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Nellie May Barnett, about 16 years of age. She lived in Sharon, Barber County, Kansas, at the time this photograph was taken.

The Barnett Ancestors & Relatives of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin

by Jerry Ferrin

Left: Nellie May Barnett, about 16 years of age.

Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin, my paternal grandmother, was born January 8th, 1893, near Springfield, Greene County, Missouri, to Milton Grover & Anna Aurelia (Allender) Barnett. She married Ernest Leroy Ferrin on April 27th, 1921 in a ceremony at her mother's home in Wilmore, Kansas. She died October 20th, 1987 at the Pioneer Lodge, Coldwater, Comanche County, Kansas and was buried on October 23rd, 1987 at the Wilmore Cemetery, Wilmore, Kansas.

Grandma Nellie's parents separated when she was still young and she apparently never knew her father or met him as an adult.

Annie (Allender) Barnett's obituary in The Western Star, Coldwater, Ks, says that she was widowed in 1897. Her grandson, Wendel G. Ferrin, said she was a "grass widow", which means a divoriced woman. He was certain in a 1988 interview that Annie divoriced Milton Barnett because he was told that by his mother, Nellie (Barnett) Ferrin, when he was growing up. He also recalled his mother telling him after he'd graduated high school in 1944 that she'd received news that her father had died.

In the 1988 interview, Dad also said that Grandma Nellie simply refused to talk about her father when Dad was growing up and that he always had the impression that she didn't know much about him. Dad didn't know if his mother had even seen her father since earliest childhood. Milton Barnett, according to Dad's understanding, had abandoned his family soon after Grandma Nellie was born.

My search for information was guided by a few notes I'd made in a family history interview with Grandma Nellie in December of 1973, in which she told me that her father's name was Milton Barnett and that he was from a family which lived at Schofield, Missouri, which had three boys: George, Melton and Billy. Following this research lead, I was fortunate and made contact with Ms. Leni Howe of the Dallas County Historical Society, Box 594, Buffalo, Missouri. She kindly provided me with family group sheets for the Barnett family which had been contributed by Edward B. Barnett and which provided the following information about Milton Barnett and his family.

Rial/Ryal "Riley" Barnett & His Descendants

Rial/Ryal "Riley" Barnett (son of William Barnett) & wife Elizabeth (Case?) Barnett lived in Richland Township, Searcy Co, AR from at least 1846 to 1853. Their 1st child (of whom I know), Hartwell Barnett, was born there in 1846; their second child, Agnes Barnett, was b. there in 1848 and their 3rd child, William M. Barnett, was born there 3 April 1853 (he m. Mary Jane Case 20 July 1874 in Polk Co, Mo and died 30 Nov 1928 in Schofield, MO). The 4th child, George C. Barnett, whose birthplace is unknown to me, died in Wichita, Ks, where he was a doctor for 33 years; he m. Exona Catherine Mayfield.

The 5th child, who was my maternal grandmother's father, was Milton Grover Barnett, born 19 April 1862 in (prob. in Blythe Township, Marion Co) AR; he married my great grandmother, Anna Aurelia Allender, dau. of David & Margaret Allender of Benton Township, Polk Co, MO, on 01 Jan 1891 in Missouri; he died 24 Aug 1950 in Wichita, Ks, where he was a minister in the Full Gospel Church; he is buried in grave 17, Block O, Lot 233 in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Wichita.

Anna (Allender) Barnett is buried in the Wilmore Cemetery, Comanche County, Ks, under the name of Annie Barnett. Her oldest daughter, Geneva Barnett, who never married, is buried beside her. Her second daughter, Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin, is buried in the same cemetery.

Elizabeth (Case) Barnett died circa 1862/63, prob. in Marion County, AR, as the 1860 Federal Census lists them as living in Blythe Township in that county. She was born in 1828 in TN. (I am not at all sure that there were only 5 children born to this marriage; there may well have been more.)

Rial Barnett married 2nd, Mary Austin, born 10 Mar 1840 to Absolam Chrisfield Austin, Sr. & Nancy (Presnell? Preston?) Austin in Burke Co., N. Carolina. She died 14 Oct 1928 at Springfield, MO; they had 9 children, all born at Redtop, Polk Co., Missouri: Absalom Chrisfield Barnett(b. 10 Aug 1866), James Spurlock Barnett (b. 22 Dec 1867); Perry Franklin Barnett (b. 19 July 1869); Wesley Harrison Barnett (b. 1 Mary 1871); Temperance Allison (Barnett)Craig (b. 22 Feb 1873); Nancy Clementine Barnett (b. 22 Feb 1875); Millie Evaline Barnett (b. 11 Mar 1877); Edward Daniel Gatewood Barnett (b. 16 Aug 1879) and Elijah Callaway "Joe" Barnett (b. 1 July 1881).

