ASAPH H. BARNES, D.D.S. Among the leading professional men of Girard, Illinois, is Dr. Asaph H. Barnes, who is the oldest resident dental surgeon in the city and possibly in the county. In addition he is one of the most highly esteemed and public spirited citizens. Dr. Barnes was born September 8, 1840, near Greenfield, New Hampshire, being one of a family of 10 children born to Nathan and Sarah (Evans) Barnes.
Although Dr. Barnes comes of agricultural ancestry, his forefathers having been prosperous farmers in his native State for generations, he very early in life evinced a leaning to the profession in which he has attained such success. After completing the common school course, at the age of 17 years he obtained his father's permission to leave the farm and enter the office of a local dentist. There he took advantage of every opportunity to read, study and observe concerning the science in which he was so much interested, and thus, more from natural aptness than from any teaching, he acquired the knowledge and skill which enabled him, in 1860, to begin practice at Bunker Hill, Macoupin County, Illinois. After one year during which he had met with success and had secured the confidence of the public, he entered the army, enlisting as a private in Company A, 97th Reg., Illinois Vol. Inf., 2nd Brigade, and Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, under col. Victor Vifquin. He served through three years and was honorably discharged July 29, 1865, after participating in eight serious battles and enduring the hardships of continual campaigning. A wound he received in the vicinity of Algiers, opposite New Orleans, has given him trouble at various times since, causing him to resign his practice in 1870 and spend a year in an open air life as a farmer, with considerable profit to his health. Dr. Barnes returned to Bunker Hill after the war and resumed his practice until 1870 when he went on the farm, as noted, in Mason County, where he farmed until 1871 and then practiced dentistry until October, 1875, when he removed to Girard. He purchased a home here, within a half block of the public square, and fitted up offices in his residence.
Dr. Barnes was married October 16, 1868, to Mary M. Lancaster, a daughter of the late Francis Lancaster, who was one of the most prominent farmers and citizens of Macoupin County, and who died in November, 1895, aged 82 years. Mrs. Lancaster died in May, 1882, aged 69 years. The Lancaster family is socially a prominent one and has been a factor in the county since its first settlement. Dr. and Mrs. Barnes have three daughters, all comfortably settled in homes of their own, viz: Lulu M., wife of Charles G. Woods, of St. Louis, Missouri; Augusta P., wife of James Garretson of Macoupin County; and Minnie M., wife of Charles P. Gibson, also of Macoupin County. Mrs. Barnes is a valued member of the Christian Church, but the genial Doctor was reared in the Methodist faith.
Although not an active politician, Dr. Barnes throws all his influence in the direction of the Prohibition party. His membership in the Luke Mayfield Post, No. 516, Grand Army of the Republic, is a congenial one, and there he meets comrades of other days who, like himself, did battle for a country in which they still feel an interest which can not be excelled by the younger generation. Dr. Barnes is considered one of the most successful practitioners of dental surgery in this part of the State. The family is one of social prominence and his home is a center of hospitality.