, Mr. W. G. Winans [1-5-5-1-1-4-6], on East First street,12 and is as spry as many women of not more than half her age. In speaking of this somewhat notable person a recent issue of the Illustrated Pacific States, published at San Francisco, has the following to say:

"It is interesting to know that in this Columbian year, when the eyes of the world are turned toward Chicago, that there is now living the first white child born in the famous city by the lakes. Mrs. Susan Winans of Santa Ana, Orange county, Cal. enjoys that distinction. When old Fort Dearborn was standing on the site of one of the greatest cities on the American continent, and savage Indians held supreme sway, Susan Simmons first saw the light in that historic fort.

"Her father, John Simmons, a Virginian by birth, married Miss Susan Millhouse of Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the war of 1812, and was sent to the frontier, Fort Dearborn. While on furlough he visited his young wife and persuaded her to return with him, taking with them their two-year old son David. On February 18 Susan was born. The discomforts and trials of the young mother, surrounded by hostile Indians, the life of her husband constantly endangered, can never be told. Her devotion to her family and wonderful heroism sustained her; even when in the following August her husband and little son were killed at the terrible Indian massacre, and she, with her infant, Susan, were taken prisoners, she still maintained her courageous bearing. In April of the next year, an exchange was effected, and the bereaved mother and little daughter returned to the parental roof in Ohio. In 1828 Susan Simmons was married to M. P. Winans [1-5-5-1-1-4]. Nine children were born to them, six of whom are still living--three in Orange county and three in Iowa, to which State Mr. and Mrs. Winans moved in 1853. Born in the midst of dangers, her life has been one of heroic acts, noble sacrifices and gentle, womanly deeds of love and kindness. Although 81 years of age she might easily be taken for 60. Her handwriting is that of a much younger person, and all her faculties are unimpaired. Enveloped in the domestic sunshine of her daughter's happy home, Grandma Winans's declining years are made bright and pleasent by its members. The children of the neighborhood love her as if she were their own. I visited her on May-day, and found the vine-embowered cottage porch gay with May baskets left by the little ones with the message, For Grandma.

Anxious that Mrs. Winans should be represented either in the Woman's building at Chicago, or the reconstructed Fort Dearborn, I have made partial arrangements for a life-size crayon portrait to be made by her granddaughter, who is a fine artist. Mrs. Potter Palmer has asked for the glass of jelly made by her and placed by the citizens of Santa Ana on a handsome silver stand, for the Woman's building. In reply to the question if she would like to visit the exposition, she replied, with a smile of satisfaction: 'Oh, no; I've lived in the delightful climate of Southern California too long to be willing to encounter the storms of the East!'"

Los Angeles Times, 30 Jul 1893, page 6



Carried in Her Mother's Arms When She Was Made to Run the Gauntlet by Indians.

Mrs. Susan Simmons Winans, a survivor of the Chicago massacre, is still living and has been located at Santa Ana, Cal. Mrs. Winans, as a babe six months old, was held at the breast of her mother, who wrapped her in the folds of her mantle, and, bending low in the body of the covered wagon, saved her infant from a maddened warrior's tomahawk, whose blade had already struck the life from ten innocents. Mrs. Winans' mother, Mrs. Susan Millhouse Simmons, who saved her child's life by her heroism and presence of mind on the day of the massacre, carried her safely through many succeeding scenes of almost equal terror. At one time she ran the gauntlet at the command of the Indians, carrying her babe wrapped in a blanket with her, and, bending low as she ran down the armed line that none of the blows aimed might fall upon the nursling. She reached the goal that marked the extremity of the hostile array and fell there, bruised and bleeding, but with her babe untouched. The child still lives and has within the week sent a greeting to the members of the Chicago Historical Society.


John Simmons and Susan Millhouse were married in 1808. The husband enlisted in Captain Whistler's company, First United States Infantry, later commanded by Captain Nathan Heald, March 4, 1810, and was assigned for duty to Fort Dearborn, the site of which is in the heart of the present city of Chicago. He was soon made a noncommissioned officer. A daughter was born February 12, 1812, within the limits of the stockade of Fort Dearborn to the wife of Corporal Simmons. She was named for her mother, Susan, and it is this child, still living, who passed through the perils which overtook the garrison.

In telling the story Dr. Simmons13 has put it down largely as it falls from the lips of this survivor of the massacre, who heard it time and again from her mother. It seems that Corporal Simmons realized, perhaps more than some of the others, the dangers that lay ahead of the garrison on the day of the evacuation. He had an incentive, indeed, to perform a soldier's part. In his protection were his wife and children, for one boy, David, had been born a year after marriage. During the day prior to the evacuation, Captain Wells with his twenty friendly warriors of the Miami tribe arrived and Corporal Simmons heard Black Partridge declare to the captain that the Indians intended to attack the whites. Corporal Simmons informed his wife that Captain Heald had given the order to destroy the whisky and ammunition, and that he believed that when the Indians discovered this they would not hesitate to murder the garrison.

The children and the women, or the greater part of them, as has been known, were placed in the wagons. Corporal Simmons kissed his wife and children good-bye and took his place with the guard. He told Mrs. Simmons to remain close by the children in the wagon and requested his commanding officer to give him a position as near the wagon as he consistently could in order that he might be so placed that he could defend his family to the last. The story of the fight and the massacre has been told many times, but it remained to this latter day for the story of the heroism of Mrs. Simmons and of the saving of her child to be made known.

When the attack was made Corporal John Simmons stood almost at the base of the great cottonwood tree, a portion of the trunk of which is now in the possession of the Historical Society. He was fighting to protect the wagon which contained his wife and children. He finally sell, but rose again with an effort, clubbed the gun, brained one of the assaulting party of braves, and fell dead.

