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Winter Family Papers

Identifier: AC-339

Scope and Content Note

The Winter Family Collection holds the papers of six generations of the Winter family. It reveals the history of a well-to-do Southern family as it moved westward throughout the nineteenth century. These papers include tax records, legal documents, business records, newspaper clippings, correspondence, magazines, souvenir booklets, and obituaries. The collection includes a significant number of photographs and photograph albums, dating from the 1860's to the 1960's. The photographs include many portraits of family members, and candid shots depicting their lives. Scrapbooks created by various family members, which hold newspaper clippings and other memorabilia, are also contained in the collection. Musicians Johnny and Edgar Winter are descendants of the family, and the collection includes a few papers describing their early careers; however, some photographs and papers related to the Winter brothers are currently restricted in respect for their privacy. Additionally, the collection holds genealogy materials, including the research files created by the family, and published books on family names. Rare copies of fictional books are also part of the collection.


  • Creation: 1817-1960s


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

Some materials related to Johnny and Edgar Winter are restricted; other restrictions may also apply.


The Tyrrell Historical Library does not hold copyright for most of its collections. The researcher must secure permission to publish. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Tyrrell Historical Library. The researcher assumes full responsibility for complying with copyright, literary property rights, and libel laws.

Biographical Note

Ann Clarke, great-grandmother of Novaline James Baldwin, was born July 31, 1779, to John Clarke, and moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in the fall of 1817. She married Michael Molton on May 29, 1792. Col. Michael Molton was born August 4, 1770, in Duplin County, North Carolina. He moved to Tennessee and was colonel in a regiment in General Jackson's army. He went, with his regiment, on three expeditions down the Mississippi River, and participated in the Battle of New Orleans. After the war was over he continued in the service of the government, and saw action at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, where his son was killed. He died on August 31, 1817, in Meridianville, Madison County, Tennessee. Children of Michael Molton and Ann Clark Molton were Michael Clarke Molton, born on February 7, 1794 (died at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend against the Creek Indians, March 27, 1814), Ann Maria (May 24, 1796 - October 27, 1805), James Kenan (April 8, 1798 - February 14, 1816), Eliza Jane (1803-1855). Ann Clarke Molton married three more times after Michael Molton's death. She married Thomas Powell in 1822, who died in 1823; William D. Carter in 1825, who died on May 24, 1828; and David Bullock, on August 31, 1829. Ann died sometime after 1850, probably in Montgomery.

Eliza Jane Molton, the daughter of Ann Clarke and Michael Molton, was born in 1803 in Meridianville, Madison County, Tennessee. She married John Edmondson on September 9, 1818, in Montgomery, Alabama. She died on September 26, 1855, of yellow fever, at Mobile, Alabama. She danced with General Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Lafayette, when he visited Montgomery, Alabama, in 1824.

John Edmondson, husband of Eliza Jane Molton, was born in Virginia in 1791. He was one of thirteen men who settled the town of Montgomery, Alabama, where he moved in the spring of 1816. He was the first lawyer who settled in Montgomery, and was also clerk of the first court. He issued his own license when he married Eliza. He was proprietor of the Old Montgomery Tavern, where General Lafayette stayed during his visit to Montgomery. Edmondson died at Livingston, Alabama, in 1842. He and Eliza had two children, Sarah Ann and Eliza Virginia. Eliza Virginia was born on July 28, 1825, married John Burke on May 1, 1845, and had nine children.

Sarah Ann Edmondson, daughter of Eliza Jane Molton, was born on September 20, 1821, in Montgomery, Alabama. She lived in Algiers, a suburb of New Orleans, from 1856-1876. She moved to Greensburg, Louisiana, in 1879, where she died on March 19, 1886, and was buried in Greensburg Cemetery. Her first husband was Isaac Dorgan James, whom she married on January 12, 1840. James was born on April 2, 1810, in Nicholsville, Kentucky, one of sixteen children. He died on September 11, 1847, of yellow fever, in Houston, Texas. Sarah and Isaac had three children: Novaline Molton; Antoinette Marion James; and Leon Clark James. Novaline was born on August 25, 1841. Antoinette was born on December 8, 1844, married William A. Solomon in St. Louis in November 1870, and died on September 20, 1912. Leon was born on October 15, 1847, and died in infancy.

Sarah Ann Edmondson's second marriage was to Judge Sanford Lavangee, on February 14, 1856, in Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Lavangee died January, 1878, on the U. S. dredgeboat McAlester. They had one daughter, Ida Octavia Lavangee, born on August 29, 1857, and died on March 6, 1863, at New Orleans.

Novaline Molton James was born on August 26, 1841, in Montgomery, Alabama. She married George Baldwin on March 3, 1864, in Algiers, Louisiana. The Baldwins lived in St. Louis from 1864 to 1879. She was a member of the First Methodist Church in St. Louis. She died at age 86 on January 25, 1928, at the home of her daughter, Sadie B. Bettis, and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery. She had lived in Beaumont for 35 years.

