Subjects of Perrin, Battle & Kniffin 1885 Biographies

From: Kentucky, A History of the State. Perrin, Battle & Kniffin. 2nd ed., 1885, Webster Co.
GEORGE M. BAKER was born January 23, 1844, in Hopkins, now Webster County, Ky., and is a son of James and Sarah (Price) Baker. In 1864 he made an extended tour through Montana, Idaho, California, and other Western States. The following year he returned to Webster County, and engaged in school teaching. In 1869 he opened a general store in Dixon, and continued business there about three years. In 1873 he visited Texas, where he remained about four months, after which he returned and engaged in agricultural pursuits on the farm where he was born. He came to his present farm in 1882; this farm consists of 520 acres. He also owns 147 acres adjoining this farm on the north. Mr. Baker was married October 8, 1873, to Jennie Rice, of Hopkins County; she died January 3, 1882, leaving five children - three sons and two daughters. His second marriage was in April 1883, to Mary K. Rice, of this county. One son has blessed this union. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

JAMES W. BARNHILL was born in Hopkins County, Ky, December 16, 1848, a son of James B. and Emma (Wynns) Barnhill, both natives of North Carolina, and of English descent. He was employed on his father's farm until he attained his majority, when his father gave him a part of the old homestead, upon which he erected a house and engaged in farming until May, 1883, when his house was destroyed by fire. He then left the farm which he still owns and came to Providence, where he now resides. In 1884, he erected a new and commodious hotel at Providence. It is a neat, snug building, conveniently located and elegantly furnished with all modern improvements, while the table is always furnished with the best the market affords. It is universally conceded by the traveling public to be one of the very best hotels in western Kentucky. Mr. Barnhill and his estimable wife are well qualified for the position of landlord and landlady. Mr. Barnhill represents the old reliable Continental Insurance Company of New York. He was married March 6, 1872, to Miss Annie M. Eades, a native of Muhlenburgh County, Ky. They have one son - Claude H. Mr. and Mrs. Barnhill are members of the United Baptist Church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in politics a Democrat.

JOHN A. BASSETT, M.D. was born in Bracken County, Ky., March 18, 1841, son of Elijah and Mary O. (Pearl) Bassett, the former a native of Bracken County, Ky., the latter of Fauquier County, Va., and both of English origin. Elijah Bassett was married in his native county. When a youth, he was employed in the county clerk's office with Gen. Payne for several years. When he attained his majority he was appointed deputy sheriff under his father, and held that position about four years. In 1841 or 1842 he moved to Hopkins County, Ky., where he bought a farm, and engaged in farming for five or six years. In 1847 he returned to Bracken County, and was appointed sheriff, which office he held for several years. He then engaged in general merchandising and in the tobacco business at Brookville, until December, 1855, when he again removed to Hopkins County, Ky., where he engaged in farming until 1862. He then came to Providence, Webster Co., Ky., where he resided until his death in October, 1864, in his fifty-second year. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. Our subject, at the age of eighteen, commenced the study of medicine, under his uncle, Dr. James Bassett, of Providence, and while pursuing his medical studies taught school a part of the time for about three years. In the winter of 1863 and 1864, he attended the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, Mo. In 1864, he returned to Providence, where he has since practiced his profession. He graduated from the medical department of the University of Louisville, with the class of 1874-75. The Doctor was also interested in the drug business at Providence for about two years. He was first married December 31, 1868, to Miss Virginia F. Wetzell, a native of Providence, who bore him two children, one of whom - a daughter - is now living. Mrs. Virginia F. Bassett died January 20, 1871; she was a member of the United Baptist Church. Dr. Bassett's second marriages was November 13, 1872, to Miss Martha F. Givens, a native of Hopkins County, Ky. Six children have blessed their union, of whom three sons are now living. The Doctor and wife are members of the United Baptist Church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Select Master's degree, and has served his lodge as W.M. and in various other official capacities. He is a Democrat.

