SAMUEL J. BARROWS
The first American ancestor of the subject of this sketch was John Barrus, who came with his wife Anna from Yarmouth, England, in 1637, and settled in Salem, Mass. His and several succeeding generations rendered the name Barrus, but like many other family names has become Americanized into Barrows, which has prevailed for the last hundred years. John Barrus, by his second wife, Deborah, had three children: Joshua, Beniger, and Ebenezer, and died in Plymouth, Mass., in 1692. Ebenezer Barrus married Elizabeth Lyon, settled in Attleboro, Mass., and was the father of Abraham, who was born there February 11, 1714. Abraham Barrus removed to Cumberland, R. L, where all his children, nine in number, were born. In 1765 he moved to Richmond, Cheshire County, N. H. His son, Jeremiah Barrus, was born in Cumberland, R. L, October 17, 1756, married Prudence Shafter on December 4, 1783, lived mainly in Richmond, N. H., had nine children, and fought in the ranks of the Continental army at the battles of Bunker Hill, Trenton, Princeton, and Bennington. He was the last of the Revolutionary soldiers who died in the town of Richmond, his death occurring October 25, 1850, at the age of ninety-four. He was a member of Capt. Oliver Capron's militia company from Richmond, N. H., which joined Col. Ephriam Doolittle's regiment, being commissioned at Cambridge June 12, 1775. The roll of this company appears in the return there of October 6, 1775, when stationed at Winter Hill in Cambridge, and may be found in the Adjutant-General's office in Boston, and is probably the only record of the company now. extant. The company, soon after this return was made, returned to their homes, with the exception of some who enlisted in the Continental army, among whom was Jeremiah Barrus. Mellen Barrows, son of Jeremiah and father of Samuel J., was born in Warwick, Franklin county, Mass., February 29, 1786, but spent his early life with the family in Richmond, N. H. He served in the war of 1812, being stationed at Portsmouth, N. H., and drew a pension for many years before his death, as did also his father for services in the Revolution. August 12 1810, he married Lucy, daughter of Ichabod and Chloe (Kempton) Whipple, jr., of Richmond, whose great-grandfather, Nathaniel Whipple, came there from Cumberland, R. L, in 1767. About 1815, after the last war with Great Britian had closed, Mellen Barrows moved with his family to McDonough, Chenango county, N. Y., where he died October 31, 1877, and where his wife's death occurred about 1875. He was a farmer, a staunch Democrat of the Jeffersonian school, a man of decided character, and liberally endowed with the ennobling qualities of native New Englanders. His wife was an exemplary Christian woman, and both were highly respected in the community where they spent most of their active lives.
Hon. Samuel Jones Barrows, son of Mellen and Lucy (Whipple) Barrows, was born in the town of McDonough, Chenango county, and spent his boyhood on the parental farm, helping his father and brothers in all kinds of work pertaining to farming until he reached his majority. He was the youngest of five sons and represents the sixth generation of his family. His education was obtained at odd intervals in the district and select schools of his native town, and the knowledge thus acquired was supplemented by a few months in the Academy at Norwich, N. Y. When twenty- one he taught a district school in an adjoining town for a short time, and in 1848 came to Utica to read law in the office of the late Hon. Joshua A. Spencer and Hon. Francis Kernan. He had decided upon entering the legal profession at a very early age, but the determination formed when a mere lad was carried out by him only after the utmost self-sacrifice and constant effort. His father being in moderate circumstances he was obliged to practice economy and rely solely upon his own resources. He was admitted to the bar at the Utica General Term in 1851 and after- wards acted as managing clerk in the office of the late judge Ward Hunt for one year. In 1852 he entered actively upon the practice of his profession in Utica, where: he has ever since resided, and where he has attained the reputation of being one of the ablest lawyers in the county. As attorney and counsellor he has been uniformly successful, and probably no practitioner has lost a smaller number of cases, a fact which well illustrates his long professional career.
Mr. Barrows was elected city attorney for the city of Utica in 1853 and held that office for one term. He also served as attorney and counsel for the board of excise of the county of Oneida from 1857 to 1870, when the law was changed from county to town and city boards. He held the office of corporation counsel for the city of Utica for five consecutive terms, from March, 1879, till March, 1884, being first appointed by a Republican and afterward by a Democratic council, and it is to his credit and ability as a lawyer that the city, while he was its counsel, never paid any damages or costs in any action which he defended. Mayor James Miller, in his valedictory on retiring from office in March, 1882, said: "It is sufficient in reference to the corporation counsel to state that the city has not lost a suit which he has conducted. The amount expended for costs and fees during the three terms he has held the position was $176.17. During the preceeding three years it was $4,250.72. These figures require no comment." The costs and expenses of running the office during the five terms of Mr. Barrows's incumbency amounted to about $256. After the expiration of his term of office the Sunday Tribune, said: "It is an undisputed fact that he was the most successful corporation council that the city has ever had." In 1889 he was elected mayor of the city of Utica on the Democratic ticket and held that office one term. During that term many noteworthy public improvements were made or inaugurated. Asphalt pavements costing over $150, 000 were laid, iron pipe was laid under the Erie canal in West Utica at an expense of about $8,500, the Third and Seventh wards sewer outlet in West Utica was constructed at a cost of about $50,000, the motive power of the Utica Belt Line Street railway was changed from horse to electricity, and the abandoned Chenango canal lands were sold for $23,236, leaving about $6,000 above expenses with which to deepen Nail creek, build some bridges and replenish the city fund. The total amount of public improvements during his term as mayor was about $270,000, and in all of these Mr. Barrows labored unstintingly for the best interests of the city and its future welfare. He manifested a progressive spirit, a thorough knowledge of municipal affairs, and an honest desire to give an able, economical, and business administration. That his efforts have proven successful are evident, for time has demonstrated the soundness of his advice and the efficacy of his achievements.
All these offices came to Mr. Barrows unsought, and after serving for the periods mentioned, he declined re-election or appointment. He retired from official life to devote his entire attention to the general practice of the law and resume those professional duties which had been temporarily interrupted. He was elected a member of the Oneida Historical Society April 25, 1887. He has been twice married, his present wife being Mrs. Isabella Grace Lowery, daughter of John Gourley, deceased, late of Ogdensburg, N. Y.