©Barlow Genealogy 1998-2006

Thomas Harris Barlow  and Keziah West

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Generation 4   (Thomas Barlow and Elizabeth Carlton / Jane family)
THOMAS HARRIS4 BARLOW (William3, Thomas2, Thomas1) the son of William Henry Harrison Barlow and Sarah Elizabeth Kimbrough, was born 05 August 1789 in Nicholas Co Kentucky and died 22 February 1865 in Cincinnati Ohio.

He married KEZIAH WEST on 28 March 1816 in Nicholas Co Kentucky
The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume I    A. Barnard, Charles
Thomas Harris Barlow     August 05, 1789 - February 22, 1865

Thomas Harris Barlow, inventor, was born in Nicholas County, Kentucky, August 05, 1789. He was of limited education.

He built a steamboat at Augusta, Tennessee, about 1820, and in 1827 constructed a miniature steam locomotive, with car attached, to carry two passengers and with power to ascend a grade of eighty feet to the mile. He operated it in a room on an oval track, the first Western railway train in America. In 1835 he constructed a large locomotive with two upright cylinders and lever beams, both engines attached to one axle with crooks at right angles, and upright boilers. This he expected to run from Lexington to Frankfort, but owing to the peculiar construction of the rails, it was abandoned. In 1845, while teaching his grandchildren the motion of the heavenly bodies, he conceived the idea of a small planetarium. After three years of patient labor the instrument was finished, and sold to Girard College, Philadelphia. Others were soon constructed, and one was exhibited at the World's Fair in New York, in 1851, and sold for two thousand dollars. West Point Military Academy bought one of larger size, as did Annapolis Naval Academy, and one was sent to New Orleans. It is one of the most exact and remarkable machines ever invented, showing the motions of the solar system, the dates of the eclipses, and of the transit of Mercury and Venus.

In 1855 he obtained a patent for a rifled cannon, which, being tested at the Washington Navy Yard, developed remarkable accuracy and range. Previous to this, he invented an automatic nail and tack machine.

He died in Cincinnati, Ohio, February 22, 1865.
Children of Thomas Barlow and Keziah West are:
+ i.
MILTON KIRTLEY5 BARLOW, born 06 February 1818 in Flemingsburg, Fleming Co Kentucky, and died 17 April 1921, Fleming Co Kentucky, burial in Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette Co Kentucky.
ELIZABETH / ELIZA H. BARLOW, born 1820-21.  She married JAMES MADISON BARLOW on 24 June 1835, (IGI) and filed for divorce 06 January 1849. She is not on the census with Thomas in 1840, and in 1850, living with her parents in Milton's home, her age shown as 21, but should be 31.   -Click on James for his family genealogy-
Generation 5
MILTON KIRTLEY5 BARLOW (Thomas4, William3, Thomas2, Thomas1) was born 06 February 1818 in Flemingsburg, Fleming Co Kentucky, and died 27 April 1921 in Flemingsburg, Fleming Co Kentucky, burial in Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette Co Kentucky. 

He married ANASTASIA CATHERINE THOMPSON, daughter of Lewis Thompson on 29 May 1846 in Lexington, Fayette Co Kentucky, book 5 page 23
- the biographical sketch below shows the date to be 20 May 1845 -- had nine children, of whom seven are living --
Dst 2, Fayette Co Kentucky     26 July 1850  pg 199  #16/18      Census Image
Milton Barlow, age 33, machinist, born in Kentucky
Anastasia Barlow, age 24, born in Kentucky
Margaret Barlow, age 3, born in Kentucky
Virginia, age 4 mo, born in Kentucky
Anson Wheeler, black, 18, born in Kentucky
Thos. H. Barlow, age 59, machinist, born in Kentucky
Keziah Barlow, age 51, born in Kentucky
Eliza H. Barlow, age 21, born in Kentucky
Elizabeth Barlow, age 11, born in Kentucky
William Barlow, age 9, born in Kentucky
Milton Barlow, age 7, born in Kentucky
Mary Barlow, age 4, born in Kentucky
14 others living in the home, mostly cabinetmakers.
Apparently living in Midway, Woodford Co Kentucky in 1860, though I could not locate them in any census records.
Richmond, Madison Co Kentucky   01 June 1870   pg 258   #22/22
Census Image 1 Census Image 2
Milton Barlow, age 53, flour miller, $14000/500, born in Kentucky
Anastasia Barlow, age __, born in Kentucky
Virginia Barlow, age 19, no occupation, born in Kentucky
Florence Barlow, age 16, at school, born in Kentucky
Milton Barlow, age 14, at school, born in Kentucky
Carrie Barlow, age 12, at school, born in Kentucky
Richard Barlow, age 9, at school, born in Kentucky
Robert E. Barlow, age 3, at home, born in Kentucky
Richmond, Madison Co Kentucky  08 June 1880   pg 357 #168/174  Census Image
Milton Barlow, age 62, miller, born in Kentucky
Annie Barlow, wife, age 50, born in Kentucky
Florence Barlow, daughter, age 36, born in Kentucky
Richard Barlow, son, age 18, born in Kentucky
Robert Barlow, son, age 13, born in Kentucky
Louisa Barlow, daughter, age 7, born in Kentucky
+ 3 black people, cook and laborers
The only member of the family I located after 1880 was Florence in 1900.  Nothing further after that for any of the members of this family.
From Find-a-Grave / Bio by: Tracy  

