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Henry County >> 1888 Index

Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa 
Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888.


Unless otherwise specified, biographies submitted by Pat Ryan White.

PROF. MATHEW H. BARNES, section 23, Center Township, is a pioneer of 1839. He was born in Spencer Township, Guernsey Co., Ohio, Jan. 12, 1815, and is a son of Ford and Jane (Hennen) Barnes, who emigrated from Greene County, Pa., to Guernsey County, Ohio, in about 1811. In that new country Ford Barnes built a mill on Will Creek, which for many years was known as Barnes’ Stone Mill, it being among the first mills in that section of the country. In addition to milling he improved a farm and also laid out the town of Claysville in Guernsey County, naming it in honor of Henry Clay, he being a great admirer of that Statesman. In the second war with Great Britain, Ford Barnes served his country faithfully, as did his father, Job Barnes, the grandfather of our subject, during the Revolutionary War. Of the family of eight children of Ford and Jane Barnes, there are now living: Elizabeth, wife of Francis Dailey, of Guernsey County, Ohio; Mathew H., of Henry County; and Ford Barnes, also of this county. Mrs. Jane Barnes dying about 1825, Ford Barnes subsequently married Mary Roberts, by whom he had a large family, three of whom are now living: Margaret, now residing in Center Township; Sarah, now the wife of Mr. Babcock, of Mt. Pleasant; Mary, now the wife of Edwin Lockwood. Politically, Ford Barnes was an old-line Whig, and religiously, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. For many years his house was the home of traveling preachers and a place for holding meetings in an early day.

The subject of this sketch was reared in Guernsey County, Ohio, and received his education in the pioneer log school-house, the schools being held upon the subscription plan. On the 10th day of August, 1837, in Muskingum County, Ohio, he wedded Miss Martha Monroe, a distant relative of President Monroe. She was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, in 1818. By this union there was one child who died in infancy.

In April, 1839, Mr. Barnes came with is wife to Henry County, Iowa, and settled on the east half of the southwest quarter of section 23, township71, range 6 west, now known as Center Township. Here he has since continued to live a period of nearly a half century, and is one of the best known citizens of Henry County. In addition to general farming, for forty-four years he has been engaged as a general auctioneer, attending the greater number of sales within a circuit of twenty miles. In an early day he was engaged in teaching music, using the old buckwheat notes, and was then given the title of professor, a title which has since clung to him. Though never an office-seeker, he has yet held several offices of trust and was Justice of the Peace for many years. In politics he is a stanch Republican.

Thomas H. Barton, a prominent farmer of Henry County, residing on section 29, Tippecanoe Township, was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, July 1, 1837, and is the son of William and Christiana (Beaber) Barton, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. They emigrated to Ohio at an early day, and from there removed to Indiana, and subsequently to Southern Illinois, where they remained for three years. Resolving to emigrate to Iowa, on the 4th of July, 1844, they settled in Henry County, in Center Township. William Barton erected a sawmill on Big Creek, south of Mt. Pleasant, engaging in milling until the time of his death, which occurred in 1845. 

Thomas Barton, our subject, during his boyhood days lived upon a farm. In 1858 he formed a matrimonial alliance with Miss Elizabeth Harsbarger, a native of Virginia, born Aug. 17, 1840, and a daughter of William Harsbarger. After his marriage, Mr. Barton rented a farm for three years, at the expiration of which time, in 1862, he purchased a farm of forty acres in Salem Township, residing on this farm for about a year; then selling it he purchased forty acres on section 29, Tippecanoe Township. On his last purchase Thomas Barton still resides, having added more land until he has a fine farm of 122 acres. His home, an elegant and commodious residence, was erected at a cost of $1,600. Seven children have blessed the union of this worthy couple: Mary L., born March 11, 1859, is the wife of A. Jay, of Tippecanoe Township; William H., born July 25, 1861, married Minnie Rogers, and is a resident of Tippecanoe Township; Sarah C., born Oct. 23, 1863, is the wife of Walter Stewart, of Jefferson County, Iowa; Rebecca J., born Nov. 6, 1865, wedded Nathan Elliott, also a resident of Tippecanoe Township; Harriet Ann, born March 27, 1869, is the wife of Charles Cooper, of Salem Township; Samuel and Annie A., twins, born Oct. 1, 1871, reside at home. 

