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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 Sigma Xi.

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 Church, Plainfield.

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

All news articles and photo, contributed by John F. Barlow
Plainfield Courier January 2, 1937 Copy of original with photograph.

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.

The Plainfield Courier January 02, 1940

Copy of Original article

 
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 Survey.

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 survive.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 3 p.m. from the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church.          Copy of Original Article

 
New York Times September 25, 1945

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 later.

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 one term.

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

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