Inventor. Invented and built the first planetarium with the assistance of his father, Thomas, which they sold in 1944 to Girard College. In 1851, the father/son team built a planetarium that was exhibited at the New York World's Fair. He also served in the Confederate Army as Captain of Ordinance under Generals John H. Morgan and Abraham Buford.

Inscription: CSA. Son of Thos. and Kezia West Barlow. Kentucky's two greatest inventors.
Click thumbnail to enlarge>>
Milton K. Barlow Tombstone
Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin
Madison County, Kentucky 4th Edition - 1887

MILTON BARLOW was born at Flemingsburg, Fleming County Kentucky February 6, 1818. The family to which he belongs is of French origin having left France with the Huguenots, after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and settled first in England, coming thence to America at an early period.

His grandfather, William Henry Harris Barlow, resided at Lynchburg Virginia, and immigrated to Kentucky from that State with the earliest settlers. He located near Millersburg, in Nicholas County where he took up a large tract of land, and erected a block-house. He was surrounded by hostile savages, and his primitive dwelling was often used as a citadel of defense against their attacks.

He married Elizabeth Kimbrough, daughter of another early settler in that locality, and had a family of seven children, of whom the sons were Samuel, William, James, Thomas H., John and Harrison. Betsey became the wife of Lawson Bell, and Sarah of his brother, Hosea Bell.

Thomas H. Barlow was the father of Milton, and was born in the year 1787. He was reared upon his father's farm, and in early life enlisted in Johnson's Regiment during the War of 1812-15 being present at the battle of the Thames.

Thomas H. Barlow, Artificer Johnson's Regiment, Mounted, Kentucky Volunteers

He subsequently engaged in farming and being possessed of great mechanical ingenuity and skill turned his attention to the building of steam mills and at Augusta, Kentucky, built a steamboat. He erected a steam mill at Cynthiana, Kentucky and later established a foundry and machine shop at Lexington where he chiefly manu- factured saw mill machinery and steam engines. He made the machinery for the Red River furnace, and in May 1826, exhibited at Lexington a small locomotive which he had designed and made from his own model without having seen one. About the year 1838 he built a steam mill in Lincoln County, which he operated for a time in conjunction with his son Milton, and later returned to Lexington where he engaged successfully in the preparation of hemp for naval rope making purposes, his son being also associated in this enterprise. Soon after he began work upon an instrument, afterward called a planetarium, which was an ingenious mechanical device, designed to illustrate, in a practical way, the motions of the heavenly bodies and showing the relation which they sustained to each other at different seasons of the year, as well as to the sun and moon.

After three years of study and experiment assisted by Mr. Van Dalsem Professor Dodd, president of the University, and his son, to whom its mechanical construction and perfection was assigned, the instrument was completed, and pronounced a wonderful invention by those public educators of the country to whom it was shown. It was adopted by the United States Congress for West Point and Annapolis Academies for which a complimentary prize of $4,000 was paid. New Orleans, Mississippi University, St. Louis and Washington Lee Universities and many other leading institutions of learning of this country were supplied with fine planetariums prior to the late war which suspended the manufactory.

In 1843, father and son conceived the idea of building a rifle cannon, and after careful experiments completed it, and procured a patent on it in January, 1855. On August 30, 1856, an appropriation of $3,000 was made by Congress to furnish a gun to the Government which was tested, accepted, and the patent adopted for general use.

Thomas H. Barlow died in Cincinnati near the close of the late Civil War. He was pre-eminently a man of genius and great usefulness, and left the impress of his intellectual strength upon the men and institutions of his time.

