William Phineas Barnes, Blue MoundIn the death of Mr. Barnes, May 26, 1904, Linn county lost one of its early settlers and a most esteemed and useful citizenone who had taken a prominent part in both the business activities and public affairs of his county for nearly thirty-five years and had contributed his part toward the commercial and civic progress of his adopted state. He was born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, July 1, 1837, a descendant of a family which traces its history in America back to an early settler in the New England colonies, and who was of English descent. The Barnes family was represented in the patriotic army of the Revolution by two great-uncles of Mr. Barnes, one of whom served as a lieutenant. The parents of Mr. Barnes removed from Ohio to near Covington, Ky., when he was quite young and remained there until he was eleven years of age, removing shortly afterward to Ripley county, Indiana. He remained at the parental home in Indiana until nineteen years of age, or in 1856, when he located in Henderson county, Illinois. While living in Indiana he had studied medicine under the direction of his uncle, Dr. Charles Barnes, a professor in the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, and had also read law, been admitted to the bar, and practiced some prior to his removal to Illinois. He was a close friend and admirer of Gen. George B. McClellan, of Civil war fame, with whom he became acquainted during student days in Cincinnati. He was married in Illinois, Oct. 20, 1856, to Miss Maria J. Brook, and to their union were born ten childreneight of whom survive: W. L., of Blue Mound; I. S., of Kansas City, Mo.; Charles T., a resident of Eureka; R. A., of Blue Mound; Jennie, the wife of D. W. Woods, of Garnett; Mary, the wife of T. E. Fuller, of Garnett; Rachel, who married Leo Curtis, of Blue Mound; Dr. H. M., of whom mention is made on other pages of this work. In response to President Lincoln's call for troops Mr. Barnes enlisted Aug. 30, 1861, in Company E, Tenth Illinois infantry, but after about three months' service he contracted the measles which, for a time so disabled him from further military duty, that he was discharged. Having fully recovered from the effects of the disease he reënlisted Aug. 9, 1862, in Company C. Ninety-first Illinois infantry, with which he served until March 6, 1863, when he, together with his whole company, was captured but was soon paroled through the influence of a Confederate lieutenant whom Mr. Barnes had known previous to the war. He later received his honorable discharge at St. Louis, Mo. In 1870 he and his family came to Linn county and settled on a farm two and a half miles northwest of Blue Mound, where they resided until 1889, in which year they removed to Blue Mound. In 1876 Mr. Barnes was elected as the Republican candidate to the state legislature, where he proved a very useful and able representative of his constituency, and from that time until his death he held a very prominent place in the councils of his party. He was not only influential in the political affairs of Linn county, but in its business and material interests, as well. He was president of the town company that founded the town of Blue Mound, and was prominently associated with every interest of the town and of the community until his death, having been for over thirty years a member of the school board, also mayor of Blue Mound and a justice of the peace for a number of years. He was the founder, proprietor and first editor of the "Blue Mound Sun," which was established May 30, 1883. Multitudinous business cares, however, caused him to relinquish his interest in the paper after publishing it about a year and on May 24, 1884, he sold it to G. W. Bodkin. A man of honest heart and upright life, and such was the confidence and esteem in which Mr. Barnes was held, that to hundreds he was not only a friend, but their legal and business adviser as well, and his word and judgment were relied upon implicitly. In religious, as well as in public affairs, he was an active worker and a tower of strength, and his influence was always on the side of morality and good citizenship. In church faith and membership he was a Baptist, and was always a liberal contributor toward the support of the church and its work. He succumbed to an attack of heart disease on May 26, 1904, and in his passing away Linn county lost one of its most valued and esteemed citizens. His widow still survives him and resides in Blue Mound.Pages 230-231 from volume III, part 1 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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