Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 576] a leading farmer and prominent citizen, occupying a fine homestead in Hickory township, Lawrence County, has been a resident of the county for the greater part of the period from 1861 to the present date. He comes of good old Irish stock, and was born in County Down, Ireland, March 6, 1830. Thomas Barnes, his father, followed farming as an occupation throughout his younger years and until he was well advanced in years, when he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, and thereafter to the end of his days was identified with legitimate trade. His standard of life was high and exalted in character, and nobly did he obey the command of his Heavenly Father to be an example to all men; his honestness and uprightness of purpose which distinguished his dealings detracted in no way from his popularity, for there were few men who were so popular and well-liked in his neighborhood; to the poor and needy and to all who were in distress and trouble, he was an ever-present friend, comforting the broken-hearted, and solacing those who refused to be comforted, and never witholding of his abundance to relieve a case of want and distress. His death was mourned by everyone who had had a chance to know him and to appreciate his gentlemanly qualities; it was caused by his readiness to act as peace-maker between two parties to a feud, the knife that was intended by one combatant to put his opponent hors du combat penetrated a vital spot in Mr. Barnes, and he died instantly. When a man lays down his life for a friend, the world justly calls it one of the most generous of acts; but on the other hand how much greater is the magnanimity that prompts one to risk his life in an affair not his own in an endeavor to prevent quarreling and probable bloodshed. His wife was Jane Boyd, daughter of James Boyd of County Down, Ireland, and to them were born six children: James, who married Annie Annesley of County Downs, and died in Ireland; William, our subject; Annie; Margaret, who married Henry Wolfe of Pittsburg, Pa., and has six children: Thomas, Jane, Charles, William, Sherman, and Madison; and Isabelle, deceased. They were connected with the Unitarian Church. Our subject's father came to his death in the manner already stated in 1839, at the age of forty-one years; his wife survived him until 1847, when she went to join the invisible throng of spirits that inhabit the border-land, being aged at her decease forty-eight years.

William Barnes came to America in 1848, and settled in the vicinity of Pittsburg, Pa., where he worked in the construction and repair of telegraph lines, an industry then in its earliest infancy. He remained in that connection until 1861, when he came to Hickory township, and settled on the farm he now owns and occupies, which he purchased from William Alexander, who was a pioneer settler of the country. Since that time, Mr. Barnes has successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits, which have proved very profitable to him; from 1883 to 1893 he was a resident of Brownwood, Brown Co., Texas, where he was engaged in farming. He is a man who stands well in his community, has been school director two terms, but, while willing to aid by every means in his power in furthering what are considered the best interests of the township, he has steadily refused to become an office-seeker. In politics, he inclines toward Republican principles, and has supported that party ever since the candidacy of Gen. John C. Fremont, the "Pathfinder of the Rockies," for whom he cast his first vote as an American citizen. He is a man of great force of character, has decided views and opinions, and is not afraid to maintain what he believes to be right in all places and under all circumstances.

He was joined in matrimony, in 1857, with Martha (Stuart) Macklin, daughter of John Stuart of County Antrim, Ireland, and widow of Thomas Macklin by whom she had two children: Margaret J., who married Robert Patten of Mahoning township, this county, and has five children, John, Wiliam, Robert, James, and Stuart; and Thomas J., who died in infancy. Mr. Barnes and his estimable wife are the parents of seven children, five of whom survive, namely: Anna, who married Thomas Matthew of County Antrim, Ireland, and now lives in Union township with a family of four children—Lillie, Sadie, Martha, and William; Mary, who married Presley Bell, a native of the State of Georgia, and now a resident of Mahoning township—they have four children, Martha, William, Walter, and Mabel; Martha, who married Hosea Porter, a native of Texas, and had one child, Hosea, now deceased; William T., a minister of the Disciples faith in Wellington, Ohio; Isabel, deceased; John, deceased; and Jane, deceased. Religiously, the family are members in excellent standing in the Disciples Church.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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