Biography of Seth S. Barker
FROM: History of Livingston County, New York
By James H. Smith
Assisted by Hume H. Cole
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1881


The subject of this sketch was born near Oriskany Falls, N. Y., August 30, 1801. His parents whose ancestors came from England in the seventeenth century, and settled in New England, were from Connecticut. Feb. 8, 1821, he married Sarah Durfee, who was born in Fall River, R. I., and whose mother was a descendant from the old warrior, Col. Church, of King Phillip's time. Soon after his marriage, Mr. Barker Set out on foot with his knapsack on his back to seek a home in the West. In August, 1821, he came to Nunda and took an article for the farm on East Hill, where he now resides, selecting it on account of the large timber growing theieou. The place where the village now stands being then covered with pitch pine and scrub oaks, he considered it valueless. He then went for his wife and her mother, and returned in November with them to his forest home. The house to which they moved scarcely deserved the name, blankets being suspended instead of doors and windows. He was a person of few words, but deep thought, and though not appearing to be as vigilant as some was silently conquering troubles and overcoming difficulties little known to others. He has held several offices of trust, serving several terms as Assessor and Commissioner of Highways of the town. Being quite a mechanic, he manufact ured many of his tools, while most of his neighbors had to purchase theirs. He kept well informed as regards the news of the day, both in our own and foreign countries.

Mrs. Barker, as a weaver and spinner, was unexcelled. She wove cloth for her neighbors, made cloths and exchanged them at the stores for her purchases; also worked considerable at the tailor's trade. While her husband was working in the timber, she nobly did her part working at her loom, and to show her skill it is stated that when only 11 years of age she wove 1,100 yards of checked dress cloth for a factory in Fall River. Mr. and Mrs Barker have been married 60 years, and have had four children, three of whom are now living as follows: Munson O., who married Adaline Rawson; Orlando W., who married Mary B. Swain. and Justus L, who married Olive L., daughter of Richard Bowen, who moved to this county from Fall River, Mass., in 1825.

Time has dealt gently with this pioneer couple. and the severe hardships and trials through which they have passed have left but few impressions. They have been members of the Baptist church for over fifty years. Surrounded by their sons, who are living on adjacent farms, their path of life is, in return for untiring energy and industry, being beautifully strewn with flowers of filial love and veneration.

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