James Herbert Barker was born on August 21, 1857. The first of James and Agnes Barker's two children, James spent his childhood on the family farm in West Windham. James, the father, had purchased the farm from Enoch Johnson a few years earlier and had constructed new buildings upon the property. In 1883, Leonard Morrison recorded that the elder James was currently living "in quietness, happily and prosperously". James, the son, likely opened his printing business in town in the latter years of the 1870s. As the only printer in Windham, the town awarded printing contracts to Barker; he printed the tax bills as well as town reports for several years. There are no records indicating Barker ever owned property in Windham, so it is likely he operated his business primarily from his family's property.
Prior to 1883 Barker left Windham for Nashua, where he opened a new printing business. Similar to his work in Windham, Barker was contracted to do printing for the city of Nashua, and even held the title of "City Printer", for a few years beginning in 1889. There is no record of Baker owning a home or business property in Nashua, so it is difficult to accurately ascertain how long he remained in Nashua. However, his printing operation was likely not in operation too long after 1895.
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.