George Washington Smith.

A history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) online

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mail is handled have kept pace with the increase in the amount of
matter handled by the government employes, and this speaks well for
the ability of those who have been entrusted with the management of
this branch of governmental work. William Uriah Barnett, one of the
well-known citizens of Buncombe, Illinois, has been connected with the
mail service during the past five years as assistant postmaster and post-
master of this village, and during this time has not only proven him-
self a valued and efficient official, but by his courteous and genial man-


ner has won wide popularity. He was born on a farm two and one-half
miles east of Buncombe, Johnson county, Illinois, and is a son of Gil-
bert and Mary (Johnson) Barnett.

William A. Barnett, the grandfather of William Uriah, was a native
of Tennessee, who located in Johnson county during the 'twenties, tak-
ing up government land and becoming one of the earliest settlers of this
part of Southern Illinois. He was married to a Miss Mangum, also of
an early pioneer family of this section which originated in Buncombe
county, North Carolina. Gilbert Barnett, who was born in Johnson
county, was engaged in farming here throughout his active life, and
became well and favorably known to the citizens of his vicinity. He
served during the Civil war for three years, as a member of Company I,
One Hundred and Twentieth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry,
and his death occurred on March 22, 1911, when he was seventy-three
years old. He and his wife had the following children : William Uriah ;
Narcissa A., deceased ; Thomas C. ; Flora A. ; George H. ; John G., who
is deceased ; Francis M. ; Rosa ; Robert F. ; and an unnamed child who
died in infancy.

William Uriah Barnett received his education in the district schools
and was reared to the life of an agriculturist, which he followed until
he was twenty-five years of age. From 1886 until 1906 he was engaged
in operating a threshing machine on the farms of Johnson county, and
in the latter year became assistant postmaster at Buncombe. On April
6, 1911, he was appointed postmaster, a position which he has held to
the present time to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. Mr. Barnett
is the owner of a business building and two residence properties in
Buncombe. Fraternally he is connected with Buncombe Lodge and
Vienna Encampment, I. 0. 0. F. ; and the Modern Brotherhood of
America. His religious views are those of the Presbyterian church.

On October 5, 1884, Mr. Barnett was married to Miss Amanda Bell
Boomer, daughter of Benjamin F. and Emily J. Boomer, natives of In-
diana, and later farming people of Johnson county. Five children have
been born to this union, namely: Mrs. May Kerr, of Buncombe, who
has two children, Marie and Pauline ; Charles, who is a telegrapher
by occupation; and Maude, Jennie and Fay, who live with their par-
ents. Mr. Barnett is a public-spirited citizen and one whom all can de-
pend upon to support movements of interest or benefit to his section.
He keeps himself well informed on the movements of his party, and is
well read on all current topics, finding a great help in his excellent

CHARLES MARSHALL. One of the largest landholders of Johnson
county, and a man who is widely known as an agriculturist and stock
breeder, is Charles Marshall, of Belknap, a member of a family that
has distinguished itself in various walks of life. He was born on a
farm in Mason county, Kentucky, September 17, 1863, and is a son
of R. M. Marshall.

The progenitor of the family in this country came from England
during Colonial days and settled in Virginia, from whence Charles
Marshall, great-grandfather of Charles of Belknap. and a brother of
Chief Justice John Marshall, enlisted for service in the Colonial army
during the Revolutionary war. Martin P. Marshall, son of Charles,
was born in Virginia and was a pioneer settler in Kentucky, where he
became speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives during the
Civil war, and cast the deciding vote which held the state in the union.
He had been a large landowner and slaveholder, and also owned much
land in Ohio, and when he was forced to leave Kentucky to escape


