Celestia Lee was born April 23, 1846, in Springwater, Livingston County, New
York. She was the daughter of William Dunton Lee and Elizabeth
Shepard Lee. The family moved to
Macksburg, Madison County, Iowa in April of 1855.
In September 1863, Celestia Lee left home to attend a seminary at
While in Indianola, she lived in and helped to run a boardinghouse.
In November 1863 she went to stay with her sister and brother-in-law,
Huldah Lee Bennett and Gorton Bennett, at Fontanelle, Iowa.
There she taught school for five months at $20.00 per month.
She continued to teach school until 1866, the year of her marriage to
William Beeson Barker.
William Beeson Barker was born September 14, 1842 in Bellville, Indiana.
He was the son of Beeson Barker and Mary Moffitt Barker.
In 1853, the Barker family moved to Union County, Iowa.
William Barker served four years in the Civil War.
He first enlisted in Company H, 4th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, July 25th,
1861. He was discharged due to
disability caused by measles and pneumonia July 7, 1862.
He then reenlisted in Company H, 23rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry on August
20, 1862 and was discharged at the end of his term of service on July 26,
1865. William Barker was wounded
in the hip at the engagement of Big Black River Bridge in Mississippi on May
17, 1863. He also suffered a head
wound at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana on June 7, 1863.
After their marriage, Celestia and William Barker
farmed in Iowa. William Barker
also worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker, often working away from home.
Later, after the family moved to Lamar, Colorado, William Barker owned
a business which sold bicycles, guns, ammunition and jewelry.
The couple had five children: Leon
Ettien, Artis William, Sylveen Celestia, Lester Clyde, and Merle Lamar (Lee).
They also raised their great-niece, Effie Valentine Shannon, after the
death of her mother, Eliza Bennett Shannon.
The family eventually moved to Denver, Colorado, where Celestia Lee
Barker died on December 10, 1913. William
Barker died in Riverside, California on April 24, 1924.