Joseph H. Barber, who owns one of the finest stock farms in the county, located on sections 3, 4, 9 and 10, Brighton Township, was born in the Keystone State, his birth having occurred in Columbia County, June 23, 1825. The family was originally of Scotch origin, but in early Colonial days was established in America. Thomas Barber, father of our subject, was also born in Columbia County, and when he had attained to mature years wedded Miss Mary Henderson, a native of the same county, where they spent their entire lives, both passing away when past the age of three score years. They were representative farming people of that community, highly respected by all, and were members of the Presbyterian Church.
In play and work, in the usual manner of farmer lads, our subject spent the days of his childhood and youth. He was early inured to hard labor and the lessons of industry and self reliance which he then learned have remained with him throughout the succeeding years and proved important factors in his success. After attaining to mature years he left the parental roof and started out in life for himself. He determined to make the West the scene of his future labor, and on coming to Illinois, located in Chicago, where he spent three years and then came to Macoupin County. In the meantime he was married in Mendota to Miss Elizabeth Sproule, who was born in Columbia County, Pa., and on the father’s side is of Irish descent, while her mother’s people had long been residents of the Keystone State. Her parents both died in Pennsylvania, while she was a child, and she came to Illinois to join her brothers who had emigrated to this State some time before and settled in Lee County. Both Mr. and Mrs. Barber, together with their children, attend the Methodist Church and in politics he is an old Jackson Democrat. They are well known citizens of the community, having been closely connected with the best interests of the township for many years, and by those who know them are held in high regard.
throughout his business career Mr. Barber has engaged in general farming and stock raising. He now owns an excellent farm of three hundred and thirty-five acres, much of which is under a high state of cultivation and yields him a golden tribute for the care and labor he bestows upon it. He raises a good grade of cattle, sheep and hogs, not an inferior animal being seen upon the place, but the greater part of his attention has been devoted to the breeding and training of thoroughbred horses. He is a lover of the noble steed and an excellent judge of fine horses. he owns some fine specimens of the Wilkes blood and has several young colts who possess all the best points of the thoroughbred. Upon his farm there is a good half mile course used by Mr. Barber in training and developing the speed of the young horses, and he has a reputation as a trainer which extends throughout the surrounding country. At the local fairs he has also taken many premiums upon his other stock.
By the union of Mr. and Mrs. Berber have been born five children and the family circle yet remains unbroken. James C., the eldest, aids his father in the operation of the old homestead; John E. married Miss Wildia Turk and is now engaged as a prominent dealer and breeder of horses in Windsor, Mo.; Robert Lincoln is also engaged in the operation of the home farm; Lural L. and Margaret, both accomplished young ladies, are yet at home.
Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.