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Stillman Barber
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Birth: Feb. 23, 1821
South Kingstown
Washington County
Rhode Island, USA
Death: Feb. 12, 1907
Fisher County
Texas, USA

Stillman Barber, the seventh son of Moses Barber and Elizabeth Belcher, was born in February 23, 1821 at South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He was perhaps named for a Baptist minister in that area. He served as an ensign in the Third Company of Infantry of the State of Rhode Island in the Dorr Rebellion of 1841-42.

He followed his brothers, Lyman and Moses, to Illinois around 1842 and farmed in Macoupin Co. His neighbors were Robert Pilford Murphy and his wife, Mary Ann (Clark). Mrs. Murphy help nurse Stillman Barber back to health after a fever. Robert Murphy died in 1847 leaving three young children and Mary Ann pregnant with their fourth.

The neighbors Stillman and and Mary Ann were married April 6, 1848. The Murphy's children were John Harvey, Robert, Julia Ann and James Murphy. Stillman became the Murphy children's guardian and signed a contract to provide them a year of college education.

Stillman and Mary Ann had seven children, five of which survived to adulthood:

Mary Ann was born in 1850 and died in infancy.

Sarah Catherine was born in 1852, married Thomas Wheatley East, changed her name to Katie S. East. She died in 1934.

Susan Elizabeth was born in 1854 and died in 1855.

Margaret was born in 1856. She married Brandt Badger. She died in 1948.

Moses Lyman Barber was born in 1858. He married Dixie Waynant. He died in 1898.

Ida was born in 1860. She married Uriah Collins. She died in 1933.

Gardner Clark was born in 1862. He married Betty Burchard. He died in 1891.

Stillman was a farmer and merchant. He farmed in Macoupin county at various locations. For a time he purchased and ran a boarding house, but soon returned to farming. In 1856, the family moved to Piatt County, IL to a bare piece of prairie. He was called "one of the most energetic men of [Piatt] county." The 40 acre apple orchard he planted there produced as many as 1000 bushels of apples a year. He participated in county and state fairs and won honors samples of his grain and fruit. In 1864, the family moved to the town of Milmine and he became a merchant. He owned a store and grain elevator. He rented out his farm property. He served as Justice of the Peace, postmaster, school director and railway agent.

In 1875, weary of the hard winters and suffering from rheumatism and having
lost his grain elevator and store to fire, Stillman traveled to Gonzales, Texas and purchased the Mathew's plantation. The family moved in 1876. Oldest daughter, Katie and her husband moved the following year but moved back to Piatt Co. IL short time later. The Murphy children, now grown, remained in IL. Margaret attended college in IL but later moved to Texas. Stillman's health evidently improved enough for him to return to working his own land, unusual for gentlemen of his standing.

His son Gardner Clark raised horses and shipped them by railway car back to the Barber's hometown of Milmine, IL, broke them and sold them at Milmine. Daughters Ida and Margaret were educated at college and became school teachers. Gardner Clark and Moses also attended college near Gonzales.

Stillman's son, Gardner Clark, was killed in 1891. Mary Ann Barber died in

About 1897, Stillman purchased a 5000 acre ranch formerly owned by Judge C.R. Breedlove on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, north of Roby, Texas. The community nearby (now a ghost town) was known as Fisher and later as North Roby. Stillman's son, Moses, was probably the foreman of the ranch. Moses died in March 1898 leaving a young wife, Dixie Wyatt Barber and daughter, Catherine. Later that year, Stillman's daughter Ida and her husband, Uriah Collins and their young children moved to the ranch, and Uriah worked as ranch foreman.

Stillman's granddaughter, Ida Jane Collins, remembered him as a doting grandfather. She wrote, "He also sang for us; he made up songs about the family, our pets, or anything that would get a 'rise' out of us. He also quoted verses and full chapters from the Bible...He taught us much about nature...He went to church on Sunday morning, regardless of the denomination doing the preaching."

Stillman had sold most of the ranch by the time of his death in 1907, but was still living with the Collins family on a portion of it. His obituary said, "He has always been a prominant factor in the upbuilding of [Fisher] county. He was public spirited and a thorough business man...Grandpa Barber, as he was generally known, will be missed by the whole community."


Lois J. (Barber) Schroeder, Moses Barber of South Kingstown, Rhode Island and Many Descendants 1652-1984, (Decorah, Iowa: Anundsen Publishing, 1984)

Emma C. Piatt, History of Piatt County, (Shepard and Johnston, Chicago, 1883).

Transactions of the Illinois State Agricultural Society, V. 5 1893 and V. 7, 1895.

Ida Jane Collins, A History of the Uriah Collins Family from 1898-, manuscript.

Obituary, [piece missing, but probably Fisher] County Banner as quoted by the Messenger [probably Marble Falls Messanger].

Written by R Strickland, Find A Grave Contributor #47716063
Family links: 
  Moses Barber (1782 - 1880)
  Elizabeth Belcher Barber (1787 - 1847)
  Mary Ann Clark Barber (1821 - 1892)*
  Catherine Sarah Barber East (1852 - 1934)*
  Margaret Barber Badger (1856 - 1948)*
  Moses Lyman Barber (1858 - 1898)*
  Ida Barber Collins (1860 - 1933)*
  Gardner Clark Barber (1862 - 1891)*
  Moses Barber (1812 - 1851)*
  Annie Chapman Barber Sherman (1815 - 1847)*
  Lyman Barber (1817 - 1891)*
  Pardon R Barber (1819 - 1831)*
  Stillman Barber (1821 - 1907)
  Solomon Barber (1823 - 1905)*
  Hiram Barber (1825 - 1893)*
  Gardiner Smith Barber (1827 - 1905)*
  Jesse Barber (1829 - 1909)*
  Sarah Elizabeth Barber Briggs (1833 - 1921)*
*Calculated relationship
Christian father, grandfather, friend to the needy. We loved him.
Roby Cemetery
Fisher County
Texas, USA
Maintained by: Sandra
Originally Created by: Janie Healer Davis
Record added: Feb 27, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24929038
Stillman Barber
Added by: R Strickland
Stillman Barber
Added by: Donny Franks
Stillman Barber
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Janie Healer Davis
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Sandra
 Added: Nov. 24, 2011

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