Early Residents of Monrovia
George & Harriet Barry
Occupation: Newspaper publisher
Properties Owned: 115 E. Lime Avenue
George Barry was born in October 11, 1846 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and his wife Harriet was born in Wisconsin in 1885. Census records indicate they were 19 years old when they got married, which would have around 1904. It is unclear when they came to California, but Charles F. Davis reports in his book History of Monrovia that the Barrys came to Monrovia from Ventura, most likely to join A.E. Cronenwett in the publishing of the new Monrovia newspaper the Monrovia News.
Specifically, Cronenwett had established the paper in 1903 and involved Harriet Barry with the editorial department, specializing in society news (Wiley 92). Cronenwett sold the paper to the Monrovia Publishing Company, which had been formed in October of 1906 specifically to take over the Monrovia News. The officers of the company were A.P. Seymour, president; Paran F. Rice, vice president; Hugh Sutherland, treasurer; and George A. Barry, secretary. Barry also served as editor and manager of the paper, while his wife did much of the writing.
The location of the Monrovia News was originally on East Olive, but around 1911, it was changed to 115 E. Lime Avenue, and the Barrys lived there, as well as working there. At this time, the newspaper was renamed the Monrovia Daily News.
The 1908-1909 Monrovia directory has them living at the La Vista Grande Hotel. In 1910, they were living somewhere on South Myrtle, and in 1911, they are listed at the 115 E. Lime address where they lived for many years.
Besides the News, the Barrys also put out the following publications: the Weekly Monrovian, Pacific Poultry Craft, and Harriet’s specialty, California Woman’s Bulletin.
The Barrys were also active in the community. In 1909, George Barry was nominated to act as officer and director of the Board of Trade (Los Angeles Herald, May 17, 1909), and Harriet Barry was an active member of the Saturday Afternoon Club.
According to his own account, Charles F. Davis arrived in Monrovia shortly before World War I and was associated for a short time with the Barrys publications, but he left the Monrovia Daily News in 1919. The Barrys carried on with a small staff until 1922, when they sold the paper to C.C. Howard. They continued living in at least part of the brick structure at 115 E. Lime because their address changes to 115 ½ E. Lime.
No death dates have so far been found for them.
The Barrys had two sons: Richard Hayes, born September 21, 1881, became an author and lived most of his life in New York. He married a women named Elizabeth, and there seems to have been no children from this marriage. Their other son, Griffin Randolph, wrote and also worked overseas for the American Red Cross. He married Dora Winifred Black, and they had two children, Roderick and Harriet. No death date has been discovered yet for Richard, but Griffin died of an aneurysm in London, England in 1957.