Elwood Barnard, one of the best-known and most substantial farmers of Hancock county as well as one of the leading manufacturers of high-grade sorghum in the United States, is a native son of this county and has lived here all his life. He was born on a farm in Green township, this county, October 1, 1860, son of Robert Young and Polly (Hopper) Barnard, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Indiana or Virginia, who for years were among the best-known and most highly respected residents of Green township.
Robert Young Barnard was born in Iredell county North Carolina, January 3, 1814, eight in descent from Thomas Barnard, one of the original purchasers of Nantucket Island. He came to Indiana in his youth with his parents and grew to manhood in this state. He married Polly Hopper, who was born near the town of Milton, in Wayne county, this state, September 2, 1819, and settled on a farm in Green township, near Eden, in this county, where he and his wife spent the remainder of their days, her death occurring on February 6, 1898, an his on August 11,1902. They were earnest members of the Society of Friends and helpful and useful members of the community in which they spent many years.
Elwood Barnard was reared on the paternal farm in Green township and completed his schooling in Spiceland Academy. When twenty-three years of age he maried and began farming on his own account. Twenty-five year ago he began the manufacture of sorghum on his home farm on rural route No. 5, out of Greenfield, and ever since has made a specialty of that line, long having been recognized as one of the leading producers of grade sorghum in this country. Not only does he raise a large acreage of cane on his own place, but encourages the growth of cane among the farmers of this county generally, his big plant being able to take care of a vast amount of cane during the season, providing a ready market for that product hereabout. The capacity of the Barnard sorghum factory is twelve hundred gallons a day and the average number of gallons turned out in season is above thirty-one thousand. Mr. Barnard also is an extensive dealer in cane seed and seed oats and the Barnard farm is one of the best managed and most productive in this part of the state.
On October 18, 18883, at Spiceland, Elwood Barnard was united in marriage to Ola Gordon, who was born near Knightstown, this state, November 27, 1865, and to this union five children have been born, four daughters and one son, Ethel, Olive, Helen, Anna and Robert G. Olive Barnard married Fred Ayres and lives on rural route No. 5, out of Greenfield, and Anna Barnard married Don Fitzgerald and lives at Indianapolis. Mr. and Mrs. Barnard are members of the Society of Friends and take a warm interest in the general good works of their home community. Mr. Barnard is a thirty-second degree Mason, affiliated with the Indianapolis consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; a noble of Murat Temple, Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Indianapolis; past master of Eden Lodge No. 477, Free and Accepted Masons; past high priest of Eden Chapter No. 119, Royal Arch Masons; member of McCordsville Council, Royal and Select Masons; past eminent commnander of Greenfield Commandery No. 39, Knights Templar, and grand king of the grand chapter of the Royal Arch Masons of Indiana.
The sorghum manufactured by Mr. Barnard is considered by those who know as the finest grade produced. This product was exhibited at the world's fair in Chicago under the auspices of the department of agriculture of the United States government and this department chose Mr. Barnard's product as the best to exhibit.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 943-945.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 9, 2001.
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