No sooner had Mrs. Simmons seen her husband fall beneath the blows of the savages surrounding him than she realized that all in the wagon were at the mercy of the infuriated victors. A young Indian, tomahawk in hand, climbed into the now unguarded vehicle, and in utter disregard of the tears and importunities of Mrs. Simmons and the other women struck his weapon into the head of all the older children within, killing them instantly. When the infuriated Indian sank the blade of his tomahawk into the first child Mrs. Simmons pressed her baby to her breast and leaned over, secreting it into the folds of her dress. After killing the other children, one of whom was the little boy, David Simmons, the Pottawatomie staid his hand and leaped from the wagon. Three children besides those in the wagon were murdered at the same time.

No sooner had the savages completed the destruction of the wagon train than most of them ran to aid in the capture of Captain Heald, who, with his party, was now surrounded by an overwhelming force from which there was no escape. After the surrender, as it is known, five of the disarmed soldiers were killed. Mrs. Simmons, with the other prisoners, was compelled by the savages to witness the butchery. She discovered that the delight of the Indians was much enhanced when they succeeded in wringing manifestations of pain and anger from their prisoners. She, therefore, summoned all her fortitude to prevent any expression of the anguish which was weighing on her soul. Her resolution was soon put to a crucial test. The Indians collected all of the murdered children and laid them in a row with their faces upward. Two burly braves then took the mother, still clasping her infant in her arms, and led her slowly past the children, expecting that if her boy was one of the number of dead she would make some demonstration at the sight. She soon saw her murdered child, but she made no sign, never once during that time yielding to the desire of the Indians to make her reveal her sorrow.

When the Indians divided up their prisoners it fell to the lot of Mrs. Simmons to go to Green Bay, and her captors crossed the Chicago river and started for their home. During all that journey Mrs. Simmons was compelled to gather fuel, build fires and prepare food for her captors. She walked and carried her babe the entire distance, something over two hundred miles. More than a week was employed in making the journey. Swift runners heralded the approach of the party to the members of the tribe in camp, and the women and children sallied forth to meet the returned warriors. Upon the announcement of the death of their friends they commenced a fusillade of insults, spitting on the prisoners, pulling their hair, kicking them, and tormenting them in every way possible.

The prisoners were marched to one end of a double line of savages composed of young and old, male and female, and were compelled to run the gauntlet, receiving blows from clubs in the hands of those who formed the lines. Mrs. Simmons hoped that her sex and the infant she held in her arms would exempt her from the ordeal, but in response to the universal clamor she was led to the starting point. She looked for a moment in horror at the long line of savages armed with implements of torture and eager for the punishment to begin. She lost heart for a moment, but her courage came back as she thought of her child, which she dared not leave for fear that it would be killed, and wrapping it closely in a blanket and folding it in her strong arms, and bending forward to protect it from the cruel blows, she ran rapidly down the line, reaching the end, bruised and bleeding, but with the babe unharmed.

Immediately after passing the gauntlet Mrs. Simmons was astonished to receive an act of kindness, an elderly squaw took her by the arm and led her into a wigwam where her wounds and bruises were washed and she was permitted to lie down and rest. In the autumn the warriors of Green Bay with their prisoners marched again to Fort Dearborn, passed the scene of the massacre, skirted the end of Lake Michigan, and made their way to Mackinac. Mrs. Simmons and her child suffered terribly on this journey. Winter had come on and she was thinly clad, as she had used a large part of her clothing to form a covering for her child, who perhaps owes to-day her health at an advanced age to the care exercised by the mother during that time of privation and peril.

When they reached Green Bay the Indians attempted, by various devices, to take the child away from its mother. One chief, who had been refused the dhild many times, at length seized it by the arm and attempted to drag it from its mother, at the same time brandishing a tomahawk over her head and threatening to kill her instantly unless she gave up her charge. She defied him, saying: "You may kill me, but in no other way can you get my child." This was the last effort made to take the child from her. From Mackinac Mrs. Simmons was sent in midwinter to Detroit, a distance of over 300 miles. The weather was almost unendurable, and the food of the party was often nothing but acorns and nuts found under the snow. When Detroit was reached that post was in possession of the British and Indians, the latter having practically control. At the departure of General Proctor, the British commander, the Indians butchered part of the prisoners in cold blood. From Detroit Mrs. Simmons and her child were taken to Fort Meigs, which was then in command of General Harrison. Here she was set at liberty.

Susan Simmons, the child who had passed through all these privations under the care of her mother, grew to womanhood in Ohio. There she met Moses Winans,12 whom she subsequently married. Mrs. Winans removed with her husband to Springville, Lynn county, Ia., in 1853. With them went the aged Mrs. Simmons, who died February 27, 1857. Mr. and Mrs. Winans subsequently removed to California, and here Mrs. Winans is still living in the home of one of her daughters. Six of her children are living--three in Orange county, Cal., and three in Iowa. Mrs. Simmons [sic] is 85 years of age, but does not look much over 50. Her handwriting is firm and all her faculties are unimpaired.--Chicago Tribune.

San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Jan 1897, page 4


Chicago Historical Society Working in Behalf of Mrs. Winans of Orange County.
Special Dispatch to the "Chronicle."

