Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Sybil Harber ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
Sybil "Sibe/Siby/Sib" Harber
MAIDEN NAME:  AKA 1: Haber AKA 2:  AKA 3: 
BORN: Dec 1856 DIED: 10 Nov 1918 BURIED: 13 Nov 1918
ETHNICITY:  African American OCCUPATION:  Nurse
BIRTH PLACE:  Missouri
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
IOOF - Sibe Harber, age 67, died in Salem of carcinoma of the uterus.
OSBH DC (Marion County 1918) #574 - Sibl Harber, female, colored, widowed, occupation nurse, b. Missouri, d. 10 Nov 1918 in Salem, Oregon at the age of 67 years, usual residence Lakeview, Oregon, interment 13 Nov, undertaker Webb & Clough, informant Ore. State hospital records.
1900 OR CENSUS - Siby Harbor, age 43, black, widowed, no children, ocupation restaraunt, b. Missouri. Enumerated in her home are 2 boarders.
1910 OR CENSUS - Sybil Harber, age 56, black, widow, mother of 1 child, occupation nurse, b. Missouri, is enumerated with son Bert, age 37, single, occupation laborer, b. California.

There is a photograph of Sybil Harber located at the Oregon Historical Society entitled "Sybil Harber", ca. 1895, with the following description: "Sybil Harber was a popular midwife in the Lakeview, Oregon area.  She was also the mother of Cowboy Bert Harber."

To this day there are some people in Lakeview, Oregon who remember Sybil Haber and her son, Bert.  Jennie Carroll, a member of an old pioneer family and curator of the Lakeview Museum, says, "There was no hospital in Lakeview in the early 1900's, so Aunt Sib's nursery was not only for maternity cases but for sick people.  In 1913 she helped nurse my own father for about three weeks.  In fact, I think surgery was performed in her house.  In talking to people they say she was kind and good. Nothing bad about her. It has been said she could tell a woman was pregnant before the woman was aware of it.  She was well liked and respected in the community.  During the first part of her years in Lakeview she did general housework for families and cooked on ranches.  Later, she started a bakery, but after the fire of 1900, changed it into a boarding-house, which she operated until 1901.  In between times she helped with the delivery of many blessed events around town.  Later she opened a nursery and operated it until 1915.  In that year she suffered an injury and was hospitalized in Salem, until her death on Armistice Day in 1918."
Mrs. Haber came to Lakeview in the Spring of 1888. Her son Bert, although only fourteen years old at that time, preceded her in 1886.  He was not among total strangers when he arrived as Mrs. Haber had made a short visit to Lakeview several years before to see white people she had known in California.  Bert got a job at J. M. Russell's sawmill at Cottonwood.  He worked there for four or five years, plus doing some odd jobs around town.  He also found employment on ranches and at the livery stable.  For many years he played in the town band.  During the big fire of 1900 he personally entered the Odd Fellows Lodge and rescued the Lodge's books and records.  Just minutes after he left the building it exploded in flames as though gasoline had been poured on the roof.
In 1960 at the age of 88, the Lakeview Examiner paid Bert this tribute:  "He has never served as mayor of the town, of judge of the county, but for many years, Bert Haber was known as one of the most important men of Lake County.  Now 88, Bert has been a resident of this county for 74 years and he is blessed with a keen memory which keeps alive a vast store of accurate information about Lake County's early days and people.  Those who work with titles in land, facts of towns, county history and the details of people's lives regard the memory works of Bert Haber with respect and esteem.  Many are the points of land ownership, ranch and store operations, location family connections and ties that have been settled by consultation with Haber.  Beyond the basic fact of his great store of factual information, Bert has another attribute which makes him a reliable source. He will not give an answer if he does not have an answer to give...  For this reason, people know that if Bert will give an answer to their question about early days, the answer can be relied upon.  Bert Haber is one man against whom I have never heard a bad word; not by native, old-timers, or newcomers.  When that can be said of a man that has reached 88, with 74 of his years in one community, he has made a tall mark among men..."
Black Pioneers of the Northwest 1800-1918, by Martha Anderson page 72
DISCREPANCY - name is spelled Harber in most records, and Haber in the biographical sketch.
DISCREPANCY - 1900 census indicates she has no children, but 1910 census enumerated son, Bert, and he is named as her son in the biographical sketch.
DISCREPANCY - her birth year is given as 1856 in 1900, but her age in 1910 indicates a birth year of about 1852-53.
No obituary found in Oregon Statesman
No marker
Salem Pioneer Cemetery Black Pioneer Omnibus dedicated by the Oregon Northwest Pioneers on 1 Feb 2007.
IOOF Register of Burials
1900 OR CENSUS (Lake Co., Lakeview, ED 36, sheet
1910 OR CENSUS (Lake Co., S. Lakeview, ED 141, sheet 5B)
Black Pioneers of the Northwest 1800-1918, by Martha Anderson page 72