Jedediah Barber ( – 1876)
Jedediah Barber came to Homer in 1811 and shortly after opened the very large and popular Great Western Store which sold a variety of goods. He was also part owner of the Salina-Port Watson Railroad. In 1853 he built a bank that was later the location of the David Harum Restaurant. After Barber’s store burned down in 1856, he built the Barber block on that same site, which is still occupied by three Main Street stores.
Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894)
Amelia Jenks Bloomer not only revolutionized women’s apparel but also took one of the first steps in proclaiming and fighting for women’s right to vote. Feeling that long skirts were hazardous as well as dust-collecting, Amelia designed an outfit that consisted of a very tight bodice, cinched in at the waist, with a full-gathered skirt over many petticoats which stood out like a bell. The skirt was cut off at the knees and a baggy pair of trousers underneath reached to the ankles. This manner of dress slowly gained in popularity, although the style eventually went back to long skirts. Amelia was a bold supporter of women’s rights, and published a women’s rights publication in Seneca Falls called The Lily.
Francis B. Carpenter (1830-1900)
Francis B. Carpenter was a talented painter, opening his own studio at the age of 16. He was commissioned to paint portraits of many well-known people of his time, including four presidents. His most famous painting is The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, commemorating the presentation of the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln to his cabinet. It hangs in the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
William Osborne Stoddard (1835-1925)
William Osborne Stoddard was a journalist, inventor, and United States Marshal, and served as a secretary to Abraham Lincoln during his White House years. In fact, William Stoddard penned the first copies of the Emancipation Proclamation from Lincoln’s hand-written notes. He also wrote Life of Lincoln, considered by many to be one of the best of Lincoln biographies.
Andrew White (1832-1918)
Andrew White’s many accomplishments began with his election to the State Senate at the age of 23. By age 33, he was appointed as the first President of Cornell University, and was later appointed U.S. Ambassador to Germany. While at Cornell, one of his strong ambitions was to have women admitted to the University. Andrew White also helped prove the Cardiff Giant was a hoax. White was born in the house on the northeast corner of Albany Street and South Main Street.
David Hannum (1832-1892)
David Hannum was a horse trader who was well known for trickery if money was involved. He took an active part in the Cardiff Giant hoax, and was the fictional character of E. N. Westcott’s book, David Harum, published in 1898. David Hannum loved children and was often found telling stories. His “golden rule” was “Do unto the other fella what he would like to do to you, only do it fust!” David Hannum’s house is a handsome Federal house located at 80 South Main Street.