CHICAGO, January 27.--An effort is being made by Edward G. Mason, president of the Chicago Historical Society, and other members of the society to secure the passage of a special act of Congress to pension an old woman who is the sole survivor of the Fort Dearborn massacre of 1812. Her name is Mrs. Susan Winans. Mr. Mason, in a letter to Representative Aldrich relative to the securing of a pension, tells of the hardships experienced by this survivor of the massacre as follows:

"It has recently come to the knowledge of the Chicago Historical Society that the single survivor of the Chicago massacre still lives. She is Mrs. Susan Winans, a widow, residing in Santa Ana, Orange county, Cal., now in her eighty-fifth year. She is the daughter of John Simmons, a corporal in Captain Herald's [sic] company, First Regiment, United States Infantry. He was killed in the fight between the garrison of Fort Dearborn and the Pottawattomie Indians on August 15, 1812, known as the Chicago massacre. He was one of the guards of a wagonload of children, which was surrounded by the savages at the foot of Eighteenth street, in this city, and not until he was slain were the Indians able to slaughter the unfortunates.

"His wife, Susan Milhouse Simmons, followed the garrison on foot with her infant daughter (now Mrs. Winans), then 6 months old, in her arms. She and her child were taken prisoners by the Indians and remained in captivity some eighteen months, suffering terrible hardships and finally being ransomed by our Government. She lived until February 27, 1857, and was once granted a pension, but only received a single payment of $30 before her death. Her daughter, whose life spans the whole history of Chicago, from the days of the massacre until the present time, is now in straitened circumstances and really in need.

"In addition to her distinction as the sole survivor of the Fort Dearborn massacre, Mrs. Winans' relatives claim that she is the oldest living person born on the site of the present city of Chicago."

San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Jan 1897, page 1


A Pension Asked for the Only Known Survivor.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27--Congressman Aldrich has received a letter from the Chicago Historical Society asking him to get a pension for the only known survivor of the Fort Dearborn massacre in 1812--Mrs. Susan Winans of Santa Anna, Cal.

She was six months old at the time of the massacre, and, with her mother, was held a prisoner by the Indians eighteen months.

New York Times, 28 Jan 1897

Thomas DeKay Winans (1-9-1-1-1-7-1) (1820-1878) was the father of Ross R. Winans, whose articles appear above:




Special Dispatch to the New-York Times.

BALTIMORE, June 10.--Thomas Winans, of Baltimore, died this morning at his residence at Newport, R. I., of pulmonary consumption. He left Baltimore a few weeks ago in the hope of restoring his health, which had been rapidly failing for some time, but recently his condition became critical, and on Saturday night inflammation of the bowels set in.

For many years Mr. Winans has lived very quietly in Baltimore, and since the death, a few years ago, of his wife, to whom he was very much attracted, has been seen but very little in public. He was a son of Ross Winans, of this city, who died in April of last year, and who was the inventor of the camel-back engines first used by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. He received a good education at the public schools, although he never went to college, and after leaving school his father taught him the trade of a machinist. His mechanical and inventive abilities soon proved to be of a high order, and when his father received a contract for the construction of the Nicholai Railroad, between St. Petersburg and Moscow, young Winans was sent out in charge of the machinery and to superintend the building of the road.

Other American engineers, among them Messrs. Eastwick and Harrison, of Philadelphia, had also entered into contracts with the Imperial Government. On the way out Mr. Winans met with Mr. Eastwick, and the two decided to go into partnership after their arrival in Russia. They entered into a number of contracts which were very successful.

During his stay in Russia Mr. Winans married a Russian lady, and when he returned to Baltimore he was reported to be the wealthiest man in the country. He purchased an entire square of ground at the intersecion of Baltimore and Hollins streets for $52,000, and proceeded to erect on it a very large and beautiful mansion. The grounds surrounding it were ornamented with the choicest flowers, and groups of statuary added to the artistic character of the scene. Some objections were made, however, to the statue of the "Dying Gladiator," and other studies from the antique, and the City Council passed a resolution requesting their removal. Mr. Winans retaliated by building a brick wall about 12 feet high around his property, and though often petitioned to pull it down, steadily refused and it still remains standing. At the time the house was built it was almost in the suburbs of the city, but the locality is now densely populated. In the construction of his house Mr. Winans brought all his knowledge of mechanics and peculiar scientific theories to bear upon it. To develop his theory of ventilation, he caused to be erected a tall brick tower, about 100 feet high, and pierced the floors of some rooms holes, which were covered with an intricate ventilating apparatus. He seldom entered into society, his time being spent in intercourse with immediate friends and in maturing new inventions and mechanical projects.

When the war broke out he built a huge steam-gun, of peculiar construction, which he claimed was of a most destructive character. His sympathies, as also those of his brother, were largely with the South, and the gun was offered to the Confederacy. It was shipped to Harper's Ferry by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but was captured by General B. F. Butler at the Relay House, about nine miles from this city. Shortly after this, Mr. Winans and his brothers went to Europe, the latter remaining there.

After his return to Baltimore, Mr. Winans continued his experiments. He built a cigar-shaped steamer, with an iron hull, and ship-rigged, and claimed that when the principle on which it was worked was perfected, the Atlantic could be crossed in four days. The first trial trip, however, was a failure, and the steamer now lies dismantled at a wharf in South Baltimore. Several of these steamers were also built in England, Mr. Winans making frequent visits to that country in their interest, but the project was finely abandoned. Several years ago he began the construction of a large organ at his house in Baltimore, a building having been especially erected for its reception. It is not yet completed, although one of a similar character was built at his villa in Newport and finished two years ago. He also patented an invention for notching the tires of carriage wheels, by which vehicles could be turned off of street railroad tracks without danger of an accident. He was very fond of horses, and his English drag and four-in-hand always attracted much attention when seen on the streets. About a year ago he purchased a team of Russian stallions in New-York, the magnificent proportions of which excited much admiration.

