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Barnett, Robert F.

Born: 1807 Bourbon County, Kentucky

Died: 1864 Clinton, Illinois

In 1831, Barnett married Margaret J. Mills, with whom he had 10 children. They migrated from Bourbon County, Kentucky to DeWitt County, Illinois in 1832, establishing a farm on land his father had purchased. A Democrat known for his family's strong anti-slavery views, Barnett served as justice of the peace. He served in the Illinois House of Representatives, representing Macon and DeWitt counties from 1840 to 1842, and representing DeWitt County from 1850 to 1852. He also served in the Illinois Senate, representing McLean, Livingston, DeWitt, Piatt, and Macon counties from 1842 to 1844. In 1850, he was a farmer in DeWitt County and owned $2,080 in real property. Ten years later, he owned $8,000 in real property and $1,600 in personal property. His son, Nathan Barnett, ran for governor of Illinois on the Populist ticket in 1892.

U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), DeWitt County, IL, 420; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), DeWitt County, IL, 124; History of De Witt County Illinois (Chicago: Pioneer, 1910), 1:404-405, 406; The History of McLean County, Illinois (Chicago: Wm. Le Baron Jr., 1879), 201; History of DeWitt County, Illinois (Philadelphia, PA: W. R. Brink, 1882), 53, 59; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 209, 210, 218; Kentucky, County Marriage Records, 1783-1965 (Lehi, UT: Ancestry.com, 2016).