Genealogy of the Breck Family, in 1871, J. Jay Barber married Amy Breck in Newton, Massachusetts. The couple had a daughter named Jessie in 1874.
Paintings by J. Jay Barber were usually set in Ohio. Mr. Barber’s sketch in Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900, states that the cows painted by J. Jay Barber were not “ordinary run-of-the-herd animals, but well known individuals like Pride of Eastwood, a Jersey cow, better known as Fannie.” J. Jay Barber won several awards for his artwork, including several awards from the Ohio State Fair. He exhibited his works at the National Academy of Design in the 1880’s. In 1882, Rutherford B. Hayes purchased a painting of a cow painted by J. Jay Barber. An image of the painting can be seen at the Object Catalog of the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center.
A sepia print signed by J. Jay Barber can be seen at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. (Ask Reference Services staff for more information.)
Amy Breck Barber passed away in 1889, and she is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Columbus. After the death of his wife, and then his daughter, J. Jay Barber became despondent. Sadly, he took his own life on November 27, 1910. He is buried near his wife in Greenlawn Cemetery. An obituary for J. Jay Barber is found on the front page of the November 29, 1910 of the Sandusky Register.