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 William Burnis Barnes

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William Burnis Barnes

  • Birth 21 Dec 1864 Missouri, USA
  • Death 28 Oct 1912 Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas, USA
  • Burial Ford County, Kansas, USA
  • Memorial ID 16283282

William was the oldest of 4 children born to Elijah Hicks Barnes (1845-1933) and Sophia Swan (Hayden) Barnes (1845-1920), both born and raised in Meade County, Kentucky.

One listing says that William was born at Jamesport, Daviess County, Missouri. (Jay S. Andrews, History of Bloom, Kansas, 1963.) Note that William's daughter, Neva (Barnes) Clevenger, appears to have had input into articles on the Barnes and Clevenger families in Jay Andrew's book. Neva had written articles for newspapers in Dodge City and Bucklin.

Chillicothe Crisis newspaper, Feb. 28, 1884; "Marriage Licenses; To William B. Barnes, of Grundy county, and Miss Eva B. Dowell, of this county." Note that Chillicothe is in Livingston County, which borders Grundy County.

William and Evelyn "Eva" Barbara Dowell were married on February 26, 1884 by Brother Bain, a Baptist minister, at the home of Eva's parents located 8 miles northwest of Chillicothe in Livingston County, Missouri in a ceremony held about 7:00 p.m. by lamp light. Those present included Eva's mother and father, John A. Dowell and Judith (Jared) Dowell, Eva's brothers Dave, Alex, Cal, Strauther, William's parents, William's brother George and sister Mollie. (Notes of William's sister, Mollie Barnes Gauld.)

In June, 1896, William and Eva's son, Jesse, was born between Fort Steele and Saratoga in Carbon County, Wyoming. (Per Jesse's death certificate according to his daughter Jerri (Barnes) Hawkes.) Note that William's brother, George, had a daughter (Georgia) born there in May of that same year. What were they doing there? The answer could be with George's wife, Rosie, whose father, Henry A. Kincaid, was living in Saratoga at that time. Henry was buried there in 1908.

In June 1900, census records show their family as; William Barnes, age 35, farmer, Eva, wife, age 34, Albert, son, age 15, Elmer, son, age 10, Burnis, son, age 5, Jesse, son, age 3, and Neva, dau., age 8 months. They were farming in Jefferson Twp., Grundy County, Missouri and owned their farm property. This is also the same township where William's parents were living at that time. Family notes say they were living near the town of Jamesport, Missouri. Note that Jamesport, (Daviess County), is located close to the borders of both Grundy and Livingston Counties.

In 1901, William and Eva lived in the vicinity of towns Haven (Reno County) and Mount Hope, Sedgwick County, Kansas located near one another. Their daughter Vera was born at Mount Hope in 1901. This is another case when William and his brother George lived near one another. George's sons Ray and Harry were born at Mount Hope in January 1900 and August 1902.

In 1903, William and family moved to Ford County, Kansas and farmed 320 acres located directly south of the town of Kingsdown, Kansas which is about 20 miles southeast of Dodge City.

On May 31, 1904 a powerful storm moved into the Kingsdown area. At that moment William was plowing in the fields and could not make it back to the house before the storm hit. As the storm and winds arrived Eva could feel the house moving. It was in fact, a tornado. Eva quickly ran outside with the children and laid on the ground bracing their feet in a wagon rut and held onto the grass with their hands. The house was blown to pieces by the tornado, but they were all unhurt. Afterward, some of the children wanted to return to their former home near Mount Hope. They instead moved in with the Tom Ellis family while William and others built a large home with three levels. [The 1916 Ford County plat book shows that Geo. T. Ellis owned land, in Section 20, that adjoined 320 acres owned by W. B. & E. B. Barnes in Section 19.] Barnes family notes say that part of their house destroyed by the tornado was used on the new house which was built on their land on a knoll located about 1/2 mile south of Kingsdown. William and Eva's granddaughter Waneta Weddle said that the family stored their sugar and flour in the attic of this house. (Photos of these 2 houses are shown here.) In 2003, Kingsdown resident John F. Scott said that the big house was located on a small hill, and when he last saw the house, which was probably in the late 1940's, it was abandoned. John thinks that by 1950 all evidence that the house ever existed was gone.

