Barnesville cemetery walk will shed light on history

“DOCTOR, lawyer, merchant-chief” are included in a childhood rhyme, but they’re also the professions of some persons on the cemetery walk scheduled next Saturday in Barnesville.

The walk, planned as part of the Barnesville Bicentennial celebration, will be from 1-4 p.m. in the Southern Cemetery, and it’s only part of Saturday’s activities.

Barnesville’s founder , the village’s first historian, Civil War soldiers, a woman author/photographer and business owners as well as a physician and a lawyer are only some of the persons spotlighted on the walk.

Jean Davies, who heads the cemetery walk committee, noted how those included on this year’s walk played important roles in the village.

“There are so many others (who were important in the village’s history), they can do one another year,” she added.

Davies praised the Barnesville Hutton Memorial Library staff, the Watt Center for History and the Arts and village officials for cooperating in the walk.

Activities will begin with the unveiling of a portrait of Isaac Barnes in the council chambers. He was elected as the village’s first mayor in 1835.

A heritage luncheon for walk participants is scheduled prior to the walk with the First Presbyterian Church as host.

Vehicles will not be allowed in the cemetery during the walk, but three parking areas are suggested. Shuttle service to the cemetery entrance will be provided from those areas, which are back of the library on South Lincoln, the 5 B’s lot on South Street and the former Village Lumber lot on Chestnut Street between Mill and Vine streets.

Booklets about those featured on the walk will be available. In case of rain, talks will be given in the First Presbyterian Church.

Participants in the walk and their subjects are:

Herb Parkinson, Byesville, and Tim Parkinson, Barnesville — Statue of the Civil War soldier in the cemetery. Herb Parkinson said 180 Civil War veterans are buried in the cemetery, and six of them were killed in service. Two Confederate soldiers also are buried there.

Brad Trucksis, Cincinnati — James Barnes, the town’s founder, and his wife, Elizabeth, better known as “Aunt Nancy.”

Rob Trucksis, Worthington — Isaac Barnes, the village’s first mayor, and his wife, Elizabeth. The Trucksis brothers are great-great-great-great-grandsons of James Barnes.

Jim and Evelyn Cook, Barnesville — Judge James H. Collins, an attorney for the C&O Railroad, later the B&O when trains first came to Barnesville in 1854. His daughter, Essie Collins Matthews, wrote, “Aunt Phebe, Uncle Tom and Others,” and also photographed the former slaves featured in the book. Her book is listed as a rare work at the University of Virginia Library.

Clyde Repik, Bethesda — Richard H. Taneyhill and his daughters, Patsie and Nettie. Richard, an attorney, was known for his writings. He wrote the first history of Barnesville. His book, “The Leatherwood God,” about a religious impostor had a favorable review in the London Saturday Review, and William Dean Howells used it as a basis for a novel. His daughters, Nettie and Patsie, are known for their oil paintings and poetry, respectively.

Linda Bradfield Evans, Bethesda, Md. — Joseph and John Bradfield. Joseph and his wife, Isabella, built a stone house 2 miles north of the village, and they reared five children including John, who married Eliza Shannon, and daughter, Elizabeth, who married Isaac Barnes. John’s tobacco-packing business led to many businesses including the First National Bank, Bradfield Store and oil and gas development carried on by his sons.

Molly Bradfield Collyer, Pickerington — G.E. Bradfield, John’s son, was cashier of the First National Bank and built a mansion at the corner of Chestnut and Church. His wife was Jennie Gibson, and they had two sons, Gibson and Shannon. Stained glass windows in the First Presbyterian Church are in honor of Jennie as well as Joseph and Eliza.

Carol Murphy Daniels, The Villages, Fla. — She is the daughter of the late Betty Hilles Murphy and Dr. Harvey H. Murphy Jr., a longtime physician in Barnesville. Various members of the Hilles family owned the Red Mill and the Hilles Drug Store, which later became Cheffy Drugs. Wilbur and Mae Hilles sang in the First Presbyterian Church choir, and he gained fame for the number of funerals at which he sang during the flu epidemic after World War I.

John Bradfield, Gaithersburg, Md. — Dr. James Sykes Ely and his wife, Emily Elizabeth. He was a doctor and officer in the Civil War and also had a drug store at the corner of Arch and Main streets. Their son, Ernest, and his wife, Lucretia Wood, formerly of Virginia, built a home, now located beside the Belmont County Mansion Museum.

Gage G. Hanlon — T.T. Hanlon and others in the Hanlon family. They had the largest printing business in Barnesville, Hanlon Hall (a community center) and the Barnesville Republican described as a good newspaper and the only one with a sketch of a fire which destroyed most of the business district during a razing blizzard in 1895. They also produced the Hanlon Yearbook in 1888 with the village’s early history, and the family owned the Hanlon Paper Co.

Tom Kelly, San Francisco, Calif. — Thaddeus Gratigny of Gratigny & Judkins, prominent merchants. His son, Jerome, was an early developer in Miami, Fla., where a school, highway and library were named for him.

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