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BARBER, Philo Jefferson, Dr. 1806-1887


Posted By: S. Bell
Date: 9/1/2013 at 01:34:52

[Waterloo Courier, Wednesday, March 2, 1887, Waterloo, Iowa]

Last Wednesday evening about 5:30 o'clock, death came to the bedside of Dr. Barber. His spirit leaving the body worn with eight weeks of suffering, took its flight to join the faithful wife who, fading as his life ebbed away, had gone just ten days before to be the first to greet him in the hereafter.

Dr. Philo Jefferson Barber was born at Augusta, Oneida Co., N. Y. December 25, 1806. He became a student of medicine and graduated from the Medical College at Hamilton, New York. April 18, 1833, he was married to Miss Fidelia Chamberlain, after which they located in Erie Co., New York, and the Doctor practiced his profession at and near Buffalo until June, 1858, when they removed to this city, and have resided here ever since.

Dr. Barber was the last to survive of a family of en, of whom he was the youngest. His parents came to Oneida Co., from Massachusetts in an early day and both living to an advance age, died at nearly the same time. At the time of his death, Dr. Barber was 80 years, 1 month and 28 days old.

A few days before last Christmas Mrs. Barber was taken sick, apparently the result of a severe cold. Soon after her husband was also taken sick, and from the first he seemed to realize that death must shortly come to both of them, and for himself he did not wish to recover and refused after a time to take medicine or partake of nourishment, His remarkably strong constitution, however, clung tenaciously to the spark of life and he gradually wore away until death came. Only a short time before Mrs. Barber's death, their beds were placed side by side and taking her hand, he spoke to her with the greatest affection, saying that she had been the jewel of his existence. He afterwards expressed a hope that they might be united in death and buried at the same time. However, this wish was denied him as she died ten days before the summons came for him.

Dr. Barber had a wide acquaintance throughout this section, and every one who knew him recognized in him a thoroughly honest man and a good citizen. He was firm in his convictions of right and could not tolerate sham or hypocrisy in any one. He was a member of the Blackhawk Co. Early Settlers' Association, and was also a charter member of the Cedar Valley Medical Society, and was highly respected by his colleagues in his profession.

He was the father of four children, three sons and one daughter. The daughter, Mrs. Horace Boies, died several years ago as did one son, while two sons survive him.

The funeral was held from the late residence of the deceased on Friday afternoon, Rev. E. N. Barrett, of Independence, officiating, and a large number of our citizens gathering to pay a last tribute of respect to his memory. A beautiful floral tribute, a sickle and sheaf of Marechal Neil roses and carnations, in token of ripeness of years and a bountiful harvest of good deeds, was placed upon the coffin by the medical colleagues of the deceased. Mr. Barrett's remarks were very touching and appropriate to the sad occasion.

The remains were interred beside his wife, in Elmwood Cemetery.

[From History of Black Hawk County, Iowa, 1904]

Dr. Philo J. Barber was the son of Zacheus and Anna (Toby) Barber, who were natives of Canada and early settlers in the Empire State. Philo was reared on his father's farm, attended the local schools and later enjoyed academic advantages at Hamilton, New York. He then taught school for several terms before beginning the study of medicine under the tutelage of Dr. Rakin, of Stockbridge, New York. In due course of time he graduated from Fairfield Medical College, and entered upon the practice of his profession at Stockbridge, where he remained three years and then removed to Erie County, New York. Dr. Barber continued in practice there until 1858, when he came to Waterloo, Iowa, just five years after the location of the first physician in the hamlet. Thus Dr. Barber was one of the pioneers of the medical profession in Waterloo and became its Nestor, continuing in practice until the age of 76 years.

Children were: Versalia, wife of ex-Governor Horace Boies, of Iowa; Leveret, of Kossuth County, Iowa; Leroy, deceased; and Earll.


Black Hawk Obituaries maintained by Kermit Kittleson.
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