from the Guelph Mercury newspaper for Saturday January 24th 1953.
Pioneer Winer Family of Puslinch Settled There 126 Years Ago
by Findlay Weaver
As the subject of the accompanying sketch in the Mercury “Way Back” series, Mrs. Winer recalls her wedding day at Morriston in 1888. She has 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. She recalls romantic events of early days. The original house on the Winer pioneer farm is now over 110 years old and still in use as a farm shop.
William and Magdalena Winer
Shown in the accompanying Mercury engraving is the late William Winer, son of the pioneer of the Puslinch family of that name, with his wife, the former Magdalena Hirtzell, who is the subject of today’s sketch in the “way back” series.
Her home is just south of the number 8 schoolhouse of Puslinch Township where she lives with her daughter Miss Mabel. There were three sons, two of whom survive. They are William, living on the old homestead just across the way from the mother’s home, and Wesley, tilling an adjacent farm. The eldest son, John Jr., died two years ago.
One of the grandsons is Stanley Winer whose wife is the daughter of Russell Daly of Guelph. Stan too has a nearby farm. These properties are on the Brock Road, not far south of Morriston.
The Winer family members were all Liberals in politics and in religion identified with the denomination now known as the Evangelical United Brethren. The subject of this sketch reached life’s 91st milestone on the 12th of this month. She has 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. She was married to William Winer at Morriston in 1888, at the home of her sister whose married name was Beaver. The Beaver family occupied the Puslinch farm which is now occupied by James Black.
Paul, the pioneer of the Winer family took up land in Puslinch in 1828. The house now occupied by the family was built in 1860 but on the same farm is the original home, now used as a farm shop and still in fair condition. It is more than 110 years old.
Served with Napoleon
Paul Winer was a native of Germany. He was 86 when he died in his Puslinch home. Before coming to America in 1817, he had served in the German army and had been in the ranks of Napoleon Bonaparte in the disastrous Moscow venture.
He came to Puslinch from New York State, taking up 100 acres, lot 33, concession 7. What eventually became the Brock Road was then merely a blazed trail. Dundas was the nearest supply source and it was at the mill there that the wheat was ground. Upon his arrival with his wife and family in 1828, he had but one cent left. The family camped for two weeks until a shanty was built. The pioneers had a jumper drawn by a yoke of oxen. For a time, they lived on herbs, roots, and game.
The late William Winer was for several years a trustee of School Section 8 but never sought other municipal honours. He was greatly interested in military affairs and served for 21 years with the 16th Battery under Colonel Nichol, going to camp in each of those years. He was in the force which was to have served against the Riel Rebellion, but that uprising was over before the unit could get into action.
Mrs. Winer remembers when grain used to be cut by cradles before the invention of reaping machines. Her husband used to recall when he would be one of about thirty teams in a row on the Brock Road carrying wood to Guelph, where wood was then the fuel used in factories.
Away back in those days, there were three hotels at Morriston. One was run by John Vogt, another by Chris Becker, who later ran the Victoria and subsequently the Union Hotel in Guelph.
With reference to mention of the Riel Rebellion, there is still current a story to the effect that the only casualty of the unit comprising the Puslinch volunteers was that of a young officer who saluted his senior officer so smartly that he cut off the tip of his own ear with his sword.
Observation of Mrs. Winer’s birthday anniversary was the occasion of felicitations by her many relatives and hosts of friends of the family.