I wrote to the Midwest Historical & Genealogical Society in Wichita, Kansas, to follow up on the information from Edward B. Barnett that Milton Barnett had died in Wichita. Bill Pennington of that society responded (Thanks, Bill!) with the following information from a grave registry:

Milton G. Barnett, white, born in Arkansas, widowed, resided at 1547 N. Madison in Wichita, Ks, age 88, died 24 August 1950, interred 29 August 1950, died of "coronary occlusion", surname of parents was Barnett, interred in Grave 17, Lot 233, Block O by undertaker "F-7" (Cochran Mortuary).

Later on, Bill Pennington visited the grave and sent me a photo of the headstone. When I find the photo, I'll add it to this page. He told me in a letter at the time that Milton's gravestone gave his date of birth as 19 April 1862.

Next, I called Mr. Claudey Brewer, Assistant Funeral Director of Cochran Mortuary, 1411 N. Arkansas, Wichita, Ks - (316) 262-4422 - and he was VERY helpful! He looked up the burial records on microfice and called me back the next day with the following information:

The Burial Records of Milton Grover Barnett, Cochran Mortuary, Wichita, Kansas

Milton Barnett was 88 years old when he died 24 Aug 1950 at 2825 N. Arkansas in Wichita, Ks. His residence was at 1547 N. Madison, Wichita, Ks, and he had resided in Wichita since 1935. (The obituary of his brother, Dr. George C. Barnett of Wichita in 1936 also gave Milton's address as 1547 N. Madison.)

Milton had been ill for 15 days, from August 9th to the day he died. The services were arranged by Milton's guardian, E.R. Barnett.

The burial records stated that Milton Barnett had no known survivors and that he was "Widowed". According to the records, he had been married to Annie Allender and the records had a notation written over the top of other writing, Mr. Brewer said, which stated that Annie Allender deserted him in 1893. (This is exactly opposite of what the survivors of Annie Barnett have always heard; she said that Milton deserted her soon after the birth of my grandmother, Nellie May Barnett.)

The records also show that Milton was born in Boone County, Arkansas, and that he was not a member of any lodge or club. He received welfare at the time of his death. His welfare worker was Mrs. Hylinski and his doctor was Dr. Elmer Lemings; Dr. Lemings address was the Sedgewick County Courthouse.

His casket cost $100.00. The funeral service was on Tuesday, August 29th, at 1:30 p.m. with Rev. Claude Pryor in charge. (I think Mr. Brewer told me that the services were held in a chapel at the Cochran Mortuary.)

-- Jerry Ferrin, written 24 March 1992.

Gravestone for Milton Grover Barnett, 

Grave 17, Lot 233, Block O,

Maple Grove Cemetery, Wichita, Kansas.

Photo by David G. Stuart.

CLICK HERE to visit his fine website.
Gravestone for Milton Grover Barnett
Grave 17, Lot 233, Block O, Maple Grove Cemetery, Wichita, Kansas.
Photo by David G. Stuart.

The Anna Aurelia (Allender) Barnett Family

Annie Barnett with her two daughters and her nephew: from left: Geneva Barnett, Glen Moreton, Annie (Allender) Barnett and Nellie May Barnett in front of the Barnett home in Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. This photo was copied from one in the collection of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin.

Annie Barnett with her two daughters and her nephew: from left:
Geneva Barnett, Glenn Moreton, Annie (Allender) Barnett and Nellie May Barnett
in front of the Barnett home in Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.
This photo was copied from one in the collection of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin.

Anna (Allender) Barnett, at home, Wilmore, Comanche County, Ks, with her great-grandson, Darrell Gene Ferrin, who was born July 3, 1950. Anna (Allender) Barnett, at home, Wilmore, Comanche County, Ks, with her great-grandson, Darrell Gene Ferrin, who was born July 3, 1950.

