J. Jay Barden, who has for many years been connected with the agricultural department of the state of New York, in positions of trust and responsibility, is, in addition to these duties, recognized as one of the most progressive farmers in his section of the country. His business occupations have been varied and extensive.
Sylvanus Barden, father of the above-mentioned, was born in Benton township, Yates county, New York, in 1816, and died May 15, 1905. He followed farming all his life, and was of a quiet and retiring disposition, finding his greatest pleasures in his own home. He married Jane Hedges, who died in 1852.
J. Jay, son of Sylvanus and Jane (Hedges) Barden, was born in the town of Seneca, Ontario county, New York, May 4, 1852, and was but four weeks old when his mother died. He was the recipient of a good education, his elementary education being acquired at the district schools and he then attended the Canandaigua Academy. At the age of sixteen years he commenced teaching school, an occupation he followed four successive winters. He then formed a connection with the railway mail service at the age of twenty years, and held this position for a period of five years. During this time he had not neglected his farming interests. and in 1878 was well established as a farmer and a produce merchant, a business with which he was connected for twenty years. At this time he became associated with the horticultural division of the agricultural department of the state, and for the past ten years has held the office of agent for the commissioner of agriculture, having full charge of Wayne, Ontario (with the exception of three townships). Yates, Livingston, Steuben, Alleghany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties, which is a very responsible office and has a great deal depending upon its efficient administration. Mr. Barden’s farm consists of ninety acres of finely cultivated land situated in Seneca township, his dwelling house being well located and provided with all modern improvements. Mr. Barden gives his farm his personal supervision, and makes a specialty of growing fruit, in which he has been eminently successful. While not being able to spare a great deal of his time in behalf of the public interests of the township, he takes a lively interest in all that concerns the welfare of the county, state and country, and is up-to-date and well read on all matters of importance, his political allegiance being given to the Republican party. He has been active in Grange work, serving as county deputy for eight years, and for the past three years has held the office of president of the Deputy Masters’ Association of the State of New York. He and his wife are members of the Seneca Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Barden married, April 14, 1877, Adelaide E.. boru in Flint Creek, March 31, 1856, daughter of John M. and Jane Woods. both deceased, the former having been a farmer. They had one child, Adelaide E. Mains, born in 1884, who died September 5, 1904. They have adopted a child, Gladys E., born February 22, 1899, who is at present attending the high school at Penn Yan, New York, where her progress is most satisfactory.