This history of the Bargers in Tennessee, Missouri
and Arkansas was researched by Carl Barger, youngest son of the late Edward Barger and Mamie Ann Totten Barger of Heber Springs,
By Carl Barger
The historical research which follows starts with my gr-gr-grandfather,
Allen Barger. I believe that Allen Barger came from Morgan County, Tennessee. I found a Tennessee Land Grant, dated 1829,
conveying 100 acres of land in Morgan County to an Allen Barger. Later census reports show his birthplace as Tennessee.
It is my opinion that Allen Barger and his wife,
Nancy Bullock, and their two children came from Tennessee in a wagon train with other settlers who settled in Ripley or Wayne
County, Missouri in the 1830's. I still have research to do before 1840 to clear up questions I have about my gr-gr-grandfather,
Allen Barger. Allen Barger married Nancy Bullock sometime between 1830 and 1835. In the 1840 Ripley County, Missouri census,
Allen and Nancy's oldest child, Henry, was five years old. The older two children were born in Tennessee according to the
1850 Reynolds County, Missouri census.
The death certificate of Jesse Allen Barger gave
Nancy's maiden name as Bullock. Jesse was the fifth child of Allen and Nancy Bullock. In the 1840 Ripley County, Missouri
census, there is a Joseph Bullock enumerated in a household right next to Allen and Nancy Barger. I believe that Joseph Bullock
was Nancy's father. At the time of the census, Joseph Bullock was between 50 and 60 years old and his wife's age was listed
as being between 60 and 70. The Bullocks do not show up in the 1850 Reynolds County census. They could have died between the
ten-year census span, or they could have moved to another county or state.
In my opinion, there were several settlers that
traveled together in a wagon train from Tennessee to Missouri. I have traced some of the families that settled in Ripley County
back to Warren, Wilson, Washington and Williamson Counties in Tennessee.
I found the following people listed in 1812 tax
records for Warren County, Tennessee: Wyley Barger, James Loyd, Jacob, James, Ruben and William Hampton and James Brooks.
Jess Hampton appears in 1812 tax records for Washington County, Tennessee. Tax records for Washington County, Tennessee list
Walter Bralley as a taxpayer in 1804, and James Brooks, Jr. in 1814. I also found early (1812) tax records for a George Barger,
Jacob Barger and Willie Barger in Warren County, Tennessee.
I have not yet researched these families in Warren, Wilson,
Washington and Williamson Counties in Tennessee, but I plan to do so in hopes of finding out something about Allen Barger.
Allen Barger may have come from one of these counties and been related to one or more of the Bargers who lived there. It is
my educated guess that Allen Barger may have come from one of these Tennessee counties because the other people listed in
the tax records noted above were all found in the 1840 Ripley County, Missouri census, and again found living near him according
to the 1850 Reynolds County, Missouri census. If these early settlers were farmers as Allen Barger was, it is likely that
they came to Missouri to homestead new land which became available with Missouri's statehood.
The 1840 census of Ripley County, Missouri (p. 343)
shows Allen Barger, age 39, born in Tennessee in 1801; Nancy Barger, his wife, age 25, born in Tennessee in 1815; their son,
Henry Barger, age 5, born in Tennessee in 1835; and their daughter, Martha J. Barger, age 3, born in Tennessee in 1837. (Ripley
County was formed from a portion of Wayne County, Missouri in 1833.)
I found that the Patterson family of Macon, Tennessee
and the families of John Brawley, William Lloyd, Jacob Brooks, Allen Barger, James Boyd, Joseph Bullock and James Hampton,
all of whom previously lived in Middle Tennessee, were all living in Ripley or Wayne Counties in Missouri by 1840.
The 1850 census of Reynolds County, Missouri (p.
