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Anna Dean Farm
Item 3 of 4
Constructed in 1909, O. C. Barber Barn No. 1 is now part of the Anna Dean Farm in Barberton, Ohio. The barn was built in 1909 by American businessman and industrialist Ohio Columbus Barber the developer of Barberton, which he envisioned as a planned industrial community. He also created the Anna Dean Farm as a prototype for modern agricultural enterprise. O.C. Barber Barn No. 1 incorporated all the latest U.S. government requirements for milk production barns and upon completion, it was called the largest barn in the world by the Akron Beacon Journal. By the time Barber's farm complex was complete, however, this was the smallest cow barn within the Anna Dean Farm. While the rest of the original barns were lost over the last century, this structure has been preserved and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Anna Dean Farm was built on the large estate of Ohio Columbus Barber. Barber founded Barberton in 1891. Barber was called America's Match King because of his controlling interest in the Diamond Match Company. The farm was named after his daughter, Anna, and his son-in-law, Dean. The farm was started in 1905, and eventually there were some 102 structures on the farm. Barber wanted the Anna Dean Farm to be a bright spot in an industrial town. The Anna Dean Farm was named after Anna Laura Bevan, Barber's daugther, and her husband, Dr. Arthur Dean Bevan.

O.C. Barber Barn No 1, a cattle barn, was built in 1909. It was the first structure built with silos, and is the only barn constructed with three silos. The O.C. Barber Barn No. 1 is 285 feet long and 125 feet wide. It's made of concrete blocks and red bricks and is reinforced with steel. As with other Anna Dean farm buildings, it's a combination of French Colonial features and Barber's ideas. There are two towers on the west facade and one on the east facade. The identical west towers are 40 feet high and 30 feet apart. Between these towers is a two-story living area for farm workers. The east tower is 60 feet high. The main floor once housed the cattle and had metal stalls. The upper level has a high ceiling and large hardwood beams. This gives it almost a church-like appearance.

In the early 1900s, the U.S. changed the health regulations for the production and handling of milk. This required new barn designs. The new barns were designed to house cows on a washable concrete floor in steel pipe stanchion. Steel ducts, encased in wood, lead from the ground floor of the barns on the Anna Dean Farm up to the cupolas on top of the roof. This system provided fresh air for the cows and a series of windows gave light to the stanchion areas. The cow barns on the Anna-Dean Farm also featured windows that opened to allow for cross ventilation. O. C. Barber also installed large electric fans to help circulate air within the cow barns to keep the cattle comfortable.

After Barber died in 1920, his farm was divided into sections. The creamery and the No. 1 Barn were sold to Paul Remer in 1944. In 1952, No. 3 Barn burned. In 1967, No. 2 Barn also burned. The two fires were determined to be arson. It was used by the United Insulation Company as a warehouse and office building. In 1965, Barber's mansion was razed. From Barber's death until 1974, 27 of the original farm buildings burned down or were demolished. In October 1974, a Cleveland developer proposed demolishing Barn No 1 to provide space for a nursing home. The Barberton Historical Society collected 1,800 signatures to stop the demolition. The nursing home was built but was moved north of Barn No. 1.

O.C. Barber Barn No. 1, Akron Library. Accessed July 28th 2020. http://www.akronlibrary.org/images/Divisions/SpecCol/images/73001538.pdf.

O.C. Barber Barn No. 1, Barberton Historical Society of Ohio. Accessed July 28th 2020. http://www.annadeanfarm.com/farmbuildings/cattle1.htm.

About Us, Barberton Historical Society of Ohio. Accessed July 28th 2020. http://www.annadeanfarm.com/about.htm.

O.C. Barber Barn No. 1, Hazlett Roofing & Restoration. Accessed July 28th 2020. https://www.hazlettroofing.com/project/41/ocbarber-barn-no-1-tile-restoration.

Gnap, Bernie. Kelleher, Stephen. Construction of O.C. Barber's Anna Dean Farm. Press of the Barberton Historical Society, Inc., 2009