Firm History

Chester J. Claudon formed a firm known as Taft, Putman & Claudon in 1947 when he came to Canton, Illinois.  Gary Barnhart joined the Claudon firm in 1973 and became a partner in the firm three years later.  He was a principal in the Claudon firm for roughly 35 years when he decided to start his own firm.


On March 1, 2008, Barnhart Law Office, Ltd. was formed.  Barnhart Law Office, Ltd. commenced a general practice, focusing on business formations, real estate transactions, estate planning, probate work, eminent domain work and a healthy dose of Illinois electric cooperative work. Barnhart began searching for an associate to help with the firm’s rapidly growing workload and in August of 2011, Nick Tinsman came on board.  Nick worked in all areas of the law and became accomplished in many.  The growth of the firm caused it to outgrow its office space at 106 Martin Avenue in Canton. Effective July 1, 2014, the firm moved to its newly remodeled location at 121 West Elm St. in Canton, which happened to be the building where Barnhart began his law practice 41 years ago.  Also, on the same date Nick Tinsman became a principal owner and the firm's name was changed from Barnhart Law Office, Ltd. and eventually became known as Barnhart, Tinsman & Associates, Ltd.  Gary Barnhart deservedly retired from the practice of law on January 1, 2018.

Today, Nick now is a general practitioner but concentrates a large portion of his practice in the areas of civil litigation, including handling condemnation matters for the Illinois Department of Transportation, real estate transactions and closings, probate estate administration and estate planning, electric cooperative representation, personal injury matters, and advising small businesses. Attorney Whitney Parrish joined the firm in April of 2021. She concentrates her practice in the areas of family law and criminal defense.  Whitney handles all matters of family law including custody disputes and modifications, dissolutions of marriage, child support matters, guardianships, and all other similar areas of family law.  Whitney is also a trained mediator and provides court ordered mediation in family law cases. Today our administrative staff includes: office manager, Jean Burkhead; real estate assistant, Amanda Moravek; legal secretary to Attorney Tinsman, Trudy Dawson; and legal secretary to Attorney Parrish, Cindy Johnson. Their combined experience and professionalism are what make Barnhart, Tinsman & Associates a notch above the rest. They are here to help you throughout your case, and we guarantee you will be treated with respect when working with any of our administrative staff.

Barnhart, Tinsman & Associates, Ltd. is a full-service firm that concentrates its practices in various areas of the law.*  Barnhart, Tinsman & Associates, Ltd. is well-suited to handle any legal need that might arise for its clients from time to time.

* Neither the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois nor the Illinois State Bar Association recognizes any specialty or certification for any Illinois lawyers in any particular practice area.  Lawyers may however indicate that they concentrate or limit their practices to specific areas of the law.

Our Firm Today