William Barnes helped build the first grain elevator in Kingsdown and is said to have also managed a grain elevator. William helped build the original Presbyterian Church in Kingsdown (1905) and a family story states that he built the pews for the next church building. When the First Presbyterian Church of Kingsdown was organized on July 30, 1905, Wm. B. Barnes, Mrs. Eva Barnes and their son Albert Barnes were listed among its 16 charter members. Daughter Neva (Barnes) Clevenger wrote that William also built the Kingsdown Hotel building, a store there for O. O. Sheely, a storage building and the post office. (Jay S. Andrews, "History of Bloom, Kansas," pg. 85, Prairie Printers Inc., Colby, Kansas, 1967.)

The 1905 Kansas State Census lists the following on the William and Eva Barnes farm in Sodville Twp., Ford County; 320 acres, fenced, with 130 acres planted in winter wheat, 35 acres of corn, and 25 acres of barley. They had 7 horses, 8 milk cows, 14 beef cattle, and 4 hogs. The well was set at a depth of 144 feet and was equipped with a windmill. The value of their farm was $2,500.00.

A story told by William's nephew, E. Harry Barnes (1902-1973) of Wichita, Kansas relates, "I had a wealthy uncle, William Barnes, who lived near Kingsdown, Kansas and died at a young age. A large amount of wheat had been piled along the railroad tracks at Kingsdown because there was no more room in the grain elevator. After a length of time the wheat left in piles had not been sold and the owner(s) of the wheat felt that the wheat had been exposed to the weather for too long and was therefore damaged. William Barnes made a bid and purchased the wheat. William scraped the crust off of the wheat and it was judged to be in excellent condition. William sold the wheat for a large profit." How much profit William made is unknown.

The William Barnes family farmed near Kingsdown, a town that actually disappeared and later reappeared. With the arrival of the railroad in 1887 the small town of Kingsdown was established near the railroad tracks along what is actually part of the old Coronado Trail traveled by Francisco de Coronado in 1541 seeking the kingdom of Quivira, a land of great wealth. Hoping to find riches like fellow Spanish explorers Cortez and Pizarro plundered from the Aztec and Inca empires, Coronado found only a Quivira Indian village.
From its start, Kingsdown grew rapidly, soon having a post office, land office, schoolhouse, two-story depot, mercantile store, hotel and would eventually have a bank, water tower and three grocery stores operating at the same time. In the 1890's, severe drought and the Oklahoma Land Rush was the cause of many people leaving the area. Soon the buildings in Kingsdown were sold or moved away. That only left the section house, and when that burned the town of Kingsdown was literally gone. Then, sometime after 1898 the rain returned, bringing back the crops. Soon the town started to return with a retail store, a boxcar used a temporary train depot, and a schoolhouse was moved back. A church was built. By 1910, the town had a population of 150. Kingsdown, the town that had vanished, had amazingly reappeared. Today (2014), Kingsdown has just a handful of residents, a co-op and the Presbyterian Church.

William and Eva would have a total of 9 children;

1. Albert Hicks Barnes (1885-1955) Albert married Myrtle Bingham. Family notes state that Albert attended Friends University in Wichita. Albert was a farmer in Ford and Hamilton Counties, Kansas and Fremont County, Colorado. Last residence was Canon City, Colorado. Albert and Myrtle had the following known children: an infant buried in Sodville Cemetery in Kingsdown, Kansas; Paul Clayton Barnes (born about 1912, died 1953); Lorina G. Barnes; Fern E. Barnes, married a Mr. Bland; Myrtle Barnes; Merlin D. Barnes (1919-1989); Beatrice; William Barnes; Irwin A. Barnes.

2. George Calvin Barnes (1887-1892) Was this child named after William's brother, George R. Barnes (1870-1944)? Family notes state that this child was born in 1887 and died in Chariton County, Missouri in 1892. Cause of death and place of burial is unknown.

