STEPHEN D. BARNUM, farmer, section 33, Ashland Township, was born in Hector, Schuyler Co., N.Y., July 29, 1829. His parents, Czar and Margaret (Geman) Barnum, were natives respectively of Connecticut and New York, and were of mixed Scotch, French and German ancestry. In 1839 they located on a farm in Lenawee Co., Mich., where Stephen attained to the age of 19 years, attending the district school and working on his father's farm.
Mr. Barnum early resolved to obtain as good a degree of education as was in his power. In 1848 he set out to accomplish his plans and engaged as a farm laborer. He was industrious and economical, saving his earnings to secure his education, and attended the High School at Tecumseh, Lenawee County, where he studied two years. He put his stock of learning to practical use in teaching, which profession he followed until 1855. The confinement of the school-room shattered his health, and he was compelled to abandon his favorite pursuit and seek the woods of Northern Michigan. He came to Newaygo County and located on 80 acres of land in Ashland Township. The place was in its original state, and since he has been its proprietor he has devoted his best energies to its improvement and has placed 50 acres in the best condition for succesful farming.
Mr. Barnum was married Aug. 19, 1855, in Muskegon County to Roby A., daughter of Michael and Hannah (Carpenter) Kriger, natives of Massachusetts and New York respectively. The daughter was born in Angola, Ind., July 16, 1840. Her parents settled in Hillsdale Co., Mich., when she was in infancy, and afterward removed to Casnovia, Muskegon County, where she resided until her marriage.
Mr. and Mrs. Barnum have been the parents of six children, two only of whom survive: Ai, born April 11, 1857, and Adella, March 23, 1869. Adelsia was born April 16, 1860, and died Nov. 29, in the same year; Almond, born Dec. 6, 1862, died March 25, 1863; Arthur, born Jul 11, 1871, died Sept. 21, 1873; Decatur, born Aug. 18, 1873, died March 6, 1874.
Mr. Barnum is a zealous and active Democrat. He has been School Inspector ten years, Justice of the Peace, 12 years, and Superintendent of Schools several terms. He is also Clerk of the Baptist Socity, of which Church himself and wife are members.