DeWitt Dukes Barlow 1880-1945
Dewitt Dukes Barlow, engineer,
was born in Philadelphia, October 4, 1880, son of Thomas
Arnold and Elizabeth Dukes Barlow.
His first paternal American ancestor was George Barlow,
who came from England about 1637 or earlier and settled
in Boston. From him and his wife, Jane Besse, the descent
is through Nathan and Mary ____; Peleg and Elizabeth Perry;
Thomas and Mehitable Wing; Jesse, a minute-man at the Lexington
alarm, and Sarah Nye, and Arnold and Ann Brittin, the grandparents
of DeWitt Dukes Barlow. His father was a builder, who died
when his son was eight years old.
He received his preparatory education in the Philadelphia
public schools, and won a scholarship to the University
of Pennsylvania, where he graduated B.S., cum laude in
civil engineering in 1901, having been awarded high honors
in mathematics and English, and having been elected to
In 1901-02, he was a draftsman with the
American Bridge Co. He was engineer for the Cape May (NJ)
Real Estate Co. in 1902-03 and city engineer of Cape May
in 1903-04. In 1905 he joined the Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific
Co. of New York city as engineer. He became secretary of
the company in 1910, secretary and treasurer in February
1911, and vice president in August 1911. From February
1921 until his death he was president of the company. This
company engaged in engineering and contracting, particularly
in river and harbor improvements and land reclamation by
hydraulic dredging. It was one of the outstanding organizations
in the industry and made many contributions toward improvement
in the art of hydraudlic dredging. Besides being president
and director of this company, he was president of the North
Atlantic Dredging Co., the National Association of River
and Harbor Contractors and the Dredge Owners Protective
Association. He was chairman of the emergency dredging
committee in 1917 and associate chief of the dredging section
of the War Industries Board in 1918. In 1909-10 he was
assistant professor of engineering at the Brooklyn Polytechnic
Institute. Active in the civic affairs of Plainfield, NJ,
he was a member of the common council in 1922-23, of the
board of health in 1923-24. and of the board of education
from 1924-1937, being president of the last-named board
during 1927-1937. From 1937 to 1939, he was mayor of Plainfield.
As a member of the board of education he was active in
promoting the expansion of the school system to meet the
needs of the community and contributed much to the planning
and building of the Maxson and Hubbard schools as well
as additions to the Emerson and high school buildings and
later an addition to the Maxson school building. He was
particularly responsible for the expansion of the music
activities in the public schools, and it was due entirely
to him that the efficient music curriculum was developed
in the Plainfield schools. In recognition of his contributions
to the public schools and to civic life generally the board
of education named for him the Barlow School. During his
term as mayor, Barlow found that many municipalities throughout
the state were not receiving their just apportionment of
franchise and gross receipts taxes from public utility
corporations, which should have been issued them by the
state tax commission. He organized and headed a committee
which had remedial legislation enacted to correct this
injustice, thus gaining for many New Jersey towns a substantial
increase in income.
In 1937 he was chairman of the New Jersey Citizens
Committee for the Princeton Local Government Survey. Later
he served on the advisory council of the School of Engineering
of Princeton University, and as trustee of Union Junior
College at Cranford, NJ. From February 1940 until his death
he was chairman of the Plainfield- North Plainfield chapter
of the American Red Cross. During United States participation
in the Second World War, he was a member of the Enemy Alien
Hearing Board No. 3 for the district of New Jersey.
A Presbyterian in religion, he was an elder and trustee of the Crescent Avenue
In politics he was a Republican locally, but independant
nationally, and he was a steadfast supporter of Franklin
D. Roosevelt. He was a member of Freedom House. All his
life he fought racial discrimination and was a warm friend
of the colored people of Plainfield. For many years he
taught Sunday swchool and contributed financially, to Bethel
Chapel, a colored church in Plainfield.
His chief avocation was music. He played the flute and
the cello and from 1925 until his death, was president
of the Plainfield Symphony Society. He was a member of
the board of directors of the Metropolitan Opera popular
season in 1935-37. He was the author of "Notes on
the Physics of Music" (1932), for which he made a
fellow of the Royal Society of arts of London. His other
interests included literature, travel and the study of
languages and advanced mathematics, in which field he planned
to do research when he retired from business.
