Charles A. Barlow

Charles Averill Barlow (March 17, 1858 – October 3, 1927) was an American farmer, businessman and politician. He was most notable for his service as a member of the California State Assembly and a member of the U.S. Representative from California's 6th congressional district.

Charles Averill Barlow
Charles A. Barlow (California Congressman).jpg
From 1914's History of Kern County, California by Wallace M. Morgan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California's 6th congressional district
In office
March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1899
Member of the California State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born(1858-03-17)March 17, 1858
Cleveland, Ohio
DiedOctober 3, 1927(1927-10-03) (aged 69)
Bakersfield, California
Resting placeUnion Cemetery, Bakersfield, California
Political partyPopulist
Other political
Spouse(s)Elizabeth "Lizzie" McDonnell
Julia Lillis Caldwell


Charles A. Barlow was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 17, 1858, the son of Merrill Barlow and Ann Frances (Arnold) Barlow.[1] The Barlow family, including Barlow's three brothers and sisters, moved to Ventura, California in 1875.[1] Barlow was educated in the public schools of Cleveland and Ventura, and after completing his education he supported himself by working as a harness maker and farm laborer.[1][2] He was able to purchase an interest in his employer's harness making business, and then invested in other ventures, including a business drying and shipping fruit grown in California.[2]

Barlow moved to San Luis Obispo in the early 1880s, where he grew wheat and with a partner began a weekly newspaper, the Reasoner.[1][2] He became interested in reform causes including the Free Silver movement that led him to join the Populist Party, and the Reasoner became a major pro-Populist outlet.[1]

Barlow was elected to the California State Assembly as a Populist, and served one term, 1892 to 1893.[1] He served as chairman of the People's Party state convention in 1896.[3] Later that year, Barlow was elected to the 55th Congress, and he served one term, March 4, 1897 to March 3, 1899.[3] He was not a candidate for renomination in 1898.[3]

After leaving Congress, Barlow turned his attention to business and moved to Bakersfield.[3] He was one of the major shareholders in and a board of directors member of Bakersfield's Security Trust Company.[3] He was also a partner in Barlow & Hill, a company that dealt in land for oil exploration, and helped found several successful oil companies, some of which they continued to operate, and some of which they sold to other investors.[3]

Barlow served as president of the Kern County Board of Trade and was active in several civic organizations, including Modern Woodmen, Elks, and Odd Fellows.[3] He joined the Democratic Party after the end of the Populist movement, and served as a delegate to the 1912[3] and 1920 Democratic National Conventions.[4]

Death and burialEdit

Barlow died in Bakersfield, California on October 3, 1927.[5] He was interred at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.[6]


Barlow was married to Elizabeth "Lizzie" McDonnell (1867-1914) of Ventura.[3] After her death, he married Julia Lillis Caldwell (1878-1971) of Santa Rosa, who had been his wife's nurse.[7] They were the parents of an adopted daughter, Mamie.[7]




  • Morgan, Wallace M. (1914). History of Kern County, California. Los Angeles, CA: Historic Record Company.
  • U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Printing (1897). Official Congressional Directory. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.


External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James McLachlan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Russell J. Waters

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website