John Barlow, who is a practical and progressive farmer of Clark Township, was born March 1, 1826, a son of Jacob and Rebecca (Piles) Barlow; the former was of Dutch descent, and was born in Virginia, February 26, 1785, and died June 9, 1863; the latter was of Irish descent, and was born May 13, 1793. Our subject’s early life was spent on the farm. He received a common school education in the old log schoolhouse. This education was received under disadvantages, school terms being short and poorly taught, and he only attended school in winter, and then when the weather would not permit of his working on the farm. He never served an apprenticeship at any trade, but is very handy with tools of all kinds, and can make almost anything that is used on the farm. At the age of twenty-one years, he began life for himself as a farmer. August 21, 1853, he was united in marriage to Hannah Smith, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Heck) Smith. The father was of English descent; was born in 1797; the mother was of German descent, and was born in 1800. This union was blessed with the following children: William H., born July 3, 1854; Orea, born April 3, 1861; May, born May 1, 1868; Herman, born September 15, 1870. Orea departed this life, September 5, 1863. The mother of these children was born December 3, 1832. Mr. and Mrs. Barlow settled in Clark Township, on what was then known as the “Gulf,” in 1853, a piece of land which was very heavily timbered, with very thick underbrush, and when they had only been there six weeks an exciting incident happened. Mrs. Barlow, while Mr. Barlow was away from home, on hearing the hogs making a terrible noise, went to the door to ascertain the cause, when she saw all the hogs running for dear life toward the house, and never halted until they were inside. She then discovered that they had been chased into the house by a catamount; it is useless to say that Mrs. Barlow was badly frightened. Mrs. Barlow, her daughter and oldest son, are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Barlow was a granger during the life of that order. In politics he is a republican. He now owns 480 acres of land in Clark Township. It is one of the finest and most convenient stock farms in the county, well watered, ditched and drained. In connection with farming he makes a specialty of short-horn cattle and berkshire hogs. He has commenced the erection of a fine stock barn which, when completed, will be an ornament as well as a useful addition to this already beautiful farm. Mr. Barlow’s father was quite a genius; although he had never served an apprenticeship at any trade, could make anything he undertook. Mr. Barlow has in his keeping an old iron square, made by his father about fifty years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Barlow are highly esteemed by all their neighbors. In regard to schools and churches, and all laudable improvements, he has been friendly, and has throughout life been characterized as an industrious and enterprising, as well as a progressive, citizen and successful farmer.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 476.