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Elliott S. Barker Papers

Identifier: Ms-0294

Scope and Content

The Elliott S. Barker Papers span the years 1916-1988. The collection is divided into three series: Files, Additions, and Scrapbook.

Files is the most expansive series, consisting of miscellaneous professional and personal files of E. S. Barker. The folder headings designated by Barker have been retained.

Additions contains the manuscript High Adventures with Western Wildlife, typescripts of poems, speeches, and short stories by Barker, and a small amount of correspondence.

The final series consists of one scrapbook documenting Barker's professional activities from 1916-1972. Topics include Smokey Bear, Barker's retirement from the Department of Game and Fish, and his publications.


  • 1923-1988


Language of Materials


Access and Use Restrictions

This material may be examined by researchers under supervised conditions in the Search Room.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with copyright and other applicable statutes.

The copyrights possessed in this collection have not been transferred to New Mexico State University.

Historical Sketch

Elliott Speer Barker was born on Christmas Day 1886 in Moran, Texas, to Squire and Priscilla Barker. Barker was one of eleven children born to the family, which included siblings S. Omar Barker and Grace Barker Wilson. The family pioneered from Texas to New Mexico by covered wagon in 1889. They eventually settled outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Barker was home educated until the fifth grade and attended school at Las Vegas, New Mexico through high school. He took a six-month photography course in Effingham, Illinois, and worked briefly as a portrait photographer

From 1908-1909 Barker worked as a professional hunter and guide. From 1909-1919 he worked for the U. S. Forest Service as a ranger and supervisor. For several years he worked at ranching until 1931, when he became Director of the Department of Game and Fish. Barker served in this capacity for 22 years. In 1950 Barker donated Smokey Bear, the bear cub rescued from the Capitan, New Mexico fire, to the U. S. Forest Service on behalf of the State Department of Game and Fish. Barker traveled with the bear to his new home in Washington, D. C.

Barker was the executive secretary of the New Mexico Wildlife and Conservation Association from 1959 to 1966. He published a book of poems and several books about his wilderness experiences including When the Dogs Bark 'Treed' and Beatty's Cabin.

In 1911, Barker married Ethel M. Arnold. They had three children: Roy E. Barker, Florence Giers, and Dorothy Elmore.

Barker died April 3, 1988 in Santa Fe, he was 101.


27 boxes


Contact Information

  1. Archives and Special Collections
  2. New Mexico State University Library
  3. P.O. Box 30006
  4. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8006
  5. Phone: (575) 646-3839
  6. Fax: (575) 646-7477
  7. Email:
  8. URL:
Register of the Elliott S. Barker Papers
Processed by none given
© 2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//New Mexico State University::Archives and Special Collections//TEXT (US::NmLcU::Ms 294::Elliott S. Barker Papers)//EN" "nmlcu1ms294.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA