My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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William D Barry
Background:
Law office of William D Barry
St. Charles, Kane, Illinois 1855
    Born:   March 28, 1809 in Oneida County, New York
    Died:   January 27, 1892 in St. Charles, Kane, Illinois
    Burial: North Cemetery St. Charles, Kane, Illinois

    Father: John Barry
    Mother: Eunice Sweet  
    born: August 20, 1787 in Vermont  
    died: July 09, 1870 in St. Charles, Kane, Illinois

    Married: Eliza Sealbrooke      
    born: Unknown   
    died: August 13, 1843 in St. Charles, Kane, Illinois
    Date of Marriage: Unknown          Place of Marriage:  Unknown

    Married 2: Elizabeth Thom
    born: January 28, 1821 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland
    died: August 06, 1898 in St. Charles, Kane, Illinois
    Date of Marriage: January 22, 1845 in St. Charles, Kane, Illinois

    Children:
    1) Eliza Thom Barry
    born: 1846
    died: August 22, 1851 in St. Charles, Kane, Illinois

    2) William D Barry  
    born: 1852 in St. Charles, Kane, Illinois
    died:  Unknown before 1865

St. Charles, Illinois Friday February 05, 1892

Honorable William D Barry, whose death occurred at his home in this city January 27, 1892, was a native of
Oneida County, New York, having been born March 28, 1809 in the region made famous during the old Indian and
Revolutionary wars, within a short distance of the peaceful valley of the
Mohawk. His father, John Barry was a
native of Connecticut and his mother, Eunice (Sweet) Barry, of Vermont, with the family originally being of Irish
extraction. In 1828 young Barry, then but nineteen years of age, was employed as a stage driver on a route
leading from what was then the village of
Utica and later an attendant of the Auburn state prison. Of these
early days he was always fond of speaking and his stories of the period when the great
Erie Canal was under way
were very interesting. When it is considered that this canal was in process of construction from 1817 to 1825
and that the event occurred within the lifetime of a man whom all knew so well, his loss as a prominent
connecting link between the old days and the new will be more deeply felt.
In 1835, having applied himself closely and carefully to the study of medicine,
Mr. Barry was licensed by the
New York Medical Society and began practicing in Henry County, Ohio.
Dr. William D. Barry was, undoubtedly considered the first and pioneer physician in the vicinity of Napoleon and
is remembered by all the old residents.  Removing to a new field at same city, he saw a chance to better his
finances by taking a contract for constructing a portion of the
Wabash and Erie Canal. He could not however,
renounce his plans for continuing in a professional career and the practice of medicine not being entirely
congenial, he gave it up and read law in the office of state senator
Joshua H. Bates, was admitted to practice
and a month later was
elected state’s attorney of Henry county.
The “western fever” claimed him as a victim and in 1840 he removed to
Kane County, Illinois and located at
St. Charles where for nearly 52 years he remained, finally closing his life amid the scenes and associations of
over a half of century. He was twice married; first to
Eliza Sealbrooke and second to Isabella Thom on January
18, 1845 in St. Charles, she being a native of Aberdeen, Scotland or its vicinity. Her father, John Thom, was a
soldier in the British army and a lieutenant in the famous
42nd Regiment of Highlanders, the “Black Watch” with
which he participated in the battle of
Waterloo. Two children, Eliza T. and William D., are both deceased. The
death of Mrs. Barry but a few days ago undoubtedly hastened that of her husband, as by it he was left entirely
alone to bear the great weight of age and sorrow. There is something beautiful in the going out of two lives so
closely together after so many years of association. Mr. Barry was an acknowledged leader in his chosen
profession of law. He was careful not to make mistakes and thorough in all of his legal work. From him many
younger members of the bar learned lessons which have been and will continue to be valuable; and those who have
had the privilege of reading law in his office, may well be proud of the fact. Among those were his brother,
Alonzo H. Barry, now of Elgin and Terrence E. Ryan of St. Charles, both having held important positions in the
gift of their Kane county constituents. In 1851 Mr. Barry was first elected county judge of Kane County, holding
the position six years. In 1869 he was once again called to the office for a term of four years and his
administration of its affairs is remembered as just and satisfactory. During the early years of his residence
here he conducted many hard criminal trials, among them being the defense of Taylor Driscoll of Ogle County,
for the alleged murder of one Campbell during the period when horse stealing and kindred crimes were epidemic
in northern Illinois. Through his efforts Driscoll was acquitted. Judge Barry beside being an able politician and
shrewd in all the old time methods of political management was also intensely patriotic and his ringing words in
behalf of the country and the flag have many times created enthusiasm among those who listened to his homely
but earnest eloquence. He never claimed to be a polished orator but when it became necessary to deal in hard
knocks or to cause the discomfiture of opponents, his strong voice and peculiar style came to his aide with
telling effect. His shots flew straight to the mark, and the man who could come out of an encounter with him
with colors flying was seldom met with. An earnest
Republican, he assisted greatly in nursing that party into full
strength, holding the title of
Republican chair for the many conventions he oversaw and stood by it from the day
of birth until he had laid down the work of his life to unite with his loved ones who had gone before. During the
long service of General
John F. Farnsworth in Congress, Judge Barry was one of his trusted advisers and led the
great abolitionist’s forces in many a hard fought campaign. When
 General Farnsworth left the Republican Party
in 1872, Judge Barry refused to follow him and denounced his old chieftain on the stump in unmeasured terms.
For many years the venerable Judge has been President of the Bar Association of Kane County and in 1888 was
one of the oldest practicing
lawyers in Kane County. Like all men who achieve success or become prominent,
Judge Barry had his enemies but none could fail to recognize and respect his strong qualities even as now none
can refrain from mourning the departure of a figure familiar to this region for so many years. May the rugged
form, worn by disease and battered by the storms of age, rest well.