Honorable William O.
The administration of justice, a very important factor in the well-being of civilized society and the true bulwark in the
protection of the rights of man, will be found in the courts, the presiding officers of which usually attain their exalted positions through moral characteristics, their erudition, their astuteness and keen-sightedness, their firm and unwavering sense of right and
wrong, and their aptitude in sifting evidence in such a manner as to separate the pertinent from the irrelevant. William O. Barnard, judge of the fifty-third judicial circuit of Indiana and residing at New Castle, Henry county, was born October 25, 1852, in the vicinity of Liberty, Union county, Indiana. When he was two years of age his parents removed to Dublin, Wayne county, and thence, two years later, to Fayette county, where William O. passed his boyhood on a farm until 1866, when he came to Henry county. Of the incidents following this event mention will be made further on; in the meantime, reference may be made to a few ancestral facts. The paternal ancestors of Judge Barnard were among the earliest settlers in Massachusetts, and of these Thomas Barnard was a colonial soldier who was killed by the Indians in the King Philip war of 1675. Among these ancestors were the Folger's and Macy's, one of whom,
Thomas Macy, was the first white settler on Nantucket Island, in
1660, driven from the colonies on the main land by Puritan intolerance no less than that which he had experienced in England. The crime for which he was banished was the Christian virtue of charity, he having given shelter to two strangers, who proved to. be Quakers, against which sect the Puritans were very bitter. Some time prior to the opening of the Revolutionary war many Nantucket families who were Quakers had removed to North Carolina, but African slavery, as it then existed in that state, was so obnoxious to them that many, including the Barnard family, sought a more congenial home on the free soil of Indiana. In 1818
William Barnard, grandfather of W. O. Barnard, settled just east of Liberty, in Union county, Indiana, on a farm and resided there until the father, Sylvester Barnard, was a young man, when he moved to Fayette county, where he died in 1861. He was one of the leaders of the early Friends (or Quakers) and took an active interest in all that the society stood for in his time. William O. Barnard was primarily educated in the common or district schools and then for three terms attended Spiceland Academy under the tutelage of the late Clarkson Davis. During the winters, in the meantime, Mr. Barnard taught school and for one year was principal of the school at Economy, Wayne county, and for one year taught in a New Castle school. In 1876 Mr. Barnard began to read law, and upon his admission to the bar, in 1877, began practice in New Castle, being for a short time in partnership with D. W. Chambers, and afterward practicing alone. In 1886 Mr. Barnard was chosen prosecuting attorney for the eighteenth judicial circuit, composed of Henry and Hancock counties, and two years later was re-elected. In 1889 Henry county was erected as the fifty-third judicial district. bi which he also served as prosecuting attorney for two years. In 1896 Mr. Barnard was elevated to the bench, and during his term tried as many cases as any one who ever occupied the bench. Judge Barnard. has long been one of the most active members of the Republican party in Henry county, and has been earnest and consistent in his advocacy of the principles of his party. As a lawyer Judge Barnard has always been a safe and conscientious adviser and as an advocate his every address has had a tendency to place the bar of Indiana on a more elevated plane; as a judge, his decisions have been well considered and digested, and have been generally sustained on appeal. He holds relationship with several societies and fraternal organizations, and has hundreds of warm-hearted friends who respect him for his many fine personal attributes, regardless of party or society tie. In 1876 Judge Barnard was most happily united in marriage with Miss Mary V.
Ballenger, a native of Henry county, with whom he became acquainted while at school at Spiceland. They have four children, Paul, George M., Ralph W. and Ruth. Judge Barnard is not a member of any church, but on account of his wife's church relationship and his early associations and education is strongly attached to the Friends and attends and contributes to the support of the Friends meeting at New Castle.
Compendium Biography Of Henry County, Indiana, B. F. Bowen, 1920
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming
William O.'s uncle, Barzillai Gardner Barnard, settled on the Rush-Shelby Co line, with
descendants still in this area.
