WILLIAM H. BARNETT - Among the oldest (in point of residence) citizens of Johnson County, Ind., may be classed Wm. H. Barnett, recorder of the county. He was born in Millersburg, Bourbon County, Ky., on October 10, 1820, and is the son of Thomas and Sarah (Jackson) Barnett. The father was born in Bourbon County, Ky., on March 23, 1798. He was the son of John P. Barnett, a native of Orange County, Va., who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, and as such, drew a pension up to his death. In 1828 (September 8), a few years after the close of the above war, he married Elizabeth L. Self, and in 1786 immigrated to Kentucky, landing at Limestone (now Maysville), where he entered land. At that time Kentucky was a wilderness, and the Indians were numerous and very troublesome. He went from Limestone back in the interior of the state, what is now Bourbon County, where he cleared land and located his home. His father was a native of Scotland. Thomas, our subject's father, immigrated to Indiana in 1821, and located in Franklin County, where he remained for about a year. In the meantime, he and two brothers came to what is now Johnson County, and erected cabins in the woods, and in October, 1822, settled in the county permanently. At that time there were but very few white settlers in the neighborhood, and the Indians were in abundance. They, the Barnetts, were among the earliest of the pioneers. He followed farming as an avocation, and died July 10, 1880, in his eighty-third year. The mother was also born in Bourbon County, Ky., in May, 1796, and was the daughter of William Jackson, a native of Maryland, who immigrated to Kentucky at a very early date (about 1786 or 1787). She died December 9, 1851. To the parents two sons were born: William H., and John, the latter born September 11, 1823, and died April 22, 1882. Our subject was reared on the farm, and secured a limited education, the schools at that day and date being of such a character that an education was all but an impossibility. After reaching his twentieth year, he attended school for about a year, and added greatly to his education. He remained on the farm until January 5, 1852, and then came to Franklin and took a deputyship in the clerk's office, in which capacity he served until October, 1855, when he was elected circuit clerk of Johnson County, and in 1859, was re-elected, serving altogether for eight years. In 1863 he was elected auditor of Johnson County, and re-elected in 1867, serving eight years. He remained out of office until 1880, when he was elected to the Indiana legislature, and served one year, beginning January, 1881. He then engaged in the collection and pension business, and continued until November 20, 1886. He was nominated on March 18, 1886, by the democratic county convention, for the office of recorder, and the following November was elected by a majority of about 150 votes. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and of the Christian Church. He was married April 20, 1843, to Susan Sanders, who was born in Bartholomew County, Ind., on November 8, 1823, and died April 15, 1886. She was the daughter of John S. and Elizabeth Sanders. To the union of our subject and wife three children were born, as follows: Mary, born February 4, 1844; John S., February 5, 1849, and died February 9, 1879, and George T., born December 24, 1851.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.