John Nelson and Hannah Winfield came from Michigan to the Ypsilanti community in 1882, taking a homestead on the farm that was to be owned by the Elmer Kurtz family in 1982, when the Ypsilanti Community Centennial Book was published.
A few years later, they returned to Michigan, and a daughter, Mary Jane, and her husband, R.S. Towle, moved onto the farm.
When R.S. Towle died, the homestead was passed on to the Towle's three children. John Towle, the oldest, lived there until 1916, when he moved into Ypsilanti.
When Winfield Township was organized, it was named for the John Winfield family.