WILLIAM HENRY WINN SR.

1833 1884

 

 

William Henry Winn, son of John and Christiana Finch Winn, was born in the state of Penn., Luzerne County, township of Greenfield, June 30th1833. Two L. D. S. missionaries visited the Winn home and converted this family to the truthfulness of the gospel. On the day William Henry was born, his father was baptized a member of the church, his mother soon followed.

His parents, after accepting the gospel, disposed of their property in Pennsylvania and moved to Kirtland, and then on to Jackson County, Missouri to be with the main body of the church. Here they purchased more land and prepared to settle, but the mobs drove them to other places. They were driven to Illinois in the Mormon expulsion of 1838. They endured all the persecutions of the Saints in early days of church history. It was in Nauvoo that William Henry was baptized into the church in 1842.

In the spring of 1852 the mother and her oldest son, Thomas Griffin, and youngest son, George, started to Utah, arriving in the middle of the summer, and settling in Lehi. Four years later, in 1856, John, the father and his third son, William Henry came to Utah. Upon arrival here they found that their wife and mother had passed away two years previously.

After settling in Lehi, William became acquainted with Martha Evans, daughter of Barbara Ann Ewell and Bishop David Evans. At the age of 26 years he was married to her on October 20, 1859, it being her 17th birthday. This wedding took place at her parents' home. It was a double wedding as their friends, Martha Coleman and William Southwick, were married at the same time. A big dinner party followed the ceremony.


William H. Winn was an energetic worker in the business and the religious affairs of Lehi and did much to improve its general interests. He was mayor of Lehi three terms and later represented Utah County in the Legislature. He and his partner, William Clark, were pioneer sheep raisers in this area. They found good grazing lands hear Lehi. In the Tickville territory, 13 miles northwest of town, they established shearing and lambing grounds which are still used for that purpose to this day. In the early stages of this industry, the clothing for the family was made by Grandma Winn, who washed, corded, and spun the wool to make clothing for her family. Later the Utah Woolen Mills were established in Provo and William Henry became a shareholder. He would take the wool to the mills and return to his home with many bolts of material, to which a room of the house was set aside to store the cloth. People would come to the home to purchase this material for their clothing. William's brother‑in‑law, Edward Edwards, who was a tailor by trade, worked hand‑in‑hand with Grandpa Winn making men's suits and coats for people from the material of their choice.

On November 1, 1874, William Winn left his home and family to accept a call as a missionary to labor in the state of New York, where he filled an honorable mission. He accepted a second call to the mission field in Oct. 1879, laboring in the state of Texas until he was released on account of ill health.

He served as captain in the Black Hawk Indian War. He also served as counselor to his father‑in‑law, Bishop David Evans, eleven years and later to Bishop Thomas B. Cutler for five years, a position which he held at the time of his death.

He became the father of 14 children by Martha Evans Winn. He also had two children by a plural marriage with Agnes McCombie.

He passed away when his youngest child was just three weeks old. He died April 26, 1884 at the age of 51 years, 9 months, and thus passed from this stage of action a very prominent man and a substantial citizen.

This tribute was paid him in the History of Lehi, "As a citizen he was cautious, discreet and yet progressive. As a man he was honest and upright in his dealings, strictly temperate in his habits, and firm in his convictions."

 

(Compiled by Martha Peterson Forbes, daughter of Rose Evelyn Winn who was a daughter of Wm. Henry Winn.)