George Barley

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 26, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 324

GEORGE BARLEY has been a resident of Welch, McDowell
County, since 1905, and has been an influential force in
the material upbuilding of the city, as well as in its ad-
vancement along civic lines. He here organized the Mc-
Dowell Engineering & Construction Company, and has been
not only a specially successful contractor and builder, but
has also built houses in an individual way, which he rents.

Mr. Barley was born at Introdaoqua, Italy, on the 26th
of June, 1869, a son of Michele Barley, a successful agri-
culturist. Mr. Barley passed his childhood and early youth
on his father’s farm, attended the schools of his native
land, and after leaving the farm he became identified with
railroad construction work, his more advanced education
having been gained by his study at home, in otherwise
leisure hours. He learned to read and write the English
language after coming to the United States in 1899. After
coming to’ this country he was for a time employed as a
stone cutter in quarries at Peekskill, New York. After a
period of four years he returned to his native land, and
five months later he came back to the United States. His
wife and children, who had remained in Italy, came to
America two years after Mr. Barley made his last trip.
Mr. Barley found employment in a coal mine near Elkins,
West Virginia, and later he worked as a miner in the em-
ploy of the Beaver Creek Coal Company at Weaver, and
was a merchant at Tallmansville and Wilsonburg, in which
last mentioned place he for a time had a general store.
Upon coming to Welch he found employment in the mines
of this district, and finally he established a general store
here, which he conducted six years, with marked success.
As a contractor and builder he has achieved substantial
prosperity and an excellent reputation, he being known as
one of the reliable and progressive business men of Mc-
Dowell County and as one who has achieved success through
his own ability and efforts. Mr. Barley is affiliated with
the local Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery of the Ma-
sonic fraternity, is a member also of the Mystic Shrine at
Charleston and the Loyal Order of Moose, his political sup-
port being given to the republican party and he and his
family being members of the Methodist Episcopal Church,

In his native land Mr. Barley wedded Miss Mary Direnzo,
and to them have been born eleven children, the seven sons
being known and referred to as the Barley Seven, and all
being notable for industry, business ability and sterling
character The children of George Barley and wife are:
John, Felix, Bena, Madlyn, Lorriane, Albert, Henry, Lina,
Daniel, Charles and George, Jr.. The son John has served
for a number of years as manager of the foreign depart-
ment of the First National Bank of Welch and recently
(in the winter of 1922) was commissioned Italian consular
agent at Northfork, McDowell County, to serve during the
absence of the regular incumbent, another effort being now
in process to cause the transfer of this consular office to
Welch, the county seat. The entire family enjoys unquali-
fied popularity in the community.