John Windiate

JOHN WINDIATE, one of the substantial farmers and respected citizens of Oakland County, Michigan, who resides on his fine farm of 275 acres, in section 12, Waterford township, was born in a log house, located on the present farm, March 7, 1838, and is a son of John and Harriet (Elliott) Windiate, and a grandson of Richard Windiate. Both his father and grandfather were well and favorably known to the early pioneers of this section.

The first members of the family to come from their native England to this locality were the brothers of Richard Windiate, whose prosperity induced our subject's grandfather to bring his family here in 1836. His brother Daniel, who was a miller, built the mills at Drayton Plains, the site of the present fish hatchery. Richard Windiate from two marriages reared 21 children to maturity, 4 by the first marriage and 17 by the second.

John Windiate, the father of the subject, was born in Hampshire, England, and was 28 years of age when he came to Michigan and brought with him the sum of $1,200, which he invested in 160 acres of land, on which stood a log house and barn, buying the property from Dr. Richardson, the brother of Governor Richardson. This purchase exhausted his means and he and his wife endured many privations and hardships. Very little of the land had been cleared, but he was very industrious and worked early and late and succeeded not only in clearing it, but in so cultivating it that at the time of his death in 1880, at the age of 72 years, he was worth $40,000. Mr. Windiate brought two children and his wife, formerly Harriet Elliott, with him from England. The family was increased by six more children after locating in Michigan, these being: Mrs. Elizabeth Gosling, who died in 1902 in California; Mary, who married Dr. Riker, of Fenton, Michigan; John, the subject of this sketch; Alfred, who is a farmer of Waterford township; Mrs. Harriet Earl, of Waterford township; Frances, widow of John Stewart, of Waterford township; Mrs. Anna Voorheis, of Waterford township; and William, deceased.

Our subject lived on his father's farm until the age of 23 years and then went to Sacramento, California, by way of the Isthmus of Panama, in 1861. He spent eight years at Virginia City, Nevada, in the wood business and in mining, and while fairly successful did not make a large fortune. On Christmas Day, 1868, he reached home and has remained here ever since until four years ago, when he made a second visit to California for his health. L On the death of his father in 1880, the farm came into his possession. It is a property of great natural beauty and of large value. On it are located Upper Silver, Morgan and Rogers lakes and Lake Angelus and it lies between Silver Lake and Lake Angelus, its fertile acres being watered by five bodies of fresh water. Mr. Windiate has engaged in general farming and cattle and stock raising, keeping as high as 25 head of cattle and 100 head of French Merino sheep.

In 1871 our subject married Elma Clough, who was born in Livingstone [sic] county, Michigan, and is a daughter of Elijah and Catherine Clough, and their children are: Mrs. Lora Eaton, of Pontiac, who has two children, -- Catherine and Ross; Mrs. Alta E. Stewart, who left two children at death, -- Ivy and Alma; William, a farmer of Livingstone [sic] County, who has one child, -- John; Harriet B., wife of Wesley Stevens; and Fae, who lives at home.

Mr. Windiate has always been identified with the Democratic party. He is one of the representative men of the township, is a member of the Grange and for 10 years has served as school director.

Last Reviewed: 10/29/2020 MR