San Francisco County
JOHN FRANCIS BARRETT
John Francis Barrett, descendant of one of the pioneer families of San Francisco, is now a member of the contracting firm of Barrett & Hilp, rated among the leaders in the building business of the bay district. Mr. Barrett was born November 19, 1888, at Buchanan and Fell streets in San Francisco, in that district known as Hayes Valley. He is a son of John J. and Margaret (McMahon) Barrett. The father came to San Francisco in 1878 and here followed his trade as a building contractor, having constructed many of the finest residences of that period. He settled in the Sunnyside district, and was about the first one to build there. He was quite active in civic affairs, and in that district organized the first improvement club. His death occurred in the year 1926. His wife, whom he married in San Francisco, was a native of Memphis, Tennessee, and came to this city as a young girl. They became the parents of six sons and four daughters, all of whom, with their mother, survive the father.
John F. Barrett attended the grade schools, and then studied at St. Ignatius College. He is now third vice president of the St. Ignatius Alumni Association. With the inspiration of his respected father’s occupation, he entered the employ of the firm of Mahony Brothers, leaders in contracting, and then attended the Humboldt Technical School under Professor Taft for four years. He started his building training with the above firm as a youth of sixteen years, and was a young man of twenty-four when he and Mr. Hilp, the latter having also been in the employ of Mahony Brothers, established their own firm as Barrett & Hilp. Their subsequent work has been of wide extent and important character. Among the structures which they have erected are the St. Ignatuis College buildings, the St. Mary’s Hospital, the synagogue at First and Lake streets, the new Southern Pacific Hospital, and the Livingston department store.
On January 6, 1914, occurred the marriage of Mr. Barrett and Miss Elise C. Casey, a daughter of J. T. Casey, a supervisor in San Mateo county, California. She was born in this state. To their marriage four children have been born, as follows: Mary Elise, Margaret, John F., and Richard Hugh.
Mr. Barrett is affiliated with the democratic party, but has never sought public office. He has, however, been active in fraternal and club circles, and is past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 615, and a member of the Young Men’s Institute, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Olympic Club, the Lakeside Golf and Country Club, the Commonwealth Club, and the Crystal Springs Golf and Country Club of which latter he is now vice president. It may be noted from the above that golf is his favorite pastime. He has always been heartily in accord with the development of San Francisco, and has lent his cooperation to civic affairs wherever it has been possible for him to do so.
Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.
Source: Byington, Lewis Francis, “History of San Francisco 3 Vols”, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1931. Vol. 3 Pages 109-111.
© 2007 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.