BARKER 1 was formed from Lisle, April 18, 1831.2 A part of Greene (Chenango Co.) was annexed April 28, 1840. It lies north-west of the center of the County, and covers an area of 21,147 acres, of which, in 1865, according to the census of that year, 12,081, were improved. The surface is hilly. The declivities of the hills are in some instances very steep; but their summits spread out into a broken plateau which renders them capable of tillage. The highest point, in the north-west part of the town, is about 1,400 feet above tide. It is watered by the Tioughnioga river, which flows diagonally through the town, entering it near the north-west corner and leaving it near the south-east corner, where it forms a junction with the Chenango River; Half Way Brook,3 which flows through the north-east part and empties into the Tioughnioga at about half way in its course through the town; and Castle Creek, which rises, by several branches, in the western part and leaves the town near the center of the south border. The valleys of the river and brooks are narrow, but they furnish a limited intervale of rich and highly fertile land. Upon the hills the soil consists of a clayey loam mixed with disintegrated slate and shale. The people are principally engaged in dairying.
In 1870, the town contained a population of 1,396. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1871, it contained twelve school districts and employed twelve teachers. The number of children of school age was 377; the number attending school, 350; the average attendance, 176; the amount expended for school purposes, $3,055; and the value of school houses and sites, $4,540.
The Syracuse, Binghamton & N. Y. Railroad crosses the town diagonally, following the course of the river.
CHENANGO FORKS (p. v.) is located in three towns---Barker, Chenango and Greene, the latter in Chenango Co.,---but mostly in this town. It is a village of about 600 inhabitants. That part of it lying in this town contains one church, (Congregational) a select school for girls, one hotel, one carriage, three blacksmith and two shoe shops, a saw mill, a grist mill, a drug store, eight other stores and about thirty dwellings. It lies at the forks of the Chenango and Tioughnioga rivers, in the South-east corner of the town, and is a station on the S. B. & N. Y. R. R. and the U. & C. V. R. R., which enters the town at the south-east corner.
HYDE SETTLEMENT in the west part, extending about one and one-half miles on "Hyde Street," is named from the first settlers in that locality, many of whose descendants still reside there. It contains one church (M. E.) a school house and seven houses.
ADAMS SETTLEMENT in the central part, also derives its name from the first settlers there.
BARKER, on the east bank of the Tioughnioga River, north of the center of the town, formerly contained a post office, but it is discontinued.
The first settlement, as previously stated, was commenced in 1791, by John Barker, from Branford, Conn. The next year he was followed by Simeon Rogers, John Allen, Asa Beach and Solomon Rose, all of whom were from Connecticut and settled on the east bank of the Tioughnioga. Barker located at Chenango Forks. He purchased the improvements of Thomas Gallop, whom he found living a hermitage-like life, just west of the Tioughnioga, in the town of Chenango, and with his family, took up his residence in the "treaty house." 4 Rogers located about one mile from the mouth of the Tioughnioga; and subsequently, in 1792, married the daughter of John Barker. This was the first marriage contracted in the town; and the first birth was that of Chauncey, son of Simeon Rogers, in 1793. A Mr. Lampeer was the first man who ventured any distance up the Tioughnioga. He settled seven miles from its mouth. The first school was taught by Thomas Cartwright, in 1795; the first inn was opened the same year, by Simeon Rogers, who also kept the first store and built the first mill.
There are only two churches in the town, (Congregational and M. E.)
The Congregational Church is located at Chenango Forks. It was organized with ten members, but in what year we are not advised. Its Church edifice was erected in 1837, at a cost of $2,000. It will seat 250 persons. Rev. Seth Williston was the first pastor. Rev. Thos. Haywood is the present one. The number of members is forty. The Church property is valued at $3,500.
The Adams Street M. E. Church was organized with 44 members in Feb., 1871. The Church edifice is now in process of erection and when completed will seat 200 persons, and be worth about $2,000. Rev. A. W. Loomis was the first pastor; Rev. N. S. Dewitt is the present one. The number of members remains the same as when organized.
The M. E. Church of Barker, located at the village of Barker, was organized with five members, by Horace Agard, its first pastor, July 15, 1825. The church edifice, which will seat 200 persons, was erected in 1844, at a cost of $1,500. The Church property is valued at $3,000. Rev. N. S. DeWitt is the present pastor. The present number of members is twenty.