For outdoor recreation he enjoyed golf, tennis, and mountain
climbing. It was said of him that "there was no man
or woman, of whatever class or creed, whom he saw as the
victim of injustice or friend." He was a member of
the American Society of Civil Engineers and University
of Pennsylvania clubs in New York City, the Plainfield
Engineers and Plainfield County clubs, the Madison (Connecticut)
Beach Club and the Madison Country Club.
He was married in Philadelphia, May 16, 1905, to Elizabeth
Hail, daughter of Carlton Montague Moody, of that city.
They had six children:
1. Anne May, who married George Melville Shepherd, Jr.
2. Esther Moody, who married Seymour Perkins, Jr.
3. Elizabeth Hail, who married William Kuhn Dunbar, Jr.
4. DeWitt Dukes
5. Carlton Montague
6. Jean Lewis Barlow, who married William Ravenel Peelle.
He died in Plainfield New Jersey, September 23, 1945.
The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, contributed
by Kent Barlow
news articles and photo, contributed by John F. Barlow
|Plainfield Courier January 2, 1937 Copy of original with
Incoming Mayor of Plainfield Takes Oath from Predecessor
Dewitt D. Barlow, who became Plainfield's Mayor at noon
yesterday is shown being sworn into office by retiring
may _____. Shortly thereafter, the new Mayor performed
his first official duties and was host at a reception in
City Hall. Among those who paid their respects were the
fire and Police Departments, led by their chiefs.
Copy of Original
article with photograph
Barlow School Opens; Vistors are Enthused
Board of Education members were enthused over favorable
comments expressed Sunday at the reception in the new DeWitt
D. Barlow School in Farragut Rd. From 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.,
there was a steady flow of visitors.
Most impressive feature of the school is that it appears "less
institutional" than any other school in this vicinity.
According to Frederic W. Cook, the designs are the very
latest in school construction. In fact, said Mr. Cook,
some of the plans incorporated are less than a year old.
Many parents were heard jokingly to say "Let's start
school again" as they visited the various rooms, of
which many had inlaid linoleum floors. The color idea is
carried out wherever possible. Some of the rooms have wallpaper
of different colors.
The school was officially opened for classes today. However,
formal ceremonies dedicating the building will not be held
until after Feb. 15 when form Mayor DeWitt D. Barlow will
return to the city for the reception. This announcement
was made yesterday by Mrs. Stuart Bavier.
Besides Mr. Cook and George Zimmer, clerk of the Board
of Education, all members of the board were present Sunday
to greet visitors. They included Dixon C. Philips, president,
Mrs. Bavier, the Rev. Aurello R. Mangione, T.R. Loizeaux
and Raymond M. Smith.
|Plainfield Courier, September 25, 1945
DE WITT BARLOW, EX-MAYOR, DIES OF HEART ATTACK
DeWitt Dukes Barlow, a resident of Plainfield for almost
40 years, a former mayor, councilman and president of the
Board of Education for many years, died at Muhlenberg Hospital
last night (Sept. 23, 1945); of a heart ailment.
Death came unexpectly to the well known Plainfielder,
who had spent Saturday afternoon playing golf at the Plainfield
Country Club after which he went out to dinner with Mrs.
Barlow, his son, Carlton and the latter's wife.
STRICKEN AT DINNER
During dinner the former mayor complained of a sudden
stomach pain and he was taken home. Dr. Thomas D. Blair
was called. It was decided to remove the patient to Muhlenberg
Hospital and the ambulance was called about 2 a.m. Sunday.
Dr. N.B. Stanton was called in consultation. Last night,
shortly after 10 o'clock Mr. Barlow died.
A year ago Mr. Barlow had gone to John Hopkins Hospital
for a complete check-up. The report showed him to be in
good physical condition. Mr. Barlow would have been 65
years old next week, his birthday being Oct. 4. Mr. and
Mrs. Barlow have lived at 930 Woodland Ave.
Mr. Barlow was active in local Republican politics for
many years and although he supported Wendell Wilkie in
1940, switched to Franklin D. Roosevelt last year when
the Democratic President was seeking reelection. His public
announcement at the time came as a surprise to many staunch
Republicans in the city.
BORN IN PHILIDELPHIA
Born in Philadelphia Oct. 4, 1880. Mr. Barlow was education
(sic) in the public schools of that city and the University
of Pennsylvania, graduating with honors from the Department
of Civil Engineering in 1901.
Mr. Barlow married Elizabeth Hall Moody of Philadelphia,
May 15, 1905, and two years later moved to Plainfield.
