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Below is a family biography included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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S. F. BARNUM, lumber and grain merchant and miller, Le Roy, whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Canton, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Aug. 11, 1824; when he was 10 years of age, his parents moved to Erie Co., N. Y., and in the year 1847, came to Defiance, Defiance Co., Ohio; after the death of his father, his mother, in the spring of 1864, moved to Bloomington; she now resides with her son, Mr. Barnum, in Le Roy. The subject of this sketch remained, however, in the State of New York, and from the age of 14 up to the age of 23 was employed in woolen-mills in Erie Co., which employment he was compelled to give up on account of ill health, turning his attention to farming. In 1856, he came to Le Roy, and engaged in farming, returning the same fall to New York State, and during the year 1857 filled the position of book-keeper in the wholesale produce and commission house of Irving Kester, in Buffalo. In the fall of 1858, he formed a co-partnership with Henry Case in the general merchandise business, in Eden Valley, Erie Co., N. Y., and having continued in the same for two and one-half years, sold out his interest, and in the year 1861 again turned his attention to farming, continuing at such up to 1865, when he came to Bloomington, and was engaged as a book-keeper in the house of Bruner & Whitmer up to the year 1870, when he moved to Le Roy and started the lumber business, in connection with Mr. Bruner, to which was afterward added that of coal and grain. In 1872, having purchased the “Empire Flouring Mill,” they took in also as a partner Joseph Keenan; in 1876, they purchased the interest of Mr. Bruner, and have continued up to the present time as the firm of Barnum & Keenan. Before Mr. Barnum’s removal to Le Roy, he held the office of Justice of the Peace for twelve years in Erie Co., N. Y. He has been married twice, his first wife being Miss Clarinda Bunting, of Eden, Erie Co., N. Y., married in 1844; she died in 1862; they had three children, two living — Matilda M. and Henry I. and one dead, Henry. He married his present wife, Miss Adeline E. Patterson, in the fall of 1865; they have two children — Percy D. and George P.

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This family biography is one of 1257 biographies included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of McLean County, Illinois

View additional McLean County, Illinois family biographies here: McLean County, Illinois Biographies

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