The Barber Scholarship
Clayton C. Barber was born on June 4, 1890 in Shelby, Michigan. In 1944, after considerable
experience as a salesman, cook, and custodian in Michigan and Ohio, Barber came to New
Mexico. In October of 1951 he began work as a custodian with the University of New Mexico.
One of his early assignments was on the cleanup crew. Because of his interest and diligence, he
was given a unique merit increase in March of 1952. Subsequently, he was assigned to
Zimmerman Library, and soon earned a written commendation. His final salary, in 1954, was
$196 per month.
In October of 1954, Barber became quite ill with cancer and was hospitalized. After one
successful operation on his prostate, it was determined that the cancer was incurable. He passed
away at the Bernalillo County Indian Hospital on February 18, 1955. In accordance with his
wishes, Barber’s remains were cremated and his ashes sprinkled in the grove of trees due west of
Barber's expenses during his illness were covered in five ways; by all accumulated annual and
sick leave, by University hospitalization and medical insurance, by Department of Public
Welfare assistance, by two UNM-sponsored raffles totaling $466, and by direct donation by
UNM faculty and staff.
It should be noted that Barber was not entitled to disability retirement because he had not been
with UNM the minimum ten years that are required. The UNM group life insurance payment to
Barber’s wife, Agnes May Barber, amounted to $5,000. Being a frugal woman, Mrs. Barber
requested that $4,000 of this be held in escrow. She wanted only $1,000 in a checking account to
enable her to pay funeral expenses and take up her own independent existence. Personnel from
the Physical Plant helped Mrs. Barber establish a social security benefit and relocate in a
reasonable apartment convenient to the public library, for she spent a lot of time reading.
In April of 1955, Mrs. Barber made out a last will and testament bequeathing the Barber estate to
the University of New Mexico. Since in previous discussions both Mr. and Mrs. Barber had
indicated that a scholarship fund for Physical Plant employees would be appropriate, the Clayton
C. and Agnes May Barber Scholarship Fund was established.
On December 4, 1955, after an illness of only ten days, Agnes May Barber passed away. In
accordance with her wishes, her ashes were scattered near her husband’s on the Zimmerman