Frank & Emily Barber Family Biography

Frank & Emily (Collinsworth) Barber Family

Francis Asberry ("Frank") Barber was the oldest son of James Barber & Annie Jane Simmons*. He was born on Friday, September 16, 1831 in Pike County, Alabama. In about 1845, the Barber family moved from Alabama to Mississippi. They first settled in Winston County, and later moved to Neshoba County, Mississippi. Frank Barber was apparently never educated in reading and writing, for in all available deeds and documents where his signature was needed, he merely signed with an "X" mark.

On Monday, September 4, 1854, Frank A. Barber married Ann Emeline ("Emily") Collinsworth, the eldest child of James Collinsworth and Nancy Sarah Talbot, in Leake County, Mississippi. Frank was nearly 23 years old and Emily was 24. Emeline Collinsworth was born on Sunday, August 1, 1830 in Montgomery County, North Carolina. In the mid-1830's the Collinsworth family moved to Pike County, Alabama, and later to Mississippi. (Click here to view Frank & Emily's marriage certificate)

Frank and Emily Barber began their family at High Hill, in southwestern Neshoba County, Mississippi, where they lived for several years. Later they moved to Leake County, and still later to Harperville in northern Scott County where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Frank and Emily's first born child was Joseph ("Joe") Franklin Barber, born on July 5, 1855. Next was James ("Jim") Asberry Barber, born on August 5, 1856.

On March 2, 1857, Frank Barber was the highest bidder at a public auction for ten acres of land, belonging to the County Board of School Commissioners. The school land was leased at $1.25 per acre, for a term of 99 years. A deed was not actually made until nearly 26 years later on January 2, 1883 for the remaining 73 years of the 99 year term.

Frank & Emily's third child, William Hezekiah Barber, was born on March 30, 1860 at their home at High Hill, Neshoba County, Mississippi. Then sometime between August 1860 and the Spring of 1862 Frank and Emily moved their family to Leake County, Mississippi and apparently farmed on land that Frank's father had obtained in December 1858. It was there that Isaiah Monroe Barber was born in 1862.

In August of 1862, at the age of nearly 31, Frank Barber voluntarily enlisted in the military service of the Confederate States and fought in the Civil War. He enlisted at Enterprise, Mississippi, just south of Meridian, and served as a Private in the 26th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Company F. Frank's military records show that he was hospitalized at Grenada, Mississippi (northern Mississippi) on December 18, 1862, but no details were given as to why. History of his regiment states that they fought in the Battle of Baker's Creek in Mississippi on May 16, 1863 and then marched to Jackson. Frank reportedly deserted on July 18, 1863, near Brandon, Mississippi (near Jackson), and went back to High Hill to his family and stayed there for four months. This desertion or leave of absence accounts for the conception of Frank and Emily's fifth son, Alexander ("Alex") Frazier Barber, who was born on June 21 of the following year. On November 10, 1863, Frank voluntarily returned to his service in the war. In February of 1864 Frank's regiment fought against Sherman at Meridian, Mississippi, and then fell back with the Confederate troops to Demopolis, Alabama where they were ordered to report to Orange Courthouse in northern Virginia in April 1864. On May 4 they broke camp to march into the Battle of the Wilderness. During the following two days they were one of General Stone's four Mississippi regiments that finally stood almost alone in the face of the Federal Army until General Longstreet came on the field. On May 12, 1864, Frank was wounded in the leg at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, at Spotsylvania, Virginia. Then a couple of weeks later, on June 2, 1864, while in the Battle of Cold Harbor in Virginia, Frank was wounded again, and on the third day of June he was hospitalized in Richmond, Virginia at the "Receiving and Wayside Hospital or General Hospital No. 9." After being released from the hospital, on July 15, 1864, Frank was given a 60 day sick furlough, and apparently, even after the 60 days, he was absent without leave for quite some time. Less than one year later, the war was over. (Click here to view two of Frank's Muster Roll sheets)


On September 27, 1865, Frank purchased 80 acres of land in what is now called the Rosebud Community of Leake County. This land, which was the east half of the northeast quarter of Section 17, apparently also included a house, all of which Frank bought for $400.00 from W. H. Harris. Then on April 17, 1869, Frank purchased the remaining west half of Section 17, another 80 acres of land, for $160.00 from Thomas O. Bowen.

On May 5, 1866, John Lee Barber was born to Frank and Emily at their home in Leake County. Nearly two years later on March 9, 1868, their last child and only daughter was born. She was named Rhoda Anne Emeline Barber.

