Barry House

217 Cedar Avenue     (View on map)

Image credit: St. Charles Public Library
This stone building, constructed in 1850, lost any evidence of its original state many years ago. The limestone exterior of the Greek Revival residence has been covered with stucco and the original interior has been significantly altered.

Judge William D. Barry built this house ten years after his arrival in St. Charles. Barry was born in Oneida County, New York in 1809. As a young man, Barry was a stage coach driver and New York State prison attendant. He studied medicine and received his medical license from the New York Medical Society in 1835.

Barry's law career began in 1835 when he abandoned medicine and moved to Ohio to study law. Barry was elected State's Attorney for Henry County, Ohio just one month after being admitted to the Ohio bar.

William Barry became a prominent legal expert after moving to St. Charles in April of 1840. Barry established law offices at Minard Hall, and it was there that many local attorneys studied law under his guidance. William Barry served as a Kane County judge from 1857-1861, and again from 1869-1872. He practiced law in Kane County through the early 1900s. Samuel Durant wrote in the Biographical and Historical Record of Kane County, Illinois (1888) that "Judge W.D. Barry is one of the oldest, best known and most honored citizens of the city of St. Charles."

 Judge Barry was acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, and it is thought that Lincoln might have stayed the night at this residence prior to his presidency.


For additional photographs see:

St. Charles Illinois p 10

See also:

Minard Hall/Judge Barry's Law Office


  • Clauter, Hazel. Our Community--St. Charles. 1967.
  • 1888 Biographical and Historical Record of Kane County, Illinois (CD-ROM) p. 560-561.
  • Joslyn, R. Waite and Frank W. Joslyn. History of Kane County Illinois, Vol. I. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Co., 1908. pp. 449, 477, 499.