Richard Winkler is esteemed as one of the best qualified engineers sailing out of Manistee, Mich. He has proved himself reliable and trustworthy, and has been honored by the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, of Manistee, of which he has been chosen treasurer four or five years.
Mr. Winkler was born at Fort Washington, Wis., April 7, 1860, a son of Gotthelf and Lottie Winkler, natives of Saxony, Germany, who came to the United States in 1854 and located at Fort Washington, Wis., where they purchased and improved a farm. They had a family of twelve children, all of whom were made useful in that work. The father died in 1880, but the mother is still living, at the age of seventy-eight years, making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Bertha Getter, in Omaha, Neb. Three of the sons became volunteers during the Civil war and served with honor, Maurice enlisting in the 26th Wis. V.I.; he was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, the ball striking his forehead and passing round the skull, and he participated in the battles of Bull Run, Spottsylvania, Fredericksburg, the seven-days' fight in the Wilderness, Fairfax Court House, Petersburg and Richmond, besides several smaller engagements; at the close of the war he was honorably discharged, and after his return home followed the lakes for many years, being drowned in 1882 off the piers at Manistee, from the tug Irma Wheeler, when forty-two years old. Henry took part in many of the battles of the Army of the Potomac; he died of pneumonia, in 1893, at Juniata, Neb., leaving his family a fine farm of 640 acres. Herman, the third son, who became a Union soldier during the Rebellion, participating in many hotly contested engagements, and was wounded, but not dangerously; he is now chief engineer on the steamer Robert C. West. Edward is a farmer and cattle dealer at Omaha, Neb. Robert, who was born on the Atlantic Ocean while his parents were coming from Saxony to this country, followed the lakes as an engineer, and was for a long time in the employ of the Canfield Tug line, at Manistee, Mich., running the Maggie Marshall and Joy, and owning an interest in the last-named boat; he died of heart disease in 1895, while engineer of the steamer Robert Holland, on Lake Superior, about four miles from Sault Ste. Marie. Louis owns a large farm near Juniata, Neb., and is a dealer in pine lands near Florence, Wis. Lydia, the eldest daughter, is married. Bertha married a Mr. Getter, of Omaha, Neb. Emma became the wife of John Zanther, a real-estate dealer, of Omaha, where she died in 1889. Oscar is cultivating a large farm near Juniata, Nebraska.
In 1868 the family removed to Grafton, Wis., where they purchased another farm, and it was there Richard Winkler received his primary education, working on the farm in the meantime. In the spring of 1876 he shipped as fireman in the steamer J. C. Osgood, with the purpose of becoming an engineer, and remained in this berth two seasons, transferring to the steamer Caroline Williams, in which he also spent two seasons. As he was a thrifty young man he had saved up $750 of his earnings, which he deposited in a bank, and that institution failing, his hard-earned money went with the rest, but the misfortune did not greatly discourage him. In the spring of 1880 he took out engineer's license and shipped as second with his brother Robert, in the Maggie Marshall, advancing the next season to the office of chief of the tug J. C. Osgood. In the spring of 1882 he joined the steamer R. A. Seymour as chief, running her two seasons in the lumber trade between Milwaukee and Manistee. The next four years he passed as chief in the steamer Rand, and in 1888 he was appointed chief of the George C. Markham, which he ran two seasons, in 1890 taking chief's berth in the Gen. U. S. Williams. In the spring of 1891 Mr. Winkler became chief engineer of the new steamer Edward Buckley, which position he heolds at this writing. She plies to the salt and lumber trade, principally between Manistee and Chicago.
Mr. Winkler chose for his wife Miss Ida L. Irwin, daughter of Thomas and Annie Irwin, of Grafton, Wis., and they were married February 28, 1884. The children born to this union are Willie R., Irwin, Mildred, Ida Bessie and Robert E. The family homestead is situated at No. 381 Fourth street, Manistee, Mich. Fraternally Mr. Winkler is a member of the Royal Arcanum.
Return to Home Port
This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.