John W. Barkley

JOHN W. BARKLEY, M. D., a prominent and capable physician of Ligonier, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, February to, 1868. He is a son of Joseph W. and Maria (Beistel) Barkley, and grandson of Jacob and Elizabeth (Frick) Barkley.

Jacob Barkley (grandfather), born March 26, 1798, was a Westmoreland farmer. He and his wife, Elizabeth (Frick) Barkley, born November 18, 1802, reared a large family-fourteen children and several of his sons were soldiers in the Civil war, and marched, fought and suffered in that terrible conflict. He died December 25, 1868, at his home, aged seventy-one years; his wife died July 4, 1855, aged fifty-three years. Joseph W. Barkley (father), born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, about 1826, received a common school education and learned the trade of a carpenter. This occupation he followed the greater part of his lifetime, but in his later years, however, he became a farmer. He was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, serving the same in various official capacities. He was a Democrat, and held the office of justice of the peace for many years in Donegal township. Be married Maria Beistel, daughter of John Beistel, of Donegal. The ceremony was performed April 8. i86o. The children of this marriage were: 1. Sarah Idella, married Freeman Muir, of Ruffsdale, and they are the parents of one son, Homer Muir. 2. George M., a farmer of Abilene, Kansas: he is married and has five children. 3. Anna I., married Frank P. Baer. of Tarr's: they have four living children. 4. John W., of whom more hereafter. 5. Harvey F., married Margaret Welty, and they have two living children; he is a druggist of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Joseph Barkley died September 29, 1889, and his wife, Maria (Beistel) Barkley, died October i8, 1898.

John W. Barkley received his early and preparatory training in the county schools. In 1893 he matriculated at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, where at the end of a three years course he graduated. In 1897 he came direct from college to Ligonier where he formed a partnership with Dr. J. T. Ambrose, and for four years they conducted a large and successful general medical practice. In 1901 Charles D. Ambrose, a son of Dr. J. T. Ambrose, having graduated from West Penn Medical College, was admitted to the firm. This connection continued for four years, when Dr. Barkley withdrew and began the establishment of a private practice. His offices over the Bank of Ligonier are conveniently and tastefully arranged, and here he cares for his large and growing practice. He is a member of the Westmoreland County Medical Society, and the Ligonier Medical Association. In 1904 he became a Free and Accepted Mason, being raised to that dignity by Ligonier Lodge, No.   331.

Source: Page(s) 307-308, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed August 2008 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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