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Twenty-six years have passed since John H. Barry came to Atchison, and through the greater part of that time he has been a leading representative of the business interests and is now well known in connection with the industrial affairs of the city. Channing has said, "Labor is discovered to be the great, the grand conqueror, enlarging and building up nations more surely than the proudest battles." The truth of this is verified by the fact that where commercial activity is most manifest, there is found the greatest progress and prosperity. By the conduct of his extensive business interests, Mr. Barry has become a type of the representative American citizen who contributes to the general success, while promoting individual prosperity.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, he was born June 24, 1849, and is a son of Michael and Eliza (Roach) Barry. He was educated in the public schools of his native city, and in Leavenworth, Kansas, whither he accompanied his parents in early youth. In 1858 he became a driver of a freighting team across the plains, being in charge of the six-mule team used in transporting goods to Colorado and the Indian Territory. Later he engaged in freighting on his own account, and continued that business for ten years, after which he entered the employ of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad Company, serving in various capacities until 1873. In that year he came to Atchison, where he served as general station agent of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company till 1879. Through the two consecutive years he was connected with public office, being city marshal. In 1886 he established a coal and wood yard, which he has since conducted and in that line has built up a good trade. His attention, however, is chiefly devoted to the manufacture of vitrified paving brick, in which he is now doing an extensive business. He established the industry in 1894 and for some time he was president of the Atchison Vitrified Paving Brick Company. He is now president of the Barry Brick Manufacturing Company, which manufactures a very superior paving brick and has a large sale of the product in Atchison and at other points in the state. The annual output is about six million brick, and employment is furnished to from sixty to seventy-five workmen. There is also a good market for the product in Kansas City and many other western cities.

In 1873 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Barry and Miss Kate Curtan, of Leavenworth, Kansas, a daughter of John Curtan. They have four children, three sons and a daughter, namely: John H., who is secretary of the Barry Brick Manufacturing Company at Atchison; Henry, who is in his father's office; Cornelius W., a brick setter; and Mary Frances, at home. Mr. Barry is a member of the American Order of United Workmen. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and from 1878 until 1891 he was a member of the school board of Atchison, and did effective service in promoting the interests of the schools of the city. His life has been one of activity in industrial circles, and, as a result of his honesty and perseverance in business, he has accumulated a handsome competence.