His wife was Keziah West, and his children, Milton, Samuel and Elizabeth.

Milton Barlow at the age of twelve years was set to work in his father's shop. When about fourteen years of age he manufactured a low pressure steam engine with glass air pump and condenser for Reverend Benjamin O. Pears, who was the head of an excellent private school in Lexington, and by way of payment received $150 and three sessions of schooling.

Upon the breaking out of the war between Texas and Mexico, he enlisted under General Gaines in Captain Carter's Company at Lexington, Kentucky -for Fort Sabine-, the expedition for the protection of our southwestern frontier; and upon the disbandment of his regiment returned home by way of New Orleans as a river engineer.

>He subsequently worked in the machine shop of Bridgeford & Hanson at Louisville, then engaged in milling in Lincoln County with his father, and finally manufactured silver-ware in Lexington for several years.

He was the operative constructor of the planetarium, to which reference has been made, and prior to the opening of the war engaged in its manufacture at Lexington, disposing of readily of eighty-two of them in the United States. He exhibited it at the great Crystal Palace exhibition in New York in 1855. The breaking out of the Civil War sadly disarranged all of his plans.

Being opposed to both secession and coercion it was his intention to remain neutral, but having been placed under arrest by the Federal authorities in Lexington, and subjected to indignities, he espoused the cause of the South, and served in the Confederate Army, first under General Abe Beauford, and later as captain of ordinance under Morgan. After the close of the war he resumed his residence in Kentucky.

Milton Barlow, or M.H. Barlow, Private, Co H 2nd KY Infantry, enlisted Sep 02 1861 at Camp Boone, transferred to Morgan's Cavalry; Lieutenant, Ordinance Officer on Buford's Staff, Duke's Staff and Morgan's Staff

The planetarium was selected by the Kentucky Legislature as Kentuckys most suitable contribution to the International Exhibition at Paris, France in 1867 contributing $1500 to defray expenses, etc.. During the exposition, Mr. Barlow visited France, patented the planetarium and caused a manufactury to be established in Paris. At the close of the exhibition the planetarium was awarded the highest premium given to any illustrative apparatus. Thus Kentucky has furnished the world with the best illustrative astronomical apparatus. Returning to the United States, Mr. Barlow located at Richmond, Kentucky, where he built a residence and a large flouring mill, which he is now successfully operating.

He inherited his father's inventive genius, and has always been engaged in the conception or manufacture of some mechanical contrivance. He recently petitioned Congress to allow him to make a large gun for the Government coast-defense, to demonstrate the advantages of a new improvement he has designed, and which he thinks will prove efficacious against any ship that can be sent against us.

Mr. Barlow was married on May 20, 1845, to Anastasia C. Thompson, daughter of Lewis A. Thompson, of Lexington, Kentucky, and has had nine children, of whom seven are living, viz: Margaret, Virginia, Carrie, Milton V., Richard A., Robert E. Lee, and Florence Barlow.

See also:
Children of Milton Barlow and Anastasia Thompson are:
i. MARGARET6 BARLOW, born c1847
ii. VIRGINIA BARLOW, born cApril 1850
THOMAS B. BARLOW, born c1852.  Obituaries and Death Notices in Woodford [Co Kentucky] Pennant 1860-1861, contributed by Charles O. Sanders:  Thomas B. Barlow.  DIED.  At Midway, in this county, on the 1st instant, Thomas B., son of Milton and Anastasia Barlow, aged 8 years, 10 months, and 5 days.
FLORENCE BARLOW, born May 1854, according to the 1900 census of Jefferson Co Kentucky, where she is a boarder in the E.B. Green home.   Census Image    Apparently never married.  
ix. LOUISA BARLOW, apparently died young
Housed in the Wisconsin State Historical Society

Kent Barlow has transcribed for us, the following pages referring to Barlows found within these volumes.

Note: the initials LCD are for Lyman Copeland Draper

Volume 11 CC, pages 201 & 202

Mr. Barlow -- inventor of various things--Planetarium, & native of Nicholas County, Kentucky: has always lived in this state, came to Lexington about 30 years ago.

