Edward Winn was born in Eltham, Kent County; England. a suburb of London, on December 3, 1840. Edward Winn was of Welsh descent. He was the son of William Winn and Jane Best.
William Winn was born April 31, 1811, at Cherrington Kent County, England. He heard the message of the Gospel and was baptized into the church January 7, 1852 at Eltham, at the Wellington Branch London Conference. They were received from Eltham December 23, 1855. Edward Winn's mother, Jane Best, was horn January 21, 1817 at Sunbridge, Kent County, England.
Edward left Eltham when he was fourteen years old and was apprenticed to learn the boiler making trade at Woolwich. He worked at Woolwich arsenal for six years. He then worked in Woolwich dock yards and learned to make boilers for ships. During his youth he worked in Scotland in Napier's ship yards on the river Clyde. He also worked in Ireland. It was while working at the Woolwich Arsenal as a boiler maker that he became acquainted with Mary Ann Trinniman, who was to be his life long companion. Mary Ann had previously accepted the gospel message and had become a member of the Church. Edward also investigated the gospel and was baptized into the church when about nineteen years of age.
After a courtship of about four months, they were united in Marriage on the 6th day of August, 1860, in the St. Luke's Church in the Parish of Charlton, Kent County England. Mary Ann often mentioned how proudly they rode to the church in a carriage with glass windows. In this same church where this marriage took place, on the day and at the same time an unusual thing happened, Mary Ann's mother, a widow and Edward Winn's father, a widower, were also married.
They lived in Woolwich one year then moved into London. They rented rooms in Pomroy Street, where Edward kept a clothing and furniture store. Edward didn't stay in this business very long, as Edward's interest was in ships and ship building, and he longed to be back in his former trade. After one year in Pomroy Street, London, they moved to Chatham, thirty miles north of London, where he found work in the ship yards. Edward became superintendent of the first ship that was built with six inch armor plate. The ship was named Galitea. After the time the ship was launched, they moved back to Deptford, about five miles from London, and worked in the shipyard there. They next went to Rothride, where he helped in the construction of Black Friar's bridge in London, one of the largest steel bridges in London. When the bridge was finished, they went back to North Woolwich, where he had the opportunity to assist in building a large floating dock. The dock was four hundred-eighty feet long and twenty-five feet wide. The dock contained four and one-half million rivets. After it was finished the dock was taken to the West Indies. Edward was given the contract to build the end gates for it and so he went on the ship with it. He stayed in the West Indies about two years. He worked in Bermuda, the main island, but he visited many of the other islands. It was a very hot climate.
A little rhyme Edward repeated on his return to England stayed with the family for many years: "Hail Bermuda, happy land, Nothing there, but rocks and sand. Rocks and sand and prickly pears, Lazy women in rocking chairs."
Edward must have been very happy when his contract was finished in Bermuda and he was able to return to England to his wife and family.
Three children came to bless their home, Mary Ann, Edward and Elizabeth, while in England.
Quite a large number of people had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in London, Woolwich, Eltham, Deptford, and in the parishes, or small suburbs of London. After receiving the message of the gospel the greatest desire of these saints was to come to Zion and join the body of the church. One day, missionaries came to their door and Edward and Mary were soon baptized and also had this desire to join the saints in America. Soon after Edward's return to England, they made their plans and prepared to emigrate to America, Edward left England in 1860 for America to find work and raise money for his family to come. Six months later he sent for his family. They arrived in New York in 1860 where they stayed awhile. Edward bought a grocery store. They lived in New York about two years.
While living in New York, their fourth child, Emma was born August 15, 1870. They left New York on an immigrant train for Salt Lake City in 1871. They lived in Salt Lake City for about three years. George, the fifth child was born in Salt Lake City where the G&RG depot is now..
