Among those who have passed away and who have left behind them a good record as men and citizens, may be properly mentioned Mr. BARBER. A man of unbounded energy and enterprise, he most assuredly left his footprints on the sands of time and presented an example of industry and perseverance worthy of emulation. Commencing with modest means, such was his diligence and his good judgment in the disbursement of his capital, that at his death he left a large estate including five hundred and twenty-one acres of land which was divided up among his children before the widow had been assigned her dowry of one hundred and nineteen acres, which with its buildings and other improvements constitutes one of the most desirable country homes in Greene County.
Mr. BARBER was born January 18, 1822, in Cedarville Township, and was a man of strong character, warm in his likes and dislikes, but of that temperament which drew toward him hosts of friends and which made him greatly beloved, especially by his near neighbors and his own family. He was formerly a Democrat in politics but during the latter part of his life was an active worker in the ranks of the Republican party. He was warmly interested in temperance movements and totally opposed to the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors. He kept himself thoroughly posted upon current events and loved to travel—a pastime in which he was joined by his amiable wife who enjoyed this recreation as much as himself. Their last journey was to Jacksonville, Fla., where Mr. BARBER was attacked with cerebro hemorrhage, from which his death caused January 25, 1888. The bereaved wife returned home with the remains of her husband and they were laid to rest in Cedarville cemetery while over them has been erected the finest monument in this part of the country.
The marriage of James BARBER and Miss Mary L. BICKETT was celebrated at the bride’s home, her father’s farm, near Jasper, April 13, 1852, and not quite three years afterward, December 27, 1854, they removed to the home where Mrs. BARBER still lives. Mrs. BARBER was born May 6, 1833, in Jasper Township and is the daughter of John BICKETT, who came to Ohio from Pennsylvania in 1818, settling in Xenia Township, this county. The paternal grandparents, John and Elizabeth BICKETT, were natives of Ireland and of Scotch-Irish descent, and settled in Pennsylvania in the year 1797. The early progenitors of the family were Protestants as their descendants have uniformly been. Grandfather BICKETT upon coming to America settled in Pennsylvania where he spent the remainder of his life. His wife subsequently joined her children in this county and died about 1839 or 1840 having attained to the advanced age of eighty years. The BICKETTS in coming to America were on the ocean twenty weeks.
John BICKETT was married in 1821 to Miss Peggy DEAN, daughter of Daniel DEAN, who removed to Ohio from Lexington, Ky., at a very early day. The maiden name of his wife was Elizabeth STEELE, also of Kentucky.
To Mr. and Mrs. BARBER there was born a family of twelve children, all of whom are living. John C. is a prosperous merchant of Cedarville; Robert Lee is married, has one child and is engaged in merchandising at South Salem, this State; he visited California during the gold excitement and is a very intelligent man, well informed upon all general subjects and especially the history of the great West. Charles M. is married and farming on a part of the old homestead, about one-half mile from his mother; he has two children—Colin and Marie. Huldah J., a mute, married Charles H. RICE, afflicted in the same manner. They however, have a bright little boy, Jamie, who can do enough talking for the family and can converse with his parents by means of his fingers as readily as they. The little fellow has considerable knowledge of telegraphing and is more than ordinarily bright and promising. They live on a farm a short distance north of Cedarville. Alice is the wife of R.S. ANDERSON and the mother of the two bright children—Ethel and Eula; they live on their own farm near Clifton, this county; Laura H. is the wife of D. S. COLLINS, and they also live on a farm near Clifton; Miss Effie makes her home with her brother in Cedarville; A. D. carries on the home farm for his mother in a highly creditable manner; Norah, Lea, Luna and Jessie complete the list. Mr. BARBER from his youth was a consistent member of the United Presbyterian Church, to which Mrs. BARBER belongs as does also her whole family except one son.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Clark and Greene Counties, Chapman Bros., Chicago, published 1890