When a youth, his father taught him with his brothers and sisters (if any) orally, the principles of astronomy, explaining to them the order and motions of the bodies in the solar system. When 12 years of age, he went to school in Nicholas County, to a Mr. Geoghagan (Gohagan). Mr. G. was explaining to the scholars how the earth went round the sun, revolving on its own axis. He held a representation of the earth, with the poles horizontal, and remarked that it was immaterial how it was held, as there was no up and down in space. Not so, Mr. G., exclaimed young Barlow, but this way -- and went to show that the poles of the earth had always the same relative position. After school, the teacher took (drew) my scholar to one side, and asked him how he could know these things. Barlow had no other opportunities -- than such as these -- and the aid of no books ever, at any time, but the tables of the nautical almanac.

About two years perfecting my planetarium.

For notice of the Planetarium see pamphlet he gave me.
Also Observer and Reporter -- Lex., Nov. 26-53

1. It represents nature.
2. It is nothing like the pendulum, its motions, so far from being continual repetitions, are never the same. There are no motions alike.
3. The motions represented are the actual.
4. Many of the actual phenomena or the heavens, such as new-moons, etc., can be accurately explained.
5. The relative size of the sun, and the relative distance of the inferior planets, it would be very inconvenient to represent, and the planetarium does not exhibit them.

I don't think in words. The words are the last thing.

When I think of music, I think of form and symmetry.

When I think of a table, I think of something of such divers(ity?)

There are 4 elementary principles in nature. Mathematics, Chemistry, Poetry -- this imagination, and Music form and symmetry.

If I take a boy to learn him and he cannot understand (what I mean by) music, I dismiss him. That is music, said he, pointing to a small wheel with curved spokes.

Mr. Barlow has a book in preparation in New York (to be brought out by a man) to accompany and explain the planetarium.

Volume 15 CC, pages 201 - 204       From: ____ Barlow, planetarium (Cir LCD)

"My father, William Barlow, never went to school a day in his life: Lived on Staunton River in Campbell Co. -- Virginia. At 18, he went to learn the trade of a house carpenter in Richmond, Virginia. By working extra hours he earned some money.

This enabled him to attend the lectures of a man from England, on astronomy -- about 40 attended in the class; by which he got a clear idea of astronomy, for the lecturer understood his subject. In after life this enabled him to instruct his family. He never afterwards had any book connected to astonomy but an almanac.

My father came a single man to Kentucky about 1787. A company was about going back, and he wished to make one, that he might, as he said, get him a wife. They replied that they couldn't spare him, as he was a carpenter, and promised to get him a wife and bring her out --describing to him the your (Sally Kimbrough); and when the company returned, they came down the Ohio, landed at Maysville. My father met them at the Lower Blue Licks, and at once picked the woman out from the whole company. They were married in Kentucky. I was born in 1791, and I had a brother two and a half years older than I. There were of the Kimbrough emnigration party twelve or fourteen families. My father lived at Conway's Station -- no structure -- but just a neighborhood. It was 2 1/2 miles from the Irish Station, and 1 1/2 from the Summits. My mother's father lived 4 miles from where she did.

We never ate bread till we raised corn. They would let you have corn for seed, and do without themselves -- but no money could buy it for bread.

The whip-saw was once the only mode of making lumber. A saw-mill, by water power, in Virginia was destroyed by some persons because it took away from them their employment with the whip-saw.

Stone-Hammer (Son Ths Metcalf) married a Miss Mason. He was the first man I ever voted for -- for the State Legislature. I was not old enough to vote till the 3d day.

The Bible, was then, from necessity, a school book. School teachers were generally remarkably ignorant. A boy was reading in the Bible, and gave the word iniquity its proper pronunciation. In-i-qui-ty did you call that -- said the teacher -- call it in-iqui-ty. The boy picked up his books and hat, and without saying a word, went home.

Their mode of spelling, as a reading exercise was today -- a by itself a--able--able. This was abbreviated by habit, into the expresson --a b self a o, b' self o. Dilworth's Spelling book was then in universal use.

West was the first person in the United States, to make a steam engine. Yet in Lexington, it was a two inch cylinder, and four inch stroke. It had no air pump -- this was it's defect -- and could not be compensated for, by having two condensers. This would never have answered. He dammed Elkhorn, there in Lexington, and put a boat in it, in which he put his engine. The boat was not big enough for a man to get in. The engine, as a power, had not been perfected at the time of West's trial. The engine had been made a practicable power, for some time before Fulton thought of his side paddles. The efforts were failures -- for 30 years -- till Fulton took an old schooner, and made side paddle wheels. West used oars. Fitch had oars. Evans invented the high-pressure engine. He overloaded his boat with the weight of his engine. Everybody was astonished when Fulton put side-wheels to his schooner. I never lived in Mr. West's family. Have visited him. I did not go to Lexington to live till after Mr. West's death. He died just about the time I went there. I went in 1824. West got all the knowledge he had -- about the engine -- from a cyclopedia, which was before Nicholson's. West's son was a portrait painter -- spent his life in Europe. A daughter married a trifling sort of man -- a nobody. There were but these two children who grew up.

