William Barrett is the oldest lawyer at the Pratt county bar. He was born in Schoharie county, New York, Dec. 18, 1859. His parents were both Irish. His father, Michael Barrett, immigrated to this country from Ireland when he was nineteen years of age. He was a tanner by trade, but the last years of his life were devoted to agriculture. Anna Henaghan Barrett, the mother of the subject of this sketch, came with her parents to the United States when she was but two years of age. William Barrett lived in New York in his boyhood, during which time he attended the public schools and Stanford Seminary of New York, and afterwards Mt. Union College, Ohio. In 1880 he matriculated as a law student at the University of Michigan and was graduated in that great institution, in 1883. He came to Pratt county, Kansas, in 1885, and engaged in the practice of law, he is a successful practitioner, and the winning of many hard fought legal battles have been accredited to him. The sense of humor in Mr. Barrett is well developed. His reminiscences of the old Pratt county daysthe old pioneers, their struggles, their ambitious, their pretensionsare delightful. Mr. Barrett has served two terms as county attorney of Pratt county, and sixteen years as a member of the board of education of the city of Pratt. His best public service has probably been as a member of the school board. It is claimed by those who are in the best position to know that his judgment, his advice and his earnest work have been invaluable to the schools of Pratt county. Mr. Barrett is not a church member, but he delights in Sunday school work and in the study of the Bible and the history connected therewith. He is a Democrat, and in 1910 was elected as his party's candidate to the state legislature, where, during the session of 1911, he proved an efficient representative of his constituency.
On Nov. 13, 1889, Mr. Barrett was united in marriage with Miss Adelaide Popenhouse, a daughter of Henry and Anna Popenhouse. Mrs. Barrett is an old resident of Pratt county, Kansas. She was a pioneer school teacher in Pratt county, having begun her duties as such in a sod school house. That was an early day in Pratt ocuuty,[sic] and in her work as a teacher she passed through many exciting and interesting experiences. To Mr. and Mrs. Barrett have been born three childrenGeorge, Henry, and Mary.
During Mr. Barrett's residence in Pratt his efforts have been directed toward the public welfare as well as toward individual success, lending at all times a helping hand to any movement for the moral or material advantage of the community. Both in professional life and as a citizen he is recognized as one of the most active, capable and energetic men of the city.Page 387 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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