WINTER, David, farmer, residing four and three-quarter miles south of Jacksonville, Ill., ranks as one of the most successful and highly respected farmers of Morgan County, and represents the best type of the self-made American citizen of foreign birth. He was born in Yorkshire, England, May 13, 1826, the son of William and Mary (Morrell) Winter. His father was a brick and tile maker, a trade which the son learned in his youth, in addition to being trained to agricultural pursuits. On September 10, 1858, having determined to seek his fortunes in the New World, he sailed from Liverpool on the ship "Liverpool", a converted man-of-war, bound for America. Arriving in New York City, he first went to Jefferson County, N. Y., where for nine months he was employed on various dairy farms at $9 per month. Going thence to Pennsylvania, he worked in that State through the harvest season of 1850. Late in the fall of that year he started for Illinois, and near Franklin, Morgan County, he worked on a farm for about nine months, at monthly wages of $13. From that time until 1855 he was employed by the farmers of Morgan County. In 1854, in partnership with his brother William, who, in 1851, had emigrated from England, he rented a farm and raised a crop.
Convinced that good fortune was to follow as the result of his labors in the West, on November 6, 1856, Mr. Winter wedded Nancy Redding, a native of Morgan County, and continued to rent and prosecute farming on land southeast of Jacksonville until 1866, when he purchased a portion of the farm on which he is now located, and where he has since resided. In that year he erected their first home, an unpretentious structure, which in 1894 gave way to the present beautiful residence. Success has attended the labors of Mr. Winter from the beginning, as a result of the care and attention bestowed upon his property, and the earnest cooperation of his devoted wife, who has shared equally with him the arduous duties necessary to success in agricultural life. As the result of the united efforts of this worthy couple, they are now in a position where they may enjoy the balance of their lives in quiet and comfort. Mr. Winter now has 432 acres of land in Morgan County and 240 acres in Nebraska. He still devotes his time to the cultivation of his home property, with the constant assistance of his wife, who is possessed of rare executive ability and carefully manages the financial affairs of the household.
Mrs. Winter was born on her father's farm east of Jacksonville, November 1, 1837, and is the daughter of Jacob and Artemesia (Wade) Redding. Her father who was of German descent, died when Mrs. Winter was but three years of age, and was one of the earliest settlers of Morgan County, being one of the men who laid out the city of Jacksonville. Jacob Redding's wife was a native of Tennessee. Their eldest son, John Redding, the first white child born in Morgan County, died at the Soldiers' Home, at Leavenworth, Kans, in August, 1902, at the age of about seventy-eight years.
Mr. and Mrs. Winter have been the parents of fifteen children. Of these nine are living, named in the order of their birth, as follows: William Thomas, a farmer residing near Aurora, neb.; James Edward, also a farmer living near Aurora; George Washington, a farmer located east of Woodson, Morgan County; Charles henry, who resides near his elder brothers in Nebraska; Sarah Jane, wife of George W. Barnhart, a farmer of Morgan County; Claude Oliver, also of Morgan County; Lillie May, wife of Joseph Helliwell, of Morgan County; Homer Morrell and Bessie Pearl, who reside with their parents. Six children are deceased, as follows: Mary Belle, who married Hiram Sorrell; Jane Elizabeth, Dorothy Ann, John David, Lula Ellen and an infant.
The career of Mr. Winter may well be taken as an illustration for the present generation of the possibilities of accomplishment by a man who commences life with no other foundation than good health, industry and a determination to succeed. The fortune which he has amassed has come to him and his wife as the direct result of their hard work and mutual assistance; and Mr. Winter very generously gives his helpmate the credit for the greater share of ingenuity in caring for his means after they had been accumulated.