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Barret, Richard F.

Born: 1804 Green County, Kentucky

Died: 1860-05-16 Burlington, Iowa

Alternate name: Barrett

After receiving a classical education in Kentucky, Barrett studied medicine in Ohio and then returned to Kentucky to begin his own medical practice. In 1832, he married Maria Buckner. In 1833, the family moved to Springfield, Illinois, where Barret had invested heavily in federal land. While living in Illinois, Barret continued to practice medicine while also serving as a state fund commissioner and a director of the Illinois State Bank. He also established a large and prominent livestock raising operation in Illinois and Iowa. In 1840, he moved to St. Louis, where he helped to establish the first medical college west of the Mississippi River. A Whig, he was a close political ally of Abraham Lincoln's before moving to St. Louis. He was involved in several legal cases with Abraham Lincoln; Lincoln represented Barret at least six times.

William Hyde and Howard L. Conard, eds., Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis (New York: Southern History, 1899), 1:106-7; Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org.