At this time many Latter-day Saints were immigrating to Salt Lake City from many countries. President Brigham Young was sending the people in groups to settle and build up communities and towns in the surrounding territory. Edward and his family went to Lehi and from there to Highland. Edward built a two room log house. They had a very hard time to make a living and experienced many hardships. Edward being a shipbuilder, knew nothing at all about farming, although he tried very hard to be one. This soil was very rocky and there was little water. It was uphill work and he often became discouraged, but he worked hard and later he was known to have one of the best grape vineyards in the country. For many years he also worked in the mines in American Fork Canyon. Severyal times he came near to loosing his life. At one time as he and other miners were coming off shift, a snow slide came suddenly down the mountain side and buried them under the snow. One man, John Pool, from American Fork, was killed and another man's feet were so badly frozen that they had to be amputated. Edward and some other men were dug out by the Chinaman cook and others. At another time in the mountains he was thrown off his horse and had one of his legs broken. Another time while climbing the mountain trail to the mine, with about sixty pounds of meat on his back, stopping to rest he looked back and saw a mountain lion following him. He had no gun, thus his only hope was to reach the shack before the lion overtook him. He reached it, out of breath, a very frightened and thankful man.
Five more children were born to them in Highland. George John, Jane Amelia, James Henry, Ada Bell, Zalie Gladys, Ethel May. While Edward was away in the mines, Mary Ann took care of the family. She cooked, sewed, and all the other task's that pioneer women were compelled to do, and with the help of the children also did the farm work. There were horses, cows, pigs, chickens and sometimes sheep to care for. Edward also had a blacksmith shop where he made shoes for his own horses and for many of the other farmers and also sharpened mining tools.
Although the family had endured many hardships, in 1893 a great tragedy came to their family which was very hard to bear. It was the year of the diphtheria epidemic. All of the children came down with the disease. James, aged sixteen, Bell, aged twelve, and Zalia, ten years old, died within two weeks from this dreadful disease. Ethel, the youngest chi1d, then four years old seemed to have it worse than the rest. When the medicine was given to the children it burned their throats so badly, they screamed with pain. When it was Ethel's turn to take it, they didn't have the heart to give it to her and make her suffer as they were sure she would die anyway. Ethel was not given the medicine and she lived.
The parents were overcome with grief at the loss of their three children. Ethel was very lonely, as she was the only girl left at home, as Mary, Jane and Emma were married. Mary Ann, the mother, felt it was almost more than she could stand. She went to the Eastman home to visit. They had a large family of children and were having a hard time to feed and clothe them. Mary Ann asked if she could take one of their little girls home and take care of her as Ethel was so very lonesome without her sisters. Mrs. Eastman, feeling so very sorry for the bereaved mother, and knowing what a good home her little girl would have, consented to let her little daughter, Ida, six years old, go and live with the Winn family. She lived in the Winn family for many years and was loved as one of their own children. There was sadness again in the Winn family when the Eastman's moved away from Highland and took their daughter with them. They had become so attached to her it was very hard to part with her.
At the time of the dreadful diphtheria epidemic when Mary Ann and Edward lost their three children, their oldest daughter, Mary Ann was married to Robert Jones and was living at Alpine, about one mile north of their home in highland. They had four children, Fredric, age thirteen, Ada, age 11, Esther, age 6, and Rose, age 2. Between May 8 and June 20 of the same year that the father and mother lost their three children with diphtheria, their daughter, Mary Ann and husband also lost their three oldest children.
Their baby Rose, age two, was the only child left in this family. Now Mary Ann, the daughter, who had suffered the loss of her young brother James, and her two sisters, was now called upon to suffer the loss of her oldest son and two daughters. These children, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews were just like brothers and sisters and enjoyed many happy times together. After the great tragedy, which took the lives of six of their children, their homes were very sad and lonely indeed. As their loss was so much the same they were able to gain some consolation from each other. Edward and Mary worked together many years on their homestead in Highland. They suffered many trials and hardships, but there were many happy family gatherings and good times. In 1910 they decided to sell their farm and move to American Fork. Edward was then almost seventy years old. The children had all left the home except their youngest daughter, Ethel. Edward was not able to take care of so much land alone. They sold their farm and rented a house with a small lot in the northwest part of American Fork.
Grandmother and grandfather greatly enjoyed their little cottage in American Fork, where they could visit often with their children and their many neighbors and friends. But they had only been in this home six months when grandfather became ill and died August 19, 1910 at the age of seventy.
My grandfather was a man of noble character and strong convictions. He was wise in his decisions, firm in his sense of right and wrong. He was highly respected by all who knew him. We, his decedents, are proud of these noble grandparents. We are grateful for the sacrifices they made for us. And we unitedly say:
“We honor these our loved ones, and hope that year by year,
We’ll emulate the worthy lives of our brave pioneers.”