I convinced Mr. West of two things. The first was, that time began. I showed to him that you might add -- and keep adding -- but however big the sum -- you could not get a sum so large that you could not subtract it all at once.

The other was -- an argument -- to prove to there was a God. If matter had been hurled into existence by chance, it would have been ruled by chance. There is just as much reason to doubt that there is space -- because we cannot conceive that soace has termination (where it ends) -- or number --because we cannot conceive where they can stop -- or of matter, because we do not know its origin, as to doubt the existence of God, because we cannot conceive of him.

My father instructed in astronomy at home. I made all my calculations, in my own way, myself, and then I went to Prof. Dodd with them to (have them calculated). If our figures did not correspond, then I knew I was wrong. In my caluclations, I made acres of figures."

--See Collins' Kentucky page 273 and note for some account of West's steamboat.

Volume 15 CC, Pages 229-231

From the writings of Walter McCormick....

Thomas (Wm? LCD) Barlow, the father of Wm. and Ths, of the planetarium, lived about 50 miles this side of Richmond, Virginia _ I think in Prince Edward Co: A plain, common, uninformed farmer, with very moderate means. The son William went to Richmond and learned the joiners business there -- worked at it there anyhow. He afterwards came out to Kentucky, settled in Nicholas County, then Bourbon, about 15 miles from Millersburg-- married Sally Kimbrough (this evidently Wm. Sr LCD) William undertook blacksmithing, employed Sam Long -- who was a blacksmith, to carry on the shop for him --i.e. to set up shop. Long; near the close of the year married a niece of Barlow's. After one year managing the shop for Barlow, Long concluded he could make more money to go off and carry on for himself. Barlow consented, although before he employed Long had possessed no knowledge of the blacksmith trade, he now detered to carry on the shop himself. In his mechanical genius, he had in this year that Long was in his shop, made himself a better blacksmith than Long himself was. From this, Wm. Barlow and his two sons, extended his operation into all kinds of working in iron, into gunsmithing -- of the gun, they made the barrel, stock and all.

The sons and father had an encyclopedia which they read.

Ths(?) Barlow Sr. came out to Kentucky, lived an died on about 50 acres of land in this neighborhood in Nicholas - 50 acres very thin land: Were there from my earliest recollection in 1790. They lived to an old age -- he and his wife. I saw her die at his son, William's -- must have been 80. He was dead before that. He was an Irishman - she a Dutch woman.

William Barlow had no more religion than his father, was a confirmed deist, his wife a pious Baptist.

Thos Barlow was in this field till grown. He must have been grown --22-- when he had that conversation with Gehagen, who was a sort of Methodist preacher.

Thomas was the second son of William Barlow, he could barely write --read very indifferently-- this; when he was as old as twenty-two. He had only a common English education -- little of that -- neither grammar nor geography: Had never had much (any further education.) He used to take a Dictionary about with him while he worked, and read it over. He always loved _ ress. Never made anything. Married Keziah West. Went down into Mason. While there it was he got to studying about steam. Came back to Nicholas and married, and I think, had one child when he went to Lexington to live with Bruce. Worked with Bruce in Lexington. After he had two or three children, his wife had to go back to her father's. After awhile -- a year or so -- he came along with a carriage to get her. Went to town to Mason to work in a gun-smith shop. From there, came back -- set up shop, and got married. Made some of the finest guns ever made in that county. The father in the blacksmith shop, the boys in the gun-smith shop.

Thos. West, Keziah's father, died at a tavern in Millersburg. Had lived in Paris. Was a blacksmith.

James Barlow was another younger son -- a still greater mechanical genius than his brother, Thomas. He was out on a hunting excursion -- acted the part of a Baptist preacher for his party, and preached for them regularly. Was very talented but, loved drink, which finally caused his death. He never professed religion. Died about St. Louis -- about 20 miles.

...Ask Barlow at Lexington abt. West and first steam boat....

Note from Kent: .... I tried to copy the manuscripts exactly as it is on the original, it rambles, and in the paragraph about marrying Keziah West, appears not to be written chronologically....
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