Edward J. Barrett, Rapides Parish, Louisiana
Edward J. Barrett was one of the substantial and influential citizens of Alexandria, Rapides Parish, and his capitalistic interests were large
and varied. He was born at Ballinvilla, Ireland, in August, 1842, and was a son of Patrick and Bridget (Moraghan) Barrett, who passed their
entire lives on the fair old Emerald Isle, the father having been a man of substance, as a gentleman farmer and stock grower.
Of the fine family of twelve children the subject of this review was the fifth in order of birth, and of the number only four others are now living. The family religious faith for many generations has been that of the Catholic Church, and the patronymic has been identified with the annals of Irish history since 1172, with representatives of the name holding prestige as descendants of one of the early kings of the Emerald Isle.
In a well ordered private school in his native land Edward J. Barrett continued his studies until he was fourteen years of age, and as a lad
he there gained his initial experience in the mercantile business. Finally he engaged in the mercantile business for himself in Carrick-on-Shannon, on a modest scale, and two years later he sold the business and enlisted in the English Army, in which he served 219 days.
In 1865, prior to the close of the American Civil war in the United States, he came to this country, and enlisted in the United States Army. The war soon came to an end, but he continued his service in the ranks of the regular army until 1868. He was quartermaster sergeant at the time when he received his honorable discharge, and in the same year he came to Pineville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, and engaged in the general merchandise business. Of this line of enterprise he continued a successful representative in the Rapides Parish for more than forty years, his operations having included the conducting of a large and well equipped general store at Alexandria.
Mr. Barrett became also one of the progressive and successful cotton planters of this parish, and his plantation enterprise included also the raising of high-grade live stock. His landed estate was at one time the largest held by any one citizen of Rapides Parish.
He retired from active business in 1912, and owns and resides in one of the fine homes in the City of Alexandria, secure in the high esteem of the people of the parish in which he has resided so many years. He is a member of the board of directors of the Guarantee Bank & Trust Company of Alexandria, and is a stockholder of the Brown-Roberts Hardware Company, the Rapides Motel Company, the Rapides Drug Company, the Alexandria Steam Laundry, and the Pineville Building & Loan Association. By his own ability and well ordered activities along normal lines of enterprise Major Barrett has gained substantial and well merited success, and he has at all times stood exponent of loyal and liberal citizenship.
He has never lost his interest in military affairs, and in 1899 he was made a major in the Louisiana National Guard. He had previously been captain of the Barrett Light Guards and the Barrett Rifles. In this connection special interest attaches to the following
quotations from an article published in the Daily Democrat of Alexandria in the year 1900: "During the Spanish-American war he (Major Barrett)
raised a company and was commissioned captain of Company L, Hood's regiment. Major Barrett is one of the most esteemed, patriotic, public-
spirited and energetic citizens of the state." It may further be stated that he individually paid for the equipping of this company, which became Company L, Second Louisiana Volunteers, the command having been known as Flood's Immunes.
In national affairs Major Barrett has always given his allegiance and support to the republican party, but in local politics he has not drawn
partisan distinctions. He has been called upon to serve in various offices of public trust, including those of justice of the peace, treasurer
of Rapides Parish, member of the police jury, treasurer and secretary of the school board, postmaster and also mayor of Pineville, and postmaster
of Alexandria, which last named office he retained five years.
In 1877-78 he loyally represented Rapides Parish in the Louisiana Legislature, and he has served also as a member of the city council of Alexandria. He and his wife were zealous communicants of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church at Alexandria, as was also his deceased wife, and while a resident of Pineville he gave to the parish the ground on which the Catholic Church at that place was erected. He is a fourth degree member of the local council of the Knights of Columbus.
The year 1868 recorded the marriage of Major Barrett to Miss Mary A. Reagan, who was born and reared in Alexandria, of Irish parentage, and whose death occurred in her native city on October 18, 1921, she being survived by four children, concerning whom brief record is here entered: Sabina is the wife of Robert Bowman, of Alexandria; John M. is a progressive farmer near this city; Thomas W. likewise a successful exponent of farm industry near Alexandria; Annie, who lives in Alexandria.
In April, 1923, was solemnized the marriage of Major Barrett to Mrs. Annie (Matthews) Hardy, daughter of the late Joel Matthews, who was at one time owner of an extensive plantation estate in Rapides Parish. The Matthews family has long been one of prominence and influence in Louisiana.
A History of Louisiana, (vol. 2), pp. 220-221, by Henry E. Chambers. Published
by The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York, 1925.
|Date of Birth||9th Aug 1842||VIEW SOURCE|
|Date of Death||4th Apr 1925||VIEW SOURCE|
|Associated Building (s)||P. Barrett & Co. CARRICK ON SHANNON, Ballinvilla townland|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||Patrick Barrett Jr. of farm #6 Ballinvilla, Croghan|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Mary Moraghan|
|Townland born||Ballinvilla, Croghan, Boyle, Co. Roscommon|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||Mary A. Reagan (1852-1921)|
|From "A History of Louisiana" by Henry E. Chambers||USA|