Politically, Mr. Barton affiliates with the Republican party. He has held the office of Township Trustee, Constable, and is at present Justice of the Peace. Mr. Barton is a pioneer of forty-three years' standing, coming to this county in 1844. He passed through many of the hardships and privations of the early settler, but is glad to live to see the grand improvements in our fair country. Mr. Barton is a man of considerable intellectual capacity, and is much respected by the citizens of Henry County. 

William Bashford came to Henry County in the Spring of 1855, and was born May 20, 1821 in Jefferson Co., OH. He was the son of John and Margaret (Dunlap) Bashford, both parents natives of Pennsylvania, of Scots-Irish ancestry. They had 9 children, 3 of whom are living: John M. a resident farmer of Louisa Co., IA; Eli D. resides in Louisa Co., and was for many years a miner in the Rocky Mtns.; and William, our subject. The deceased are Robert C., James, Joseph, Elizabeth, Sarah, and one who died in infancy.

John was a pioneer of Marion Co., OH, settling there in June 1822, and died there July 7, 1847, aged 6 years. Margaret died about 1858.

William went to Seneca Co., OH at age 25 where he  spent one winter as a laborer on the railroad. He married Nelllie Jane Tuttle, a native of PA, b. Sept. 7, 1830, daughter of Milton and Lana (Cooper) Tuttle, both natives of the same state. After his marriage, Mr. Bashford rented a farm for four years, then emigrated to Iowa, first in Cedar County for a year and then to Henry Co.

He enlisted in the 8th Iowa Vol. Infantry on Dec. 1, 1864, and mustered out May 8, 1866 at Mobile AL.   They had 8 children: Lavilda, b. Feb. 1852 and died at age 13; Melissa, b. Oct 25, 1853, and the wife of John Renshaw, they reside in Jewell Co. KS; Ella, wife of Owen Crispin, she was b. Apr.2, 1857; John Milton was b. Mar. 2, 1859, and resides in  Logan, KS; William Jr., b. Oct 31, 1861 married  Jennie E. Chamberlain, and still resides with his parents; Lana, wife of William Marple, was born Aug. 12, 1865, and resides in Jewel Co., KS; Levina was born Oct 3, 1868 and resides at home; and Eli Dunlap, b. Mar. 18, 1871, and died at age of one year.   The Bashfords are members of the Presbyterian Church.

Wellington Bird, M.D.

A prominent physician of Henry County since 1849 and resident of Mt. Pleasant, he was born in Northumberland Co. PA, August 5, 1817. He is a son of William and Margaret (Moyer) Bird. His father was born in New Jersey in 1875. James Bird, grandfather of the Doctor, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was a wagon master and was in the battle of Monmouth. His wife's name was Osborne, whom me married in New Jersey. Birds were a large athletic race, descended from sturdy yeoman of old England. William, father of Wellington was a blacksmith. He died at the age of 76, and his wife died at age 85. They were Methodist Episcopal. They had 12 children: Philip, a farmer in Kansas; Wilhelmina, a widow, resides in Dauphin County, PA; Caroline, widow of John martin; Charles, machinist of Danville, PA; Clement, resides Afton, Iowa, and Wellington who was the oldest of the family.

Wellington married in Bloomsburg PA, Oct 1841, to Miss Sarah, daughter of Eli Thornton. He tells about son Hiram T., who enlisted in the 8th IA Cavalry, and about his own doctor studies. He went to Idaho in 1866. He was appointed to the Indian Agency at Ft. Peck. He returned to him home in Mt. Pleasant in 1880. Their nine children were: William N, who died in childhood; Myra, who married John S. Woolson; Allie, who m. Washington I. Babb, Hiram T., who married Florence McLaran; Regina m. Theodore F. Twinting, Caroline who burned to death in childhood by her clothes catching fire; Horace who died in 1859 at age three and a half; and Burnetta who died in infancy; and Leslie, the youngest, is unmarried.

