GEORGE BARRINGER. Farmers who have been elected to positions of trust and honor are not by any means few in America, but it is the exception that the tiller of the soil continues to be such long after he has won success in any sphere outside his regular calling. The allurements of city life in the great majority of cases quickly overcome the inborn love of nature unadorned, and the farmer is known by another name. George Barringer, of Jonesboro, Illinois, is one of the few. After terms in township and county offices he continued to plant, cultivate and reap, and to raise stock, until he felt it time to retire from active agricultural pursuits, at which time he located in Jonesboro and engaged in the real estate business, although he still owns considerable farming land, which is now rented, in Union county. Mr. Barringer was born on a farm in Union county, northeast of Anna, January 2, 1849, and is a son of
Charles and Matilda (Hileman) Barringer, both natives of this county. Charles Barringer was born September 29, 1825, and for many years carried on agricultural pursuits, but after coming to Jonesboro entered the mercantile field and was so engaged until about two years prior to his death.
The education of George Barringer was secured in the district and town schools, and later he entered a seminary here. He also went to Union Academy and the Commercial School for Boys, and while at these institutions taught district school for four or five years while being engaged in study during the summer months. Giving up the profession of teaching, Mr. Barringer entered the tin and stove business, in which he continued one or two years, he having furnished the capital and his partner the tools, and during 1871 and 1872 held the office of deputy assessor. Subsequently he became deputy under Sheriffs Hileman and Nimmo, and in 1878 was elected sheriff of Union county, serving in that office for a full term of two years. At that time his health failed, and in 1880 he purchased a farm in Union county, on which he continued to reside until 1883, then moved to Cape Girardean county, Missouri. In that state Mr. Barringer carried on farming on a tract situated near the city of Jackson until the fall of 1891, when he purchased his present property in Jonesboro, Union county. He now rents his land and follows the real estate business, in which he has had considerable success. He has served as justice of the peace and postmaster of Union Point while living on the farm, and from 1894 until 1902 acted as county superintendent of schools. During his incumbency of the latter office, he introduced the eighth grade commencement exercises, issued certificates to those who passed the examination and reported to the State Department the first high schools reported from this county. Mr. Barringer served as marshal of Jonesboro before he was of age, and even at that early time he displayed the same conscientiousness to duty that has characterized his later terms of office. Progressive in all matters, he has done much to advance this section, and he is regarded as one of Union county `s substantial, public-spirited men. His fraternal connection is with the A. 0. U. W., which he joined in Missouri, and he also belongs to Jonesboro, Lodge, No. 111, A. F. & A.M.
Mr. Barringer's first marriage was to Miss Belle Byrd, of Jackson, Missouri, who died August 16, 1891, leaving these children: Georgia Belle, who married J. B. Colard, Jr., and died June 28, 1909; Byrd Polk, unmarried, who is in the real estate business and owns a pocket and carom billiard hall at Cairo; Matilda Hileman, who married J. F. Karraker, of Cypress, Illinois; and Mary, who married N. R. Crooks and lives in Denver Colorado. Mr. Barringer was married in 1892 to Miss Mary Chase, who was born in Jonesboro, daughter of Charles S. and Ellen (Cruse) Chase, the former a well-known stone contractor and builder, and four children have been born to this union, namely: Bessie, Paul, Grace and Ruth. Mr. and Mrs. Barringer and their children attend the Methodist Episcopal church.