Edward W. Barker, the mayor and one of the prominent commission men of Burlington, was born in Ireland, Dec. 25, 1848, the son of Benjamin D. and Margaret (Warren) Barker. His parents were also born in Ireland, but were descended from English ancestors. The family came to America in 1850, located in Will county, Illinois, and engaged in farming. Subsequently he moved to Livingston, Ill., where he lived to the hearty old age of eighty-eight years. The family were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and earnest workers in all of its branches.
Edward Barker was educated in the district schools of Illinois and after completing his education started out in life by working on a farm at fifty cents a day. He was ambitious, saved money as he grew older, and decided to take advantages of the opportunities offered in the new country opening up in the West. In 1877 he came to Kansas and bought a small farm on Otter creek. He was industrious, worked hard and soon had as fine a farm as could be found in the country. Mr. Barker is a keen-sighted business man and saw that dealing in cattle was a lucrative industry. He first located in Burlington in 1877, and later bought land on Otter creek where he resided until 1891, when he again removed to Burlington. He buys and sells mules, horses and cattle, registered draft stallions and jacks. He is a lover of good horses and mules, which is a contributing factor to his success. He is also engaged in farming and stock raising, having over 4,000 acres of land devoted to that purpose. He also owns 1,476 acres of valuable land in the winter garden district of southern Texas and 250 acres of which is under cultivation. Mr. Barker has been successful in his business and is regarded as one of the substantial citizens of Burlington. In politics he is a Republican and was elected mayor of the city on that ticket. His religious affiliations are with the Methodist Episcopal church of which he has been trustee for over twenty years; he has also been president of the board of stewards for the same length of time. In 1908 he was elected a delegate to the general conference of the church, held at Baltimore, one of the highest honors which the church can bestow.
Mr. Barker's wife was Bettie E. Tuttle, the daughter of a prominent banker and stockman of Illinois. Her parents moved to Kansas and the father engaged in the loan business at Wichita, and accumulated a considerable fortune before his death. Two daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. Barker. Iva married Wilson Morris and resides in Burlington, and Reno May, now the wife of Jesse Harrington, also resides in Burlington. Their husbands are both stock men. Mrs. Barker died on May 30, 1910.Pages 1028-1029 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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