JAMES THOMAS BARKER. - A man of versatile talents, strong individuality, energetic and clear-headed, James Thomas Barker is intimately associated with the promotion of the agricultural and mercantile interests of Wyandotte county. He owns and occupies a valuable farm on the rock road extending outward from Kansas City, his home being one of the most attractive and desirable in this part of the state. A Virginian by birth, he was born June 5, 1861, in Summers county, a son of Anderson L. and Delilah (Hinton) Barker. His father was born, in 1826, in Bedford county, Virginia, and died in Wyandotte county, Kansas, in 1908. He came to this county with his family in 1863, and for awhile lived in an old Indian smoke house, his first Kansas home.
But two years old when his parents located in Wyandotte county, James Thomas Barker attended first the district schools, afterwards continuing his studies at the Palmer Academy. He began to be interested in stock raising when but nine years of age, and has since taken an active part in the development of the agricultural resources of this part of the state. His beautiful home is located on a farm of two hundred and ninety-six acres, and with its attractive surroundings is an ideal place of abode, bespeaking the refinement, good taste, and judicious management of its owner. Mr. Barnett[sic] has other landed property, being interested altogether in two thousand six hundred acres of land, and in addition to carrying on farming and stock raising conducts a general store at Maywood, Kansas, which is near his home.
One of the leading Democrats of his community, Mr. Barker served as a member of the local school board ten years, and for seven years was justice of the peace, in that capacity settling nearly all cases by arbitration. He received the nomination for county clerk, but was not elected to the office, his constant plea for a strictly honest administration causing his defeat. He carefully watches the affairs of the county, and if things go wrong exerts his influence as far as possible to have them righted, having been among the group of trustworthy citizens that caused the convening of the grand jury to investigate the affairs of Wyandotte county.
In 1884, Mr. Barker was united in marriage with Zona E. Stotts, of Ohio, and into their home eight children have been born, namely: Ellen V., wife of Garfield Watson, of Ohio; Callaway A., died at the age of eight years; Albert A., living on the home farm with his father, married Mary E. Brohn; Abbie died when seven years old; Laura and Nannie, twins; William, died in infancy; and Delilah, a remarkably bright and interesting little girl.
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