capture by the Confederates he crossed the line and took up the prac-
tice of law. This, however, he abandoned after the close of the rebellion,
and returned to his fa,rm. on which a division of the Confederate army,
under General Marshall, had camped at one time. He served as state's
attorney and in other important offices, and died in 1880, one of the
best known men in his state. Martin P. Marshall married a first cousin,
Elizabeth Marshall, one of the Kentucky Marshalls, whose two brothers,
Generals Charles A. and Humphrey Marshall, were officers in the Con-
federate army. R. M. Marshall, who served in the Kentucky Home
Guards when a young man, resided in Rock Island, Illinois, for sev-
eral years, where he practiced law, but eventually returned to Ken-
tucky, where he remained on the farm until his death at the ripe old age
of eighty years. He married Miss Porman, of Kentucky, daughter of Wil-
liam Forman, whose father, Joseph Forman, of Kentucky, entered con-
siderable land in Southern Illinois. Joseph made a trip to New Orleans
via flat-boat to market his produce, and returning in 1824 with several
of his neighbors they landed on the Illinois side of the Ohio River and
entered two sections of land apiece at the government office at Shawnee-
town. This land is now in the possession of Charles Marshall of Belknap.
Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Marshall had nine .children, but of the number
Elizabeth F., Martin P., William P., Thomas and Louis are deceased.
Those living are : John, residing on the home farm in Mason county,
Kentucky ; Logan, who resides in Texas ; Robert M., a practicing physi-
cian in Denver, Colorado ; and Charles, the subject of the present sketch.

Charles Marshall spent his boyhood on the home farm, and his educa-
tion was secured in the public and private schools. When he was
seventeen years old he entered Lebanon University, at Lebanon, Ohio,
and studied two years, graduating with the degree of B. S., and during
his second year pursued a general course which included engineering,
etc. In 1882 he returned to his father's farm and worked for two
years, and during the fall of 1884 came to Belknap, his. maternal grand-
father having given him 100 acres of timbered land to clear for him-
self. After his grandfather's death, in 1890, Mr. Marshall purchased
the entire tract of 1200 acres, cleared the timber, and added to his
holdings until he now owns 2500 acres, about 300 acres of which are
inside of the Cache River Drainage District, 1500 acres being under
cultivation. He makes a specialty of raising and feeding stock, and at
the present time has a large bunch of cattle, horses and mules, hogs and
sheep, the care of which necessitates the hiring of from ten to twenty
employes. Mr. Marshall's vast operations have made his name well
known among the agriculturists and business men of this part of South-
ern Illinois, and he is known as an enterprising, progressive agricul-
turist and as a good and public-spirited citizen who is ever ready to
do his full share in advancing the interests of his community. In po-
litical matters a Democrat, his private operations have demanded so much
of his time and attention that he has never actively entered the public
field. Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of Amer-
ica, and he and his family are consistent members of the Methodist
Episcopal church.

In 1889 Mr. Marshall was united in marriage with Miss Effie Wil-
liams, daughter of Marion Williams, a pioneer settler of this section
and partner of W. L. Williams, and she died in 1893. leaving two chil-
dren : Elizabeth P. and Robert M., both residing at home. Mr. Mar-
shall was married (second) to Miss Clara Evers, the daughter of George
Evers, of Belknap, and they have one son, William P.


EDMUND J. HODGES. One of the well known and most prosperous
farmers of Alexander county is Edmund J. Hodges, recognized as being
foremost in the ranks of the heavy landowners of the state. He is also
prominently identified with the saw mill and grist mill business in
Tamms, his home town, and is a man of considerable importance in local
political circles. He represents the third generation of his family who
have added their quota to the growth ahd up-building of Southern Illi-
nois, and who have achieved a pleasurable degree of success in their

