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BARNES, Benjamin - 1912 Bio (1834-1912)


Posted By: Debbie Nash (email)
Date: 11/4/2002 at 02:59:48

From the History of Jefferson County - 1912, Volume II
Pages 341-342


Benjamin BARNES is now living retired in Fairfield, a life of well directed activity in following the plasterer's trade having brought him the comfortable competence that now enables him to spend the evening of his days in rest from further labor. Moreover, he deserves mention in this volume from the fact that for more than a half century he has lived in Fairfield, having come to this city in 1855. Its history is well known to him, for he has witnessed its growth and development through many decades. His birth occurred in Richland county, Ohio, about four and a half miles east of Mansfield, on the 12th of March, 1834, his parents being Thomas and Sarah J. (CASE) BARNES, natives of Maryland and New Jersey, respectively. They were married, however, in Ohio, and in 1855 came with their son Benjamin to Fairfield, where they afterward resided. The father, who followed farming throughout his entire life, died in 1884 at the venerable age of eighty-six years, while his wife passed away when fifty-four years of age. In their family were seven children: Elizabeth and Samuel, both of whom are deceased; Benjamin; Julia and Susan, who died in this county; Sadie, the widow of Guy BEATTY, of Fairfield, and one who died in infancy.

Benjamin BARNES was twenty-one years of age when he came to Iowa. His youth had been passed on his father's farm in Ohio, and his educational opportunities were those afforded by the public schools. He early learned the plasterer's trade and has made it his life work, continuously following that business until the last three years, during which time he has lived retired. He thoroughly mastered the trade in early manhood and because of the excellence of his labor and his reliable business methods, he was accorded a liberal patronage.

In 1859 Mr. Barnes was married in Fairfield to Miss Mary E. WILSON, who was born in Covington, Indiana, April 22, 1835, and came to Iowa with her parents in 1837. She is a daughter of Grinder and Eleanor B. (WALKER) WILSON, the father born in North Carolina and the mother in Kentucky. They were farming people and spent their last days in Fairfield but on coming to Iowa, took up their abode near Mount Pleasant. Their family numbered four sons and four daughters, who lived to mature years, while one child died in infancy, these being: John Milton, Catherine, Isaac, James, Joshua, Prudence and Ellen, all now deceased; Mary, who is the only one now living; and Francis, who died in infancy. Mrs. BARNES is today the oldest resident of Jefferson county in years of connection with this part of the state, for there is no one living here that came prior to 1837. This was two years before the county was organized by the territorial legislature and she remembers well when the state was admitted to the Union. She relates many interesting incidents of the early days when the broad prairies were covered with their native grasses, when the timber was uncut and when deer and other wild game were to be had in abundance. Indians, too, were more numerous than the white settlers in this part of the state and the work of improvement and progress had scarcely been begun. Mr. BARNES, too, is one of the oldest settlers here, having for fifty-six years lived in Fairfield. In politics he is a republican, supporting the party since its organization, and his religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has always lived up to his profession and his life has been an honorable, upright one.

I am copying this information for the benefit of genealogical research and am not related to said individuals.


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