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Obed Barnard

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City:
Last known State:
Start/Birth date: 1871
Death/End date:

This subject was born circa 1811, in North Carolina, the son of Shubael and Lydia Macy. He was
of the 7th generation of the “Nantucket” Barnards. His wife’s name was Minerva Lamston. O.M.
Barnard appears in Portland in the 1870 Census as 59 years old, and a saddler of East Portland.
This area is now recognized as any area east of the Willamette River. Federal records tell us that
the business in 1870 had only one employee, produced 200 [?] saddles in the prior 12 months, for
a total of $10,000.
A excerpt from a Fulton County, Indiana newspaper notes that in 1871:
PLYMOUTH. ... O. M. BARNARD, for many years a resident, and for four years sheriff of this
county, is now here on a visit to members of his family, and old friends. He resides at East
Portland, Oregon...
So it would appear that he was a distinguished resident of Plymouth, the County Seat of
Marshall County, Indiana where he was sheriff November 12, 1858, to November 12, 1862.
O.M. Barnard & McDevitt were listed as saddlers in East Portland in 1872 and 1873, and Barnard
alone as a saddler and harness maker at Fourth St., between I and J; residing at the same location
in 1874. He lost his wife before 1880. Barnard obtained 160 acres of land in the vicinity of present
day N.E. Brazee, Fremont, 82nd, and 92nd, from one Joel Welch who had enlisted with the “Oregon
Volunteers” for the Cayuse Wars of 1847-48. Mr. Welch obtained a Military Land Warrant, which
he sold to Barnard, rather than settle on it. Barnard sold the land in 1878. Through a series of
land transactions, Obed Barnard obtained another 160 acres in the same vicinity, in 1870, that was
originally issued as a Military Warrant to an Isaac Street. To be sure, O.M. Barnard made a
healthy profit, before departing for Washington.
Thomas F.B. McDevitt was born 1843, in Massachusetts. He was a veteran of the Civil War, being
a saddler private in Co. A, 1st Mass. Cavalry. 2 He enlisted 17 Aug. 1862, and was discharged 17
Feb. 1864. He was awarded an CW disability pension, for injuries to the left hip joint, and the
abdomen. The payment was for $4 per month, commencing in August 1864. Perhaps he learned
saddlery in his time with the Cavalry, but in 1870 he was working as a carriage trimmer in
Portland. He married Catherine Riley, 14 April 1873, in Multnomah County.
As we have seen above, he worked as a partner with O.M. Barnard in the harness and saddle
business from at least 1872 until at least 1873. By 1880, he had returned to being a carriage
trimmer, probably with his father. One of the most surprising of events occurred upon finding
Thomas McDevitt listed in 1900 as a lawyer, with two grown children in the household. In 1920,
he was a circuit court clerk.
2 The 1st Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry was formed September 3, 1861. They were organized into a regiment of
twelve companies. The men were mustered in on various dates from September 12 to October 31, 1861. In the late
summer of 1862, they were attached to the Army of the Potomac. In January 1863, the regiment participated in Burnside’s
"Mud March," then returned to Potomac Creek and went into winter quarters. In February, 1863, the Cavalry Corps was
reorganized, the 1st Massachusetts becoming a part of Duffie’s 1st Brigade, Averill’s 2nd Division. Its first major
engagement in the spring of 1863 was Kelly’s Ford, fought March 17. At Brandy Station, June 9, it was engaged with loss.
At Gettysburg the 1st Mass. Cavalry was not in action. All through the trying experiences of the summer and fall of 1863
the regiment had formed a part of the 1st Brigade of Gregg’s 2nd Division, Cavalry Corps. On October 25, 1864 the
original members who had not re-enlisted were discharged, and the regiment was reduced to a battalion of seven
companies. Arriving at Readville, Massachusetts June 29 1865, the men were furloughed until July 18 when they
reassembled, paid off and disbanded.
Barnard stayed at his trade in Portland for many years, probably until about 1886, when THE
OREGONIAN reported the following: August 12, 1886
Hon. O. M. Barnard, a former resident of this city, now of LaCenter, W.T., came up yesterday on
a short visit to his daughter, Mrs. Westervelt.
Probably printed after his departure , the City Directory for East Portland listed Barnard as a
“Harness maker” in 1887 on L St., between 1st and 2nd.
[No maker marks are known by the author from either saddler ]
[O.M. Barnard was in business from circa 1869-1886, and with McDevitt 1872-1873]
Barnard Family Publications, compilation of several issues, including the Nantucket Barnards- Genealogical Forum of Oregon
History of Marshall County [Indiana], online 1874 East Portland City Directory
The Oregonian -- News from East Portland [© 2000-8, Larry Sullivan]
City Directories for Portland, Oregon, 1863- 1887
1880 Federal Census, for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland
1900 and 1920 Federal Census, for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland- McDevitt
1890 Veterans Federal Census, Oregon E.D. 115, Line 5- McDevitt
Multnomah County Marriage records, Book 3, page 2- McDevitt/Riley
Federal Mortality Schedule 1870, Portland, Oregon, with Special Agricultural and Industrial Census.
Microfilm, Genealogical Forum of Oregon.

Research by Richard and Dorothy Egan


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