As showing Mr. Winans' peculiarities it may be mentioned that after the fire in the Brooklyn Theatre, he caused a door to be made through the solid wall opposite the private box which he rented at Ford's Opera-house, so that in case of fire the inmates of the box could make their escape into the adjoining yard. His leisure moments were, in fact, constantly spent in the study of art, literature, and experimental philosophy, and he always had a number of workmen and machinists in his service, building according to the models which he furnished. Although not known much in public, he was a very charitable man. He purchased a Methodist chapel in the neighborhood of his house prior to 1861, furnished it with the necessary appurtenances, and gave largely every day to the poor. It became known as Winans' soup-house, and retained that name until it was torn down a few years ago.

Mr. Winans' fortune is estimated at about $9,000,000, principally invested in real estate in Baltimore City and County. He leaves a son and daughter to inherit it--Ross [1-9-1-1-1-7-1-2], a widower, and Ella [Celeste Marguerite (Winans) Hutton 1-9-1-1-1-7-1-4], unmarried. His three brothers, William, Walter, and Clinton, are still in England. His body will be temporarily entombed in Newport tomorrow, and will be brought to Baltimore for final interment in the Fall.

New York Times, 11 Jun 1878



A Great Russian Railroad Scheme That Brought Them Millions--What They Are Doing with the Money--Many Strange Acts.

[St. Louis Globe-Democrat.]

Ross Winans, the Baltimore millionaire, has spent but little time in his grand mansion here since his celebrated litigation with Mrs. O'Keefe, the boarding-house keeper in New York, who claimed to have married him abroad when he was a student at Oxford, England. It has been reported lately that the case has not yet been finally settled. The parading of those gushing love letters which had passed between Winans and the O'Keefe woman during their love escapade was a sad blow to Mrs. Winans, and since the notorious scandal she has not appeared in Baltimore society. The family has spent most of the time at the Winans Newport villa, a gloomy-looking place on the beach, the breakers in the winter storms rolling nearly up to the gateway. But little is known by the general world of the follies and eccentricities of this family, not only remarkable for their enormous wealth, but for the uses to which they put it.

Fifty years ago Thomas and William Winans, brothers, were unpretentious civil engineers in this city making a fair living for young men in their profession. But the narrow confines of this town could not contain their budding scientific genius. They rapidly obtained celebrity as railroad engineers. Russia had just begun to agitate the railroad question. The Winans saw there were millions in it. Off they started for Russia with their maps and drawings for lines of railroad across that great cold country. The story of how they secured the great contract, and by a single stroke led the way to millions upon millions of wealth will bear repeating.

After all the engineers whom Czar Nicholas had gathered about him in consultation had given their respective opinions as to the best practicable routes for the proposed railroad, the Czar, confused by the many ideas and plans advanced, took up a ruler, and drawing a straight line across the map of Russia from St. Petersburg to Moscow, handed it to them as the final route of the line. It was an imperial mandate. The Russian engineers were frightened out of their senses. Not one of them could grasp so great an engineering feat. The obstacles in the way seemed insurmountable. Ohter foreign engineers would have nothing to do with it. Then the Winans stepped in and offered to take the contract.

"Give it to the audacious Americans," said the Czar, stipulating a heavy forfeit should they fail to keep the contract. To work they went, and successfully constructed the foad, which was then considered a great engineering feat. The Winan brothers are said to have cleared $30,000,000 on their famous Russian railroad contracts, for they constructed several other lines connecting with the great national line to the Russian captial. It was not until 1861, however, that a complete, successful locomotive was built in Russia. In those days the Russian locomotives burned wood altogether. So pleased was the Czar at the great work successfully carried through by the "audacious" Americans that he decorated them with royal favors. Thomas Winans, while railroad building in Russia, found time for lovemaking with the daughter of a shopkeeper in Moscow. She died, leaving him with two children, Ross Winans and Celeste, the latter now married to an Englishman in the diplomatic service.

After constructing the Russian railroads the Winan brothers quit business. William married an English woman of the middle class, and took up his home in England. Thomas returned to this country, and bought a whole block of property on West Baltimore street, the principal thoroughfare of the city, and spent over $1,000,000 on a magnificent mansion, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Both the brothers had hobbies. William had a nervous dread of crossing the ocean. He has frequently expressed a desire to visit the home of his boyhood, but of America he says:

"I will never go there until I can cross on a railroad. No ocean steamers for me."

In a letter responding to an invitation of an old Baltimore friend, Mr. Winans wrote:

"I would not cross the ocean for $5,000,000 cash."

The ship the brothers sailed in when they first went to Russia was nearly wrecked, and William ever remembered that terrible experience. He still continues to work on models of queer machinery, having a hobby in that line. His income, according to his own returns, is about $3,000,000 a year. Next to the Rothschilds and the Duke of Westminster he is the richest man in England. He is charitable, and spends money lavishly. He has a splendid residence in Kensington Gardens, and as an illustration of his eccentricity, it may be stated that when he finished his grand house he had a $50,000 Axminster carpet, made from special designs, for the drawing-room. When it was laid he was disappointed. It did not meet his idea, so he ordered another from different designs. When the second carpet came the question arose as to what was to be done with the first. Mr. Winans thought for a moment.

"Just put down the second over the first," he said; so carpet No. 2 went down over the first, and thus it is that William Winans has the most expensively carpeted room in all London, not excepting the Queen's palace. Mrs. William Winans has never been a society woman. She prefers to live in their cosy home at Brighton rather than the costly London establishment or their estate in Scotland. Mr. Winans is very fond of music, and he don't mind paying for it. Patti on one occasion gave a parlor concert at his London home, for which she alone was paid £500. The Winans in England live like the Queen. William Winans' two sons, Walter [1-9-1-1-1-7-2-1] and Louis [1-9-1-1-1-7-2-2], are well educated, sensible young men. Walter, the elder, married against his father's wishes, but the couple have long since been forgiven.