Nellie May Barnett with her first cousin, Glenn Moreton, son of Lilly (Allender) Moreton, at the Anna (Allender) Barnett home in Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. After his mother died, Glenn Moreton was reared by his Aunt Annie Barnett. Copied from a photo in the collection of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin of Wilmore, Kansas. Nellie May Barnett with her first cousin, Glenn Moreton, son of Lilly (Allender) Moreton, at the Anna (Allender) Barnett home in Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. After his mother died, Glenn Moreton was reared by his Aunt Annie Barnett. Copied from a photo in the collection of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin.


Obituary of Anna Aurelia (Allender) Barnett


Funeral Held in Wilmore Baptist church, Sunday, July 22

Mrs. Annie A. Barnett, of Wilmore, who had been a resident of Comanche county for 43 years, passed away in the Comanche County Hospital on Thursday, July 19, 1956 after having been confined to the hospital for the past 34 days.

Funeral services were held in the Baptist church in Wilmore Sunday, July 22, at 3:00 p.m. and were in charge of Rev. Ernest Lawrence, pastor of the Baptist church, assisted by Rev. Wayne Riggs, pastor of the Methodist-Christian Church of that city. Mrs. Gertrude Cobb sang "I've Done My Work" accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Ernestine Zeigler. A mixed quartet composed of Mrs. Ernest Lawrence, Mrs. F.H. Moberly, Valtos Richardson and Walter Smith sang "Oh, Come Angel Band" and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye" accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Francis Ridge. The active pallbearers were Bernarr Seaman, Fay Smith, Harold Wood, Myrl Dellinger, Lester Fry and Chas. Pendergraft and the honorary pallbearers were C.O. Masterson, C.B. Austin, L.E. Baker, George Kennedy, F.H. Moberly and T.C. Pepperd.

Burial was in the Wilmore Cemetery near Wilmore.

Annie Aurelia Allender was born on a farm near McArthur, Ohio, August 20, 1868, and departed from this life in Coldwater, Kansas, July 19, 1956. On January 1, 1891, she was united in marriage with Milton G. Barnett and was left a widow (actually, she was divoriced) with two small children in 1897. In 1906, her youngest sister passed away, leaving a baby boy, Glenn Moreton. She took him and loved him as her own; if any differences were made they were always in Glenn's favor because he was the baby.

For many years she was a member of the Baptist church. After moving to Sharon, Kans., she united with the Christian church. In 1913 she moved to Wilmore. Here her greatest pleasures were serving the church and being loyal to her friends. Many of them have now gone to their rewards. During her active years she took great pride and joy in her yard and flowers. Her neighbors most always went home with a bouquet. On October 3, 1946, she fell and broke her hip. This left her a wheelchair patient for seven years. She fell again on Oct. 3, 1953 and then was confined to her bed until her death. The last few months of her life her interests were centered on the great grandchildren, nine of them in Kansas and five in Texas. One of her last prayers was "God bless and care for Robbie (Robert E. Thompson a.k.a. Robbie Ferrin) and all my other little ones. I love them all."

She leaves to mourn her passing two daughters, Mrs. Nellie Ferrin, Wilmore, Kans. and Geneva of the home. A nephew, Glenn Moreton, who was the same as a son, of San Antonio, Texas, one niece, Mrs. Ura Wright, Scottsdale, Arizona. Two granddaughters, Mrs. Helen Flory of Pratt, Kans., and Mrs. Anna Lou Bartholomew, San Antonio, Texas. Three grandsons, Delmer and Wendel Ferrin of Wilmore and Bill Moreton of San Antonio, Texas.

From The Western Star, 27 July 1956, published in Coldwater, Kansas. Available on microfilm at the Coldwater Library, Box 606, Coldwater, Ks.

----------===== * =====----------

(Annie Barnett's great-grandchildren in Kansas at the time of her death were: Darrell G. Ferrin, Jerry D. Ferrin, Brent D. Ferrin, Loren D. Ferrin, Dan E. Ferrin, Robert E. Thompson a.k.a. Robby Ferrin, Micheal G. Flory, Donald A. Flory and Curtis L. Flory. Later, Joseph & Ann Flory and Janet L. Ferrin and Mead Ferrin were born in Kansas. In the above obituary, Glenn Moreton's children were reckoned as "her great-grandchildren in Texas" although they were actually her grandnieces and grandnephews. -- Note by Jerry Ferrin.)

