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
shorthorn 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.