Getting to Know You – Joel Clinton Barnes

By – Don Taylor

I like to get to know an ancestor, so, after I learn their vital information (birth, marriages, death) and census information for each of the censuses they were alive, I like to see if I can find any newspaper articles about the ancestor.  Census records and vital records provide the context of a person’s life, but newspaper articles give the texture to understand a person’s life.
In the case of my father’s mother’s father, great grandfather Joel Clinton Barnes, I was astounded by what I found on Newspaper Archives via my Find My Past subscription. I knew that Joel was born in Sullivan County, Indiana. He showed up in Sullivan County during every census and died in Sullivan County. So, I added a filter to give display newspapers from Sullivan, Indiana, and I sorted the records by date. There were 340 records returned. I initially thought that there had to be many false positive returns, but I later learned I was wrong. Almost every record returned related to my Joel Barnes.
1899 plat map showing the J. C. Barnes farm. From An Illustrated Standard Atlas of Sullivan County, Wilson, Fuller & Company Source: Indiana Memory Digital Collection

Sure, some of the newspaper articles returned had little meaning or value, such as, “Joel Barnes and family were in Sullivan visiting family this week.” And some were the posting of the same article, once in the Sullivan Daily Times and again in the Sullivan Democrat. But there were so many gems of information that I feel I know so much more about Joel and his family.  For example, I learned that he was born, lived his entire life, and died in the same house. The spelling of his sisters’ names, Plautine and Tryphenia were provided in a public notice by a lawyer. (Lawyers are always right in court documents, aren’t they?  In any event, the lawyers spelling will be my preferred spelling until I find another record in their own hand.) I learned that Joel was, for a while, a constable in Turman Township, which gives insight into his character.  He also ran for office as Assessor in Turman Township and served on the local petit jury, “Brother Joel” was heavily involved in his church, Methodist Episcopal, teaching Sunday school, being a leader there, and hosting prayer meetings at his home.  He hauled logs for the building of the new church, graded the lawn, and helped build the cement stairs for the front of the church.  He was also involved with the Masons and with Eastern Star.

His health came and went with bouts of “malarial fever.”
His farm was more than corn and hay. He was in the maple sap business, had sheep and sold their wool. He had chickens and sold lambs in town. He sold wood to the sawmill and had cattle
Indiana Oil and Natural Gas Source: Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources (Arrow —> Joel’s county.) KEEP
In 1913, farm life changed significantly for Joel and family when oil was discovered on his farm. His well, drilled by Ohio Oil Co., was the first in his area.
His daughter, my grandmother, Essie had a surprise fifteenth birthday party.
His son, Raye, served in World War I and wrote home.  And finally, Joel died in his own bed. He was discovered when he didn’t come downstairs for breakfast. His obituary drives home the fact that five of his ten children preceded him in death. His was a farmer’s life filled with church, community, and, most of all, family.
I have a transcript of some of these articles here.

Biography – Joel Clinton Barnes (1967-1921)

Joel Clinton Barnes
Cropped from photo
Courtesy: Ken Smith

Joel Clinton Barnes was born on 23 June 1857 in Graysville, Sullivan Co., Indiana[1]. He was the seventh of ten children, by Nelson Barnes (1816-1884), aged 41, and Mercy Eliza Taft, aka Eliza (~ 1822-1884). All ten of their children lived into the 20th century. He died on 30 June 1921 in Graysville, Sullivan Co., Indiana, aged 64[2]. He is buried at Drake Cemetery, in Fairbanks Sullivan County Indiana, at the age of 63[3].