David W. & Margaret J. Allender, Benton Township, Polk County, Missouri, about 1889.  Copied from a photo in the collection of their grand-daughter, Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin of Wilmore, Kansas. Annie Barnett's parents were, at left:

David W. Allender, b. 1829 in PA and d. 1901 in Polk Co., MO, married Margaret J. (___?), who was b. 1836 in PA and d. 1897 in Polk Co., MO.

Both David & Margaret are buried in the Prairie Grove Cemetery, Dallas County, MO.

Click here for more information on The Allender Family .

Detail of the inscription on the gravestone of Laura Maggie (Allender) Roderick, Sharon Cemeterey, Sharon, Barber County, Kansas.  She was a maternal aunt of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin and the stepmother of Kate (Roderick) Baker, mother of Roderick Baker, of Wilmore, Kansas. Laura M. (Allender) Roderick, b. 14 Aug 1861, d. 26 June 1942. (She was the daughter of David W. & Margaret J. Allender of Benton township, Polk Co., MO. Gravestone at the Sharon Cemeterey, Sharon, Barber County, Kansas. "Kate" Roderick Baker of Wilmore, Ks, was her step-sister. Anna Aurelia (Allender) Barnett of Wilmore, Ks, was her sister.)

Grandma Barnett

Anna Aurelia (Allender) Barnett was my maternal grandmother. I really never knew much about her or her family. I know that she came from Missouri, the area around Springfield if I'm not mistaken. She was married to Melton Grover Barnett, but they were divoriced at an early age. She had 2 daughters: Geneva and my mother, Nellie. She and her two daughters moved to Sharon, Barber County, Ks about 1905.

I don't know what her source of income was. I know that Aunt Geneva and Mom both went to a teacher's college (I believe it was Ottowa, Ks) and came out with teacher's certificates.

She quilted later in life as I'm sure she had before, but I don't think that was enough to support her and 2 daughters. She could have had some money from her marriage or possibly her parents helped her out, but I know that she was never on welfare and was never too hard up for money. Of course, after Geneva got her teaching certificate, they lived together and Geneva helped with the expenses.

When she was approximately 65 years old, she fell and broke her hip. I'm sure she could have walked again, but she just gave up and laid in bed (and quilted) for 10 or 12 years before she died.

She was probably the best gardener I have ever known. Her vegetable garden was unbelievable and her flower garden was the envy of everyone in the area.

-- by Wendel G. Ferrin, written 11/18/87.

An Anecdote about Annie (Allender) Barnett:

I never met him, but I heard my Grandmother Barnett tell many times of an incident that occured with her brother in their youth. I don't know if he was older or younger than she, but as she told the story their father came home one day with a new axe and she and her brother both wanted to be the first to use it. Somehow Grandma got possession of the axe first. Her brother was barefooted, as were all kids of that time. He put his foot up on the chopping block so she couldn't use the block. She told him to move his foot or she would cut his toes off. He refused and she swung, intending to scare him. She did. She also cut off his big toe. Like I said, I never met him but Grandma said he limped the rest of his life. I'm sure that thereafter he had a healthier respect for threats from the opposite sex.

-- Wendel G. Ferrin, written 5/25/90.

Aunt Geneva Barnett

Geneva Barnett, my maternal aunt, was born in approx.1890 near Springfield, Missouri to Melton Grover and Anna Aurelia "Annie" (Allender) Barnett. She moved with her mother and sister Nellie to Sharon, Barber County, Kansas in 1905. She got her teachers degree in Kansas (probably at Ottawa) and was a highly successful teacher until her retirement in the 1960s. She could always go back to work at any school she had taught at before. She spent the last 10 or 15 years of her working life in the Wilmore Grade School.

She never married. She passed away on May 25, 1979 in the Pioneer Lodge rest home in Coldwater, Comanche County, Kansas.

-- Wendel Ferrin, written 11/18/87.

"Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Ferrin and family, Mrs. Barnett and Geneva, made a trip to Sealing, Okla., last Thursday and visited at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Moreton and family. Mr. Ferrin traded for a new Chevrolet car while there." -- (excerpt from) Wilmore News, The Wilmore News, October 18, 1936.

Related histories:
Letter to Jerry Ferrin re: Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin by Alzina Baker
The Allender Ancestors & Relatives of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin
Report of the Wilmore Church of Christ, August 23, 1953, by Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin.
"Walking in the Heartland: a poem in memory of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin.

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