James A. Barr, postmaster of the City of Dover, was appointed to that office, but his appointment was in fact in a nature of a deserved promotion, since he had been for many years experienced in the postal service of that city.
Mr. Barr is a native of Tuscarawas County, born in the little locality known as Barr's Mill, on December 2, 1868. His grandfather, Samuel Barr, was a native of Pennsylvania, of Holland Dutch ancestry, and a pioneer settler in Stark County, Ohio. The parents of James A. Barr were David and Lavina (Tohm) Barr, both of them born and reared in Stark County. Soon after their marriage David Barr bought a mill in Tuscarawas County, and continued its operation for many years. In addition he built a storeroom, and established and conducted for the convenience of the neighborhood a postoffice. Ever since the locality has been known as Barr's Mill. David Barr was a good business man, strong in character, a staunch supporter of the Union during the Civil war, a republican, and both he and his wife were active Lutherans. David Barr died October 12, 1883, at the age of sixty-four, having survived his wife two years. They had two daughters and two sons, a son and daughter now living.
James A. Barr was twelve years old when his mother died, and two years later he was left an orphan by the death of his father. Since fourteen, therefore, he has directed his own career. Growing up at Barr's Mill, he attended common schools there, and afterwards completed a business course at Mansfield, Ohio. For some years he and his brother operated the old mill until the property was sold. From childhood he has been familiar with the business of milling, and this experience afforded him his chief source of livelihood for many years. After leaving his father's old mill he was employed by the Hardesty Milling Company at Dover, and for five years was a traveling salesman, selling flour, first for a Kansas City Milling Company and later for a company at Red Cloud, Minnesota.
At the time Dover was given free mail delivery Mr. Barr, in order that he might be at home with his family, sought and secured the position of a mail carrier, later he became mailing clerk, and performed the duties of that position in the Dover postoffice fourteen years. From subordinate position in the postoffice appointments from President Harding in October, 1921, raised him to the office of postmaster. He received his commission November 15, 1921, and has been made his administration a constant source of good service to the community.
Mr. Barr is a republican, a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Lutheran Church. He married, December 25, 1890, Miss Mary Hostetler, who died in October, 1892, leaving no children. On November 14, 1894, Mr. Barr married Elizabeth Burkel. They have four children. The oldest, Harold C., was with the United States Army during the World war as assistant pharmacist, with the rank of sergeant, at Debarkation Hospital at Ellis Island. He is a member of the American Legion and is in the drug business at Dover. The second son, Arthur M., was a student volunteer during the World war, is now with a manufacturing industry at Granite City, Illinois. Walter J., the third son is in the tire and automobile accessory business at Dover and Eugene A., aged fourteen, is still in school.
History of Ohio, The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925, Volume V