ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Dr. Martin N. Barber

Barber Home

419 North Washington Street


Father of Dr. U. N. Barber


M. N. BARBER, M.D., born in the town of Mendon, near Rochester, N. Y., in March 1821.  His present wife was Jane L. Hartwell.  They were married in La Porte, Ind.  They have two children - Laura and Neal.  The doctor has two children from an earlier marriage - Jane L. (now Mrs. J. R. Buchanan for Trinidad, Colo.) and Frank A. (who is associated with his father in the practice of medicine).   Dr. Barber came to Wisconsin from La Porte, Ind., in the spring of 1846, and located at Racine, where he remained until he came to Watertown, in the spring of 1848.

- Derived from: The History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin by C. W. Butterfield, 1879



Dr. M. N. Barber (born in 1821) came to Watertown in 1848, from Racine; he was a native of New York, called himself a botanic eclectic.   (Jefferson County Wisconsin and Its People, 1917.)


Probably the only pure Georgian type home in Watertown, the beautifully preserved brick home at 419 North Washington Street was built by Dr. M. N., Barber, early Watertown physician and surgeon.  Dr. Barber was born in New York in 1821, lived in Racine for a short time, and came to Watertown to practice medicine in 1848.




Dr. N. M. Barber has moved his office from Cole’s into Peterson’s Block.  He is a skillful physician of long and successful practice in this city and vicinity.  Those who desire his service will learn where to find him by referring to his card in this paper.   WD



NEIL BARBER, son of M. N. Barber, M.D. (second marriage)




FRANK BARBER, son of M. N. Barber, M.D (first marriage)





Last Thursday Dr. M. N. Barber's residence was raided by burglars, but the only reward they received was a wallet containing $2.50 in change taken from the doctor's pants pocket, and a supper of bread and milk, which they helped themselves to in the pantry, the first apartment the robbers entered, gaining access to it through the window.  Upon retiring for the night at half past twelve o'clock Dr. Barber had the good fortune to hide his gold watch and a pocket book containing considerable money and thus the thieves missed a rich haul.   WR



01 08       DEATH OF DR. M. N. BARBER

     A Pioneer Physician Called to the Heavenly Home.


The grim Angel of Death has again entered our midst and taken from among us one who has long been identified with Watertown’s social and business life.


At 9 o’clock Monday evening, January 6, 1896, Dr. M. N. Barber departed this life, after an illness of less than three weeks’ duration.  Something over two weeks ago Dr. Barber was taken with a severe cold which confined him to his bed, but he had convalesced sufficiently to be about the house, and Saturday last was enjoying a social evening with his family and some friends, when he received a stroke of apoplexy, from which he never rallied, being unconscious from that time until his death, forty-eight hours later.


The deceased had been for many years one of our most successful physicians and enjoyed the affection and esteem of all who knew him, since he possessed in high degree those sterling qualities which mark a true man’s worth.  Both in his family and among his friends and patients he was ever the same genial, kind hearted companion, and in his death his family suffer that greatest of losses, the taking away of a kind, indulgent husband and father.


Martin Neal Barber was born in Medina, Genesee county, N. Y., in March, 1820; he consequently lacked but a few weeks of attaining 76 years.


While quite a young man he went to La Porte, Ind., where he studied medicine under Dr. Teagarden, with whom he afterward went into partnership at Racine and commenced the practice of medicine.  He remained in Racine from 1845 until 1848, removing then to Watertown, which has ever since been his home.


Dr. Barber was twice married, his first wife being Miss Jane L. Hartwell, of La Porte, Ind., to whom he was wedded in 1845 and who died in 1865.  Three years later he married his second wife, Miss Eliza S. Young, of Warren county, N. Y., who survives him, together with four children, two from each marriage Mrs. J. R. Buchanan, of Omaha, Neb.; Dr. Frank A. Barber, of Chicago; Miss Laura, of this city, and Dr. Neal Barber, of Kaukauna.


In the practice of medicine Dr. Barber belonged to the Eclectic school: he was a member of the National Eclectic Medical Association, and was one of the first members of the Wisconsin Eclectic society.  He was also the oldest surviving member in the Odd Fellows lodge of Watertown.


The last sad rites to the departed will be at the family home on North Washington Street, at 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon, when Rev. G. C. Weiss, of the Congregational church, will conduct the services and consign to their resting place in Oak Hill cemetery the remains of one of Watertown’s best citizens.     The Watertown News, 08 Jan 1896



MISS LAURA BARBER, High School Teacher


Cross reference note:  1901 - Watertown has 28 public school teachers, two of them gents and 26 ladies.  Miss Laura Barber has been connected with our public schools 8 years. . . .




           419 N. Washington, Dr. Barber's Home.


Winter Scene





On the night of the 11th inst., Dr. M. N.  Barber of this city, had a valuable horse stolen from him.  He was on a professional visit to Emmet, in Dodge County, and had put it up at the hotel of Mr. H. Crandall.  Early in the morning it was discovered that one of Mr. Barber's horses was missing, together with a harness and buggy belonging to Mr. Crandall.  Arrangements were immediately made for pursuing the thief, and last Saturday morning the sheriff of this county returned home with a man named David Morgan, and the lost property.     WG









His home was built in the late 1850's or very early 60's, was added to on three different occasions.  The home was purchased and occupied for many years by the Elliott Parsons family, and was well known here as the Parsons' home.


When the second story of this home was remodeled for two rental apartments, the central open stairway was removed and a new stairs added at the back of the house.  The large central hall remains, however.  There is a southern exposure bay window and a decorative railing atop the house.


Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Strickler are the third owners of this well over 100-year home.  They purchased it from the Parsons' estate and have since remodeled the kitchen area.    WDT



Cross reference notes:


Mrs. M. N. Barber




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin