Thursday, December 29, 2011

Grandpa Winslow

I have found my great great grandfather to be a fascinating character.  I don’t think he ever had any fame or was anything special to society.  However, what I have read about him tells me that he was a good man who wasn’t afraid of hard work or a challenge.  He also was remarkably good humored and stories that I have read a great story teller.  Winslow Lonsdale Pope was born 1 Nov 1847 in Warwick, Drummond, Quebec and died 2 Oct 1928 in Weston, Middlesex Co., MA.  He was the son of Francis Pope and Belinda Willey and the grandson of Winslow Pope and Mary Wheelock.  Winslow was the second child in his family to be named Winslow Lonsdale Pope – he had an older brother who was born in 1839 and died in 1842.  I’ve never understood giving a child a name that had been an older deceased child’s name.  I’m sure I look at the situation with a modern interpretation. 

Winslow married Martha Rutherford in Barnet Co., VT on 30 May 1868.  They were married 11 years and had 4 children, 2 of whom survived to adulthood.  Martha woke up one night with severe abdominal pains as bad pains in the back of her head and neck.  She slipped into a coma and died shortly thereafter.  Winslow was left with two children to care for and must have been desolate with his wife’s death.  He married Nancy Ann Marie Lyons on 19 Mar 1881.  At 26 years old, she must have been considered to be an old maid.  Within 5 years, they had left New Hampshire and had traveled to Dickinson Co., IA.  There they had 4 of their seven children.  Here is a list of their children:

·        Shirlie Louisa b. 14 Jul 1881 Burke, Caledonia Co., VT d. 14 Apr 1927 Dunn Center, Dunn Co., ND
·         Anna May b. 5 Nov 1883 Bath, Grafton Co., NH d. 30 Nov 1935 Wing, Burleigh Co., ND
·         Mattie Winnova b. Jan 1886 Lake Park, Dickinson Co., IA d. 21 Jul 1901 Sioux Valley, Jackson Co., MN
·         Verna Myra b. 1 Mar 1889 Lake Park, Dickinson Co., IA d. 18 Sep 1946 Turtle Lake, McLean Co., ND
·         Hazel Bell b. 17 Dec 1891 Lake Park, Dickinson Co., IA d. 8 Jul 1921 Turtle Lake, McLean Co., ND
·         John Francis b. 26 Nov 1895 Sioux Valley, Jackson Co., MN d. aft 1934
·         Plumer Elwood b. 24 Nov 1897 Lake Park, Dickinson Co., IA d. 8 Nov 1981 Wells River, Orange Co., VT

The older children were:
·         Male Pope b. Jul 1869 Landaff, Grafton Co., NH d. Sep 1869, Danville, Caledonia Co., VT
·         Addie C. b. 20 Nov 1870 Haverhill, Grafton Co., NH d. 16 Aug 1872 Danville, Caledonia Co., VT
·         Francis Hooker b. 22 Jan 1873 Greenbank’s Hollow, Danville, Caledonia Co., VT d. 21 Dec 1934 Auburndale, Middlesex Co., MA
·         Viola Belinda  b. 15 Sep 1875 Danville, Caledonia Co., VT d. 2 Feb 1892 Lake Park, Dickinson Co., IA

Winslow with Shirlie and Anna May
Winslow and Nancy moved to McLean Co., ND sometime around 1905.  Not too long after their move, Nancy died of tuberculosis.   After the 1910 census, Winslow left ND and went back east.  His oldest son, Francis or Frank as he was called had moved to Middlesex Co., MA by 1897.  Winslow joined him after 1910 and married for the third time an older woman who was caring for her two nieces.  Winslow was settled in MA but still made several trips back to North Dakota to visit his family.  He had a good enough relationship to carry on a correspondence with his granddaughter, Nan Johnson.  We have copies of many of those letters. 

I suspect that Winslow had a pioneer’s heart.  He enjoyed the challenges that life offered and wasn’t afraid to move somewhere else if he saw an opportunity.  Winslow was recorded I Landaff, Grafton Co., NH in 1870, Bath, Grafton Co., NH in 1880, Sioux Valley, Jackson Co., N in 1900 and Washburn, Mclean Co., ND.  He was recorded for the last time in 1920 in Weston, Middlesex Co., MA.  We know that he was in Minnesota by 1885 because of the births of his children.    During his lifetime, he worked as a farmer, a lumberman and a cook.  He died at the age of 81 of a cerebral hemorrhage. 

Winslow - Taken about a week before he died.
When you consider the timeline of his life – it is sad to note that of 11 children – he outlived all but 5 of his children as well as two wives.  He also outlived all but one of his 10 siblings.  Yet when you read his letters there is a sense of humor and kindness that is evident to his granddaughter.  It is obvious that he was a good man and well beloved by his family.  This is pretty good epitaph for a lifetime, don’t you think?

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