Family Stories

Joseph Barkly Biography

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1882

Harrison County

Joseph Barkly, M.D., P.O. Leesburg. 

Mathew Barkly, a native of the ‘Emerald Isle,’ came to Woodford County at so early a period that the few scattering settlers of the surrounding country had often to take refuge in the fort at Lexington to escape being massacred by the Indians.  On one occasion, Mr. Barkly and his family fled to Lexington, and the fort being so crowded with panic-stricken pioneers that there were no accommodations for them inside the cabins, he and his family had to stand all night against the wall of the fort in a heavy falling rain.  They had a son, Robert, who was born soon after their arrival in Woodford County; he grew up to man’s estate, married Mary Cooper, lived a long and exemplary life, and died in 1858.  Of this union comes he whose name heads this sketch; he was born in Scott county in 1820, and inherited from his ancestry those qualities which adorn, and give tone and strength to life.  His grandfather, on the maternal side, was Samuel Cooper, an Englishman by birth, who came to America and settled in Maryland, where he married Jane McClure.  The young couple soon after emigrated to Kentucky, settled in Lexington, and helped to build the first frame house in that place.  Dr. Barkly was married to Miss Mary E. Kimbrough, of Harrison County, who has borne him the following children:  Mary Owings, Ann Eliza, Rachel Cooper, Lizzie, Paul, Martha and Minerva (twins), Charles M. and Robert M.  He was graduated from Transylvania University at Lexington, in 1847, and soon thereafter began the practice of medicine at Roanoke, Missouri.  Here he remained not quite a year, yielding to his inclinations to make the state which gave him birth the theater of his future career; he returned to Kentucky and began the practice of his profession at Leesburg, Harrison County, where he still remains, enjoying a remunerative practice, and the partiality of a large circle of friends.  Dr. Barkly is a member of the Masonic fraternity; himself and wife are communicants of the Methodist Church.  In politics he is in accord with the dominant party of the state – the Democracy.

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