Town of BarryMon, May 28, 2018 in Kansas City
The area about a mile south of my home in northern Kansas City, on the other side of Highway 152, was once the town of Barry, now remembered by the major east-west thoroughfare having been renamed Barry Road. Founded in 1829 the frontier town was named for the then US Postmaster General.
There were a few buildings constructed as early as 1822, 14 years prior to the area immediately to the west being acquired by the United States in the Platte Purchase. The most well known settler from Barry was Peter Hardeman Burnett.
Burnett had little formal education and taught himself law and government, owning the general store before begin a career in law that included defending Joseph Smith. Burnett argued for a change of venue, during which Smith and his companions escaped and made their way to Illinois. Moving west in the 1840s Burnett was a state legislator in Oregon, where he helped pass African-American exclusion laws. During the California Gold Rush he moved to California, met the son of gold discoverer John Sutter, and was quickly employed selling land in the new city of Sacramento. He went on to be the first civilian governor of California, establishing cabinet posts and appointing senators for the new state, and saw most of his exclusion and anti-immigration legislative efforts fail.
Nothing noticeable remains of Barry beyond the basic road layout. Road widening in the 1980s removed whatever was left of the town. The rural two lane Barry and Baugham Streets were replaced by five and four lane boulevards. Old Stagecoach Road is still fairly narrow leading into a residential development, nearly hidden from the large intersection.