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Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 7, 1853, Rear Admiral Barton was appointed a Cadet Engineer on October 1, 1871; commissioned Assistant Engineer, January 23, 1874; commissioned Chief Engineer, January 15, 1895.
Rear Admiral Barton served in the USS Bennington, USS Richmond, USS Pennsylvania, USS Newark, USS Kentucky, and USS Brooklyn. On March 30, 1905, he was ordered to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a course in Engineering, Michigan University, with inspection trips to Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts; Stevens Institute, Hoboken, New Jersey, and Columbia University, New York.
On June 11, 1908, he was appointed a Member of the Naval Examining Board, Washington, DC, and Member of the Retiring Board. On January 13, 1909, he was given additional duty with the Civil Service Commission. On May 27, 1910, he was commissioned Engineer-in-Chief, Retired, with rank of Rear Admiral, on the retired list from December 22, 1908.
Rear Admiral Barton had the Spanish Campaign Medal, Philippine Campaign Medal (USS KENTUCKY), and China Relief Expedition Medal. He died at League Island, Pennsylvania, December 23, 1921.
Destroyer DD-722 has been named USS Barton in his honor.