Robert Barry

Robert Barry was born on April 23 or 28, 1823, in Killarnock, Scotland.

Robert married Jean or Jane Kilpatrick (1822-1898) on June 6, 1845, in New Milne, Scotland, and they had at least eight children: Jeanette, Robert, Florence (1867-1867), John C. (1851-1887), Albert (1854-1921), Alfred E. (b. 1855), Margaret or Maryette (b. 1857) and Warren D. (b. 1859).

Two years after their marriage Robert, his wife and an infant child were just about to leave for America along with Jean’s family, John and Janet Kilpatrick and their children, when at the last minute Robert was taken ill with smallpox and remained behind in Scotland. Jean, their child and Jean’s family arrived first in Montreal, Canada, where the baby died, and Jean’s family moved on to Michigan. A year later Jean joined her family in Woodland, Barry County, Michigan, and shortly afterwards she was joined by Robert.

By 1850 the Kilpatricks had settled in Woodland, Barry County, where they worked a farm. (The Kilpatricks would remain in Woodland, Barry County.) One source reported that the Barry family settled in Kent County on a farm where they lived for about 12 years, and Robert then moved his family to a farm in Sunfield Township, Eaton County, where he would spend most of the rest of his life. In fact, however, Robert and his wife and four children were living on a farm in Sunfield in 1860.

Robert stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 41-year old farmer possibly living in Sunfield, when he enlisted in Company E, on January 12, 1864, at Grand Rapids (or possibly Woodland) for 3 years, crediting Sunfield, and was mustered the same day. (It was the same company two of his relatives by marriage Andrew and James Kilpatrick had joined in 1861.) He joined the Regiment on February 1 or 10, and was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Robert returned to western Michigan and lived most of his postwar life in Sunfield. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and several children in Vermontville, Sunfield Township and by 1880 he was living with his wife and child in Sunfield Township, working as a farmer. He was probably living in Dellwood, Sunfield Township in Eaton County in 1889, 1890 and 1891 and in Sunfield in 1894. He attended the Paris Exposition in 1880 the same year he visited his boyhood home in Scotland.

After his wife died in 1898 Robert went to live with his son Albert, who probably resided in Woodland. He eventually remarried Mrs. Lydia Mast, who died in 1903. Soon afterwards Robert went to live with his daughter, Mrs. F. P. Turner of Sunfield.

Robert became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in 1891.

In 1891 he applied for and received a pension (no. 748923), drawing $12.00 per month in 1891 and increased to $27.00 per month by 1912.

Robert died, probably of arteriosclerosis, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. F. P. Turner, in Sunfield, Eaton County on February 21, 1913, and funeral services were held at the Kilpatrick church (probably in Woodland), on Tuesday, February 25, officiated by Rev. Jarvis of Lake Odessa. Robert was buried in Woodland Memorial Park cemetery, Barry County.

He left 15 grand-children and 3 great-grandchildren, and was remembered as a gentle man, particularly during his final years when he was suffering from the effects of a debilitating illness. “He always had a smile for everyone,” noted one source.