JOHN WINN 1804-1863






John Winn, son of John Winn and Helena Moore was born in Minden, Mohawk Valley, Montgomery County, New York, 21 Jan. 1804.  He was the oldest of three sons.  His parents died when he was a young child and he was reared in the home of his uncle in New York.  He followed farming as a young man.

John Winn at the age of 24 married Christiana Finch, daughter of Thaddeus and Elizabeth Bailey Finch.  She was born 23 Jan. 1799 at Goshen, Orange County, New York.  They moved to Blakely, Luzerne Co. Penn.  Soon after their arrival there, two L. D. S. missionaries came to their home.  Their preaching impressed John very much and he began investigating this new religion.  Not being fully satisfied he went to Kirtland, Ohio, the headquarters of the church.  He was soon convinced of the truth of this new doctrine and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑Day Saints on the 30th of June 1833 by Oliver Cowdery, at Kirtland, Ohio.  His wife was not baptized on this day, as she gave birth to her third son‑‑ William Henry.  She was baptized at a later date in1833.

John went back to his home in Penn. and began to dispose of his property and in the spring of 1836 moved to Kirtland.  During their stay in Penn., they had four sons born to them: Thomas Griffin, the oldest, born 20 Dec. 1829, Walstine, 14 Jul. 1831, William Henry, 30 June 1833, and James Finch, 25 Nov. 1835.

On arriving at Kirtland they were counseled to continue on to Jackson County, Missouri.  They at once made purchase of land and a building lot, and began making a home, feeling they had located themselves where the Center Stake of Zion and the great temple would be built preparatory to the coming of the Savior to reign as King of Kings.  But to their surprise, mobs gathered and drove them into other parts of the state.

While located at Far West, Mo., another son, George Finch, was born on the 28th of Dec. 1838.

The John and Christiana Winn family was with the Saints during their persecutions and mobbings in Missouri and Illinois.  Both James and Walstine Winn died from exposure during the expulsion of the Saints from Missouri, only six weeks apart.  James died 5 Apr. 1839.  Walstine died 17th May 1839.  James was four years old and Walstine was nine.

At Nauvoo John and Christiana helped in building that city and the temple.  On Feb 7th 1846 they received their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple.  They were well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and they were closely associated with the Lott family at the time the Lott family lived on the Church Farm near Nauvoo.  John Winn attended the funeral services of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum (He was in the City of Nauvoo when they were killed).  He was in Nauvoo when the mob bombarded the city, and crossed the Mississippi on ice.  All their earthly possessions were left behind and being practically destitute they went to live with relatives in the city of Quincy, Ill.

Thomas Griffin Winn (Eldest son of John and Christiana) at the age of 17[?] years [1840?] went away to work to earn something for them to live on.  (One version says he went to work on the Erie Canal near Lake Era, New York).  He was away for two years and during that time Mormon elders came into his neighborhood holding meetings.  Their preaching so impressed him that he went home and urged his father and mother to prepare themselves to gather with the Saints in Salt Lake City and if they refused he was going anyway, but if they would go with him he would support them as long as they lived.  After some persuasion they decided to go. 

Christiana and her two sons, Thomas Griffin and George Finch‑‑ the oldest and the youngest made ready and in the spring of 1852 in company with Willis Lemon's father's family, the Patterson Griffiths family, and several other families (eight to ten families in all) they started for Utah, arriving here in the middle of the summer of 1852.

John Winn not being as well grounded in the faith as his wife did not emigrate to Utah with the Saints at this time.  John and his third son, William Henry came to Utah in 1856‑‑four years after his wife and two boys had left.

When they arrived, John found that his wife, Christiana had passed away two years earlier.  He then married a woman known as "Widow Weeks" [Mary Ann Baldrey Weeks] who died soon after their marriage.

Christiana Finch Winn was a woman of high ideals, true to her religion and firm in her faith.  She was an excellent housewife always busy caring for her husband and five sons.  She was an expert seamstress and at times she made men's clothing to supplement the family income.  She departed this life the 10th of July 1854, two years after her coming to Utah.  She was among the first to be buried in Lehi's first cemetery.  This cemetery no longer exists, but a large marker has been erected in memory of the dead who lie there.  It is located on Highway 91 at 8th North in Lehi.

John Winn died 1 Jan 1863 in Salt Lake City at the home of Aunt Malissa Lott Smith Willis, at the age of 59.  He was buried in Salt Lake City.

(NOTE* Christiana Finch Winn and Malissa Lott Smith were very good friends.  The Smith farm and the Winn farm adjoined.  Malissa Lott Smith Willis is the mother of John Willis' brother Ira's wife.)




James and Walstine died in Missouri‑‑1839.

George Finch Winn, the youngest son was born 28 Dec. 1839 in Far West, Caldwell, Missouri.  He was baptized a member of the L. D. S. Church in Lehi, Utah in 1854.  He resided in Lehi until the time of his death.  In the winter of 1855 he was called to go out west of Utah Lake and herd cattle for the people of Lehi.  While there in company with others (presumably the Weeks boys) the Indians came upon them and killed them.  George was 18 years of age.  According to Mathias Peterson‑‑ one of the early settlers of Lehi, he relates of the burial of these boys.  He said that the bodies of these three boys were brought in from the lake and were buried in one large grave in Lehi=s first cemetery.

William Henry Winn, the third son of John and Christiana Finch Winn was born 30 June 1833.  He came to Utah with his father in 1856.  He made his home in Lehi, Utah.  He married Martha Evans 20 Oct. 1859.  Fourteen children were born to this couple.  He later married Agnes McCombie.  Two Children were born to this couple.  He died 26 Apr. 1884.

Thomas Griffin Winn married Elizabeth Hatch and later Elizabeth Andrea Hansen or Nielsen.  Later he married Christina Victoria Otterbeck and still later he married Jane Batt.  Besides the 24 children born to Thomas Griffin and his four wives, he also raised an Arkansas boy and an Indian girl.  He died at White Water, Colo. May 1904.  Details of his death are limited as none of his family except the daughter he was living with knew of his death until some months later.


(These biographies were written and compiled by Christina Winn Willes and Susie Winn Whipple, daughters of William Henry Winn, and by William L. Winn, son of Thomas Griffin Winn, granddaughters and grandson of John Winn and Christiana Finch Winn.)