The old man particularly wanted his sons to marry titles. They had several opportunities of wedding the ugly daughters of lords, but declined, preferring the fun of bachelorhood. They are fond of sport, and their great deer forest has gained them unenviable notoriety through the English press. The wholesale slaughter of deer in these forests is shameful, and does not deserve the name of sport. Besides the regular establishment, maintained at his famous "shooting box," there are sixty "gillies" employed to stalk for deer during the gaming season. Mr. Winans follows the English custom of selling the game killed on his place, and a luxury of the London markets is the deer from the Winans box. The story of how old Winans once bought every seat in a big circus show in St. Petersburg has oft been told. When the showman's agent asked Winans an exhorbitant price for a box the millionaire asked if the circus man thought he wanted to buy the house.

"Yes, I was thinking that way," quickly retorted the ticket seller, and Winans took him at his word and bought every seat and box in the house. On the night of the performance Mr. Winans sat out the whole show.

Thomas Winans, in the meanwhile, was having as good a time on this side of the water as his brother was on the other, only he unfortunately did not live long enough to get much pleasure out of his great wealth. His magnificent place in the heart of Baltimore, occupying a whole block, contains hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of paintings and art treasures. There is a grand organ in the concert hall that cost $100,000. The walls and ceiling of the ball-room are painted by famous artists. But a great, ugly brick wall surrounds the handsome house and grounds, and shuts out all view of the beauties from persons passing along the streets. The good Presbyterians and Methodists were responsible for this transformation of a lovely view to the unsightly high brick walls which shut in the Winans estate. "Tom" Winans was a lover of art. He had casts made of celebrated statues of classic female figures, such as Venus, Psyche, Clito and others, which adorned the lawns about the mansion. Of course the statues, as well as the beautiful gardens with the charming little summer bowers shaped like Chinese pagodas and Turkish mosques, were in full view of people passing along any of the streets bounding the block.

Some prudish Methodists and Presbyterians objected to the nude statuary, and at a preachers' meeting passed resolutions protesting to the city authorities against the display of art work. Mr. Winans was wrathy, and without waiting for further developments covered the statues with wooden boxes until workmen could substitute high brick walls for the low iron railings. Mr. Winans gave many grand entertainments at this splendid mansion. Since his daughter Celeste married the great gates have seldom been opened. She resides in Europe most of the time. Her brother Ross has a fine establishment of his own in another and more fashionable part of the city. The old gatekeeper and his family and the special watchman and several old servants are most of the time the only occupants of the beautiful place, though the gardens and walks and the house inside and out are always kept in perfect order. Baltimore has always been too slow a place for Ross Winans. He prefers New York, but also spends much time abroad.

Thomas Winans, like his brother William, had many eccentricities. He constructed many models of steam vessels. He conceived an idea of building a steamer in the shape of a cigar, which would be remarkable for speed. He spent several ordinary fortunes in trying to develop this scheme, but cigar-shaped boats proved a failure, and until within a few years ago one of his models, which cost him $50,000, was lying rotting at his private wharf on the upper Potapsco. Tom Winans might have left a million or so for charities when he died, but very little was given to such worthy objects. His two children, Ross and Celeste, were left the entire fortune. The only sister of William and Thomas Winans married a Mr. Whistler, a relative of the artist Whistler. Her two daughters were brought up with her brother's children, Ross and Celeste. About ten years ago Ross Winan's young wife died, and he married his younger cousin, Neva Whistler. She was born in St. Petersburg, and named after the river Neva. She is a very handsome woman. They had but one child,14 a girl baby that died of small pox. The child is said to have contracted the disease from the infected clothing of a new French nurse who had been employed to attend it. The little one was taken ill out at the country seat of the Winans', a few miles from town. It was brought to the great isolated mansion of Tom Winans on Baltimore street. Here the mother and father left the babe in charge of one of the leading physicians of the city, who gave up his other practice and devoted his whole time and attention to the little sufferer, but was unable to save its life. The parents were not with their child when it died. They avoided the contagion and paid the physician $5,000 to attend it. The new residence of Ross Winans on St. Paul street is a magnificent structure, equal to Robert Garrett's palace on Mount Vernon place. It is built of brown stone, of Gothic architecture and very unique, but gloomy in appearance.

Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov 1887, page 14

Walter Winans (1-9-1-1-1-7-2-1) (1852-1920):


Noted American Sportsman Collapses in Sulky While Driving on London Track.
Cosmopolite, Also Famous as Huntsman--Did Not See Land of Allegiance Until 58th Year.

LONDON, Aug. 12.--Walter Winans, widely known American resident of London, collapsed and died while driving his horse, Henrietta Guy, in a trotting race at Parsloes Park this afternoon.

Just before the finish of the race Mr. Winans dropped the reins and called out "Stop my horse." The horse continued past the winning post and Mr. Winans slipped from the seat of the sulky dead as the animal stopped.

His body was taken to a mortuary, and his wife, at Eastbourne, and a brother, at Brighton, were notified.

Walter Winans was born at the Nicholaieefsky Railway Works, at Petrograd, Russia, on April 5, 1852. His father at the time was engaged in construction work for the Russian Government. He was the son of William Louis and Maria Ann (de la Rue) Winans. On the paternal side he was of Dutch ancestry, tracing back his lineage to Count Goswyn de Wynants,15 who was Chief Counselor of State to Charles VI. of Brabant. On the maternal side he was of French descent.

His grandfather, Ross Winans [1-9-1-1-1-7], was a famous railroad builder, who built the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and his father, William, directed his talent along the same line. At 23 William took a contract to build the Moscow & St. Petersburg Railroad becoming a great favorite of Emperor Alexander II., who later met his death at an assassin's hands.

