WILLIAM T. BARNETT.
For thirty years William T. Barnett has been employed by the Rock Island Railroad as telegraph operator and ticket
agent at Letts. He was born in Corydon, Wayne county, Iowa, on the Toth of March, 1853, and is a son of the Rev.
William and Judith (Saunders) Barnett. The father was a native of Kentucky and the mother of West Virginia, and
the latter state was also the scene of their marriage. The Rev. Barnett was a captain on a boat on the Ohio river
until 1848, when he came to the west, locating in the vicinity of Corydon, Iowa. He passed away in 1896 and his
wife died in 1903. Seven children were born to them, in order of birth, as follows: Maggie, the widow of J. C.
Chambers, of Corydon, Iowa; William T., our subject; M. C. who married L. K. Shell, of Corydon; A. N., who is a
resident of Cambria, Iowa; E. A., the wife of M. C. Rush, of Cambria; George M., a resident of Centerville, Iowa;
and J. M., who lives in Des Moines. After locating in Iowa, the Rev. Barnett began preaching the gospel as a missionary
in the Baptist church, and for over forty years he occupied the pulpit of one church.
William T. Barnett received a common school education, in the acquirement of which he attended the public schools
of his native town. When he attained his majority he began life for himself, his first position being that of brakeman
on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad for two years. At the expiration of that time he went into the office
of the company and there he qualified as a telegraph operator and ticket agent. In 1875 he entered the employment
of the Rock Island Railroad Company and was assigned to the position of assistant agent at Lineville, Iowa, whence
he came to Letts. Mr. Barnett owns ninety one acres of finely improved land a mile from Letts, all of which, with
the exception of ten acres of timber, is under a high state of cultivation, and in addition to this he also has
a nice residence in Letts.
Mr. Barnett first married Miss Minnie Taylor, a native of Unionville, Iowa, by whom he had one son, Ethan A., who
was born in 1879, and is a high school graduate. He is now married and living in Fresno, California. He has one
child, Helen, who is five years of age. On the 25th of September, 1885, Mr. Barnett married Miss Katie Freeland,
who was born in Grand View, Iowa. Her parents, Isaac and Julia Freeland, were married in Grand View, where the
father was engaged in the mercantile business until 1904 when hem retired. Mrs. Freeland passed away in 1905. There
were three children in their family: Albia, who is in the mercantile business in Fontana, Kansas; T. L., who is
associated with his brother in the same business; and Katie, now Mrs. Barnett, a graduate of the Grand View University,
Grand View, Iowa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Barnett have been born three children, two of whom Julia and Helen J., are
deceased. Their only son, Jay Lincoln, who was born in 1890, is a train dispatcher at Trenton, Missouri, being
the youngest man by nine years employed in this capacity by the Rock Island Railroad. He is unmarried.
Mr. Barnett always votes the republican ticket but has never been an office seeker. Fraternally he is a member
of the Masonic order, in which he has attained high rank. He is identified with the blue lodge of Letts, the chapter
of Centerville, the commandery at Muscatine and Shrine at Davenport. Both he and his wife hold membership in the
Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which organization they take an active and earnest interest. During
the long period of his residence in Letts Mr. Barnett has made many friends who hold him in high esteem because
of his many fine personal qualities.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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