History of Idaho, Volume 3, by Hiram T. French, M.S.
The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York 1914, Page 1146
Holding prominent position among the leading men of Wendell, Idaho, as well as of the country round about, is Harry E. Barrett, president of the First National Bank, of Wendell. The success of this bank, now well assured, is due in large measure to the foresight of Mr. Barrett, who was quick to realize the need of some sort of financial institution in the new town, and he delayed but little in establishing the First National Bank. He has since then engineered the destinies of the concern in a manner to win him not only the admiration of his associates, but to bring prosperity to the bank as well. It is regarded today as one of the most reliable and substantial institutions in the county, and under the guidance of Mr. Barrett, who is manifestly progressive in his ideas and methods, is fast forging to the front. Mr. Barrett's well known devotion to modern methods is everywhere evident in his other business interests, even more than in his financial activities, a certain well planned conservatism marking his conduct of the bank, which is entirely as it should be.
Harry E. Barrett was born on August 28, 1869, in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, and is the son of Spencer P. and Anna (Elkins) Barrett. The father was born in Pennsylvania, and there grew to manhood, becoming a farmer and spending some years of early manhood in his native state. In 1874 he sold his farm and came West, settling in Pottawatomie county, Kansas, where he became a prosperous ranch and stock man, and living there for many years. He also purchased farm lands in other sections of the state and became a property owner in Lawrence, Kansas. These latter properties he retained when he decided to go West, but he sold all his Pottawatomie county holdings. This move he made in 1909, locating in Lincoln county, Idaho, where he purchased a ranch. His property has since then increased very materially through his wise and efficient management, and he himself has become a widely known and highly respected citizen of Lincoln county, where he now lives with his family. The mother was born in Ireland, and came to America with her parents at the age of seven years. They became the parents of eight children, six of whom are living. Of these Harry E. Barrett is the second eldest. William Barrett was for six years a missionary to Korea, being a minister of the Presbyterian church. He now resides in South Dakota. Arthur P. Barrett is also a minister of the Presbyterian faith, and was for five years a missionary in Siam, but is now residing in Pratt, Kansas. Both brothers were forced to resign from the foreign field service because of their loss of health. Frank P. Barrett is a practicing physician. Elsie Barrett is a teacher in the public schools of Wendell. George Barrett is professor of chemistry and physics at the Lewiston high school, at Lewiston, Idaho.
The early education of Harry E. Barrett was obtained in the schools of Kansas, where his parents took up their abode when he was practically a babe. He attended the Wamego high school, from which he was graduated, and whence he went to Campbell University, at Holton, Kansas. He later attended Washburn College at Topeka, Kansas, and so at the age of twenty-three he found himself equipped with an excellent education. The first use he made of his training was as a teacher in the public schools of Pottawatomie county, where he remained for five years. Although he was entirely successful in the work, the life of a pedagog did not make a sufficiently strong appeal to hold him to it indefinitely, and when he was elected to the position of county engineer, he willingly gave up his educational work. He filled the position of county engineer for nine years, then went to Seattle, Washington, where he engaged in civil engineering for a year. Receiving an offer as assistant cashier of the Payette National Bank, Mr. Barrett accepted it, and here found the work for which he was clearly adapted. He remained in Payette until November 21, 1908, when he came to Wendell at the opening of the town site, and here became one of the organizers of the First State Bank of Wendell. In 1909 this became the First National Bank of Wendell, the name by which it is now known. Mr. Barrett was cashier of the First State Bank, and is president of its successor, as well as being the largest stockholder in the concern.
In addition to his banking interests, Mr. Barrett is a large land owner, possessing two fine ranches, a considerable amount of city realty and a fine home in Wendell. In Westmoreland, Kansas, Mr. Barrett was for eight years a member of the directorate of the Farmers' State Bank, and his experience there has been invaluable in the years of his later identification with banks and banking. In politics Mr. Barrett is a Republican, but not active in the party ranks. He is a member of the Masonic order, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Modern Woodmen of America.
On June 28, 1898, Mr. Barrett was married to Miss Bessie Leland, who was born in Kansas. They have one daughter, Helen lone, born in May, 1910.