Cover: Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties
1891 Portrait and Biographical Record:
George W. Barger


GEORGE W. BARGER. A cursory glance at the biographical sketch of our subject will show that he is one who, buffeted by the adverse winds of circumstances and being, has overcome them all, guiding his life barge safely through the deep waves and sandy shallows, and anchoring it safely in a placid harbor. For what is life beside this? Do not heroes of battle, of invention, literature, the sciences and arts, all work in order that they may enjoy peacefully? So has our subject, and though comparatively a young man he has already attained a position in the township in which he lives that promises not only security and comfort, for the present, but advancement for the future.

He of whom we write is the Superintendent in charge of the Moultrie County Poor Farm, an humble position, it is true, but one in which there are opportunities for showing the natural kindness and tenderness and sympathy that the Master has commanded in caring for his "little ones". He is now serving his fourth year in this position, and has filled it to the entire satisfaction of the community at large. The property is located on section 4, of Sullivan Township, and comprises one hundred sixty acres of land. The county also owns forty acres of timber land. Upon the farm is a good, two-story, brick structure, which serves as a home for some twelve to twenty inmates, men, women and children who perhaps were born to better things; who have made their fight by which some one else will be benefited, and now, incapacitated for caring for themselves, the county takes care of its children, granting them a resting place and plenty of substantial nourishment.

The original of our sketch was born in Perry County, December 8, 1850, and is a son of George and Lydia (Davison) Barger. Our subject was but a boy when his parents died, leaving as the issue of that marriage, two children, himself and Lydia M. now Mrs. Huff, of Evansville, Ind. Both parents had been previously married, the father having had ten children by his former marriage, and the mother, three children, the latter bearing the name of Salmon. He of whom we write was reared in the family of a half brother. Charles Barger, in Perry County, Ill. [sic: should be ‘Ind.’], and was early taught the duties of a farmer.

On October 10, 1870, Mr. Barger was united in marriage to Elizabeth J. Marshall, a daughter of William and Mary Marshall, who was born in Perry County, Ind. April 25, 1853. She was only an infant when left motherless, being the youngest of a family of twelve children. She lived at home until her marriage.

In 1872, the original of our sketch came to this State passing one winter in Shelby County, thence went to Cowley County, Kan., where he purchased eighty acres of land near Arkansas City, remaining there two years, during which time he experienced all the hardships caused by the grasshopper plague. In 1873, all the crops were destroyed in the space of a few hours, by the scourge which Moses brought into Egypt, and which has found its repetition so many times in Western American agricultural history. Mr. Barger returned to Shelby County in 1874 and renting land in Penn Township, for five years engaged in farming. In 1879 became to Moultrie County and has since resided near Sullivan. In 1887, he was appointed Superintendent of the Poor Farm and took possession of the place in March, 1888. Under his able management, the Poor Farm is about self supporting.

Our subject and his wife are the parents of five children, who are Bertie, Chester K, James A, Artemas Victor and Lela. Politically he of whom we write is an adherent of the Republican party by his vote and influence doing all he can to propagate and strengthen Republican doctrines. In his religious predeliction he is a Baptist, while socially he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is the owner of eighty acres of land, located in this county.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 702/703

Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb