James R. Barker was born in Canada. December 24, 1847, and received his education in the public schools of his native place. Coming to Illinois in 1861, he located in Tazewell County on March 4th of the same year. Here he was employed until 1863, when he enlisted in Company C, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, serving until he was mustered out at the close of the war. During one of the engagements in which he participated he was slightly wounded.
After the war Mr. Barker located in Mason County, where he remained until 1868, when he purchased a farm in Section 32, Sand Prairie Township, Tazewell County, where he has since resided. At one time he was engaged in buying grain at Green Valley, and still owns an elevator at that place. He has also been interested in the coal and grain business, but has continued to operate his farm of 360 acres.
Mr. Barker was married in Malone Township, on December 27, 1866, to Miss May Clark, who was born in Virginia, the daughter of Charles and Caroline (Reed) Clark. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Barker was united in marriage, in Sand Prairie Township, to Miss Lois M. Davison, on January 13. 1875. His second wife is the daughter of A. A. and Abigail (Chandler) Davison, and was born In 1857. Her father came to Illinois from New York in 1849, and settled in Sand Prairie Township, where he engaged in farming and the nursery business. He now resides at Manito. Ill.
The parents of James R. Barker were William and Mary (Hodkinson) Barker, the former born in Boston, Mass., whence he removed to Cleveland, Ohio, there working at his trade as a carpenter and wheelwright. Mr. and Mrs. Barker are the parents of four children: Joseph R., Carrie A., Ida Pearl, and Jennie R. Joseph R. Barker was married to Miss Mary Meeker, August 28, 1902, and Carrie A., to Orlando A. Crawford, December 31, 1903.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 974
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