Birth: 12 March 1832 Springfield Township, Sangamon, Illinois, US
Death: 7 December 1904 Monroe, Sevier, Utah, US
Burial: 9 December 1904 Monroe City Cemetery, Monroe, Sevier, Utah, US
Father: Charles Barney
Mother: Deborah Riffle
Benjamin Franklin Barney, the first son of Charles and Deborah Riffle (Street) Barney, was born at Lake Fort, Springfield, Illinois, on March 12, 1832. The other members of this family are two brothers Thomas Jefferson (who was killed by the Indians) and Wm. Streeter (drug to death by a horse at Spring City, Utah) and five sisters, Emmerine, Elizabeth (Betsy) Louiza (died when an infant) Margaret and Sarah Jane. There are also six half-brothers and one half-sister by Charles and first wife, Mercy Yoeman–Luther, Lewis, Lusian, Henry, Walter John and Milinda (the mother passed away at time of her birth).
Benjamin first married Caroline Beard-Tippits (a widow) April 27, 1849, at Springfield, Illinois. Nine children were born to this union namely Benjamin Kimball, Laura Allie, Wm. Franklin, Erastus James, Joseph, Charles, Francis Marion, Alma and Ephraim.
The 2nd wife, Prisilla Shepherd, (daughter of Moses and Eliza Shepherd) were married April 7, 1857, at the office of Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, Utah. Fifteen children born to this union Prisilla Jane, Banjamin, Thomas Jefferson, Eldora, Joseph, George Washington, May, Jacob, Margaret Mitilda, Eveline, Eliza, Ammon, Arletta, Joshua and Moses Shepherd.
Benjamin married Caroline (Karen) Nielsen the daughter of James & Boel Nielsen from Roskilde, Denmark, on December 7, 1865. Caroline joined the church in Denmark and was baptized in the middle of the night due to her father’s bitterness to the Mormons. She set sail for America April 15, 1862, and arrived in New York May 29, 1862, with 413 other emigrants. She walked most of the way crossing the plains arriving in Salt Lake City Sept. 24, 1862. Ten children were born to this union, namely Nancy, David, Nephi, Sarah Jane, Estella, Don Carlos Smith, Moroni, Elias, Edgar and Lushion.
All of Benjamin’s children except for his first two from his first marriage were born in Utah. Benjamin Kimball was born at Council Bluffs, Iowa, (died) and Laura Allie at Mostquite Creek, Pottowtamie Co. (died). What a sad thing for this courageous mother who had left the comforts of a home to be exposed to all kinds of trials our wonderful pioneer women experienced in staying to their faith.
The three families all lived at Lake Shore until the year 1873, when Brigham Young called on Benjamin to go and help settle Sevier Co, where the Indians were on the rampage most of the time and had driven the saints out several times. Caroline and her seven sons, the eldest one 17 and the youngest one 5 years of age, remained with their home at Lake Shore. Prisilla with her eight children and Caroline with her three left to fulfill Benjamin’s calling.
These two families first lived at Annabella, a few miles north of Monroe, their home being only a dug-out and a small amount of ground to plant a little corn to supply them with most of their food (Corn Bread). They lived but a short time here and then built a one-room house in Monroe and lived there until 1879 when a considerable amount of land was made available for them to improve upon about 3 miles north west of Monroe and about the same distance south of Elsinore, Utah. (Now known as Brooklyn.)
What an undertaking, land that had to be cultivated with irrigation problems and no place to live so a shack was put up without any windows or doors. With Prisilla’s two eldest sons, one 16 and the other one 10, and Caroline’s eldest son age 11 and the other 9, they planted corn, grain, and etc., including shade trees, fruit trees, and all the small fruits. They had a few sheep and pigs and Caroline with her loom wove material enough to buy their first cow and she always had a few chickens and ducks.
In 1882 a one-room log house was built with a dirt roof, two windows and a fireplace which was used for cooking for a number of years. A large wood box was made on one side of the fireplace and a board covering that was used for a sitting place. On the other side, a large shelf was put high up between the fireplace and wall. Here the Bible, Book of Mormon and records and recordings were place. Uncle Lews did all the recordings of these records.
Several years later two more rooms were built fifty yards from the first room which gave Caroline a kitchen and another bed room. She and Benjamin used the first room as their bed room and entertaining company with two rocking chairs in front of the fireplace. The cooking now was done on a stove in the new kitchen.
Prisilla had her log house just one-half mile from Caroline’s house.
Benjamin had a serious condition with his legs and hip which made his walking very difficult. When it became so bad, he would have one of his sons drive the team while he sat in the rear of his wagon or buggy and scattered the seed.
Benjamin had a close relationship with his parents, brothers, and sisters as well as his half-brothers and their families. His sons at times would take him to visit Caroline and the boys at Lake Shore. It would be a long drive with team and wagon so the visits wouldn’t be as often as he would have liked.
The boys and girls from the two families were all good ear playing musicians and furnished music and entertainment for the dances for all the surroundings communities for many years, and many of the grandchildren and great grandchildren are following the same line.
Benjamin lived most of his remaining years at his home with Caroline due to his serious and painful health problems and Caroline had better health and strength to care for him.
Whenever there was illness among any of the families, neighbors, or friends, they would call on Benjamin to bless them. His great faith and kindnesses was admired so much by those who knew him. He knew the full meaning of trials, tribulations and suffering. After many weeks of his last suffering, part of his toes dropped off from infection. He passed away December 7th, 1904, at his home and was laid to rest at Monroe, Utah.
All who can claim a relationship to this great character should be proud to follow his example of kindness, patience, and long suffering and faith in his maker.
Written by Ella Anderton Hoover, granddaughter Re-typed by Monica Durfee Anderson, great-granddaughter, 2014