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O. Barnard, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, of Henry County,
Ind., was born in Union County, Ind., Oct. 25, 1852, the eldest son of Sylvester
and Lavina (Myers) Barnard, now of Spiceland. He
was principally educated in the Spiceland Academy, and subsequently taught
district schools there winters. He was principal of the schools of
Economy, Ind., a year and then accepted the same position in the schools of New
Castle. In the meantime he studied law with James M. Brown,
and was admitted to the bar in 1876. In 1878, he began the practice of his
profession, being associated with D. W. Chambers two years.
and since then has conducted his business alone. He served as Treasurer of
New Castle two years, and in October, 1883, was appointed Deputy Prosecuting
Attorney for a term of two years. He was married in 1876 to Mary
V., daughter of Nathan H. Ballinger. They have
three sons. Mr. Barnard is a member of the Knights of Pythias.
History of Henry County, Indiana, Chicago: Inter-State
Publishing Co., 1884, page 458.
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HON. WILLIAM O. BARNARD of Newcastle, who has given over half a century to the cares and responsibilities of the profession of the law and public office, is a native of Indiana, his grandparents having been pioneers of the state. The
Barnard's represented the sterling Quaker stock which has been such a valuable element in the citizenship of Eastern Indiana.
Judge Barnard was born in Union County, October 25, 1852, son of Sylvester and Lavina (Myer) Barnard. His grandparents, William and Matilda (Gardner) Barnard, came from New York State, driving overland to Union County, Indiana, in 1816. Here William Barnard entered government land. He and his wife had a family of ten children, all of whom married and reared families, constituting an important contribution to the citizenship of the state. Judge Barnard's maternal grandparents were Jacob and Sarah (Landis) Myer, Pennsylvanians who were early settlers in Fayette County, Indiana. Sylvester Barnard was married in Union County, and after a few years moved to Fayette County and in 1864 to Henry County. He died in January, 1914, and his wife in April 1908.
William O. Barnard was reared on a farm, attended the common schools and Spiceland Academy and for five years alternated between teaching winter terms of school and attending school himself. When he was twenty-four he began the study of law in the office of James Brown, at Newcastle. In 1877 he was qualified as a member of the Indiana bar, and since that date he has given an almost uninterrupted service in his profession. For a few years he practiced with Captain Chambers, was then alone and from 1886 to 1892 performed the duties of prosecuting attorney. In 1896 he was elected judge of the Henry County Circuit Court, serving until November, 1902. He left that office by no means richer in this world's goods but with the satisfaction of having performed his duty in a manner that reflected his learning and his devotion to the right. In 1908 Judge Barnard was chosen representative from his Indiana district to the Sixty-first Congress, but was defeated for reelection in 1910. He then resumed his practice as a lawyer, and for fifteen years had as his partner William E. Jeffery. In 1917 his own son came into the office with him, but from 1921 to 1926 he again practiced alone, after which George E. Jeffery, son of his former partner, joined him. Mr. Jeffery in March, 1929, was appointed United States district attorney of Indiana.
Judge Barnard married, December 27, 1876, Miss Mary D. Ballinger, who was born in Henry County, Indiana, daughter of Nathan H. and Margaret (Hubbard) Ballinger. Her father was born in North Carolina and her mother in Henry County, Indiana. Judge and Mrs. Barnard have four children: Paul, of Hagerstown, Indiana; George M., with the law firm of Van Nuys, Barnard & Walker at Indianapolis; Ralph W., of Kansas City, Missouri; and Ruth, Mrs. Herbert Griffith, of Los Angeles, California.
Judge Barnard is a trustee of the Friends Church of Newcastle, he is also a trustee of Earlham College at Richmond, is a Republican, in Masonry has affiliations with the Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter, Council and Knights Templar Commandery, has held chairs in the Knights of Pythias, is a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, is an honorary member of the Rotary Club, and is a director of the Henry County Building & Loan Association.
Indiana: One Hundred and Fifty Years of American Development, Vol. 5, Charles Roll, A.M.,
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming