Biography of Edwin L. Barney
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Barney, Edwin Luther, who died in New Bedford on the sixth day of April, 1897, was mourned as one of the ablest lawyers of the Bristol bar, and at the time of his death, in the seventy first year of his age, was the oldest practicing attorney in the county. He was a native and lifelong resident of Bristol county, born in Swansea, April 1, 1827, a son of Edwin and Abby (Luther) Barney. He was reared on his father's farm and gained a good education in the country schools and at Brown University, where he spent one year in the class of 1850. He studied for thc law at Yale Law School and in the office of Timothy G. Coffin, of New Bedford, and was admitted to the bar in Taunton when twenty three years of age. He settled in New Bedford, began earnestly to apply himself to his profession, and being thoroughly instructed in the law and a vigorous, hard worker and reader, soon gained a large clientage As his name became more prominent he had several law students, most of whom attained success, the most notable example being Mr. Knowlton, who became attorney general of Massachusetts. Mr. Barney was always a Democrat, and during the war a staunch War Democrat, and lie served two terms as senator in the Legislature (1866-1867), and was judge advocate on General Butler's staff from 1869 to 1875. He was president of the New Bedford Bar Association from its organization and held that office until his death. For over forty five years he was a Mason and had taken all the degrees up to the thirty second. He was possessed of great tact and skill in presenting a case to a jury, and was associated in the conduct of some of the most famous criminal and damage cases tried in the history of the Bristol bar. He was also a man of dignified mien and sterling personality, being held in the highest esteem by his brother barristers and by the entire community. He married, April 15, 1856, Mary, daughter of Zachariah Hillman, and they had four sons: the two oldest, Benjamin Butler Barney, the present city solicitor of New Bedford, and Edwin L. Barney, jr., are members of the Bristol bar, and the latter is assistant clerk of courts, and was born in New Bedford, April 14, 1870, and prepared for College in the New Bedford High School; after three years of private tutoring he entered Boston University School of Law, was admitted to the Bristol bar in May, 1892, and took the degree of LL.B. in June of the same year. He began practice in association with his father and brother, Benjamin Butler Barney, and was appointed assistant clerk of the courts in May, 1896, and has since retained that position. In 1897 he married Annie C. Lincoln, daughter of Francis T. Lincoln, of Providence, R. I.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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