On April 24, 1869, Frank purchased eighty additional adjoining acres of land from W. H. Harris for $80.00. Then on October 6, 1873, Frank purchased another 80 adjoining acres of land in Section 17, for $20.00 from Joseph D. and Margaret J. Eads.

On October 17, 1874, Frank purchased 160 acres of land which adjoined his existing 640 acres to the north. This land in Section 5 he bought from Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Coleman for $800.00. Next, on December 19, 1877, Frank purchased 79 acres that adjoined the 160 acre tract of land on the east, for $90.00 from William J. Hamil. On one acre of this particular tract of land was located the Hamil school house, formerly known as the Rushing school, whose first teacher was B. Strickland Rushing. This one acre was withheld from the 80 tract of land sold to Frank Barber.

On November 23, 1875, Joe Barber married Clarinda ("Clara") Peoples in Leake County, and the following year on Dec. 21, 1876 his younger brother James married Mary Lucinda ("Cindy") Rushing, daughter of Barnabus "Strickland" Rushing & Mary Baldwin Gregory. Then on January 3, 1880, Isaiah Barber married Cindy's sister, Martha Celestia ("Lesta") Rushing.

On December 3, 1881, Frank purchased a total of 65 acres of land (four adjoining tracts of land) in Section 16, which adjoined his existing property on the east. On January 9, 1892, Frank Barber sold 120 acres of his land in the Rosebud Community to Z. B. Brooks for $450.00. Then on March 13, 1895, Frank bought 50 acres of land for $300.00 from his brother, Joseph F. Barber and his wife, Clarinda. This land adjoined some of Frank's existing land. Then on December 13, 1890, Frank purchased 120 acres of land for $650.00 from his brother, Isaiah M. Barber and his wife, M. Celesta. This land was located just east of Frank's place.

On August 3, 1883, Frank & Emily lost their son Alex and he was buried at Zion Cemetery in Leake County. It is believed that their son William also died young and was buried there.Francis A. (Frank) Barber

Frank and Emily's youngest child, Rhoda married George Pierce Sharp, son of Lafayette Marshall Sharp and his second wife, Mattie J. Ware, on August 4, 1886. In the fall of that year, on October 24,  John Lee Barber married Martha Luvenia ("Mattie Lou") Henry, daughter of Joseph Alexander Henry & Elizabeth Phillips.

In the early 1890s, two of Frank & Emily's sons, Jim and Isaiah Barber and their young families, moved west to Van Zandt County, Texas, along with their in-laws and several other Leake County, Mississippi families.They lived and farmed near the town of Edgewood.

During the winter of 1900, Jim Barber contracted pneumonia and died on the second day of March at the young age of 43, leaving his wife Cindy with eight children at home.

Isaiah and Lesta lost three of their young children during the mid-1890s, not long after arriving in Texas. Sometime in the first few years of the new century, Isaiah and his family moved north to Garvin County, Oklahoma. It was there on Feb. 13, 1904 that Isaiah died at the young age of 41.

By 1910 Frank and Emily Barber were living near Harperville, northern Scott County, Mississippi. Their daughter, Rhoda Sharp and her family lived nearby. Frank & Emily lived near Harperville the rest of their lives. Emily Barber died at the age of 83 on Sunday, May 24, 1914 and was buried at Harperville Memorial Park Cemetery in Harperville, Scott County, Mississippi. 

In August of 1915, Frank applied for a pension of $75.00 from the State of Mississippi for his service during the Civil War. In the application, Frank stated that his leg wound during the war caused partial loss of the use of his leg. He also stated that he owned his own home and the value of his property was $500.00. He said that he was living with a son of his. Frank signed the application forms with his "+" mark, since he could not write his name. The pension was approved and he received the $75.00. Then in August of 1916, he applied for another pension which was also approved, but too late to do Frank any good, for Frank died before he could collect the money. (Click here to view one of Frank's Pension Application forms)

Frank A. Barber died on Wednesday, November 1, 1916 at the age of 85, and he was buried next to Emily at Harperville Memorial Park Cemetery. He had outlived his wife and most of his children.


* Frank's mother's maiden name was thought to have been McBeth for many years, but that has been found to be incorrect. The death certificates of two of her sons indicates it was actually Simmons. There was some connection to the McBeth family, as John C. McBeth/McBeath, Jr. was a bondsman for Francis (Frank) Barber when he married Emily Collinsworth.

This biography was compiled and written by Roland J. Heddins, copyright 2002 (edited 2014). As further details are discovered, this biography will be updated. If you have any details to add or correct, please email me. No part of this biography may be published (in print or on the internet) without credit & permission. Thank you. -RJH


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