George Baldwin, husband of Novaline James, was born on November 28, 1836, in Red Lyon, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. As a young man, he worked on steamboats in New Orleans, Memphis, and St. Louis. In the 1870's, he operated St. Louis Kitchener, until financial reverses caused him to sell his business and relocate to Greensburg, Louisiana. Baldwin worked on plantations in Louisiana in the 1880's. He died on November 15, 1885. He and Novaline had five children: Rosa Lee, born in 1866 in St. Louis; Irvin Sanford, born on February 16, 1868 in Carondolet, Missouri; Sarah Letitia "Sadie", born on September 23, 1871; Novaline George, born on February 2, 1874, at Carondolet, and Ida Belle, born on June 22, 1878, at St. Louis.

Rosa Lee Baldwin graduated from Norvilla Collegiate Institute in Louisiana in 1884, and spent several years teaching school. She married Reverend George G. Woodbridge, a Presbyterian minister, on August 27, 1890. She died at the Manse, Miden, Louisiana, on July 22, 1907. She and George had two children: Novaline, known as Aline, and Samuel Baldwin Woodbridge.

Irvin Sanford Baldwin graduated from Norvilla Collegiate Institute in 1885.

Sarah "Sadie" Baldwin married Frank Jewel Bettis (1867-1913) on August 27, 1890. In the early 1890's they lived in Orange, but the family moved to Beaumont in 1893, where she was prominent in the social life of the city. She was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames of America. Sarah Bettis died at the age of 80 and was buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

Frank J. Bettis, spouse of Sarah Baldwin, was born in St. Louis on October 2, 1867. His parents were I. H. and A. E. Ostrander Bettis. The family moved to Orange in 1877, and in 1892 he came to Beaumont. He was connected with the Beaumont Lumber Company. He later organized the Beaumont Box and Crate Company, which merged into the Bettis Manufacturing Company. Frank J. Bettis died on November 22, 1913, and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery. Sarah Baldwin and Frank Bettis were the parents of three children: Novaline; Frankie Bettis, who died from meningitis as a student at the University of Texas; and Irvin H. Bettis.

Novaline Bettis was born on November 9, 1891, in Orange, Texas. She graduated from Beaumont High School in 1909, and from the Kidd-Key Conservatory in Sherman, Texas, in 1910. She married Edgar Alfred Holland of Houston on October 7, 1914, in Beaumont. She died on October 14, 1962, in Beaumont.

Edgar Alfred Holland was born on January 14, 1890, in Fort Worth, Texas. His parents were Edwina Catherine Buell (1870-1953) and lawyer and judge George Embry Holland (1868-1962). Novaline and Edgar A. Holland had two children, Edwina Holland Winter, and George E. Holland II, born on October 28, 1920, in Orange, Texas.

Edwina Holland Winter was born on September 11, 1917, in Orange, Texas. She married John Dawson Winter, Jr., on February 5, 1943.

John Dawson Winter, Jr., was born on May 4, 1909, to John Dawson Winter and Roberta Powers Winter. He grew up at Edgar, Mississippi. A career army officer, who achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel, he graduated from the Virginia Military Institute, in Lexington, Virginia. He was in Texas on official business when he met Edwina. He was active in St. Mark's Episcopal Church, where he sang in the choir. He was active in many other musical groups, as well, including singing in a barbershop quartet and playing saxophone in a jazz group.

John Dawson Winter III, known as "Johnny", was born on February 23, 1944, in Beaumont, Texas. He is a noted blues and rock guitarist and singer. He began singing and playing musical instruments at a young age. As youngsters, Johnny and his brother, Edgar, performed in local talent shows and on local television. At fourteen, in 1957, Johnny organized a rock group, Johnny and the Jammers, with his brother, Edgar, playing piano. In the early 1960's Johnny made records for regional labels. Around that time Johnny was the opening act for such performers as Jerry Lee Lewis and the Everly Brothers. He and his brother traveled the South for several years before he recorded an album, Johnny Winter which was praised by John Lennon and Rolling Stone. This recognition led to a contract with Columbia Records. As a Columbia artist, he made five hard rock and roll blues albums. He produced Muddy Waters' comeback album which won a Grammy award.

Edgar Holland Winter was born on December 28, 1946, in Beaumont, Texas. He has synthesized rock, blues, and jazz melodies. A gifted musician, he is primarily noted for singing and playing alto saxophone, but also plays keyboards, bass, guitar, and drums. He and his brother Johnny played together as teens at local venues. Edgar was signed to Epic Records in 1970, after performing on his brother's album Second Winter. He formed the rhythm and blues group White Trash in the early 1970's, which broke up in 1972. He then formed another group, White Trash and Roadwork, which recorded the single "Keep Playing that Rock and Roll," which reached number 70 on the rock and roll charts. In 1973 they recorded the album They Only Come Out at Night which reached number 3 on the rock charts and featured the single, "Free Ride." He also released a hit single, "Frankenstein," which hit number one in 1973, and sold more than a million copies. The group dissolved in 1975. Edgar and Johnny recorded an album together in 1976, titled Together Live and have continued to tour and record together. Edgar has also worked on movie scores.

Irvin H. Bettis was born on October 4, 1895, and died on June 4, 1970, in Harris County, Texas.

