Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Henry Proctor Barrett - Cattle Dealer, Public Servant, Nonagenarian

   Henry Proctor Barrett was born June 29, 1812, son of Benjamin Proctor Barrett and his wife Ruth (Brigham).  The family lived in a section of Brookfield known as Brookfield Settlement which later came to be known as West Brookfield.  Henry's father died sometime between 1813 and 1815 of Yellow Fever contracted while serving in the southern campaign of the War of 1812, according to family lore.   Capt. Benjamin Barrett, a Revolutionary War Pensioner,  became largely responsible for raising his grandson, Henry P., who lived and worked on the family farm while attending Birch Hill Seminary.
   Brookfield Vital Records show an intention of marriage between Henry P. Barrett and Celuria W. Tuttle of Winchester, NH, on August 26, 1836.  The marriage took place on Sept. 26, 1836, according to Henry's obituary, and seven children followed.
  While working on the family farm Mr. Barrett became interested in buying and selling cattle and other farm stock.  He acquired a cattle broker's license in 1847, and built a reputation as a shrewd and successful trader; as well as, a successful farmer. He was active in town and Congregational church affairs, and held a number of responsible positions in both, including, selectman, tax collector, overseer of the poor, and highway commissioner.   He loved to share recollections of his early life in West Brookfield which included meeting General Lafayette at the local tavern, and seeing Daniel Webster in Barre. Henry was the oldest man, the largest land owner, and largest tax payer in town at the time of his death in his home on Ragged Hill, on Jan. 31, 1904, at age 91.

Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 4 (Google eBook) p. 215

Massachusetts Vital Records, americanancestors.org [Vital records of both Brookfield, and West Brookfield.]

"Death of Henry P. Barrett : Oldest Resident of West Brookfield - Celebrated 67th Wedding Anniversary." Springfield Daily Republican, Tuesday, February 2, 1904, pg. 3.  Genealogybank.com