William Parmania Winkler was born on this day in 1812, in Salem, to Christian and Elizabeth Danz Winkler.
His father, Christian, was born in Switzerland, and was received into the Moravian community as a young man, in Germany. He traveled for several years in Europe and learned the trade of baker during one of his stops. He was recruited to come to Pennsylvania in 1799, and he directed the bakery near Nazareth.
Salem’s bakery was established by Thomas Butner in 1800, and Salem leaders asked Winkler to come to Salem and become Salem’s baker, and to operate a community bakery. Winkler came to Salem in 1807 and within three months of his arrival, he purchased a building for his bakery business and married Elizabeth Danz.
Christian Winkler’s bakery was located on South Main Street. He and his family lived in the one and one-half stories above the bakery. His sons helped in the bakery, and one of the sons, William, took over the business after the death of Christian in 1839.
William successfully operated the bakery and built a brick addition to be used as a sales room.
He was married first to Paulina Fisher and second to Sarah Phillips. William’s son, Charles, ran the bakery after William’s death in 1866.
Charles operated the bakery until his death in 1893. His wife, Alice, ran the bakery until 1915.
Winkler Bakery operated under its name until it was closed in 1931. It was restored in 1968 as a functioning bakery, and today it announces its presence by dispersing delicious aromas throughout Old Salem.
Winkler Bakery is seen at the right in the above photo.
Photo courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.