|My Present Past
|A genealogical experience
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|Alonzo Hamilton Barry
|Alonzo Hamilton Barry was born July 18, 1824 in Brookfield, Madison, New York to
John and Eunice (Sweet) Barry. Shortly after leaving Brookfield in 1850, Alonzo arrived in St Charles, Kane
County with his mother Eunice and brother, Augustus Charles. In 1855 he was appointed as a member of the Bar
of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Kane County along with his brother, William D. Barry.
He met Katherine Elvira King and they were married October 11, 1854. Of that marriage two children were
born, Katherine Elizabeth on October 11, 1860 and Charles King on October 18, 1865.
On July 18, 1861 a meeting was held in Geneva, Kane County, Illinois to take into consideration a formation of
military men for the Fox River Regiment. Judge William D. Barry made a motion for a committee to be formed
to lay the basis for such regiment and Alonzo H Barry was appointed along with Elias B. Baldwin and Edgar D.
Swain. On August 20, 1861 he officially enlisted and was appointed to the rank of Major of the 36th Illinois
Infantry, Fox River Regiment, Company F, which he mustered in on September 23, 1861. The regiment set up
camp half about a mile north of Montgomery and about 2 miles from Aurora on August 16th, 1861, officially
naming their location, “Camp Hammond” after the superintendent of the Chicago Burlington Railroad, Colonel C. G.
Hammond. The company broke camp on September 24th, 1861 and headed to St. Louis and Rolla, Missouri for
additional training and ended up in Springfield, Missouri on February 14, 1862. After traveling with the 36th for
about a year, his services were no longer needed and he was discharged on September 07, 1862. He re-enlisted
May 20, 1864 as a First Lieutenant, Quartermaster in the 141st Illinois Infantry under the 100 day men rule,
which was to allow veteran soldiers to be relieved of guard duty and assignments at forts and arsenals. Alonzo
was discharged from duty on October 10th, 1864 and was an active member of the Aurora #20 G.A.R.
The family moved from St. Charles to Sugar Grove around 1864 and then moved to Elgin, Illinois before 1870
Alonzo H Barry was considered one of the top defense lawyers in Kane County, Illinois. Some of his clients
included the famous murder case of the Reverend Isaac B Smith in 1869. Smith was accused of murdering his
wife by letting her drown in a rain swollen creek. He was acquitted of all charges in November of 1869. Some of
his cases were also tried in Woodstock, McHenry, Illinois. In 1870 he formed a law partnership with Judge
Richard N Botsford and Joseph Healy. With the death of Mr. Healy in 1871, Edward C Lovell joined the group for
two years and afterwards John G. Kribs and John A. Russell joined the firm.
On October 16, 1874, Alonzo was elected Grand Treasurer of the International Order of Odd Fellows of
Illinois. In 1875, he was elected to the Board of Education of Elgin, Illinois. In October of 1876 he was
nominated by the Democrats of the Fourteenth Senatorial District to run for the Senate. Many meetings were
held by the Tilden and Hendricks Democratic Club for his election but he lost to Republican J. H. Maybourn. He
was also attorney for the city of Elgin in 1877-78. In May of 1879 he was appointed President of the Disabled
Illinois Veterans and spoke on Decoration Day, May 30th at the Elgin Cemetery.
In 1881 he was one of the State’s Attorneys in the murder trial of Hiram P Allen of Sandwich, DeKalb, Illinois.
William Thomas was convicted of the murder but in subsequent years, James Young arrived at the same prison
that held Thomas and he confessed to the murder of Hiram Allen. William Thomas was pardoned in 1888,
James Young died in Joliet prison on September 26, 1887.
In 1882 Alonzo was considered for a position in the Kane County Court but it never materialized and he was
subsequently elected to the City Court of Elgin and Aurora in 1883 and re-elected in 1887. In 1885 Alonzo Barry
was elected to the Committee of the 5th Democratic Congressional District. He was also presiding as a city
judge in Elgin when the “Divorce without Publicity” trials were being held by attorney L. W. Rood of Chicago.
He continued to practice law in Elgin, up until his death on August 29, 1902 in Elgin, Kane, Illinois.
His wife Katherine died February 07, 1918 at her home at 324 Jefferson Avenue in Elgin.