Michael Barr is the owner of a rich and productive
farm of four hundred acres of land situated on section 24, Prairie
township, this county. He was born in Ireland in February, 1850, a
son of Michael Barr, Sr., who was born in County Mayo, Ireland, on
the 4th of March, 1823. He remained on the Emerald isle for nine
years after his marriage but in 1854 he and his family emigrated
to the United States, locating in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where
they remained until 1869. In the latter year they came to Delaware
county and located first in Honey Creek township but subsequently
removed to Prairie township.
Mr. Barr was an excellent farmer and his place was
one of the valuable properties of the county and for so many years
he was actively engaged in its operation. However, a year or so
before his death he and his wife removed to Manchester and made
their home with their sons, Robert and John and their daughter
Margaret. On the 25th of July, 1913, Mr. Barr, Sr., was called
from this life at an advanced age of ninety years, four months and
twenty one days. He was a member of the Episcopal church and
practiced his life the teachings of Christianity. At the time of
his death a local paper spoke of him as retaining "in a remarkable
degree the clear mind and keen intellect with which he was richly
endowed by nature."
The following characterization is
also quoted from the above mentioned journal.
"His word was his bond and he merited
the full confidence of the community which he enjoyed. He was of a
jovial nature and was never happier than when entertaining a
friend at his home, so noted for its hospitality. The close of
this useful life brings sorrow to his friends and family." His
wife was in her maidenhood Miss Maria C. McCormick and was born in
County Mayo, Ireland, September 25,1825.
Michael and Clara Barr
Her marriage to Mr. Barr occurred in Ireland in 1845 and their married
life, which was terminated by his death in 1913, was one of unusual
understanding and mutual trust. She survived her husband for not quite a year,
dying July 22, While a resident of Ireland
she was a member of the Anglican church but after coming to this country
affiliated herself with the Methodist Episcopal church, in which organization
she was a faithful and efficient worker. Her children were as follows: John,
Allan and Robert, all of Manchester; Michael, of this review; Margaret and Mrs.
Elizabeth Leighton, both residents of Manchester; Minnie and Mrs. J. M. Seaney,
of Barry, Illinois; and James, Carrie and Wilhelmina, all of whom died in
Michael Barr of this review received excellent
home training and early learned the most practical methods of agriculture and
since coming to manhood's estate has followed the occupation to which he was
reared. Success has attended his efforts and he now owns four hundred acres of
some of the finest land in the county. His farm is situated on section 24,
Prairie township, and is within seven miles of Manchester, the county seat. He
has devoted a great deal of time and labor to the improvement of his place and
it is not only valuable but attractive in appearance.
Mr. Barr was married on the 8th of January, 1895,
to Miss Clara S. Snyder, a daughter of George W. and Mary S. (Isbell) Snyder,
natives of Pennsylvania and Illinois respectively. The father was born in 1831
and the mother in 1839 and their marriage was solemnized at Naperville,
Illinois, on the 1st of November, 1857.
George W. Snyder was a son of George and Sarah (Bilman) Snyder, who were natives
of Ohio and came to Illinois when he was a lad of ten years. He was educated in
the district and public schools of his native state. He was reared to
agricultural pursuits and his entire life has been devoted to farming. Following
his marriage he resided at Naperville until 1876, when he removed with his
family to this county, settling near Manchester, upon a farm of one hundred and
thirty three acres upon which he has since resided. In carrying on his farm work
Mr. Snyder proved himself a practical, progressive man, energy and determination
being among his strong characteristics. He began the development of his farm and
with characteristic energy has continued the work of tilling the soil, his
labors bringing about a marked transformation and improvement in the place.
He and his wife are the oldest living couple in Delaware county, and while Mr.
Snyder still performs the necessary work of the fields, his wife manages the
household affairs. In his political views Mr. Snyder was originally a republican
but because of his deep interest in the temperance question transferred his
allegiance to the prohibition party, which he now supports by his influence and
his ballot. Perhaps the strongest element in his life has been the devotion to
the church and his efforts for reform and progress. For many years he has been a
devoted Christian man, holding membership in the Presbyterian church of
Manchester, in which he has served for an extended period as elder, while for
several years he was superintendent of the Sunday school in Milo township. Mrs.
Snyder has always been in deep sympathy with her husband in this work. She was
but seven years of age when she was left an orphan, nor did she even have a
brother or sister, being thus entirely alone in the world. Largely through her
own efforts she educated herself, taught school for several terms and developed
marked talent as a writer, her contributions to magazines and papers being
Mr. and Mrs. Snyder were born six children: Flora, Lisle, and Olive, who passed
away in infancy; Clara, the wife of the subject of this review; Leonard, who
died in 1888; and Loren, who passed away November 1, 1909. Mrs. Barr before her
marriage taught school for a considerable period and from 1889 until 1893 was a
prominent member of the American Educational Aid Association, and organization
which has accomplished much good by providing homes for homeless children and
providing also for the education of deserving girls. Her life has been actuated
by a spirit of broad humanitarianism that has reached out in sympathy and
helpfulness to many. She is also active in church work and her efforts and
influence in that direction have been of marked value in promoting the up
building of the church and the extension of its influence.
To Mr. and
Mrs. Michael Barr have been born six children, namely: Marion, a graduate of
Epworth Seminary; Robert, a junior in the same school; Loren; Margaret; John;
and Leonard. The father is a democrat in his political belief and fraternally
belongs to Lodge No. 165, A. F. & A.M., of Manchester; Olive Branch Chapter, No.
48, R. A. M.; and Nazareth Commandery, No. 33, K. T. His honored parents left a
name that stood for incorruptible integrity and honor and Mr. Barr of this
review has maintained the family tradition of probity and righteousness of life,
discharging to the full all obligations devolving upon him.