George Barney and Freeland T. Barney were both sons of Mr. and Mrs. Throop Barney. Another brother, Charles Barney, died during the cholera epidemic of 1849. Both George and Freeland T. Barney were well known pioneer businessmen in Sandusky, Ohio.
George Barney was born in the state of New York in 1814. In 1842 George married Caroline Stebbins Lawrence in Michigan. After residing for a a time in Milan, Ohio, George and Caroline Barney moved to Sandusky in 1855. By 1860, George Barney was a member of the firm, Horning, Pringle and Company, which was a brass foundry and machine shop. Later, Barney and his son, George L. Barney, ran a hardware store in the Hubbard Block of Sandusky. From about 1869 to 1888, George Barney and Joseph F. Kilby were the proprietors of Barney & Kilby, a machine works and foundry. According to the Sandusky City Directory, Barney & Kilby manufactured stationary and portable engines, rolling mill machinery, circular saw mills, woodworking machinery, and mill furnishings.
George Barney was also vice president of the People’s Electric Railway and the Sandusky Savings Bank. Mrs. Caroline Barney died in 1891, and George Barney died in 1898. They were buried in the Barney family lot at Oakland Cemetery. An obituary which appeared in the November 19, 1898 issue of the Sandusky Star stated about George Barney, that he for years he was one of Sandusky’s “most substantial and progressive businessmen.”
Freeland T. Barney was born in New York in 1805. He married Mary Moore in 1836, and moved with his new wife to Sandusky, Ohio. In the 1860 Sandusky City Directory, F.T. Barney was associated with three different businesses: Barney and Barber, which was a dock and warehouse; Barney and Cowdery, a hardware store; and the banking company of Barney, Hubbard and Durbin. By 1867 the hardware store was known as Barney and Ferris, operated by F.T. Barney and B. F. Ferris. Freeland T. Barney was known as the “father” of the Sandusky Wheel Company. In its day it the Sandusky Wheel Company was one of Sandusky’s largest factories, and employed many local residents.
Freeland T. Barney died on September 9, 1875. An obituary which appeared in the Sandusky Register on September 13, 1875 reported that the Rev. W. W. Farr, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, gave a fitting tribute to F.T. Barney, “who fulfilled his mission well and whose days were crowned with the honors of the good and successful business man.” F.T. Barney was buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetry. To read more about the Barney family and other pioneer families of Sandusky and Erie County, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.