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 Vardeman “Vard” Hawkins

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Vardeman “Vard” Hawkins

  • Birth 8 Mar 1811 Mercer County, Kentucky, USA
  • Death 10 Apr 1902 Elmira, Solano County, California, USA
  • Burial Vacaville, Solano County, California, USA
  • Plot Old section
  • Memorial ID 79896290

Parents: John Hawkins & Melinda "Milly" (Barnes) Hawkins.

Children: Leland Barnes Hawkins, Woodson Hawkins, Sarah Frances Hawkins Gates, William Creath Hawkins, Minerva Catherine Hawkins Stice, "Nelie" Hawkins, Lucinda Cooper, John C. Hawkins, Jeanette "Nettie" Fowler.

Vard grew up close to his double cousin, Richard Scott Barnes.


Richard Barnes Celebrates Anniversary
Of His Birth at Age of Ninety-three

Richard S. Barnes, 93 years old, is today celebrating his natal anniversary at 3033 Stout street, and assisting him is Vardeman Hawkins, 91 years old. These aged men have been chums for ninety years, for Barnes as a boy teased and played with the baby Hawkins and they grew up together. When Hawkins came to Denver last Saturday to be present at his friend’s birthday celebration, it was the first time they had met in thirty years.
Very interesting is each of these two old fellows. They are double cousins, brother and sister having married a brother and sister. They talk of events that happened in what today seems an ancient epoch. Both men have seen all the modern inventions introduced and Barnes has lived through all but one of every war the United States has had, the single exception being the revolution.
Hawkins lives in Elmira, Salina [Solano] county, Cal. He is active and his mind is as clear as ever. He came to Denver from California to see his friend and says he “didn’t mind the trip at all.” Barnes had the grip a few years ago and has never fully recovered. He is confined to his bed, but his mind is active.
The two old cronies talk for hours at a time over events in their lives. “That was in 1827,” says Hawkins, and Barnes corrects him with “No, that was in 1828.” They recall dates distinctly.
Hawkins was born in Mercer county, Ky., March 8, 1811, and is a California ‘49er. He was with the goldseekers at Shasta and Yuba, and where Maryville now stands. There was not even a shanty in Sacramento when he went there. He made about $3,000 in the diggings, then went back to Missouri for his family, returning to California in 1854, where he has since resided. He is a fruit farmer.

Moved to Missouri
Barnes was born in Mercer county, Ky., September 11, 1808. He moved to Woodford, Ky., in 1812, and removed to Boone county, Mo., in 1818. He had a warehouse at Dovers Landing, on the Missouri river. He saw the first steamboat on the Missouri. That stream was the artery of trade and St. Louis was the hub of the West in his day. There was not a railroad west of the Alleghenies until years after he began business at Dover Landing, and he was an old man before there was any civilization west of the Missouri river.
“I used to catch catfish in the old Missouri river,” began Barnes.
“I’d give a dollar for one of ‘em now,” interrupted Hawkins.
“So would I,” added Barnes.
Barnes said Hawkins had been a “wild boy,” whereat Hawkins laughed and admitted that it was true.
“We could lick any boy we knew,” proudly declared Hawkins, and Barnes put in: “That we could – and did.”
Hawkins’ wife died in 1893. They were married in 1836 and had eleven children, thirty-six grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren and several great-great-grandchildren.
Barnes wife died in 1872 [correction 1882]. They were married in 1833. They had nine children, twenty-two grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. He came to Colorado in 1874 and mined near Boulder, then moved to Denver to make his home with his children.
It is not wholly his friend’s birthday that brought Hawkins to Denver. The two men are heirs to sixty acres in New York, Trinity church standing on part of the property. They are descendants of Uriah Edwards, a shipbuilder, to whom the English crown gave 300 acres of land on Manhattan Island. He saved sixty acres from confiscation by the Americans. The case has again and again come up, but nothing has been done. Barnes and Hawkins are again moving in the matter, however, and Hawkins came here to consult their agent, Milton Thorn, of 1435 Twenty-third street.

The Denver Post
11 Sep 1901

  • Created by: CZNBJL
  • Added: 5 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 79896290
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Vardeman “Vard” Hawkins (8 Mar 1811–10 Apr 1902), Find A Grave Memorial no. 79896290, citing Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery, Vacaville, Solano County, California, USA ; Maintained by CZNBJL (contributor 47647261) .