Biography - Alfred Barrow

ALFRED H. BARROW. The name of Barrow has been closely associated with the history of Greene county from a very early period in its development and various members of the family have contributed to the growth, progress and improvement of this part of the state. The work which his ancestors began Alfred H. Barrow is still carrying on, and he is today one of the leading and prominent business men of the county, having extensive agricultural and dairying interests, although he makes his home in Roodhouse. He also has large property holdings, and is accounted one of the most reliable as well as most successful men of his community.
Born February 21, 1871, on his father's farm west of Roodhouse, Alfred H. Barrows is a son of William H. and Mary Jane (Bingham) Barrow. The Barrow family was originally from Kentucky. The great-grandfather Benjamin Barrow, who was born and died in Kentucky, having spent his entire life there. He was the father of twenty-one children, of whom Joseph Barrow, the grandfather, was the youngest. This family is related to the Jones, Holiday, Allen, Brown and other leading families of Greene county. The first settlement made by the Barrow family in Illinois was at Alton, representatives of the name locating on Shoal creek at a very early day. Joseph Barrow was born in Kentucky and in 1820 became a resident of Illinois, entering a claim of eighty acres on section 11, township 12, range 12, whereon he built a log cabin and established his home, there residing until his death, which occurred in 1839. He was married July 13, 1826, to Elizabeth Taylor, who was a native of Tennessee and was brought to Illinois in her girlhood days. She was a daughter of John Taylor and he and David Barrow were the first settlers north of White Hall, in Greene county. John Taylor's wife was the first white woman to die north of Apple Creek prairie. In the Taylor line as well as through the Barrows, the subject of this review is connected with some of the oldest families of this part of the state. Joseph Barrow, the grandfather, continued to aid in the early agricultural development of the county until his death, which occurred in 1839, when he was sixty-five years of age, while his wife died in 1871. Her father, John Taylor, died in 1854, at the age of sixty-five years.
William H. Barrow, born in Roodhouse, June 7, 1832, was only seven years of age at the time of his father's death. His mother was left with six small children to rear and educate, and she did weaving in order that she might support them and send them to school. When his mother died William H. Barrow left home and started upon an independent business career. Throughout his active life he carried on farming, but is now living retired, making his home in Roodhouse, where he owns an elegant residence, his former toil enabling him to enjoy the comforts of life. He was married November 25, 1856, to Miss Mary Jane Bigham, and they became the parents of five children, of whom Alfred H. is the eldest. He was married again November 29, 1903, to Nora Witty.
The town of Barrow as named in honor of Alfred Barrow, an uncle of our subject who owns a fine farm of four hundred acres and a residence there. He laid out the town in 1870 and continued to make his home there for some time, but is now living in Roodhouse.
Alfred H. Barrow acquired his early education in the schools of Roodhouse and later attended the Jacksonville Business College, from which he was graduated in 1892, while subsequently he studied in the Northern Indiana Normal School, at Valparaiso. After leaving school he engaged in farming and dairying with his father for a time, and is now very extensively engaged in the dairy business, having one of the largest and most complete dairies in Illinois. His farm comprises five hundred and twenty acres of very rich and arable land, which he bought of his father, and he also has about four hundred acres more near White Hall. Upon the former he employs five dairymen, a head farmer, Pat Reynolds and a head dairyman, John Driver. They separate the cream and milk and ship on an average of one hundred and seventy-five gallons of cream daily to the Walker-Gordon Lavatory Company, of St. Louis, Missouri, or the St. Louis Dairying Company. They have about one hundred and thirty cows - seventy-five milkers at the present time - and a test is made and a record kept of each cow. Mr. Barrow keeps only high grade cows, but does not attempt to keep registered stock exclusively, but retains only those which stand the test. At each milking the cows are tested, and the milk and the cream both weighed. All the cows are kept scrupulously neat and clean and the milking is done by hand, there being five men to do the work. Although Mr. Barrow lives in Roodhouse he gives his personal attention and supervision to his farming and dairying interests and is considered a model business man, enterprising, alert and progressive, and is meeting with excellent success. The fine residence on his farm is occupied by E. C. Barnard and his family, Mr. Barnard having been a trusted employee of Mr. Barrow for many years.
In addition to his farming land, which is among the most valuable tracts of the state, Mr. Barrow owns a storeroom, two houses, a milk station or depot and an elevator at West Roodhouse, as well as other house and buildings for tenants and employees on his farm. The distinctive feature of his farm, aside from the dairying interests are the large white Brahma chickens and Duroc Jersey hogs there raised. The buildings are most modern and no equipment of the model farm is lacking.
On the 7th of May, 1901. Mr. Barrow was married to Miss Edna Ora Dill, who is a daughter of the Hon. Theodore Dill, mayor of Roodhouse, and is a graduate of the high school at Roodhouse. A sketch of her father is given elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Barrow now have one son, William H., born in 1901. Prominent socially, they have a very extensive circle of warm friends, to whom they freely accord the hospitality of their own beautiful home in Roodhouse. Mr. Barrow gives his political support to the Democracy and is a member of the Knights of Pythias and Masonic fraternities, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Descended from old families of the county, Mr. Barrow, displaying all the qualities of the strong and successful business man, has through the promotion of his private business interests, also contributed to the welfare and prosperity of his native county.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois, by Ed Miner, published in 1905, pages 621-622.

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