Barry County, organized in 1839, was named after U.S. Postmaster General William Barry. Hastings, the county seat, was platted in 1836 and chartered as a village in 1855. The present courthouse was completed in 1892. A newspaper was published here in 1851, and in 1869 the first railroad reached town. Dr. William Upjohn
, founder of the pharmaceutical firm that bears his name, established his practice here after the Civil War and perfected a process for the commercial manufacture of the friable pill. Judge Ella C, Eggeleston, one of the first women probate judges in the state began her term of office here in 1919.