A Few Facts Concerning the Career of One of Danby’s Most Industrious and Respected Citizens.
Mr. Barnabas Decker (familiarly called “Barney” by all who know him), was born in the town of Highgate, this state, March 27, 1833, and has, therefore, but recently passed his seventieth birthday.
When Mr. Decker was two years of age his father removed to Canada, where he spent his early boyhood and there received his education in the public schools. When seventeen years of age he went to the city of Boston and spent several years there in the employ of Francis Childs, and there learned the trade of carpentering and building, which he has followed much of the time during his residence in Danby.
Being possessed of a venturesome, knowledge-seeking disposition, Mr. Decker took means to gratify his desire to visit foreign countries by shipping on a whaling vessel that was bound for a long voyage. This was in December, 1851, and for most of the time for ten years thereafter he followed the sea, visiting many foreign ports and acquiring a fund of knowledge about the countries visited and their peoples. We are informed that Mr. Decker can tell some very interesting whaling yarns, but when requested to recite a few of them for the benefit of the MIRROR, he declined to give us anything of that nature for publication, supplementing his refusal with the assertion that he wished this sketch to be brief—so we are compelled to make it so.
When the civil war broke out, Mr. Decker gave up his sea-faring life and enlisted in the First Vermont Cavalry, with which he was in active service for nearly four years. Here again Mr. Decker met with thrilling and hazardous venture, but his modesty prevented us getting any interesting reminiscences of this nature from him. With a small party of friends around him, however, he proves a most interesting entertainer as he recites from his fund of adventure and anecdote. Mr. Decker entered the service of the United States as a private and rose to the position of lieutenant.
At the close of the war Mr. Decker returned to Canada, and in the spring of 1867 was married to Miss Julia E. Deuel of St. Armand, P. Q. Two daughters have been born to them—Mollie, now Mrs. Arthur Graves of Florence, Mass., and Lucy, now Mrs. Jesse D. Nichols of Asbury Park, N. J. Mr. and Mrs. Decker have resided in Danby thirty-two years, and have a great many friends here, as well as elsewhere in this vicinity.
During the larger part of Mr. Decker’s residence in Danby he has been in the employ of Mr. S. L. Griffith, and is today in his employ; among other things, is superintending the building of a saw mill at one of Mr. Griffith’s lumber jobs, we believe. While employed by Mr. Griffith, he has been called from job to job, wherever his expert carpentering services were needed and has always been counted upon as a painstaking and faithful employee. He is still “in the harness,” and though he has passed the “allotted time of man,” is able to perform a good day’s work at his trade, and his skillful services are much in demand.