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More About Amelia Edith Barr
"Noted Novelist and Resident of Richmond Hill"
Researched by Carl
The following Newspaper Articles researched by Historian
Carl Ballenas prove testament to the remarkable literary life of the Author/Novelist
Amelia Edith Barr.
AMELIA EDITH BARR
(Courtesy the Lucy Ballenas
Richmond Hill Record
Friday, July 24, 1914
MRS. BARR COMES HERE TO LIVE
Noted Novelist Will Make Her Home
On Greenwood Avenue
It will be of interest to every one in Richmond Hill, and to thousands
of people elsewhere, to know that Mrs. Amelia E. Barr, the celebrated novelist,
has become a resident of Richmond Hill. Mrs. Barr recently sold her beautiful
place, "Cherry Croft," on Storm King Mountain and has taken up residence
on Greenwood Avenue. Mrs. Barr's books have delighted two generations of
readers and will go on giving pure and genuine pleasure to lovers of good
stories for all time to come. And not the least interesting, by any means,
is her autobiography, "All the Days of My Life," published only a year
or two ago, the remarkable life story of a remarkable woman.
Richmond Hill Record
Friday, April 9, 1915
MRS. BARR BUSY AT 84
Visits Princeton on Her Birthday
And is soon to Issue 65th Novel
Mrs. Amelia E. Barr celebrated her 84th birthday on Monday of last week
by a trip to Princeton, N. J., where she was a guest of Col. William E.
Libbey, of Princeton University, who was her pupil in school many years
ago. On her return to her home in Richmond Hill Mrs. Barr was the recipient
of many messages of congratulations. Mrs. Barr expects to finish her sixty-fifth
novel next week.
The Brooklyn Times quotes Mrs. Barr as saying recently: "I keep my
health because I keep my illusions. I do not believe that every one is
false. I will not believe that hope tells a flattering tale or that friendship
is only a name, or that true love has fled from the earth and that the
fear of God has vanished. Love is life. So much love, so much life, and
few women, have been so well loved as I."
Richmond Hill Record
Friday April 5, 1918
AMELIA BARR IS 88
EVENT QUIETLY CELEBRATED
BY AUTHORESS IN HOME
Thinks the War will Prove Beneficial
With eighty-seven busy, useful years to her credit, Mrs. Amelia E. Barr,
the novelist, who celebrated her most recent birthday at her home here
last Saturday, has more spirit than many youth on the very threshold of
life. Her confidence that great good is to come out of the war, her belief
in human nature and her remarkable activity are all shown in statements
she made while enjoying the celebration of her natal day at her home.
"This war, terrible as it is, is going to be a good thing for America,
I think." said Mrs. Barr. "The men are coming back from battle better men
than when they went in, and the women are going to rise to meet them."
"Have you ever noticed," she continued with a twinkle, "that whenever
there is a demand for any type of woman whatsoever, that type immediately
appears in great numbers? Of course," she went on more seriously, "the
war is arousing women; too awakening their spirit of self sacrifice".
"Then you were not pleased with American women previous to the war?"
she was asked.
"Well, I haven't much patience with women who go trotting about attending
to politics and everything else but what they are supposed to," confessed
Mrs. Barr. "If a woman stays at home, bears children, nurses them and brings
them up as she should, and reads and cultivates herself so that she will
not be a fool beside them when they are grown up, she will not have much
time for anything else."
"The trouble with American women is that they have lost their religion,"
she continued thoughtfully. "A woman who does not have religion, I do not
insist on any special creed, is not worth the food she eats. Yes, I believe
the war is going to make us all more religious."
Mrs. Barr, mother of fifteen children and the author of nearly eighty
books, published three novels last year, and has just sent a fourth to
the publisher. "I suppose I shall begin on another as soon as I get rested,"
"Not until this study has been housecleaned," interrupted her daughter
with a stern glance.
The remarkable woman laughed. "I won't let them touch anything when
I am working," she said.
Mrs. Barr has not been outside her home here for two years, but she
goes very actively about, giving an eye to the details of her housekeeping.
"The outside world comes in to me," she said. "People come to see em
from all parts of the country, and I receive so many wonderful letters
that I feel very rich and happy."
Richmond Hill Record
Wednesday, March 15, 1919
MRS. BARR IS DEAD
FAMOUS AUTHORESS DIES AT
HER HOME IN RICHMOND HILL
Her Career was a Notable One
Mrs. Amelia Edith Barr, the famous novelist, and the author of more
than 70 books, died Monday night in her 88th year at her residence, 8524
110th Street. Mrs. Barr's last novel "The Paper Cup" was completed in June,
1918, and she had been ill since that time. She is survived by three daughters,
Mrs. Kirk Monroe, wife of the writer of popular stories for boys; Mrs.
