The first land bought by a European settler in Winfield was 160 acres purchased by Ford Brent in 1867, who then sold the land in 1871.
Also in 1871, Thomas Wood, the man responsible for the current names of Wood Lake and Winfield, bought 160 acres and started up Winfield ranch. In 1875, Thomas Wood was named justice of the peace. The next year, the Postill family bought a 300 acre plot to the south of Mr. Wood’s and moved in.
In 1872 the Postill family purchased a 300 acre plot to the south of Mr. Wood and within a few years a sawmill started up at the Postill ranch and was running at full capacity.
The 1890’s were a decade in which Winfield showed many signs of community development. Winfield had its first telephone installed in the 1890’s, the first fruit trees were planted, the first church services were held at Winfield Lodge (Thomas Wood’s lodge) and more families began settling in Winfield during these years. The growth of the community did not start in the 1890’s, but it was in the 1890’s that it first started to become its own distinct community.
Around this time, the only schools available to Winfield residents were located on the east slope of the Okanagan Valley, in Fir Valley or on the commonage land. This changed in 1910, when a permanent Woodsdale school opened up where the Winfield community hall stands today. Years later, in 1923, Winfield Elementary was built, and the building still stands today on the corner of Highway 97 and Berry Road, although it was shut down in 2002 after 80 years of service as a school.
In 1909, the first post office opened in Winfield servicing the residents of the Winfield flats. Winfield’s first official post office was named Alvaston. The first postmaster, Arthur Chatterton, named it after his father’s home town of Alvaston, in Derbyshire, England. The name ‘Alvaston’ and the post office only lasted for ten years, from 1909 to 1919.
It was not until 1920 that an official name was chosen for the area, at which point ‘Winfield’ was chosen, after Thomas Wood’s Winfield Ranch.