JOHNSON H. BEARD, Webster County, was born in North Carolina, July 15, 1832, to Louis and Rachael P. (Troy) Beard, natives of North Carolina, and of German and Scotch-Irish descent. Louis Beard was educated and married in his native State, where he learned the saddler's trade, which he followed for a number of years, and then learned the tanning business, and for some time conducted a tannery. In 1847 he removed to Mississippi, where he died in January, 1863, in his seventy-fourth year. Both the grandfathers of our subject were soldiers in the war of 1812, and his grandfather Beard also of the Florida war. Johnson H. Beard, at the age of fifteen, commenced to learn the carpenter's trade, serving an apprenticeship of six years with his brother, Alexander Z. Beard. He followed his trade in Mississippi until 1872, when he removed to Kansas, where he remained nearly two years; in January, 1874, he came to Providence in Webster Co., Ky., where he has ever since been employed at his trade. In January, 1883 he was appointed postmaster, which office he still holds. In the fall of 1863, he enlisted in the Confederate service, and served in the quartermaster's department until the close of the war. He was married in November, 1861, to Miss Sarah F. Sanders, a native of Mississippi. Six children have blessed their union, of whom two sons and three daughters are living. Mr. Beard was for two years police judge at Providence, and for the past three years has held the office of deputy county clerk. He and wife, and eldest daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity, having advanced to the R.A. degree. He is an earnest advocate of the temperance cause, and in politics a Democrat.

CHARLES F. BEESON was born in Hopkins County, Ky., March 20, 1841; a son of William and Deborah (McCulley) Beeson, both natives of the "Old Dominion," and of English and Irish origin, respectively. William Beeson, when a young man, removed to Hopkins County, Ky., and bought a partially improved farm near Madisonville, upon which he resided, with the exception of four or five years, until his death. He was married in Hopkins County. For many years he engaged in flat-boating down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, shipping live stock and produce to New Orleans and other points along the rivers. For several years he carried on the tanning business, but for the last ten years of his life was employed in farming exclusively. He died in 1848; he and wife were members of the United Baptist Church. Charles F. remained on the home farm with his mother, who is still living and is residing with him, until he was twenty years old. He then came to Providence, Webster Co., Ky., where for several years he was engaged in the live stock trade, and afterward for about ten years, in the tobacco business, in connection with the stock business. In 1876 he erected a tobacco stemmery at Providence, and has since been exclusively engaged in the tobacco stemming business. He was married, January 24, 1872, to Miss Laura Rudy, a native of Henderson County, Ky. They have two children: Mary and George W. Mr. and Mrs. Beeson are members of the United Baptist Church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having advanced to the council of Select Master's degree. He is a Democrat.

DR. A.E. BENTLEY was born April 10, 1840, in Staffordshire, England, and is a son of William H. and Eliza (Astle) Bentley, both natives of the same place. The father, who was engaged in manufacturing, died in 1862, aged forty-nine years. The mother still resides in England. Our subject, at the age of sixteen, entered Queen's College, Birmingham, and graduated with honors at the age of twenty-one; he then came to America, and, after remaining about six weeks, returned and arranged his business in England. In a few weeks he returned to New York City, where he engaged in the practice of medicine about five years. During that time he had acquired a fortune by speculating. On account of his mother's illness, he returned to England, and during his absence his entire fortune was swept away by bank failures in New York. On his return to this country he learned, for the first time, of his misfortunes, and concluded to go to New Mexico; there he remained about eighteen months engaged in the practice of his profession, and acquired from the proceeds of his practice, solely, a herd of about 300 head of cattle and mules, valued at about $12,000. While driving this herd to the States, and when near the Kansas Line, he was surprised by the Indians, who took all the stock and killed all the herders. The Doctor, having a fleet horse, escaped, and proceeded to Fort Lyon for protection. This horse he exchanged for passage to Kansas by stage, and thence by rail to Philadelphia. In 1868 he came to Webster County, Ky., where he has since been actively engaged in the practice of his profession. Since September, 1883, he has been a resident of Dixon. Dr. Bentley was married, in 1868, in Philadelphia, to Mrs. Hernandez, of Savannah, Ga., who died in April, 1875, leaving two daughters. His second marriage was in February, 1876, to Margaret Bowles, of Christian County. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

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