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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



WALTER BARNARD, SR., deceased, a representative citizen of Bloomington Township, within whose boundaries he had lived for a period of about thirty years, was a highly respected member of society, and successful in his farming and business pursuits. The subject of this history was born in McLean County, near Heyworth, Feb. 4, 1831, and departed this life in Bloomington Township.

He was the son of Frederick and Mary (Canedy) Barnard, who came to this county as pioneer settlers, and passed the greater part of their lives afterward in Bloomington City. Frederick Barnard was born March 6, 1799, and died in Bloomington, Aug. 25, 1851. The mother of our subject was born Nov. 2, 1794, and died in Bloomington.

Walter Barnard, Sr., was the third of a family of six children, five of whom lived to mature years. but only two of whom now survive, a son and daughter. Our subject was reared on a farm with his parents, and there gained the experience which afterward fitted him for successful operation in the pursuit of agriculture. Aside from general farming he was successfully engaged in buying and selling stock, and his good judgment enabled him to operate successfully and profitably in this line. He was an upright business man, and a stanch adherent of the Republican party.

Our subject was married in Bloomington, on the 8th of April, 1860, to Miss Susan Lawrence. Mrs. B. is a native of Boone County, Ind., born Feb. 24, 1839. Her parents came to Tazewell County, Ill., when she was about eight years of age, and located upon a farm, where the mother died. Her father, in the spring of 1885, came to McLean County, which remained his home until his decease, which occurred on the 17th of July, 1885.

He was a good man in every sense of the term, honest and industrious, and had a good influence over all those with whom he associated. In politics he was a stanch Democrat, and took an intelligent interest in all matters pertaining to the welfare of his community.

Mrs. Barnard was educated in Tazewell County, and received careful parental training, remaining at home until she attained to womanhood, and after the death of her mother until the second marriage of her father. She then left home and supported herself until her marriage with our subject.

She is a lady greatly esteemed in this vicinity, and is widely known for her kindness of heart and generous womanly sympathies. Of her marriage with our subject there have been born three children, one of whom, Peter J., who was born June 10, 1864, died Sept. 26, 1865; Lydia M., born April 1, 1861, is the wife of Alex Robertson, and with her husband lives on the homestead of Mrs. B.; they have two children Perl B., born Nov. 8, 1878, and Alex, Jr., Aug. 30, 1881. Walter Barnard, Jr., is attending school, and makes his home with his mother. Mrs. B., in her own right, possesses forty-seven acres of valuable land besides the home which she occupies. She has been a member of the Christian Church since seventeen years of age, and has carried out in her daily life and conversation the principles of true religion.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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