Walter received his early education from tutors in Petrograd. He lived there until he was 18, when his family moved to England. But before leaving Russia he took the oath of allegiance to the United States at the American Embassy, retaining his citizenship throughout his entire life, whether he spent it in London, Paris, Vienna, Petrograd or Brussels.

In 1910, when he came to New York to take part in the Horse Show at Madison Square Garden, he was making his first visit to the home of his fathers.

His life was never one of idleness despite his lack of interest in business, in which he never engaged. Of independent means, he nevertheless chose to devote himself seriously to the pursuit of art, in which he won real distinction.

In his recreations, also, he was never willing to take second place. He won the revolver championship in England twelve consecutive times and the duelling pistol championship in Paris in 1900. He was a competitor in the Olympic Games at London in 1908 on the United States team and won the world's championship with the hunting rifle.

As a huntsman he held records in stag and wild boar shooting. It was at the Vienna Exposition in 1910 that he won two gold medals for the most representative group of big game shot by one man, his exhibit comprising sixty of the best heads of all kinds, out of 2,000 shot by himself.

He participated in the international horse shows in England for many years. Among the best known of the horses he exhibited were Cokers Rosodor in the hackney class, the winner of six championships and beaten only by one horse, Radiant of Judge Moore's string, Proscerpine, a frequent winner, shown in team with Cokers Rosodor; a small hackney pair, Lonsdale and Lonsborough, winners of many events, and his trotters, Bonnie View and Hip, with which he took the first prize for speed and action at the London show, and which were first also in pairs, and won the Vienna Cup for the best trotting horses at the show.

His trotter, Bugle March, exhibited in New York, has been a winner of many firsts in the riding horse class. In 1908 he was first at the International Show in London for high school work. Mr. Winans has done Bugle March in bronze. The statue was shown at the Royal Academy, and subsequently was purchased by a Russian nobleman.

New York Times, 13 Aug 1920

Winans' exploits were recalled a century later in When aesthetes competed at the Olympics, by David Colker:

The arts competition debuted at the 1912 Games in Stockholm where an American, Walter Winans, won the gold for sculpture. But he didn't stop there.

Winans also took silver in the 100-meter team running single shots competition, thus becoming the only Olympian in history to win both for sculpture and shooting...

Los Angeles Times, 25 Aug 2008

William Louis Winans (1-9-1-1-1-7-2) (1823-1897), is the brother of Thomas D. Winans, and is mentioned in Thomas' article above:


William L. Winans, Esq., Wastes His Substance on Ballet-girls

LONDON, Dec. 8.--(Special Dispatch.) William L. Winans's distribution of $5500 among the ballet-girls at the Alhambra has made him the hero of the London music-hall world. Winans has been known for some weeks among the frequenters of the Alhambra as "the mad American." Every night he has occupied alone a $5 box during the forty minutes of the Titania ballet on stage. He has never sought to go behind the stage or make the acquaintance of any of the performers. His name was unknown until a week ago, when he sent a check to the managers with directions to distribute the money among the girls, giving the first dancers $200, the general dancers $50 and the children $20 each. His solitary figure is still seen in the box every evening and the members of the ballet now salute him as the "American Monte Cristo."

Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec 1895, page 1


Millionaire Winans Dead in London.



His Hobby Making Models of Steamers - Would Never Recross the Atlantic.
Special Dispatch to "The Chronicle."

NEW YORK. June 25.-A London cable dispatch says William L. Winans, formerly of Baltimore, the well-known millionaire railroad builder, died to-day.

Wlnans had furnished the English papers with material for comment on his alien and aggressive wealth for many years. His chief offense seemed to be that he paid more for his shooting box in Invernesshire than any of the nobility, and that he didn't permit aristocrat or bare-legged Scotch gillie to trespass on his thousands of acres of deer preserves.

The Winans fortune was made in railroad building in Russia. Fifty years ago, in Baltimore, the two brothers, Thomas [1-9-1-1-1-7-1] and William Winans, were railroad engineers, and both men of natural genius, although far from cultivated or scientific engineers. They saw the future of railway building in Russia. About that time the Czar drew that celebrated pencil mark across the map from St. Petersburg to Moscow as a route for a projected railroad. After all the engineers had given their views of the best practical route between the two cities before the Czar and the Council of State, Nicholas took up a ruler, and, drawing a perfectly straight line across the map from St. Petersburg to Moscow, handed it to them as the final route of the railroad.

The Russians had recourse to foreign engineers, and the Winans took up the work. The road was successfully laid and a great fortune was secured to them, but it was not until 1861 that a locomotive was built which was a complete success. In those days Russian locomotives burnt wood altogether, and it was only after seventeen years of experiments that the right kind of a locomotive was built. But from then on their fortunes began to be colossal. Thomas had married the daughter of a Russian shopkeeper. She died leaving him two children--Ross Winans [1-9-1-1-1-7-1-2] of Baltimore and Celeste [1-9-1-1-1-7-1-4], now married to Mr. Hutton, a young Englishman in the diplomatic servlce. William had married an English woman of the middle class and returned to England to enjoy his wealth.

Since the time that William Winans first crossed the ocean on his way to Russia, in 1844, he never returned to this country. In both brothers a strain of eccentricity early developed itself, and in William it took the form of a nervous dread of crossing the ocean. Never did any American become so thoroughly weaned from his country as this man. He often said that he would not cross the Atlantic for £1,000,000.

