New York–Barry was born near Belfast, Ireland in 1816 and was a teacher
in Ireland, but at 21 years old he went to seek his fortune in America.
He arrived in New York in May 1836 and worked with William Prince and Sons,
proprietors of the Linnaean Nursery, Flushing, NY. There Barry got
a solid foundation in American horticulture. In the summer of 1840
he negotiated a partnership with George Ellwanger in Rochester, NY.
Ellwanger & Barry were the proprietors of the Mount Hope Nurseries.
In 1842 Barry wrote an article on “Horticulture in Western New York,” in
which he criticized the refusal of the judges at the State Agricultural
Society Fair of 1842 to award fruit prizes. In 1844 Barry took the
post of editor of the Horticultural Department of the Genesee Farmer
and continued there for eight years. In 1847 Barry journeyed through
Europe, visiting all the leading nurserymen and studied their methods for
pruning. Shortly after his return he started writing The Fruit
Garden that was published in 1851. In 1849, Barry gave the annual
meeting address to the Genesee Valley Horticultural Society that met at
the Monroe County Agricultural Society’s fair. Barry was editor
of The Horticulturist for 1853 and 1854. He was president
of the Western New York Horticultural Society for more than thirty years;
president of the New York Agricultural Society; president of the Rochester
City & Mechanics Savings Bank; Rochester Gas Co.; and Powers Hotel
Co. In 1877 he served as the president of the State Agricultural
Society. He died June 23, 1890.