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Biographies of Buchanan County Residents:

Frank C. Barrington

Transcribed by Danielle Thompson

From the History of Buchanan County and the City of St Joseph and Representative Citizens

 FRANK C. BARRINGTON, president and manager of the Columbian Electrical Company, at St. Joseph, is one of the enterprising and progressive men, who in the last few years have contributed much to the business impetus which is shown in every branch of the city’s commercial life. Mr. Barrington is still a young man, born July 11, 1873, at St. Joseph, Missouri, and is a son of Charles Connor and Almedia (Timerson) Barrrington.

     Edmund Barrington, our subject’s great-grandfather, who was born in Dublin, Ireland, came to America before the adoption of the Constitution, being then five years old. His father died while making the trip over the ocean, but his mother and the remainder of the family landed safely at Philadelphia, which became the family home for several generations. On June 14, 1804, Edmund Barrington, our subject’s great-grandfather, was married to Eleanor Connor, whose father was a sea-faring man and died on his ship from a wound received during the Revolutionary War.

     Edmund Barrington, our subject’s grandfather, was born in Philadelphia, where he was associated with the press of that time, understanding the art of printing and making a comfortable living through translations from foreign languages. He belonged to the literary coterie of old Philadelphia, October 10, 1810, and was a daughter of John Leonard and Mary (Andrews) Rogers. Mr. Rogers was born in New York, but after his marriage always resided at Philadelphia; his father was killed during the Revolutionary War. The children of Edmund and Eliza (Rogers) Barrington were Mary Eliza, Michael Connor, Eleanor Anne and Charles Connor. Of this family all are deceased, except our subject’s aunt, Eleanor Anne, who still resides in Philadelphia.

     The late Charles Connor Barrington, father of our subject, was educated in the Philadelphia public schools and was graduated from the High School. His business experience prior to removing to the West in 1864 was as a clerk in John Wyeth’s laboratory, in Philadelphia, this pharmacist having taken the large contract to supply drugs to the army during the Civil War. When the chemist had completed his contract, his young assistant found himself without a situation. Just at this time, William M. Wyeth, well known in St. Joseph, Missouri, was visiting his brother in Philadelphia, and induced the young man to visit the West. This visit resulted in Mr. Barrington finding conditions so congenial in the Western City that, doubtless to the surprise of his eastern relatives, he never returned to live in Philadelphia.

     Mr. Barrington served as a member of the Home Guard during his first year in Missouri, He then entered the employ of William M. Wyeth as credit man for this important house, and this association, brought about by chance, continued until Mr. Barrington’s death on September 12, 1884. He was a charter member of the first Knights of Pythias lodge organized here and was connected with many of the earlier business and social bodies. Politically he was a Republican.

     On the maternal side our subject can claim distinguished ancestry and gentle blood. On May 27, 1865, Charles Connor Barrington was married at St. Joseph, Missouri, to Almedia Timerson, who was at that time residing with her sister Mrs. Caroline Benham. She was a daughter of Charles and Margery (Blanchard) Timerson. Her great-grandfather, Charles Timerson, was a native of France, one of the émigré Huguenots who fled from their native country and found homes in America. He settled in Canajoharie, Montgomery County, New York, and took part in the War of the Revolution. Mrs. Barrington’s paternal grandparents were Charles and Mary (Holcomb) Timberson, the latter being also of French extraction and a native of Whitehall, New York. The maternal grandfather of our subject, Charles Timerson, was born December 10, 1806, at Auburn, New Yourk and he was in charge of the State Prison there as warden for many years, this connection being broken upon his retirement from active life, in 1850. His death took place in 1884. He married Margery Blanchard, also of Auburn, New York, and they had a family of 10 children born to them, the two survivors being: Mrs. Barrington and Mrs. Eliza Campbell, of Marshall, Michigan. Tracing in another line, we find that our subject’s great-uncle, Michael Connor, was a commander in the British Navy. This interesting study of family records might be extended, if space permitted, but enough has been recalled to show the quality of the stock from which sprung the progressive and enterprising citizen of whom it is our privilege to write.

     After completing his common-school education in the schools of St. Joseph, Frank C. Barrington started out to engage in the battle of life for himself. He found his first opportunity where many another successful man has found his, -in railroad work, -and he was connected with the Burlington system for several years. From there he went into the sales department of the Buell Manufacturing Company, where a few years of business experience prepared him for his next advancement, when he became secretary to W.T. Van Brunt, general manager of the St. Joseph Railway, Light, Heat & Power Company. During his railroad connection he had learned stenography and it was also during these years that he first became interested in electricity, having charge of the lighting department in the local offices.

     In 1893, in partnership with George C. Rough, who was auditor of the railroad company, and Charles E. Roehle, then the electrical engineer for the railroad company, he organized the Columbian Electrical C9ompany, which was incorporated officers: George C. rough, president and manager; and Frank C. Barrington, secretary and treasurer. In 1896 Mr. Barrington became president of the company, having purchased Mr. Rough’s interest. At its beginning, the business was retail in its scope, the work being electrical construction of all kinds, but the business seemed to be so firmly founded that by 1898 contracts were taken for wholesale work and now the Columbian Electrical Company is one of the largest electrical jobbing houses west of the Mississippi River. Business extends all over the Middle West and is constantly reaching into new territory. This company has installed many large electrical plants in this section. It equipped the Willis Theatre at Kansas City, and has had equally large contracts at other points. The success of this company must be directly attributed to the energy, enterprise and business ability of its young president. He is interested in other business combinations and is on the directing board of the Missouri & Kansas oil & Gas Company.

     Mr. Barrington has a beautiful home in St. Joseph and a pleasant family circle, having married Vinnie Shultz, a member of one of the old families of St. Joseph. The family belong to Christ Protestant Episcopal Church.

     In politics Mr. Barrington is one of the city’s active and influential Republicans, a member of the republican County Committee and during the mayoralty of Mayor Combs was a member of the City Council. His fraternal membership is with the Elks and he is one of the charter members of the organization in this city.