There is probably no better criterion of the growing and prosperous condition of a town or city than its hotel interests. The town which is self-centered, having no connection with the out-side world, is unprogressive, its business stagnates, and its residents become lacking in enterprise, but if connected with outside affairs, travel and commerce add new life and energy, and there is a demand for entertainment on the part of the visitors, which makes good hotels a necessity. One of the most popular hostelries in this section of the state is known as the Weiser Hotel, owned by the Barton Brothers, and under the personal management of the gentleman whose name introduces this review. He has gained for his house a reputation that is far-reaching, and its excellence in every particular has secured it a very liberal patronage. The hotel building was completed in February, 1897, and is built of brick, the main building being one hundred and ten by thirty-two feet, two stories in height with basement, while the wing is thirty by seventy feet and of the same height. The hotel contains thirty-nine rooms furnished and fitted up in modern style and supplied with the latest improvements and conveniences. E. M. Barton, its manager, is a very genial, courteous gentleman, and as he does all in his power to make his guests comfortable he has become a very popular landlord and has many friends among those whose lives are largely devoted to travel.
He was born in Miller County, Missouri, December 16, 1856, and is descended from Welsh ancestors, who located in the south at an early period in the history of this country and were for many years residents of Tennessee and Kentucky. John H. Barton, father of our subject, was a native of Bowling Green, Tennessee, and in Kentucky married Miss Olive Johnson. In 1854 he removed with his family to Missouri, where he owned lands and engaged in farming until 1873. He then resumed his westward journey, accompanied by his wife and five children. He remained for a year in Kansas and two years in Colorado, then came to Idaho, locating in Weiser in September 1877. He departed this life in June 1897, and his estimable wife survived him only six weeks. They were seventy-nine and eighty years of age, respectively, at the time of death. Of their children three are still living.
E. M. Barton, the youngest child, acquired the greater part of’ his education in the schools of Missouri. He accompanied his parents on their various removals, and since coming to Weiser has been engaged in business with his brother James. They have given their attention to mining and stock-raising and are still extensively engaged in those enterprises. They have ten thousand sheep and own two sections of land, on which they raise one thousand tons of hay per annum. They own several valuable quartz mines in the Seven Devils mining district, and have sold a mine at Mineral City for nine thousand dollars, another for twenty thousand dollars and a third for thirty-two thousand dollars. They also have valuable property interests in Weiser, in addition to the hotel, and in connection with managing the last named enterprise E. AI. Bar-ton is also serving as a director of the Weiser Bank. He and his brother are accounted two of the most enterprising, successful and reliable businessmen of Washington County, and enjoy the regard of all with whom they have been associated.
In 1888 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Barton and Miss Carrie Grab, a native of Missouri and a daughter of Conrad Grab, a farmer of the Salubria valley. They have three children: Edward Conrad, a student in Baker City. Oregon: Katie E. and Inez. Mr. Barton is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias fraternity. He has given his support in many generous ways to the perpetuation of those forces which conserve the best interests of any community, and it has been no insignificant part he has taken in the substantial upbuilding of his adopted city and state. He is a man of unimpeachable integrity and sound judgment. His mental acumen gives him a thorough comprehension of large issues and at the same time an appreciation of all essential details. Such qualities have brought him marked success and made him one of the leading businessmen of his section of the state.