Guide to the Henry William Barber Diaries, 1858, 1867-1870

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Overview of the Collection

Special Collections & Archives
McIntyre Library
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
P.O. Box 4004
105 Garfield Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

Reference Code: USGZE UHC 256

Collection Number: UHC 256

Creator: Henry William Barber

Title: Henry William Barber Diaries

Dates: 1858, 1867-1870

Quantity: 0.4 linear ft. (1 archives box)

Location of Collection: A10/1f

Languages: Collection materials are in English.

Summary: The 1858 diary of Henry William Barber covers the time of Henry and Cecelia Barber’s journey from Westfield, New York to Dead Lake Prairie in Pepin County, Wisconsin, where the Barbers built one of the first frame houses of the prairie. The 1867-1870 diary is filled with accounts of daily activity, mainly related to farming.

Biographical/Historical Note

Henry W. Barber was born on February 7, 1828 in Leicester, Livingston County, New York. He was the second child of Isaac Barber and Lucy Houghton. His mother died in 1835 and his father in 1843, leaving him an orphan at 15 years old. He completed his education in Westfield, New York, where he met Cecelia Ann Dickson. From 1850-1854, he was deeded 280 acres of land in La Crosse County and 80 acres of land in Brown County, WI. It is unknown when these land sales took place. In 1855 Barber purchased two patents for land in Pepin County, WI (then part of Dunn County). He settled on the 155 acres of one of the patents on Dead Lake Prairie and started making improvements. He later purchased an additional 74 acres adjoining his homestead. He returned to Westfield, New York and married Cecelia Ann Dickson on November 25, 1857. They returned to Wisconsin, building one of the first frame houses of the prairie in 1858. He was very active in local politics and served on the school board, was a chairman on the county board, register of deeds and clerk of court until his death on January 12, 1899.

Content Description

The collection contains photocopies of two diaries, one from 1858 and another from 1867-1870. The 1858 diary recounts his journey from New York to Pepin County, and the 18670-1870 diary is filled with daily accounts related to farming and local politics.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions: Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. Copyright not owned by the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

Preferred Citation: Henry William Barber Diaries, 1858, 1867-1870. UHC 256. Special Collections & Archives.  McIntyre Library.  University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Eau Claire, WI.

Processing Note: Processed by Brice Vircks in February 2020.

Arrangement: Flat arrangement.

OCLC #: 32493384


Personal Names: Henry William Barber, Cecelia Barber
Subject Terms: Wisconsin prairie
Geographical Terms: Pepin County, Dead Lake Prairie, Frankfort Township, Wisconsin.

Detailed List of Contents

Dates: 1858, 1867-2870
Extent:  0.4 linear feet






Diaries of Henry William Barber

1858, 1867-1870