Known as Ben (also called "Old Man Ben Barber" and "Uncle Ben"), he said he was with his uncle Mose during Mose's stay in central Florida, was involved in the feud, and, after wandering over the state for a quarter of a century, returned to the vicinity of the then defunct Barber Plantation on the Little Saint Mary's River to live out his last days. He was aged and could hardly walk.
As mentioned elsewhere in this narrative, he was the most extraordinary person to have ever lived…or died. Some of his biographers said he was killed by drowning in 1870 in Orange County, but the old fellow died again in 1898 near Macclenny and was buried in the Barber and Slave Cemetery in Baker County…a most extraordinary person indeed.
Moses B. F. "Ben" Barber has become an enigma to most Barber family researchers. Until the 1980's the name Moses B. F. Barber had not been heard of or read by most old time Barbers I talked with. Ben was in the ambulance corps in the Confederate Army and was discharged from the CSA Army at Waldo at the end of the war. Had the Confederacy been victorious, he might have been hanged, because he deserted from Capt. J. J. Dickison's Cavalry unit to the Union Army in early 1865 and gave them intelligence about CSA units in the area. He claimed to have deserted twice. From what the old timers said about him after he returned to Baker County late in the century, he might have told the Yankees the truth…and then…he might not have…he had a reputation for playing freely with facts.
Moses B. F. signed the oath of allegiance to the United States in Jacksonville in February of 1865.
Aunt Caroline Tanner, his relative (don't know how), took him in when he wandered back to Baker County in the mid 1880's and requested the county place him on the paupers' roll. He is listed on the Baker County pauper roll in the late 1890's and as late as 1901 when he had been dead three years (this man gets more amazing with every new bit of his life and death that turns up!). Aunt Caroline collected his pauper's pension until 1902…don't know if she wound up in trouble over this or not.
As per his wish he was buried in the Barber Cemetery in 1898 near where he thought his parents had been buried. His burial in the Barber Cemetery was attested to by three witnesses of his committal service who personally gave me the burial information - Charles Monroe Barber, James Edward Barber, and James Robert Rowe. Further proof of the old gent's burial site came from the Federal Works Agency Works Projects Administration of Florida – Register of Deceased Veterans, Florida #2, Baker County, St. Augustine, 1940-41 – Barber Cemetery plat #3.
Regarding the tendency of some during the past several years to rename Moses Edward, Jr. ("Little Mose") Moses B. F., please understand I am not married to Little Mose remaining what his parents named him. There are so many similarities between the two young Mose Barbers that I find myself becoming confused…but the fact remains, Little Mose's own family knew him as Moses Edward, Jr., and we know Moses Ben was buried in Baker County in 1898. But I don't think even he had the ability to die twice in two different places almost 30 years apart.
William Eugene "Gene" Barber, Artist, Instructor, Historian & Genealogist authored a series of articles for the Baker County Press entitled "The Way It Was", specifically column from 1978.
The confusion continues! When was Moses moved to Woodlawn? Was it when the US Government sought out the graves of veterans and found Moses B F in the untended overgrown Barber Family Cemetery or ?
Created by: djcarroll
Record added: Dec 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 82557903