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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL


Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor

Page 608

George J. Barrett, deceased, figured prominently in financial circles in Springfield and at the time of his death was the secretary of the Springfield City Savings & Loan Association. He won the advancement that is accorded in recognition of ability and fidelity and his name was honored in this city as one of the reliable business men. His birth occurred in Springfield, Otsego county, New York, on the 13th of August, 1850, his parents being Oliver and Elizabeth (Westcott) Barrett, both of whom were born in the east. He followed agricultural pu8rsuits throughout his entire life and both he and his wife died in the east.

George J. Barrett spent his early boyhood days under the parental roof and attended the public schools, but when in his sixteenth year he left home and went south, accepting a position as paymaster's clerk in the United States Navy. He was ordered to the south Pacific waters on board the United States steamer Wateree and was for three years off the coast of South American. While there on the 2d of May 1866, he witnessed the battle which occurred between the naval forces of Spain and Peru. He continued in the service for three years and then returned to the United States. At Boston in 1869 he accepted a position in the office of the auditor of the New England division of the Adams Express Company and was with that corporation both in Boston and in Hartford, Connecticut, filling the position until 1872. In the winter of 1873 he entered into business relations with the Adams Express Company at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. And in 1875-76 he was located in Chicago in the employ of Polk's Directory Company. In 1877 he traveled over the south, mainly in Mississippi and also visited St. Louis and other southern cities.

In August, 1878, Mr. Barrett came to Springfield and in the same year was bookkeeper for E. A. Wilson, who is represented elsewhere in this work. In connection with Mr. Wilson in 1887 he organized the Springfield City Savings & Loan Association and was made its secretary and one of its directors. From that time forward he figured prominently in financial circles and maintained a reputation for reliability and enterprising methods which made him one of the foremost men here.

On the 19th of October, 1880, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Barrett and Miss Ella Lacy, who was born in Noblesville, Indiana, on the 28th of August, 1861, a daughter of Andrew J. and Sarah E. (Johnson) Lacy. Her father was the first white male child born in Hamilton county, Indiana, and there he resided throughout his entire life, following the occupation of farming. His death occurred when he had attained the advanced age of eighty years and his wife also passed away in Indiana. Seven children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Barrett, six of whom are yet living and make their home with the mother, namely: Eleanor L., Gilbert T., George J., Emily, Ruth Du Pleaux and Oliver F. Anna Louise the sixth of the family, died at the age of three years and five months.

Mr. Barrett in his political views endorsed the Republican party, believing firmly in its principles and doing all in his power to promote its growth and insure its success. He served as supervisor for four years, proving a capable officer. Socially he was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Central Lodge, No. 71, A.F. & A. M. of which he was worshipful master for two years. He was also a member of the Past Masters' Association. He held membership in Springfield chapter, No. 1, R.A.M.; Springfield Council, No. 2, R. & S.M.; and Elwood Commandery, K. T., and of the last named he was recorder. Both he and his wife held membership with the Presbyterian church and he lived a life in consistent harmony with his professions. He died September 1, 1902. His business career was marked by steady progression and his keen discernment and enterprise enabled him to recognize and improve opportunities and gradually work his way upward to success. He occupied a leading position in financial circles and was honored and respected by all, not alone because of his prosperity, but also because of the Straightforward business methods he ever followed. Mrs. Barrett resides with children at No. 423 North Seventh street.

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