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Barber, Scott


Posted By: Debbie Clough Gerischer (email)
Date: 7/2/2005 at 18:36:14

After a long, active and useful career, Scott Barber is now retired and is spending the golden sunset years of his life in his comfortable home in Scranton. He played his full part in the settlement and development of Greene county, of which he has been an honored resident for over sixty years, and no citizen of this community enjoys greater confidence and respect. Mr. Barber was born in Rutland county, Vermont, on the 5th of December, 1837, and is s a son of Jervis and Susan (Humphrey) Barber, both of whom were natives of Connecticut and the former of whom became a well known farmer of Middletown, Vermont. He is the scion of old colonial stock, his paternal grandfather, Russell Barber, having been with General Putnam on his famous march to Ticonderoga in pre-Revolutionary days.

Scott Barber attended the public schools and an academy at Wyoming, New York, in which state he afterward located. The rebellion of the southern states aroused his patriotism and on August 12, 1862, he enlisted, at East Bloomfield, New York, in Company F, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, with which he rendered faithful service until May 27, 1865, being promoted to corporal, and then to sergeant. He took part in many of the most important battles and campaigns of that great struggle, including the battles of Maryland Heights, Harper's Ferry and Gettysburg, and at the battle of Auburn Ford he was severely wounded. The bullet entered the front of his body on the left side, cut off a rib and passed through to the right side, where it lodged just under the skin. It was cut out and is still in Mr. Barber's possession. he recovered nicely from this wound, and on his discharge, at the close of the war, he returned to New York state.

In October, 1865, Mr. Barber came to Greene county, Iowa, and engaged in teaching school for two terms. With the money thus earned, he bought forty acres of raw prairie land in section 17, Kendrick township, on which he erected a typical log cabin of that day, and then entered upon the task of developing a farm. In the course of time he had a splendid homestead, where he carried on general farming, and also gave considerable attention to stock raising. As he prospered he bought other land, becoming the owner of one hundred and sixty acres in one body in Kendrick township. In recent years he has sold all of this and now owns three hundred and twenty acres of fine land in Montana, which he homesteaded in 1914. In 1873 Mr. Barber moved to the town of scranton and for twelve years was engaged in the mercantile business, in which also he was successful, and then traded the store for seventy-three acres in section 2, Scranton township, where he developed a splendid orchard. This land also he has since sold. He owns a comfortable and attractive home in Scranton, where his is now living.

In 1866 Mr. Barber married Mrs. John Piles, nee Mary F. Miller, who was born in Indiana, from which state she came with her parents, Dr. James P. and Rachel (Lane) Miller, to Greene county in 1855. The entire family came across the plains, with ox teams, cows and ponies, bringing their household goods, and settled in Kendrick township, where the parents spent the remaining years of their lives, Dr. Miller dying September 21, 1881, and his wife March 12, 1895. The Doctor was born in Maryland December 3, 1809, and throughout his active life was a medical practitioner, riding over the country on his horse, sometimes when the weather was so cold that he almost perished. Rachel (Lane) Miller was born on the ocean January 8, 1809, while her parents were en route to this country from England. Dr. and Mrs. Miller were the parents of ten children, five of whom died when young. At the time of their coming to this section of Iowa conditions were extremely primitive and they were compelled to go seventy miles to Des Moines to do their trading, as well as to get their mail and market their crops. Mary F. Miller was first married to John Piles, who died in 1866, leaving her with four children, namely: Nancy J., who became the wife of Albert Jenks; Rachel E., who married George Rosa; Florence E., the wife of P. N. Williams; and Floyd M. To Mr. and Mrs, Barber were born three children, as follows: Susan E., who became the wife of J. A. Sexton; Jervis, who died in 1886; and Russell R. who married Edna Lathrop.

Politically Mr. Barber was always given his support to the republican party and has taken an interest in local public affairs. He served several years as township trustee and was also a member of the council. Always deeply interested in the educational affairs of his community, he rendered effective and appreciated service as a member of the school board. He has long been a member of N. H. Powers Post, No. 111, Grand Army of the Republic, at Scranton, and his religious connection is with the Baptist church, of which he has always been a generous supporter. He has been true and loyal in every relation of life and consistent in motive and action. He has stood for those things which tend to the betterment of the community along all lines and has enjoyed to the fullest measure the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen.

-transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

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