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.
had a father who had been 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
Hopedale Coal & Ice Company Memories Menu HOME
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.
Katherine Kennedy Barney (Kay) died peacefully in her sleep at home on Nantucket on
August 1, 2017. Her husband, William Hadwen Barney, preceded her in death last year.
Mrs. Barney was born on September 8, 1919 in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was the daughter of
the late Colonel and Mrs. Grafton Sherwood Kennedy. As an Army brat she moved to a
number of different places in the United States. She graduated from the Brimmer and
May School and Wellesley College.
She was presented to society in Boston and Dayton. After college she was the society
editor of the Dayton Journal-Herald and Boston Herald. During World War II she was a
submarine watcher on Nantucket.
While in College she was a member of the glee club. On August 12, 1944 she and Bill
Barney, who had been in the Bowdoin glee club, recognized each other while waiting
for the Sunday papers at The Hub on Nantucket. Both the Barney and Kennedy
families had homes on Nantucket. On the 13th he proposed and on September 25th
they were married at Christ Church, Cambridge. While Bill was in the Pacific she and
her sister moved to North Hollywood, CA where she had a nursery school, and
volunteered greeting incoming Navy ships with many well-known celebrities.
When Bill returned from the War they moved to Havre de Grace, MD; then to New
Castle, DE; Birmingham, MI; and Long Island. In 1991 they settled in Boca Grande, FL
and divided their time between Boca Grande and Nantucket. During these years Mrs.
Barney was involved with garden clubs, the Junior League, the Alliance Francais, (she
always wanted to practice her French),
women’s clubs, the Wellesley Club, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of
America, and the DAR.
Mrs. Barney was a direct descendant of Governor Thomas Dudley, first colonial
governor of Massachusetts and a founder of Harvard College and Cambridge. Both
she and her husband were Starbuck descendants.
Mrs. Barney is survived by her daughters Katie Barney, and Lili Calabrese and her
husband Pat; and son Bill Barney and his wife Ruth; seven grandchildren and their
spouses; and eleven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on August 9 at 11AM in Prospect Hill Cemetery at the
Memorial contributions may be made to the Nantucket Historical Association, the
Nantucket Atheneum, or Wellesley College.
Wedding of Bill Barney, Sr from the Milford Gazette.