Dorchester Illustration 2322 Henry J. Barry

2322 Henry Barry

Dorchester Illustration no. 2322        Henry J. Barry

At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of World War 1. Using a collection of photographs we have of World War 1 Dorchester residents, we will be featuring servicemen and women in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit which highlights these men and women and their service to our country.

We are so excited to be sharing our next biography for Henry J. Barry. After seeing our posts about World War I Dorchester veterans, Henry’s daughter Marion Barry Callinan provided scans of photographs of her father.  We are happy to feature him and honor this World War I veteran!


Mrs. Marion (Barry) Callinan found out about our World War I Dorchester servicemen project and asked if we would honor her father by featuring him in a short biography. She even came to meet us and brought some of her father’s medals for us to look at. We were happy to oblige and add Henry to our collective memory of Dorchester’s World War I veterans!

John Henry Barry was born on March 3, 1898 to parents Henry and Maria (Davis) Barry who were living at 3 Savin Hill Avenue in Dorchester. To his family, he was always known as Henry.

Henry enlisted in the National Guard in June of 1916 when he was 18 years old. This was shortly after Mexico’s attack on the United States by the famed general, Pancho Villa. Henry served with the Mexican Border Service as a part of Company “C” in the 9th Massachusetts Infantry of the National Guard. However, war with Mexico never came and Henry returned to Massachusetts only to get ready for an imminent war with Germany.

Henry mustered out on April 4, 1917 as a private, just two days before President Wilson and the United States officially declared war on Germany. He served in the 101st Infantry Division until he was discharged in April of 1919. While he was in the Army, he was involved in a number of engagements, all in France, including: Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, and St. Mihiel. When he was honorably discharged in 1919, Henry moved back home with his parents in Dorchester. He received commendations for his service from both Mayor of Boston, James Michael Curley, and Massachusetts Governor Samuel McCall.

Sometime in the early 1920s, Henry married Florence Raithel. In 1930, they were living at 192 Savin Hill Avenue in the Savin Hill neighborhood of Dorchester with their four children: John (6), Paul (5), Harold (3) “aka” Hap, and Arthur (0). Henry is listed on the United States Census as a “line-o-typer” in the newspaper industry and listed as a World War I veteran. In 1940, not much has changed; the family is still living on Savin Hill Avenue with Henry working in the newspaper industry. But now, the Barry’s are a family of seven, having had a daughter, Marion, who is now 6.

Henry stayed in Dorchester for the rest of his life, until he died suddenly on June 20, 1980 at the age of 82. His obituary indicates that he was a printer for the Boston Post and the Herald Traveler. He was a member of the Boston Typographical Union No. 13 and retired in 1965 from the Herald Traveler. He was a grandfather of 10 when he died and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Mattapan. As of 2017, the Barry family house on Savin Hill Avenue had been sold and Henry’s children, Marion (83) and John (93) are still living in Massachusetts.

Sources: 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2012. Massachusetts Birth Records, 1840-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2013. Massachusetts, Death Index, 1901-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2013. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2011.

Military, Compiled Service Records. World War I. Carded Records. Records of the Military Division of the Adjutant General’s Office, Massachusetts National Guard.

“Henry J. Barry” obituary, Boston Globe, June 21, 1980.


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