He is a native of Rippon, W. Va., where he was born on March 10, 1860, only a year before the outbreak of the titanic struggle which was to bring freedom to him and to his people. His father John Winters was a gardener. The mother of our subject, Anna Russ was the daughter of Henry and Lucinda Russ. The grandmother reared Henry Winters and he acknowledges with humble gratitude that his success in life was due to the fact that she aroused in him a desire for an education. Deprived of the assistance and guidance of a father, he had from the beginning to struggle in the face of difficulties which would have defeated a less courageous soul. One thing in his favor was the fact that he was never afraid to work. Sometimes his food was insufficient and his clothes were scanty, but he persisted and won in the end. He laid the foundation of his education in the public schools, from which he passed to Storer College, graduating in 1880. He was assistant pupil teacher in that institution. In 1881 he began teaching in the public schools of Maryland, and for forty years has been actively engaged in education work. His first school was in Frederick County, Md., where he taught one year. In 1882 he took charge of the public school at Summit Point, Jefferson County, Va., over which he presided for twenty years, and resigned to become teacher of agriculture at Storer College at Harpers Ferry. He has held this position for eighteen years. Prof. Winters has live to enjoy that most enduring satisfaction of the teacher, which is to see his students grow up and themselves become teachers and useful citizens.
In 1884 Prof. Winters was appointed one of the instructors in Jefferson County for teachers and has done a great deal of institute work.
In politics he is a Republican. He belongs to the Baptist Church, in which he is a deacon and assistant superintendent of the Sunday School, and for thirty years has been clerk of the Free Baptist Quarterly Conference. Among the secret and benevolent orders, he belongs to the Masons and True Reformers. He was for four years Grand Master of the Masons in West Virginia. He is of the opinion that the progress of the race may be promoted "by being self supporting and respecting the dignity of labor."
On February 22, 1892, Prof. Winters married Miss Elizabeth Cornelius Lincoln, daughter of Harvey A. and Mary Ellen Lincoln, of Wadesville, Va. She was educated at Storer College. They have four children, Eva Ellen, (Mrs. McCray) formerly a teacher, Florida Anna Elizabeth, also a successful teacher, Henry Hunter, Jr., and Lincoln Hall Winters.
Prof. Winter's favorite reading consists of Biography and History.
He is an expert gardener and is a man of good business judgement, and is the only colored stockholder in the local bank.
History of the American Negro Index
West Virginia History Center