Samuel L. Barney, one of the pioneer settlers is the only surviving white man who passed the memorable winter of 1847-48 at Marquette. He was born in the Western Reserve, Lake County, Ohio, on August 6, 1829, and comes of Welsh and English ancestry. His father was Ariel N. Barney, who was born in Essex County, New York, and settled in Ohio about 1814.
Ariel N. Barney was an iron maker and engaged in that business in Ohio. He was attracted by the discovery of valuable ore land in the Northern Peninsula of Michigan, and arrived at what is now Marquette, July 7, 1847. The immediate reason of his coming was to build a forge for the manufacture of bloom iron, and, in association with his son, our subject, he built the first forge in the Northern Peninsula, and together they carried on the business for three years. Then Mr. Barney engaged in hotel keeping. He was a man of education and intelligence, and before the country was much settled and just after the organization of the county and township, he was of the greatest use to the community in intelligently filling various necessary offices. He died in 1876, in his 70th year.
Samuel L. Barney has been more or less associated with the various mining enterprises of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan for many years. He has also served in various official capacities, and for 13 years was keeper of the Marquette County Poor Farm.
In 1850 Mr. Barney was united in marriage with Annie Eliza Caldwell, who is a daughter of Abijah Caldwell, a farmer of Lake County, Ohio. A family of seven children have been born to them, as follows: Estella, born May 14, 1851, who married David Campau, of Marquette, and they have had a family of 11 children, seven of these still surviving; Florence Amelia, who died at the age of 11 months; Albert N., born in 1857, who now resides in Montana, where he is engaged in farming; Emma, born in 1859, who married George Trethewey, engineer of the stamp mill at Beacon Hill, Houghton County, Michigan; Frank C., born in 1860, who died September 16, 1901; Don F., born in 1862, who is station agent at Chatham, Alger County, Michigan; and Charity, born August 11, 1864, who married James F. Todd, who died February 16, 1899.
In religious belief Mr. Barney is a Methodist, while Mrs. Barney is a Baptist.