NATHAN D. BARBER - (deceased) Whose death happened May 31st, 1878, was one of the old residents of Brighton township. He was descended from a family who were residents of New England, from an early date. He was born in the town of Lyman, Grafton county, New Hampshire, January 10th, 1814. He was one of the oldest of a large family of children. His father was a farmer in moderate circumstances, and the opportunities he enjoyed in early life for obtaining an education were limited. He went to school but little, and for what education he obtained he was obliged to rely wholly on his own efforts. He grew up to manhood in New Hampshire, but left his native state when past twenty-two years of age, with the purpose of making his home in the west, to which many of the enterprising young men of New Hampshire were then emigrating. He reached Alton in May, 1836. His first stopping-place was at Nathan Scarritt's on Scarritt's prairie, he having known the Scarritt family back in New Hampshire. He came to Brighton in the winter of 1836-7, and made that place his home until he moved on the farm where he lived till his death. This farm is a mile and a half north of Brighton, and at the time he purchased the land it was unimproved, and had on it no buildings or fences. He hauled the first load of rails on the land in February, 1839, and went to work improving it gradually, succeeding in bringing it under cultivation, and making a good farm. January 10th, 1841, he married Miss Emeline Moore, daughter of Capt. James and Arethusa Moore. She was born in the town of Lyman, New Hampshire, in September, 1820. The town afterwards called Monroe. Her father emigrated to Illinois, and settled on the Sweetser place, a mile north of Brighton, in the fall of 1837. After he was married, Mr. Barber settled on his farm, and was engaged in carrying it on till his death. He departed this life May 31st, 1878. His wife survived him nearly a years, and died May 7th, 1879. Both died of pneumonia.
He was a man who was universally esteemed as a good man, and a peaceful citizen. His manners were quiet and unassuming, and he was content to lead the unpretentious life of a simple farmer, without ambition to occupy public station. He was on good terms with all his neighbors, and it is not known that he had a single enemy in the community. He was endowed with a retentive and accurate memory, and by reading and observation, had supplemented what he lacked in early education. He came to this state without capital, bought his land on time, and was obliged to rely wholly on his own exertions to make his way in the world. His death was sincerely regretted by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. In politics he had always been a member of the democratic party, though he took no active part in political movements. His character for honesty and integrity was beyond reproach, and in his death Brighton township lost a good citizen. He had three children, all sons, all of whom are now living: John H. Barber, the oldest son, married Mattie E. Simmons, daughter of Samuel C. Simmons, one of the oldest settlers of Jersey county. He has been in business in south-west Missouri and resides at Pierce City, Missouri; George L. Barber married Minta Simmons, also a daughter of Samuel C. Simmons, and is farming in Brighton township. The youngest son, Charles A. Barber is living on the old homestead.