ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
Emmet P. Barringer, of Ruthven, has long been identified with the general
business interests of this section of the state and is widely known as one of
its leading financiers, being president of the Farmers' Savings Bank.
Equally noted as a citizen whose useful career has conferred credit on his
community and whose marked abilities and sterling qualities have won for him
much more than local repute, he holds distinctive precedence as one of the
most progressive men who have ever inaugurated and carried to successful
consummation large and important undertakings in this locality. He was born in Big Springs, Adams county, Wisconsin, on the 6th of April, 1857, and is a son of
Peter E. and Amanda (Ward) Barringer, the former born in New York state,
while the latter was a native of Ohio. In 1873 they left Big Springs,Wisconsin, and came to Iowa, settling in Palo Alto county, about four miles east of Ruthven. The mother died on that farm in 1891, and the father was later
married to Miss Mary Pease. Soon afterwards they moved to Ruthven, where the father died in 1909, at the age of eighty-six years.
Emmet P. Barringer received his education in the district schools of
Wisconsin, and in 1872 came to Iowa, preceding his parents one year. He worked on the Palo Alto farm during the summers and attended school during the winters.
In 1874 he entered the Emmetsburg high school, attending two years. After the first term, he took up teaching and taught fourteen terms of school. In 1887 he spent six months as land inspector for the American Investment Company of Emmetsburg, and in December of that year was appointed deputy county treasurer, in which position he served two years. In 1892 he was elected county
supervisor and was twice re-elected to the office, resigning during the last year of his third term in order to run for the legislature. He was elected in one of the hardest-fought district fights ever seen in the state. Mr.
Barringer ran on the straight republican ticket and was opposed by a free-silver republican and a free-silver democrat, over whom he had a plurality of over six hundred, while he also ran far ahead of his ticket. Prior to this he had served four years as chairman of the republican county committee. While in the legislature, he became one of the incorporators of the American Life
Insurance Company, of Des Moines, of which he was made vice president, in which position he served for many years.
In 1902 Mr. Barringer, in company with M. L. Brown, of Emmetsburg, went into
Saskatchewan, Canada, and bought thirty thousand acres of land, after which
they formed a corporation, the American Colonization Company, of which he was
made vice president and general manager. The company was incorporated for a
millon dollars and had a paid-up capital of one hundred and ninety-two
thousand dollars. They were successful in this enterprise and continued to buy
and sell land until they had bought over fifty-six thousand acres. In 1909
this corporation was dissolved and the Brown & Barringer Syndicate, organized
for the purpose, took over the holdings and are still conducting the business.
In 1892 Mr. Barringer became identified with the banking business of Palo
Alto county, founding the Ruthven Savings Bank, of which he was elected
president. In 1894 a private bank at Ayrshire failed and Mr. Barringer was
appointed assignee. Immediately thereafter, in association with M. L. Brown, he
opened a private bank at that place, and in 1896 it was incorporated as the First
National Bank of Ayrshire. Mr. Barringer was the cashier of this bank for
several years and is still a member of its board of directors. He also served
one year as a director of the First National Bank of Emmetsburg. In later
years he opened a private bank in Ruthven but it was later incorporated as the
Farmers Savings Bank, since which time he has been its president. About 1918
Mr. Barringer became actively identified with the Ancient Order of United
Workmen of Iowa and became chairman of the finance committee of the grand
lodge, in which position he has served continuously to the present time. Two
years after assuming that position, he was elected a member of the board of
director of the farm loan board and is the holder of extensive landed interests in
California and other places.
Mr. Barringer was married in 1882 to Miss Margaret G. Ruthven, and to them
were born three children: Orie Irene; Ray E., who is a farmer in Palo Alto
county; and Harold E., also a farmer of this county. On April 8, 1918, Mr. Barr
inger was married to Mrs. Della Karsch. He is a member of Highland Lodge,
A. F. & A. M.; Earnest Chapter, No. 152, R. A. M.; Ruthven Lodge, I. O. O. F.;
and Esterville Lodge, B. P. O. E. His activities have been most varied in
character. His extensive business interests are but the legitimate outcome of
consecutive effort, directed and controlled by good judgment. Strong mental
powers and an invincible courage have so entered into his makeup as to
render him a dominating power in the business world and a leader of men in
important enterprises. He has not only been interested in the advancement of his
individual affairs, but his influence has also been felt in a very definite way
in the advancement of the community which has so long been honored by his
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