J. A. and A. J. BARRETT, the proprietors of a prominent dry goods store of Bolivar, are natives of Hardeman County. Their parents, John and Sauna (Birkhead) BARRETT, were born in North Carolina and came to West Tennessee when small with their parents, who were among the very early settlers. After marriage Mr. BARRETT located in Hardeman County; was one of the best known and most enterprising agriculturists in the section. He belonged to no church. He was a Democrat. His career ended in 1885. Mrs. Barrett, who is still living, is a devout member of the Methodist Church; she has been the mother of nine children — five sons and four daughters. Three of the boys, Anderson, Thomas and Kindred, served in the Confede rate Army. The second, after passing safely through all the dangers and hardships of four years’ warfare, met a sad and shocking death. He was killed by the “Home Guards,” who mistook him for a man for whom they were lying in waiting.
J. A., the senior member of the firm, was born March 12, 1852. He received a good education in the common schools. When about eighteen years of age he began the mercantile business as salesman. Failing in health he went west, and spent about four years in roaming. In 1880 he returned to Bolivar greatly improved, and sold goods in the house which he now occupies. In 1885 the existing partnership, under the name of Barrett Bros., was formed. A. J., the junior member, was born March 12, 1857. His early education was acquired in the common schools; afterward he attended the Henderson High School and Conference School at Montezuma. After his return he spent four years as a clerk, two years as traveling salesman and six years in Arkansas. Since 1885 he has been engaged with his brother as above stated. The Barrett brothers are warm Democrats, and wide-awake, accommodating, able, businessmen. They are having a flourishing trade. Their ancestors were of Scotch-Irish extraction.
Transcribed by David Donahue
Source: Goodspeed Pub. Co. History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present ; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Fayette and Hardeman Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Nashville: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1887.