Born December 22, 1859, at Thebes, Illinois, Edmund J. Hodges is
the son of John Hodges and the grandson of Edmund J. Hodges. The
first home of the family in Illinois was established at Jonesboro, Union
county, by Edmund J. Hodges and his family, who came there from
middle Tennessee. In Jonesboro the elder Hodges engaged in farming
and the son John established a hattery, following that line of business
until he was crowded out of the industry by the big manufacturers.
From that he went into merchandising, locating in Thebes many years
previous to the Civil war, and he carried on a successful business for
years in that town. He was one of the prominent and well-known
Democrats of Alexander county, and before the war was a member of
the lower house of the general assembly. He made a lasting impression
during his term of service as the servant of the people and a man of
purpose. He numbered among his personal friends Abraham Lincoln,
and after the secession of the southern state he became a devotee of the
Republican party, after having spent the best years of his life in the
Democratic faith. So strong was his sentiment in the cause of the
Union that he was able to turn his back upon the party for whom he had
labored for so many years and give his allegiance henceforward to the
party which upheld the Union. Born in 1812, John Hodges died in
1867, at the age of fifty-five years. In early life he married Miss Mar-
garet Hunsaker, a daughter of George Hunsaker, who came to Southern
Illinois from Kentucky. Mrs. Hodges died near Hodges Park, the sta-
tion on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad named in honor of Judge Alexan-
der Hodges, a brother of John Hodges. Eight children were born of
the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hodges. They are: John Hodges, deceased,
who was sheriff in his county and recognized as one of the prominent
citizens of Cairo ; Mary, who married Thomas Wilson and lives in Cairo ;
Elizabeth became the wife of T. Jefferson Craig and later died at
Hodges Park; Jane married Alexander Burke and passed away in the
same town; Margaret is now Mrs. 0. G. Vincent, of Hodges Park;
Annie, who became the wife of James Fitzgerald, and George, a mer-
chant, both reside in that place ; Edmund, Jr., the youngest of the fam-
ily resides at Tamms.

The life of the average country boy fell to the lot of Edmund J.
Hodges and he attended the rural schools as a care free boy. "When he
reached his majority he became engaged in merchandising, in company
with his brother George of Hodges Park. After ten years the firm was
dissolved and he continued business in that place on his own responsi-
bility, remaining there for five years. He then abandoned commercial
life and gave his attention to the real estate business in Cairo, remov-
ing his family to that city, but after five years of life in that business
he came to Tamms, where he engaged in the lumber business, and his
interests have expanded steadily with the passing of the years until he
is now one of the well-to-do men of his section. He acquired a goodly
acreage of fertile farm lands, and he has realized a pleasing degree of
success as a grain producer. His domain of sixteen hundred acres
maintains a considerable tenantry and adds very materially to the


prosperity of the village to which he is attached. His grist mill com-
prises an industry chiefly of the manufacture of feed, and was but re-
cently established, and both his mill plants are shippers to markets be-
yond the confines of his county. Mr. Hodges was reared in a Demo-
cratic influence and espoused the cause of that party, but in later years
he has been active in the interests of the Republican party. He has
aided party work as a delegate 'to state conventions, as well as county
meetings, and is the township committeeman and a member of the
county central committee. Mr. Hodges is a member of the Modern
Brotherhood of America, the Eagles and the Hoo Hoos.

On January 16, 1886, Mr. Hodges married Miss Amanda Powless, a
daughter of Henry and Jane (Miller) Powless, old settlers of Union
county. Three children were born to them. Edmund J. married Miss
Gertrude Lutz, and is employed as a traveling salesman for the Harris
Saddlery Company of Cairo. Two daughters, Winifred and Mildred,
are the companions of their father in the home at Tamms, the mother
and wife having passed away on March 17, 1907.

ALFRED HANBY JONES. When a man has been active in so many
fields and has reached as high a pinnacle of success in each one of
them as has Alfred Hanby Jones, his deeds are usually allowed to speak
for themselves, but attention must be drawn to some of the facts con-
cerning him with the hope that his life might be an inspiration to some
of the young men just starting out for themselves who may read this
account. His only asset when he started out in life was a good educa-
tion, and with this as a foundation he first built up a prosperous law
business, then attained a wide-spread reputation as an honest and trust-
worthy politician, a paradox it would seem but, occasionally, truths
are paradoxical. Later the scientific side of his nature was permitted
to develop, and with his appointment as state food commissioner, he
began his years of service along these lines. He became a recognized
authority on the subject of food and dairy products, and was honored
by the presidency of the National Association of the State Pood and
Dairy Departments. After the time that he spent in his professional,
political and scientific work, he yet had time to spare for -commercial
pursuits, being one of the first men in this section to discover the wealth
that lies in the old fields of the county. How could one man be so ver-
satile is the natural question that comes into the reader's mind. Ver-
satility is a gift, and not to be acquired, but how he became success-
ful in all these lines is another matter. He did not have more oppor-
tunities than the average man, but he never allowed one to slip past,
and no matter how small it was he did his level best, so that he never
failed to leave behind him an impression of faithfulness to details.
He was a keen observer and learned through his varied interests to
estimate a man very closely, and never to allow the most insignificant
detail to pass from his mind unconsidered. He has now passed his
three score, but his strenuous life does not seem to have exhausted
either his mental or physical vigor, and if a young business man desires
wise counsel or advice, let him sit at the feet of Mr. Jones.