401), lists Allen Barger, age 49, a farmer, born in Tennessee; his wife, Nancy Barger, age 35, born in Tennessee, their son,
Henry Barger, age 15, born in Tennessee; Martha J. Barger, age 13, born in Tennessee, William T. Barger, age 10, born in Ripley
County, Missouri; James A. Barger, age 8; Jesse Allen Barger, age 6; Mary A. Barger, age 4; George W. Barger, age 2 and Dolliah
E. Barger, age 10. The youngest five children of the family shown in the 1850 census were all shown to have been born in Reynolds
By 1860, Allen Barger had apparently died or was divorced
from Nancy. The 1860 census of Cooper County, Missouri lists Nancy Barger White, as the wife of Eliher (Elisha) B. White,
to whom she had been married less than one year. (I have found a record of an Allen Barger marrying Sue McMillan on 8 June
1869, in Moniteau County, Missouri, but I have not determined if he is my gr-gr-grandfather.) Eliher (or Elisha) B. White
was shown to be 48 years old, a farmer, and a native of Ohio. The census records for 1860 list his wife, Nancy Barger White,
age 46, born in Tennessee; and the following children who were all born in Missouri: William T. Barger, age 21; James A. Barger,
age 18; Jesse A. Barger, age 16; George W. Barger, age 12; Dolliah E. Barger, age 10; and John W. Barger, age 6. In that year,
Henry Barger would have been 25 years old, and Martha J. Barger would have been 23 years old. It appears that they had left
the household, or perhaps were married by that time.
This history of my family continues with James A.
Barger, the fourth child of Allen Barger and Nancy Bullock. He was my great-grandfather, and he was born 5 September 1842
in Reynolds County, Missouri. He grew up on a farm near the community of California, Missouri. It has been said that he was
a popular young man who learned to read and write, and who worked hard on his dad's farm. James grew to be 5 feet eleven inches
tall. He was dark complected and apparently very handsome.
In 1861, James A. Barger was living near the city
of California, Missouri in Cole County. He enlisted in the Union Army on 14 October 1861 and became part of the Missouri Pat,
Co., C, Batt'n Sharp Shooters, U.S.A. on 21 Nov 1861. He was transferred to Capt. Rice's Co., 26th Reg't Mo. Inf.
On 5 Jan 1862. The records show that he was under the command of Lt. Wherry in Medora, Missouri on 9 Jan 1862, and that he
was a corporal in the G Company, 26th Missouri Infantry Regiment. He mustered out of the army on 13 August 1865
in Little Rock Arkansas after a term of service which included the sieges of New Madrid and Leland, Missouri in 1862, the
siege of Corinth, Battle of Iuka, Battle of Corinth, campaign to Oxford, Battle of Fort Gibson, Battle of Raymond, Battle
of Jackson, Battle of Champion Mills and the siege of Vicksburg, all in Mississippi, the Battle of Missionary Ridge in Tennessee
in 1863, the siege of Savannah, Georgia in 1844, and subsequent campaign through the Carolinas. In April of 1865, he participated
in the Grand Review in Washington before returning home.
After the war, James A. Barger returned to Cole
County, Missouri and married Christy Ann Miller on 18 December 1866. The 1870 census of Cole County, Missouri (p. 298) lists
James A. Barger, age 28, and a farmer, born in Reynolds County, Missouri. The value of his real estate was shown as $420,
and personal property $240. (The census records for that year show his wife to be Margaret Miller, but that is incorrect.
His wife was Christy Ann Miller, a sister of Margaret Miller. Margaret Miller was married to Jesse A. Barger, a younger brother
of James A. Barger.)
Christy Ann Miller was the daughter of George Miller
of Tennessee. From this marriage came four daughters and one son. They were Marry Lizzie Barger, Sarah Alice Barger, Rebecca
A. Barger, Eliza Jane Barger and John William Barger.
After the death of Christy on 3 February 1877, James
married Francis West from Moniteau County, Missouri, and they had two sons. One died in infancy and the other was William
Jon Barger. James A. Barger and his family lived in Cole, Moniteau and Saline Counties in Missouri before moving to Ray County,
Missouri in the later part of 1879. There, he purchased a farm near Orrick, Missouri where he remained for the major part
of his life. He also owned property in Lafayette County and lived near Odessa and Bates City, Missouri.
The 1880 census of Ray County, Missouri (p. 415/e.d.
138), lists James A. Barger, a farmer, age 37, a native of Reynolds County, Missouri, and his wife Francis (Fannie) West Barger,
age 34, born in Kentucky; and his children, all of whom were born in Cole County, Missouri. They were Mary E. Barger, age
13; Sara Alice Barger, age 10, Rebecca A. Barger, age 8, Eliza Jane Barger, age 7 and John William Barger, age 4.
Walter Jon Barger was born to James A. Barger and
Francis West Barger on 8 January 1882, in Orrick, Missouri. Francis West Barger died on 26 June 1844, and is buried in the
South Point Cemetery, Orrick, Missouri. Rebecca A. Barger died at the age of 18, and is also buried in the South Point Cemetery.
