FRED W. BARRETT, one of Madison County's prospering agriculturists, residing in the town of Fenner, N.Y., was born March 30, 1824, in the town of Smithfield, son of William P. and Electa (Sopher) Barrett. Jacob Barrett, the father of William, was born in Connecticut, and migrated with his family to Smithfield, N.Y., being one of its early settlers. He was a wagon-maker by trade, and died, at the age of seventy-five, in Fenner Corners, Madison County. Of his six children none is now living. William P. Barrett, who was also a wagon-maker, came with his father to the town of Smithfield, settling in the village of Peterboro, where he resided a short time, later living in what is called Mile Strip. He finally settled in Fenner, where he ran a saw-mill for some years. While in Smithfield, he married Miss Electa Sopher, by whom he had six children. The three now living are: Fred W., the eldest; G. F. Barrett, of Fenner; and Hiley Jane, of Syracuse. The father died on the home farm at the age of seventy-five years, and the mother when she reached the age of seventy.
When the family came to the town of Fenner, Fred W. Barrett was but seven years of age; and he has since continued to reside here. He was educated at the district school, and learned to work in his father's saw-mill while yet a boy. He worked out for a short time for Colonel John Needham, receiving seven dollars a month. At twenty-eight years of age he made his first purchase of land, consisting of twenty and a half acres in the town of Fenner, adding to it from time to time until he had seventy acres. He afterward sold this farm, and bought the one of one hundred and fifty acres where he now lives, which is as handsome a place as any in the vicinity. He raises hay, barley, and corn with great success, and deals largely in sheep and cattle. Besides the usual farm buildings, he has a feed-mill, slaughter-house, and repair-shop.
He was married at the age of twenty-four to Thankful S. Wilber, who was a daughter of Willard Wilber, one of the early settlers of Fenner. Her father, a farmer, lived to be about eighty years of age, and is survived by three of his four children. To Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Barrett five sons have been born, of whom four are living: Willard W., of the town of Hamilton; Harvey M., residing at home; Frank 0., at Fort Atkinson, Wis.; Clarence A., in Oak Park, Ill. Mr. Barrett, is a thorough-going Republican; has been Collector of the town and Constable one year each, and for fourteen years has been Railroad Commissioner. Honest, whole-souled, liberal, actively interested in whatever pertains to the welfare of the community, he may well be set down as one of the best and most useful citizens of the town. His actions are guided by true manly principles, and he is an esteemed member of his social circle.
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