Edward Munro, and Miss Alice Ellen Barr.
Mrs. Barr was born at Ulverton, Lancashire, Eng., on March 29, 1831.
Her father, the Rev. Dr. William Henry Huddleston, was a scholar and preacher
of eloquence, having descended from a family of Saxon extraction, whose
paternal members for generations had either been seamen or preachers of
the Gospel. The girl's education was begun under the supervision of her
father, with whom she was in close sympathy. He was a regular contributor
to English reviews and the child was brought up in a literary atmosphere.
At the age of 6 years she is said to have known intimately the tales of
the Arabian Nights, and in those days Jacob Abbott's "Young Christian"
was one of her prized books.
In speaking of books Mrs. Barr often said that to them she owed all
she knew. At 17, she entered a famous Free Kirk Seminary in Glasgow, where
she remained until her marriage to Robert Barr in 1850.
A few years after her marriage, Mrs. Barr, her husband and two children
came to America, first locating in New York City, later in the West, and
finally at Austin, Tex. Here Mr. Barr established a profitable business
and was for some time secretary to Gen. Sam Houston, to whom he was attached.
The Civil War completely changed their financial condition and between
1861 and 1865 the Barrs experienced many vicissitudes.
But in spite of her household cares Mrs. Barr found time to accomplish
many other things. During the war playing cards were hard to purchase,
and being an ardent whist player, she painted a pack of cards which were
pronounced to be an exact counterpart of the original set. She also ruled
all the tax papers and made all the envelopes used in the various departments
of Government during the last two years of the war.
In 1867, the Barrs having moved to Galveston, the husband and three
sons died of yellow fever within a few weeks. The widow and her three daughters
came North in the autumn of 1869. A $5 bill and faith in God, Mrs. Barr
once said, was all she possessed on which to start a new life. Arriving
in New York City, she rented a few rooms at 27 Amity Street, a house once
occupied by Edgar Allen Poe, although she was not aware of the fact then.
After a time she began to write newspaper sketches, short stories and
short miscellaneous articles of all kinds, even preparing advertisements.
For 14 years she struggled, meeting with success and disappointment. In
1884 her first novel, "Jan Vedder's Wife" appeared. The success of this
book almost immediately placed her in the front rank of popular American
novelists. From that time her success was phenomenal. Over 53 when her
first book was published, she had produced since that time on an average
of over two novels a year. She did not possess an unsold manuscript. Her
productions were sold outright and before the war, in foreign countries
as well as at home.
Mrs. Barr has been called the pioneer of the American historical novel.
Years ago she made a thorough study of the early history of Manhattan Island,
and around the various periods of that history she wove romances at once
interesting and historically accurate.
The funeral services were held at Mrs. Barr's late home yesterday morning,
at 10 o'clock, the Rev. Walter Austin Wagner, pastor of the Union
Congregational Church, officating, and the internment was in Sleepy
Hollow Cemetery, at Tarrytown, N.Y., in the plot with the late Dr. Louis
Klopsch, editor of the Christian Herald, who made a request in his will
that some of his best friends might find a resting place beside him.
Richmond Hill Record
Wednesday, June 25, 1919
AMELIA BARR'S WILL CELEBRATED
Authoress Leaves Property to Her Daughters,
Mrs. Eliza Barr Morgan Reciving the Bulk
The will of Mrs. Amelia E. Barr, the well-known authoress, who died
on March 10 last at her home at 445 Bedford Avenue, Richmond Hill, has
been filed for probate with Surrogate Noble at Jamaica. The estate is valued
To Eliza Barr Morgan of 8528 107th Street, is given all her mother's
books, papers and unfinished manuscripts. The executors are given all the
furniture and clothing, and another daughter, Alice Edith Barr, also of
8528 107th street, is to have the use of them during her life in such manner
at such times as may seem best to her sister, Eliza. The latter is to receive
the furniture and clothing at the death of Alice. The remainder of the
estate is to be invested for the benefit of the daughter, Alice, and at
her death, the principal is to go to her sister, Eliza, or the latter's
children. Should Eliza have died without leaving children, the principal
is then to go to a third daughter, Mary Munro, of Cocoanut Grove, Fla.,
who is the wife of Kirk Munro, the well-known writer of boys' stories.
The daughter, Mrs. Morgan, and Henry Chudeayne, of Newburgh, N. Y.,
are appointed executors. The will was executed on January 26, 1890.
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