Alfred Hanby Jones was born at Flat Rock, Crawford county, Illi-
nois, on the 4th of July, 1850, his middle name "Hanby" having been
given him in the hope that he would emulate the worthy bishop of the
United Brethren for whom he was named. The family of which he is
a member was founded in this country during the early part of the
eighteenth century by his great-grandfather, Moses Jones, who was a
native of Wales. This old pioneer settled in the beautiful Shenandoah
Valley in Virginia, and there acquired a large estate, which at his death


9f- M


passed into the hands of his eldest son, Moses. Five other sons were
born to him, and Aaron and two of his brothers decided to try their
fortunes in the wilderness to the westward. Aaron, who was born in
1776, went first to southern Pennsylvania in 1798, and there he re-
mained for four years. In 1802 he moved still further west, settling
down on the banks of the Little Miami river at Clough, Ohio, and in
1810 again moved, this time to a farm in Butler county, Ohio. He had
married about the time he left Virginia, his wife being Mary Shepherd,
and by this time he had a large family of children, among whom was
John M., father of Alfred. When the former was a boy of seventeen,
in 1832, his father made what was destined to be his last move, when
he took his wife and ten children to Crawford county, Illinois, and lo-
cated upon the land that is known to-day as the Aaron Jones farm. He
entered this claim, paying $1.25 per acre, the holding consisting al-
together of one hundred and twenty acres. This was the first claim
entered west of the road known as the Range road, running from
Chicago to Cairo, and was nothing but the uncleared wilderness, so
the father and his eight sons had days of felling trees and clearing
away brushwood before the land began to approach a fit condition for
planting. On this original farm, which is now owned by William J.
Jones, the great-grandson of Aaron Jones, lies the old burying ground
where most of the Jones family are interred. Aaron and Mary Jones
passed the remainder of their lives here, both dying in 1847. This
courageous couple by the hardest of labor and careful self-denial suc-
ceeding in educating each of their sons, and the father was able to enter
in the name of each one of them, save John, a fine farm of eighty acres.
John, unfortunately, was not yet of age at the period of his father's

John Miller Jones was born on the 25th of December, 1815, at Ox-
ford, Ohio, and received three months of schooling in that state. The
school to which he was sent was a subscription school, and he was
taught to read, but he did not learn to write until he was a grown man.
On the 19th of November, 1837, he was married to Elizabeth Ford, a
daughter of John Ford, who came to Illinois from Kentucky in 1832
and settled on the Allison Prairie. At that time the country was in-
fested by Indians, and it was almost certain death to attempt to live
on their holding, so for two or three years the Ford family, with many
others, lived in a fort known as Fort Allison, which was surrounded by
a strong stockade, expecting at any moment the blood-chilling whoop
of Indians on the war-path. Elizabeth was born on the 25th of Decem-
ber, 1818, at Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the life and scenes of her
girlhood made her the worthy wife of a pioneer. She was willing, to
marry John M. Jones knowing that his two hands were all that stood
between her and starvation, and her trust was more than rewarded.
Immediately after their marriage the young husband bought an ox
on credit, and hired himself out to cut cord wood. During that first
winter they saved fifty dollars, enough to enter twenty acres of land.
Here he built his home and toiled, as few men have toiled, to rear and
educate his family of children. His wife was well versed in all the ways
of thrift and economy and with her help he saved enough to buy more
land, until at one time he owned eight hundred acress, all within four
miles of his home. Having been forced to content himself with a very
meager education, he was determined that his sons should not suffer.
To that end he and his wife endured real suffering and privation in
order that the boys might go through the common schools, and later
that they might go to college, though in the education of their later
years they were all able to help themselves to some extent. The family