Welllington was appointed Assistant Surgeon in the 4th Iowa Cavalry.

GREGORY BONNIFIELD submitted by Dick Barton

GREGORY BONNIFIELD, one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County , residing on section 1, Tippecanoe Township , was born in Randolph County , Va. , Feb. 11, 1821 , and is a son of Rhodham and Nancy (Menier) Bonnifield, both of whom were also natives of Virginia . There were thirteen in his father's family when they emigrated to Iowa . They located in Jefferson County , in the spring of 1836, and during the third winter following three of the children and also the father and mother died, the father at the age of fifty-two and the mother at the age of fifty. Both of the parents were devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Three of the family have since died and seven are now living: Samuel, engaged in the mercantile business in Nevada; Gregory, our subject; Wesley B., a banker in Ottumwa, Iowa; McCaska, a lawyer in Nevada; Ellis, a farmer residing in Mitchell County, Kan.; Martha, widow of V. Chandler, residing near Fairfield, Iowa, and Catherine, wife of William Ross, a resident of Reno County, Kan.

After his father's death, our subject managed the home farm until the spring of 1852, when he removed to Henry County , settling on section 1, Tippecanoe Township . He purchased 380 acres of partially improved land, which he has transformed into a beautiful farm, and on this he still resides, now owning 340 acres. He was united in marriage, on the 9th of November, 1848 , with Miss Lydia Shuman, a native of Guernsey County , Ohio ,, and a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Lenington) Shuman, the former a native of Ohio , and the latter of New Jersey . Her parents settled in Henry County in the fall of 1840, locating on the farm now owned by Mr. Bonnifield. Her father died in June, 1851, at the age of forty-nine, from an attack of cholera; his wife departed this life in April, 1864. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church, and always ready to aid with time or money in the Master's service. Mr. and Mrs. Shuman were the parents of eleven children, nine of whom are now living: Jane, widow of Lineus Fairchild, who was a farmer of Tippecanoe Township, where she yet lives; Mrs. Bonnifield; Thomas died in Corning, Iowa, in 1884; Moses, now a resident of Corning, Iowa; Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Ables, now residing in Santa Maria, Cal.; John, also a resident of Santa Maria; Sarah, wife of H. Davis, residing in Cheyenne County, Kan.; Clarissa, wife of John Inglebright, residing in Marion Township; William, now residing in the State of Oregon; Maggie, wife of Elias Ogg, of Henry County, and Phebe, who was the eldest of the family, and was the wife of Thomas Jackson, then of Tippecanoe Township, died of cholera at the same time as her father. Mr. Bonnifield is entirely a self-made man; he commenced life a poor boy, and all that he has he has made by hard work, good management and fair dealing. They lived in a little cabin in true pioneer style until 1869, when he built a fine and commodious dwelling at a cost of $3,000. His farm is under a fine state of cultivation, and the out-buildings are models of convenience, the barn alone costing $1,000. Politically, Mr. Bonnifield is a Democrat. Six children have come to make glad their parents' hearts: Mary, who was the wife of J. F. Kinney, of Tippecanoe Township, died Sept. 29, 1881, at the age of thirty-two; Augustus died Dec. 7, 1877, at the age of twenty-five; Allen is a farmer of Tippecanoe Township, and is married to Miss Ellen D. Day; Martha J. is at home; Thomas W. died June 9, 1875, at the age of sixteen, and Frank lives at home. Mr. and Mrs. Bonnifield are earnest Christian people,, and are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They are always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy, and none more truly deserve the respect of the community, which they enjoy in a marked degree.

Henry Brown

He is one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County and resides in Section 3, Center Twp. He was born 3 Nov 1819 in Fayette County, Ohio, the son of John and Mary (Tate) Brown, natives of Frederick County, VA, who had eleven children, five sons and six daughters, seven of whom are still living: Sydney of Appanoose County; Lucinda of Henry County; Manley of Washington County, IA; Jackson, who resides Salem County, MO; Ellen who married John Tendergrass of Washington County; and William of Council Bluffs. 

