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Gardner Thurston Barker
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Birth: Jan. 10, 1814
Essex County
New York, USA
Death: Oct. 26, 1894
Peoria County
Illinois, USA

Early merchant and distiller; successful investor; mayor of Peoria, Illinois.

Gardner T. Barker was born in Moriah, Essex County, New York, January 10, 1814, the son of Gardner T. and Harriet (Lyon) Barker. He received a public school education, came west in 1838, and associated himself with the upcoming town of Peoria. His success presaged a future in which citizens regarded him as one of the most substantial, wisely conservative, and reliable members of the community.

He engaged initially in the general mercantile business with Abraham S. Cole under the name Cole & Barker, subsequently taking control alone. In 1867, he engaged in the distilling business, which netted him large returns. He continued in active business until 1887, when he retired, devoting his attention to the care of his property and to his duties as president of the Commercial National Bank. He also served as president of the Allaire-Woodward Chemical Company. As a wealthy Peorian, he took up the bonds when the city borrowed large sums of money, and negotiated their distribution through New York investment houses.

On August 20, 1840 he married Helen White of Champlain, New York.

He was, for many years, prominent in politics, an active, staunch Democrat. In 1852, his constituents elected him to the City Council, and in 1862 citizens brought him the mayoralty of the city. They elected him again in 1870-71. He attended to the management of city affairs, and particularly, city finances, with the same success that had marked his business career. He always prided himself on his strict business habits, his integrity, and his honor as a man.

He died October 26, 1894, leaving the record of a busy, honorable, upright life, and a sizeable fortune to his son, Walter, who succeeded to the family businesses and followed him as president of the Commercial National Bank; to his daughter, Ellen Barker McRoberts, an activist in her own right; and to his grandsons, Walter and W.G. McRoberts and Jesse Barker. He was preceded in death by his wife and youngest daughter. 
Family links: 
  Helen White Barker (1817 - 1891)*
  Ellen Barker McRoberts (1843 - 1923)*
  Walter Gardner Barker (1848 - 1914)*
  Jessie Barker Wincup (1856 - 1877)*
*Calculated relationship
Springdale Cemetery and Mausoleum
Peoria County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Barker Family plot
Maintained by: PerseidsGirl
Originally Created by: Amelia (Crombie) Christy
Record added: Sep 30, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 98042494
Gardner Thurston Barker
Added by: Amelia (Crombie) Christy
Gardner Thurston Barker
Added by: Dan Ryan
Gardner Thurston Barker
Added by: Dan Ryan
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- Lisa Harrington
 Added: Sep. 17, 2016

- Lillie Riney
 Added: Sep. 13, 2016

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 Added: Jun. 27, 2016
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