Civil War pinGlen BarbarasSchlitz factory, MilwaukeeGlen and Gordon
Barbaras Surname Site
Emigration #5, 1875; Henridorff, France to Iowa
Home > Emigrations > USA #5 > Stories
Allamakee Journal and Lansing Mirror, Lansing, Iowa, June 26, 1929
-Bess Barbaras of Minneapolis came Friday for an over Sunday visit with home folks, the N. Barbaras family.
-Nick Barbaras, Jr. and family of New Jersey arrived last Wednesday for a visit with the N. Barbaras family, leaving for home Thursday.
-Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Payne and family drove over from Algona, Saturday, for a visit with the lady’s home folks, the N. Barbaras family.
Life of Nicolas Barbaras
from Newspaper, Algona, Iowa, 1930
Mr. Barbaras was born in the village of Haredorff, near Phalsburg, Lorraine, France. The village was the home of farmers who farmed 1800 acres, of which Mr. Barbaras' father, Michael Barbaras, owned and farmed 25 acres. The land was not all in one piece but consisted of various small tracts.

When Mr. Barbaras was 13 he went to work in a stone quarry where millstones were made. He worked there till he was 21, and was promoted from time to time till he was earning $1.50 a day.

Having become 21 Mr. Barbaras was liable to service in the German army, which then held Alsace and Lorraine. Such service was unpopular, so he escaped it by taking passage to America, sailing from Havre in 1875. The voyage to New York required ten days.

The young immigrant first worked for a colony which farmed 3,000 acres at Economy, a village 13 miles from Pittsburgh, Pa. Then he came to the harvest fields of Minnesota. Later he worked for a stone mason for $1.50 a day. He then worked a year for a farmer for $20 a month.

In the fall of 1879, Mr. Barbaras went to Dubuque, and the next spring worked at McGregor, getting out wood for steamboats. The wood was hauled from the bluffs alongside the Mississippi and piled on the river bank.

The following fall, after another season in the Minnesota harvest fields, Mr. Barbaras met Bridget Rafter, and after a speedy courtship they were married December 27, 1880. Mr. Barbaras at once went to work on the section for the Milwaukee railroad, and has held the same job ever since. He will have rounded out 50 years of service next January 2. The first foreman Mr. Barbaras worked under was Larry Corcoran. Later Mr Barbaras succeeded him and he continued till he was given charge of Harper's Ferry "yards" in 1914.

Mr and Mrs. Barbaras have five daughters: Bernadetta, teller in a bank in Harper's Ferry; Bessie, private secretary to a finance company official at Minneapolis; Genevieve, who is sister M. Angela in charge of the pharmacy at the Mercywood Sanitarium, Ann Arbor, Mich; and Mesdames Payne and Bieser. One son, Nick Jr. is married and is foreman in charge of 120 men in a Western Electric plant in New Jersey.

Mr. and Mrs. Barbaras own one of the best located homes in Harpers Ferry. Mr. Barbaras has attended the Kossuth fair every year for several years, making the fair the occasion of his annual visit with the Payne and Bieser families.