Norman B. Barr
Norman Burton Barr (1868–1943) is credited with dramatically expanding the work of the Olivet Institute which was founded in 1888 in Chicago.
Mr. Barr entered the McCormick Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in Chicago in September, 1894. He married Minnie Dearstyne Goodman, his college sweetheart, in Chicago on December 20, 1894. (Barr. Papers)
Norman Barr graduated from McCormick and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church on May 10, 1897. Prior to graduating and in February 1897, he was asked to be an interim pastor at Olivet Memorial Church. In May, he accepted his first pastoral assignment as the regular minister at Olivet Memorial Church in Chicago. The church was located at 665 Vedder Street on the near north side. When Rev. Barr arrived, he was given responsibility for all religious work connected with the church at Vedder and Penn streets. Mr. N. B. W. Gallwey was in charge of the institutional activities and started the name of Olivet Social Institute.
The general area was known as "Little Hell" due to the poverty, crime and unemployment. Rev. Barr could not have picked a tougher area in which to start his career as a minister. Families were doubled up in houses and brick tenements of four and five stories. This was one of the poorest sections of Chicago.
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