Main Pioneer Menu  |   Profiles Index  |   Search Engine

George Hayes Barnett
Pioneer Northwest Gospel Preacher
By Charles Dailey - September 2004

George H. Barnett at a Glance:
Parents: Ephraim and Jane McClenahan Barnett
Born: 1829 in Shelby Co., Ohio
Married: Barbara Ellen Martz in 1850
Children: John Ephraim,
Anna Evangeline,
Clarence Livy
Traveled the Trail 1853
Relatives in the
travel party:
Son: John Ephraim Barnett
Parents: Ephraim and Jane Barnett
Uncle: George H. Barnett, Sr.
    (Jr. and Sr. were used to distinguish between uncles
   and nephews as well as fathers and sons.)

Brother: Robert Harvey Barnett
Brother: Paul John and Catherine Barnett
   with their children Henry Logan and Francis Hellen
Brother: Elijah McClenahan and Eleanor Barnett
   with their children Elijah Benjamin and David Wesley
Aunt: Adalade Martz, sister of Barbara Barnett
Primary trade: School teacher
Schools: Near Lebanon 1858 - 1859
Monmouth 1859 - 1863
Bethany (Silverton) 1864 - 1866
Bethel Academy (near Amity) 1866 - 1867
Monmouth 1870
Tygh Valley 1871
Died: November 10, 1898 at age 69.
Buried: George and Barbara are
buried in the IOOF Cemetery
in The Dalles, Oregon

George Barnett's father Ephraim was a farmer-preacher who came over the Oregon Trail when he was 56 years of age. George's mother Jane was 58. This was a demanding trip for these senior citizens. The family group settled near Lebanon, Oregon at a community that became known as Sand Ridge.

John Ephraim, Clarence,
George, Anna and Ellen

-- Courtesy of Clarence Charles Barnett, Yakima WA

Among the first projects at Sand Ridge was to establish a church. Most of the relatives had settled in this area so a church group was natural. They met in the home of Ephraim and Jane Barnett, but the organizational work was done by John Alkire Powell from the Albany area. This was 1855.
For more about John Powell, see his profile.
Ephraim and Jane finished their years at Sand Ridge and are burried in the Sand Ridge Cemetery.

George did some farm work and maybe some gold mining. By the fall of 1858, he was teaching school in the Lebanon area. It may have been the Sand Ridge School.

George Hays Barnett was next involved in teaching at the grade-school level in Monmouth. It was called the Monmouth Academy, a school of the lower grades.

It was here that Monmouth University had been established in 1856 with Judge J. W. Cowls as the teacher. In 1865 Levi Lindsay Rowland was selected as the first president and the University became simply Christian College.

For more about L. L. Rowland, see his profile.

Barbara Ellen and
George Hays Barnett

-- Courtesy of Clarence Charles Barnett,
Yakima WA

This pioneer teacher-preacher did not feel well enough to teach every year and took at least a year away from that work. He began to dream about moving to Eastern Oregon where the climate is drier than the Willamette Valley. He spoke about this plan among his friends.

George then taught for two years at Bethany, near Silverton. Following this, he went to Bethel, located about four miles south of Amity, Oregon.

According to Bethel historian John E. Smith, George Hays Barnett was the principal of Bethel Academy (grades and high school) during the 1866-1867 school year.

About 1871, Levi Lindsay Rowland sold his Eastern Oregon ranch located east of The Dalles to G. H. Barnett. George moved his family to this ranch at Dufur (once known as Fifteenmile because it was located on Fifteenmile Creek). It was while living here that son John Ephraim was married to Martha Ann Turner. John also taught school and was the first postmaster at Boyd, three miles away.

Historian Jerry Rushford says of G. H. Barnett and his lady, "They were living in Wasco County in the 1870's and 1880's. He was preaching for the Fifteen Mile Church in that county when the P. P. Underwood family arrived in 1878. Underwood shared the preaching responsibilities with Barnett."

In 1890, John Ephraim Barnett moved his family to The Dalles and the following year George Hays and Barbara Ellen Barnett followed, settling in a house at 325 East 11th Street.

George worked with John W. Jenkins to establish, first a Sunday School, then a church at Court and Ninth Street.
For more about John Jenkins, see his profile.

For more about The Dalles Christian Church, see their entry.
In her closing years, Barbara Ellen penned the following poem:;


Yes, old time has changed us,
   And silvered all our hair
And often in our weariness
   We seek the old arm chair.

And here we sit and ponder
   Of the happy days that's fled
And the dear and cherished ones
   That are numbered with the dead.

Yes, in this far-off clime
   Where the snow capped mountains rise
Tall in their very grandeur
   They seem reaching to the skies.

We missed our dear old friends
   Ah, more than tongue can tell
Yet still we trust the Father
   For he doeth all things well.
          -- Barbara Ellen Barnett

The Barnetts are buried in the IOOF Cemetery at The Dalles, Oregon. These headstones were located and photographed by Dennis Radford, as a public service. We do thank him for this.

Barbara Barnett George Hayes Barnett
Under the hand: In my father's
house are many mansions.
At the base: Asleep in Jesus.

Main Pioneer Menu  |   Profiles Index  |   Search Engine