Winans had several hobbies, one of which was building models of steam vessels after peculiar designs. These models invariably upset when put to practical trial. Winans' income was estimated at $1,000,000 yearly, which made him next to the Rothschilds and the Duke of Westminster, the richest man in England. His house in Kensington Palace Gardens was extremely handsome. The carpet once laid there had a history. A magnificent one was designed and woven at Axminster expressly for the main drawing-room. After it was laid Mr. Winans did not like it, so he had another one made. When the second one came the question was what to do with the first. Mr. Winans thought a moment or two. "Just put it down over the first," he said, as if struck with a sudden solution. So No. 2, which had cost hundreds of pounds, with No. 1, which had also cost hundreds of pounds, for the lining, and Mr. Winans had the most expensive floor covering in London.

The deer forest which has so particularly exasperated ihe English press against Winans was certainly conducted on indefensible principles. It was, next to Lord Lovat's, the most extensive and the costliest deer forest in Scotland. Besides the regular establishment sixty "gillies" or deerstalkers were required during the season. Mr. Winans was no sportsman, and the way the enormous deer batteaus were conducted had no parallel except by the organized bands of titled marauders who came from England to exterminate the large game of the Northwest. Mr. Winans was occasionally persuaded to stand, gun in hand, for a few hours, to take a shot at the numerous deer that were driven by, but some years he did not even go near Inverness-shire. He also followed the English custom so amazing to Americans of selling his game, and every week in the season immense hampers were shlpped to market from his place.

Winans professed to be more entertained by the circus, next to Patti's singing, than any other form of amusement. It is told of him that once in Russia an American manager brought a circus company to St. Petersburg, and, hearing of Mr. Winans' fondness for the art of the sawdust ring, went to him and suggested that he should shell out such a very considerable sum for boxes that Winans asked indignantly if he was expected to pay for the whole performance. "Well, I haven't the slightest objection," answered the man of brass. Wlnans was so tickled at his impudence that he bought the whole house. The night of the performance he presented himself with a friend or two, and set out the whole thing, to the delight and amusement of the circus people, whom he made to answer his encores, and do just as though a thousand people were present instead of two or three.

San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Jun 1897, page 1

Winifred Winans (~1816-?):


Aged Woman Hermit Breaks Silence at Last and Discloses the Reasons for Her Secluded Life.

[Wesley (Pa.) Correspondence New York World:] "Old Winifred" Winans--as she is called in Wesley--has been an enigma to her neighbors for more than sixty years. She has led the life of a hermit, speaking to no one, giving none her confidence. Now, in her eighty-fifth year, however, she has concluded to tell her story.

Sixty-eight years ago the woman hermit of Wesley was 17 years old.

Her father wished her to marry one man, but she loved another.

The man of Miss Winan's choice was Charles Young of Buffalo, a handsome young man whom she met one nlght at a dance. So opposed was John Winans, the father of the girl, to her marriage with Young, however, that he planned to have Young killed in a duel.

Young and his rival met in this encounter. They were strangely seconded. The father acted as the second of Young's opponent, while the daughter represented her lover in the fight.

Young's pistol drew first blood, and the successful duellist promptly demanded Miss Winans's hand from her father. The two became engaged, old Winans apparently acceptlng the situation.

During the absence of Young from Wesley a short time after the duel, Winans took his daughter away, the family moving to Allentown. No word as to their whereabouts was left with Miss Winans's suitor. Young followed, discovered their hiding place and demanded the hand of Winans's daughter.

Again the ardent lover was outwitted. The father secretly removed to Boston, Mass. For years all trace of the Winanses was lost. Letters from the girl to her lover were intercepted by the father, and Young was in despair.

He traveled in search of his promised bride, visiting Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and New York, but finally had to abandon the search in despair.

Miss Winans was told by her father that Young was dead. A bogus letter, purporting to come from one of her lover's frtends, was received by her announcing the sad news. She fell into a decline and nothing could arouse her from her melancholy thoughts.

Young, in his turn, realizing that his search was in vain, enlisted in the Union army. He served with Grant and Sherman and distinguished himself in the battles of Fredericksburg and Vicksburg.

After the war Young chanced to go to Boston on business. He attended a public reception. One of the faces In the crowd was strangely familiar to him. He was studying the countenance closely when suddenly it dawned upon him that the face belonged to his bride-to-be.

The couple began at once to make arrangements for the marriage. They fixed on the following day to be wedded in order that no accident should interfere with their happiness.

But old John Winans again appeared on the scene. At the altar he separated them.

The girl became insane. It was necessary to place her in an asylum in Boston. The repentant father did all in hi« power to restore his daughter to reason, even consenting to the marriage, but it was too late.

Not long after Young killed himself in a fit of despondency.

But the doctors had made a terrible error in their diagnosis of Miss Winans's condition. In three years she recovered her reason and was discharged.

In the meantime her father had died, leaving her $25,000.

She went back to Wesley in search of Young. There she learned of his pitiful death. Though the blow was a severe one, her reason did not altogether give way.

Mentally afflicted, however, her grief took another form. She settled into a profound despondency, from which nothing has been able to arouse her. Though living in Wesley more than three-score years, she has scarcely spoken two words to any of her neighbors in that time.

Those who have had the opportunity to scrutinize Miss Winans have noticed one thing: On her left hand can be seen a heavy gold ring. It is the one given her by Charles Young when she plighted faith to him sixty-eight years ago.

Once every year she mysteriously disappears from her home, and is absent for two weeks. On one of these occasions she was watched. She was seen to purchase a ticket for Buffalo. It is at Buffalo that the body of her lover reposes in a family vault.

At the door of this tomb every year Winifred Winans spends two weeks of her hermit life.

Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep 1901, page C2

1 In the 1860 U. S. census for the City of Burlington, New Jersey, page 119 lists Ada as a 25-year-old music teacher, born in New York, among the numerous teachers and other employees of St. Mary's Hall, which later became known as Doane Academy.
2 The man quoted in this article from the days of the panic of 1897 was the Rev. Ephraim Hutchinson Winans (1831-1918), a Methodist minister, who is assigned an identifier of (1-9-1-3-2-4-3) by Mrs. Egy. When he was enumerated in the 1900 U. S. census, his occupation was said to be "Pres. Water Co."
3 Mrs. Egy lists her last name as Hotte, which may or may not be correct.
4 This date is probably in error. Mrs. Egy says this Isaac was born 6 Apr 1752, his son, Isaac Jr. [1-7-7-3-3], 26 Jun 1778, and his father William (1-7-7) 26 Jun 1726. The author of this biography seems to have confused Isaac Sr.'s birth date with that of his father or child. And Mrs. Egy lists his wife's last name as Holley, while this sketch gives it as Holly.
5 There are discrepancies between the dates for Silas' children in this list and those provided by Mrs. Egy.
6 J. Cory Winans' involvement in the GAR was mentioned in several articles about the 1897 and 1903 encampments. The latter event was held in San Francisco, and he was listed as a leader of the Ohio veterans. I don't know why the article we quote here gives his residence as Camden.

Cory Winans' wife was mentioned in an article about the 1903 encampment, from the 25 Feb 1903 San Francisco Chronicle:

... Yesterday was a gala day in the annals of the Women's Relief Corps. Utopia Hall, on Sutter street, was bravely decorated with the national colors and bright spring flowers, and here between the hours of 3 and 5 o'clock, a reception was tendered to Mrs. Lodusky J. Taylor, national president of the Women's Relief Corps, and Mrs. Sarah D. Winans of Toledo, a member of the national home board, who is confidently expected to be the next president of the corps. The ladies are in the city arranging for the next national corps convention, to be held here in August...

Sarah eventually got to serve as president of the WRC. She presided over the WRC's own convention at the GAR's 38th encampment in Boston in 1904. Gen. Norton Parker Chipman's The Tragedy of Andersonville, self-published in 1911, lists her on page 510 -- "Mrs. Sarah D. Winans of Toledo, Ohio" -- as a past president, and as a participant in the dedication of a bronze tablet honoring WRC at the site of the infamous prison on Memorial Day, 1911. Sarah is also described as chairman of the Andersonville Prison Board. The book includes her picture on page 506 and her letters, describing the work of WRC in beautifying the cemetery, on pages 505 and 510. The story of the dedication states "The monument was unveiled by Master J. Corey Winans, Jr., of Ohio..." Although this implies that Cory and Sarah's son unveiled the monument, the child mentioned is more likely their grandson, John Cory Winans (1901-1917).
7 I have no information on the identity of this Captain Winans. I can find no mention of him in Mrs. Egy's book. There are numerous references on the world wide web to the voyage and loss of USS Jeannette however, and there are some mentions of this captain's last name as Winants.
8 There is no mention of this supposed wife in Mrs. Egy's book.
9 Ross Revillon Winans married his first cousin, Neva Whistler, a sister of artist James Whistler.
10 These references to Ross' family don't quite add up. According to Mrs. Egy's list of his siblings, Ross R. Winans had two brothers, one of them named William, but both died in childhood in Russia, long before the events described in the articles. His only sister, Celeste, was indeed alive at the time.
11 Susan may or may not have been the first white child born in what is now Chicago. That honor has also been claimed for Alexander Beaubien (1822-1907), although Beaubien was part Indian. However, in Reminiscences of Early Chicago, by Edwin O. Gale, 1902, Fleming H. Revell Co., after discussing Beaubien's claim to be the oldest living Chicagoan, the author states:
Had I written the above a few days earlier, I should have been obliged to contest the claim of our old friend Alex., by stating that Mrs. Susan Simons Winans was the oldest living white person born here. Her birth occurred in the fort, February 12, 1812, her father, John Simons, being corporal in Captain Nathan Heald's Co. of the 1st, U. S. Infantry. He and his son were killed in the massacre. The baby girl, at that time about six months old, was taken prisoner with her mother, and were ransomed after a captivity of nine months among the Indians. But only last Sunday, April 29th, 1900, I attended her funeral at the home of her daughter, Mrs. L. A. Glenn, at Santa Ana, California, where she had resided ten years, passing away Friday morning, April 27th. With others I was permitted, amidst the billows of roses which covered the casket, to look upon the features of this oldest representative of early Chicago.
12 There seems to be some confusion here as to where Susan (Simmons) Winans was living. She died two months before the 1900 census was taken. Her son William Brown Winans was living at 416 E. 1st St. in Santa Ana. Her daughter, Lydia Katherine (Winans) Glenn (1-5-5-1-1-4-9) was living alone, indexed as "S Catherine Glenn" in the census, at 803 Parton St.
13 This may be a reference to Heroes and heroines of the Fort Dearborn massacre. A romantic and tragic history of Corporal John Simmons and his heroic wife, also of the first child born in Chicago, by Noah Simmons, M. D., Journal Publishing Co., Lawrence, KS, 1896.
14 Mrs. Egy lists four children for Ross and Neva, including a daughter, Neva Winans (1-9-1-1-1-7-1-2-1), who was born in Paris and died at age two in 1883.
15 This attempt to link Walter to Dutch nobility appears to be erroneous. The Charles VI mentioned here may refer to the Holy Roman Emperor who ruled Brabant, among many other places, from 1711 until his death in 1740. I have found references to a Goswin de Wynants who lived during this Charles' reign, but Walter's descent from our ancestor John Winans is well documented.
16 The cousin who sent me this story commented "what a tale -- this is really a melodrama..." That's an understatement, but the tale may also be a fabrication, or its details may be scrambled beyond all resemblance to any true story. Here are some facts:
Last updated: 30 Jul 2013