Samuel W. Barnes


Samuel W. Barnes, the oldest native son of Allamakee county living in the vicinity of Monona, if not the oldest in the entire county, has been prominently connected with farming and stock-raising interests for many years and in advancing his own interests along these lines has made substantial contributions to general agricultural development. He owns one hundred and forty acres in Linton township and upon this property was born January 6, 1853, his parents being Jones and Mary (Evans) Barnes, the former a native of Cumberland county, Kentucky, and the latter of Tennessee, born near the line, on the Cumberland river, in 1830. In his early life the father was an overseer on a large plantation, this being in the days of slavery, before the Civil war. In the early ’40s he came north and for a time engaged in rafting cedar timber from Wabasha to Dubuque, Iowa, having formed a partnership with his wife’s brother, who had come to this state ten years previously and who during the Indian troubles here was a scout under General Miles. The father settled first at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and then came to Linton township, Iowa, where he entered from the government the property upon which the subject of this review now resides and with characteristic energy he began clearing and developing the land, enduring all of the hardships and privations of pioneer times and finally evolving out of the wilderness a profitable and well managed farm. Upon this property he resided for many years, dying upon his holdings in March, 1878. His wife survives him and makes her home in Monroe, Washington, being still active and hearty in the eighty-third year of her age.

Samuel W. Barnes grew up amid pioneer conditions, acquiring such education as the little log cabin frontier schoolhouse afforded and spending a great deal of his time assisting his father with the clearing and development of the homestead. At the age of twenty-one he became a farm laborer, working upon properties throughout Minnesota, Dakota and Nebraska. Not caring to settle in any of these states, he eventually returned home and purchased the homestead whereon he has since resided. He owns one hundred and forty acres of valuable land in Linton township and through the years has steadily carried forward the work of improvement and development until it is today one of the best agricultural properties in this vicinity. Upon it Mr. Barnes engages in general farming and stock raising and, being a practical and able agriculturist, has made both branches of his activities profitable. He is a stockholder in the Monona Creamery and the Monona Shipping Association and his ability is widely recognized in business circles.

On the 2d of July, 1880, Mr. Barnes married Miss Rachel Hazelett, who was born in Clayton county, near Watson, in 1859, a daughter of George and Jane (Whetlinger) Hazelett, natives of the north of Ireland. The parents emigrated to America at a very early date and made the overland journey with ox teams in 1849, having spent six months upon the way. The father entered government land and upon this farm resided until his death, which occurred in 1888. His wife survives him and still resides upon the old homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes became the parents of three children: Jennie, who was born in April, 1886, and who married Ray Hancock, a farmer at Medicine Lake, Montana; a child, who died in infancy; and Mary, who was born in September, 1896.

Mr. Barnes belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and he gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. He has the distinction of being one of the oldest native sons of Allamakee county and the oldest in this vicinity and he has borne an active and honorable part in the work of development which has transformed this section of the state from a frontier wilderness into a prosperous and growing community. He began his agricultural career at a time when the percentage of cultivated land in this county was less than one-half of what it is today and he has himself cleared and developed more than one-third of the cultivated land upon his own farm. The years have brought him success and a comfortable fortune and a high place in the regard of his fellow citizens, who respect his prosperity and honor his integrity of character.

-source: Past & Present in Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Linda Earnheart

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