DARLIN BARBER, born August 10, 1812, on the farm he now resides on, is the son of John and Lovina (Thompson) Barber, and one of fourteen children, being the eldest of those now living. He was brought up on the home farm, and in his
youth attended the district school, where he received a fair education. He assisted his father in the farm work, dividing his time pretty equally, as was the custom in those days, between a little schooling and plenty of hard work at home. The boy who now rises in time to eat his hearty breakfast and go only a few steps to his ward school cannot realize what his pioneer. father had to endure in the early days of the settling of this country. Rising before dawn to feed the cattle, milk the cows, and do the “chores” so necessary on the farm, and then, after a homely meal, to trudge with spelling-book and arithmetic
many weary miles through forest and glade to the little log school-house, where even the pens they wrote with had to be made by them, education was a hard and toilsome hill to climb; and the only wonder is that they were as intelligent and well read as they were.
When our subject was about twenty-one years of age, he married Miss Apema Annas,
who was born in the town of Fenner, daughter of Oliver Annas, a farmer of that town. After his marriage he bought the old home farm from his father, which consisted of one hundred and twenty-eight acres, of which he still owns one hundred. He is one of the practical farmers of the town, and is foremost in the use of all the modern appliances, from the raising of grain to the improvement of stock on his place. Of his eight children six are living: Edwin J., a farmer of the town of Fenner; Eli M., a minister of the Baptist church in Manlius; Mary M., Mrs. Hilon D. Woodworth, of the town of Sullivan. Amelia T., Mrs. John Maginnis, residing on the home farm; Mason W., of Fayetteville, N. Y.; and
Augusta E., Mrs. B. T. Ball, a resident of Cazenovia. Those deceased are: Cornelia M., who died in 1886, aged forty-nine; and Emily E., who died in 1879, aged thirty-seven. The wife of Mr. Barber died September 4, 1885, aged seventy-four years.
Our subject still resides on the farm, carrying on its business, and is one of the oldest settlers of the town. He early affiliated with the Republican party, and supports and sustains its principles on every occasion. He has held several offices in his town, among them Assessor and Commissioner of Highways. He is an earnest and consistent member of the Baptist church, and does not wear his religion as a cloak to cover ill deeds, but as a shining garment and an example of an upright and Christian life. A short history of his parentage and ancestry will not be uninteresting.
His grandfather was a native of Massachusetts and a farmer in that State, living to be over eighty years of age. He was an active participant in the Revolutionary War, and did good service for the American cause. He had a family of two sons and one daughter, who grew to maturity. The father of our subject was reared in Massachusetts, and came to Madison County in March, 1798, settling
in the town of Fenner, on the farm which is now owned by his son Darlin. He bought land which was all dense woods and occupied by its original denizens--bears, wolves, and other wild animals, including the predatory Indian. The Six Nations abounded, especially the Oneidas; and they made Mr. Barber's log house a frequent stopping-place. After he had cleared his farm, he went into the making of potash, in order that he might have money to secure the necessaries of life
and pay for his farm. He had to carry his grist on horseback to the nearest mill, which was at Whitesboro, taking from two to three days for the journey, and leaving his wife and children miles away from the nearest neighbor, and unprotected save by the watchful care of Providence. No one can appreciate in these days of peaceful serenity what a load of anxiety oppressed the heart of a loving father as he travelled through those trackless forests to procure sustenance for his family. Mr. Barber was well known throughout the country, and was held in the highest estimation. His family consisted of fourteen children,
thirteen reaching manhood and womanhood, but only four now surviving. They are as follows: Darlin, our subject; Amanda, Mrs.
O. B. Hamblin, of Perryville, N. Y.; Permelia, widow of Paul P. Maine, residing in Fayetteville; Nancy, Mrs. Harrington, of Michigan. Mr. Barber was nearly ninety-five years old at the time of his death, which occurred November 30, 1869, on his farm. His wife also died there, aged eighty-four years. They were zealous Baptists, and reared their children in that faith. He was a stanch Republican, being among the first to become a member of that party on its organization. Thus it is to be seen that Darlin Barber's industry, honesty, and integrity are as much his by inheritance as by his own native worth. "Blood will tell," as "good wine needs no bush"; and in the case of our subject these proverbs are justly verified.
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