Just after the oil boom, Dr. George W. Barr moved to Titusville with his wife and children in mid-1865. Little did he know the tragedy that would befall him in his new home.
On September 4, 1865, George and his wife Lavinia’s son, George Jr., died of hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain.” George Jr. was 3 years, 5 months, and 7 days old. When her oldest son died that September, Lavinia was seven months pregnant with her third child.
Lavinia gave birth to her second son, Charles, soon after. However, a mere seven months after George Jr. died, the same fate was to befall her newborn child. On April 3, 1866, infant Charles died at 5 months, 27 days old.
Sadly, the tragedies of the Barr family did not end there.
Two years later, on September 30, 1868, thirty-four year old Lavinia died in Titusville.
A beacon of light in an otherwise dark family story, George and Lavinia’s first child, a girl named Iris, eventually graduated from Allegheny College in the late 1800s and was a faculty member at the local high school.
In an interesting twist, George Sr. remarried after the death of his first wife. His new bride’s name? Lovinia. Lovinia Hanford was the widow of Walden Cooper and already had one child. George and Lovinia would go on to have a daughter together, Eva Barr Underwood. Eva and Iris, her half-sister, were 18 years apart in age.
George Barr died January 18, 1912 at the age of 79.