Old Newspaper Clippings

From: Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, WI)
June 19, 1940



         McLeansboro, Ill.--(AP)--There is nothing small or delicate about Lark Barker's hobby of collecting things which capture his fancy; he has needed the aid of a team of horses and two men to add a single item.

          For instance, the collection includes an old jail which served Hamilton county for many years prior to the recent construction of the new courthouse and jail here.

          Other items are a boiler and a flywheel from an old gunboat which were taken from the Mississippi river many years ago; school bells from the various schools he attended in his youth, and a pet owl.

          Like other collectors, Barker, who operates a rural store six miles west of the farm community of Dale, specializes--in rocks--and he is not pebble-ish about it either.

          One of his most recent additions weighs between 300 and 400 pounds, and is almost perfectly round.

          He found it in a creek that divides two farms in his neighborhood and immediately was obsessed with a desire to own it.  No one objected to his moving it--with the aid of a team, two men and a mud-boat.

            It now rests in the front yard at the home of his son, Paul, beside a smaller rock that also is round.

          "They are going to be our headstones." asserted Barker.  "The big one is for my wife, Victoria, and the little one is for me."

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