HOMER G. BARBER -- Who knows aught concerning the village of Vermontville also knows the status of Homer G. Barber as a citizen, business man and public official, for his career has been most intimately lined with the upbuilding of the town, in both a material and civic way, and he is one of its most honored and influential citizens. One of the sterling pioneers of the county, a man of unblemished reputation, and one whose life has counted for good in all its relations, he is eminently entitled to representation in the work. On other pages of the volume will be found a sketch of the life and genealogy of his honored father, Edward H. Barber, one of the original colonists of Vermontville township, Homer G. Barber was born in Benson, Rutland county, Vermont, November 25, 1830, and he was about seven years of age at the time of his parents' removal from the old Green Mountain state to the wilds of Eaton county. Here he was reared to maturity on the pioneer farm, in whose reclamation and development he rendered his quota of assistance. He completed his early educational training in the old Vermontville Academy , his instructor having been Rev. William U. Benedict, who was pastor of the congregational church and head of the academy. Mr. Barber remained on the homestead farm until he had attained the age of seventeen years, when he went to Kalamazoo , where he became head clerk in the post office of the village, Alexis Ransom being postmaster. Two years later he numbered himself among the historic California Argonauts of 1849, being nineteen years of age at the time. He went to the city of New York , where he embarked on the packet ship " Sheridan ," and made the voyage around Cape Horn to California , where he engaged in mining for two years, gaining a sufficient quantity of gold to enable him to return home and initiate what has proven a most successful business career. For more than half a century he has been identified with the business and industrial interests of Eaton county. He engaged in the general merchandise business in Vermontville soon after his return from California , and has continued his association with local commercial affairs, during all the intervening years. In 1872 he opened in the village a private bank, and the same is still conducted by him, controlling an excellent business and being one of the substantial financial institutions of the county. William C. Alsover, husband of his adopted daughter, is cashier of the bank. He is associated with his son, Edward D., in the ownership of a well equipped hardware establishment in Vermontville. He is vice president of the Merchants' National Bank, and the Eaton County Savings Bank, of Charlotte , and has other large and varied capitalistic interests. Another has written concerning him in the following words: "Though engaged in active business all his life, Homer G. Barber has not neglected the larger fields of thought and literature, and has one of the best private libraries in his section of the country. In 1870 he was elected state senator from the twentieth district, composed of Eaton and Barry counties. An independent thinker, belonging to no church and tied to no party, he has been and still is the foremost person of the second generation in promoting the welfare of and giving tone and character to the religious life, social conditions and business interests of the village and township. He has served officially in many capacities,-- town clerk, justice of the peace, member of the township board, school inspector, postmaster, president and trustee of the village, school director and trustee of the congregational society,-- making his, all, all in all, probably a more active life than that of any other one citizen of the town or county," His excellent judgment, true public spirit and great liberality have placed him in the front rank of the loyal and honored citizens of Eaton county. Mr. Barber is a charter member of the local lodge of the Free & Accepted Masons, is also affiliated with the chapter of the fraternity in Vermontville and the commandery of Knights Templar in the city of Charlotte . In 1853 Mr. Barber was united in marriage to Miss Lucy C. Dwight, who was born in the state of New York , being a daughter of Perry D. and Lucy H. Dwight, and her death occurred May 1, 1893. They became the parents of three children, of whom only one is living, Edward D., who is associated with his father in the hardware business, as already noted. Mr. Barber married Gertrude E. Wood, who was born in Whitehall , New York . They have no children. Mr. Barber's adopted daughter, Louise, became the wife of William C. Alsover, and is now deceased.