Claude Barber, 1916 Regents Exam, Helen Street

The Binghamton Press, Friday Evening,  January 26, 1917

J E Barber
It is a query for “Claude Barber” and “191*” that lands me on The Binghamton Press for Friday, January 26, 1917. I find another Barber there. After all these years of hunting for ancestors in newspaper articles, it occurs to me I should be searching each page for more than one result on the last name, and follow that quest with one for additional surnames I am interested in knowing more about. Today’s article is about Claude and J. E. Barber as a result of my added investigative activity.

The reporter’s J. E. Barber may be our “James E. Barber” born in 1861 to Evans and Lydia Terbush Barber, possibly in Duanesburg, Schenectady County, New York. I have him as the older brother, by 10 years, of Josiah C. Barber, both with Schenectady as their county of birth. In a city directory (footnote research needed), J. E. Barber is listed as a “shmkr”. He was employed by Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company. Josiah works there, also.

Family stories say Claude Barber and Josiah Barber have familial connections more than in-law status as the result of the marriages of Josiah to Carrie Tripp (Barber), and Claude to her sister Lovina Tripp’s (Wilbur) granddaughter (adopted daughter) Leoria. The exact blood relation of the two Barbers is unknown to me, but with this information about James, we can see why Josiah would be in Binghamton. Ultimately, I hope it will lead us to a definitive answer on Claude’s family tree beyond “Daniel S.” his 2nd great-grandfather.

While 56-year-old J. E. Barber receives the honor of orator for the Royal Arcanum fraternity in 1917, 14-year-old Claude passes his spelling Regents Exam along with his younger sister, Harriet. The list of those passing spelling at the Helen Street school are:

  • Claude Barber
  • Harriet Barber
  • Ruth Bornman
  • Ray Foster
  • Daniel McAvoy
  • Winston Potter
  • J. Edward Smyth
  • Walter Stirk
  • Allyn Walters

This is Claude and Harriet’s last semester at the Helen Street school. Thomas Jefferson opens for the spring semester of 1917. Interestingly, The Mothers’ Club of the Oak Street School threatens to call a strike because their children are to be forced into another condemned school building. The pupils of Oak Street were transferred to the Washington Street school due to the former’s unsafe condition, but the city decides to use the latter building for a police station and return the students to Oak Street. Although repairs were made to that school, parents do not deem it a healthy or safe environment for children just as a new school is about to open across the city.

Meanwhile, Claude, Harriet, and Leoria anticipate their first day at the modern Thomas Jefferson school which is still being used one hundred years later.

In 2017, I am researching the relationship of the J.E. Barber mentioned in the article above to Josiah Barber, Claude Barber’s direct ancestor to either, and clues to the father of Daniel S. Barber.

Josiah Barber, husband of 2nd (really 3rd) great aunt, no blood relation known now; ClaudeBarber, grandfather; J.E. Barber, possible brother of Josiah; Harriet Barber, great-aunt.

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