|Birth: ||Mar. 19, 1862|
|Death: ||Jan. 8, 1935|
ALTON EVENING TELEGRAPH January 9, 1935
50 Years, Dies
Oldest Business Man in
Upper Alton Succumbs
Known as Sportsman
Keen Judge of Horses----
Sold Famous Pacer
Less than 15 minutes after sitting up and smoking his pipe, and walking from one room to another, William Derrick Waples Barnard, oldest active business man of the Upper Alton district, died Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 at his residence, 1831 Seminary Street. He had been at his place of business the last time on Dec. 30. Taken ill that night, the Upper Alton druggist was to terminate his career without going to the store in the New Year. He was 72 years old last March 19.
W. D. W. Barnard had been active in the drug business in Upper Alton for 50 years. Always a hard worker, he continued at the prescription counter up to the time his illness started a week ago Monday. Ill health, however, of which he seldom spoke and a subject he did not wish others to discuss with him, started a year ago. A man of large stature, he had lost flesh steadily during the last six or eight months until his weight had gone to less than 200 pounds for the first time in half a century. It was because of his steady decline in health that had been so noticable to his friends that they were not surprised a week ago to learn of his serious illness. His illness, appeared to terminate in a heart ailment that caused his death.
Oldest in District
A boyhood friend, Edward C. James, and a man who had been close to Mr. Barnard through the years he was in business, had bid the Upper Alton Druggist goodbye about two hours before. Mr James had spent much time with the drugstore owner on Elm. When he left the Barnard home yesterday afternoon, the sick man assured him he was getting along well and "was going to come out of it." However, when he shook hands with his friend of many years, Mr. James noticed that the druggist turned his head in the opposite direction, causing the visitor to believe the druggist really considered it a last farewell.
A pioneer of the Upper Alton business district, Mr. Barnard was its oldest active business man. He had learned the drug business in that old school of experience, taking a place as a boy in the store of Fred J. Stebbins, on the south side of College Avenue where Don Kelly's store is now located. After he had been with Mr. Stebbins a number of years, the employer died and the store later was taken over by Mr. Barnard who continued a long time in the same location. He was a progressive business man and was believed the first to install electric lights in his store. Other Upper Alton business men at that time were skeptical, because of the reported danger of fire, and they kept the coal oil lamp as a means of illumination badly needed in days when all stores remained open late every night of the week. Finally the druggist "took a chance" and installed the wires to conduct current from the first electric wires that had been strung a short time before on the streets of Upper Alton.
Devoted to Work
About 25 years ago, Mr. Barnard moved his place of business from the old Stebbins location on the south side of the street to the present location at Washington and College in the building that had been erected by the late Miss Nellie Hovey following a disastrous fire that a few years previous had cleared off most the structures on the north side of College avenue, including the Upper Alton postoffice. Later on, Mr. Barnard bought the building from Miss Hovey and owned it up to the time of his death. S. B. Kerr joined Mr. Barnard 30 years ago, upon coming to Alton as a prescription clerk, the firm being known as Barnard & Kerr. Some years ago the junior member of the firm engaged in business for himself. Frank Williamson later entered the firm, which became Barnard & Williamson, in the same location.
So long he had been identified with the drug business that many residents of the city had depended upon him solely for their needs in that line. In years gone by Many persons went to Mr. Barnard with their ills, instead of consulting a doctor. While the patron would be telling the pioneer druggist of his ailment, the druggist would be mixing a combination of drugs for his disease. At his old residence on Crawford Street avenue, where he lived after his first marriage, he maintained a small drug store for the benefit of those who might call in the night.
Mr. Barnard purchased a driving horse from a 4-horse plow team in Jersey County. So keen was his judgement in picking this animal that he was surprised himself to learn later that he was selecting a horse that was to make history on the race track. After driving the horse about the streets of Alton for a while, the druggist found that his horse had more speed than was needed for road use and he sent the pacer, later to be known as "Bonny B," to the track for training.
Not long afterward the Upper Alton druggist had many opportunities to sell the horse while it was in training, and he finally sold the pacer, over long distance telephone, to a New York businessman at a price said to have been 10 times more than a horse had been known to sell for in Alton up to that time. The sale over the telephone was said to have been the first telephone connection to be made between New York and Alton.
W. D. W. Barnard was the son of the late Capt. James Barnard, a Mississippi river navigator. The senior Barnard was a druggist as well as a river man and he had three or four brothers who were druggists. The family resided at Fayetteville, Ark., until the opening of the Civil War when conditions became such they left that locality, coming to St. Louis by steamboat. Not long after, the family came to Alton and resided in what is still known as the old Barnard homestead on Washington Avenue at Amelia street, now the home of E. H. Lamm. W. D. W. Barnard was about six years old when the family located in Alton. The druggist is the tenth member of the family of 12 children to pass away, two sisters surviving, one of them now ill in the home on Seminary street where his death occurred last evening. This is Miss Vena Barnard, who was recently removed from her Loretta Home on Prospect street when she became ill. She has been in a coma since being taken to the Barnard home and has known nothing of the illness and death of the brother.
The other sister, Mrs. George Dietiker, of Jacksonville, Fla., was prostrated upon learning of her brother's death and will not be able to come to Alton for the funeral, according to a message received here today. One of the brothers had been lost off a boat in the Mississippi river, his body never found, another was drowned in the river while another was killed in a railroad accident. The family was known as "the family of tragic deaths."
The late Mrs. A. H. Hastings and Mrs. Lulu Gere were sisters. Capt. Barnard, the father of the family, gave the Upper Alton Presbyterian Church a bell he had used on a steamboat. The bell was mounted in the church steeple more than 50 years ago and was hoisted to its new location when the new College avenue Presbyterian Church was built.
Leaves One Son
In 1890, W. D. W. Barnard was married to Miss Bessie White in Upper Alton. To this union were born two sons, William J. Barnard and the late Fred Barnard who died in Chicago, Jan. 21, 1921. Mrs. Barnard's death occurred in 1901. Later, the druggist married Miss Frances Garrett and the couple moved into a new home the druggist had built on Judson avenue at Clawson street, now the A. ... Harris residence. After a few years in this home the couple purchased the Col. A. M. Jackson property, then adjoining Western Military Academy grounds on seminary street, where the death of both occurred, Mrs Barnard passing away May 25, 1925.
Mr. Barnard is survived by one son, William J. Barnard of Mills avenue, who is connected with an engraving firm in St. Louis. The son was associated with his father in the Upper Alton drug store for many years. There is also a grandson, William J. Barnard, jr.
Mr. Barnard was a member of the College Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Funer al services will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock in the home at 1831 Seminary street. The body will remain in the home where friends may call after today.
James Barnard (1817 - 1893)
Anne Elizabeth Lea Barnard (1824 - 1879)
Bessie H. White Barnard (1869 - 1901)
Frances J Garrett Barnard (1868 - 1925)*
Luke Lea Barnard (1842 - 1899)*
Francis Barnard (1847 - 1857)*
Susan Wells Hastings Barnard (1849 - 1920)*
Eliza Barnard (1851 - 1860)*
Joseph Barnard (1854 - 1886)*
Louise Hill Barnard Gere (1856 - 1921)*
Lavinia Lea Barnard (1858 - 1935)*
Arabella M Barnard Dietiker (1860 - 1943)*
William Derrick Waples Barnard (1862 - 1935)
Eaton Barnard (1868 - 1900)*
Created by: Allen
Record added: Dec 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81637358