Transcript:Indiana, United States. Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties/B/Barbour, Francis


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Francis Barbour (p 1057)

Francis Barbour, whose post-office address is Springfield, Franklin County, Indiana, was among the earliest men to effect a permanent settlement in this section of the commonwealth; hence he is very justly found in this biographical record, to be made a part of the permanent historical records of the state; for be it remembered that biography is true history.

Mr. Barbour hails from the Emerald Isle, born in county Sligo, that country, about 1813. In company with his parents he immigrated to this country about 1831, landing in New York City, and from that city came by boat to Cincinnati, part of the way by canal and part on the Ohio River. His father was John and his mother Eliza (Anderson) Barbour, who were married in Ireland, and there their children were born. The father was a farmer and trader in the old country. Determined to rear his family where they could have freedom and good homes, he finally settled in the wilds of the Hoosier State. Cincinnati was but a small place at that date, having but a few cabins. The family finally reached Springfield Township, where he bought one hundred and ten acres of land, near where the village of Springfield now stands. There were but a few settlers in the county at that time. He left Ireland with a considerable sum of money, but the long tedious voyage exhausted much of his cash. The country had no roads then and travel was slow. He located his family in the heavy forest land; and to make a farm meant hard work; but he was equal to the emergency, and, with his team of two boys, he soon "got things to going," and his family self-supporting, and he had some means to spare. Marketing was done at Cincinnati and the difficulty in getting there was due to the bad roads; so the pioneer had to muster all possible courage. He got a large farm opened and added to it so that he would have homes for all of his children. His wife survived him a few years and then gave up the burden of life, while with her daughter in Kansas. In the old country they were Presbyterians, but upon coming here were Methodists. Politically, he was a Whig and Republican. Their children were: James, Joseph, Francis, the subject of this sketch, Mathew, John, and Eliza, who is in Kansas. Mr. Barbour well recalls conditions in Ireland before he left that country. He grew up here among the pioneers and knows all about deprivations and true hardships, for he, with his father and brothers, helped to improve the pioneer farm. At the age of twenty-seven he married. Prior to that time he had been south and manufactured molasses barrels for the large planters, in the winter season, and came home to work in the summer. After his marriage he settled where he now lives, on land his father bought as heavy timberland. He built a two-room house and then commenced the struggle of life. He had no money, but having a stout heart he let hard work conquer. He soon had a self-supporting farm and has been able to give each of his children one, too. Besides farming he has constructed a great extent of turnpike road through the country. He purchased some road stock and superintended the building of most of the roads in his country. To him is ascribed a high standard of honor. He has been generous to a fault and some have taken advantage of him and caused him to lose quite heavily.

Among the important events in this man's life was his marriage to Mary Dridwell, the daughter of Thomas Dridwell, of North Carolina, who came to Indiana territory when the Indians held full sway. He entered and improved a good farm, where he spent the best years of his life. His children were: Joan, Elizabeth, Mary, the wife of the subject of this sketch; Celia, Sarah A., Lavina, Kate, John, Robert, Thomas and Christopher. The father was a strong Democrat.

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Barbour have the following children: Elizabeth; Alice; Francis, a farmer on the old homestead; John E., a farmer; Effa and Melissa. Mrs. Barbour died about 1884, a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church.

In conclusion, let it be said that our worthy subject has retired from active life and remains at the old homestead at the sundown of a well-spent life, with his son Frank. He has lived sixteen years beyond the usual time of man's life, he being now eighty-six years of age.