Reuben K. Barnes, a general farmer and dairyman, residing on section 22, Bunker Hill Township, has since his fifteenth year lived on his present homestead. He is a representative of one of the early families of the community. His birth occurred in the county of Hillsboro, N.H., June 20, 1838, and he is descended from an early and represented New England family. His paternal grandfather, William Barnes, was a Hillsboro farmer and married Abigail Parker. After her death he was again married, his second wife surviving him for some time. Her death occurred in Lowell Mass.
Throughout his entire life Mr. Barnes made Hillsboro County his home and died at the age of seventy years in Greenfield. Nathan Barnes was one of a family of six children, numbering five sons and a daughter, and he too was a native of Hillsboro County. On attaining to manhood he married Sarah E. Evans, who was born and reared in Hillsboro County, and was a daughter of Asaph and Sarah Evans, who spent their entire lives in the old Granite State. After the birth of their ten children they started westward and in September, 1851, reached Macoupin County, Ill., locating on the farm now occupied by our subject. With characteristic energy Nathan Barnes began the development of his land and soon had a good home where he lived until called to his final rest, November 22, 1870, at the age of sixty-nine years. His wife who is still living at the age of eighty-five years, makes her home with her son Reuben. She is a member of the Missionary Baptist church as was her husband. In politics he was a supporter of Republican principles. The Barnes family comes of English parentage.
Since his boyhood Reuben Barnes has lived upon his present farm. He began his school life in New Hampshire and completed his education in the district schools of this county, which he attended during the winter season, when his services were not needed at home. As a helpmate on life’s journey he chose Miss Pauline A. Gohring, the wedding ceremony being performed in Bunker Hill Township, November 24, 1859, by the Rev. George Silver. The lady was born in Saxony, Germany, September 30, 1838, and is a daughter of John C. and Ernesta F. (Plottner) Gohring, who were also natives of Saxony, where they were born, reared and married and began their domestic life on a homestead which had been in the family for two hundred years.
The wife died in the Fatherland when Mrs. Barnes was only seven years of age, after which Mr. Gohring with his two daughters, his only children, crossed the Atlantic to America in 1848. The vessel in which they sailed after many weeks arrived at the port of New Orleans, and thence they came up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and on to Madison County, where the father purchased a farm of one hundred acres. Afterward he bought land in Macoupin County. His death occurred at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Barnes, on the 7th of November, 1890, at the age of four score years. He was a weaver by trade and followed that pursuit in his native land, but made farming his occupation in his American home. In religious belief he was an Evangelical Lutheran.
After coming to this country, Mrs. Barnes worked in several German-American families and by study, observation and experience became an intelligent, cultured, yet practical woman. She still retains a good knowledge of her native tongue, being able to both read and write the language. To her husband she has proved a true helpmate and her able assistance has added not a little to their prosperity. Both Mr. and Mrs. Barnes are members of the Baptist Church and in politics he is a stalwart Republican. Their family numbers six children, five of whom are yet living: John M., a farmer of Bunker Hill Township, married Miss Lilly Dike; Eugene A., who wedded Ada Drew, is living in Bunker Hill; W. Frank, who graduated from the Washington University and Manual Training School of St. Louis, Mo., in 1885, is now employed as a teacher of drawing in that institution. He married Miss Lula Philbrook of Eau Claire, Wis.; Lydia A. and Albert N., who complete the family are still at home.
The farm which Mr. Barnes now owns and operates comprises one hundred and eighty acres of valuable land, situated just west of Bunker Hill. it is well improved and highly cultivated and is stocked with a high grade of milch cows for dairy purposes. He does an extensive business as a dairy man, supplying the St. Louis market with milk. In his business operations he has been very successful and is now numbered among the substantial farmers of the township. On another page of this volume appears a view of his comfortable home.
Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.