On July 6, 1864, Governor Stephen Miller appointed Third Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Wilson to the Minnesota Supreme Court. To fill the vacancy on the district court, the governor decided to wait until the Republican Party nominated a candidate at its judicial district convention later that summer and then appoint that man to the bench--in other words, he delegated his constitutional power of appointment to a majority of the delegates at the party's judicial convention. On August 31st Lloyd Barber, the Olmsted County Attorney, won the endorsement of the party by one vote, and on September 12, the governor appointed him to the district court. He defeated Chauncey Waterman, a Republican nominated by the Democrats, in November. He began his seven year term in January 1865.
In the spring of 1871, gossip floated around the Third Judicial District on likely candidates for the endorsement of the Republican Party for the district judgeship. Among the most frequently rumored names was that of Chauncey Waterman, a successful lawyer in Winona. Curiously Lloyd Barber, the incumbent, was given no chance of being re-nominated. At the party's judicial convention on 1871, Waterman won on the first ballot. He was elected in November without opposition.
Barber returned to private practice in Rochester, later moving to Winona. The transition from bench to bar was difficult. He never regained the prestige at the bar or the clientele he had before becoming a judge. As the decades rolled by he turned from law to farming. He died on May 8, 1915, at age 89.
This study of Judge Barber is one of a series of biographical studies of district court judges in this state in the 19th and early 20th centuries posted on this website.