Here the Barlows raised a family of six children, all of
whom attended the local schools.
He was employed for a time by the American Bridge Company
and subsequently by the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company,
of which he has been president since 1921. The company,
with offices at 15 Park Row, New YOrk, is an engineering
and contracting concern which engaged in dredging, oiling
and land reclamation.
Always interested in civic matters and projects for the
betterment of Plainfield, Mr. Barlow held various municipal
offices. Hew was councilman from the Second Ward in 1922
and 1923. He was a member of the Board of Health for a
year and a half, resigning in 1925 to become a member of
the Board of Education, former Mayor James T. MacMurray
making the appointment. The deceased served nine years
as president of that board, resigning to take over the
office of mayor in 1937-38. The DeWitt Barlow School was
named in his honor in recognition of the services he rendered
the city's educational system.
WAS ON WAR BOARD
During World War I he served as chairman of the Emergency
Dredging Committee and as associate chief of the Dredging
Section, War Industries Board. In the war just ended he
heaed the Salvage Division of the Civilian Defense organization
being a member of the Defense Council. He was an elder
and trustee of the Crescent Avenuse Presbyterian Church.
In addition to being president of the Atlantic Gulf and
Pacific Company, Mr. Barlow was president of the North
Atlantic Dredging Company, chairman of the Dredge Owners
Protective Organization and also chairman of the National
Association of River and Harbor Contractors. He was a member
of the Alien Enemy Hearing Board, District of New Jersey.
Interested in music, he was president of the Plainfield
Symphony Society and a member of the board of directors
of the Metropolitan Popular Season Inc. He served as chairman
of the Citizens Committee for the Princeton Local Government
A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and
Sigma Xi Mr. Barlow belonged to the Engineers Club, University
of Pennsylvania Club (New York), Plainfield COuntry Club
and Order of Founders and Patriots of America.
HEADED RED CROSS
Mr. Barlow has been chairman of the Plainfield-North Plainfield
Chapter of the American Red Cross during the recent war
years. Last spring he was appointed a trustee of the Union
Junior College at Cranford.
Five of the six Barlow children reside
in Plainfield, the other, Mrs. George M. (Anne May) Shepard
Jr., residing in New Hope, Pa. Those living here are: Mrs.
Seymour (Esther Moody) Perkins Jr., Mrs. William K. (Elizabeth
Hall) Dunbar Jr., DeWitt D. Barlow Jr., Carlton M. Barlow
and Mrs. William R. (Jean Lewis) Peelle. Eleven grandchildren
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 3 p.m. from
the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. Copy
of Original Article
|New York Times September
DE WITT D. BARLOW DREDGING OFFICIAL
President of Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co. Dies at 64
-- Once Mayor of Plainfield
Special to the New York Times
PLAINFIELD, N.J., Sept 24 -- DeWitt
D. Barlow of 930 Woodland Avenue, president of the Atlantic
Gulf and Pacific Company of New York and its affiliates,
died here last night in the Muhlenberg Hospital after a
brief illness. His age was 64. Born in Philadelphia, he
was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1901
with an engineering degree and came to Plainfield six years
Mr. Barlow had served as president of the National Association
of River and Harbor Contractors and during the first World
War was chairman of the emergency dredging committee and
associate chief of the dredging section of the War Industries
Board. Head of the code authority of the industry during
NRA days, he was for many years an executive of the National
River and Harbor Improvement Association.
Active in affairs here, Mr. Barlow was a Councilman from
the Second Ward, 1922-23, and served on the Board of Health
until 1925, when he resigned to accept appointment to the
Board of Education, of which he was president in 1927.
He was elected Mayor on the Republican ticket in 1936 for
Mr. Barlow leaves a widow, Mrs. Elizabeth
Moody Barlow; two sons, DeWitt D. Jr. and Carlton M.; four
daughters, Mrs. George M. Shepard of New Hope, Pa., and
Mrs. Seymour Perkins Jr., Mrs. William K. Dunbar Jr. and
Mrs. William R. Peelle, all of Plainfield, and eleven grandchildren.
BARLOW - De Witt DUkes, suddenly, on Sept.
23, 1945, at Muhlenberg Hospital, Plainfield, N.J., beloved
husband of Elizabeth M. Barlow. Service at the Crescent
Avenue Presbyterian Church, Wednesday, September 26, at
3 P.M. Please omit flowers. Copy
of Original Article New
York Times Index