Since William H. Barney was a rather significant and well-known person in Hopedale from around
1890 and into the 1940s, I thought it would be a good idea to have a page on him here for anyone who
might be interested.
When we started working on the Hopedale book for the Arcadia Press Images of America series, at
our request, the Milford News did an article saying that we were looking for picture of Hopedale from
long ago. A week or so after the article appeared, we received a call from Arthur Allen saying that he
had a box of old glass slides with many views of Hopedale. He brought them to our house and we
were thrilled when we went through them. I think we picked about 60 or 70 to use in the book, and had
them made into prints at Morin's Studio.
Arthur didn't tell us the origin of the pictures, other than to say that they'd been in his house for many
years. All we knew about them was that on the border of many, it said, "William H. Barney, Hopedale."
After the book came out, someone asked who he was. As I recall, I passed the question on to Glenis
Bishop Hatchey, who at that time was getting the Hopedale High School Alumni website started. She
either had an address, or directed me to someone who did, for Barney's son, also named William.
Bill Barney was living on Nantucket at that time, but spent the winters in Florida. I wrote to him with a
few questions, beginning a series of letters that you can see below. The story in brief is that his father
came from Nantucket (Barney is one of those "old Nantucket names,")in the 1890s or so, and went to
work for the Milford Water Company, which Bill said had been started by someone from Nantucket.
Before long, William was in Hopedale, and in time became manager (and I think, part owner) of the
Hopedale Stable, which evolved into the Hopedale Coal Company and the Hopedale Ice Company,
and eventually, Hopedale Coal & Ice.
The Barneys eventually moved to Adin Street, but for some time they lived on Dutcher Street, just south
of the apartment house across from the fire station. The Allens lived in the next house. Bill and Arthur
were classmates and good friends who kept in touch all their lives, but for some reason Arthur never
mentioned any of this.
Bill said that his father and uncle had taken courses in photography in New York. He remembered the
equipment being up in the attic, but he said he never saw his father take a picture. Bill was born in
1920. In one letter, he said all his father's pictures were taken before 1900, and in another, between
1890 and 1900. Anyway, they were all from at least ten years before he was born, but there were still a
number of people and places he could recognize when he looked at them in 2002.
We met Bill twice. The first time was when we went to Nantucket for a day - and got trapped there
overnight because of high winds out at sea which caused cancellation of the ferry trip back. The
second time was when Bill and his wife came to Hopedale after Arthur's wife, Barbara, died.
who had been t taking pictures in 1890 was that William's first wife had died and his second wife
was much younger than he was. I think he was about 60 when Bill was born.
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with the camera was his father. We had the picture put onto a tee-shirt
and sent it to him, along with copies of pictures taken by his father.
From Bowdoin Magazine.
William H Barney Jr. ’43 died on March 19, 2016, in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
(The following was submitted by the family):
William Hadwen Barney, of Nantucket and formerly of Boca Grande, Fla., died Saturday, March 19,
2016, at home. He was 95. Born July 8, 1920, in Milford, Mass., he was the son of Lucile Pierce Barney
and William Hadwen Barney. He grew up in Hopedale, Mass. and graduated from Tabor Academy. He
enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1941 after leaving Bowdoin College. He patrolled the East Coast
aboard a submarine-chaser. He married the former Katherine Kennedy and was sent to the West
Coast and shipped out to the Pacific. William and his widow Katherine “Kay” Barney had three
children, their son William III and his wife Ruth, their daughter Katherine Moose and her husband
George, and their daughter Lili Calabrese and her husband Pat. They had seven grandchildren and
their spouses; and eleven great-grandchildren.