1840 – 1899

Source: History of Texas Published in 1896

ELIAS BARBEE, who is now living retired in Granbury, in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil, is one of hose whose valor and loyalty were displayed during the civil war in defense of the Union, and whose life has always been marked by the faithful discharge of his duties of citizenship.

Mr. Barbee is a native of Williamson county, Tennessee, born on the 3rd of September, 1840, a son of Joseph and Rachel (Compton) Barbee. Both parents were natives of Virginia, but were married in Tennessee, and in 1841 removed to Jefferson county, Illinois. There the subject of this sketch grew to manhood upon his father’s farm, and his labors in the fields were alternated with his attendance on the public schools of the neighborhood, where he acquired a fair English education. He remained at home, assisting in the labor of the farm, until the breaking out of the late war, when, on the 19th of October, 1861, he offered his services to the government, enlisting in the Union army as a member of Company K, Forty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. In 1862, at Camp Butler, Illinois, he was taken ill, which resulted in his total blindness and led to his honorable discharge from the service on the 30th of April, 1862, at Camp Stanton, Tennessee. He then returned to his home in Illinois, but, though his army service was thus cut short, few of the “boys in blue” gave more to their country than Mr. Barbee, who through a third of a century has been deprived of his sight.

On the 14th of April, 1861, in Franklin county, Illinois, Mr. Barbee was united in marriage with Miss Lovisa Allen, a native of that county, and a daughter of Stephen and Rebecca (Webb) Allen, the former born in Kentucky, the latter in Illinois. For a number of years our subject and his wife continued their residence in Illinois and then emigrated to Texas, settling in Paluxy, Hood county, where Mr. Barbee purchased 160 acres of land. He had secured the capital as the savings from his meager pension of $8 per month, which was later raised to $25. With the assistance of his 13-year-old son, Mr. Barbee engaged in the stock business on a small scale and in the undertaking met with success. He subsequently sold his land and purchased elsewhere 190 acres, also an interest in about 500 acres of cedar brake. The former place he made his home and engaged there in general farming, with the assistance of his son. Before coming to Texas his pension was increased to $50 per month, which was of material assistance to him, and in 1879 it was raised to $72 dollars. Mr. Barbee made many excellent improvements upon his farm, placed the greater part of the land under a high state of cultivation, and continued to engage in agricultural pursuits until 1887, when he laid aside all business cares and took up his residence in Granbury, where he has since made his home.

He deserves great credit for his success in life, for, suffering under an affliction which would have utterly discouraged and disheartened a man of less resolute spirit, he has worked his way steadily upward and has not only been able to provide for his family but has also acquired a handsome property which now permits him to rest from all care.

Mr. and Mrs. Barbee were the parents of three children, but only one is living.

Wilson B. married Mary Pate and they have two children, Luther B. and Alta. He has always been his father’s assistant and with a wisdom and judgment seemingly beyond his years managed the business interests in his early boyhood.

Emma married William H. Meek, and died in 1885, leaving two children, Minnie and Maud, who are now living with their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Barbee, for they were left orphans by the death of their father in 1895.

Willard J., the youngest of the family, died at the age of three years.

The parents are members of the Missionary Baptist church and support all worthy enterprises which tend to advance the general welfare. Mr. Barbee is a Republican in politics at national elections, but at local elections, where no general issue is involved, he supports the Democratic candidates.

Elias Barbee died February 15, 1899 and was
buried in Granbury Cemetery in Hood County, Texas

History of Texas, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1896