3. Elmer Bruner Barnes (1890-1961) Elmer Elmer attended Friends University in Wichita. A Friends University photo shows him as a member of their 1909-1910 soccer football team and also sang in the choir. Barnes notes say that Elmer married Faye McCune, but information shown below makes the argument it should be McHugh, not McCune.
This was the second marriage for Elmer and Faye. They had 3 children; Lillian, Marvin and Carmen. Elmer and Faye were successful farmers. Family notes say that Elmer held a political office, but details are unknown at this time. Neighbors of William and Eva Barnes in 1910 Ford County, Kansas were John F. McHugh, wife Margaret and daughter Ella F. age 18. Note that in the 1920 census (Scott County, Kansas) the names following Elmer and Faye Barnes are J. M. McHugh, age 55, wife and Margurette, age 52, both born in Missouri.

4. Eva Elizabeth Barnes (1891-1892) This child is buried in New Garden Cemetery, near Brookfield, in Linn County, Missouri. Cause of death not stated.

5. Burnis B. Barnes (1894-1987) Burnis was married twice, first to Minnie Heberlee, and following Minnie's death, to Marjorie York. There were no children from these marriages, but Burnis and Minnie adopted Elmer Leland "Buster" Barnes, a son of Burnis' brother, Jesse H. Barnes, and and also kept Burnis' brother, Roy, in their home for about nine years.

6. Jesse Hayden Barnes (1896-1979) He was a member of the Medical Corps. during World War 1. Jesse was a carpenter, construction foreman, and business agent for the carpenter's union in Oregon. Jesse was married to Grace E. Dalton. They had 2 children, Elmer Leland "Buster" Barnes (1915-1989) and Jesse Elbert Barnes, born 1917 and died 1937 in Colorado from pneumonia.
Jesse Hayden Barnes was next married to Frieda Bayley in Grand Junction, Colorado. They had 3 children; Lorraine Barnes Martin of Missoula, Montana; June Barnes Copp of Vesperia, California; and Jerri Lynn Barnes Ratz-Hawkes of Blanchard, Idaho.

7. Neva Jarret Barnes (1899-1988) married Frank Grow and had one daughter, Evelyn. Frank and Evelyn died in 1916, from influenza, and are buried in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Neva next married Luther Aden "Ade" Clevenger. They had children Waneta Fern Clevenger and Alvernon Earl Clevenger.

8. Vera Swan Barnes (1901-1989) married P. O. Smith. No children from this marriage. They resided in Bloom, Ford County, Kansas.

9. Roy Paul Barnes (1908-1992) married Blanche Coombs. They resided in Bloom, Ford County, Kansas, and had 4 children; Edwin, Rosamond, Betty and Virginia.

From the Hutchinson newspaper dated Oct. 24, 1911, pg. 8;
"Moving to Hutchinson - W. B. Barnes is moving his family to Hutchinson from Kingsdown, Southern Ford Co., in order to educate his boys at the Holiness Bible school in this city."

The 1912 Hutchinson, Kansas directory shows William as Wm. B. (wife Eva) Barnes, farmer, living at 921 A Avenue East. Burnis, spelled here as Bernice, student, is the only other family member listed by this directory at that address.

From the Hutchinson newspaper dated Oct. 29, 1912, pg. 7;
"W. B. Barnes has been seriously ill at his home in Hutchinson. His brother, George Barnes and son Albert Barnes, of Kingsdown, were called to his side."

From the Hutchinson newspaper dated Oct. 30, 1912, pg. 8;
"Took Remains To Kingsdown - Wm. B. Barnes, Prominent Nazarene Worker, Is Dead. Wm. B. Barnes, a retired farmer who some time ago moved his family to Hutchinson, to educate his children at the Holiness bible school, died yesterday after a short illness.
The remains were taken to Kingsdown, the family's old home, yesterday, where the funeral occurred. Mr. Barnes was prominent as a worker in the Nazarene church."

