The following is a re-write of excerpts from the book "Winker - Spaichengen" a history of the John and Martha Winker family, edited by Rose Mary Feldhaus and Cecelia Halter. © 1979 by Rose Mary Feldhaus. Published by Pine Hill Press, Freeman, SD. The spelling in the book was "Katharine", though other sources such as the Marriage Record show it as "Catherine".
George Winker was born in Waupaca County, Wisconsin, on August 2, 1862. His parents were John and Caroline Winker.
He came to South Dakota in 1884 with his half-brother August Schultz (Caroline's son from her first marriage). In 1887 George applied for and received a timber claim of 160 acres in Grafton township, Miner County, near Carthage, South Dakota.
Catherine Cecilia Calhoun was born in Ontario province, Canada, October 25, 1856. Her parents were Mary Margaret O'Connor, who was born in Ireland, and Henry Calhoun, who was born in New York state. Catherine Calhoun came to Mathews township near DeSmet, South Dakota, around 1882-1884 with her parents and other Irish families.
George Winker and Catherine (Kate) Calhoun were married at the Catholic Church in De Smet in February 1888. They had eight children: Mary, born November 11, 1888; John William, born June 1, 1890; George Francis (Frank) born October 30, 1891; Henry, born February 20, 1893; Lewis Edward, born August 30, 1894; James Thomas (Tom), born July 6, 1896. Twins Bernard and Catherine Burnetta, born June 19, 1898 did not live long -- Bernard died shortly after birth, Burnetta died in September of that year.
In 1902 George sold his land in Miner County and purchased 240 acres in Mathews township, Kingsbury County, South Dakota, twelve miles south of De Smet. The family built a new house on that property.
George Winker was also a well-driller. On January 6, 1904, he was carrying dynamite from the warm kitchen to the cold outside. The sudden temperature change apparently caused the dynamite to explode and he was killed instantly. Catherine died February 13, 1932. They are buried at St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery, De Smet, South Dakota.
Mary C. - Click for more info.
John William - John remained in the Howard, SD, area, married Martha Feuerstein, and they raised 13 children. He made his living as a farmer. Much of his story has been preserved in the book "Winker - Spaichengen - A History of the John and Martha Winker Family", edited by Rose Mary Feldhaus and Cecelia Halter.
George Francis (Frank) - Married Mary Frances Beese on July 14, 1917 in De Smet, South Dakota. Frank died in 1918 and is buried in the Catholic cemetery in De Smet. Mary moved to Oregon with her brother, John Thomas Beese, and his family in about 1937. [Note: John Beese was married to Leona Feuerstein on 17 January 1917. Leona was the youngest sister of Martha (wife of John Winker) and Cecelia (wife of Lewis E. Winker).]
Henry Joseph - Married Frances "Gay" Barrows in South Dakota. Moved to Portland, Oregon. They had at least one son, also named Henry Joseph (b. 30 July 1918, SD; d. 22 April 1993, Portland OR). Henry died in Oregon in 1963, but is believed buried in the De Smet cemetery (though there is no grave stone for him there). Frances died in 1972 and is buried in the De Smet cemetery.
Lewis Edward - Married Cecelia Feuerstein, sister of John Winker's wife Martha. Moved to Randall, Minnesota. MORE HERE.
James Thomas (Tom) - Tom married Ethel Anderson of Valley Springs, SD, on 31 Aug 1935. They did not have any children. Tom worked at the Armour meat plant in Sioux Falls, SD. He died in Sioux Falls in Dec 1970, and is buried at St. Michael's Cemetery in Sioux Falls.
Bernard and Burnetta - Twins born in 1898. Bernard apparently died within hours after birth, Burnetta died at age 10 weeks. Burnetta is buried in Howard, SD. It is not known where Bernard is buried.
St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery is just to the east of the main De Smet Cemetery. The De Smet cemetery gets many visitors each year as it is the final resting place of the Ingalls family, whose struggles on the frontier were chronicled in Little Town on the Prairie and other books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
George Winker is buried near the road in a grave segregated from the rest of the cemetery. Family lore says this was because he was not a practicing Catholic. Catherine's stone is near the second road leading to the cemetery. Frank Winker (1891-1918) is buried just a few feet away from Catherine.
Obituaries and grave markers
Maps of Miner and Kingsbury Counties, 1895.