On 19 March, 1885, James A Barger married Sarah
Jane Yallerly (or Yullerly) of Ray County, Missouri. They had no children and the marriage ended in divorce in 1889.
James A. Barger was married again on 2 September
1893, to Susan Marie Heiple Archer in Ray County, Missouri. They owned property in both Ray and Lafayette Counties. In the
early part of the 1900's, James and Susan purchased land near Odessa, Lafayette County, Missouri where they lived until the
death of Susan.
Susan Clark Heiple Archer Barger was my great-grandmother.
She was the mother of Mary Elizabeth Heiple, my grandmother. Susan was the daughter of John Clark who settled in Ray County,
Missouri in the 1880's. She first married Noah Hieple, my grandfather. Noah Heiple and Susan had for children, William Henry
Heiple, Samuel Heiple, Mary Elizabeth Heiple (my grandmother) and Ella Mae Heiple.
Noah Heiple died in 1883, and subsequently, Susan
married Hugh B. Archer on 18 September 1884 in Orrick, Missouri. She had one son by Hugh B. Archer, whose name was Elm Murray
Archer. After the death of Hugh B. Archer, Susan married James A. Barger, my great-grandfather.
I have not determined the exact date of the death
of Susan Marie Barger, but I believe it was somewhere around 1908. In the 1910 census of Lafayette County, Missouri, James
A. Barger, who was then 68 years of age, was shown to be living with his son, John William Barger, and the record indicates
that he was then a widower.
James A. Barger later moved to Allendale, Worth County,
Missouri, near the Iowa border. While living in Allendale with his daughter, Sarah Alice Barger Thompson, he became ill and
died of chronic heart disease on 19 February 1912. He was then 69 years, 5 months and 14 days old. He was survived by three
daughters and two sons - Mary Lizzie Kohal and Eliza Jane Clark of Westpoint, Arkansas, Sarah Alice Thompson of Allendale,
Missouri, John William Barger of Bates City, Missouri and Walter Jon Barger.
My grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Heiple, who was born in Orrick, Missouri on 23 November 1873, the
daughter of Susan Clark Heiple Archer Barger by her first husband. My grandfather, John William Barger, was born 8 January
1876, in Ray County, Missouri, and was the only son of James A. Barger and Christy Ann Miller. They were married in Ray County,
Missouri on14 July 1896. The 1900 census of Fishing River Township, Ray County, Missouri (e.d. 127 - Orrick) lists John William
Barger, age 24, with his wife, Mary Elizabeth Heiple Barger, age 25, and their first three children, all of whom were born
in Ray County, Missouri. Those children were William Barger, age 4; Edward Barger, age 3; and Evert Barger, age one.
Before 1910, the family had relocated. The 1910
census of Snibar Township, Lafayette County, Missouri (e.d. 105), records the household of John William Barger, a farmer,
age 34; with his wife, Mary Elizabeth Heiple Barger, age 35; William (Willie) Barger, age 14, Edward Barger, age 13, Ida Mae
Barger, age 9, Oscar Barger, age 6, Lillie Barger, age 3, Cordie L. Barger, age one. Also listed in that household in 1910,
is James A. Barger, the father of John William Barger, who was by that time widowed.
In both the 1900 and 1910 census records, the oldest
child of that family is listed as William (Willie) Barger. William was actually born to Mary Elizabeth Heiple during her first
marriage; the records show that she married Henry Vinyard on 27 December 1891. When she later married John William Barger,
in 1896, he adopted her son. William Barger met an untimely death at the age of 19. He was thrown from a horse, and died in
Bates City, Missouri, where he is buried in the Concord Cemetery.
In 1914, the family moved to Higden, Cleburne County,
Arkansas, and John William Barger purchased a new farm near Sugar Loaf Mountain. The 1920 Cleburne County, Arkansas census
(e.d. 10) lists John William Barger, age 46, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Heiple Barger, age 47, together with their remaining
children. Edward Barger is shown to be 22 years of age, Oscar Barger, 15; Lillie Barger, 13; Cordie L. Barger, age 11; and
Rosie Barger, age 8.
