George Barnard

George Barnard

Birth
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
Death 6 Mar 1883 (aged 64)
Waco, McLennan County, Texas, USA
Burial Waco, McLennan County, Texas, USA
Plot Block 1, Lots 77, 78
Memorial ID 9742518 · View Source
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George Barnard was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 18, 1818, the son of George and Jerusha Clapp Barnard. He arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1838 and soon moved to Houston, where he became a clerk in the firm John F. Torrey and Brothers.

In June 1841 he joined Thomas S. Torrey and about 270 others in the Texan Santa Fe expedition. After capture by the Mexicans, he suffered considerably during his confinement in Perote prison. He was released by the fall of 1842 and returned to Houston, where he became a member of the Torrey firm.

In 1843 Sam Houston asked the Torreys to establish the Torrey Trading Houses trading posts to help pacify the Native Americans of the republic, and Barnard and Thomas Torrey located a site on a small tributary of Tehuacana Creek, which came to be called Trading House Creek, about eight miles south of the location of present Waco. The site was already well known as a place where Native Americans and representatives of the Republic of Texas met. Early in 1844 Barnard began trading with Native Americans. In 1849 he became the sole proprietor of the post, and the next year he and his brother Charles moved the post to the Brazos River near Comanche Peak in what is now Hood County. They were following the Native Americans, who were withdrawing from growing white settlement in Central Texas.

Barnard's other ventures included trade with soldiers and settlers at Fort Graham, near Whitney. He or his brother may have supplied Native Americans with liquor and firearms and probably did disrupt the efforts of federal agents trying to remove the Indians to reservations, a move that would have limited the Barnards' trade. In the four years immediately before the Native Americans' removal (1851–55), the Barnards shipped 59,000 pounds of undressed deer skins, as well as other traded goods, to northern merchants.

By 1851 Barnard had moved his operation to Waco Village, where he invested heavily in land. In 1857 he sold his business to Fox and Jacobs, the town's first Jewish merchants, and entered semiretirement. He was a charter member of Bosque Masonic Lodge, begun in 1852, and was active in the local company of Texas Rangers. He married Mary Rebecca Ross, daughter of ranger captain Shapley P. Ross and sister of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, in 1850. George and Mary Barnard had twelve children. Barnard died at his home in Waco on March 6, 1883, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
Content courtesy of the Handbook of Texas
Contributor: J Vogel (46975003)

First white settler in Waco region. He came to Texas in 1838, landing at Galveston but shortly moving over to the new town of Houston. It was there that he became acquainted with the Torrey brothers, operators of frontier trading posts.
In 1841, together with Thomas Torrey, he joined and accompanied the ill-fated Texan Santa Fe Expedition. Made prisoners by Mexican militia, along with the others, they were forced to march to Mexico City and later to Vera Cruz, under the severest conditions. For a while Barnard was shackled by the leg to another prisoner who was suffering from small-pox. This man died, but Barnard somehow escaped the infection. The constant exposure and neglect crippled him with rheumatism, necessitating his use of a cane all the remainder of his life.
In the spring of 1843 Barnard, by then a partner in the Torrey firm, accompanied by Thomas Torrey, made a scouting trip far up the Brazos in search of favorable locations for additional trading post. A site was selected on a high bluff overlooking a small tributary of Tehuacana Creek, about 8 miles below the ancient Waco Indian Village. This small stream is still known as Trading House Creek. On the return trip down the Brazos Thomas Torrey fell ill of a fever and died, and after committing his friend's remains to the earth, Barnard returned to Houston alone. Another year elapsed before he came back with his stock of trade goods, in a train of ox wagons.
The Indians of this region were quick to respond to the easy opportunity of supplying themselves with the luxuries of civilization. Game was incredibly abundant, and hides and pelts came in by the thousands. These were baled and freighted out to Houston by ox wagon. Barnard's constant fairness gave all the Indians great confidence in him and he was frequently called upon by the Rangers, to be an intermediary. In 1848 Barnard bought out from Torrey Brothers their interest in this post, for the sum of $9,500.
When Jacob De Cordova, in 1849, laid out a new townsite on the T.J. Chambers Grant at the Waco Spring, George Barnard was present, and was allowed the purchase of Lot Number 1, later Bridge Street. On this lot he erected a substantial log building, and moved his stock of trade goods from the Tehuacana.
Here Barnard continued to prosper, and entered actively into every phase of the civic life and development of the new town. In 1850 he married Mary Rebecca Ross, a daughter of Capt. Shapley P. Ross. He was a charter member of Bosque Masonic Lodge, chartered in 1852.
He was active with the local Company of Mounted Rangers, and in March, 1856, submitted to the County Commissioners plans for a new courthouse, which were adopted. In 1857 he decided to dispose of his mercantile operations, and sold them that year to Fox and Jacobs.
The Barnard home grounds, fronting on Columbus Avenue, from Eighth Street westward several blocks, were exceptionally attractive. A high palisade fence encloses the grounds, and tame deer and other animals were kept in the enclosed part.
Source: Handbook of Waco and McLennan County Texas

Natty Dresser - Waco Heritage & History Summer 1999
George Barnard dressed far better than his customers. This easy-going shrewd merchant sold "fine dress coats" for $8. and $10. to other pioneers of Waco and Central Texas. When Barnard wanted a dress coat of his own, he paid $35. each for them from a New York City clothing store. He bought his fancy silk vests there too at $7-9. each and his cashmere pants stood Barnard $10-15. a pair. His business coats costs him $20. He began to wear silk undergarments in 1850.



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  • Maintained by: RW Hilscher
  • Originally Created by: DonZas
  • Added: 2 Nov 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9742518
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Barnard (11 Sep 1818–6 Mar 1883), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9742518, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by RW Hilscher (contributor 50043880) .