James Francis Barker
|James Francis Barker|
|2nd President of the Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute|
July 1, 1916 – 1919
|Preceded by||Carleton B. Gibson|
|Succeeded by||Royal B. Farnum|
|Died||December 10, 1950
Rochester, New York
|Resting place||Prospect Hill Cemetery, Nantucket, Massachusetts|
Florence Mary Edmonds
|Children||Josephine Barker Cooper|
|Parents||James Hussey Barker, Jr.
Maria Josefina Sarresqueta
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
He was born in 1872 in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of a railroad ticketing agent and a New Orleanian of Spanish and French extraction. His ancestors on his father's side included 11 of the 15 families who settled Nantucket in 1659. He graduated from Cornell University in 1893 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and spent another year studying Architecture at the graduate level. He briefly worked at D. H. Burnham & Company and Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co. before switching to education, becoming Superintendent of the Manual Training Department at East Division High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1897. He left in 1904 to pursue similar positions at Grand Rapids High School and the Hackley School in Muskegon, Michigan. In 1906, he participated in the formation of East Technical High School in Cleveland, Ohio and served as its first Principal.
He married the former Kate Spooner in 1897 and raised one daughter. After being widowed in the late 1930s, he married Josephine M. Edmonds, a home economics teacher and half sister of International House of New York founder Harry Edmonds, in 1941.
He came to the Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute after his predecessor resigned to continue his work in the war relief effort. He oversaw the Institute during World War I, but subsequently left to become Superintendent of Junior and Technical Education in the Rochester City School District.:115 He also served as general supervisor of evening, summer, and continuation programs for the District.
After he retired in 1936, he operated a photographic studio called "The Eagle's Wing" on Nantucket Island during the summer months. He named the studio after an island steamboat his grandfather had captained on the Great Lakes. He also pursued painting, pottery, metal working, and cabinet making.
He died in his Rochester home at the age of 78 and is interred on Nantucket.
- "Death of James Barker, of The Eagle's Wing Studio", The Inquirer and Mirror (Nantucket, Massachusetts), 23 Dec 1950: 9
- Saffran, Michael (March 2007), "RIT's presidential history", RIT news & events (Henrietta, NY: Rochester Institute of Technology) 39 (11), retrieved 2008-01-18
- United States Census Bureau (1880-06-01), 1880 United States Census T9 (Sheet 223A), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States: National Archives and Records Administration, p. 223A, OCLC 16730058, retrieved 2014-11-02
- "Holmes-Edmonds-Miles Family Papers". http://www.lib.rochester.edu. Rochester, New York: University of Rochester. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
- Gordon, Dane R. (2007). Rochester Institute of Technology: Industrial Development and Educational Innovation in an American City, 1829-2006. Henrietta, New York: RIT Press. ISBN 1933360232. OCLC 80360669.
- "The Nantucket Art Colony, 1920-45". Nantucket Historical Association. May 26, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- "James Barker, 78, Veteran Educator, Ex-RIT Head, Dies", Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), 11 Dec 1950: 18
Carleton B. Gibson
|President of the Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute
July 1, 1916–1919
Royal B. Farnum
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