Benjamin Darst Barger, who passed away in 1912 at Le Roy, was for twelve years associated with the local bank
and for five years preceding his demise was the owner of the institution. Before turning his attention to banking
he was engaged extensively in the stock business and he was widely known throughout the county and esteemed wherever
known. His birth occurred in Rockbridge county, Virginia, April 4, 1864 His father was educated for the Presbyterian
ministry but never preached, devoting his time to agricultural pursuits instead. After removing from the east he
first located in Missouri but soon afterward took up his abode upon a small farm in Lucas county, Iowa, northeast
of Le Roy. He was also postmaster for a number of years and held that office at the time of his death. His wife
is also deceased.
Benjamin D Barger was eight years of age when he accompanied his parents to Missouri and was still a child when
the family home was established in Lucas county, this state. He received his education in the public schools and
was reared under the parental roof, assisting his father with the work of the homestead. Following his marriage
he devoted his time to buying and shipping stock, particularly horses, and he became one of the most successful
stockmen in the county In 1890 he removed to Le Roy and in 1900 became cashier of the local bank. He proved very
efficient in that position and under his direction the affairs of the institution were in a most prosperous condition.
In 1907 he became the owner of the bank and his wife took up the duties of assistant cashier. They consulted each
other in deciding questions relative to the management of the bank and worked together in the greatest harmony.
Mr. Barger had an extensive acquaintance in the county and his ability and integrity were universally acknowledged.
He passed away on the 13th of June, 1912, and Le Roy thus lost one of its leading citizens.
Mr. Barger was married in 1884 to Miss Julia Spridgen, whose birth occurred in Lucas county, Iowa, in 1861, and
who is a daughter of William and Elizabeth Spridgen, natives of Lincolnshire, England. Her parents were married
in that shire and remained there until 1851, when they emigrated to America, locating first in Ohio, whence they
went to Indiana, where they resided until their removal to Lucas county, Iowa. In 1862 the father enlisted in the
Union army and died while in the service, in a hospital at St. Louis. He is interred in the National cemetery of
that city. His widow resided upon the farm until about four years before her demise, when she removed to Le Roy.
She reached the advanced age of eighty seven years, passing away on the 21st of April, 1913. She was a Methodist
in her religious belief, as was her husband. To their union were born five children, three of whom grew to maturity,
but only Mrs. Barger and a brother are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Barger became the parents of a son, Elbern, who
died when about nine years of age.
Mr. Barger was a democrat but never desired public office as a reward for party loyalty. He belonged to the Masonic
fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and had many friends in those organizations. In his early manhood
he belonged to the Baptist church but he attended the Presbyterian church. He was a very generous man and could
always be depended upon to do his share in furthering worthy public enterprises. He began his independent career
with no capital and through his own well directed efforts and those of his wife, who is a good business woman,
he accumulated a considerable fortune and was recognized as one of the well to do men of Decatur county. Hem possessed
excellent judgment, could readily determine the value of a proposition and was aggressive and resourceful, qualities
that do much to insure success in any line of endeavor. Mrs. Barger owns a comfortable home and two productive
farms which she leases, one comprising one hundred and sixty acres and the other one hundred acres. She and Mr.
Barger lived together for twenty eight years and their married life was one of unusually close companionship and
of community of interests.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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