Biography of Maj. Sampson Barker

MAJ. SAMPSON BARKER. Since 1869, when our subject became connected with the affairs of Taney County, he has enjoyed the reputation of being not only an able financier and talented and well-informed man of the county, but one noted for upright and honorable dealing, and seems to have been admirably fitted by nature for the calling of an agriculturist. He comes of a good old Virginia family, and was born in Scott County of that State November 30, 1832.

He is a son of John S. and Sallie (Boyes) Barker, both natives of the Old Diminion, the father born in 1797 and the mother in 1807. The grandfather, Thomas Barker, the founder of the family in America, came from England prior to the Revolutionary War and fought bravely for independence. He was a captain under Shelby at King’s Mountain, and had his powder horn shot off during that battle. He died in Virginia after a long and useful life. The father of our subject reached man’s estate in Virginia, and was also a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was captain under Scott at Lundy’s Lane. and later was stationed at an island off the coast of Virginia. He was married in his native State and made his home there during life. In connection with farming he raised fine stock, continuing this until seventy-three years of age. In politics he was a lifelong Democrat, and was justice of the peace for a number of years. He was a man of influence in his community and made a good property. The mother of our subject was the daughter of William Boyes, who also came of prominent Virginia stock, and who was born in that State. His father, Jarvis Boyes, came over with the Pilgrims, landed at Plymouth Rock, and was a soldier in the Indian wars, and was an early pioneer of Virginia. William Boyes fought with the Colonists in the Revolutionary War, and also fought in the War of 1812. He died in Virginia. The mother of our subject was reared in Virginia and died on the old homestead in that State, the same being still owned by the family. The parents of our subject had nine children born to their union, seven of whom grew to mature years; Edward died in Virginia and left a large family; Flanders died in infancy; William is living in Virginia; Rebecca died young; Elisha died after rearing a family in Virginia; Jahel died and left a family; Sampson, subject; Rachel died and left a family; and Polly died in Newton County, Missouri, leaving a family. This family held membership in the Baptist Church.

Until thirty-seven years of age our subject remained on the home farm in Virginia, and being of a studious turn of mind received a good education. Upon reaching man’s estate he was appointed clerk of the Circuit and County Courts of Scott County, Virginia, and held that position for twelve years, during which time he resided in that county. In the year 1862, when the war cloud hung darkly over the nation, Mr. Barker enlisted in the Twenty-seventh Mounted Infantry of Virginia, and served in the Army of Northern Virginia three years and eight months. He participated in many of the prominent engagements of the war, viz.: Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Winchester, and in 1864 he was at Richmond and Petersburg. He was promoted to the rank of major and served in that capacity all through the war. No braver or more determined soldier ever trod the red sod of a battlefield. Returning to Virginia after the war he remained there until 1869, when he came to Missouri and settled on the farm where he now lives. He came by rail and by water and made the trip in nine days. The partly improved farm that he purchased was in section 35, Swan Township and about two miles from Forsyth, on the north side of White River, and is very valuable bottom land. He now has 600 acres in this tract and a good portion of it is under cultivation. In politics Mr. Barker is an ardent supporter of Democrat principles and has been elected to the office of county school commissioner three terms. He also served as clerk of the county and circuit court and recorder for four years. While residing in his native State Mr. Barker taught school and continued this profession for some time after coming to Taney County. He was always active in educational matters, and has ever been progressive and thorough-going. Socially he is a Mason and an Odd Fellow.

During the time he lived in Virginia he was married to Miss Sally Frazier, a native of Virginia, born March 28, 1833, and the daughter of Henry and Sally (Livingston) Frazier, who were natives of Virginia and early pioneers of that State. Her grand-father, Solomon Frazier, was of Scotch-Irish descent, and settled in Virginia at an early day, and the maternal grandfather, Peter Livingston, were early pioneers of Kentucky, where he and his family were captured by Indians and the grandmother carried the scar of a tomahawk on her head all her life.

To Mr. and Mrs. Barker were born four children, all but one now living: James M., a farmer of Greene County, Missouri; Rufus, a farmer of Taney County; Martha, deceased, was the wife of R. W. Cline, of Forsyth; Edward is a farmer on the old home place on White River. Mr. and Mrs. Barker are well known and highly respected in the county, and Mrs. Barker is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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