Source: History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: AW Bowen, 1913, pp 1192-1194.
It is not everyone who succeeds in having a town named after him, but this honor has fallen to John C. Wingate, one of Montgomery county's most representative citizens, few people of the locality being better known; none occupy a more conspicuous place in the confidence of the public, and it is a compliment worthily bestowed to class him with the progressive men of his day and generation in the vicinity of his residence, having done much for the general development of the town of Wingate and surrounding country. In all that constitutes true manhood and good citizenship he is a notable example, his career having ever been characterized by duty faithfully performed and by industry, thrift and wisely directed effort. These have led to the acquisition of a liberal share of this world's goods. His personal relations with his fellow men have ever been mutually pleasant and agreeable, and he is highly regarded by all, being easily approached, obliging and straight forward in all the relations of life. He believes in doing well whatever he undertakes and in extending aid and sympathy to others, and he is a fine example of that type of progressive citizens who rise paramount to environment and all which seeks to hinder them.
Mr. Wingate was born May 22, 1851, in Coal Creek township, Montgomery county, about a mile and a half from Pleasant Hill (now known as Wingate). He is a son of William A. and Nancy (Coon) Wingate. The father was born in East Monroe. Ohio, and there he spent his earlier years, removing to Montgomery county, Indiana, when a young man, in 1840, and here he spent the rest of his life, successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was a son of Philip Wingate and wife. The mother of our subject was born in Miami county, Ohio, near Potsdam. Her father was one of a family of sixteen children.
John C. Wingate grew to manhood in his native community and here received a good common school education. On May 22, 1879, he was married to Lida Gilkey, a daughter of Aaron H. and Mary Gilkey. Mrs. Wingate's father was treasurer and trustee of Coal Creek township for a period of twenty-one years continuously.
At a barbecue and basket dinner, given in a grove near Pleasant Hill by the men on the construction train of the Clover Leaf railroad in 1881 it was determined to change the name of the town of Pleasant Hill to Wingate. A telegram was received from Gen. John M. Corse, president of the above named railroad, by Eli Marvin, a director of the road, who was asking that this change be made, and his request was concurred in by meeting. Among those in attendance were Colonel Maynard, editor of the Indianapolis Sentinel, Hon. Peter S. Kennedy, Hon. M. D. White and Gen. Mahlon D. Manson, all of whom had made addresses, at the conclusion of which Mr. Marvin read General Corse's telegram, in which he stated that the station here should be named Wingate, for the reason that a town of several hundred people in Ohio, and on the Clover Leaf road, was named Pleasant Hill and it was deemed advisable to change the name of the local town to prevent confusion. Afterwards the postoffice department changed the name of the postoffice from Pleasant Hill to Wingate, so that the name of the town and the station would comport. Thus the town was named for our subject.
Mr. Wingate was one of a family of five children, he being the eldest, and he is the only one that survives, and his parents are both deceased. His nearest of kin is Claude Hughes, a nephew, a son of our subject's youngest sister, who died when her son Claude, was two years old. He was reared by our subject and wife, who have also reared Arthur Hogan, known as Arthur Wingate, who is now married and is living at Long Beach, California. Our subject took him from the Montgomery County Orphans' Home when he was four years old. Our subject and wife having had no children of their own, have taken a great interest in the above named boys, giving them every advantage of education and otherwise looking after their interests in the same manner as if they had been their own.
Mr. Wingate is leading a quiet life, after an active and successful business career. He was for many years a traveling salesman. He has served on the Indiana Tax Board for nearly ten years, giving eminent satisfaction in this capacity. He has a beautiful and modernly appointed home in Wingate, surrounded by a large and well-kept lawn. He has a Mission style sleeping house, sixteen by twenty feet in size and containing twenty-three windows and one door, the former being Pullman car windows. The exterior has a pebble cement stucco finish, and the interior woodwork is covered with oil paintings, and the furniture is of cane. It is a most sanitary and pleasant room.
