The lumber, hardware, and building supply business has furnished for Henry Russell Barber ample opportunities for successful achievement in the commercial life of Wickford Village, in the town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Here, too, he has taken an extensive part in social and civic life, and through his public activities has done much for the well-being of his fellowmen and his community.
Mr. Barber was born on March 12, 1856, in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, son of Russell W. and Eliza (Potter) Barber. His father, a native of Richmondtown, Rhode Island, was engaged as a farmer until his death; the mother, a native of Peace Dale, Rhode Island, is also deceased. Henry Russell Barber received his early education in the public schools of his native community of South Kingstown, and afterward worked for a time as clerk in the general store there. He continued this work until 1889, when he went into the lumber, hardware and building supply business for himself in South Kingstown. There he remained until November, 1894, when he came to Wickford Village, in the town of North Kingstown, where he has since been engaged in a similar line of business. In these activities he has been eminently successful from the outset, with the result that he is esteemed and respected by his fellowmen and holds a high place in the commercial organization of North Kingstown. The business that he conducts is the only one of its kind in this town.
Not content with attainments in the commercial world alone, Mr. Barber has taken part in political and public life, having been aligned for many years with the Republican party, of whose policies and principles he is a steadfast supporter. For eight years he served as a member of the South Kingstown Town Council, in which he did much valuable work in the direction of bringing about certain needed civic improvements. His favorite hobby is, however, his own business, to which he devotes his major attention; and he is fond of studying business and industrial methods and of planning new developments in the great enterprise that he has established. His religious faith is that of the Baptist Church, of which he is a devout communicant.
Henry Russell Barber married, in 1890, Almira Rodman Arnold, a native of Exeter, Rhode Island. They have become the parents of the following children:
- Russell W., who served with the United States Army in France, having been a member of the American Expeditionary Forces in the World War.
- Harry Rodman.
- Eliza P.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.