NORTHWESTERN IOWA ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION VOLUME III 1804-1926
F. M. Barnard
The death of a man of enterprise, ability and public spirit is always a loss to his community, and of this type was Francis M. Barnard, for many years a leader in business circles of Spencer. He was born October 1, 1852, in Lyons, New York, and his parents, George W. and Harriet (Gilkey) Barnard, were also natives of the Empire state. To their union were born three children, all of whom are deceased.
Mr. Barnard was educated in the east and in 1869, when a youth of seventeen, responded to the call of the west, coming to Iowa. For about eight years he was identified with the newspaper business at Ackley and in 1881 purchased the Spencer Reporter, which he conducted for eighteen years. He made the paper a valuable news medium, devoted to the best interests of the locality, and as the years passed the Reporter grew steadily in popular favor as a result of his personal influence. On retiring from the field of journalism Mr. Barnard turned his attention to the real estate business, with which he was connected until his death in September, 1891. He was a sagacious, farsighted business man whose word was always to be relied upon, and many important property transfers were effected through his agency.
On March 1, 1880, Mr. Barnard married Miss Grace A. Phelps, a native of Wisconsin, and a daughter of Dwight and Addie A. (Wheeler) Phelps, both of whom were born in Syracuse, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Phelps were the parents of four children: Isa L., the wife of Thomas Hill, of Spring Green, Wisconsin; Jennie M., who married C. A. Daley and is living in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Grace A.; and Edward D.,deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Barnard were born five children: George W. and Charles D., who make their home in Clay county; Jennie L. and Addie W., who died in infancy; and Francis M., also a resident of Clay county.
Mr. Barnard cast his ballot for the candidates of the republican party and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Along fraternal lines he was identified with the Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He always supported moral interests, fair dealing and constructive measures, and was a force for good in the community, enjoying to the full the respect and confidence of his fellowmen.