Biography of Daniel Oscar Barker
Posey County, Indiana Biographies





Daniel Oscar Barker, a leading lawyer of southwestern Indiana and a prominent citizen of Posey county, of which he is a native, was born on his father's farm in Robb township, July 31, 1853, the son of Hiram and Elizabeth A. (Fitzgerrell) Barker. Hiram Barker is a native of Kentucky, born near Bowling Green on February 25, 1824, and now a resident of the city of Mt. Vernon. He came to Indiana when a lad of ten .years of age, his parents locating in Gibson county. Here he spent the early years of his life, underwent the vicissitudes incident to that pioneer period, and became a successful farmer. His farm and residence were near the city of Owensville. He became a resident of Mt. Vernon about 1889, and is one of the oldest men in Posey county, his ninetieth birthday occurring in 1914. His wife was a daughter of John S. Fitzgerrell, who was a native of Posey county, and the son of James and Elizabeth (Ray) Fitzgerrell, natives of Ireland, who became pioneer settlers in Robb township. Daniel Oscar Barker acquired his early education in the public schools of Owensville. Subsequently he entered the law department of the Indiana State University and was graduated a member of the class of 1875. He located for practice in Brinston, Ind., where he remained but a few months, removing to McPherson, Kan., the county seat of McPherson county, then in its formative period. Here he built up a lucrative business, was recognized as one of the leading men in his profession in the county, and attained an influential position as a citizen. The severe crop failures, grasshopper plague and reaction from the booming of county seat towns in the early '8os, caused him to return to Indiana, in 1885. He became a resident of the city of Mt. Vernon and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1897 he formed, with George F. Zimmerman, a son-in-law, the firm of Barker & Zimmerman, and was his associate in practice until 1907. In 1909 he formed with Roscoe Usher, his son, the firm of Barker & Barker, with which he was connected at the time of his death, on February 25, 1910. During his practice in Posey county, which covered a span of twenty-five years, Mr. Barker appeared in connection with the most important litigations in its courts. He had wide and comprehensive knowledge of the science of jurisprudence, was a man of strong character and individuality, an orator of no mean power and in argument logical and convincing. He was held in high esteem by the fellow members of his profession and the citizens of his county, in which he attained a position of prominence. Mr. Barker married, on May 25. 1876, Miss Alice B. Doss, the daughter of Azriah Doss, who built the first grist mill in Posey county. This was located at Blairsville. Mr. and Mrs. Barker became the parents of six children, five of whom are living. They are, in order of birth, as follows: Mabel, born January 8, 1878, the wife of George F. Zimmerman, for ten years the associate of Mr. Barker in the practice of law and now a resident of Oklahoma City, Okia.; Roscoe Usher Barker, a review of whom follows this article; Mary V., born February 20, 1889; Claude F., born July 1, 1892, an employe of the Chalmers Motor Company, of Detroit, Mich.; and Gladys A., born October 2, 1894, a graduate of the Mt. Vernon High School, class of 1912; Loyette Barker, born July 8, 1882, died February 4, 1902. When a child of eighteen months she received an injury that resulted in curvature of the spine. She was a brilliant scholar and though an invalid through life was insistent on being allowed to attend school, and completed the tenth grade. Mr. Barker was a high type of the American gentleman, unassuming and conservative, diligent in his duties and commercial affairs, and conscientious in all things. He was a student, possessed a large and well selected library and kept thoroughly in touch with the men and affairs of his day. Political office never appealed to him, although he never neglected in the least his civic duties. He was a Democrat. He was a member of the Masonic order and prominent in the work of the various bodies of that order in Mt. Vernon. He was a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Criterion Lodge, Knights of Pythias.


FROM:
History of Posey County, Indiana
John C. Leffel, Editor
Standard Publishing Company
Chicago 1913.

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