A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Laura BROWN

Laura (Brown) Barnum was born in DeSoto, IA on Nov. 28, 1873, the daughter of James R. and Lydia (Miner) Brown. She was the 1st of the couple's children to be born in Iowa after the family had left Cardington, Morrow County, OH. In 1877, they moved to Montezuma, IA, remaining two years. They moved to Medicine Lodge, KS in 1879 and then in 1889 settled near Kingfisher (Crescent), OK. Laura and her father, brother and sister took part in the great Oklahoma Land Rush. Without her knowledge, her future husband, Edward Allen Barnum was staking out a claim east of Banner, OK.

On Feb. 17, 1896, Laura married Edward in Dover, OK, at the home of Rev. D.M. Pierce, in what was then Indian Territory. Edward was 22 years older than his wife, having been born on Dec. 16, 1851 in Galena, IL. They had 5 children -- George Edward Barnum, Theresa Gladys Armstrong, James Roy Barnum, Ted Leon Barnum and Wilma Leona Kester. Edward was a partner of his brother Alva, said the Kingfisher Free Press, "in a general merchandise store at Columbia, with the large postoffice operated in conjunction." Laura is said to have been "a beautiful woman, big boned and fleshy, with short silver hair." She was a talented journalist and seamstress, and wrote a number of articles for the Kingfisher Free Press when it published special editions for its 60th and 75th anniversaries.

In 1897, they lived in Lakeside, CA, at the time their eldest son George was born. By 1898 they had moved to Nesbitt, OK, which was in Indian Territory. A year or two later, they were in Columbia, OK, and in 1902 were in Dover, OK. In 1908, they resided at Lovel, OK, and later settled on a more permanent basis in Kingfisher, OK.

Edward died at age 81 on July 18, 1933. Laura outlived him by 23 years, and died on July 1, 1956 at Kingfisher, OK, and is buried there in the Banner Cemetery. A grandson in law, Norbert Charles Jensen, worked on Lock #17 of the Arkansas River Navigation Project as an employee of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Son Ted later settled at Wenatchee, WA, near a distant cousin, Alfred Arthur Younkin. Ted died there on Nov. 19, 1973.

Copyright (c) 2000 Mark A. Miner


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