William Henry Barrett

WILLIAM HENRY BARRETT, a large land owner and a prominent coal operator of Cherokee County, was born in 1857 in England, and is a son of Thomas M. and Mary Ann (Sampy) Barrett.

Thomas M. Barrett was born in Ireland in 1835, and during the whole of his active life followed coal mining, first in his own country, and later in Pennsylvania and Kansas. He now lives a retired life at Weir City. His wife died in Weir City in September, 1883. These parents had a family of nine children, of whom the survivors are,—William Henry; Bartholomew, who married Bridget Phillips; Thomas; Joseph; Mary; and John, who married Ola Adams.

William Henry Barrett has been identified with coal mining ever since he was 11 years of age. beginning at the mouth of the pit, and going through all grades and degrees until he became an operator on leased land, and finally the owner and operator of great shafts of his own. There is little about the whole business, from every standpoint, with which Mr. Barrett is not acquainted. He accompanied his parents to America in 1860, and grew to manhood at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He followed mining there until he was 22 years of age, and then came to Kansas. He became an operator of coal mines in Cherokee township, Cherokee County. He has accumulated a large amount of land, aggregating 900 acres here, some of which he rents for farming purposes, and the rest he devotes to coal mining, operating the shafts himself. He owns mines in other localities, some in Crawford County and some in Arkansas. He has mainly centered his interests in this business, and outside affairs and political office cannot tempt him from a field of activity in which he is master.

In 1881, Mr. Barrett was married to Kate Walsh, who was born in Canada, reared in Ohio, and came to Cherokee County, Kansas, with her parents, who settled at Scammon, in Mineral township. Mr. and Mrs. Barrett have four children, all born at Weir City, Kansas, namely: Thomas, Mary, Kate and William.

Mr. Barrett's success in life must be attribted to his persevering industry and excellent management. He started out in life as a poor boy, who had enjoyed few educational advantages. Now he is one of the capitalists of one of the leading counties of the great State of Kansas. Such success teaches a lesson to those who care to heed it.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Moses Caton, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 2/26/97.


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