Biography of Thomas D. Barnett
Riverside County, CA Biographies





THOMAS D. BARNETT
It was as a Kansas farmer and land owner that Mr. Barnett accumulated the means which now enables him in his cozy home at Elsinore to enjoy an old age of comfortable independence, surrounded by the visible evidence of years of practical forethought and sagacious industry. The course of existence has brought to him an especially comprehensive knowledge of three sections of our great country, namely: Indiana, where in youth he learned the lessons of frugality and self reliance indispensable to the frontier environment of that period; Kansas, where he passed through innumerable hardships yet achieved a satisfactory degree of material success; and California, whither considerations of health brought him after his retirement from agricultural pursuits. While memory lingers affectionately with the home of his boyhood and the later scenes of diligent activity, he cherishes a peculiar devotion for his present abiding place and among the citizens of Elsinore none is more loyal than he, his cooperation being relied upon for the advancement of movements of general importance.

A short distance west of the Ohio state line in Wayne county, Ind., lies the country hamlet of Economy, where Thomas D. Barnett was born May 28, 1834. Then as now the community was the home of a frugal, industrious class of farmers, who in choosing a name for their village gave expression to the creed which necessity had forced upon them. When the boy was four years of age the family removed to Noblesville, Hamilton county, Ind., and there he received his early education. At the age of thirteen he accompanied his parents to Randolph county and a few years later took a course of study at Whitewater College in Centerville, Wayne county. After leaving school he became a tiller of the soil and continued in Randolph county until about 1868 and in 1870 he removed to Kansas after having spent two years in his native county.

The first marriage of Mr. Barnett took place in Indiana and united him with Miss Nancy L. Jordan, a native of the Hoosier state. Six children were born of the union, of whom George Washington, William, Mary Tabitha and Harriet Rachel are deceased. Cyrus Sylvester, who was born in Randolph county, Ind., in 1855, is now postmaster at Stark, Neosho county, Kan., and ranks among the leading men of his locality. Naomi Ellen, who was born in Randolph county in 1857, is now married and living at Winfield, Cowley county, Kan. The mother of these children died at Winfield and the second wife of Mr. Barnett also died in Kansas. April 19, 1900, he was united with Mrs. Robert M. Fuller, a native of New Jersey, but a resident of Kansas from early childhood. She bore the maiden name of Phoebe S. Challender and became Mr. Fuller's wife in 1868, after which they remained in Kansas until his death. Seven children were born of their marriage and all reside in California, but only one, Miss Jessie May Fuller, remains with her mother.

After having made his home at Garnett, Anderson county, Kan., from 1870 until 1875, Mr. Barnett then removed to Neosho county, the same state, and for twenty years identified himself with the development of that part of the commonwealth. During 1896 he established his residence in Winfield, but four years later he removed to Longton, Elk county, Kan., and in 1903 came to Riverside county, Cal., where he has since identified himself with the growth and progress of Elsinore. Throughout active life he devoted his time principally to agriculture, but in addition he taught twelve terms of school and both as a teacher and as a farmer he proved energetic, progressive and resourceful. Community affairs have received his thoughtful consideration and in earlier years he served both as township trustee and township clerk. During the existence of the Grange he gave to it his steadfast support. For years he was active with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and his consistent support also was given to the Order of Good Templars. Together with his wife he holds membership in the Elsinore Methodist Episcopal Church and during the sixty years of his identification therewith he has held various of its offices, has contributed regularly to its maintenance and in his life has endeavored to exemplify its ennobling doctrines.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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