My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  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.

* * * *

EDWIN BARNUM is a native of Illinois and was born August 5, 1839. He is a son of Albert and Abigal (Truesdell) Barnum, both of whom are natives of New York. The senior Barnum was a cabinet-maker and came West, locating in Illinois in 1839. He died in 1880.

Edwin Barnum was the second of a family of four children and remained with his parents until 1861, when he turned his attention to farming for himself. He continued this favorite vocation for seven years, and then engaged in the grocery business at Hopedale, Tazewell county, Ill. He returned to farming, however, after a few years. His next move was to Hartsburg, in Logan county, where he bought and shipped grain for several years. He was justice of the peace and did considerable business of an official character.

Mr. Barnum came to Nebraska in the spring of 1883 and settled in Hall county. He only remained there one year, however, when he located at Phelps Center, then the county seat of Phelps county, and conducted a hotel as landlord. Mr. Barnum is a success and during his stay in Phelps Center he did a thriving business. When the county seat was removed to Holdrege, Mr. Barnum purchased a farm in Union township and farmed for six years.

He married, October 18, 1860, Miss Mary J. Smalley. She is a native of Michigan and was born February 28, 1842. This union has resulted in the birth of eight children — Nellie I., born April 1, 1862 (now deceased); Henry, born April 8, 1864; Ada J., born July 2, 1866; Mary E., born August 26, 1868; Lavanche, born August 1, 1871; Abigal, born August 1, 1874; Albert, born January 10, 1877; Ross, born August 25, 1884 (deceased).

Mr. Barnum moved to Loomis and began the erection of a commodious hotel about the first of November, 1889, and had it completed ready for the public by the first of April, 1890. He was appointed postmaster at Loomis in December, 1889, and received his commission in January following. He is quite well known throughout the county, and he wields considerable influence in local and political affairs.

* * * *

This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Phelps County, Nebraska family biographies here: Phelps County, Nebraska Biographies

View a historic 1912 map of Phelps County, Nebraska

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.