Politically, Mr. Wingate is a Republican, and fraternally he belongs to the Masonic Order, the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, all at Wingate. - transcribed by kbz
Source: Crawfordsville Saturday Journal, 1-12-1887
The Indianapolis Journal of Monday under the title of "Person's who are Talked About" has the following to say of Col. John C. Wingate of this county: John C. Wingate, a farmer who has pockets full of money has put up at the Grand, and will remain until the "war is over." Mr. Wingate has a little town of his own and its name is Wingate. The place is in Montgomery County and is becoming quite a thriving little village. Two years ago Mr. Wingate, who has a very large farm, concluded that his neighborhood needed a town and a post office and he started the town by laying out quite a number of lots, which were soon sold. He started a general store and soon after made application for a post office. After considerable labor he succeeded in securing an office by the name of Wingate and he himself as postmaster. His town is growing rapidly and in time, he says, promises to be a business center of some importance. He is a radical Democrat and with the remainder of the revolutionsts, thinks the fort ought to be held at all hazards. The man who interviewed the Journal reporter was evidently from this county and bent on gulling the press. When John reads in the paper he swears by that he is a Democrat, there will be blood on the moon. The question now, who orginated the joke! - transcribed by kbz
Source: Crawfordsville Star, Oct 27, 1881 p 5 Saturday morning dawned bright and clear and at an early hour, the people of the surrounding country began coming in in wagons, buggies horseback and on foot to see the first passenger train come in on the famous narrow gauge railroad and help celebrate the event. The train arrived promptly on time 10:30 a.m. and the speakers and visitors were escorted to the Wingate Grove by the Crawfordsville Band. The programme of exercises was as follows: The Rev. ER Johnson called the meeting to order and in a few appropriate and well times remarks introduced Gen. MD Manson who made the address of welcome; response by Eli Marvin of Frankfort. After the response came dinner, which was a regular old fashioned basket dinner. The ladies of Pleasant Hill and vicinity had made provisions for all the visitors, and spread out a feast fit for a king to sit down to. After dinner the audience were called together by the band, which played several appropriate selections. Relations of Railroads to Journalism, response by Col. JB Maynard, editor, Indianapolis Sentinel. Toast: “Montgomery County after Railroads “ – response by Hon. PS Kennedy. “The City of Frankfort,” response by Hon. EH Staley, editor, Frankfort Crescent. After Mr. Staley closed his speech Hon. Eli Marvin arose addressed the audience, stating that he wished to read a telegram from Mr. Craig, general manager of the road. The telegram state that, owing to there being another station on this road by the name of Pleasant Hill, it would be necessary, in order to avoid confusion and annoyance to change the name of this station, which would hereafter be known on the line as “Wingate.”
That he gave it that name as a slight token of the appreciation of the services of JC Wingate in behalf of the town of Pleasant Hill and also the services rendered the road. The announcement was received with applause, and calls for Wingate, Wingate, who came upon the sand and in a few modest but appropriate words, assured the audience that Mr. Marvin’s announcement was entirely unexpected to him and entirely unsought, and that he would not accept the change or allow his name and unless the people of this place and vicinity were willing it should be so, and asked those present what should be done in the case. Cries of “the matter is decided,” let the case alone, “Wingate is good enough,” you deserve it … etc. were heard; wherepon he thanked his friends and neighbors for their appreciation of his efforts to get a railroad through this place. So ended the grand jollify, glorify ratification meeting at Pleasant Hill. Since writing the above we have talked with a good many of the best citizens of Coal Creek and there is a very general feeling of satisfaction that the authorities on the railroad have shown that they appreciated JC Wingate’s efforts to get a railroad through our township.
The people of Pleasant Hill and vicinity know that he has done more toward getting the road than any three men in the township and that it was only by his unceasing, untiring efforts that the road was diverted from its original route to the one it is now built upon. He has spent much time and money to get the road here, and now that it is about completed, let us not forget to “give honor to whom honor is due.” The railroad meeting at Pleasant Hill Saturday last was a success in every way. Addresses were given by Gen. Manson, Hons. White and Kennedy of Crawfordsville; Col. Maynard of Indianapolis; Col. Clark, Eli Martin and E.H. Staley of Frankfort; ER Johnson as Chaplain. The Crawfordsville band made good music; plenty of dinner. - kbz
Source: Crawfordsville Star, Oct 27, 1881 p 8 Like a comet that suddenly bo’sis ioio (sic) sight, lighting up the filament with its edulgeace (?), John C. Wingates’s name has become a household word; but, unlike a comet, John will stay with us both in person and in name. The Superintendent of the Toldeo Delphis & St. Louis RR telegraphed to the people at the Pleasant Hill RR Section meeting on last Saturday that on account of there being another Pleasant Hill on the line of the road in Ohio, the station by that name in this county would be changed to Wingate - kbz
Source: Crawfordsville Star, Nov 3, 1881 p 5 In the letter from Pleasant Hill last week we notice one or two of the speakers were omitted, unintentionally we suppose. The list of speakers was as follows: Rev. ER Johnson, Chaplain; Gen. Manson; Hons. MD White and PS Kennedy of Crawfordsville; Col. Maynard of Indianapolis; Col. Clark, Eli Marvin and EH Staley of Frankfort; and Col. JC Wingate. (note from kbz – this is quite odd as every one of these WAS mentioned)