The Valley of Heart's Delight



SURNAMES:  Fenton, Callahan

MRS. CATHERINE E. BARRY.--The memory of a public-spirited man who was widely known for his keen interest in the general welfare of the community, state and nation, is revived in the life-story of Mrs. Catherine E. Barry of  490 North Fourth Street, San Jose, the highly-esteemed widow of John T. Barry, a New Englander who came here as a veritable pioneer. She was born in far-off New Zealand, the daughter of Patrick Fenton, of County Cork, Ireland, who had married Miss Ellen Callahan also of that county, while they were still on the green soil of Erin. They then sailed for New Zealand, and for three years followed farming in that co-untry; and after that they migrated to Chile, South America. and for six years continued agricultural pursuits there.

In 1849, stirred up by the world-wide excitement over the discovery of gold in California, Mr. and Mrs. Fenton came to San Francisco and engaged in business until 1856; then they settled on a ranch about six miles north of Santa Clara in the vicinity of the present site of Agnew. There they had about 200 acres, and they devoted the land to the raising of grain. They did so well that Mr. Fenton continued there until he died at the age of sixty years; and Miss Catherine was living on this ranch at the time she was married.

She had attended the Dominican Convent at Benicia and was a cultured, accomplished young lady when, on August 15, 1868, at Santa Clara, she was married to John T. Barry a native of Boston, Mass., who had come out to California in 1856. He had not only attended the excellent grammar schools of the "City of Culture", but he had enjoyed a college education as well in the New England metropolis, and hence was just the kind of timber wanted for commonwealth building. After their marriage, they took up their residence in San Francisco, and there for twenty years Mr. Barry was connected with the San Francisco Monitor. In 1901 Mrs. Barry removed to San Jose, and here she has lived ever since. Mr. Barry, who died in Sacramento, in 1894, was always alive to everything that would contribute to community uplift, and as a stanch Democrat, he worked hard for civic reform. Mrs. Barry, also as a stand-pat Democrat, has endeavored to continue this good work, and from her hospitable home where she has lived since returning to San Jose, she has sent out much influence for the benefits of others.

Two children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Barry. Marcella J. is an instructor, well trained and very popular with the pupils of the Horace Mann School in San Jose; while the son, Charles J. Barry has been connected for twenty years with the Hibernian Bank in San Francisco.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 446

SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY-The Valley of Heart's Delight