Pioneering Families
... with Roots in Madison County

Index to
  THEODORE C. BARNES is properly accorded recognition in this volume, by reason of his standing as a representative farmer of Kalamo township and as a member of one of the honored pioneer families of Eaton county, which has been his home from the time of his nativity. He was born in Delta township, October 28, 1846, and is a son of Lansing and Maria (Fuller) Barnes, the former of whom was born in Blenhaim township, Schoharie county, New York, August 19, 1806, and the latter in Floyd township, Oneida county, that state, April 12, 1808. Both passed the closing years of their lives in the home of the subject of this review, where the father died January 29, 1881, and the mother August 10, 1883. They were married in the state of New York, whence they came to Eaton county, Michigan, in 1844, settling in Delta township. The father was employed at day labor until 1847, when he bought eighty acres of wild land in Kent county, where he took up his residence, eventually reclaiming about forty acres. At the expiration of eleven years he sold the property and started for the west, but after proceeding into Illinois he became discouraged and turned back, passing eight months on a farm which he rented in Branch county and then coming to Eaton county, his sons here taking up eighty acres of land in section 5, Kalamo township, where he passed the remainder of his life. He was a Republican in politics, having joined the ranks of this party at the time of its organization, and both he and his wife were members of the Baptist church. The subject of this sketch provided for his parents during their declining years and both died in the old log house which stood on the site of his present attractive residence. This worthy couple became the parents of nine children, and concerning them brief record is here entered James F., who was born in Floyd township, Oneida county, New York, went to Wisconsin and was there three years before the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion, when he entered a volunteer regiment for a three months' term, later reenlisting as a member of Company E, Twenty-fourth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, in which he became first sergeant. He died at Nashville, Tennessee, March 24, 1864, from the effects of a wound received in the battle of Missionary Ridge. Albert R., born in the same township, May 27, 1831, died in Kalamo township, Eaton county, July 29, 1892. He married Levina Matteson, who survives him, as do also two of their four sons. John L., born in Floyd township, Oneida county, New York, February 13, 1833, died at Manton, Wexford county, Michigan, March 2, 1887. He married Alida Brundage and of their eight children two are deceased. Sarah, born in the same place in New York, February 17, 1835, first married Solomon Swan, who is survived by one son and one daughter. After his death she became the wife of Robert Means, and they reside in Kalamo township, having two children. Mr. Means was a member of the First Michigan Engineers & Mechanics in the civil war. Porter, born in Canastota, Madison county, New York, October 22, 1836, died in Barry county, Michigan, February 2, 1905. He married Louise Everett, who survives him, as do three of their four children. Newell, born in Smithfield, Madison county, New York, January 19, 1838, is a prosperous farmer of Vermontville township, his farm lying across the road from that of the subject of this review. He married Emma Cooley and four of their five children are living He served three years in the civil war as a member of the Sixth Michigan Heavy Artillery. Lot F., born in Georgetown, Madison county, New York, August 31, 1841, died in Kalamo township, Eaton county, Michigan, March 14, 1863, from the effects of disease contracted while serving as a soldier in Company E., Sixth Michigan Heavy Artillery, of which company his brother, Newell, also was a member. Theodore C., whose name initiates this article, was the next in order of birth. Malentha, born in Lowell, Kent county, Michigan, May 6, 1848, is the wife of Levi Evans, of Bellevue township, Eaton county, who was sergeant of his company in the First Michigan Mechanics & Engineers in the war of the Rebellion. Theodore C. Barnes was educated in the district schools and at the age of eighteen years he gave evidence of his intrinsic loyalty to his country by enlisting. August 31, 1864, as a member of Company. E, First Michigan Volunteer Light Artillery, being mustered in the same day and joining his command at Nashville, Tennessee. He continued in service until the close of the war, having been mustered out, in the city of Jackson, Michigan, July 31, 1865, and having duly received his honorable discharge. He retains an interest in his old comrades and shows the same by his membership in. the Grand Army of the Republic. A portion of the money which he had saved from his pay while a soldier he applied toward the purchase price of the eighty-acre farm which he and his brothers had previously bought, as already mentioned in this article. When the property was divided he took forty acres of the original tract and twenty acres of another eighty acres which they had purchased, in the same section. He then went to work for his brother, Porter, agreeing to work two years while the latter was to assist him in the erection of a house on his own farm. In the meanwhile, in 1867, Mr. Barnes purchased the forty acres, in section 5, Kalamo township, on which he now resides, and he secured a yoke of oxen by cutting twenty acres of timber. His brother released him from his promise to remain in his employ two years, and the brother was accordingly released from his agreement to assist in the erection of a house, as noted. After purchasing the last mentioned forty acres, on which a log house had been erected, Mr. Barnes sold twenty acres to his brother Porter and bought forty acres adjoining on the east, so that his present landed estate comprises one hundred and twenty acres, practically the entire place being now under cultivation and the improvements being of excellent type. In 1887 Mr. Barnes erected his present commodious frame residence, on the site of the original log house, and he has also built a fine barn and other farm buildings. He takes a local interest in public affairs of local order and is a stanch Republican, though never an aspirant for office. He and his wife are members of the Evangelical church. June 17, 1872, Mr. Barnes married Miss Eliza Everett, who was born in Castleton township, Barry county, Michigan, April 3, 1857. She is a daughter of Levi and Eliza (Brooks) Everett, both natives of the state of New York, where the former was born December 21, 1818, and the latter July 1, 1821. The father died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Barnes, May 3, 1894, his first wife dying in Barry county, Michigan, in 1863. He later married Mary Kocher, who died in 1887, two of the children of this union having died in infancy, and Levi being a prosperous farmer of Eaton county. The parents of Mrs. Barnes were married in 1840, in Tompkins county, New York, and in 1843 they came to Michigan, locating in Berrien county, where they remained until 1850, when they removed to Barry county, where Mr. Everett became one of the first settlers in Castleton township, reclaiming a farm of forty acres. He later resided for a number of years in Nashville, that county. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he was a Republican in politics. Following is a record concerning the children of Levi and Eliza (Brooks) Everett: Sarah. born March 31, 1840, died November 19, 1893, having been the wife of Solomon Feighner; Merritt, born November 19, 1841, is a farmer of Maple Grove township, Barry county; Louisa, born May 14, 1814, was the wife of Porter Barnes, brother of the subject of this sketch, and she died January 2, 1904; Warren, born October 27, 1846, is a resident of Gastleton township, Barry county; Albert, born September 17, 1849, is a farmer of Vermontville township, Eaton county; Eliza, Mrs. Theodore C. Barnes, is the youngest of the children. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have four children: Ernest, born December 15, 1874, is associated in the management and operation of the homestead farm of his father. He married Miss Flora Wells, and they have one child, Leah, born April 2, 1897. Minnie, born December 17, 1876, is the wife of Andrew Dolback, of Vermontville township, and they have a daughter, Fern, born September 13, 1895. Nettie, born July 1, 1879, is the wife of Isaac Johnson, of Kalamo township: they have one child, Freda, born December 5, 1905. Arza, born September 22, 1882, remains at the parental home.

Source: Anonymous. The Past and present of Eaton County, Michigan, historically together with biographical sketches of many of its leading and prominent citizens and illustrious dead. Lansing, Mich.: Michigan Historical Pub. Association, 19--, pp. 173-175.



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