Joseph Smith Barlow Jr. was born on January 27, 1870 at Fairfield, Utah to Joseph Smith Barlow and Amanda Morgan. He was blessed by Joseph R. Morgan on January 30, 1870. He was baptized in September of 1878 or 1879 in Fairfield by Samuel Mullener and confirmed on the same date.
On April 1, 1896 he was re-baptized to receive his endowments by William P. Paskett at Grouse Creek, Utah and re-confirmed on April 6, 1896 by David H. Toyn.
When Joseph was seven years old, his father became ill and passed away. He was the oldest child in the family with two sisters, Alice Ann and Mary Emily, and one younger brother, Jesse.
Even though Joseph was young, he tried to help his mother shoulder this new responsibility. They were left with very little to make a living, in fact it was very hard for them to get along.
After moving to Grouse Creek as a young boy, with his uncle Jesse Morgan, he hired out to different men herding horses and later working as a cowboy. He gave all that he made to his mother to help support the family.
His mother followed him to this place with the rest of her family where she found work and where she met and married Valison Tanner. This gave the family a father and brought two more brothers, Valison and Ralph, and another sister, Olive, were born to this union.
Joseph was endowed on April 16, 1896 in the Salt Lake Temple and was married on January 3, 1900 to Elizabeth C. Hansen. She came to Grouse Creek from Brigham City as a school teacher. They were married by John R. Winder in the Salt Lake Temple.
His ordinations in the priesthood were as follows: Ordained an Elder by David H. Toyn, ordained a Seventy by Rulon S. Wells on December 11, 1902, ordained a High Priest by John A. Elison on July 18, 1915.
He and his brother, Jesse, bought a fifty-acre plot of land on the main stream at west Grouse Creek, then called Etna, on which they raised hay and grain. Joseph built a two-room brick building, which he left when he sold his share of the farm to his brother and moved to Grouse Creek in 1914 where he bought another small farm from William Shaw. He and his mother also bought lots near the church and school where he built a seven-room frame home, which he also sold to his brother Jesse in 1920 after he was put in the stake presidency. This home is now owned by Raymond Tanner.
While living at Etna, he and Lizzie made a trip each fall to Brigham City where his wife’s family lived. While there, they would can several hundred quarts of peaches and other fruits. Then they would load the wagon with all the peaches they could to take to their relatives at home. This trip would take several days. It was welcomed by Lizzie as it was the only chance she had of visiting her family.
Joseph was called on a mission to England and left on December 12, 1902 and returned on January 15, 1905. The family, which consisted of Mildred and Alice spent the three years in Brigham City with Elizabeth’s parents.
While on this mission, he had many wonderful experiences. He was called upon to cast out an evil spirit from a lady, which he did. At one time he was afflicted with a cancer on his lip which was cured by the power of the priesthood.
He filled an honorable and successful mission. After returning from his mission he lived again in the brick home he had built, with his family. Here his son Elmer was born but lived only one year. Shirley, a son, and two daughters, Ruth and Ida, were also born in this home. The youngest son, Wayne, was born after they moved to Grouse Creek.
On April 24, 1916, he was ordained Bishop of the Grouse Creek ward by Elder George F. Richards. He served in this position until 1920.
In 1920 Joseph was chosen as second counselor to John A. Elison, President of the Raft River Stake. This necessitated that the family move from Grouse Creek to Malta, Idaho.
Joseph was very obedient to any call or request made by the Church. When the call came to move to Malta, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind but that this was the right thing to do. Melvin J. Ballard sang “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go Dear Lord” at his farewell party. Thus, the move was made with this feeling.
Joseph and his son, Shirley, spent the summer cutting and hauling logs for their new home in Malta. They took out extra logs to pay for processing into lumber. The sawing was done by Joseph V. Lee of Malta, Idaho. Their new home was built and a new life begun.
He served faithfully and helped many people with his strong testimony of the gospel. His work with young people was outstanding. He could always take time to visit with them and give them good counsel and advice.
On September 9, 1925, after having been to the hills for a load of wood that day, he was pumping up a tire on the car when he became suddenly ill with what is supposed as a heart attack and in less than an hour, after extreme suffering, he passed away. He was buried at Malta, Idaho on September 11, 1925.
Thus ended a life that had been so short – just fifty-five years – yet it had been a full life and had many fine points that will long be remembered, faith in God, love for fellow men, and a strong testimony of the gospel.