By that time Ida Mae Barger was gone. She married
John Gann in 1914, in Clinton, Missouri, when the family was moving to Arkansas. She was 14 years old at the time. Ida and
John Gann moved to Helena, Arkansas. She died giving birth to their second son, Lloyd Gann.
My father, Edward Barger, was the first child born
to John William Barger and Mary Elizabeth Heiple. He was born 29 Mar 1895, in Ray County, Missouri, and came to Arkansas with
the family in 1914. He resided in Cleburne County, Arkansas the remainder of his life, first in Higden, then in Quitman, Arkansas.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Edward Barger was a farmer, but in the early part of 1950, he retired from farming
and became a merchant. He owned and operated a grocery and fruit market at Greers Ferry, Arkansas. Later, he built a grocery
and fruit market in the Peirson community, near Quitman, Arkansas on Highway 25, which he ran until his death from lung cancer
on 6 September, 1968. He died in the Heber Springs Hospital at the age of 72, and was buried in the Shiloh Cemetery at Greers
On 26 August 1922, at the age of 24, Edward Barger
married 16 year old Mamie Ann Totten of Shirley, Van Buren County, Arkansas. To this marriage were born twelve children, ten
of whom are still living at the time of this writing (1998). Before her marriage, Mamie received a fifth-grade education.
Her father, Elias Totten, was both a carpenter and school teacher. He was an educated man who taught all of his children to
read and write. Mamie Barger is remembered as a loving woman who showed compassion and understanding to everyone, and who
loved her husband and children, working hard to support their needs. Mamie was frequently both mother and father to her children.
Beginning in the 1950's, she would take them with her to Michigan for the fruit harvests, then to Laetrile, Arkansas in the
fall for the cotton harvest. Edward would stay home and run their small farm, and later the grocery and fruit business. Although
this type of arrangement separated the family for months at a time, it was the only way for the Bargers to make a living.
In those days, it was actually a pretty good living.
Both Edward and Mamie wanted their children to have
good educations. The older five children attended school through the eighth grade, which was good for that time period. The
other six completed high school. Two of them earned college degrees. Mamie was proud of all her children. She said many times,
"I don't want my children to have to work as hard as I've had to work for a living." My grandmother is remembered as being
truly a lady, but quite capable of doing anything a man could do. On the farm, she helped in planting and harvesting the crops.
She could plow the ground and raise crops as well, if not better, than most men. She learned carpentry shills from her father,
Elias Totten, and she and Edward built three houses which they occupied during their lives together.
Memories of Edward and Mamie Barger include the
typical breakfasts served at their home. The children would sit on benches, and their parents would sit on straight back chairs
at opposite ends of the long dining table. Platters of eggs, sausages, homemade biscuits, would be accompanied by sorghum
molasses, freshly churned butter and milk and coffee. Breakfast was the most important meal of the day for the Bargers. It
was a time of sharing and planning for the day's job assignments. My grandmother would get up real early in the morning to
start cooking, which was done on a wood cook stove in those days.
Mamie Barger died at the age of 80, on 10 July 1988,
at her home in the Pierson Community, Quitman, Arkansas. She is buried next to her husband in the Shiloh Cemetery at Greers
The twelve children of Edward Barger and Mamie Totten
include (1) Harvey Eugene Barger who was born 21 August, 1923; (2) Chester Barger, born 19 August 1925; (3) Lou Ella Imogene
Barger, born 25 March, 1928; and (4) Betty Lou Barger, born 23 July 1930. Betty Lou Barger died of cancer on 7 March 1996
at the White County Hospital in Searcy, Arkansas. Their other children are (5) Flossie Lou Dean Barger, born 5 January 1933;
(6) Willie Gene Barger, born 30 September 1935; (7) Jimmy Levon Barger, born 20 January, 1939; (8) Roy Edward Barger, born
16 February, 1941; (9) Carl Junior Barger, born 17 August 1943; (10) Ella Mae Barger, born 14 February 1946; (11) Marie Ann
Barger, who was born in 1949, but died in infancy; (12) Leona Faye Barger, born 5 November 1951. All except the last was born
in Higden, Arkansas. Leona Faye Barger was born in Heber Springs, Arkansas.
Editor's note: This history of an Arkansas Barger
family was compiled by Carl Barger, Currently, he is actively researching pre-1840 records for further information about Allen
Barger, the founder of this branch of the Arkansas Bargers. Questions and comments would be welcome.
Carl J. Barger
3225 Vineyard Dr.