A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Joseph Stickney BARNUM


From Biographical Publishing Company, Portrait and Biographical Album of Peoria County, Illinois. Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, Together with Portraits and Biographies of All the Presidents of the United States and Governors of the State. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co, 1890: Joseph S. Barnum. This cognomen is familiar, not only to the residents of Princeville, where its possessor abides, but throughout the county and adjoining country. He who bears it is the editor of the Princeville Telephone, a live, eight-column folio, and the publisher of the Home Advocate, a weekly prohibition paper that was started June 6, 1869, under control of the Prohibition party of the Congressional district. A careful reader of the accompanying notes will form a just conclusion regarding some of the traits in the character of our subject and his fitness for the work which he is now carrying on.

The Barnum family is of English extraction and members of it settled In New England many years ago. In Danbury, Conn., the grandfather of our subject, Bethuel Barnum was born, going thence to the Catskill Mountains in boyhood. He became the owner of a farm, also carrying on milling and participating in the struggle against British tyranny in the latter part of the eighteenth century. His son Jabez became a contractor in turnpike and similar work. About 1880 the latter removed to Detroit, Mich., continuing his contracting but also paying some attention to farming. He subsequently operated a farm in Kalamazoo County, whence in 1856 he removed to Hardin County, Iowa. There he entered land and continued farming until his death. He filled various local offices, being highly regarded by his fellow citizens. He was a sturdy Republican, and during slavery times an Abolitionist. He belonged to the Baptist Church.

The wife of Jabez Barnum was Anna Goodsell, a native of the Catskill region in New York. Her father was a hunter and trapper, and during the Revolutionary War served the Colonists as a scout. He finally removed to Wayne County, Mich., where he died on a farm. He was of Welsh descent. Mrs. Anna (Goodsell) Barnum breathed her last in Iowa. She was the mother of ten children, seven of whom grew to maturity and three are now living. The survivors are: A. G., of Ackley, Iowa; Joseph S., of this notice, and Mrs. Elizabeth Rice, of Franklin County, Iowa.

The gentleman of whom we write was born in Detroit, Mich., May 3, 1832, and reared to about the age of eleven years in his native city. He then accompanied his parents to Kalamazoo County, completed his education at Schoolcraft and Battle Creek Academies, and on the home farm received parental advice and instruction. In 1856 he went to Iowa, traveling with a team from Rock Island to Hardin County, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land. He located upon it and made it his home for some years. He devoted him­self to surveying four years, during a part of this time filling the office of County Surveyor, and after the expiration of the two years for which he was elected continuing his professional work. A part of the time of his residence near Ackley was devoted to teaching.

In 1864 Mr. Barnum came to Peoria County, Ill., on a visit, and on the 23d of November his marriage was celebrated with Miss Hattie Benja­min. This intelligent and worthy lady was born in Medina Township, where her wedding was cele­brated. For a time Mr. Barnum engaged in various pursuits, among them being farming, and in the fall of 1868 removed with his family to Topeka, Kan. He built a home in that city, but afterward purchased three hundred and seventy-five acres of land in Jefferson County, on the Grasshopper River, which he improved and operated until the spring of 1873. He then sold his real estate and in the fall took up his residence in Princeville, this county. He traveled as a collector for Eastern houses and was otherwise occupied until December 1, 1880, when he took charge of the seven-column folio, the Princeville Independent.

In 1881 Mr. Barnum bought the sheet which he was conducting, and making of journalism a suc­cess, he enlarged the paper which on September 27, 1883, was first issued under its new name the Telephone. Mr. Barnum wields a ready pen, evinces good judgment in the selection of matter for publication, and is doing much to advance the welfare of his town and mold the sentiments of its people. In addition to the publishing of his own paper and the Home Advocate, He also does general job work.

As might be expected from the publication of which he has charge, Mr. Barnum is now a Prohibitionist. He helped to organize the Greenback party in the Tenth District of Illinois, at Elmwood, was nominated for County Clerk and ran ahead of his ticket. He was Postmaster in Princeville, during Cleveland's administration. To him and his good wife four children have been born, two of whom, Stella D. and Emory E., are still at home. Edwin J., the first-born married Miss Lillian Wear and assists his father in his journalistic work; Dial H., the second-born, married P. K. Pennington, a civil engineer, whose home is in Westfield, Ind. On the 31st of July, 1890, J. S. Barnum, the subject of this sketch was nominated by the joint Union Labor Convention of the Tenth Illinois Congressional District, as their candidate for Congress.
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