Thursday, October 29, 2020

Benjamin Franklin Barnhiser and Eliza Ann Jones Barnhiser of Chicago, Illinois

     Benjamin Franklin Barnhiser, son of John Barnhiser and Susannah Brown Barnhiser, was born in Carey, Wyandot County, Ohio on December 29, 1854.  This information was taken from Frank's death information.  The 1870 Ohio census puts his birth year at 1850-1850.  Biographical information regarding the family lists 1864 as the Barnhiser move from Seneca County to Carey as 1864. 


1870 Ohio Federal Census taken on July 19, 1870
Town of Carey, Wyandot County, Ohio

     The town of Carey had the The Cincinnati, Sandusky and Cleveland Rail Road which connected Sandusky, Ohio with Cincinnati, Ohio running through it which provided Frank and his brothers an opportunity for employment.  Frank, age nineteen, is listed as a railroad laborer not railroading.  The difference is that railroading is the action of traveling or working on the railroad as opposed to working on the tracks and maintenance.

     This is a scan of a 1879 map of the town of Carey showing the Barnhiser property and house on Mud Street.  John Barnhiser, Frank's father owned the property and at his death it transferred to Frank's older brothers, William Harrison Barnhiser and Thomas Jefferson Barnhiser.  Frank's mother, Susannah Brown Barnhiser lived there until her death.  

     It is important to mention that my search for Benjamin or Ben Barnhiser netted me nothing.  He went by the name of Frank Barnhiser on all documents that I have located to date.

     To date, Frank is MIA in the 1800 census.  Future records show that he removed to Chicago, Illinois and continued to work with the railroad.

     Frank Barnhiser, age 40, married in Chicago, Illinois, Eliza Tanier, age 38, on April 4, 1894.  Eliza had been married previously at least once and probably twice.  I have found no other marriage records for Frank.

1900 Illinois Federal Census taken on June 1, 1900
Chicago, Lake Township, Cook County, Illinois

     Frank Barnhiser, head, born December 1852, age 47, married six years, born in Ohio, employed as a switchman, rents a house at 7932 Normal Avenue.

     Eliza Barnhiser, wife, born October 1854, age 54, married six years, mother of 1 child, 1 still alive, born in Indiana.

     Eliza King, step daughter, born November 1883, single, born in Indiana.

NOTE:  Of interest, there is a King family enumerated directly under the Barnhiser family.  John W. King age 29, born in Indiana, employed as a switchman.  Is this a coincidence or a relation to Eliza Barnhiser's  ex husband and father of Eliza King, her daughter?


     The move between Normal Avenue and Vincennes Road was only a block away.  Frank may have been a switchman for the railroad tracks a block away from his house to the west.

1901 Chicago City Directory
     Frank Barnhiser, employed as a switchman, lives at 8039 Vincennes Road, Chicago, Illinois.

     Eliza Ann Jones Barnhiser died on March 23, 1910 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.  She was buried on March 25, 1910 in Osseo, Michigan.  The death record lists her father as Robert Johns and her mother as Phoebe Orcut Johns.  The 1860 Michigan census lists their surname as Jones and Eliza's mothers death certificate also lists Jones.

1910 Illinois Federal Census taken on April 29, 1910
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

     Frank Barnhiser, head, age 57, widower, owns his own coal business, is renting a house at 5053 Halstead Street. Chicago, Illinois.

     Halstead Street is quite a bit north of where Frank was living in 1901.  He may have moved to Halstead before his wife died.  His home is near the railroad yards.  He may have been selling coal to the railroads as well as households.

     To date, I have not located Frank's 1920 Census report.

1930 Michigan Census taken on April 2, 1930
Osseo Village, Jefferson Township, Hillsdale County, Michigan

     Frank Barnhiser, head, widower, owns his home, worth $1,000, proprietor of a pool room, is not a veteran.  The address of Frank's house or business is not given on the census report.  Perhaps he lives over the pool room.  Frank has moved to Osseo, the burial place of his wife.  Since I have not found a 1920 census, it is unknown when he moved to Michigan.

     With in the year, Frank Barnhiser moved back to Chicago, where he died on March 6, 1931.  He was buried on March 9, 1931 in East Hill Cemetery, Osseo, Hillside, Michigan, probably beside his wife, Eliza.  Death information as to the cemetery is incorrect.  There is no Oak Hill Cemetery in Osseo, Michigan.

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© 2020, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

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