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J. V. Wynkoop
of Clinton County, Indiana.

700                            HISTORY OF CLINTON COUNTY.


    J. V. WYNKOOP, one of the successful farmers of Kirklin Township, residing on section 25, where he has a fine farm of 200 acres, is a native of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, born near La Fayette, March 23, 1828, and when he was three years old he came with his parents, William M. and Elizabeth (Van Meetre) Wynkoop, to Clinton County. He grew to manhood in Clinton County where he has since lived with the exception of a short time spent in California. He started for that State in the spring of 1850, accompanied by his brother Garrett and Mahlon and Simpson McIntyre, taking with them four Indian ponies and three mules, and a wagon. Simpson McIntyre died on the way, and five days later Garrett Wynkoop was taken sick with cholera, dying two hours after. They buried him on the bank of the Platte River about half a mile from Court-House Rock. They abandoned their team so as to take a shorter route which could only be traveled by horseback, and thus shortened the distance by about 300 miles. They reached Georgetown where they were engaged in mining for a month, making $1.25 per day. They then went 600 miles farther north above the Platte River to the Weaverville mines, and there followed mining till the following spring when they started for home via the Panama route, going to New York, and from there to Philadelphia, where they exchanged their dust for gold. On reaching home Mr. Wynkoop bought his present farm with the money he had made at mining, and has since devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits. He was married October 6, 1853, to Minerva Jane Ballinger, who was born in Rush County, Indiana, near Milroy, July 18, 1835, a daughter of Milton and Priscilla (Thomas) Ballinger, natives of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Mr. Wynkoop is a public-spirited citizen, and takes an active interest in every enterprise for the good of his township. He has served efficiently as township trustee for two terms, assessor for the same length of time, and held the office of township clerk for two years. Mr. Wynkoop's parents were both natives of Berkeley County, Virginia, the father born in 1801, and the mother in 1805. They were reared and married in their native county, and to them were born the following children: Garrett, deceased; J. V., our subject; Elizabeth died in early childhood; Nathan H., who was a practicing physician in Texas, and a surgeon in the rebel army, was wounded in the thigh

                                             KIRKLIN TOWNSHIP.                               701

at Arkansas Post, from the effects of which he died two days later; John, a farmer of White County, Indiana; William lives in White County, Indiana, on a farm adjoining his brother's; Adrian also has a farm adjoining his brother's in White County; Sarah M., wife of W. R. H. Davenport, both of whom died in Kirklin Township; Mary Ann, married Harry Ramsey and died in Hancock County; Eliza J., wife of John B. Ames, of Kirklin Township; Emma married David Hinesley and died in Colorado, and Naomi married John W. Amos and died in Warren County, Indiana. Mr. Wynkoop, father of our subject, had one child, Alice M., by a former marriage. She is the widow of Robert Ball, and is now living with her father. After their marriage the parents started for Indiana in a one-horse wagon, and while on their journey the horse died. The parents then camped out while James Van Meeter, who was with them, returned to Virginia for another horse. They finally reached Henry County and settled in the woods on the Blue River where the father started to make a home, and after living there a short time they removed to Tippecanoe County, where our subject was born. They came to Clinton County in 1831, and after living for a short time in Jackson Township moved to Kirklin Township, where the father built a log house located on Sugar Creek, which he used as a hotel. In 1839 he removed to Kirklin, where he had previously built a house on the ground where the present postoffice stands. He kept hotel till 1845 when he traded it for eighty acres of land near Logansport, to which he added by subsequent purchases till he owned 229 acres, besides which he owned 360 acres in Kirklin Township. He commenced life entirely without means, but by persevering energy and years of industry and toil he was very prosperous in all his undertakings, and at his death, which occurred February 2, 1863, he left an estate valued at $20,000. The mother died in the year 1852. Mrs. Wynkoop's parents came to Indiana from their native State when children, and were married in Rush County in 1834, and to them were born five children--Rebecca A., wife of James Goodrich, of Warren County, Indiana, was born January 10, 1838; Aaron T., born May 20, 1841, died March 7, 1844; Sarah C., born April 14, 1844, wife of Jesse W. King; William E., born December 14, 1848, living in Cherokee County, Kansas, and Minerva Jane, wife of our subject, who is the eldest child. Her parents came to Clinton County in 1839, and settled east of Kirklin, where the father lived till his death, which took place December 10, 1869.


Anonymous, "J. V. Wynkoop," History of Clinton County, Indiana, Together With Sketches of its Cities, Villages and Towns, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History, Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Representative Citizens. Also a Condensed History of Indiana, Inter-State Publishing Co., Chicago, 1886, pp. 700-701.


    I would like to thank Bob Sell,, of La Mirada, California for not only alerting me to this terrific biography, but also providing me with an astonishingly accurate transcript of the material, plus extremely readable scans of the actual pages themselves. I wish all of the work for the website was this easy!

    Needless to say, this biography was a complete surprise to me. I was reasonably sure that I had pretty much cornered the market on County History biographies for the Wynkoop family and their in-laws, but obviously there are still lots of surprises out there. This particular bio has an astonishing amount of detail to it and as a result it shed an amazing amount of light on what was, for me, a very murky corner of the Wynkoop family.

    Bob, thanks so much for sharing. I stand in awe of your generosity.

    All my best,


Created March 3, 2006; Revised March 13, 2006
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