Barnhart establishes his own law firm

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If you have been wondering about the newly painted red building situated in a prominent location at the corner of Martin Avenue and West Pine Street in Canton, the guesswork is over.

Canton attorney Gary Barnhart will open his own practice at the location on Monday, March 3.

Barnhart has represented clients in Canton and all over Central Illinois for 34 years.

Barnhart says that initially he came up with the idea of his own law firm because he wanted to involve his family. Family members include his wife, Susan (Jenkins) Barnhart; a son, Dr. Brett Barnhart, his wife Nancy, and their sons Micah and Cale of Canton; daughter Brynna Barnhart-Themas of St. Louis, Mo.; and son Bryan Barnhart of Macomb.

In addition to his daughter Brynna, who is a practicing attorney in the St. Louis, Mo. area, his daughter-in-law Nancy (Rabel) Barnhart is also an attorney.

Barnhart explains, “My daughter-in-law Nancy will be joining me (at the new law firm) on a part-time basis. She is a former Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Labor Relations Board and brings expertise in the area of labor and employment law to our new office. Nancy also intends to spread her wings into other areas of law and I welcome her knowledge and expertise. She will be a great asset to me and to my clients as well."

Barnhart will also be joined at the new location by his long-time legal secretaries, Kathi Harmon and Shelley Bloyd. “Their experience and knowledge will help provide excellent service for the firm’s clients,” says Barnhart.

With the team assembled for the new location, he adds, “Together, we intend to continue to maintain the high degree of professional service that the clients have come to expect and deserve in the areas of real estate, title insurance, wills and trusts, estate planning and administration, business and corporate law, labor and employment law, family law, plaintiff’s personal injury and cooperative law.”

The building, which was originally the Glenn-Maguire Clinic, is now completely renovated with the expert help of Jerry Jarnagin, explains Barnhart.

"The building was a disaster when we first saw it. We gutted everything but were able to save the original peg hardwood floors and rescue the old water cooler, restoring it to its original state," says Barnhart. "The old peg hardwood floor strikes fear into my heart. As a youth, I remember staring at that floor before getting shots from Dr. Glenn."

The roof has been replaced and the parking lot will be replaced early this spring. A handicapped-accessible entrance is now available on the south side of the building.

Barnhart says the basement of the facility is extremely dry and was also completely gutted and will be available for continued expansion.

A unique feature of the renovation is the addition of two stained glass windows - featuring a "B"- which were specifically created for the family.

The former laboratory of the clinic is now the break room and the front office serves as an office for one secretary. Beyond that, the building has been renovated to include a large waiting area, two large offices and two large conference rooms.

"We're excited. All that's left is a little bit of touch-up painting," says Barnhart, who was awaiting a weather-related delayed shipment of office furniture on Friday.

Along with work by Jerry Jarnagin, cabinetry was constructed by Chris Harmon.


Gary Barnhart

Gary Barnhart, a Canton native, attended Knox College and received a B.A. degree in Economics in 1969. He received his juris doctorate degree from Washington University Law School in St. Louis, Mo. In 1973, he returned to his home town to practice law and has been involved in many community and civic organizations. He has been a Special Assistant Attorney General of the State of Illinois since 1983. He is a member of the Fulton County and Illinois State Bar Associations and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a charter member of the Electric Cooperative Bar Association.

Nancy (Rabel) Barnhart

Nancy (Rabel) Barnhart, also a Canton native, attended Knox College and graduated with a B.A. degree in Economics. She attended John Marshall Law School, graduating with a juris doctorate degree in 1997. She is a former Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Labor Relations Board and has worked as a labor and employment attorney for Davis and Campbell in Peoria. She is second vice-president of the YWCA and active in the Evangelical Free Church, recently leading a “fill the truck” mission project for Katrina workers.

Barnhart Law Office, Ltd. is planning an official ribbon cutting and open house in the near future and “look forward to visiting with persons and providing a tour of the newly renovated building.”

Barnhart Law Office, Ltd. is located at 106 Martin Ave. The office may be reached at P.O. Box 478, Canton, IL 61520. The new phone number will be (309) 647-0100.

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