Biography - W Barr

JUDGE W. W. BARR, of Carbondale, who has won a prominent position among the leading attorneys of Jackson County, claims Pennsylvania as the state of his nativity. He was born in Centre County May 8, 1845, and is a son of James S. and Charlotte (Stage) Barr, both of whom were natives of the Keystone State, the former being born in 1817, and the latter in 1818. The father was Principal of the public schools of Huntingdon, Pa., for several years, and was County Superintendent of Schools for a number of years. He was also editor and proprietor of the Huntingdon American for a considerable time. In 1858, he emigrated to Illinois, locating in Tamaroa, and subsequently came to Carbondale. He took a very prominent part in political affairs; was a stalwart Democrat, and served as Circuit Clerk and Master in Chancery in Franklin. He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church, and were highly respected people.
Judge Barr is the eldest in their family of seven children. His early education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by study in the Indiana University, from which he was graduated in the Class of '67, having completed the law course. The same year he went to Benton, Ill., where he engaged in the practice of his profession until 1876, when he came to Carbondale, where he has since made his home. He has a keen, quick intellect, is a logical reasoner and a fluent speaker, and has therefore won success in his chosen profession.
In the year 1870 Judge Barr was united in marriage with Miss Alice G. Brenizer, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., and a daughter of Charles and Christina Brenizer, of the Empire State. They have two children, Jessie G. and Bertha A. Keesee. The former is a graduate of the Southern Illinois State Normal University.
Judge Barr takes considerable interest in civic societies. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Honor and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has been Grand Dictator of the state for two years. His wife and daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has always taken an active part in politics, and votes with the Democratic party. He has been a member of every state convention since 1867, and it was he who nominated J. B. Gill for Lieutenant Governor at the last convention. He is now a member of the State Central Democratic Committee. Mr. Barr was State's Attorney of Franklin County for one term. He was a member of the first legislature which convened under the new constitution in 1871-72, and in 1886 he was elected County Judge, and re-elected in 1890. His present term continues until December, 1894. During his long service he has fully demonstrated his excellent ability, and his admirable management of the court has won him high commendation.

Extracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, page 422.

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