In 1847 they came to Iowa where they died, John died in Washington County, IA and Mary died in Des Moines.  John Brown was a Jackson Democrat. 

Our subject Henry Brown, spent his boyhood days on a farm in Fayette County, Ohio. He married in 1841 to Miss Barbara A. Helphrey who was born in Licking County, Ohio in 1823. They had six children, five of whom are yet living: Alice, wife of Cyrus Bush of Washington County; George and Rosa, who are at home; Florence, wife of David Durst of Washington County, IA, and Parrot of Mt. Pleasant. 

In 1846 Mr. Brown came to Iowa and remained in Henry County for 22 years. He next removed to Washington County where he resided for 14 years. In 1882 he returned to Henry County and purchased a farm in Center Twp. 

He is a Republican. He owns 120 acres a mile and a half fro Mt. Pleasant. His wife died 13 Mar 1881.

MARTIN F. BURKET has been a dealer in stoves, tinware and kindred articles in Mt. Pleasant for twenty-one years. He was born in Huntingdon County, Pa., Dec. 9, 1829, and is a son of John and Lydia (Funck) Burket, both natives of Pennsylvania, and on both sides of German extraction. Our subject, when eight years of age, was taken by his parents to Blair County, Pa., and seven years later, when he was fifteen, to Center County, same State. In these places his boyhood days were passed, living in the latter county until he was twenty-one. He learned the tinsmith's trade, and when about twenty-two years of age embarked in business on his own account at Warrior's Mark, Huntingdon County, where he remained for over two years, then selling out to come west.

In the spring of 1855 Mr. Burket came to Iowa, locating at West Point, Lee County, in which place he successfully carried on the trade until 1866, when he came to Mt. Pleasant, and here he again engaged in the business of a stove and tinware dealer, beside doing all kinds of jobbing in his line. For four years, from 1876 to 1880, he had as a partner Oliver Griffith, but in the latter year the firm sold out, and Mr. Burket worked as a journeyman until 1887, in the spring of which year he recommenced business, and now carries a full stock, besides being well prepared to do all kinds of work in his line. He is a good mechanic, and has always borne the reputation of an upright business man.

Mr. Burket was married in Center County, Pa., Nov. 11, 1852, to Miss Nancy Glenn, daughter of John Glenn. She was born in Center County. Three children were born to them, of whom one, a daughter, Ina S., died when nineteen years old. Wilbur F. is married and lives at Lyons, Kan., and John G. is single and a resident of Page County, Kan.

Mr. and Mrs. Burket are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party, and socially is a member of Mystic Lodge No. 55, I.O.O.F., and is personally held in esteem by his neighbors and fellow citizens.

William S. Burton was born Feb. 7, 1820 in Guilford Co., NC, the son of Ainsley and Sarah (Clarke) Burton. He moved with his parents to Davidson Co., NC in child- hood and learned the carriage makers trade. In 1842  he went to Randolph Co., MO and was in business in Huntsville until 1854, and came to Iowa, locating at Richland in Keokuk Co., in the carriage business. In 1865 he came to Henry County and opened a carriage shop in Mt. Pleasant. In 1882 he was appointed to the War Department and was a clerk in Washington, D.C..   He married Miss Malinda Moffitt in March 1839 in Davidson Co., NC. She was the daughter of Robert and Lydia Moffitt.

They had ten children of whom seven are living, four sons and three daughters: Lydia C. married James Pringle and reside in Richland, IA; Sarah A., who is at home; William M. m. Miss Vaughn, and reside in Jefferson Co., AR; Robert A. married Fannie S. Way and they reside in Washington D.C.; Constantine B.  is single and resides in Colorado; and Henrietta M. who is single and resides t home.

Mr. Burton was the Mayor of Mt. Pleasant from 1879-1880. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a Republican. He belongs to the IOOF, Mystic Lodge #55.