Barret Family Collection
Western Kentucky University Library special CollectionsBowling Green, Kentucky, 42101-3576 USA
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item] Barret Family Collection, 1877-1926, MSS 46,Library Special Collections, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green.
1/2 box, 5 folders, 44 items.
John G. Barret, d. 1890, received his law degree from the University of Louisville in 1852 and was one of the organizers of the Citizens National Bank, now Citizens Fidelity Bank and Trust Company, Louisville, Kentucky. He was also a founder of the Louisville Central Presbyterian Church and the Louisville American Printing House for the Blind. In 1855 he married Ann Eliza Rodes, 1828-1915, sister of Robert Rodes, Sr., in Danville, Kentucky.
Of their three children, Amanda, 1856-1931, Clifton Rodes, 1859-1926, and Henri, 1861-1900, only Henri married. Her husband, Richard Montfort, 1854-1931, was born March 4, 1854, in Ireland, son of Dr. Henry and Elizabeth (Colles) Montfort. Richard was educated in Dublin, graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1876, and came to the United States that same year. He worked with the Louisville Bridge & Iron Company until 1880 when he became bridge engineer for the L & N Railroad, was promoted to chief engineer in 1887, and then to consulting engineer in 1905.
The only child of Henri and Richard Montfort, John Barret, was born March 6, 1890. Following his mother's death in 1900, Barret lived with his father and his aunt Amanda (Emmie) in Cherokee Park, Louisville. Barret graduated from the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1907, received his degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York in 1913, and then studied law at the University of Virginia. He was an army engineering officer in World War I, serving in France. After the war, he joined the Chemical National Bank of New York and later became head of its trust division. He moved to England in 1933, continuing his association with the bank. In 1939 he moved to Canada, where he remained active in real estate and businessuntil his death in New York City on September 12, 1962.
Twenty-one World War I letters, chiefly from France, an 1883 European travel journal, notebooks, photos, and miscellaneous papers of the Barret and Montfort families of Louisville, Kentucky, comprise the collection. The majority of the materials concern Henri Barret, 1861-1900; civil engineer Richard Montfort, 1854-1931, Henri's husband; and their son Barret Montfort, 1890-1962, who was an army engineer, banker, and businessman.
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