Dec. 16, 1887 Canyonville Douglas County Oregon, USA
John was born ca 1826 in Kentucky. His parents were James Barker and Nancy Murphy Barker.
John married Margaret Priscilla Gilmore 2 Dec 1847 in Missouri.
The 1850 U.S. Census for Holt Co., Missouri finds John and Margaret living with her parents, James & Mary Gilmore: James Gillmer M 57y Mary Gillmer F 56y David Gillmer M 23y James Gillmer M 20y Elizabeth Gillmer F 16y James Gillmer M 14y Josophene Gillmer F 13y John Barker M 26y Margaret Barker F 26y Nancy Barker F 2y
Note the Gilmore surname is misspelled in the census. Nancy Barker is with John and Margaret. Father-in-law James Gilmore is a blacksmith and John is a carpenter.
John came across the plains in 1852 in a covered wagon drawn by both oxen and horses. They came by way of Burns and Goose Lake, which they crossed, Tule Lake, Klamath Falls, and the Rogue River Valley. There were plenty of Indians on the plains, but the emigrant train was a large one and well-armed. The Barker family brought a considerable amount of cattle. The desert cholera was very severe and fatal on this train. A daughter, Mary, died as did John's aunt Mary. John M. Barker was also very ill, but recovered.
The Barker family finally arrived at Deer Creek [now known as Roseburg], Douglas County, Oregon. Here, John took a donation land claim of 640 acres. John and the family also lived in California for a couple of years. John was a reknown expert wheelwright, wagon-maker and carpenter.
The Barkers' known children: Nancy (L. or A.), b. ca 1846 in Missouri; d. after 1865. Mary, b. ca 1848 in MO; d. 1852 from cholera while crossing the plains. Josephine, b. ca 1852 in MO. Martha E., b. ca 1854, So. Deer Creek, Douglas Co., OR; m. Samuel C. Hudson, 19 Nov. 1871 in Douglas Co., OR William A. Barker, b. 15 Feb. 1856 in Oregon; d. 1 April 1914 in Canyonville, Douglas Co., OR. Sarah Elizabeth, b. ca 1860. Married a Mr. Lynch. John, b. ca 1868. Margaret "Maggie", b. ca 1871.
John Murphy Barker's father, James Barker, came to Oregon from Missouri by way of Texas to join his sons, James M. and Joshua. James, a Methodist preacher, kept a diary of his trip from Texas to Oregon in 1856-58 which has been published by the Lompoc County (Calif) Historical Society. James and his brother Henry W. Barker who died on the plains in 1852 of cholera, were sons of James Barker and Peggy Nolan.