From the 1887 History
of Vernon County, Missouri, p. 787. Chapter XXVIII. Moundville Township.
A very sad case of accidental loss of life in early days was long
remembered by the people. An old man named James H. Barnett, who was
one of the first settlers in Moundville township, was frozen to death on
the 29th of March, 1844. Mr. Barnett, Judge Wm. Hudson and Reid Hudson
had been down on Spring river and were returning home. A heavy snow
storm came up and blew in their faces and it grew very cold. The party
became chilled and bewildered and wandered aimlessly about over the
trackless prairie waste, until at last, near the Round Mound, in the
edge of Barton county, old man Barnett lay down and froze to death.
Additional details written by Theresa Caton Barnett in 1933 tell that
her husband's Grandfather, James H. Barnett, and two other men had gone
south about 50 miles with 2 yoke of oxen in a covered ox wagon to get
their cornmeal ground for their summer food. As they were returning
home, it began to rain and then turned to snow. They got wet and their
clothes froze. When they were within a short distance of home, they
turned the oxen loose (the oxen could no longer pull the wagon through
the mud), and the men started to walk but soon found that Grandfather
Barnett could not go any further. He persuaded them to leave him and
the two of them go on to the settlement. They didn't go very far until
the young man dropped and could go no further. He told Grandfather
Hudson to try to get to a nearby house and send out help to find them.
The men found young Hudson and he survived, however they could not find
Grandfather Barnett until the next day.
Robert Barnett was a son of James H. Barnett. Robert's wife was Eliza
Hudson, daughter of William P. and Sarah Elizabeth (Bingham) Hudson. In
the 1850 Bates (Vernon) County, Missouri Census, Dist 6, Dwelling 118,
the Robert Barnett family was enumerated as follows:
BARNETT, Robert, 30 yr old male, wheelright, $150 real estate value,
....Eliza, 21 yr old female, born TN.
....Sarah, 7 yr old female, born MO.
....James, 4 yr old male, born MO.
....William, 3 yr old male, born MO.
Families living nearby included George Taylor, William Hudson, C. P.
Hudson, and John Branson.
Another tragic accident befell the Barnett family when both Robert and
Eliza Barnett were killed in a buggy accident, leaving their three small
children orphans. The children were taken by different family members
William P. Barnett
was taken to
live with Andrew Jackson and Nancy (Hudson) Hall of Pottawattamie
The burial place of Robert and Eliza Barnett was unknown until a recent
cemetery survey found a stone in McMullin Cemetery, Vernon County,
Missouri, which reads:
Died Feb 16, 1851
Aged 30y 3m 7d
It is presumed that Eliza Barnett is also buried in McMullin Cemetery,
although a stone has not been found.
Photo by Nancy Thompson
Frances Marion Barnett was another son of James H. and Elizabeth
Harrison Barnett. He was first married to Elizabeth C. Perrine on
January 1, 1860, daughter of Samuel and Edith Perrine. Following her
death, he married her sister, Susan D. Perrine, before 1870. She also
died after which he married
Jane Copeland on November 12,
1874. Following Jane's death (also in childbirth), he married Mary
Ellen Lunback on August 10, 1879. Francis Marion Barnett died about
February 1892 in Barton County, MO.
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