The Valley of Heart's Delight
SAMUEL ALPHONSO BARKER
Surnames: Barker, Parshley
contributed by jchavnar
From: Pen Pictures from the Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated.
Edited by H.S. Foote, Published, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1888. Page 99
SAMUEL ALPHONSO BARKER was born in Kennebec County, Maine, July 26, 1833. His paternal ancestors
were English, and those on his mother’s side were Scotch. His family is one of the oldest in the
country, his people having come to America about seven years after the Mayflower. The family
in this country is descended from two brothers, Noah and Carr Barker, the latter being the ancestor
of the subject of this sketch. His descendants settled in Maine, while it was still a part of the
province of Massachusetts. Mr. Barker’s maternal ancestors were also early in America. His
mother’s father was a Revolutionary soldier, and it was while on the march to Canada, under Arnold,
that he selected the tract of land upon which he afterwards settled. This tract was afterwards a
part of the city of Hallowell. He engaged in ship-building for a few years, and then removed
to the neighborhood of Reedville, where he purchased a farm and devoted himself to agricultural
pursuits. This farm is still in possession of descendants. The subject of this sketch was educated
in his native State, and, in 1854, commenced the study of law in the office of Judge Josiah H. Drummond,
who has since been attorney-general of the State. In 1857 Mr. Barker was admitted to the Bar of the
Supreme Court of the State of Maine. He practiced his profession successfully for ten years in his
native State, and in 1867 came to California, being attracted hither by a desire to renew his health,
which too close application to business had impaired. He had chosen Santa Clara County for his residence
and came directly to San Jose.
He here resumed the practice of his profession, selecting the department of counselor rather than that
of advocate. He has confined himself as nearly as possible to probate and commercial cases and cases
involving the title to lands. His sound judgment and knowledge of the law, especially in the
departments which he had selected for his specialties, brought him a large and lucrative practice.
The accuracy of his judgment and his integrity, and have never had occasion to regret their confidence.
In all questions touching estates of deceased persons and the laws affecting real-estate titles, Mr. Barker
is considered an authority. He is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the State and of the United
States District Court. He is attorney for the Board of Trade of San Jose, and of the Garden City Savings
Union. He was married, April 5, 1858, to Sarah E. Parshley, of Maine, and has three children; Charles A.,
now assistant manager of the San Francisco Lumber Company; Frank P., deputy recorder and auditor of Santa
Clara County, and Alfred, now a student at the California Military Academy, at Oakland.
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