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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, Pp. 366-67


Civil War Flags.jpg William H. BARNES, one of the enterprising and influential citizens of Riley Township, residing on section 10, was born in Marion County, Ohio, January 11, 1841, a son of Benjamin and Cornelia (BOYNTON) BARNES, the father born and reared in Delaware, and the mother a native of Vermont, but reared in New York State. The father died in Marion County, Ohio, June 6, 1840, aged fifty-four years. He left three children - Lydia, now living in Indianola, Iowa, married George W. LONGAKER, who enlisted in the Thirteenth Ohio Infantry, and died in the service of his country; William H., the subject of this sketch, and Benjamin O., who enlisted in Company C., Forty-eighth Iowa Infantry, and died at Rock Island, Illinois.

Our subject was reared in his native county. His father dying when he was only eight years old, he was in early life thrown on his own resources, his youth being spent in toil. Receiving fair educational advantages, he made the most of his opportunities, and became a well-informated man.

In 1861 he came to Iowa, locating in Decatur County, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, remaining there till May 22, 1864, when he enlisted in Company C., Forty-eighth Iowa Infantry, and was with his regiment at Rock Island and Chicago, Illinois, guarding rebel prisoners. During the last year of the war Mr. BARNES was active in recruiting his company, and on it organization he was commissioned Second Lieutenant. He was honorably discharged, October 20, 1865, when he returned to Decatur County, Iowa.

Desiring to better educate himself, he entered Simpson Centenary College, at Indianola, in 1865, attending that institution four years.

In 1868 his mother and stepfather, Harvey BONHAM, who had come West with him, moved to his farm in Riley Township, living there some nine years. After leaving college Mr. BARNES followed the teacher's profession, in which he was very successful.

Mr. BARNES bought 100 acres of his present property in 1865, although he did not locate there till the year 1868. This property is known by old settlers as the Riley farm, having been at one time the home of Robert H. RILEY, the pioneer settler of the township, and in whose honor at the suggestion of Mr. BARNES, the township, when organized, was named. Mr. BARNES has added to his original purchase, 160 acres, and has made it one of the best farms in his neighborhood, where he is still engaged in farming.

Mr. BARNES was united in marriage, November 13, 1884, to Miss Maggie A. SINCO, born in Decatur County, Iowa, November 2, 1854, a daughter of Henry and Jane SINCO, of whom her father is now deceased. Her mother now lives at Kellerton. They have one child - Virginia, born October 16, 1885.

In politics Mr. BARNES is identified with the Republican party. He has held the office of township clerk since the township was organized, with the exception of perhaps three years, and all the time has been secretary of the School Board. he has served three years as a member of the County Board of Supervisors, and has twice been elected assessor.

NOTE: William H. BARNES died at his home in Riley Township, Ringgold County, Iowa, on December 27, 1927 at the age of 86 years. Maggie A. (SINCO) BARNES was born in 1854, and died in 1936. William and Maggie were interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Cornelia (BARNES) BONHAM, William's mother died at the age of 75 years, 9 months and 28 days on September 18, 1894. Harvey BONHAM, William's stepfather was born in 1824, and died in 1911. John Luther BONHAM, Harvey's brother, was born on June 5, 1813, and died April 7, 1881. They were interred at Patrick Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, Pp. 366-67, 1887.

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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