Page 821-822, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


A. J. Barker, a Civil war veteran and Kansas pioneer, is a native of Illinois. He was born in Schuyler county September 3, 1844, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Stephenson) Barker. William Barker was a native of Virginia and of English descent. He was an early settler in Schuyler county, Illinois, where he received a government land grant for having rendered meritorius service in the Black Hawk Indian war. The Barker family were well known cutlery manufacturers in England.

A. J. Barker was one of a family of ten children. He spent his early life on the pioneer farm in Illinois, engaged in the peaceful pursuits of the average boy of his time. Before he was eighteen years old, on July 19, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Fifteenth regiment, Illinois infantry, under Colonel Moore. His command was attached to the army of the Cumberland under General Thomas, and Mr. Barker participated in the battles of Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Buzzards Roost, Buzzards Roost Gap, and was captured at the latter place and kept prisoner with 8,000 other


Federal soldiers and two weeks later was paroled. He served throughout the war with distinction and was discharged with an enviable military record, June 11, 1865, on account of the close of the war, lacking eight days of serving three years. He saw much hard service but has never regretted the sacrifices that he made on the march, under fire or in Confederate prisons, that the Union might triumph over her vanquished foes.

After receiving his discharge from the army, Mr. Barker returned to Illinois, where he was married in 1867, to Miss Elizabeth Bean, a native of Illinois of Kentucky parentage. Mr. Barker and wife remained in Illinois, where they engaged in farming until 1870, when he sold his farm of eighty acres at a good profit and he and his family came to Kansas, locating in Brown county. He bought eighty-five acres of land there and from time to time, bought additional land until he owned 303 acres. In 1895, he sold his Brown county property for $25,000 and came to Butler county and bought 480 acres of land in Milton township, which he later sold at a profit and bought 400 acres, to which he added 120, and afterward bought 240 acres more in Oklahoma.

Mr. Barker has been extensively engaged in the cattle business and has met with marked success in that industry and in addition to his general farming and stock operations, he has been a money loaner for over twenty years and is very heavily invested in farm mortgages. His career has been one of unusual success which he largely attributes to the fact that he has always followed the policy of sticking to his business. In 1910, Mr. Barker retired from active business and gave each of his children 160 acres of land, but this act of generosity by no means impoverished him as he has enough of this world's goods left to properly classify him among Butler county's wealthiest citizens.

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