George P. Barber biography

GEORGE P. BARBER, a representative business man who is engaged in real estate dealing at Mineral Wells, Texas, was born in Johnson county, this state, on the 4th of July, 1866, and is a son of Dr. George P. and Sallie A. (Smith) Barber. His parents were among the first settlers of Palo Pinto county and few are now residents here who lived within the borders of the county at the time of their arrival. Dr. Barber was born in Georgia, but on coming to Texas took up his abode in Palo Pinto county in the early ’50s. A physician by profession, he practiced for many years in this county, meeting all the dangers and hardships incident to the life of a pioneer practitioner, called upon to make long drives in a wild, unsettled district, where the Indians frequently made raids against the white men, so that no man’s life was secure. Dr. Barber participated in numerous fights with the redskins and, in fact, troubles with the Indians continued all during the period of his residence in Palo Pinto county, or until 1865, when he was compelled to seek refuge with his family in Johnson county, his life being constantly imperiled. He remained in Johnson county until 1870, when returned to his home in Palo Pinto county. Frank Baker, a friend and neighbor, was killed by the Indians at Dr. Barber’s door, and other deeds as atrocious were numerous, causing consternation and dread among the settlers who were trying to establish homes on the frontier. During all this time Dr. Barber’s home had been at what is known as Barber Mountain, on the Brazos, being about four miles southwest of where Mineral Wells now stands. In 1880 it was discovered that the waters of this region were of medicinal value and Dr. Barber came to Mineral Wells in that year and assisted in founding the town. Later he became extensively interested in local real estate dealings and made his home here. In partnership with the Rev. G. W. Slaughter, the founder of the prominent Slaughter family of Texas, Dr. Barber purchased, laid off into city lots, and developed several additions to Mineral Wells, which are still known as the Slaughter and Barber additions. Dr. Barber died at Mineral Wells August 8, 1888, respected by all who knew him for what he accomplished in the business world and the success he achieved, by the aid of which he rendered others, through his professional service and through the part which he took in reclaiming this portion of the state for the use of civilization and wresting it from the domain of the savage.

Dr. Barber’s wife, who is now making her home temporarily in California, is the daughter of Sol Smith, of North Carolina, and she was married in Parker county, to which she had been brought at an early age, coming here with her father’s family before either Parker or Palo Pinto counties were organized.

George P. Barber obtained his education in the local schools, learning the printer’s trade at Mineral Wells. He afterward went to Seymour, in Baylor county, Texas, where he established the Seymour News, which he conducted for fourteen years. It was a good newspaper, devoted to the general interests of the locality, and received a good patronage, but on account of ill health Mr. Barber disposed of his paper and plant at Seymour and returned to Mineral Wells, since which time he has been successfully engaged in the real estate business here. He has laid off and placed on the market the Barber addition, adjoining the town on the north, the growth of the town being in that direction. He is also owner of the George P. Barber well, with its pavilion, and also ships the water to outside towns, selling to the consumer. In addition to his real estate operations he is also a live stock broker, and he handles all kinds of insurance with the best companies.

Mr. Barber is a prominent member of the Odd Fellows’ lodge at Mineral Wells. He was married at Albany, Texas, to Miss Sonora Douthitt, of Lamar county, Texas, and they have four children: Sarah Velma, George D., Alfred Manning and Myrtle Belle. The parents are prominent in social circles in Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto county, and the hospitality of the best homes is freely accorded them. Mr. Barber has spent his entire life in Texas, is one of its representative business men and his strong characteristics are such as commend him to the respect, confidence and friendship of those with whom he has been associated.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 261.