My Present Past
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William D Barry
Law office of William D Barry
St. Charles, Kane, Illinois 1855
    Born:  March 28, 1809 in Utica, Oneida, 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

    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 1825 to 1845
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 in 1836 and later in 1839 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 until 1872 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 and civil trials, among them being the defense of Taylor Driscoll of
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. Another trial being the
Burch divorce
case of 1860, which was held at Du Page County Circuit Court. 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 of the Fourth Congressional District convention in 1872 and many
others he oversaw, the Judge stood by the party 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
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.
Law office of Judge William D Barry
St. Charles, Kane, Illinois

1850 Census: William D Barry

1860 Census: William D Barry

1870 Census: William D Barry

1880 Census: William D Barry