Pueblo County, Colorado
Thomas A. Barnard
Contributed by Jean Griesan.
Thomas A. Barnard, deceased, was for many years actively connected with the agricultural interests of Pueblo County, and was numbered among the progressive and practical farmers whose labors did much to advance the general prosperity and welfare of the community. A native of Virginia, he was born in Patrick County, near the Blue Ridge Mountains, and only ten miles from the North Carolina line. His birth occurred in 1833, and his boyhood days were spent on his father's farm, where he early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. When the Civil war broke out, however, he remained true to the principles with which he had always been familiar, and entered the service of his loved southland. He remained with the Confederate army until the close of hostilities, and three of his brothers also wore the gray. Mr. Barnard was taken prisoner and incarcerated at Camp Chase for more than a year. He participated in many of the hotly contested battles of the war, including the engagements of Seven Pines and Gettysburg, and at the last-named his brother Charles was killed.
When the war was over Mr. Barnard removed with his family to West Virginia, and in 1866 went to Arkansas, where they remained about five years. In 1879 they came to Colorado, traveling across the plains with wagons. In October of that year they located upon the farm which is now the home of Mrs. Barnard, and there our subject carried on agricultural pursuits until his death. The land had been entered prior to the time it came into his possession, but with the exception of a little adobe house there were no improvements upon it. With characteristic energy Mr. Barnard began its development, and soon transformed the raw tract into rich and fertile fields. He also made many substantial improvements in the way of buildings, erected a good residence, built fences and planted a fine orchard. Thus in useful toil his days were spent, and he developed one of the finest farms in the county. During the "boom" he was offered $15,000 for the place. When he first arrived in the county all farm products were very high, and he engaged in the dairy business with excellent success, selling butter at fifty cents per pound and eggs at fifty cents per dozen.
August 24, 1854, Mr. Barnard married Miss Caroline Thompson, who was born in Floyd County, Va., and is a representative of one of the old families of that state. Her grandfather went to Bunker Hill with his father to help bury the dead after that first important battle of the Revolutionary war. She had one brother who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. To Mr. and Mrs. Barnard were born nine children, but two of them are deceased: Inez, the wife of Frank Dawdy, an engineer, residing in Pueblo, died January 25, 1895; Elitha P., the wife of Robert Lemon, a ranchman of Pueblo County, died October 26, 1886. The others are: W. J., who is married and lives near his mother's home; T. J., who is married and resides near Fowler, Colo.; I. M., who operates the home farm; Ellen, wife of W. A. Campbell, near Rocky Ford, Colo.; Alice, wife of T. J. Steel, of Fountain, Colo.; Nannie N., wife of F. H. Cunningham, a resident of Pueblo County; and Emma O., at home.
In politics Mr. Barnard was a staunch Democrat, but was never an aspirant for office. He won the proud American title of self-made man, for his prosperity was the direct result of his own well-directed efforts, his enterprise and energy. He left to his family a comfortable property, but more than that, he left to them the priceless heritage of an untarnished name. He died June 24, 1891, at the age of fifty-nine years, respected by all who knew him. His widow, a cultured and refined lady, still occupies the old homestead, where she lives with her daughter Emma and her grandchild, Lucille Dawdy.
Extracted from "Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado," published by Chapman Publishing Company in Chicago in 1899.
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