Monday, July 6, 2009

Featured Manuscript Collection: July/August

Barnett Family Collection
MSS 07-52

Finding Aid

Rent Contract on Highway Sign-Board, October 19, 1936.
Location in collection: Series I, Box 7, File 11.

Brothers Ira N. II, Charles A. and James F. Barnett, sons of Ira Barnett I and Mary Louise Simpson Barnett of Sharp County, Akansas, formed the family’s first business in Batesville at the end of the 19th century. The brothers first worked at the general store owned by their uncle, R.D. Williams, and in 1895 they bought him out. In 1903 they incorporated Barnett Brothers Mercantile. They remained in business at the same location until 1988, when the Barnett Department Store closed.

In addition to the general merchandise store, the Barnett Brothers, a designation maintained by the family through four generations, operated a number of other businesses in Batesville and Independence County over the years. These included retail and wholesale grocery and dry goods stores, a farm supply store, and farm equipment distributorship.

Mail order for cement, August 6, 1926.
Location in collection: Series I, Box 5, File 14.

Christmas gift certificate, 1959 (cashed 1960).
Location in collection: Series I, Box 7, Item 13.

The Barnett Brothers partnership, along with individual family members, were also active in real estate, lumber, farming and banking enterprises. They served on the boards of various community improvement efforts, such as the Curia Drainage District, and were active in First Methodist Church of Batesville.

The Barnett family collection contains business records, documents and correspondence dating from 1879 to 1988.
The earliest documents, journals and ledgers pertain to the operation of the R.D. Williams Mercantile, continuing with similar records for Barnett Brothers Mercantile and the other Barnett family enterprises. Documents include records of land transactions, crop mortgages, account collections, land development, timber industry, and both individual and corporate income taxes.

Image to Left: Balance sheet, January 1, 1926. Location in collection: Series I, Box 1, File 45.

This information is taken from the finding aid. This collection was processed by Carolyn Cash and Shirley Schuette, Manuscripts Department.


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