John Franklin Winans lived on his Land Run homestead for nearly 50 years. The Civil War veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg lived to the age of 93, which he attributed to a 5 am jog around the farm, two vegetarian meals a day, and never consuming coffee, tea, alcohol, or tobacco. By the time Winans was ready to retire from farming and converted his land to a housing addition in 1907, the city had grown to the edges of his homestead between NW 16 and NW 23, Walker and the railroad.
The park is in this unusual location away from the center of the addition because it forms the southern end of a planned string of neighborhood parks stretching from Winans to Goodholm, Sparrow, and Edgemere parks further north. It was once a wooded grove on Winans’ land and was known to be a favorite picnic spot for the 1889ers with plenty of shade and a cold water well for refreshment. Before the fire station was built in 1951 (rebuilt in the 1990s), this was a busy park with swing sets, a wading pool, tennis court, and bathhouse but today it’s an island of green near a busy intersection on a main pathway in and out of Downtown. You can still see the original sign that has amazingly stood the test of time for over 100 years.
The land for this park was donated to the city by John F. Winans in 1910 and named in his honor.