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Oliver Berber (aka. Barber), M.D. (1823-?)
Native of Canada, practiced medicine and drug store owner in Bay City.

1892 historical biography. (Added Mar., 2009)

Portrait and Biographical Record of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan, 1892


It would be difficult to find within the limits of Bay City a physician and surgeon who is more popular among all classes than the gentleman whose portrait appears in connection with this brief biographical notice. Besides his practice he manages a drug store, which is one of the most successful business establishments in the city. A man of no ordinary ability and possessing those genial qualities which win and retain friends, it is not strange that Dr. Berber has as many friends as acquaintances, and that his sill as a practitioner is universally conceded. He is a prominent member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bay City, to the support of which he contributes liberally, as he does to every measure which he believes will elevate the moral status of the community.

Of Canadian birth and parentage, Dr. Berber is the son of Joseph Berber, a worthy man who followed the calling of a farmer, and passed his entire life in Canada. He participated in the Canadian Rebellion, where he held the rank of sergeant. Tracing the ancestry of Dr. Berber back another generation, we find that Grandfather Berber was a native of Canada, born of French forefathers. Mary (Breyno) Berber, mother of our subject, was born in St. Peter, Canada, and died when in the prime of womanhood. Ten children were born to the parents of our subject, nine of whom are now living.

After the death of his parents, which occurred when he was a small child, our subject was taken into the home of an uncle on his father's side, and lived with him for several years. At an early age he learned to perform his share of the work on the farm, and during the winter season attended school, learning to speak French with the same facility that he now uses the English language. When twelve years old he started out in life for himself, and found employment on various farms, working by the month and hoarding his scanty earnings. At the age of twenty-three years he began to study medicine under a preceptor in Montreal, with whom he later engaged in practice. He gained an extensive and lucrative practice in Montreal and become connected with various medical societies.

In 1877 the Doctor came to Bay City, locating on the corner of Water and Twenty-third streets, and embarking in business as a druggist, while at the same time he by no means neglected his medical practice. Later he built his present store and removed his establishment to this place of business in 1881. His fine drug store located on the corner of Twenty-first and Bowery, while his pleasant residence adjoins the store. It would seem that the Doctor's time would be entirely occupied with his extensive practice and drug business, but not so. He owns and manages a livery and sales barn, located at No. 702 Saginaw Street, and has a number of fine road horses.

The success of Dr. Berber has not been obtained by chance, for the one spoke truly who said, that “in the providence of God, nothing ever happens by chance.” But his prosperity is the result of unwearied labor and excellent judgment. His efforts have received the co-operation of his excellent wife, to whom he was married in Bay City, and whose maiden name was Louisa Borthoume, Mrs. Berber was born in Detroit, and has become the mother of one child – Arthur, who died at the age of two years and ten months. In his political affiliations the Doctor is a Democrat, and uses his influence for the success of that party.

Additional Notes.

    Directory: Bay City, Michigan.

  • 1883 - Barber, Oliver - druggist 1128 N. Water, res. same.
  • 1890 - Barber, Oliver - druggist 1001 Bowery, res. same.

    1880 - Census: Bay City, Bay, Michigan.

  • Barber, Oliver - b. 1835, Canada, drugist.
  • Louisa, wife - b. 1861, Mich.

    1896 - American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, Vol. 29.

  • Michigan. Oliver Barber, a druggist of South Bay City, was arrested a short time ago for practicing medicine illegally. It was claimed by the health officer that he had attended a case of diphthera which he had not reported to the Health Department. Mr. Barber was released on the condition that he desist from the practice of medicine outside of his store.

    1900 - Census: Bay City, Bay, Michigan.

  • Barber, Oliver - b. Jul 1823, Canada Fr., married 1879.
  • Louise, wife - b. Aug. 1861, Mich.
  • Knapp, John E. - b. Apr. 1875, Canada.
  • Knapp, Gertrude, wife - b. Jul. 1878, Mich.

    1904 - Interstate Druggist, Vol. 6., April, 1904.

  • Oliver Barber, Bay City, Mich., sold out to Wm. G.Thew.

    1910 - Census: Bay City, Bay, Michigan.

  • Janness, Paul - age 53, b. Canada, emigrated 1883.
  • Rose A., wife - age 46, b. Canada, emigrated 1871.
  • George, son - age 23, b. Canada, emigrated 1889.
  • Margaret, daughter - age 15, b. Mich.
  • Lena, daughter - age 10, b. Mich.
  • Laura, daughter - age 7, b. Mich.
  • Barber, Oliver, brother-in-law, age 87, b. Canada, emigrated 1875.
Related Pages/Notes

Dr. Oliver Berber

Related pages:
None at this time.
People Referenced
Borthoume, Lousia (wife)
Berber, Arthur (son)
Berber, Joseph (father)
Berber, Oliver (subject)
Breyno, Mary (mother)
Janness, George
Janness, Laura
Janness, Lena
Janness, Margaret
Janness, Paul (bro-inlaw)
Janness, Rose Mrs.
Knapp, Gertrude
Knapp, Johyn E.
Thew, Wm. G.
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, Mi
Bay Co., MI
Canadian Rebellion
Detroit, MI
South Bay City, MI
St. Joseph Catholic Ch.
St. Peter, Canada
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.