Walter Brigham Barnes, who for many years has been engaged in the dressed beef business in Henniker, is a son of Captain Harry and Mary Polly (Campbell) Barnes. The father, a native of Henniker, born February 20, 1790, who was but four years old when his mother died, lived with his uncle, Elisha Barnes, until he reached the age of twelve. After a short stay with his father, Harry Barnes next went to reside with Ezekiel Smith, and remained with him until he was eighteen. He then went to Dunbarton, N.H., and was for a time employed by Dominie Walter Harris, whose first name he gave his first son. After his marriage he bought widow David Campbell’s third of the Campbell farm, which was situated on the Hillsborough Road. This property, containing seventy-five acres of land, was partially covered with timber, which he cleared away; while he carried on general farming until 1864, when he retired. The farm afterward passed into other hands, and was divided into village lots. Captain Harry Barnes passed his last days in the village, occupying the house which is now owned by George Gove; and he died September 18, 1876, aged eighty-six years and seven months. He was for some time Captain of the Henniker Rifles, a company belonging to the State militia. For forty-five years he was a member of the Congregational church. His wife, Mary, whom he married December 1, 1814, was born in Henniker, February 21, 1793, daughter of Major David Campbell. Their married life extended over a period of sixty-one years. She became the mother of five children-Walter, Sarah Almeda, Livonia S., Mary E., and Walter B. Walter was born November 1, 1816, and died at the age of fifteen. Sarah Almeda is residing in Nashua, N.H., and is the widow of Joseph F. Andrews. Her late husband, who was a contractor and builder, raised a company in Concord, and served as a Major in the Civil War. Livonia S., who was born December 16, 1822, married Hiram A. Campbell, of Henniker, who died in January, 1895. Mary E., who was born March 22, 1827, married Charles C. Gove, a native of Acworth, N.H., and now a mechanic and builder in North Palmer, N.Y. Mrs. Harry Barnes died October 11, 1875, aged eighty-two years and eight months.
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Walter Brigham Barnes was born February 19, 1832, in Henniker, and there attended school. At the age of twenty-one he commenced to learn the butchering business with George W. Rice, for whom he worked four years. In 1857 he bought the business of his employer, including the farm where he now resides. He survived the business depression that preceded the breaking out of the Rebellion; and the revival following that event not only enabled him to cancel all of his debts, but placed him upon a good financial basis. Manchester and Boston, and being associated as a partner with his old employer, Mr. Rice, for two years. He was also engaged in buying cattle for slaughter until the trade was monopolized by the large Western beef companies.
On October 13, 1857, Mr. Barnes married Eliza J. Tucker, a native of Henniker, and a daughter of Horace and Mary C. (Dow) Tucker. Their daughter, Ida M., was several years employed in a store in Keene, N.H., but on account of her mother’s failing eyesight returned home. She is interested in the breeding of fancy poultry, and has some choice specimens of red Leghorn and light Brahmas. In politics Mr. Barnes is a Democrat. He has figured quite prominently as a party leader in the locality, is frequently a delegate to the State and District Conventions and he represented this town in the legislature in 1876.