- 1901 Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County, Indiana ... pages 306 - 308
James H. Barnes is one of Wabash County's most influential and respected citizens and an agriculturist of more than local reputation.
He was born December 3, 1838, in Montgomery County, Ohio, to S. L. and Sarah (Nisoonger) Barnes and was one of five children, three of whom are yet living. Frank is a prosperous farmer of this township, and Lydia is the wife of Edward McGown, a furniture dealer of Lagro. Samuel W. Barnes, another brother, now deceased, was a soldier in the Civil War. He received a bad wound in the left hand during the battle of Chickamauga, and while in Kentucky was captured by the enemy, paroled and sent home, but returned to his regiment and served over three years.
The father was born in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1806, and lived to a good old age, dying in May, 1886. He grew up in his native state and after reaching his majority mounted his horse and rode through to Dayton, Ohio. He worked at his trade and followed it for several years in Salem, and then entered a tract of land and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He afterward moved to Wabash County, Indiana, and there remained until his death. He was a man of sound judgment, strict integrity and a great mobility of character, possessing a tender heart which often overruled his judgment and made him the benefactor of many who were unworthy of his bounty. He was a strong abolitionist, and upheld the Republican platform until his death. Both he and his wife were members of the United Brethren Church. Mrs. Barnes was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, June 19, 1817, and passed into the life of the eternal morning in July, 1896. She was a daughter of Samuel Nisoonger and was a woman whom everybody loved.
James H. Barnes was educated in the primitive log school which prevailed during the early history of the states. The one which he attended was kept up by public funds and the books in use were Webster's elementary speller, the English reader and Talbert's arithmetic.
He was a soldier in the Rebellion, going from Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio, to North Mountain, West Virginia, near Harper's Ferry, thence to Baltimore, Maryland, where he was placed on guard duty. He received an honorable discharge from the service August 25, 1864, and returned home to resume the peaceful routine of farm life.
The first land purchased by him was eighty acres, which is a part of the present farm, and for which he was obliged to go in debt, having started with less than $100 when he began for himself.
Industry and perseverance soon enabled him to lift the indebtedness and add other land until he accumulated two hundred and forty acres in Lagro Township and made excellent improvements thereon. A handsome, modern residence, commodious barns and sheds, well-kept fences and an abundance of shade and fruit trees, with other improvements, proclaim the fact that Mr. Barnes believes in enjoying his wealth as he goes through life.
He is an excellent judge of cattle and at one time had a herd of Holsteins, the superior of which it would be difficult to find.
Mr. Barnes has been married twice, the first union being with Miss Jane Snyder, on October 18, 1860. She died December 18, 1869, leaving two children, Samuel E., who resides in Lagro, and is employed as fence foreman for the Big Four Railroad, and Minnie E., who was a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and died in November, 1900, leaving a husband, Clifton Parker, a farmer of this township, and five children.
On August 31, 1873, Mr. Barnes was married to Miss Etta Harrell, by whom he has two sons and three daughters, three of whom are living: Rose, wife of Waren Spiker, a capitalist and one of the stirring young business men of Wabash, Indiana; Fannie J., wife of B. Harsh, of Wabash, and the mother of one little girl, Champa; and Lawrence V., who is yet a student in the eighth grade of the public schools, and mathematics and history are his choice in studies.
Mrs. Barnes was born in this vicinity July 2, 1853, and is a daughter of Jacob and Mary Ann (Creamer) Harrell. Her father was born in Decatur County, Indiana, in 1818 and died in 1895. He was a well-known agriculturist of this county, a believer in the principles of the Democratic party and an honored member of the United Brethren Church. Her mother was born in Ohio, September 20, 1820, but was reared in Indiana. She is now nearing the eighty-first milestone in life's journey, but is so well preserved that she might easily pass for several years younger. She is the mother of seven children, four sons and three daughters, four of whom are living and honored residents of Wabash County. Mrs. Barnes attended the public schools and grew up in this township. She was a small maiden of ten years and assisted Mr. Enyard in planting the first corn which was put in on the estate. They are members of the Christian Church of Wabash and are among the most highly respected residents of the county. Mr. Barnes is independent in his politics, looking rather to the man than the party when he votes for a candidate, and giving his support to the one best calculated to look after the interests of the people. Few men can look back over a more meritorious career than can Mr. Barnes. His entire life has been governed by principles of right and honor, and he has gained a reputation among his neighbors for uprightness and honesty which any man might envy.
Since compiling the above, Mr. Barnes has been called upon to mourn the death of his dear companion in life, as she departed this life June 10, 1901.
She was a lady whose beautiful, pure life was replete with all those cardinal traits of character which make the model wife and loving mother. Her life was a beautiful mirror, which reflected all along the journey of life's pathway of forty-eight years, whose deeds which were as so many milestones. Her charity to the poor and needy and her strong and wife-like support to her husband in the establishment of their home, was one of the characteristics of Mrs. Barnes. She was a devout member of the Christian Church, and her life work was felt within the boundaries of the community. Her home was her paradise, and the tender love and care of her children was her joy and pride.
Mother and wife has gone to her just reward, and her sweet presence is now canceled within the home circle. She was laid to rest in the pretty country cemetery known as Hopewell Cemetery, and the cortege or funeral obsequies were the largest ever held in North Lagro.
Mr. Barnes and the family bore the united sympathy from all the entire surrounding community.
Source: Linda Thompson, Wabash, IN, 2009
James H. Barnes
Birth: Dec. 3, 1838
Death: Mar. 4, 1918
Son of Slingsby & Sarah
131 Regt Co K Ohio Regt
Came to Wabash County in 1865
Maintained by: figaro1st
Originally Created by: v f
Record added: Apr 19, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36056731