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John Fea: Lock Keeper / John Fea and Catherine Thomson / Helen Fea

Alexander Winton and Jeanette Muir MacGlashan

Alexander Winton (b. 20th June 1860, Falkirk) was the seventh of children of Alexander Winton and Helen Fea. He emigrated to New York and is in the 1880 census for Manhattan, aged twenty.

Alexander's sister, Catherine Winton and her husband, Thomas Henderson, were also in Manhattan at this time. Thomas was some eleven years older than Alexander. Alexander may have followed his sister and brother in law to the US.

His first work was as a machinist with Delameter Ironworks in New York. A year later he left to take up a position as an assistant engineer on a cargo boat plying between New York and South America. He endeavoured to learn as much as he could about steam ship engineering.

He left the sea a couple of years later and married Jeanette Muir McGlashan (b. 3rd September 1861, Glasgow) in Manhattan on 18th January 1883. Jeanette had arrived two years earlier but they had known each other from childhood in Scotland. Jeanette was the daughter of foreman engineer's patternmaker William McGlashan and Jean Muir.

Alexander and Jean moved to Oho and had six children, each of whom had family of their own:

  • Helen Fea Winton b. 9th September 1885, Ohio who married William Scott McKinstry (b. 27th August 1885, Ohio). They had two sons. William was a neighbour and became an employee of The Winton Engine Co. He was involved in The Winton Gas and Engine Manufacturing Co with his father in law from its incorporation. Helen died on 18th March 1973 at Lakewood, Cuyahoga County Ohio and William in 1977.
  • James McGlashan Winton b. 5th January 1889, Ohio who married Katherine Helen Bartels. They had two children. James died at Lakewood on 21st June 1932, aged forty three while Katherine died in 1979, aged eighty eight.
  • Agnes Muir Winton b. 4th January 1891, Ohio who married Clarence Emil Griese (b. 17th December 1888, Ohio). He was the son of Gottlieb Griese and his wife, Caroline. They stayed in Ohio and had three children. Clarence died in Cleveland in May 1936, aged forty seven. Agnes died in Lakewood on 12th July 1969, aged seventy eight.
  • Jean Winton b. 14th May 1895, Ohio who married John Clarey Erwin (b. 1894). They had one son. John died in 1964. Jean died in 1974 in Hartford, Michigan, aged seventy nine.
  • Catherine Winton b. 18th July 1899, Ohio who married Alger Eugene Hunkin (b. 1st January 1898, Ohio). They had two sons. Alger died at Shaker Height, Ohio on 15th January 1928, aged thirty. She remarried later that year. Her second husband was Chester Cale Morrison (b. 6th March 1897, Pennsylvania). Chester died in Bloward, Florida in December 1960 and Catherine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 12th February 1995. She was ninety five.
  • Alexander Winton b. 14th September 1901, Ohio who married Dorothy Wilhelmina Gast (b. 1902). They had three daughters. Alexander died at Naples, Collier, Florida on 16th January 1979 and Dorothy in 1993.

Alexander is listed in a number of trade directories during the 1880s as a machinist. In 1888, he was foreman of the Phoenix Ironworks but was again listed as a machinist, the following year. In 1891, he was superintendent of the Cleveland Lock Company. He opened a bicycle repair shop and this was incorporated as The Winton Bicycle Co in 1892 with a share capital of $25,000. Thomas Henderson, Alexander's brother in law, was President. The share capital was increased to $100,000 in 1897.

This was the very early days of the motor car and Alexander, together with his brother in law, were to have a significant impact. The Winton Motor Carriage Co was incorporated on 15 March 1897 and was very successful.

Alexander and Jeanette had a large mansion called Roseneath, in Lakewood, which was about three miles from Cleveland. Unfortunately, Jeanette went over a 75ft cliff behind the house in the early hours of 28th August 1903. Her body was found in Lake Erie the following morning by Charles Shanks, Alexander's advertising manager and publicist, who had been called to the house by a distraught Alexander.

His mother had come out to Ohio, a few years earlier and was to spend the rest of her life in the US.

Alexander was to remarry, his second wife being Labelle McGlashlan.

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