Silas J. Winters (1857-1935)
The Sash Our Forefathers Wore
Silas J. Winters was born June 17th, 1857 in Belleville, Ontario.
He was a life-long member of the Loyal Orange Association since youth, having attained the master's degree in that association. He first joined the Order at Port Hope, Ontario, in 1881, being received into membership in Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1062, and was a member of Camrose Loyal Orange Lodge No. 2930 during his residence there.
It is of interest to note that the first Orange Lodge in Ireland was formed in the home of Dan Winters at "The Diamond" in Tyron County, near the city of Armagh. Just recently a niece of the late Mr. Winters paid a visit to the old home in Ireland and found a family of Winters still residing there.
As a young man, together with his brother, Mr. Winters joined the 35th Foot Militia, and it was while he was on leave that a draft went West from his unit to take part in quelling the Riel Rebellion. Only a limited number of men were required for the draft and Mr. Winters was not recalled for duty. His brother, however, was included in the contingent.
Being interested in military activities ever since, Mr. Winters took a friendly interest in the local branch of the Canadian Legion since coming to Camrose and was always to be seen at Legion functions.
The late Mr. Winters, born near Belleville, Ontario, June 17, 1857, came of United Empire Loyalist stock. His grandmother was a member of the Longwell family whose names are to be found among those who made the long trek into Canada following the American War of Independece and who at that time became known as the United Empire Loyalists. The Longwells settled in Tiantinage just across the Bay of Quinte from their former homeland.
Mr. Winters' grandfather came out from Ireland with an Irish Regiment in 1812 and fought at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Following the war of 1812 he remained in Canada and married a daughter of the Longwells who had come to Canada at the time of the exodus of the U.E. Loyalists. Later a Miss Sarah Downard met and married John Winters, the son of the Irish soldier and the daughter of the Longwells. This couple were Mr. Winters' parents.
Mr. Winters was one of a family of seven and he was some ten years of age when his father died following hardship and exposure during service in the defence of his country at the time of the Fenian raids. Although but a lad at the time, Mr. Winters was able to recall in recent years many incidents of the stirring days of the Fenian raids. Due to the early death of his father, Mr. Winters was thrown on his own resources at an early age, but his sturdy independence led him to seek his fortune as a youth when he dared to strike out on his own at the age of fourteen. He later joined his older brother from whom he learned the trade of painter and interior decorator which became his life work.
He was married May 8th, 1885 in Port Hope to Miss Annabelle Kirk, a direct descendent of the Sir David Kirk who captured Quebec in 1629 from Champlain. There were three children: Lieut. A.M. Winters, killed in action June 22, 1918; Eva May (Mrs. W.H. Craig of Camrose); and Olive, who died in childhood of diptheria.
Mr. Winters resided in Port Hope for a time following his marriage, later making his home in Orillia, Ont. In 1905, his son Arthur came out to Aberdeen, Sask. Mr. Winters followed in 1908 and the other members of the family came out the next year. After a residence of 15 years in Aberdeen, Mr. and Mrs. Winters came to Camrose to be near their daughter, Mrs. Craig. Mrs. Winter's death occured here on December 20th, 1933.
The late Mrs. Winters is survived by one daughter, Mrs. W.H. Craig, the only remaining child; one sisters, Mrs. E. Murphy of New Westminster, B.C., who has reached the advance age of 81; one brother, Captain J.W. Winters of Winnipeg, a veteran of the North-West Rebellion, the Boer War and the Great War; and three grandchildren, James Longwell Winters of the State of Washington, and Miss Mildred Craig and Mr. A. Vernon Craig of Camrose.
Silas passed away on December 25th, 1935 in Lloydminster, Alberta and he was laid to rest at the Valleyview Cemetery.
Camrose Canadian, Tuesday, December 31, 1935
Silas J. Winters in his Loyal Orange Lodge sash and Royal Black Preceptory apron (Photo: findagrave.com / Brian McConnell).