James R. Barber

James R. Barber, secretary of the Cherokee Iron Company, at Cedartown, Ga., was born in Talladega County, Ala., September 24, 1846, and is a son of W. C. and Louisa C. (Casey) Barber. W. C. Barber had his nativity in Clarke County, Ga., July 7, 1820, and was reared a farmer. He received a good education and for three years taught school in what is now Polk County, Ga.

In 1846 he went to Goldville, Ala., and for about two years engaged in gold mining; then returned to Polk County, Ga., where he farmed for one year, and again taught school two years. In 1857 he removed to Bartow County, where he was placed in charge of the Allatoona Iron Furnace, which he managed one year, turning out pig iron and making castings. He next passed a year at the Upper Stamp Creek Iron Furnace, as store and bookkeeper, and was then made manager of the Allatoona Furnace, and remained in charge three years. His next venture was at the Allatoona gold mines, of which he had the management for two years, from which point he moved to Cartersville and for three years was a merchant, and then moved to Polk County, Ga., where he has since resided, devoting his time to trading in real estate and to the cultivation of the soil.

He is a gentleman of considerable prominence in his comunity, and his large experience is frequently called into exercise by his neighbors when wise counsel is desired.

His father was Allen Barber, who married Fannie Crawford. Allen Barber was a native of Virginia, born in 1800, and was a son of James Barber, a mechanic, but who devoted the greater part of his life to agricultural pursuits. Louisa C. (Casey) Barber was born in Morgan County, Ga., and was a daughter of Henry Casey. Of her children there are two living -- Mrs. Fannie G. Ford, and James R., whose name heads this sketch. James R. Barber was brought by his parents to Georgia during his infancy.

He received a good education, and in 1866 commenced clerking in a store, followed that vocation about eighteen months, and then read law with Blance & Thompson. In 1868 he was admitted to the bar, and followed the practice of his profession about three years. He then engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1875, when he resumed the law and practiced until 1878, at which time he became bookkeeper for the Cherokee Iron Company at Cedartown. In 1879 he was elected secretary of the company, and still holds that position.

Mr. Barber has held several other positions of honor and trust. He was tax collector of Polk County in 1871, and has served one term as mayor of Cedartown; he was also one term reporter for the Rome circuit court, and in 1884 was appointed secretary and treasurer of the East and West Alabama Railroad Company, which position he held until the road was sold in 1887. The Cherokee Iron Company, of which Mr. Barber is the present secretary, is owned by four gentlemen, to wit: Messrs. W. C. [Barber], Edward F. and J. Hull Browning, of New York, and A.Y. West, of Cedartown, Ga. The capital stock is $350,000, and the employes number 200.

Mr. Barber was married November 16, 1869, to Miss Mary L. Wood, of De Kalb County, Ga., a daughter of Charles H. and Evalin (Wilson) Wood. Mr. and Mrs. Barber are members of the Methodist Church, while he is an enthusiastic Mason, having been three times master of Caledonia Lodge, No. 121, and having represented it three times in grand lodge. He is also present high priest of Adoniram Chapter, No. 41, and a member of Coeur de Leon Commandery, Nox. 4, at Atlanta, Ga.

[Souvenir Sketches of Georgia and Florida, published sometime before Wiley Crawford Barber died in 1892. Wiley C. Barber was born at Watkinsville, which is now in Oconee County]

Contributed by David Morgan