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Madera Biographies: BARRETT


J. E. Barrett has been district manager of the San Joaquin Light and Power company at Madera for the last ten years. He is active in civic affairs, a past master of Madera lodge No. 280, F. and A. M., past president of the Lions club, and member of the American Legion.

James Eugene Barrett was born at Junction City, Kansas, September 16, 1889, the son of Charles Thomas and Lutie L. (James) Barrett. The family moved to California in the Nineties, first settling at Reedley, later at Antioch and then moved to Berkeley. Mr. Barrett’s father was a railroad man and telegraph operator. The young man attended school at Reedley and at Antioch, and the high school at Berkeley. He attended the University of California for two years, and then engaged in the electrical profession, following electrical powerhouse and sub-station work for the Great Western Power company, for about five years.

Mr. Barrett joined the San Joaquin Light and Power company in 1917, in the Selma district, and following the World war he became assistant manager of the Fresno district, and in 1923 he was transferred to Madera as district manager. During his administration, the power company erected the present, attractive building in Madera. Also during this period the gas distribution system of the Southern California Gas company was taken over by the power company and the present gas system for the city of Chowchilla was installed.

Mr. Barrett was married in 1921, to Ethel Lucy Sanderson of Parlier. They have two children: Floris Jean and James Gaylord, both born in Madera. Both Mr. and Mrs. Barrett are past officers of the Eastern Star.

Mr. Barrett enlisted for the World War in the 316th Signal Corps battalion, 91st division. He began his war service at Camp Lewis, Washington, and was transferred to Camp Alfred Vail, New Jersey, where he attended a radio school. From there he was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as second lieutenant Signal Corps, later transferred to Camp Meade, Maryland.

From the History of Fresno and Madera Counties, 1933, Joseph Barcroft, editor for Madera County.

Last update: February 4, 2000
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