William's death certificate indicates he died at 4:00 p.m. October 28, 1912 at his residence located at 229 West 9th Street in Hutchinson. He was 47 years old. The old house is now gone and just a vacant lot remains on this southeast corner of 9th and Jefferson Streets. Family notes, possibly originating from their daughter Neva Clevenger, say that William died of typhoid. This differs considerably from the death certificate which says the cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage, which had a duration of 4 hours, with insular sclerosis contributing, a condition lasting 3 years. Cerebral hemorrhage is defined as a ruptured blood vessel in the brain, often associated with high blood pressure. A simplified definition of sclerosis is a hardening of an organ or tissue, and insular simply means multiple. The attending physician was H. J. Duvall, M. D., who wrote that he treated William from October 20th to October 28th. The informant listed was G. R. Barnes, which would certainly seem to be William's brother, George R. Barnes.

William was buried in Sodville Cemetery at Kingsdown, Ford County, Kansas. He and Eva share the same huge, ornately carved headstone, which is at least 6 1/2 feet tall. Waneta (Clevenger) Weddle, daughter of Neva (Barnes) Clevenger, said that family members chose this style of marker from one they'd admired in a Hutchinson cemetery. A photo of this marker is shown here.

Family notes state that William and Eva Barnes donated the land for the cemetery at Kingsdown (Sodville Cemetery). The 1916 Sodville Twp., Ford County, Kansas land plat shows W. B. Barnes as the owner of the property where the cemetery is located.

The inventory and appraisal valuation of the estate of William B. Barnes was $34,589.80. The estate consisted of personal property and real estate described as;

Personal property.................$1,839.80
Included no automobile, but 1 double-seated surrey, 1 wagon, 2 cows (no horses listed), 1 parlor set, 3 bedroom sets, 1 folding bed, 2 heating stoves, 1 cook stove, 1 gasoline stove, davenport lounge, kitchen utensils, dishes and silverware, linen and bed clothing.

Ford County
SE 1/4, 18-29-22 (160 acres)......................$9,000.00
E 1/2, 19-29-22 (320 acres).......................$12,800.00
SW 1/4, 19-29-22 (160 acres)......................$6,200.00

Barnes Add. to Kingsdown
Lots 1-12, block 1
Lots 4-8, block 2
Lots 11-12, block 3
Lots 1-6, block 4
Lots 1-6, block 5
Lots 1-12, block 6
Lots 1-12, block 7
Lots 1-4, block 8
Lots A, B, C, and D, 2 and 4, block 3, Original Town of Kingsdown
Lots 2 and 4, Block 6, Town of Kingsdown
Total of Kingsdown real estate.....................$4,750.00

After debts and administration expenses, the net value of the William B. Barnes estate was $32,180.00. (Findings and order of the inventory and appraisal of the estate of William B. Barnes, Feb. 5, 1914)
(Note that $32,180.00 in 1914 is equal to $738,000.00 in 2012)

On July 24, 2005, The First Presbyterian Church of Kingsdown celebrated its 100th Anniversary. Seeking more information about my Barnes family members there, I had been in contact with Kingsdown residents John, and his wife, Doris Scott. They suggested I attend the church's anniversary. In addition to my search for family history, I also attended with the idea that I was representing the William and Eva Barnes family since they and their son, Albert, were among the church's 16 charter members. There was a large turnout on that hot, sunny day. The sanctuary was full, with speakers relating the history of the church and some stories about local families. I signed up to speak, but a lack time did not permit me and a number of others to share information. A dinner was served afterwards. At that time, a Charles W. Couch came up and asked if I was related to William Barnes of Kingsdown and was he a carpenter? I said yes, William was a brother to my great-grandfather, and William's children wrote that he was a carpenter as well as a farmer. Charles said that he had been remodeling an old house built around 1905 he had purchased that is located just south of Kingsdown. When removing part of a wall a signature on a board was revealed that had been hidden for many years. It was signed "William Barnes."

(Larry E. Barnes, 2005, great-grandson of George Richard Barnes 1870-1944, brother of William Burnis Barnes 1864-1912 shown here.)



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  • Created by: Larry E. Barnes
  • Added: 22 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16283282
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Burnis Barnes (21 Dec 1864–28 Oct 1912), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16283282, citing Sodville Cemetery, Ford County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Larry E. Barnes (contributor 5663157) .