Daniel Barham was born on December 19, 1903 on Half Street in Washington, DC. His father was Benjamin Franklin Barham and his mother was Carrie Lee Woodard, both of whom came from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
|Benjamin Franklin and Carrie Lee had eight children although only five survived:|
|b: May 17, 1896||b: January 1, 1906|
|b: September 7, 1897||b: May 19, 1907|
|b: June 25, 1901||b: August 31, 1912|
|b: December 19, 1903||b: August 31, 1912|
Raymond died when he was six months old and the twins, William Hayward and Margaret, died the same day they were born. Interestingly, Ben was sixty eight when he sired the twins.
The family led a relatively tough life with Ben working in the construction trades as a plasterer, roofer or carpenter and often away from home seeking employment wherever he could find it. Carrie was left with the task of raising the children and providing food and shelter with very limited means. Prior to Dan's birth they lived in Sperryville and Washington, Virginia, where May, Elmer and Mary were born. They moved to Half Street in Washington, DC, around 1903 and Dan was born there. They moved to Culpeper, Virginia, for several years and then returned to Washington, DC, where they moved into a house at 102 Ridge Road in the Benning section of SE. Here they remained for several years and here is where Dan's father died on November 18, 1919. May married Milford Cleveland on April 10, 1918, and moved into a neighboring house at 107 Ridge Road. Elmer had left home by then but he returned after Ben's death to assist his mother and his brother, Dan, with the household and finances. Mary did not marry until 1923 and remained at home until then.
Carrie's mother, Ben's mother-in-law, Lucy Elizabeth Fincham Woodard, had "run away" from her husband, Daniel Woodard, years before and she now lived alone in a small house nearby until her death in May of 1933. Dan related stories many times that she disliked Ben so intensely that she never spoke to him, even when they were together in social groups.
Her husband, Daniel Woodard, had moved from Sperryville to live with his son, Isaiah (Ike) Woodard, on Anacostia Road, near Carrie and, perhaps more importantly, his estranged wife, Lucy. Even though he and Lucy had been separated for many years they often asked about each other when their children were visiting.
Dan's existence was not unlike that of other boys growing up in the Benning or Anacostia sections of SE Washington. These were tough neighborhoods and the boys who lived there had to be, out of necessity, tough and willing to fight "at the drop of a hat". Dan was more than willing to fight and he recalled many times later in life that there was no good reason to argue with a bully. His answer to threatening behavior was simple: be the first to strike and you usually won the fight. I have no doubt that he did just that when it was necessary. In those neighborhoods, in those days, survival was first and foremost. Dan would most certainly have lived by the "rules".
He loved most sports although baseball and golf were his favorites. He excelled on the Benning Athletic Club's baseball team and played until his marriage in 1932. He was an excellent golfer, playing in several local tournaments. He once won a cigarette case for making a hole in one during a tournament.
His abilities in baseball carried over later in life when his younger sons, Billy and Donny, were beginning to play baseball. There was nothing he would rather do than spend time with them, teaching the fine art of fielding, pitching or hitting. This, in addition to listening to baseball games on the radio and, later, watching on TV, was his leisure time.
He met his future wife, Madolin Louise Reichenbach, when he was visiting his sister, Lucy O'Neal, at her apartment at 910 Rhode Island Avenue in NE Washington. Madolin's parents lived in the same apartment building and Dan would see her as she came and went. Apartment dwellers in those days (the 20's and 30's) would often sit and socialize outside of the building on hot summer nights and that is where Dan first saw Madolin. He was obviously smitten and would often comment to others about her "pretty legs" or her looks. It appears that his sister Lucy played "match-maker" when she went to the hospital for her second child. She asked Dan if he would bring Madolin to the hospital to see her and he did. The rest is history. They began dating and, after a short courtship, married on May 28, 1932.
Madolin's mother, Anna Mary Elizabeth (Mamie) Kamm Reichenbach, died on April 3, 1933 (sadly, on Madolin's birthday) after an extended illness. Her father and younger brother, William Frank Reichenbach, lll, lived with them until her father's death on February 21, 1940. Her brother, Bill, married and joined the Navy shortly thereafter, departing to Norfolk, Virginia, to study at the Navy School of Music.
Dan worked at a slaughterhouse in the Benning area (believed to be "Swifts" at Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue) in his teens and into his twenties. He later moved to a meat processing company named Auth-Loeffler, located in the City Market at 6th. Street and Florida Avenue, NE. He remained at this job for a number of years and was employed there in 1941 when they bought a new home in the Fairways section of Four Corners, Maryland, at 9925 Rogart Road. He later left Auth-Loeffler and went to work as a Routeman for Colonial Bakery in Silver Spring, Maryland. He remained there for the rest of his life although the bakery was purchased by a large Pennsylvania baking company, Mrs. Smith's Pie Company.
|Dan and Madolin had seven children although only six survived. They are::|
|b: April 12, 1933||b: April 21, 1940|
|b: April 20, 1934||b: March 18, 1948|
|b: September 5, 1937||b: March 20, 1952|
|b: November 20, 1938|
In 1952 Dan and Madolin decided to sell the Four Corners home and buy another in the Rockville section of Montgomery County, Maryland. The reason for this move is unclear but they did, in fact, sell the house and place a deposit on a new home in the Viers Mill section of Rockville. Construction of the new house was not going to be completed until the fall of the year and so they decided to rent a house "at the beach" for the summer. They rented a house at Herald Harbor on the Severn River for the summer and awaited the completion of the new home.
Apparently, delays in the construction of the new home caused them to rethink their decisions and, by the end of summer, they decided to remain in the Annapolis area. They lived in several locations before purchasing a home in Sylvan Shores, Riva, on the South River where they remained until Dan's death in 1966.
During those many years of residency in Annapolis Dan drove to his job in Silver Spring and back to Annapolis. Roads in those days were far less than superhighways and the drive was lengthy. He worked nights, six nights a week, all of those years and he did it without complaining about the commute or the long hours.
His love for children was always obvious and it is said that he took it very badly when May Agnes' little daughter, Dorothea, died in the mid-twenties. Later in his life he always spent as much time as possible with each of his children.
During his life Dan always suffered from stomach ulcers and, over the years, had learned to live with the pain. In 1966, however, the pain became unbearable and he sought medical help. A stomach cancer was discovered and an operation was quickly performed. After a respite and completely in character he returned to work. Sadly, the operation was not successful, he became terribly ill and was finally hospitalized.
Madolin Louise Reichenbach Barham died quietly in her sleep twenty one years later on April 5, 1987,