George Barrington and Sarah Abbott Pearson

George Barrington was the only son of Thomas Barrington and Elizabeth W. Townsend. Born April 8, 1841 in Knox County, Ohio, George moved with his parents and sister Ruth to West Branch, Cedar County, Iowa in 1854 and there received an education at the Quaker subscription schools organized by the Springdale Monthly Meeting on Downey Street. On reaching his majority, George worked at several occupations in West Branch, serving for a time as editor of the local newspaper and later as railroad station master after the A.T. & S.F. railroad was extended through the town.

On August 3, 1864 George married Sarah Abbott Pearson according to the Quaker custom at the LeGrand meeting house in LeGrand, Marshall County, Iowa. Sarah (who was probably called "Sally" after her grandmother Abbott), was the child of Robert Pearson and Mary Jones Abbott, and was born in Miami County, Ohio on August 1, 1845. Both parents had passed away while Sarah was still a young child, and in 1854 she and her three siblings made the trip with their grandfather John Abbott, step-grandmother Mary (Hanks) Abbott, and "Uncle Tommie" McCool, Mary's son by her first marriage, to LeGrand, where John and Tommie established a new farm and became charter members of the LeGrand Monthly Meeting.

Although John and Mary Abbott took physical charge of the grandchildren, legal guardianship rested in the hands of Thomas Haskett back in Miami County, Ohio. From time to time money would be disbursed from their account to pay for educational expenses, and there is at the Miami County Courthouse a packet containing little slips of paper signed by Sarah and her siblings acknowledging receipt of the monies.

If Sarah was living in LeGrand and George about 90 miles away in West Branch, then how then did they meet, fall in love, and marry? I don't know for sure, but very probably Sarah spent some of her summer vacations living with her Uncle Sam and Aunt Becky Abbott in West Branch. By the 1860s, the Samuel Abbotts were living on a farm about a half-mile east of town on the south side of Main Street, directly across from the Barringtons. There certainly was close contact between these families at this time, as slightly less than a year after George and Sarah married, George's sister Ruth married Sarah's cousin Abijah Judson Abbott, the second child of Samuel and Rebekah.

George and Sarah settled into married life in West Branch and there Sarah gave birth to three boys: William on September 22, 1866, John Abbott on November 9, 1867, and Herbert Daniel on February 9, 1871.

By 1875 the Barringtons had moved to Barclay, Osage County, Kansas, where a new Quaker settlement was forming, and purchased a farm. They became charter members of the new Barclay Monthly Meeting of Friends, and George became its first clerk. It was after the move to Barclay that Sarah gave birth to the couple's first female offspring, Mary E., on May 14, 1875. She was followed, on July 11, 1880, by their last child, Eva.

The little Quaker community at Barclay eventually included several of George and Sarah's close relatives -- Samuel and Rebekah Abbott moved there in about 1879, as did George's parents Thomas and Elizabeth Barrington. Also living nearby were Samuel and Rebekah's oldest son Calvin and his family. Calvin established himself as a builder, having formerly been in the business of manufacturing window sash, doors, and other wood architectural products in Muscatane, Iowa. Finally, there were Obed Folsom and family. Obed's wife Letitia (Townsend) was Elizabeth Barrington's youngest sister and was known to all as "Aunt Lettie." All eventually left Barclay except for George's mother, Elizabeth (who died there in 1883), and George and Sarah. George passed away in Barclay on December 24, 1912 at the age of 71, and Sarah on March 25, 1923 at the age of 78. They are buried side-by-side in Barclay Cemetery.