BARBER, GERSHOM M. (2 Oct. 1823-20 July 1903), was an educator, lawyer, and judge who also served in the CIVIL WAR. Born in Groton, N.Y., to Phineas and Orpha Barber, he came to Berlin Twp., Ohio with his family at age 7. At 15 he enrolled in Norwalk Seminary and, after teaching in Kentucky for a few years, attended Western Reserve College in Hudson, transferring to Michigan University from which he graduated in 1850. From 1850-56, Barber was a professor of mathematics and languages at Baldwin Institute; serving the last 2 years as principal. He resigned to study law under Samuel B. Prentiss in Cleveland, and was admitted to the bar in 1857.
Barber entered the Civil War as a 2d lieutenant in Oct. 1862. From Mar. 1863-Apr. 1865 he commanded a battalion of sharpshooters, attaining the rank of captain. Toward the war's end, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and was recommended by Gen. Thomas for a brevet commission of brigadier general. In June and July 1865, Barber served as president of the Military Examining Court. After the war, Barber developed a successful law practice in Cleveland with W. W. Andrews. He was a Cleveland city councilman from 1872-73, and in 1873 was elected a judge of the 2d Superior Court. In 1875, Barber was elected to a 5-year term in the common pleas court; he was reelected in 1880. Barber made notable gifts to the Cleveland Law Library. He married Huldah Lavinia Seeley in 1851 and had 5 children: Clarence, Ida, Marion, Arthur, and Earnest. Barber died in Cleveland and was buried in WOODLAND CEMETERY.