Barrett of 1867. was described as a little village situated in Marshall county about 87 miles west of St. Joseph Mo.
John C. Fremont crossed the Big Vermillion June 20, 1842, on his way to the mountains, at some point near where Barrett is now located, and made the following mention in his note-book: "We crossed at 10 A. M., the Big Vermillion, which has a rich bottom of about one mile in breadth, one-third of which is occupied by timber."
The first settler after the Frenchmen and their Sioux families, was G. H. Hollenberg, afterwards founder of Hollenberg, Washington County. He located in the fall of 1854 on a claim in Section 2, Township 5, Range 9. As there was at this time considerable California travel that way, Mr. Hollenberg opened a small store and stocked it with provisions and articles such as the immigration demanded.
John D. Wells, D. M. Levitt and Joseph Langdon were the next to settle on the Vermillion, in 1855.
In the spring of 1855, a colony of sixty members was organized at Cadiz, Ohio, with the intention of settling on the Vermillion in a body. They selected a tract of land five miles square, and as the government surveyors had not extended their surveys this far at that time, they laid out the five mile tract themselves. A. G. Barrett, D. C. Auld, John Roland, J. G. Radcliffe, W. S. Blackburn and a Mr. Poe, all members of the colony, settled on the five mile tract in the spring of 1855.
In 1858, the Trosper Brothers and others came in and located, and from that time to this the settlement of the Southern part of the county has been rapid.
Organization. -- Barrett was laid off as a town site in 1868-9, by A. G. Barrett, who deeded one-half of the site, forty acres, to the C. B. U. P. R. R. Co., who agreed to erect a depot and build a side-track. About $1,200 was donated by the neighborhood for the privilege of having a station at that point.
A post-office was established at Barrett in 1857, with E. Pugh as Postmaster, J. P. Farrant being the present post office official. During the time previous to the establishment of a post-office, the settlers obtained mail at St. Mary's Mission, Pottawatomie County, Ft. Riley, Davis County, and at Marysville.
A saw-mill was built by Joseph Langdon, on the Vermillion in 1856, and was operated for several years. In the winter of 1856, occurred one of the first births in the settlement -- a child of a Mrs. Teller having that honor. The first marriage ceremony took place in the summer of 1857, the contracting parties being Solon Jassen and Miss Wright. One of the first deaths was the wife of a Mr. Shirk, in 1857. The first religious services were held in 1857, in the old saw-mill, by various members of the "circuit riders." A Methodist class was organized in 1869, and attached to the Frankfort Circuit. Services were, and have been, held in the schoolhouse up to the present time by pastors having charge of the Frankfort organization.
Education. -- School District No. 1, was organized in 1859 and a small schoolhouse 14x20 feet, was built on the site of the present edifice; during the same year John Crawford had the honor of teaching the first term of school in the first legally organized district in the county. In the fall of 1869 a new building was erected at a cost of $3,000. This building is the largest one-story schoolhouse in the county, its dimensions being 30x46 feet.
In the summer of 1855, A. G. Barrett brought out a grist-mill from Ohio. He shipped it by steamer to Leavenworth, and hauled it around by the Ft. Riley road and the California trail, to the Vermillion. The mill commenced operations in the fall of the same year, and has been in successful operation to the present time. The present owner, J. Reodocker, purchased the mill of A. G. Barrett, in 1881, and has enlarged it, put in new machinery, and constructed a tunnel 400 feet long, to bring the water of the Vermillion to the mill, which had formerly been run by steam-power. The present building is two-stories high, 36x45 feet, and has three run of burrs.
HORACE L. SAGE, P. O. Barrett, born in New York, April 27, 1810. His father died in 1813; then Horace was sent to Massachusetts, where he remained until sixteen years of age. He then went back to his mother on the farm in New York, and remained there until he was twenty-two years of age, and in that State till 1827, when he moved to Knox County, Ill., and bought a half section of land, and remained there till 1869. He then removed to Kansas, where he has lived thirteen years, and has bought considerable land and settled others others on it, and when they gain enough to buy the land, then he sells it to them; they pay cash rent. Mr. Sage has accumulated a handsome fortune for his old age, now being in his seventy-third year.
established since 1857.
Barrett as described in 1917, in a book called History of Marchall County, Kansas by Emmae Forter.
BARRETT, One of the earliest settlements made in the county was that at Barrett, or as it was then known, Barrett's Mill.
A. G. Barrett, in 1857, carrying out an agreement with the Ohio Town Company, set up and operated a saw-mill, and the same year he put in a grist-mill. This mill was brought from Leavenworth to Barrett by ox team. The grist-mill was the only one in the county and deserved to be called the leading industry.
A postoffice was established in 1857 and H. W. Swift was appointed postmaster.
School district No. i was organized in 1858 and a small school house, fourteen by twenty-four, was built. The material and work were donated. Religious services were tirst held in the saw-mill, which was lighted by lanterns. After the school house was built, services were held in it by "circuit riders."
A small store furnished some necessary supplies to the settlers. With a school house, saw- and grist-mill, and a postoffice, Barrett's Mill became an important place. It was a little settlement of kindly, hospitable pioneers, and a gathering point fur people from all parts of the county.
In 1869 A. G. Barrett deeded one-half of the townsite forty acres to the Central Branch Union Pacific Railroad Company, the company agreeing to erect a de])Ot and Ijuild a side track. One thousand two hundred dollars was donated by neighboring farmers to have Barrett named as a station. That same fall a new school house, costing three thousand dollars, was built. It was the largest one-teacher school house in the county. Some new buildings were erected, but the town never grew greatly in importance. Many of the early-day settlers have long since gone to their reward and the advent of the railroads diverted trade to the larger towns of the county.
The one store in the town is now kept by William Montgomery. The old mill has been partially dismantled, only the frame work remaining. Mrs. Phoebe Van Vleit, a daughter of A. G. Barrett, lives there on the old place, and Mrs. Cy. Barrett, a daughter-in-law, is also a resident. A few years ago a Fourth of July celebration was held at Barrett and many old settlers
visited the place which, during the years from 1856 to the breaking out of the war, was the most prominent "free state" settlement west of the border counties. The names of Barrett, Leavitt, Auld, Osborne, Wells and Smith will always be historic names in Marshall county