Judge Francis Donnell Winston

Judge Francis Donnell Winston

Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina, USA
Death 28 Jan 1941 (aged 83)
Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 14307465 · View Source
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Francis “Frank” Donnell Winston was a prominent eastern North Carolina lawyer, state legislator, orator and judge. In 1904 he was elected Lieutenant Governor, serving from 1905 – 1909, and in this position acted as host to President Theodore Roosevelt when the latter visited the state in October 1905. He was much loved in Windsor, and called “Uncle Winston” and/or “Bertie’s Grand Old Man” by many.

On the other hand, in the spirit of transparency, Winston was also a “white supremacy” advocate and did much to develop and push Jim Crow laws. He had a part in supporting the horrific 1898 Wilmington “coup”. Perhaps his most heinous act was the state constitutional amendment devised by him in 1899, that required a literacy test and poll tax requirement for voting. The exception was for anyone (or their direct ancestor) who was able to vote in 1867 (which is the year BEFORE blacks were given the right to vote). Francis Winston did his share to marginalize African-Americans by his legal and governmental powers.

His father was a prominent lawyer and slave owner in Bertie County. During the later years of the Civil War (1863), his family retreated to their Franklin County Springfield plantation to avoid Yankee river boats and also raids on their slaves and property. Francis was six years old at that time. After the War, the family returned to their family home in Windsor, and except for school and business matters, Francis called Bertie county home his whole life.

At age 31, Francis married Rosa Mary Kenney, whose family was originally from Maine. They never had any children together, but they did adopt a nephew from Rosa’s side of the family – Stephen Etheridge Winston Kenney. Francis and Rosa were very active in Windsor society and often opened up Windsor Castle for educational and charity events.

Francis was very close to his four brothers, Patrick “Henry”, George and Robert, and they wrote each other often through the years.

Francis and Rosa were the last of the Winston family to live in Windsor Castle, the house his father built and which he grew up in. It is said he died in the same bedroom that he was born in on Jan 28th 1941, and was then buried in the churchyard of St. Thomas near his mother and father’s graves.

There is an EXCELLENT full bio of Francis Winston on the North CarolinaPedia page:


Family Members


Francis Donnell Winston, L.L.D. Legislator, Judge, Lt. Gov. U.S. Dist. Atty., U. of N.C Trustee 53 years, Mason, G.M. St. Thomas Vestry, Choir. S School . 73 Yrs. Orator /Humanitarian /Christian. 'Of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven.'

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  • Maintained by: Christine Klukkert
  • Originally Created by: Rhonda Golden Cowan
  • Added: 16 May 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 14307465
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Judge Francis Donnell Winston (2 Oct 1857–28 Jan 1941), Find a Grave Memorial no. 14307465, citing Saint Thomas Episcopal Church Cemetery, Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Christine Klukkert (contributor 47352711) .