Pueblo County, Colorado
Lieutenant John F. Barkley
Contributed by Maggie Stuart Zimmerman.
The above-named gentleman and subject of the following biography is South Pueblo's most prominent dealer in general merchandise. He was born near Augusta, Bracken County, Ky., on the 17th day of February, 1835. His parents moved to Illinois when he was eight years old. There he went to school an occasional winter and worked on the farm and at blacksmithing until he was twenty-one, when he had become proficient in the blacksmith's trade and which he followed the greater part of the succeeding five years. The call of Abraham Lincoln for 75,000 three-months men met with an immediate response from his patriotism, he being one of the first to offer his services to his country. He enlisted in Company G, of the Eleventh Infantry Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, at Effingham, in April, 1861. The regiment was ordered to Jonesboro, Ill., and from there to Bird's Point, Mo., where it was mustered-out in July of the same year. This regiment was not in an engagement from the time it was mustered in to the time it was mustered out, and the only unpleasant part of those three months of a soldier's life which he experienced was an attack of typhoid fever of short duration. He intended to re-enlist, but first wished to see his old acquaintances, so, after he was mustered out at Bird's Point he returned to Illinois and spent three months, just the length of time he was in the army, visiting relatives and friends, and then enlisted at Mason, Ill., for three years, in Company D, of the Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry, to which company he was elected and mustered in as Second Lieutenant. The Fifty-fourth was pushed to the front. It was at the siege and capture of Vicksburg, but was never drawn into pitched battle, and the only fighting it did was a little skirmishing with Forrest's command in Tennessee. Lieut. Barkley, after three months' and three 3-ears' service in two different regiments was mustered-out at Little Rock, Arkansas, without the misfortune of being in one heated engagement or of receiving a single wound. To be in the midst, as it were, of battle as long and often as he was and not be engaged seems almost incredible. During his service, he was an officer of court martial three months at Little Rock, and was promoted to First Lieutenant at the siege of Vicksburg. He was in ill health before his enlistment but perfectly well when discharged. He commenced dealing in general merchandise in Watson, Ill., with William Abraham as partner, soon after he came out of the army the second time. Nine years he was in trade and partnership with him. His wife's health having failed, he dissolved partnership with Abraham and brought her to Colorado. She gained from the day of her arrival and is pleased beyond expression with the climate. Lieut. Barkley and lady belong to the fixed residents of the State.
Extracted from History of the Arkansas Valley, Colorado
By J. Harrison Mills 1881
to the Pueblo County Index Page.
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