This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In accordance with a plan formed a few years ago, to give to our readers, as a frontispiece to the annual volume, a portrait of some one of our own times who may have been distinguished in horticultural literature, we now offer one of Mr. P. Barry, whose pen has had a widespread influence on the great advance which horticulture has made in America during the past quarter of a century. In fruit culture especially, Mr. Barry's services stand pre eminent. He had long been known as an effective writer through papers in different periodicals, when in 1852 his first great work " The Fruit Garden" appeared. This was so popular that another edition was issued in 1855. In 1852, Mr. A. J. Downing was drowned during the burning of the Henry Clay on the Hudson River, and the Horticulturist, which with Mr. Luther Tucker, of Albany, he had established, was purchased by James Vick, and edited by Mr. Barry, in whose hands it remained two years, until 1854, when it was sold to the Smiths in Philadelphia. The greatest work of Mr. Barry, however, is probably the "Catalogue of the American Pomological Society," the preparation of which, as chairman of the committee, has been chiefly his work. This is the great guide for American fruit culturists, and has long been the admiration of the world.
Until recently the association had a vice-president from every State, but no one especially designated as vice president of the whole body. The office was created a few years ago, and Mr. Barry unanimously chosen as first vice president, to which office he was re-elected at the last meeting.
He has also taken an active interest in agricultural affairs, has been President of the New York State Agricultural Society, and is at present a member of the Board of Control of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.
As a nurseryman, Mr. Barry's career is well known; and in connection with Mr Ellwanger is regarded as among the remarkable horticultural events of our times. Yet this success has not been the result of mere favorable circumstances, as some young men are apt to believe, but by the steady cultivation of honest business ability, which is within the reach of all who persistently try to deserve success. Indeed there are many who had much greater early horticultural advantages than Mr. Barry, for it was not till after his immigration from the Old World that he turned his attention to horticultural pursuits. His father was a farmer near the city of Belfast, Ireland, where Patrick Barry was born in 1816. He was given a good education, and at eighteen was appointed school master of one of the national schools. Two years later he resigned in order to try his fortune in the New World. In his twentieth year we find him acting as clerk in the then celebrated Linnaean nurseries of the Princes at Flushing, in which capacity he served four years, having achieved in that time, with his wonderful facilities for learning, a thorough knowledge of the nursery business.
Fixing on Rochester as the most eligible location, he formed a partnership with Mr. Ellwanger, and started business on seven acres of land. This was in July, 1840, and was the foundation of the celebrated Mount Hope nurseries. As in the case of so many men who seem not to have a moment to spare, Mr. Barry has been often called on to serve his fellow citizens in public capacities. He has served many years in the City Council of Rochester, and as a member of the Board of Supervisors of Monroe County. Besides all this, and the time necessary to the oversight of his great business, he busies himself in many enterprises tending to the prosperity of Rochester. At the time of the visit of the writer of this sketch to Rochester, with his brother nurserymen in June last, he was acting as President of the Rochester City and Brighton Railroad Company, President of the Flour City National Bank, President of the Mechanics' Savings' Bank, President of the Rochester Gas Company, President of the Powers' Hotel Company, and possibly interested in as many more. In his domestic relations Mr. Barry has been happy.
Marrying in 1847 the wife who has shared with him the hardships, the successes, and the honor of his career, they both have lived to see, in their descendants, children who are doing honor to their name. Let us hope that they may yet both be spared for many years to continue honoring humanity by their useful lives.