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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



WINSLOW J. BARNES, a highly respected and prosperous farmer of Mt. Hope Township, is pleasantly located on section 36, and is in possession of one of the finest homesteads in this region, a view of which is shown on another page. He came to Illinois in 1856, and has been a resident of this township since 1863, taking possession of his present farm four years later. Besides general farming he is also engaged in dairying, and has a fine herd of Jersey cows. He sells his butter in Bloomington and St. Louis. Mr. Barnes was born in West Brookfield, Worcester Co., Mass., Dec. 27, 1837, being the son of Jonas Barnes, who was born in Hampshire County, the same State, June 3, 1802. His grandfather, Zebulon Barnes, was a farmer by occupation, and spent the last years of his life in West Brookfield, Mass.

Jonas Barnes removed from Hampshire to Franklin County when a young man, and was there married to Miss Miranda Ried, who was a native of Charlemont, that county. They afterward removed to West Brookfield, where the father purchased a farm, he was a wheelwright by trade, and pursued this in connection with his farming operations. He died in West Brookfield on the 1st of June, 1844. The mother now lives with her daughter, Mrs. Frank Shackley. The parental family included three sons and three daughters, all living, as follows: Electa lives with her sister, Mrs. Snow; Charles E. is in Pratt County, Kan.; Harriet W., the widow of Charles H. Snow, resides in Mt. Hope Township; Albert H. is in Oxford, Sumner Co., Kan; Elizabeth R., Mrs. Frank Shackley, is in Hartford, Conn., and our subject, Winslow J. Barnes was the fourth child and second son of his parents, and was but seven years old when his father died. The latter was in debt for the farm which he occupied, but Mrs. Barnes proved an excellent manager, keeping her family together, paying the debt and purchasing additional land. The children all lived at home until they were able to care for themselves. When our subject was thirteen years old he went to Charlemont and lived with an uncle two years, and then became an apprentice to learn the carpenter's trade. He followed this in Worcester until 1856, and in that year emigrated to Illinois, locating in Kane County, and followed his trade there until 1863, when he came to McLean and pursued the same until he took possession of his present farm, in 1867. This had no buildings when he purchased it, and he has industriously employed his time in making improvements and cultivating his land. He now has a handsome and substantial frame dwelling, a good barn and all necessary out-buildings. The farm is just outside the corporation of McLean and includes ninety acres, which are increasing in value each year as the growth of the town advances.

Mr. Barnes was married in January, 1867, to Miss Carrie Rice, who was born in Dayton, N. Y., and was the daughter of Hart and Eliza Rice. In 1881, on account of the failing health of his wife, Mr. Barnes went to California and spent nearly two years at San Rafael, and Santa Clara. Mrs. B. died in the latter place, in June, 1881. Our subject was the second time married, in April, 1883, to Miss Mary Sands, who was born in Owen County, Ind., and is the daughter of David and Elizabeth (Fulkerson) Sands, natives respectively of North Carolina and Virginia. Mr. Barnes is Republican in politics; he holds fellowship with the Congregational Church, He has always taken an active part in all matters pertaining to the good of the township, and at present is serving his second term as Highway Commissioner of Mt. Hope Township. His wife is a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

[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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