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Byron Express Friday, April 13, 1900

Death of a Pioneer

An Upright and Kind Hearted Man is Taken Away

Mr. John Barry

"We will meet again in that bright land
Where farewells are never spoken:
We will clasp again each others hand,
And the clasp be never broken."

"They were beautiful in their lives; they were lovely in their lives, and in death they were not divided." These are the words with which Rev. J.S. Braddock of Middle Creek opened his comforting remarks at the funeral of Mr. John Barry, which was held at the M.E. church last Tuesday afternoon.

The house was filled with relatives and friends who had gathered out of respect to the departed and from sympathy with the mourning family. Mr. Barry's death occurred on April 8, at 12:40 a.m., closely following that of his beloved wife, which took place on March 5th, 1900. Mr. John Barry was a benevolent and influential citizen and was highly respected by all who knew him.

Mr. Barry was born in the county of Cork, Ireland, March 26, 1818. His father died while he was still very young. His mother married Mr. John Hogan and came to this country in 1827, leaving her son John in the care of his uncle and grandmother where he remained until he was 18 years old when he came to America with his uncle. Mr. Barry was united in marriage at Geneseo, N.Y., with Miss Rachel Smiley on March 26, 1843. Ten children were given to them, seven of whom were permitted to be present in the sad hours of the death and burial of both of their parents. The first born, Hannah B., became the wife of James Sheils and died September 11, 1882, the others are, Rosalie, James, Mrs. Agnes J. Gill, John H., Andrew D., and George P., of Byron, Rebecca and Rachel who died in early childhood, and William D., of Shannon. There are also nineteen grandchildren living. Mr. Patrick Hogan of Byron, and Mrs. Ellen Gitchell of Rockford, are half brother and sister of the deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. Barry arrived at the home of Mr. Thomas Gill on April 13, 1844, just fifty-six years ago today. They claimed the land just east of the Gill place and entered it from the government. Their home has been on the same place all these years.

They are deeply mourned by the people of this neighborhood and also by many who were befriended by this venerable couple, who give their testimony that the happiest days of their lives were spent under their roof. Verily, "They rest from their labors and their works do follow them."

The Express joins the whole community in offering its sympathy to the bereaved family.

Submitted by Randi Wilmarth Marcos

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