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Below is a family biography included in The History of Sumner County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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Henry J. Barker (deceased) was a native of Chester, Conn., born in 1816, and a mechanic by trade. He was educated in Essex, Conn., and at the age of eighteen began selling clocks for a Connecticut firm and traveled over most of the State. He was very successful and worked at this business for fifteen years, having his headquarters at Nashville, Tenn. About 1836 he established a merchant tailor store in Nashville, where he remained for several years. September 10, 1845, he married Julia A. Farnsworth, a native of Oxford, N. Y., born in 1827, and to them were born two children: Mary (deceased, wife of William Schell) and Julia B. (wife of Capt. Samuel Lyon). In 1846 Mr. Barker came to Gallatin and began merchandising, selling cast plows, being the first man to introduce them in Middle Tennessee. In 1851 he erected a foundry and machine shop and began the manufacture of said plows. In 1854 he sold out to Jonas Nickelson, who has since been manager. In 1853 or 1854 he, Col. Munday and Moore Bros, erected a flour-mill called Spencer’s Mills, but afterward Gallatin Mills. The last few years of Mr. Barker’s life he and Charles Hitchcock were partners. Mr. Barker died in December, 1862, and since his death Mrs. Barker has been possessor of the mill, but it is managed by her son-in-law, Capt. S. Lyon. Mr. Barker was an excellent man, was universally respected and was a natural mechanic. During the war he was a consistent Unionist. He was a member of the I. O. O. F. and was buried by that order. He was a member of the Universalist Church and Mrs. Barker believes in the same faith. His parents were Brader and Mary (Jones) Barker.

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This family biography is one of 115 biographies included in The History of Sumner County, Tennessee published in 1887.  The History of Sumner County was included within The History of Sumner, Smith, Macon & Trousdale Counties of Tennessee. View the complete description here: History of Sumner, Smith, Macon and Trousdale Counties of Tennessee

View additional Sumner County, Tennessee family biographies here: Sumner County, Tennessee

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