Betsy Barnett

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Garrard Co. Order Book b, p. 254:

Aug. 1818: "Ordered that Betsy Barnett be appt guardian of Charity, Susannah, William & Eleaxer E. Barnett Orphan of Eleaser Barnett Dec cd. Whereupong she together with Robert Robertson and Ishw Craig her Security ?? and Ackd Their Bond in the Peralty of six Thousand Dollars -----

Story about Betsy Woodson Barnett Denton Fowler

It has taken me a long time to find the name of the book that the following came from - thanks to Jo T.,
I now have it:  JOURNEY ACROSS AMERICA . . . . THE TEXAS DENTONS, 1630-1931, Skipper Steele,   pp. 151-156


"Betsy had not particularly experienced a happy family life in her 28 years. Her father & mother were dead by 1799. Betsy, her brothers & sisters, other than Judity, were left as wards to Eleaser Barnett & his wife. The Barnetts may have been neighbors to the Woodsons, on a branch of Dick's River in Garrard Co., KY. When old Edward Barnett died, he left his land to his two sons bordering on Shelton's & Spring Branches. Eddy & Eleaser already claimed homes on their specific portions of this land and continued to reside in the county.

Eleaser was in his second marriage - marrying 16-yr-old Betsy in 1807. Betsy was immediately a mother to Eleaser's children by his first wife. However, most likely several of them were almost as old as Betsy! She also became the guardian for Eddy's four children after he died about 1815.

Then Eleaser abruptly died about 1816, bringing more sorrow and more responsibility to Betsy's daily life. Fortunately, in less than two years, she fell in love with Thomas J. Denton, probably a widower himself. Betsy by then had possibly two children of her own, Eli, about 9 yrs. old and maybe another son. She also was still the mother for Eddy Barnett's four young children.

She must have leaped at the chance to leave Kentucky and seek out a new life. She and Thomas Denton loaded up their belongings and traveled toward the Cumberland River where they apparently joined the Jesse Burnam party heading to Pecan Point (in Arkansas). Maybe word had spread along the Cumberland of the success the Wrights had after they left Carthage, Tennessee in March, 1816.

When Thomas and Betsy arrived at Pecan Point, they found plenty of land available from which to choose. It made the trip through the vast log jam called the Great Raft worth the effort. Settlers like William Stiles, Cornelius Brown, John Hopkins Fowler, his brother, Wiley, Jacob Barkman, Caleb Greenwood, Charles Burkham and others had begun to spread out from the Kiamichi River mouth eastward toward the Great Bend, constructing improvements on both sides of the Red River.

Thomas had first settled just opposite the mouth of Pecan Bayou in what became Oklahoma. The area is now marked by a historical plaque on the Oklahoma side, 20 miles southeast of Idabel.

Shortly after 1823, Thomas & Betsy moved with several others ----    p. 155

Since Betsy signed Territorial petitions, it is assumed that she handled the duties admirably, gaining a reputation for her work and reliance. She married Miller County's postmaster, John Fowler, about 13 Dec 1825.

Fowler assisted Betsy with completion of the estate settlements for Thomas and John Denton. The Arkansas Gazette was the closest newspaper, located up in Little Rock. Two ads were placed in the pages on April 11, 1826 for final settlement of their estates.

Betsy is possibly buried in the Shawneetown Cemetery or somewhere near Jonesborough."

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