James Shepherd Barnes was born near Summerfield, Noble county, Ohio, April 18, 1859. His father, Abel Barnes, was born at Freeport, Ohio, in 1814. His paternal grandfather, Peter Barnes, and his paternal grandmother, Margaret Burkett Barnes, were natives of Maryland. His great-grandfather, Abel Barnes, was a native of England. Abel moved with his parents to Noble county, Ohio, in 1832. He was the eldest son of Peter and Margaret Burkett Barnes and had four brothers and six sisters. He married Casoline Brown Dec. 24, 1839. They had ten children, three girls and seven boys. James was the youngest. Casoline Brown was a native of Loudoun county, Virginia, and was born in 1815. Her father, George Brown, was of Scotch descent, her mother, Rhoda Rhodes Brown, was of English descent and both were natives of Virginia. Abel Barnes died Feb. 9, 1897, and Casoline Brown Barnes died Sept. 7, 1900. Nine of their children survive them, one died an infant. Margaret A. Davis, the eldest, now lives near Newark, Ind., and Rhoda E. Gant, the second daughter, lives near Whigville, Ohio. Nathaniel Burkett Barnes resides on a farm near Carlisle, Noble county, Ohio. He has served as commissioner of Noble county and many years as justice of the peace. He enlisted in the Civil war in the Ninety-second Ohio infantry and served with his regiment until it was mustered out. A. C. Barnes, the second son, now resides in Mexico, Mo., where he located in 1867. He also served in the Civil war until he was honorably discharged. He is engaged in the real estate and loan business. Peter F. Barnes is a farmer and lives near Solsberry, Ind. George B. Barnes, A. Wilson Barnes and Allen W. Barnes are farmers and all live near Summerfield, Ohio. Abel Barnes was a prosperous farmer, as were likewise most of his forbears. He took an active interest in the political events of his day and was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church. James worked on a farm until he was eighteen years of age, when he began teaching school and by this means worked his way through Muskingum College, graduating in that institution with the class of 1883. The same year he was engaged as principal of the Summerfield High School, which position he held until the spring of 1885, when he resigned, came to Kansas and located in Pratt. The same year he was elected surveyor of Pratt county, but soon resigned that office and engaged in the real estate and loan business and has continued successfully therein to the present time. He returned to Ohio in December, 1886, and on the 15th of that month married Katie Bircher and returned to Pratt and moved into the three-room house which he had already built on the site of his present residence. Katie Bircher Barnes was the daughter of George H. and Jane McGurk Bircher and was born at Summerfield, Ohio, April 7, 1864. George Henry Bircher was the son of William Bircher and was born in 1831 in Sussex county, Delaware. William Bircher was of English descent and his wife, Mary Ann Turner, was of German descent. Jane McGurk Bircher was born in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1836, and came to the United States in 1853 with her uncle, John Brown, who afterward served with distinction in the Civil war. She married George H. Bircher in 1854. To this union were born eight children, three of whom, boys, died in early childhood. Emily, the eldest, married G. W. Hamilton and died in Prosser, Wash., Oct. 14, 1909. Mary died July 22, 1902. John W. lives near Summerfield, Ohio, and Thomas H. lives near Pratt, Kan. Both are farmers. Mrs. Bircher died at Summerfield, Ohio, Nov. 1, 1902. Her father, James McGurk, was a farmer and of Irish descent. Her mother, Emily Brown, was of Scotch Presbyterian stock. George H. Bircher was a farmer and enlisted in the Civil war in the One Hundred and Eighty-fifth Ohio infantry and contracted illness from which he died Jan. 9, 1870. In the fall of 1904 J. S. Barnes was elected a member of the Kansas state legislature. He was the author of a number of measures which were enacted into law, the most important of which is the "Barnes High School Law." Under this measure all high schools are supported by a general county levy and tuition therein is free to pupils of school age residing anywhere in the county. Second only to this was the railroad switch law, a very effective measure which required the railroads to extend sidetrack privileges to farmers' elevators, which up to that time they had refused to do. At this same session of the legislature the state game law was passed, which provided for the establishment of the state fish hatchery in Pratt county. Mr. Barnes has held various local offices, to which he has given many years of public service without remuneration. To J. S. and Katie B. Barnes have been born four daughters. Flavel, the eldest, will complete her college course at Northwestern University in June, 1912. Helen, the second daughter, died of diphtheria at the age of six in 1900. Dorothy will enter the high school in 1912, while Mildred, the youngest, is in her second year in the public schools. Mr. Barnes and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which denomination most of the Barnes family have adhered. He was a lay delegate to the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, which met at Baltimore, in May, 1908. He is a member of Kilwinning Lodge, No. 265, Free and Accepted Masons, at Pratt, Kan., and of the Wichita Consistory, No. 2. Mr. Barnes was for several years interested in the banking business, but now devotes his time mainly to his personal affairs and the handling of investment securities. His keenest public interest is shown along educational lines and his chief recreation is traveling.Pages 1404-1406 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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