SAMUEL M. WINTON. The Winton family of Berlin Heights, probably have as many interesting associations with the
early settlement and the early families of Erie County as any of the representatives of pioneer stock that can
still be found in this region. The Wintons have lived in this part of Northern Ohio upwards of ninety years, while
Mrs. Winton's family was settled here more than a century ago.
Samuel M. Winton is of Scotch ancestry, though the name has been identified with this country for several generations
His parents were Montville and Charlotta (Barnes) Winton, both of whom were natives of Lorain County, Ohio, and
both of Connecticut families. Both Winton and Barnes families came to Northern Ohio during the early '20s, when
all the country was little more than a wilderness. The Wintons settled in Vermilion Township of Erie County, while
the Barnes family found a location at Amherst in Lorain County. From both of these households the mills and stores
and other markets were miles distant. Wild game was in abundance in the woods and the Indians were still common
visitors at their log cabin homes. Both families improved good farms and did their share of the early pioneer work.
The grandparents of Mr. Winton in both the Winton and Barnes lines lived to ripe old age in spite of the hardships
of their early experience, and most of them were past fourscore when called upon to settle their last accounts.
After Montville Winton and wife were married they began housekeeping at Amherst in Lorain County, and he developed
one of the first regular businesses of buying and shipping cattle, horses, sheep and hogs. He was a drover to Cleveland
and other eastern markets, though most of his stock went to Cleveland. For many years he was almost constantly
traveling about over Lorain, Huron and Erie counties, and acquired a large acquaintance with the people of this
section of the state through his business relations. It was his custom in the early days to take his cattle to
market one kind at a time, driving the cattle, horses, sheep and hogs all in separate droves. Later in life Montville
Winton and wife moved to Wood County, Ohio, and spent their last years in retirement at Portage Montville Winton
died there a little more than twenty years ago, having survived his wife several years. Montville Winton was born
about 1805 and his wife about 1808. They were members pf the Methodist Church and he was a republican. To their
marriage were born eight children, four sons and four daughters. Three of these died when quite young. Morton,
one of those that grew up, was in the United States Navy throughout the period of the Civil war and died a bachelor
at Portage when about sixty years of age. Another child, George, who is still living and makes his home at Portage,
in Wood County, was also a soldier and went through the war unscathed with an Ohio regiment and is now sixty eight
years of age and is married but has no children. A daughter, Artemisia, the widow of John Stapleton, lives at Fort
Wayne, Indiana, and has a son and three daughters. Another daughter was Melissa, who died a few years ago at Portage,
as the widow of Franklin Mendell, who was one of the most popular railway engineers on the Lake Shore road.
Samuel M. Winton was the oldest son and the second child of his parents. Hem was born at Brownhelm in Lorain County,
Ohio, May 8, 1838. He grew up at his father's home, and early became identified with the business of stock drover
followed by his father. Beginning as early as twelve years he rode a horse and helped drive cattle to Cleveland,
and he proved himself so trustworthy that he was often allowed to take a herd by himself. That business gave him
his chief activities until he reached his majority. After his marriage he settled on a farm at Ogontz in Berlin
Township, and there he had forty five acres of well improved land and in addition to its own productions he carried
on an extensive business in the buying and selling of horses, cattle and other stock, mainly for the benefit of
local markets. Another feature of his farming was fruit growing. In these activities he was engaged with satisfying
success until the spring of 1903, when he removed to Berlin Heights and bought a comfortable residence on South
Mr. Winton was married in the Peak neighborhood of Berlin Township, January 1, 1863, to Miss Dorleca Peak. Mrs.
Winton was born near Ceylon Junction, December 4, 1843, and in that community grew up and received her education,
and in a marriage relationship of more than half a century has shared the responsibilities of life with her husband
and been his constant help and encouragement. Her parents. Daniel and Mary (Phillips) Peak, both natives of Erie
County, represented a notable family of this section of Ohio. Both her parents were born in Erie County prior to
1820 and were married in Berlin Township, and afterwards lived on their farm in that township until they retired
to Berlin Heights; Daniel Peak died there August 23, 1865, when nearly forty seven years of age, and his wife passed
away June 25, 1898, at the age of seventy two. She died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Winton, at Ogontz. She
was a member of the Congregational Church, though her family were Methodists, and in politics her husband was a
republican. Mrs. Winton's paternal grandfather was Oliver Peak, who was born in Vermont of old New England stock,
moved to New York State, and there married Polly Van Banscoten, who was of an old Dutch family long established
in the Mohawk Valley. Polly's father had the care of General Washington's horses while that great man was in New
York State during the Revolutionary war. Oliver Peak and wife came to Erie County in 1812 or 1813, and settled
in Berlin Township, after breaking a way through the woods from Cleveland. They arrived with an ox team, and their
first settlement was a mile south of the lake at what is now Ceylon Station or in that immediate vicinity. Here
they went through all the usual experiences of the pioneer. Their first home, a log cabin, was replaced by a frame
house, and that in turn by a substantial brick house. which is still standing, though built eighty years ago, and
is an interesting landmark of that community. Oliver Peak gave the land now included in the Peak Cemetery. He and
his wife lived quiet but industrious and wholesome lives and died on their farm when about fourscore years of age.
Oliver Peak was at one time reputed to be the richest man in Berlin Township. For years he served as justice of
the peace, and was held in high esteem for his integrity of character and his good common sense, apart from his
material wealth. He was first a whig and later a republican in politics, and his wife was a Baptist in religion.
The last thirteen years of her life she was an invalid, and in spite of that affliction was a woman of rare charm
and a delightful companion to old and young. Oliver Peak's father was an English sea captain, but died in New England,
probably in Vermont.
Mr. and Mrs. Winton have one daughter, Mary L., who is living at home. She was well educated in the Norwalk High
School, and is a skilled milliner. She is a member of the Tuesday Tourist Club and one of the active workers in
that literary organization at Berlin Heights. The family attend the Congregational Church, and Mr. Winton is a
republican in politics.
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago and New York 1916
Erie County, Ohio
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