Novaline George Baldwin was born on February 2, 1874, in St. Louis. She graduated from Norvilla Collegiate Institute of Greensburg, Louisiana. On June 25, 1897, she married Charles Henry Stroeck, and the couple had one daughter, Rosa Lee. Novaline was active in community affairs. She was president of the board of the YWCA, a member of the Colonial Dames of America, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She served as regent of her local DAR chapter.

Charles Henry Stroeck was born on November 2, 1871, near New Braunfels, Texas. As a youth he came to Beaumont. Stroeck first served as a licensed druggist, and later was a bookkeeper at the First National Bank of Beaumont. On January 25, 1902, he was made cashier of the American National Bank. A diligent worker, he was later elevated to the vice-presidency of the bank, and became its president after the death of B. R. Norvell in 1928. He served as president of the American National Bank until 1937. A 1951 publication of the American National Bank wrote of him, "It was Mr. Stroeck's lot to guide the bank during the extreme conditions of the depression. It was during these trying times that the depth of his character and ability were made apparent to Beaumont."

Rose Lee Stroeck was born in 1898, and married Arthur J. Thompson on December 19, 1923. They divorced in 1928. Rosa died on December 4, 1936.


18 Cubic Feet (18 cubic feet in 28 boxes)


This collection holds papers from six generations of the Winter family, beginning with Ann Clarke, born in 1779. Over the course of these generations, the family moved from North Carolina, to Alabama, to Louisiana, to Missouri, and finally to Texas.


The materials in this collection date from 1817 to the 1960's. All of the material belonged to Edwina Winter and her family. The bulk of the collection is composed of the papers of generations of Mrs. Winter's mother's side of the family. The collection includes books, scrapbooks, correspondence, diaries, newspaper clippings, memoirs, autograph books, calling cards, ledger books, and photographs.

Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into 32 series.

  1. Papers of Ann Clark Moulton Carter Bullock, 1814-1850
  2. Papers of Eliza Jane Edmondson, 1825-1855
  3. Papers of Sarah Edmondson James Lavangee, 1863-1886
  4. Papers of Novaline James Baldwin, 1889-1925
  5. Papers of George Baldwin, 1864-1885
  6. Papers of James W. Baldwin, 1877-1904
  7. Papers of Rosa Lee Baldwin Woodridge, 1888-1907
  8. Papers of Sarah Baldwin Bettis, 1870s-1950s
  9. Papers of Frank J. Bettis (Husband of Sarah Baldwin), 1891-1913
  10. Papers of Irvin H. Bettis (Father of Frank Bettis), 1880-1912
  11. Papers of Novaline Bettis Holland (Daughter of Sarah Baldwin Bettis), 1909-1938
  12. Papers of Edgar A. Holland (Husband of Novaline Bettis), 1889-1949
  13. Papers of Edwina Holland Winter (Daughter of Novaline Bettis Holland), 1917-1957
  14. Papers of Johnny and Edgar Winters (Sons of Edwina Holland Winter), 1958-1962
  15. Papers of George E. Holland II (Brother of Edwina Holland Winter), 1931-1933
  16. Papers of Frankie Bettis (Daughter of Sarah Baldwin Bettis), 1909-1911
  17. Papers of Irvin Hunter Bettis (Son of Sarah Baldwin Bettis), 1904
  18. Papers of Novaline Baldwin Stroeck (Daughter of Novaline James Baldwin), 1882-1954
  19. Papers of Rosa Lee Stroeck (Daughter of Novaline Baldwin Stroeck), 1904-1936
  20. Papers of Ida Belle Baldwin (Daughter of Novaline James Baldwin), 1882
  21. Papers of Antoinette James Solomon (Sister of Novaline James Baldwin)
  22. Papers of Ellen Edmondson Burke (Aunt of Novaline James Baldwin), 1840s-1940s
  23. Publications, 1823-1929
  24. Artifacts and Natural History
  25. World's Fair Ephemera, 1893-1904
  26. Genealogy
  27. Journals, 1857-1890
  28. Correspondence, 1861-1863
  29. Scrapbooks, 1862-1904
  30. Photographs, 1860s-1960s
  31. Oversized Items, 1860s-1920s
  32. Publications Held in Genealogy Section of Library

Acquisition Information

Donated by Edwina Winter and George E. Holland, 2000 September 15.


No further accruals are expected.

Separated Material

The following publications are held in the genealogy section of the Library Division: Baldwin Genealogy Supplement; Historical Southern Families, Volume 1; Genealogy of the Hannum Family, Descended from John and Margery Hannum Settlers in Chester County, Pennsylvania; Holland: A History of the Virginia Holland Families from 1620-1963; Molton Family and Kinsman: Reminiscences to the Year 1857; Moulton Annals; Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800; The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy: The Standard Genealogical Encyclopedia of the First Families of America, Volume III; Youngblood-Armstrong and Allied Families.

Processing Information

Processed by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2000.

Finding aid revised and encoded by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2013 May.

Finding Aid for the Winter Family Collection, 1817-1960s
Tyrrell Historical Library Staff.
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Tyrrell Historical Library Archives Repository