Jun. 4, 1792 City of London Greater London, England
Feb. 28, 1854 Fort Smith Sebastian County Arkansas, USA
"Aaron Barling was born in London, England, June 4, 1792, and his father, Moses Barling, sailed for America August 31, 1793, and landed on American soil November 5 of the same year. He brought his family with him, and lived in Baltimore the balance of his life. He was born April 29, 1767, and died in 1796. He was married in England to Miss Mary Cooper, March 7, 1787, and she died in Baltimore, at the age of twenty-six years. Aaron Barling was one of five children born to his parents, and was by trade a sail-maker. Being left an orphan at an early age, he was reared by an aunt. When quite a boy he went to sea, and followed a seafaring life for twelve years. During this time he was married to Miss Rebecca Tucker, a native of Maryland, born October 14, 1781. After his marriage, Mr. Barling followed the sea until he joined the United States army, and with the first troops came to Arkansas, where he helped locate Fort Smith. He was in the Federal service for about five years, when he finally received his discharge. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant. His family had previously joined him at Fort Gibson, and of the six children born to his union, three are now living: Sophia..., Henry and Robert. After resigning his position in the army Mr. Barling bought a farm in what is now Sebastian County, and upon this farm the family was reared. About 1835 Aaron Barling was employed by the Government to issue supplies to the Seminole Indians, and in the spring of 1841 he moved back to his farm. In 1853 he moved with his family to Fort Smith, and here Mrs. Barling died July 27 of the same year. On March 22 of the following year Mr. Barling also died (The Goodspeed Histories of Sebastian County Arkansas, c. 1889, page 1332)."
Aaron was among the soldiers who first came to garrison the post which established Fort Smith with Captain John Rogers. He left his military post around 1828 but remained in the community. Being among the earliest settlers, the home of Aaron and his wife served as a place of rest and entertainment for travelers entering and leaving the border town of Fort Smith.
"Barling settled on the road to Little Rock, nine miles east of the city. It was for many years the custom of travelers going from Fort Smith to go out to the "Barling's" to spend the night and enjoy the good times there, and then to take an early start in the morning, so that they could reach some other house by night (The History of Fort Smith, by Fred Patton, c. 1992, page 84)." At that time, the area of Aaron's home was known as Spring Hill.
Aaron's wife passed in 1853. He passed the following year in 1854. They were laid to rest in Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas.
January the 24, 1890 Spring Hill got a post office...but there was another Spring Hill post office already in operation. So William Fishback, who later became governor,...suggested that the post office be named Barling in honor of the first settler Aaron Barling (Remembering Our Barling, by Lillie Bugg Wingfield, c. 2007. pages 8-9)."