"Uncle Jimmy" Winters was described in his obituary as a "gentle spirit". He was married to Caroline Elizabeth Benfield, and they had four children.
James Winters was a master basket-maker in his younger years. He was described as "honest and industrious". At the time of his death he had 3 living children, 19 grandchildren, and 20 great grandchildren.
"Uncle Jimmy" Winters passes to His Reward - Was Veteran Basket Maker of County.
On Wednesday evening of last week, death claimed the gentle spirit of "Uncle Jimmy" Wintersm one of the county's aged and highly respected citizens. Until a few weeks ago, he had been, in spite of his years, in fairly good health and not very long ago he was able to come to town and visit his good friends here. He never came to Morganton without coming to The News Herald office, where he was a prime favorite. A very strong friendship has existed between him and the late editor of this paper.
"Uncle Jimmy" was a past master of the art of basket making, His baskets were the objects of admiration of all who saw them, the work of a skilled artist in that line.
Honest as honesty itself, God-fearing, industrious, it could well be said of him when he did that he had kept the faith and henceforth there was laid up for him a crown of righteousness.
The funeral services, attended by many relatives and friends, were held at Oak Hill Church Thursday afternoon, conducted by Rev. J. B. Taber, who read the following sketch of his life:
James Lenoir Winters was born September 24, 1831, and died May 29th, 1918, at the ripe old age of 86 years, 8 months and 5 days. He was married to Caroline Elizabeth Benfield about the year 1855. To this union there were born four children - 2 sons and 2 daughters. He was converted early in youngmanhood and joined the M.E. Church, South, of which he lived a consistent member until his death. He leaves to mourn their loss, two sons, one daughter, 19 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and a large number of relatives and friends.
According to one source, (Robert E Winters) James Lenoir Winters joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War, but he returned home "with rheumatism". It is not known his length of stay. A photo of his hands shows enlarged knuckles which would suggest arthritis.