JOSEPH B. BARTO, farmer, sec. 20, Austin Tp., (P.O. Stanwood), was born in Lower Canada, March 1836. He is son of John and Beatrice (Covena) Barton, who were natives of France, and emigrated to this country, settling in Canada.
Mr. Barto commenced his single-handed contest with the world at the age of 15 years and worked as farm assistant until 17, when his father died, and he left the Dominion, joining his brother in New York, and there engaged winters in the lumber business, laboring summers on farms. He was married in Essex Co., N.Y., Aug. 9, 1856, to Matilda daughter of Isaac and Mary (Layno) Bennett, both of French descent. Mrs. Barto was born April 19, 1842, in Essex Co., N.Y. After their marriage they remained in the State of New York until 1872; Mr. Barto meanwhile engaged in lumbering. They removed to Michigan, where Mr. Barto was engaged in logging in Osceola County for one year, coming them to Big Rapids, where he stayed until 1874. He had purchased a farm of 80 acres in Austin Tp., of which he took possession, and now has 15 acres under improvement. Mr. Barto and his family are members of the Roman Catholic Church. He is a Republican and ardently devoted to the issues of the party. The French language is commonly spoken in the family and taught to the children, of whom seven survive, born as follows: Lewis, Sept. 7, 1857; Mary L., Nov. 25, 1862; Ida R., April 15, 1864; Flora E., Aug. 29, 1866; Robert L., Oct. 5, 1868; Frank E., March 5, 1874; Caroline M., Nov. 6, 1876. Five children are deceased; James, born Feb. 1859, deid March 2, 1859; Nelson born Dec. 30, 1860, died in infancy; Joseph born Dec. 18, 1871, died July 14, 1872; Francis, born Jan. 29, 1872, died Feb. 14, 1872; Frank, born Jan. 29, 1872, died Feb. 24, 1872. The last two were twins.