Evan Grey “Parson” Barnard

Evan Grey “Parson” Barnard

Indiana, USA
Death 4 Jan 1938 (aged 73)
Burial Hennessey, Kingfisher County, Oklahoma, USA
Memorial ID 63613509 · View Source
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Thursday, January 6, 1938

The Hennessey Clipper

Evan G. "Parson" Barnard, 74 pioneer, cowboy, homesteader, farmer, stockman and author, a brother of the famous sculptor, George Gray Barnard, died at his home in Enid Tuesday. He had been confined to his bed for three months, but his death nevertheless, proved a shock to hundreds of friends in Hennessey and vicinity, where he had made his home for fully one-third a century previous to removing to Enid about twelve years ago.

Funeral services were held at the First Presbyterian church in Enid, yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock with the pastor officiating. After the services the body was brought to Hennessey for interment. Hundreds of friends waited at the local cemetery as a final tribute to a valued and loyal friend. The lifted hats as the casket borne to the grave revealed fast-graying heads of early pioneers who had known the deceased nearly a half-century, but those, too, of lesser years were there.

Illness prevented hi noted brother, George Grey Barnard, from attending the funeral.

He is survived by his widow, of the home, son George R. and Mrs. Barnard and their son, Robert Dale, of 2409 East Elm; his brother, George Grey Barnard, noted New York Sculptor, of New York City and sister Mrs. Mary Hargan, of Walla Walla, Washington.

"The Rider of the Cherokee Strip.," published a few years ago, outlined his life fro youthful years to manhood and paints with realistic touch a career in cow camp and on trails from the Line Star State to Kansas and back to the Sooner state at a period when the glamour of the new country and the last frontier beckoned to the adventurous.

Born in Belleforte, Pa., July 11, 1864, Barnard was four years old when his parents moved to Waukesha, Wis., and four years later to Kankakee, Ill., in 1872. Before the year ended they moved again, this time locating at Muscatine, in eastern Iowa. Soon after the family went to Seymour, in the same state. Barnard, in his late teens, craved adventure, and with youthful restlessness, embraced the chance that fate offered when a neighbor bought a western ranch. He promptly accepted tender of a position as cowhand, and after a thrilling train tip, found himself at last in West Texas, a green hand on the Circle J. H. ranch, 45 miles from Seymour. It was there he acquired the nickname of "Parson," which stuck to him throughout his life.

After a trip up the Chisholm Trail, with a herd of cattle that finally was delivered to the Circle J. H. Ranch, not far from Arlington, Barnard remained at the Circle J. H. The fall of 1883 was very wet and he fell ill of malaria and was moved finally to the headquarters camp near head of the Deep Fork country, where he shook almost all winter with chills, but the weather was mild. Barnard then went to the Long Seven Ranch on the Canadian River, where he hired out to John Butler and was sent to Creek County with a round-up outfit. After working for Butler until fall, Barnard again moved on. At Red Fork Ranch, on the present site of Dover, he found "Old Short," famous cook and noted fiddler craving a vacation, and took his place at Red Fork. The last stop of the Caldwell to Ft. Reno stage line ten being operated by Hunt & Evans, was at Bull's Foot, immediately south of Hennessey and next at Kingfisher. When roads were bad the passengers ate at Red Fork. "Old Short" returned late in October and Barnard went to the Z. H. Ranch, on spring creek, about six miles south of Okeene, where 15 punchers were employed. It was I the winter of 1884, which was unusual cold. Blizzard followed Blizzard. Billy Dunlap and Billy Malaley, who had 120 head of horses wintering in the hills, only had 12 left in the spring. Barnard left the Z. H. in February, bound for Lakin, Kansas, to go to work for an old friend, George Garretson, one of the owners of the J. H. Ranch in Texas. Garretson's ranch was located on the Arkansas River, west of Lakin. Swept by blizzards and with the ground covered by snow and sleet, the cattle drifted on south under bridges left open by the railroad and found refuge in sand hills. With other punchers, Barnard was engaged in rounding up the animals and driving them into Garretson's hay meadow where shelter from the cold and feed was available. Many were so near frozen that they couldn't be driven and froze to death. Thousands of sheep met a similar fate.

