In the midst of one of the many prosperous farming communities of this locality, where fields upon fields of rich farm lands are broken only by the groups of comfortable farm buildings half hidden by the surrounding orchards and shade trees, with always a bank of woods for a background against the horizon, is a country church yard, peaceful amid its surroundings of pastoral beauty, like that which inspired the immortal Elegy. Close by is the church and not far away the school house, where assembled the youth of the community imbued with the hopes, ambitions and joys that inspired their elders a generation ago, whose names are now carved upon the stones in the quiet enclosure.

Such was the community that took the name of its earliest settlers, Joshua T. Barber, who gave the land for the first log school house. Mr. Barber came to Marshall county from New York state and made his claim here in 1848. The first log school house was built on his farm which served its purpose in educating many children. In 1864, Mr. Myers, grandfather of Justin Myers of Plymouth, trustee at that time, saw the need for a new school building and this too, was built on the Barber farm. This building was used for church and community gatherings such as debates, literaries, spelling schools, etc. for many years. It served for school purposes, until 1901, when the present school building was built on what is now known as the J. L. Cochran farm by the trustee, Ed. R. Monroe.

John Stull bought the farm, now owned by Neal Stull in 1854. This 40 acre farm which was heavily timbered, was bought for $10 per acre. Mr. Stull had a pet deer which made the last five dollar payment. This farm has always been noted as one of the best in the community. Mr. Stull, a soldier of the Civil war, was constable for several years. He was the father of nine children. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. B. L. Gardner, in 1922.

Among the early settlers of the Barber neighborhood was the Sanford Sheaks family which imigrated from near Columbus, Ohio, about the year 1858. At that time, the country in that locality was almost a wilderness, no drainage, no established roads or railroads and the settlers had to raise their crops among the stumps. But many of the early pioneers lived long enough to properly drain, fence and clear the land, making way for the modern machinery that is now used on the farms.

Anthony Turner came from Michigan in 1867 located on what is known as the Turner farm, which was in solid timber. This is the only farm near that has not changed ownership. Mr. Turner was a soldier of the Civil war and is still living.

Wesley Rupel located on the farm, now owned by J. L. Cochran, in 1871. Ten children were born into the home. Mr. Rupel moved to Walkerton in 1908 and died in 1914.

James Strang came from New York in 1868, and located on what is now known as the Oliver Cripe farm. He was a great church worker. He died in 1891, the father of five children.

In 1873, John Devine bought 40 acres of land of Jonas Fulmer, He improved it and built a home which was graced by eight children. He died in 1923.

Willis Wright located here in 1872 and bought a farm of Jim Holstean. He raised a family of three girls and died in 1900.

Chas. Poff came here from Pennsylvania in 1874 and located on the farm now owned by Eugene Skinner. He died in 1914. Mrs. Poff is still living at the age of 91. They had seven children. John Kilgore, father of Gen. Kilgore, voted the first ballot in Polk township.

Cyrus Tabor was the first white child born in Marshall county.

In 1863 Allen Ramsby came from Pennsylvania and located on the present Ramsby farm. He was the father of six children. He served one and one-half years in the Civil war and died in 1909 at the age of 80 years. Susan and George Jacobs donated one acre of land for the Barber cemetery in 1870. Della Snyder and Sarah Thompson were among the first to be buried there. It has since became the last resting place of many a weary traveler, who has passed into the great beyond. Thru the efforts of those for whom the cemetery holds many precious memories, a new fence, enclosing the hallowed ground, has just been completed.

The Barber church was built in 1878. Marshall Ramsby’s funeral was the first service held there, it being before the building was completed. Rev. Patee was the first pastor. Many revivals and many tender memories center around the little country church which closed its doors in 1923, the last pastor being Rev. Richart. We regret the passing of Barber church which has wielded a great influence for good among the inhabitants here and around which are centered so many precious memories of other days.

In 1880, Sylvester Martin and Andie Unkefer were operating a money still, counterfeiting the real cash, on the Rickle hill, now owned by S. E. Morris. They were arrested and sent to federal prison and after serving some time there were pardoned by President Hayes. We still have some stills dripping, whose operators are uncaught and unpardoned.

Jonas Fulmer came here in 1862 and died in 1880. His estate was purchased by Christian Schmeltz in 1882 who raised seven children. He departed this life in 1902.

Other early settlers included Simon Casady who came here in 1870, Mr. Rodrich, 1871; Ben Alwood in 1872; Wolfenbarger in 1873, and Alexander in 1874.

Joe Walton operated a basket factory.

A. C. Knott built a saw mill at an early date near the Pee-wee railroad. The crossing still goes by the name of “Knott’s Crossing.”

John Baugher built a saw mill in 1888, near the same place, on what is now known as the Seymour Stull farm.

Lou Lemert has the distinction of owning and operating the first horseless carriage in this settlement. That was in 1900. The car was a “one lunger” with high buggy wheels, a wonder in its day but the grief and sorrow it brought to its early master would make a modern Ford owner ashamed of himself.

The old oaken bucket,
The iron bound friendship,
Ceased to exist as it did by the dell.
The wide angling roadway
And the curling stream by it
Are straightened till now
It seems like a dream.
So dear to our hearts
Are the scenes of our childhood
When fond recollections presents them to view.