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James Barnes - History of Barnesville

James Barnes

extract from
The History of Barnesville, Ohio
Richard Taneyhill (1899)

JAMES BARNES, the founder of Barnesville, was born in Montgomery county, Maryland, and was a shoemaker by trade and belonged to the Society of Friends. He came to Ohio early in the century and started at St. Clairsville a large country store like those of the times and entered two sections of land in Warren township — sections 15 and 21. There lived at St. Clairsville a tanner named James Round. He and Barnes got acquainted, and as Barnes intended to start a town on his lands in Warren township, he and Round soon made a contract that Round go to Barnesville, the intended town, and sink a tanyard. Round agreed to do so, if Barnes would donate two acres of ground in the town for a Methodist church and graveyard, which he promised to do. So Round moved to Barnesville in the summer of 1808 and settled his family in a little log cabin that stood at the southwest corner of Main and Chestnut streets, where the large brick clothiers building of Williams brothers now stands and at once began to settle the tanyard. In 1811, Mr. Barnes had erected the large frame building, " so long the residence of the Robert Hopper family — lot No. 37. Barnes moved into that house in 1812.

The town was laid out and platted on the 9th day of November, 1808. The surveyor was John Brown, then the county surveyor and deputy sheriff. He was a local M.E. preacher and grandfather of our townsman, Henry R. Brown. He afterwards went to Morgan county, where he died.

The town was laid off in blocks of two acres each and lots one-fourt of an acre each. One acre fronted on Main street; the other one on what was called back streets. There were 128 lots in all, besides streets and alleys. The streets were sixty-six feet wide; alleys a rod. The entire plat covered about fifty acres of ground. The fifth block -- that on the northeast corner of Main and Chestnut streets -- was not put to sale, but was reserved by Barnes for the use of his own family.

Taneyhill, Richard Henry, History of Barnesville, Ohio, Leatherwood Printing (Barnesville OH : 1899)