of Mr. and Mrs. Jones consisted of four sons and two daughters, a
modest number compared with his own brothers and sisters, who num-
bered fifteen, he himself being the eleventh and a twin. The eldest
of Mr. and Mrs. Jones' children is J. William Jones, who is a farmer
residing near the old farm; Absalom W., Alvira and Cynthia A. are
deceased; Alfred Hanby will receive further notice; and Henry F. is
a physician at Flat Rock, Illinois. The father of this family was a Re-
publican in his political beliefs, and held various township offices. Both
he and his wife were members of the United Brethren church. Mrs.
Jones died in 1885, at the age of sixty-seven, and he survived her only
a few years, dying in 1887.

Alfred Hanby Jones spent his early life on his father's farm, at-
tending the common schools until he was sixteen. He then was sent
to a United Brethren school, Westfield College by name, situated at
Westfield, Illinois. Here he remained for a period of three years, and
then went to Lebanon Normal College at Lebanon, Ohio. In 1870 he
received the degree of B. S. from this institution, and put his education
to immediate use by entering upon the career of a school teacher. He
had no intention of making this his life work, but used it solely as a
means to earn enough money to take up the study of law. After one
year spent in Saint Mary 's, Kansas, as superintendent of schools, he re-
turned to Illinois. In 1872 he came to Robinson and began to read law
in the offices of Callahan and Jones, at that time the leading firm of
lawyers in that part of the country. Under the tutelage of two mem-
bers of the profession, whose legal knowledge and experience were un-
excelled, Mr. Jones made rapid strides in his studies and was soon
ready for his bar examination. He was admitted in 1875, and his abil-
ity was soon recognized by his appointment as state's attorney in 1876,
to fill the unexpired term caused by the death of Colonel Alexander. In
1886 he was elected to the state legislature from his district, and served
one term, but has never cared to accept an elective position of this
kind since.

His interest in political affairs has always been of the keenest, and
he seems to enter as enthusiastically into local politics as into state
and national matters. For eight years he was city attorney and mem-
ber of the city council, and it was during this period that Robinson
was raised from the status of a village to that of a city. For thirty-
two years Mr. Jones was a member and chairman of the Republican
county committee, not a break having occurred in this long term of
service. For ten years he was a member of the Republican state cen-
tral committee and he has. twice been a delegate to the national conven-
tion, participating in the nominations of William McKinley and Presi-
dent Taft.

He has been very active in public work in educational matters, hav-
ing served for fifteen years as a member of the school board for his city.
In 1898 he was appointed president of the board of trustees of the Illi-
nois Eastern Normal School, and served in this capacity until 1899,
when he was appointed state food commissioner. The duties of this of-
fice take up a large share of his time, and, as has been mentioned, he has
been president of the National Association of State Food and Dairy De-
partments, which is composed of all the state food commissioners from
every state as well as the national food officials.

Many of Mr. Jones' business investments have been made in the
oil and gas region, and he has also been much interested in railroad
affairs throughout his district. He has been the attorney for the "Big
Four" Railroad and its predecessors for twenty-five years. When the
Paris and Danville Railroad was to be built he did the contracting for


the work, and when it was rebuilt about five years ago he secured the
right of way for the new road. This road was the Danville and Indiana,
and is now a part of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis
Railway system. In his religious affiliations Mr. Jones is a member of
the Methodist Episcopal church, being a trustee of the church and was
chairman of the building committee that built the new Methodist Epis-
copal church.

Mr. Jones' first marriage was the result of a love affair in which
his wife was little more than a school girl. She was Ella M. Thomp-
son, and he married her at Greenhill Seminary on the day of her grad-
uation. She only lived three years, and on her death left a son, Gus-
tavus Adolphus, who is now assistant cashier in the First National Bank
of Robinson. Mr. Jones was again married in 1878, to Catherine A.
Beals, a daughter of William G. Beals, of Pickerington, Ohio. She
likewise is a member of an old pioneer family, her grandfather having
been one of the early settlers in that state. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have
no children living.

GEORGE WASHINGTON GUM. One of the younger generation of busi-

Online LibraryGeorge Washington SmithA history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) → online text (page 62 of 98)