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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WALTER S. BARKER, superintendent of the Homer and Cortland Gas Light Co., was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., January 1, 1842. He is a son of Joseph Barker, a direct descendant of old Captain Barker. Joseph Barker was a native of the State of Massachusetts. After leaving the state of his birth, he settled in Onondaga County, N. Y., where he was engaged in farming the rest of his life. He became a prosperous and distinguished citizen of that district. He was a large land owner. His vote was cast with the Democratic party; many minor offices were held by him, and he was honored with the highest position in the gift of his fellow-citizens of the county, being sent to the State Legislature for two terms.

Walter S. Barker, the subject of this sketch, has two brothers and one sister living, — Luther of Otisco, N. Y.; Anna of Cortland; and Stephen D. of Fond du Lac, Wis. He received his education in the district schools, and followed farming until the war broke out. He then enlisted in his country’s service in Co. E, 12th Reg. N. Y. Vol. Inf., which was formed at Syracuse: after serving a term of two years, he re-enlisted in the 3d N. Y. Light Artillery, with which he remained until the close of the war. In the latter organization he entered as a private, and before he was discharged he had received the commission of a sergeant. After he returned from the war he served an apprenticeship as a machinist, and worked in a machine shop for sixteen years. He then accepted a position in the United States Pension Office at Syracuse in 1885; two years later he was transferred to the Pension Office at Buffalo, and remained there three years. On June 1, 1891, he accepted his present position. Mr. Barker is a firm believer in the aims and principles of the Democratic party. He is a member of the Masonic Order, belonging to Syracuse Lodge, No. 501, located at Syracuse. He was married in 1867 to Ann Eliza Beach, daughter of Lorenzo Beach of Otisco, N. Y. They have reared three children, namely: Mary Belle, wife of Charles C. Truesdell, a resident of Syracuse, N. Y.; Charles W., who is in the employ of the Homer & Cortland Gas Light Co.; and Robert G., who is with Truesdell & Co., brokers of Syracuse, N. Y.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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