James Rettig Barber


James Rettig Barber was the first Mantecan to be named a college football All American and a National Football League All Pro team member, as a lineman.

Mr. Barber moved to Manteca in about 1916 with his parents from Mufreesboro, Tennessee. After graduating from Manteca High School in 1931 he attended the University of San Francisco and gained Walter Camp All American status. After college graduation, he was selected to play in the East West Shrine Game and the college All Star Game in Chicago. In the former he lined up against another All American, Gerald Ford, who would later become President of the United States.

In 1935 he joined a professional football team, the Boston Redskins. He was selected as an All Pro in 1939 and 1940. Mr. Barber was on the world championship team in 1937. His playing days came to an end when he joined the Navy in 1941. After World War Il he was a line coach for the New York football team until 1949, when he retired.

After his football days Mr. Barber entered the business world in the State of Washington. At one point he owned the L.E. Nicholls Co. brokerage firm in Spokane until he retired in 1977.

Mr. Barber passed away in January 1998. He was inducted into the Manteca Athletic Club’s Hall of Fame in 1983 and is now being inducted into the Manteca hall of Fame,