JOHN A. BARBER - In the professions, as in industrial pursuits, success depends in large measure upon industry and upon close, unremitting attention and perseverance, and, possessing these qualities, together with commendable ambition, John A. Barber has gained a creditable position among the younger lawyers practicing at the Springfield bar.
A native son of Sangamon county, he was born near Cantrall, October 30, 1870, a son of A. J. and Margaret E. Barber. His ancestors in the paternal line-early settlers of Virginia-were of English birth and the name was originally spelled Barbour. One of the representatives of this family represented Virginia in the United States senate, A. J. Barber, the father, is represented on another page of this volume.
John A. Barber early became familiar with farm work, in which he assisted through the periods of vacation while acquiring his education. In early boyhood he attended the common schools of Cantrall, and he prepared for college at Whipple Academy, at Jacksonville, Illinois. He then entered Illinois College there in 1890, and was graduated there in 1894 with the degree of bachelor of philosophy. Following the completion of his college course he took up the study of law in the office of Patton & Hamilton, at Springfield, and in the fall of 1895 he matriculated in the Northwestern University Law School, at Chicago, in which he was graduated with the class of 1897. He was then admitted to the bar and entered upon active practice, forming a partnership with S. D. Scholes, Jr., under the firm name of Scholes & Barber, with offices over the Farmers' National Bank. This relation was maintained until the summer of 1904, when the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Barber became a partner of his brother, Clayton J. Barber, under the firm style of Barber & Barber, with offices in the new Farmers' National Bank building. Mr. Barber engages in the general practice of law, but to some extent makes a specialty of chancery and probate practice, and has gained a good clientage, which makes his professional career a prosperous one. He has also met with success through judicious investment in real estate.
Mr. Barber was reared in the faith of the Democratic party, but has never taken any active part in politics, has never sought or held office, and frequently casts his ballot independently of party ties or affiliation. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is a man of deep religious conviction, although not a member of any church. He contributes generously, however, to church work, without regard to sect or creed. His life is actuated by high moral principles and a deep sense of conscientious obligation marks all of his association with his fellow men. He has ever been strictly temperate, using neither tobacco nor alcoholic beverages, and his strong purpose and high ideals have made him a citizen worthy of the deepest confidence and respect.
On the 11th of October, 1894, Mr. Barber was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Van Meter, who resided near Williamsville, Sangamon county. Her parents still reside upon a farm in the northern part of the county and her father is a dealer in cattle and fine horses. Mrs. Barber is a graduate of the Springfield high school of the class of 1897 and by their marriage they have one son, Raymond, now three years old.