GEORGE BARRY

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 637-638

GEORGE BARRY is a native of Illinois who has been a witness of and participant in the development of Chicago and its suburbs for more than half a century.  He was born in Warren Township, Lake County, January 5, 1841, and is a son of Samuel S. and Abby C. Barry, the history of whose lives is given elsewhere in this volume.

George was eleven years old when the family moved to Chicago, where he was educated in public and private schools.  At the age of nineteen years he entered the service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, beginning as a clerk in the office of the General Freight Agent.  He afterwards served in the ticket office and Treasurer’s office of that corporation.

In April, 1864, he enlisted as Second Lieutenant in Company A, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry.  Though enrolled for one hundred days, he served until the following October, being employed during that time in garrison duty at Columbus, Mayfield and Paducah, Kentucky.  He had helped to recruit this company, which was mostly raised among the clerks in Chicago offices.  After his discharge he re-entered the employ of the railroad company, with which he was connected nine years in all.  He subsequently went into business with his father, the firm of S. S. Barry & Son being engaged in painting contracts and dealing in painters’ supplies.   Upon the retirement of the senior member, in 1886, the firm was dissolved, and he abandoned this line of business.  He has since spent considerable time in the West, where he has important interests.  Since July, 1894, he has been a resident of Wilmette, where he has erected a pleasant suburban home.

Mr. Barry was married, on the 28th of May, 1867, to Mary Burton Stewart, who was born at La Porte, Indiana, February 20, 1845.  She is a daughter of Thomas Alexander Steward and Mary Louise Cobbs.  Mr. Stewart was born in Pennsylvania, November 22, 1821, and moved while a boy to Connersville, Indiana, where he was educated.  He subsequently removed to La Porte, where, in 1841, he founded the La Porte County Whig, which he published for several years.  In 1845 he came to Chicago, and was one of the four men who, in June, 1847, founded the Chicago Tribune.  He was the business manager of the concern, and one of its chief contributors for several years.  His health having been impaired by night work, he severed his connection with the journal and returned to La Porte, where his death occurred September 15, 1858.  He had always been engaged in Journalism, and was an enthusiastic, ready writer and capable business man, and proved himself equal to every emergency which beset his occupation in those early days.

On her mother’s side Mrs. Barry traces her lineage from some of the most illustrious families in the history of the United States, her ancestors having been identified with many important events connected with the foundation and maintenance of this nation.  Mrs. Mary L. Stewart was born at New Glasgow, near Lynchburg, Virginia.  She was a direct descendant of Col. Samuel Meredith, who raised the first regiment of Continental troops in Virginia.  This regiment, known as the Hanover Volunteers, seized a quantity of gunpowder and other stores belonging to the British Government, which movement was of great advantage to the incipient American cause.  Capt. Samuel Meredith, father of the last-named gentleman, was an officer in General Braddock’s army.  Col. Samuel Meredith married Jane Henry, a daughter of Col. John and Sarah (Winston) Henry, and a sister of Hon. Patrick Henry, the distinguished Virginia statesman and patriot.   Jane Henry Meredith, daughter of Samuel and Jane Meredith, married the Hon. David Garland, and their daughter, Jane Meredith Garland, became the wife of Dr. John Poindexter Cobbs, of Mont Rouge, Virginia.  This couple were the parents of Mrs. Stewart.  Capt. Robert Cobbs, father of Dr. J. P. Cobbs, was a veteran of the Revolutionary army.  His father-in-law, Col. Robert Lewis, a son of Col. John Lewis, of Warren Hall, was a second cousin of George Washington and a relative of Capt. Merriweather Lewis, the noted frontier explorer.   Mary (Sears) Cobbs, mother of Capt. Robert Cobbs, was a first cousin of Colonel Fielding, who married Betty, the only sister of George Washington.

Mr. and Mrs. Barry have four living children: Abbey Mary, wife of E. A. Hatch, of Chicago; Florence Stewart; George Fravel and Margaret Louise.  The parents profess the Swedenborgian faith, and were among the early members of the Chicago Society of the New Jerusalem.  Mrs. Barry belongs to the Woman’s Club of Wilmette, and of the Chicago Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.  Mr. Barry is a charter member of the Kenwood and Park Clubs. He has been a Republican from youth and is a firm believer in the double monetary standard.  The home of the family at Wilmette is distinguished for the culture and intelligence of its occupants, who are considered an acquisition to the society of that village.

                                -- Submitted on June 12, 2000 by Sherri Hessick ( shessick@flash.net )