The six older siblings include:
  • Tryphenia Ann Barnes, born in 1841.
  • Plautina Mariah Barnes, born in 1844.
  • Theodore E Barnes, born in 1847.
  • Suzie Barnes, born in 1849.
  • Abraham Barnes, born in 1852.
  • Cyrus John Barnes, born in 1854.
His two younger siblings include:
  • Lucy Minerus Barnes, born in 1860.
  • Martha Ellen Barns, born in 1863.
He married Sarah Josephine Conner, aka Josie, daughter of Soloman Conner and Harriet Crapo on 25 December 1876 in Sullivan[4]. Joel was 19 and Josie was 22. Their marriage lasted 15 years, until Sarah’s death in 1892.
The children of Joel and Sarah were:
  • Flora Barnes, born on 18 September 1878 in Sullivan township, died in 1950, aged 71. She married Harlon Riggs on 23 December 1895. She had at least two children that were twins.
  • Flava Barnes, born on 13 May 1881 in Sullivan, died on 22 July 1882, aged 14.
  • Alma Barnes, aka Anna, born on 20 October 1882 in Graysville, died in 1968, aged 85. She married Charles Sylvester Harris on 19 December 1912.
  • William Barnes, born on 12 February 1886 in Sullivan, died on 4 November 1886 in Sullivan (Indiana), aged 8.
  • Orphie Barnes, born on 26 October 1888, died on 21 July 1889, aged 8.
He next married Marada A. Lister, aka Marady, May, Morady Maranda (1867-1932), the daughter of Nimrod Lister and Malinda Evans, on 18 June 1893 in Sullivan[5]. Joel was 35 and Marada was 26. Their marriage lasted until Joel’s death 28 years later.
The children of Joel and Marada were:
  • Raye Barnes, aka Ray, born on 2 May 1895 in Graysville, died in 1956, aged 60. He married Columbia Means in 1920.
  • Ada Barnes, born on 21 March 1898 in Sullivan Township, died on 19 December 1899 in Sullivan Township, aged 21.
  • Nelson Barnes, born on 14 April 1901, died on 22 November 1902, aged seven months.
  • Essie Pansy Barnes, born on 15 March 1903 in Graysville, Truman Township, Sullivan Co., died on 20 November 1982 in Mount Clemens, Macomb County, Michigan, aged 79. She married Bert Allen Roberts on 13 May 1922. She had five children: Pansy, Bert, Hugh, Helen, and John.
    Mabel Bessie Barnes, born on 5 April 1906 in Sullivan County, died on 26 August 1984, aged 78. She married Herbert Burton on 18 October 1928. She had one child: Billy.

Censuses

In the 1860 Census, three-year-old Joel is living with his father, mother, three brothers, and two sisters. His two oldest sisters, Tryphenia and Plautina, were already gone from the family farm in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana[6]. By the 1870 Census, two more siblings, Theodore and Suzie, had moved out of the household, leaving Abraham, Cyrus, Joel, Lucy, and Martha still in the household. Fourteen Joel is both working as a farm hand and is attending school as are his older brothers[7].

The 1880 Census finds Joel and Josephine living near his father, Nelson Barnes, with their 1-year-old daughter, Flora. Joel is farming and Josephine is keeping house.[8]

In 1892 Josie died; in 1893 Joel married Marada Lister. The 1900 census finds Joel and Marady living with three of Joel’s children, Alma, John A, and Ray. Flora had married and moved out by then. Flava, William, and Orphie had all died during the 1880s.[9]

In 1910, Joel and Maraday were living with daughter Anna, Son Ray, and daughter Mabel. John A. Lister is living with them and is identified as Joel’s stepson.[10] (He was listed as Joel’s son in the 1900 census.)

In the 1920 Census the family is down to Joel, his wife Marada, and children, Raye, Essie, and Mable Bessie.[11]

The Joel Barnes Farm area from the air today Courtesy: Google Maps

Joel died at home on 30 June 1921. He was buried at Drake Cemetery, Fairbanks, Sullivan County, Indiana with Masonic honors.

