Bio: Barron, John E. (1914)


Surnames: Barron, Wightman, Kleinschintz, Magdon, Cousins, Truax, Owen, Horton, Grant

----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 647-649

John E. Barron, who, while still a young man, had attained to a position of prominence in the financial circles of Eau Claire, was born in this city April 11, 1872, the son of Martin Van Buren and Caroline A. (Wightman) Barron, pioneers of Eau Claire. After finishing his education in the common and high schools of the city, he entered the employ of his father in the lumber business, with whom he remained until the latter's death. He was then employed by the Madison Street Manufacturing Company, and for a time worked for the Standard Oil Company in Eau Claire. In 1897 he went into the Bank of Eau Claire, which later became the Union Savings Bank, and has worked his way from messenger boy to the responsible position of cashier of the Union Savings Bank. He is a thorough banker and a man whose business judgment is often sought on important business matters. He is deeply interested in the welfare of the city, and while he takes a keen interest in all public matters, he has never sought nor held public office. Though he has many times been tendered town and city offices, he has always declined, preferring to give his whole attention to his many business enterprises. Besides his banking interests in this city, he is a stockholder in the Union Mortgage & Loan Company, of Eau Claire, a director of the Farmers' State Bank, of Allen, Wisconsin, and a stockholder and director of the Northwestern Flour & Feed Company.

Mr. Barron's busy life is marked by many changes, but amidst its many vicissitudes he has held the even tenor of his way, advancing gradually step by step until he has attained a standing and position worthy of the man, and withal gained by a course of business methods that commend him to the respect of all who know him. On September 19, 1904, Mr. Barron married Josephine M. Kleinschintz, daughter of George J. and Mary Magdom (Uhl) Kleinschintz. They have a happy family of two children, viz: Magdom and John Henry.

Mr. Barron is a man of pleasing personality, generous and public spirited, and occupies a prominent place in fraternal, social and benevolent societies. He is a Mason and a member of Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, No. 8. He is Exalted Ruler in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and a member of Germania Lodge, No. 49, Knights of Pythias, the Grand Lodge and the Uniform Rank. He is also a member of the Knights of Khorassan of Racine, the Eau Claire Club, Brotherhood of American Yeomen, Independent Order of Foresters and the Spanish-American War Veterans, and represents the Second Ward on the Board of Education, he enlisted in Company E, Third Regiment, Wisconsin National Guard, as a private and served five years; he held all the non-commissioned offices and rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant, and as such served through the Porto Rican campaign under Major Marshall Cousins during the Spanish-American war.

Martin Van Buren Barron, father of our subject, was a relative of the late Judge Barron, the third judge to hold court in this city. Coming to Eau Claire in 1865, Mr. Barron became associated with his brother. John, in the flour and feed business on Barstow street, which was continued for about one year, when, with another brother, under the firm name of Barron Brothers, he built a saw mill on the Chippewa river just above the old Eddy mill. At the end of one year he became connected with the Eau Claire Lumber Company as salesman in the lower Mississippi city, continuing with this concern for about three years. He then began logging for himself and with that and running a lumber yard at Blue Earth, Minnesota, for the Eau Claire Lumber Company, his time was well occupied for the next six years. He was associated with the late Peter Truax for two years in buying and cutting hard wood lumber in Northern Wisconsin, and from that time until his death, which occurred July 28, 1891, he was associated with John S. Owen, of the Rust-Owen Lumber Company in buying lumber and logs at Boyd, Cadott, Bloomer, Chetek, Barron and other points along the line of the Omaha and Wisconsin Central (now the Soo) Railways.

Mr. Barron was horn in Lisbon, New Hampshire, April 10, 1834, a son of Fletcher J. and Mary (Horton) Barron, natives of Haverhill, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island, respectively, who were married January 13, 1819. Eight children were born to them as follows: Jane, Horton, Fletcher, John, Mary, Martin Van Buren, Closes Durand and Josephine. The early life of Mr. Barron was spent in Livingston county, New York, whither the family moved when he was young. At the age of seventeen he moved to Scio, New York, and there engaged in the lumber business. On January 22, 1859, he married Caroline A. Wightman, a native of Richburg, Allegany county. New York, and they became the parents of nine children, of whom two are now living, viz: John E. and Cora, who married DeSota H. Grant, a merchant at River Bank, California. Carrie, a twin sister of Cora, is now deceased, and her remains lay at rest in Forest Hill cemetery. Although Mr. Barron was not a member of any church, he lived an honorable and upright life. He was a member of the A. O. U. W. and always affiliated with the Democratic party, and probably no man connected with the lumber industry was better known through the surrounding country, or more highly respected than was he.

The parents of Fletcher J. Barron, grandfather of John E., were of French descent. Moses Barron was a soldier in the French War, and also in the War of the Revolution. Mary Barron, the grandmother, was a daughter of Ebenezer and Chloe (Daly) Horton, natives of Rhode Island.



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