The late William C. Barnard, who for years was one of the best-known and most influential figures in the public life of Hancock county, was a native of this county, having been born an a farm in Sugar Creek township, May 31, 1843, son of Reuben and Elizabeth (Curry) Barnard, both natives of North Carolina, the former of whom was born in Guilford county, that state, January 16, 1805, and the latter in Davidson county, March 16, 1806.
Shortly after their marriage Rueben Barnard and wife came to Indiana and settled in Wayne County. Not finding conditions there to their liking, a few months later they came over into Hancock County and entered a quarter of a section of land in Sugar Creek township, thus having been numbered among the very earliest settlers of that part of the county. There they established their home and spent the remainder of their lives, their influence doing much toward the creation of proper social and economic conditions in the formative period of that now prosperous and well-established community. Reuben Barnard was an excellent farmer and as his affairs prospered, added to his holdings until he became the owner of six hundred acres of fine land in that section. He was a close student of the law and for years gave admirable service to his community in the capacity of justice of the peace. Reuben Barnard died in 1870 at the age of sixty-five years. His widow survived him more than twenty years, her death occurring in 1892, she then being eighty-six years of age. They were the parents of ten children, Louisa, Frederick, James A., Sarah, Delphinia, Mary, Eunice, Elihu, William C. and Josephine, all of whom are now deceased.
William C. Barnard was reared on the paternal farm in Sugar Creek township and received his elementary education in the district schools in the neighborhood of his home, supplementing the same by a course in Butler College, after which he entered Bryant's Business College at Indianapolis and was presently graduated from that institution. He then returned to the home farm and entered seriously and systematically upon the work of the farm, adding to general farming the business of stock raising, in which he engaged quite extensively and became a very successful farmer. Mr. Barnard was a Democrat and from the days of his youth gave close attention to local political affairs, taking a deep interest in the public life of the community, early becoming one of the most widely known men in the county. For six years he served as township trustee of Sugar Creek Township and was later elected county treasurer and served as such four years.
William C. Barnard married Amanda M. Gibson, who was born in Franklin township, in the neighboring county of Marion, on October 12, 1846, daughter of Isaiah and Elizabeth (Mayall) Gibson, and to this union three children were born, Borgia E , Audrey B., and one who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Barnard were members of the Baptist church and took an earnest part in all community good works. Mr. Barnard was a thirty-second degree Mason, a Knight Templar, connected with the commandery at Greenfield; affiliated with the consistory, Accepted Scottish Rite, and with Murat Temple, at Indianapolis. Mr. Barnard died on january 5, 1911, and is widow still survives.
Borgia E. Barnard, only surviving daughter of William C. and Amanda (Gibson) Barnard, received her education in the schools of Marion County and during the time of her father's incumbency as county treasurer served as deputy treasurer of Hancock County. On October 23, 1902, Borgia E. Barnard was united in marriage to James H. Pennington, a native of Henry County, this state. He is a Knight Templar and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, affiliated with Murat Temple at Indianapolis. Mrs. Pennington is a member of the Christian church and a member of the order of the Eastern Star, in the affairs of both of which organizations she takes a warm interest.
Audrey B. Barnard, second daughter of William C. and Amanda (Gibson) Barnard, was united in marriage on March 15, 1894, to Elmer J. Binford, an attorney of Greenfield, and to this union two children were born, Hugh Barnard, who died on December 1,2 1898, at the age of three years, and Ralph Coleman, born on June 15, 1900, who is now living with his father at Tampa, Florida. For ten years before her marriage, Mrs. Binford had been a teacher in the public schools of Greenfield, and was a member of active worker in the Christian church. Mrs. Audrey (Barnard) Finford died on February 21, 1904.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 868-870.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 22, 2001.
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