A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Abel BARNUM


Republican Watchman, December 6, 1907, Sullivan County, New York: Monticello Man in the West. Abel Barnum, of Albion, Ind., is visiting friends in Monticello and vicinity, where he formerly lived. Mr. Barnum has an unusually interesting history and we briefly outline it:

Abel Barnum, the eldest son of Platt Barnum, who moved to Sullivan county from Fairfield county, Conn., in 1822, and purchased the James O'Neil farm at Denniston Ford, remained at home until he was 23 years of age, and in the fall of 1844 he located in Noble county, in the northern part of Indiana. At that time Noble county was almost an unbroken wilderness, covered with a virgin forest of black walnut. Four years prior to his locating in Indiana the Indians were driven from the county and young Abel Barnum followed the old Indian trails until he was about the center of what is now Noble county, where he decided to locate. He bought a quarter section of land and built a log cabin, paying at that time $3 per acre. It was the custom in those days to locate the county seat as near the center of the county as possible, and as Mr. Barnum had been quite accurate in his location, Albion, the county seat, was located on the adjoining quarter section to his. He lived for nine years in the little log cabin and during that time added 80 acres to his farm, making 240 acres in all. By hard labor and industry the farm was cleared of its timber; but the heavy growth of walnut timber was not at that remote period considered of much value and so it was burned. In recent years Mr. Barnum sold the walnut stumps in a wet pasture field for $3,000. Some little idea can be gained from the stump transaction of what the value of the timber of the entire tract would have been had it remained standing. The farm, which in 1844 cost $3 per acre, is now worth more than $100 per acre, and Albion, the county seat, which was named after Albion, in our own State by a neighbor of Mr. Barnum, has developed into a large and flourishing town. Mr. Barnum is now 87 years of age and took the journey the past week alone from Indiana and is still hale and vigorous and in full possession of all his faculties. He called upon the writer while in Monticello and his memory went back to the early history of our village; but the men who he knew 70 years ago, and who were a power in the financial and business life of the town are resting in the church yard, and their memory and noble work alone remain.

Among the men he spoke to the writer about were Hiram Bennett, the first president of the National Union Bank of Monticello; Captain Hamilton of the old time Mansion House, and who also conducted the early stage route from Monticello to Middletown; Daniel B. Saint John, William E. Cady, and N. S. Hammond, all of whom were active in the early business interests of Monticello. Mr. Barnum is a brother of L. H. Barnum of Bridgeville and a brother-in-law of the late F. S. Couch. Few men have been privileged to see our country develop from its infancy in 1821 to its vast magnitude in 1907. Abel Barnum in now one of the most substantial citizens of Noble county.
From the Orange County (NY) Times-Press, Tuesday, March 22, 1910: Obituary Notes. Abel Barnum, a former resident of Sullivan County, died at Albion, Ind., on March 5. Mr. Barnum was born in Fairfield county, Conn. June 30, 1821, and in 1822 removed to Sullivan county with his parents, where he was reared on a farm. In 1844 he went to Albion. He purchased 160 acres of timbered land and during the summer he cleared the land and in the winter taught school. He increased his land to 240 acres, and by industry accumulated a large estate. He was twice married. his second wife was Miss Mary Potts, of Sullivan county, who survives, with two sons. He was a brother of the late Henry Barnum, of Bridgeville.
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