Bio: Barber, James T. (1914)


Surnames: Barber, Hayward, Jenks, Brown, Revere, Holland, Bowles, Tewkesberry, Bellinger, Blaine

----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 643-645

James T. Barber, president of the Northwestern Lumber Company, is the son of William Henry and Caroline (Hayward) Barber. The original ancestor of the Barber family in America was John Barber, great grandfather of James T., who came from England to the United States in 1793, locating first in Rhode Island, where he married a Miss Jenks, and in 1795 moved to Franklin county, Massachusetts, and resided there until his death. The paternal grand father, John Barber, was born and spent his entire life in Franklin county, Massachusetts. William Henry Barber, father of our subject, was born in Franklin county, where he spent his entire life. He was a genius in the line of inventions and a good machinist; he devised many excellent contrivances, among them a brace which is still known as the Barber bit brace. He married Caroline Hayward, a daughter of Stephen Hayward, of Plainfield, Hampshire county, whose family were numbered among the pioneers of that section, and they were the parents of the following children: Henry, who was a soldier in the civil war and served two years in the Fifty-second Massachusetts Infantry; Ernest; Fidelia J. was drowned at the age of twenty-four, and James T., the subject of this sketch.

The maternal great grandfather, Hope Brown, was one of the heroes of the revolutionary war. He resided near Concord, and was one of the minute men called to arms by Paul Revere in his famous ride. He participated in the battle of Lexington, and after disposing of a red coat captured his old flint-lock musket, which is still retained by members of the family as a trophy, it now being in possession of Stephen Hayward, who resides in Missouri.

James T. Barber was born January 25, 1847, in Ashfield, Franklin county, Mass., and received his primary education in the common schools, which was supplemented by a course at the Windsor, Vt., high school, where his father was manufacturing muskets for the Union army during the civil war. At an early age he secured employment on the Springfield "Republican," then edited by Samuel Bowles and Dr. J. G. Holland. He held various positions on this paper and for several years had charge of the mailing department. In 1871 he went to Hannibal. Mo., and for a short time kept books for his uncle. He afterwards kept books for Davis, Baekee & Garth for two years. On July 1, 1875, he accepted a like position with the Northwestern Lumber Company at Hannibal, and so well did he perform the duties assigned to him he was soon taken into the company and later became assistant secretary and treasurer, and it was largely through his efficient management and rare business ability that the company's business at Hannibal assumed the large proportions that it did.

On December 1, 1886, he came to Eau Claire in the interests of the company and in 1887 became its vice-president, and since 1904 has been president of the corporation. He is recognized as a man of affairs and is one of the city's most enterprising and public spirited men. Soon after his arrival in Eau Claire he became interested in the Gas "Works, become a director of the National Electric Manufacturing Company, secretary of the Montreal River Company and president of the Sterling Lumber Company, the last two being adjuncts of the Northwestern Lumber Company. He is now treasurer of the Stanley, Merrill & Phillips Railway Company, which is also owned by the Northwestern Lumber Company.

On January 22, 1889, he was married to Miss Petramilla, daughter of Peter and Angie (Tewkesberry) Bellinger, pioneers of Eau Claire. Mr. Barber has always been identified with the Republican party, and while in Missouri was a member of the delegation which nominated James G. Blaine for president in 1884. He was also a delegate from Wisconsin to the National convention which nominated Wm. McKinley for President in 1900. Religiously he is a member of the vestry of Christ Episcopal church.



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