Born and raised in rural Chester Township, Ohio in 1851 to a farmer, Catharine was 1 of 4 children, 1 died in infancy. At the age of 18, Catharine married a civil war veteran from a neighboring farm named John Wesley Winkler in 1870. The couple had 3 sons and 1 daughter that they raised in Chester on property Catharine's father gave them. Husband John passed away in 1913 and after youngest son died in 1922, Catharine moved into Wooster to live with son Thomas' family. She died in 1942 at the age of 90.