J. O. WINSHIP has devoted his entire life to farming, the occupation to which he was reared, and has found in this work ample opportunity for the exercise of industry and perseverance his salient characteristics. He resides on section 23, Senachwine township, and it was here, at the home of his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip READ, that he was born, his mother staying with her parents while her husband, James M. WINSHIP. was absent on a trip to California. Further mention of the parents is made upon another page of this work.
The natal day of our subject was July 21, 1852. He spent his boyhood upon a farm in Bureau county until he reached the age of sixteen years, and his education was acquired in the district schools near his home, and by one year's attendance at the high school at Princeton. He early became familiar with the work of plowing, planting and harvesting, and continued to aid in the operation of the home farm until twenty-six years of age, when he purchased two hundred acres of land, where he now resides. It was then known as the Ike WILSON farm and the place was in a run-down condition. The fences were in a poor state of repair and the house was unfit to live in, but Mr. WINSHIP's discernment was keen enough to know that the farm could be made a good one and he resolutely undertook the task of bringing it up to its present high state of cultivation and improvement. He has placed many hundred dollars' worth of tile upon it and the drainage has greatly enhanced its productiveness. He has also erected a large frame residence and commodious and substantial outbuildings that furnish ample shelter for grain and stock. He has one of the best farms in the township, lacking in none of the equipments and accessories of farm life in the twentieth century. He gives special attention to the raising of grain and the improvement of seed corn, and in this follows the methods brought about by scientific investigation and practical experience. There is no better corn country in all America than is found in this section of Illinois. Soil and climatic conditions are everything that is needed and with proper rain and warm sunshine the corn has ample opportunity to ripen before the frosts. Statistics show that no better corn is produced in all of the world than is raised in this section of Illinois. By careful selection of the best ears of corn from strong stalks, Mr. WINSHIP has improved his corn to a great extent and last year his crop yielded eighty-five bushels per acre.
Mr. WINSHIP was married in 1878 to Miss Mary Frances DOWNEY, a native of Peoria county. They have six children, all of whom are living: Walter W., who married Miss Minnie PUTCAMP, of Princeton, and lives in Senachwine township; Grace E., who is the wife of George HUGHES and resides at Park Rapids, Minnesota; Ina Gertrude, who is now completing the four years' course in music at Oberlin, Ohio; J. Ivan F., at home; Amelia; and Hazel Ethel.
Mr. WINSHIP and his family are members of the Christian church, in the work of which they take an active and helpful part, contributing generously to the support of the church and doing everything in their power to promote its growth and extend its influence. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and for fifteen years he has served as road commissioner and for a similar period has been township school treasurer. Those things which constitute public life in the community are of interest to him, and his labors have been Affective and far-reaching in promoting the general welfare along material, intellectual and moral lines. He has a fine collection of Indian relics and is greatly interested in the study of ethnology as represented by the Indian race. In his business life he has been found thoroughly reliable as well as industrious, he never being known to take advantage of another in any business transaction.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.