St. Johns church is famous as the oldest Methodist church in Marion county, antedating the founding of Ocala, and began its history fifty odd years ago in the little Barco log school house of those days, the same strain of splendid citizenship being represented in the grandchildren—J. M. Barco, manager of the commercial bank, D. M. Barco, of Cotton Plant, and Col. Nic Barco, of Crystal River, and Newton Barco, the son of J. M., and the progressive and successful young farmer and trucker of his section, with others. There were three brothers. Mr. Stephen Barco was the father of Col Nic; William Barco, the father of D. M., and Joseph P. Barco, the father of our J. M., and who was a very public spirited citizen and very popular, being tax collector and assessor of Marion county in its early history. He served faithfully as a Confederate soldier, was taken prisoner on Finnegan’s retreat near Baldwin, in company with Col. Adam Eichelberger, was imprisoned at Johnson’s island, where he died, thus ending the life of a valued citizen, who left the impress of his sterling character on his progeny.
Mr. Henry W. Long has been a constant member of St. Johns church ever since its organization, and for forty-three years has been its ideal steward, prompt, faithful and constant in the discharge of all its duties, a laborer in the vineyard, and pulling a forward oar in all good work, whether of church or state, a citizen who takes an active part in the civic as well as the moral battle of life, ever found in the forefront of battle, doing valiant service for the right, thereby setting a noble example for younger men to pattern after.
Source: Ocala Evening Star: 8-3-1903
Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers