From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 804-805



Abner Winsor is one of the most widely known and most esteemed citizens of Steuben Township.  He has been identified with the history of the county since its beginning, and has ever been in the front rank of its progressive and energetic citizens.  He was born in the town of Hartwick, Otsego Co., N. Y., Sept. 29, 1812, a son of Joseph and Phoebe (Harris) Winsor, natives of Rhode Island, where they were reared and married, removing soon after to Otsego County, N. Y.  Abner Winsor was reared on his father's farm.  His opportunities for obtaining an education in his early life were quite limited, being only such as the common schools afforded.  In September, 1835, he came to Steuben County, Ind., and entered between 800 and 900 acres in Steuben Township, the principal portions of which were as follows:  The north half of section 14; the southeast fractional quarter of 14; the east half of the southwest quarter of 14; the east half of the northeast quarter of 15; the southwest quarter of 11, and the west half of the northeast quarter of 11.  After entering his land he returned to New York and Jan. 7, 1836, was married to Lucinda Robinson, a native of Hartwick, born March 10, 1819.  The following March they moved to their pioneer home, and began the improvement of his land.  Their first house was a board shanty, which he built in April, 1836, and their second a log cabin, built the next fall.  Not having a cook-stove Mrs. Winsor cooked by a fire on the outside of the cabin six months.  In the winter of 1836-'37 Mr. Winsor built a small frame house in which they lived fifteen years.  In 1836 he set out an orchard, which was the first in the township; most of the trees are living and productive.  In 1850 he sold forty acres of land on section 11, including his residence, to I.D. Morley, and in 1852 built a house on the east half of the northeast quarter of section 15, which at that time was the finest in the county, and put up suitable farm buildings.  He also built a two-story tenement house, and set out another orchard.  The most of the land described above was timber openings with a rich and productive soil.  He improved all except such as he reserved for necessary woodland, and made one of the finest farms in the county, living on it till 1876.  His faithful wife who had shared with him the hardships and struggles of a pioneer life, and who had lived to reap some of the rewards of their labors, died Feb. 14, 1873.  In 1868 Mr. Winsor went to Chicago, where he remained two years, and then passed some time in the South.  He still owns the old homestead, where he spends a portion of his time; his residence, however, is in Grand Rapids, Mich.  In addition to his farm he owns valuable property in Kent County, Mich., and also city property in Chicago.  Mr. Winsor has but one daughter -- Mary Estella, who was born in 1846.  She has been twice married.  Her first husband was Orlando P. Fisk, who at his death left six children -- Winsor W., Mark H., Charles O., M. Stella, Lilly L. and Clara L.  Her present husband is Orson W. Fisk, a brother of her first husband.  They have one child -- Carlotta M.  They live on the old homestead in Steuben Township.



Submitted by Kim Davoli