WILLIAM H. BARNES
South Kansas Tribune, Wednesday, July 28, 1915, Pg 5:
Soldier, Pioneer, Christian Citizen
The illness of Mr. William H. Barnes, recently noted, terminated in death this morning, at the age of 70 years.
He was born in New York City, as a boy saw service in the Army of the Potomac and after discharge returned home, but came west to Illinois where he was married to Mrs. Barnes, who survives him.
In 1871 Mr. Barnes and his wife came West and located in this county, took a claim southeast of Independence in Clear creek district, where be began gardening. Later sold and opened a garden north of Elk river at the foot of the hill in Gravel Hill district, but in a few years bought “the brick yard” on Tenth street and Rock creek where the family grew up and he became one of our intelligent, productive and Christian citizens, always on right side in public improvements. Barnes’ garden became widely known. In the ‘90s it was Mr. Barnes who rustled the organization of a gas company with shares of $10 each and secured the drilling of the first natural gas well for Independence, at the foot of Tenth street on his garden. While it did not prove a success, it is still a producer for the old garden, and led to the coming of McBride, Bloom and Nickerson, and developing the gas interest and the oil interest in this field.
In the latter nineties he was selected as secretary of the State Horticultural Society, when its business was done on a single desk in a corner of a basement in the Capitol building at Topeka. He proved the right man and he began to advertise it, kept it up, got the press back of him and he was elected and re-elected for a dozen years, and when he turned the office over to his successor, Kansas Horticulture had taken many National prizes, and it had a fine room in the Capitol, and he had placed it on the map of Kansas, and Horticulture is there to stay.
After trading around he got back to Independence which he always loved, and has always been an aggressive, forceful citizen—not a knocker on any good proposition.
He was eminently patriotic and after Sunday school on the Lincoln day occasion, he made a fine address and recited Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. It was his request that his highly prized flag be draped about his casket.
The funeral will be held at the Methodist Episcopal church, with sermon by Rev. Floyd Poe, the Presbyterian pastor, in the absence of Rev. W. P. Wharton.
He was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal church, was superintendent of the Sunday school for a term, and a useful man. He is survived by his widow, sons George E. of Perry, Okla.; William E. and Ambrose of this city; Herbert H. of Wichita; Charles of Denver and Walter of Hot Springs, Ark. The daughters are Mrs. Lottie L. Johnson of Denver, and Mrs. Irma I. McDougall of Los Angeles, Calif. The children were notified and all go here before his death except Charles.
Before his death he was perfecting a roster of McPherson Post, G. A. R., which he hoped to get correct in all particulars, so as to file it in the state G. A. R. records in the Historical building, but that will have to be completed by others.
Independence Daily Reporter, Wednesday, July 28, 1915, Pg. 6:
HE CAME HERE IN 1872
Was Always Active in Public Affairs—An Authority on Horticulture
A long and useful life ended at 5:30 o’clock this morning when William H. Barnes answered the summons of death at his home at 409 South Second street. He had been sick for some time. In fact he has not had a well day since he participated in the ceremonies attendant with the beginning of the work on the new city hall. In behalf of the Grand Army post he turned the first spade of dirt on the foundation for the new building. It was a cold, damp day and Mr. Barnes undoubtedly aggravated there the illness of Bright’s disease which ended fatally.
Mr. Barnes’ life was one of great service to his country. Born in New York City, November 1, 1845, he enlisted in the Union army at the age of 19, being a member of the Thirty-fourth New York Independent Field battery. He was married after the close of the war to Miss Clarissa G. Anderson of Onarga, Ills. Mrs. Barnes with eight sons and daughters survive. Those are as follows: George E. Barnes of Perry, Okla.; W. E. Barnes of this city; H. H. Barnes of Wichita; A. F. Barnes of this city; Lotta L. Johnson of Pueblo, Colo.; Irma T. McDougall of Los Angeles, Calif.; Walter M. Barnes of Hot Springs, Ark.; Chas. S. Barnes of Denver Colorado.
All the children excepting two were at the bedside this morning when death came. These two, Charles and Walter are on the way here.
The funeral arrangements have not yet been made as to the time. The services will be held at the First Methodist church of which Mr. Barnes was a member, and in the absence of the pastor, Rev. W. P. Wharton, the funeral will be conducted by Dr. Floyd Poe of the Presbyterian chruch. A sister, Mrs. E. L. Gibson, of Brooklyn, N. Y., is on her way here and the funeral awaits her arrival.
Mr. Barnes was a member of the Methodist church for thirty-one years. He was a devout Christian gentleman of a high type and was very popular with all who knew him. He was active in G. A. R. work and was a member of the A. O. U. W. At his request his Grand Army comrades will have charge of the funeral services. Mr. Barnes came to Kansas in 1870 and to Independence in 1872. With brief interruptions his life since then has been spent here since. He lived at Humboldt in 1876 and conducted a Grange store there. He returned to this city late in the fall of 1876 and for a time conducted a garden farm near Elk river, north of the city. He lived there until 1870 when he started the place now known as Barnes’ gardens. He made a great success of his garden work and was long a competent authority on horticulture. From 1895 to 1907 he was secretary of the Kansas State Horticultural Society and had headquarters in the state house at Topeka. In 1894 he sold his garden on rock creek, south of the city and by that time he had built it up wonderfully. At one time he had over an acre of ground covered by glass in producing vegetables and flowers to the market. In 1895 he went to Topeka in his official position.
Mr. Barnes frequently carried a card bearing not only his name and record but a picture of him as a soldier boy back in the ‘60s. The same kindly gentle features are shown on his face as a boy that continued with him in all his after years. This card carried bye following record of Mr. Barnes military and official life:
Born in New York City, November 1, 1845.
Married November 18, 1865.
Cannoneer 34th N. Y. Independent Field Battery, First Division, 9th Army Corps, A. P.
Enlisted March 25, 1864.
Discharged June 23, 1865.
Aide on the Staff of General El Torrence, National Commander G. A. R. 1912.
Junior Vice Commander, Lincoln Post No. 1, G. A. R., Department of Kansas, 1911.
Secretary of Kansas State Horticulture Society, 1895 to 1907.
President two years, Secretary two years American Federation of Horticultural Societies.
Active member of American Pomological society twelve years.
State Commander for Kansas at Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, N. Y., 1901.
State Delegate to National Irrigation Congresses at Chicago and El Paso.
Mr. Barnes was a highly educated man and was a frequent contributor to the press. After his return to this city about eighteen months ago he was consulted frequently about problems of horticulture and kindred matters and gave of his knowledge freely whether paid for it or not. He was a frequent caller at The Reporter office and often brought in little items of genuine interest that were highly appreciated. He also wrote quite a number of articles for this paper and they were read with interest. The last time Mr. Barnes called at this office was on the day of the children’s field meet and he brought with him the “strawberry quilt” that attracted so much local attention. It had been pieced by Mrs. Barnes and he was as proud of it as a child might be of a new toy. Mr. Barnes had the good fortune to retain his full mental faculties until death drew very close and this will always be a source of comfort to his loved ones. He was a good citizen, a strong clean-cut manly man who served his country well and his death brings sorrow not only to those of the family circle but of this community in which so many of his useful years were spent.
Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence Public Library, Independence, Kansas.