My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. ISAAC M. BARRETT. He whose name stands at the head of this biographical record may properly be termed one of the most enterprising and progressive men in Spring Valley Township, Greene County. A life-long manufacturer and merchant miller by occupation, he possesses not only a theoretical but a practical knowledge of the art and science of merchant milling, the result of which is the building up and equipment of one of the finest milling plants of Southern Ohio. Mr. Barrett fairly obtained his title of Honorable by a service of three terms in the Ohio Legislature, being in the Lower House from 1876 to 1880, and a member of the Senate in 1888-89. He had the honor of being elected the first Mayor of Spring Valley, served as Assessor of Internal Revenue four years under President Lincoln, commencing in 1862, and has held various other positions of trust and responsibility.

The native place of Mr. Barrett was in the town of Half Moon, Saratoga County, N. Y., and the date of his birth May 2, 1827. His father, George Barrett, was born in Danby, Vt., on the 6th of December, 1796, and his mother, Mahala (Merrett) Barrett, was born on the 15th of October, 1805, in Saratoga County, N. Y. The elder Barrett was a woolen manufacturer, owning and operating his own mill and in religious belief belonged to the Society of Friends. About 1837 he removed from his native place to Middletown, Vt., where he likewise operated a woolen mill until 1839. That year he changed his residence to Delaware, Ohio, still pursuing his occupation of a woolen manufacturer, and placed in various mills sets of improved machinery, operating then as an expert in the latter.

Sojourning in the above-mentioned locality until 1843, the father of our subject, coming then to this county, erected a woolen mill in Spring Valley Township, the first within its limits, and there spent the remainder of his days, his decease taking place in 1874. He was a man of decided ideas, one of the original members of the old Whig party and a stanch Abolitionist. The wife and mother had preceded her husband to the silent land January 30, 1870. Ten children had been born to them, the eldest of whom, a daughter, Maria, married Dr. A. B. Butler, now deceased, and lived in Richmond, Ind.; Isaac M., our subject, is the second child; Sarah died when quite young; Slocum died after reaching the age of manhood; Mahala M. became the wife of E. H. Swyne, of Chicago, Ill.; John R. is also sojourning in that city; Merritt H. died in childhood; Calista A. is a resident of Xenia; Mary L. died at the interesting age of twenty years; Rosanna S. became the wife of William H. Ingram, of Xenia, and is also deceased.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was Jaazamiah Barrett, who was born January 21, 1752, in New Hampshire. He married Rhoda, daughter of John and Hannah Reed and removed to the vicinity of Danby, Vt. There he prosecuted farming until resting from his earthly labors, October 10, 1834. His wife survived him nearly ten years, her death taking place February 2, 1844, when she was a little less than eighty-four years old, her birth taking place May 24, 1760. Their children were named respectively, John, Hannah, Jonathan, Jaazamiah, Abijah, Elchia, Wyman, George, Lucy, Rhoda and Stephen.

Jaazamiah is the son of John Barrett and the latter was born in Ireland, April 13, 1728. He died in 1756. His wife was Lucy Ormar and she was born likewise in 1728. The mother of our subject was the daughter of Joseph and Cynthia Merrett, of Saratoga County, N. Y. The grandfather was a farmer by occupation.

The Hon. Isaac M. Barrett, of this sketch, received a good education, being first a student of the High School at Springfield, and later attended Delaware College. He entered upon his business career in the woolen mills of his father with which he was connected for ten years. In the meantime he also engaged in mercantile pursuits and was considerably interested in pork-packing. In 1858, still engaged in merchandising, he also became interested in mill property, purchasing the De Haven Mill, which was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Day, 1860. Purchasing then the mill site he erected upon it the Spring Valley Mills, which he has since successfully operated, and he also deals largely in grain. He and his sons are now the largest shippers on the Little Miami Railroad.

Mr. Barrett was first married to Miss Rebecca Swyne, a native of Clark County, this State, and the daughter of Thomas and Eliza Swyne, who spent their last years in Spring Valley, Ohio. The two children born of this union were Thomas S. and Isaac M., Jr., the latter of whom died in childhood. Mrs. Rebecca Barrett departed this life at her home in Spring Valley, January 31, 1854.

Our subject was a second time wedded in March, 1856, to Miss Mary Evans, who was born in South Carolina, and when a child came to this county. This lady was the daughter of Robert and Sarah Evans, and of this union there were born eight children, viz: Robert E.; Clara B., the wife of Thomas Harrison, of Richmond, Ind.; Ella, Mrs. R. H. Dolliver, of Chicago, Ill.; John R., Hattie, Don Carlos and Clifford. Isaac M., Jr., the fourth in order of birth, died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Barrett belong to the Society of Friends. Mr. Barrett is the patentee of an improved method of burning crude oil in stoves, which is apparently destined to be adopted extensively in the near future.

A portrait* of Mr. Barrett may be found in connection with this sketch.

*Portrait was included in the original printed volume.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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