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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


JUDGE E. BARRY lived a life which was in many respects as fascinating as a romance, for he left his home and family in the "Sunny South" to join the picturesque "Klondike rush," and he accomplished more than any other gold seeker, not financially but in the things worth while, the spiritual. Many men are living today good lives because Judge Barry made that journey. A descendant of old southern families on both sides of the family, he upheld the best traditions of his ancestry, he had all the courtesy of their school, kinder than the kindest, with always time for the considerate word, he yet was always fighting for the imperishable moral treasures more than for material gain. His rare personal qualities attracted friends, whom he held always, for with Judge Barry once a friend, always a friend. His unusual intellectual gifts and high character would have given him place and power, but he never sought these things and honors had to be forced upon him.

His life record is the more remarkable when it is remembered that that he was, owing to unexpected and untoward circumstances, deprived of an education until he had nearly reached his majority. In a short space of time he secured the best of educations, and to this he added an unlimited fund of knowledge gathered from wide experience. Always he kept a steady equipoise of soul and the determination to make the world the better for his having lived in it. This he did, and when his passing was made known no word could voice the grief of his legion of friends throughout the United States. Although he had been in Redlands a brief period of time he had made many warm friends and he went into eternity loved and loving as few men are. A kind and loving father and devoted husband, a loyal friend, a worth while neighbor. Judge Barry will long be remembered. There was, there is, no kinder, manlier man.

Judge E. Barry was born in Sumner County, Tennessee, November 15, 1849, the son of Jackson Barry and Sina (Minter) Barry, his father a native of Rockingham, North Carolina, and his mother of Sumner County, Tennessee. Jackson Barry was a noted civil engineer, following that occupation all his life.

When Judge Barry was six years old his parents moved to Marshall County, Kentucky, and he received the meager education obtainable in those days in that locality, but he attended the little country schools when in session and his opportunity for study came when he was nineteen years of age, and he studied so assiduously that he made up lost time and graduated from the best county high school and was, moreover, the valedictorian of his class. He soon obtained a diploma and commenced teaching, occupying himself in that line of work, scholastic work, for two years. Then for eight years he was county school commissioner, a position filled with responsibility, for upon him devolved the engaging of all teachers. Judge Barry was always an earnest and ardent advocate of temperance, and he would never employ a teacher who drank.

Later Judge Barry was elected county judge, and served faithfully and well, his record sending him to the Kentucky Legislature, where he made a success of everything he undertook, serving his constituency brilliantly.

Then the great Klondike excitement came on and everyone wanted to join the rush of gold seekers, and every man who could did. Judge Barry went and passed through all the trials and perils incident to such an expedition. He passed in over the Chilkoot Pass through the most dangerous rapids, prospecting on Nisutlin River. He made practically nothing as far as the securing of gold went, but he gained an infinitude of experience and a knowledge of men in the rough, and learned how quickly men revert back to almost primitiveness. He remained there twenty months in all.

All through the long cold winter Judge Barry was in camp with the world's most venturesome men, and he took advantage of the opportunity given him and organized a Sunday school, a fact that has since been used in both songs and stories of that most strenuous life. One can imagine against what odds he fought, and yet before the winter was over he had the entire camp enrolled and deeply interested. For years afterward he would meet men who been in that class of his in the far North, and men who still clung to his teachings. For forty years Judge Barry was a member of the Christian Church. When he was twenty-one Judge Barry became a member of the Masonic Order, and was a member for nearly fifty years.

After returning from Alaska Judge Barry entered the journalistic field by the purchase of the Tribune and the Democrat of Benton, Kentucky, which he at once consolidated, naming his paper "The Tribune-Democrat." It was, of course, democratic in principles. While he made it an unqualified success he decided to sell it in 1910 and did so, moving out west to Texas. There he purchased the Colorado Citizen, a democratic paper. He scored another success, but owing to the ill health of his daughter he was forced to sell out again, and he did so, moving this time to Fort Stockton, Texas. Here he purchased another paper, the Fort Stockton Pioneer. He put this paper in a flourishing condition.

He was appointed postmaster of the city in 1912, and he held the position until forced to resign, owing to ill health. He had other interests, among them a large acreage of alfalfa, which he had to dispose of in order to come out to California and not be bothered with business cares. He came to the Golden State in 1919, locating in Redlands in August of that year. He invested in an orange grove and practically retired to enjoy the beautiful Southland. But he was not to enjoy it for long, for on October 23, 1920, he entered into life eternal.

Judge Barry was united in marriage on August 22, 1877, with Laura Paine, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Cassidy) Paine, of Paducah, Kentucky. She was born on the Cumberland River at Eddyville. Her parents were prominent Methodists. Her father was a well known tobacco dealer. Judge and Mrs. Barry were the parents of three children : Blanche is now Mrs. J. L. Mitchell, of Fort Stockton, Texas. The second child died in infancy, and the third child died at the age of six, when the father was in far off Alaska. The wife of Judge Barry is living now in Redlands.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011