Bio: Barnum, M. H. (1834 - 1904)


Surnames: Barnum, Reynolds

----Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens, by Louis Marchetti, 1913.

Barnum, M. H. (14 March 1834 - 31 July 1904)

M. H. Barnum led a long and varied life. He was a native of Syracuse, New York, born March 14, 1834. After spending a little over a year in Rosendale, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, he came to Wausau in 1857, and for a while managed a mill boarding house. He conducted religious services in the Methodist church; was admitted to practice law and for a little over a decade practiced this, his profession, at the same time running the river, and at least on one occasion piloted out a fleet. He at one time had a furniture store and shop on McClellan Street. He left Wausau to look up another location, but returned after a short absence and edited the Wisconsin River Pilot for two years; then, in 1877, founded a paper of his own, The Torch of Liberty, of which he was the editor and manager until he sold it in 1894. It was first advocating the principles of the Greenback Party, but after a few years became a stalwart Republican newspaper. He enlisted in the Civil War from 1861 to December 2, 1862, serving in the Potomac Army; participated in the siege of Yorktown, the battle of Williamsburg, and the seven days' fighting before Richmond. About 1897 he took up a homestead in Vilas County and opened a summer resort on Lake Shishebogama, a short distance west from Minocqua. M. H. Barnum was a fluent speaker and his knowledge of the ways, feelings and manners of the pinery boys made him a valuable adjunct in the political battles in the ninth and later the tenth congressional district. He was married in New York December 6, 1854, to Phoeba T. Reynolds, who with their six children, Charles, Ada Gearhard, May Barry, William, Mark H., and Bessie, survives him. He died at Wausau July 31, 1904.



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