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 Sallie Ward <I>Barns</I> Baldwin

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Sallie Ward Barns Baldwin

  • Birth 10 Oct 1836 Liberty, Tazewell County, Virginia, USA
  • Death 22 Jun 1919 Bluefield, Mercer County, West Virginia, USA
  • Burial Mercer County, West Virginia, USA
  • Plot H24
  • Memorial ID 14354926

Sallie was born in "The Cove", Tazewell county, Virginia, the daughter of William Barns. She was the seventh child in the family of 10 most of whom married and settled in this area. Her grandfather, Robert Barns, an Irish immigrant settled in "The Cove" and as a school teacher, he acquired a substantial estate as beneficiary of the liberal "settlers law" of the time. The Barns's were among the earliest settlers of this part of Virginia which became heavily populated with the Barns, Ward, Copenhaver, Higgenbottoms, Beaver, Moore and Bowen families.

Sallie Ward Barns met Captain Denison Butler Baldwin at a house party in 1857. Upon returning to Wytheville, Capt Baldwin immediately began making plans to move to Jeffersonville, Virgina (now Tazewell). He moved in 1857 and joined his uncle, William Gibonney, in a merchandising store. On February 16, 1858, he married Sallie Ward Barns. Their 10 children were all born in Jeffersonville (Tazewell), Virginia.

After they settled in Bluefield, West Virginia, all her relatives, friends and others found a haven at "Mother" Baldwin's. Sallie acquired this title from the Episcopal Ministers whose church was directly across the street. It is reported that she once served 60 ministers at her home during an assembly. Sallie's grandson, William Denison Kelley reported that he didn't doubt this story because at Thanksgiving, the grandchildren ate at the third table and they were long tables. His vivid memories of her were how quick she could get out of her little apron and into her bonnet and shawl when someone suggested a ride in an automobile. Also her statement that "Your house is as big as your heart."

The following is a poem written by May Riley Smith which Sallie Ward Barnes Baldwin shared on the day her daughter, Virginia died.

May Riley Smith (1842–1927)

Sometimes, when all life's lessons have been learned, And sin and stars forevermore have set: The things that our weak judgment here have spurned, The things o'er which we grieved with lashes wet, Will flash before us, out of life's dark night, As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue; And we shall see how all God's plans were right. And what seemed reproof, was Love most true.

And you shall shortly know that lengthened breath Is not the sweetest fight God sends his friend; And that sometimes, the sable pall of death Conceals the fairest bloom his love can send. If we could push ajar the gates of life And stand within, and all God's working see,
We could interpret all this doubt and strife, And for each mystery could find a key.

But not today. Then be content, poor heart;
God's plans like lilies, pure and white, unfold.
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart.
Time will reveal the calyxes of gold. And when, through toil, we reach the land Where tired feet with sandals loosed, may rest Then we shall clearly see and understand, And then we will say, "God know the best."

Family Members

  • Created by: Bridget Kelley-Dearing
  • Added: 21 May 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14354926
  • Bridget Kelley-Dearing
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sallie Ward Barns Baldwin (10 Oct 1836–22 Jun 1919), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14354926, citing Maple Park Cemetery, Mercer County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Bridget Kelley-Dearing (contributor 46537475) .