A Freethought University Alumnus, Irving A. Barker

This is the first item I’ve found on a Freethought University Alumnus.

From the “History of Indiana from its Exploration to 1922, Volume 4”, published 1924.

Irving A. Barker, well known in Indianapolis as the head of the Barker Coal & Block Company, was born in Decorah, Iowa, January 10, 1872. His public school education was received partly in Michigan and partly in Missouri. When he had graduated from high school, he matriculated at the Free Thought University at Liberal, Missouri, after which he pursued a course of study in a commercial college. His father was a farmer in Missouri and was the secretary of the first county fair that was held in his county. For a time after leaving business college, Irving Barker worked as a farmer in Missouri, but he soon tired of the work. He then went to Tennessee where he engaged in the lumber business with considerable success. In 1905, he came to Indianapolis where for a time he followed the vocation of teaming. In 1913, having become dissatisfied with this means of earning a livelihood, he entered the retail coal business under the firm style of the I. A. Barker & Son. Such success attended his efforts in this new line of work that he has continued to engage in the business since that time. He has developed the firm, which now operates under the name of the Barker Coal & Block company and of which he is the virtual owner, to a point where it is rated as one of the most substantial concerns of its kind in the city of Indianapolis. This reputation is due directly to the efforts of the founder of the company who has won the name of one of Indianapolis’ ablest executives through his achievement. May 10, 1894, Mr. Barker married Anna Palmer, and to this union have been born four children as follows: Lee, Harold, Dell and Irving.

Gathered the info from here.

Irving Arthur Barker’s parents were Lewis Everdell (Dell) Brker and Mary Melissa Cooper, who died in 1877. The family was living in Belton, Cass, Missouri by 1880 where his father worked in a livery stable. It looks like Arthur’s father moved on to Tennessee as well.

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