Barnard took a claim on the irrigation ditch not far from Lakin, but never filed on it. With the advent of spring he headed back into the Indian Territory where there were creeks and trees and wild game. After halting briefly at Caldwell in April 1895, he went to work for Cub Bennett on a horse ranch east of Pond Creek. After helping drive a herd of horses to the Bar X Bar Ranch, he again headed back to Caldwell and hit the Chisholm Trail south, with a bull team—three yoke of oxen and 7,500 pound load of freight. One of the oxen played out at Bull's Foot and the bullwhacker went down with the measles and Barnard decided to push on. He hired out to Tom cave, foreman of the Circle J. H. Ranch. After working through the summer, Barnard went to the Long Seven camp on Clear creek, nine miles east of Darlington, as cook.

When their beef contract with the government ran out in June 1886, T. Cornell and J. W. Butler, owners of the ranch, decided to move their cattle and 1,600 head were driven to a new location twelve miles south of the small Kiowa settlement. Barnard soon after hired out to Bead Grimes, foreman of the W. B. G. ranch, and then the Half Diamond-R Cattle Co., under the management of Mr. Cragin, with Billie Dimick, Marion Hildreth, Coon Floyd and others as cow hands. "Parson' became the cook of the outfit and proved a good one.

The winter of 1887, he engaged in poisoning wolves on the Circle J. H., the Bar B. Q. and 28 Ranch. The latter was located southwest of where Ringwood now stands. He soon after had his name on the payroll of the Tuttle ranch, west of Bison, of which the late Ben Thorne was foreman. The T. J. (Cross) ranch with headquarters eight miles northwest of Enid, started paying him a salary soon after. Here Bill Miller was foreman. Restless and still moving, he became one of the hands on the 2S, hiring out to foreman Bill Dunlap. Other hands included Dutch Anderson, Jim Hill, Charley Tex, Joe Bealls and Rattlesnake Bill.

When the impending opening of Ok-Territory threatening the cow ranches Barnard became imbued with a desire for some land of his own, and was numbered among the historic throng that entered Soonerland in 1889 seeking a home. He staked a quarter section in the Turkey creek bottoms, six miles Norwest of Hennessey. Raniky Bill, a picturesque character who impressed tenderfeet by picking his teeth with bowie knife, took a quarter nearby.

Married in 1894 to Orie R. Reynolds who had homesteaded in the same neighborhood, he settle down to farm life. He later engaged in stockbreeding and at one time owned a herd of purebred hogs that were the envy of the countryside.

In 1910 he engaged in the land business, taking charge of Morris & Co. land development project at Oklahoma City. Two years later he was with the Frisco Railroad as extension agent. In two years he was back on his farm engaged in stock raising. In 1935 he disposed of his homestead and moved to Enid, where he found much to engage his energies, while preparing material for his book, "The Ride of the Cherokee Strip," which reached publication stage several years later and was afterwards published in serial form by the Daily Oklahoman.

He afterwards supervised a garden project for the Enid Lions club, and in recent months preceding his illness was engaged in gathering material for a federal theatre project.

The Grim Reaper's summons closed a long, colorful career, marked by sunlight and shadow, romance and adventure such as is vouchsafed only those who came on the scene when a country was in the making. He will be remembered long by those who knew him and truly there were many.

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  • Created by: Harv
  • Added: 2 Jan 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 63613509
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Evan Grey “Parson” Barnard (11 Jul 1864–4 Jan 1938), Find a Grave Memorial no. 63613509, citing Hennessey Cemetery, Hennessey, Kingfisher County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by Harv (contributor 47030477) .