Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 496 - 497
Wentworth Barber, an enterprising and successful farmer, residing on section 23, Lyndon Township, is numbered among
the oldest pioneers of this community, dating his residence here from December 8, 1841. He was born in the town of
Berkshire, Franklin County, Vt., December 28, 1819, and his parents, Caleb and Polly (Crampton) Barber, were also
natives of the Green Mountain State. In 1841, they emigrated to the Territory of Wisconsin, where the father
followed farming until his death, in 1847. His wife passed away in 1864. The paternal grandfather was one of the
heroes of the Revolution. The Barber family numbered five sons and three daughters, of whom the following are now
living: Wentworth; Lura, wife of Henry Whitnell, deceased, and a resident of Appleton, Wis.; Gustus, a farmer of
California; and Mary, wife of Benjamin Smart, a farmer of Waukesha County.
Upon the home farm our subject was reared, and in the common schools acquired his education. He remained under the
parental roof until he had attained his majority. Having determined to try his fortune in the West, he landed in
Waukesha County in May, 1841. The trip was made from St. Albans to Whitehall, on Lake Champlain, thence to Buffalo,
and on the steamer "Chesapeake" to Milwaukee, whence he went to Waukesha County, where he remained until the
following December. At that time he hired out to William Ashby, the oldest living settler of Sheboygan County, to
work in a sawmill at $18 per month. On his arrival here Mr. Barber had only twenty shillings. His entire
possessions have been acquired through his own efforts, and he may truly be called a self-made man. In Sheboygan
there were only four houses, belonging to Messrs. Moore, Aldis, Joshua Brown and Capt. Brooks. Indians were very
numerous in the neighborhood, and there were wild animals and wild game. Mr. Barber worked for the old Indian
trader, William Farnsworth, and on one occasion, when he had charge of the "flats," the Indians pitched their tents
on that land. They were told by Mr. Barber to leave, but as they did not do so, he threw them into the river.
Subsequently, "Little Thunder," an Indian who had taken too much liquor, threatened to kill our subject, but Mr.
Barber had in his hand an ox-goad about four feet long with a spike in the end of this, with which he gave the
Indian a jab in the hand. The squaws carried him away, and Mr. Barber had no more trouble. In 1845, he entered
eighty acres of Government land in Lyndon Township - the first entered in this community - and in 1847 began the
development of the wild prairie. His home was a frame house, 18 x 26 feet. There were not many settlers in the
township, and the name of Lyndon was taken about the time he came. There were no roads, and the entire county
seemed on the border of civilization. Mr. Barber aided in building the first schoolhouse in Lyndon Township, and
has been prominently identified with the entire progress and development of this community. He was instrumental in
establishing the Baptist Church, and his name is inseparably connected with every work of public improvement.
On the 6th of September, 1847, Mr. Barber married Miss Elizabeth Ashby, and unto them were born three children, two
yet living. Whitman Ashby, who was born October 17, 1853, and was educated in the common schools and Ripon College,
was a successful teacher for several years, and is now a progressive farmer of Lyndon Township. He married Miss
Nina Windel, a native of Wisconsin, and they had a daughter, Mamie, a young lady of sixteen, who will graduate from
the Waldo High School in 1894, and is quite proficient in music. Her mother died May 22, 1879, and Whitman Ashby
afterwards married Cora Sprague, a native of New York. He is a Republican, is the present Chairman of the Board of
Supervisors, and is an influential and progressive citizen. He belongs to the Odd Fellows' society of Waldo.
Julia, the only daughter of our subject, was educated in the Hingham High School. Mrs. Barber was called to her
final rest September 6, 1866, and in April, 1867, Mr. Barber married Mrs. Angeline (Colwell) Conner, a native of
Putnam County, N. Y. She has successfully taught school in the Empire State and Wisconsin, and is a faithful member
of the Baptist Church.
In early life Mr. Barber was an old-line Whig, and was an enthusiastic supporter of Gen. William Henry Harrison,
although he was not quite old enough to vote at the time of the election. Since the organization of the Republican
party, he has been a stanch advocate of its principles. He takes an active interest in the cause of education, and
in every enterprise or movement calculated to prove of public benefit. He is now the owner of three hundred and
twenty acres of rich land, pleasantly located within a mile and a-half of Waldo. This is a valuable estate, and his
beautiful country residence, in the midst of well-kept grounds and good outbuildings, stands as a monument to his
thrift and enterprise. As Mr. Barber is so widely and favorably known, we feel assured that this record will be
received with interest, and with pleasure present it to our readers.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer