Clinton County is greatly indebted for its present wealth and high standing to the sturdy, intelligent and enterprising tillers of the soil, who have been instrumental in developing its valuable agricultural resources. As a worthy member of the farming population, who has contributed his quota to its advancement, we take pleasure in presenting to the readers of this volume a brief review of the life of Henry Winkeler. The power of honesty and integrity is well illustrated in his quiet, unpretentious life, and both as farmer and citizen he ranks high among the residents of Germantown Township. Upon his place on section 25, he engages both in general farming and in the raising of stock, and has met with success in both departments of agriculture.
The father of our subject, Albert WINKELER, was born in Germany and emigrated thence to America about 1849, coming direct to Clinton County. Here, in 1850, he married Miss Christina WELLEN, a native of Germany, who accompanied her parents to the United States in childhood and settled with them in Clinton County, the family being numbered among the pioneers of this part of Illinois. Her parents continued to reside here until their death, at which time they left three children: Mrs. Winkeler; John, a farmer in Aviston, Clinton County; and Andrew, a resident of Damiansville, this county.
The union of Albert and Christina Winkeler resulted in the birth of eight children, three of whom died in infancy. The others are: Henry, our subject; Bernard, a resident of St. Louis, Mo.; Annie, who married Albert HEGEL and at her death left three children; Joseph, whose home is in Bartelso; and Frank, whose home adjoins that of Henry. The subject of this sketch was born December 19, 1851, in Clinton County, Ill. In boyhood he attended the district schools, but, ambitious to gain a higher education than the neighborhood afforded, he entered Christian Brothers' College in St. Louis, Mo., where he remained for two and one-half years. Afterward he taught school for three years, and with the money thus earned paid his tuition in the St. Francis Normal School of Milwaukee, Wis., from which institution he was graduated in 1877.
After completing his studies, Mr. Winkeler taught school for three years at Mishawaka, Ind., and at the same time filled the position of Choir Director of the music department of the St. Joseph Parish Church. While residing in Indiana he was united in marriage, July 16, 1878, with Miss Johanna OPGENORTH, a native of Germany. They are the parents of six living children: Joseph, Barney, Frank, Nettie, Christina and Leo. Those deceased are: Albert, Simon, Mary and Albert J. In 1880, Mr. Winkeler took charge of the school and choir at Damiansville, this county, and there remained for eight years, having in his school between seventy and eighty pupils.
In 1885 Mr. Winkeler purchased his present farm on section 25, Germantown Township, but on account of poor health he removed to this place in 1888. Here he has since devoted his attention to general farming pursuits, in which occupation he has been as successful as he was in the profession of a teacher. He has for many years been a devoted and prominent member of the Catholic Church, with which his family is also identified. Politically a Democrat, he has been elected upon the ticket of that party to a number of important local positions. For two years he served as Highway Commissioner, and for the past three years he has been Township School Trustee.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clinton, Washington, Marion and Jefferson Counties, Illinois, 1894, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, IL
Submitted by: Connie Albers
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