 

 

 

 

Obituary – July 6, 1921 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana, Front Page

WELL KNOWN FARMER FOUND DEAD IN BED
Joel C. Barnes, 64, of Turman Twp., 
Succumbs to Attack of Heart Failure
Marker: Joel C. Barnes (1857 – 1921) with Masonic Symbol. Source: Find a Grave Memorial # 37229130
Joel C. Barnes, 64 years old, a native of the county and a life-long resident of Turman township, was found dead in his bed early Thursday morning by his family, who had called him for breakfast and receiving no response discovered his lifeless body in bed.
The funeral was held Friday afternoon at the Dodds Bridge M. E. church, of which the deceased was a member, and was conducted by Rev. L. L. Johnson, pastor of the Methodist church at Graysville, and the Masonic lodge of Fairbanks, of which the deceased was a member. The widow survives, together with one son, Ray Barnes of Sullivan, and four daughters, Mrs. Harlan Riggs of Fairbanks, Mrs. Chas. Harris of near Dodds Bridge, and misses Essie and Mabel Barnes, who live at home.
Joel C. was a son of Nelson and Mercy (Taft) Barnes who came to this county from New York state during the forties. He was born and reared in Turman township and had always followed the vocation of a farmer. In 1876 he was married to Josephine Conner who died in 1892. Five children were born to this union, two survive, Mrs. Charles Harris and Mrs. Harlan Riggs. In 1893 Mr. Barnes was married to Maranda Lester, five children being born to this union, three surviving, Ray Barnes and Misses Essie and Mabel Barnes.
Mr. Barnes was a Democrat in his political affiliation and was an active member of the Masonic lodge and the Eastern Star lodge at Fairbanks.
List of Greats
1.    Joel Clinton Barnes (1857-1921)
2.     Nelson Barns (1916-1884)

ENDNOTES

[1] Sources: Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 / Bert Allen Roberts – Essie Pansy Barnes – Marriage License – Family Search (Other) – 1920 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 0270, Sheet 1B – Ancestry.Com (Digitizing) – 1910 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 178, Page 8A – Joel C Barnes – Ancestry.Com (Digitizing) – 1900 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, ED 138, Sheet 7B – Joel C Barnes – Ancestry (Digitizing) – Find-a-Grave / Joel C. Barnes – Memorial #37229130 – Find a Grave (Internet) – 1860 Census / Nelson Barnes – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman Twp – Family Search (Digitizing)
[2] Sources: Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 / Bert Allen Roberts – Essie Pansy Barnes – Marriage License – Family Search (Other) – 1930 Census / Indiana, Vigo, Terre Haute, Page 9A – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other) – My Heritage Family Trees / Joel Clinton Barnes  – MyHeritage.com (Internet) – Find-a-Grave / Joel C. Barnes – Memorial #37229130 – Find a Grave (Internet)
[3] Source: Find-a-Grave / Marada A Barnes – Memorial# 37229133 (Internet)
[4] Sources: A history of Sullivan County, Indiana, closing of the first century’s history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. New York: The Lewis Pub. Co. / Pages 234-236 (Other) – Find-a-Grave / Joel C. Barnes – Memorial #37229130 – Find a Grave (Internet) – Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 / Joel C. Barnes – Josie Conner – Family Search (Other)
[5] Note: Married 16 years in 1910 Census.  Marriage #1 for Marada, Marriage #2 for Joel. The Indiana Marriage Index Bonds indicates 17 June 1883.
[6] Source: 1860 Census / Nelson Barnes – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman Twp – Family Search (Digitizing)
[7] Source: 1870 Census / Nelson Barnes – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman Twp, Page 27, Lines 25-31 – Family Search (Digitizing)
[8] Source: 1880 Census / Joel Barnes – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, ED 320, Page 1, Lines 21-23 – Family Search, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHSX-5Q4
[9] Source: 1900 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, ED 138, Sheet 7B – Joel C Barnes – Ancestry.com.
[10] Source: 1910 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 178, Page 8A – Joel C Barnes; Ancestry.com.
[11] Source: 1920 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 0270, Sheet 1B – Joel C. Barnes; Ancestry.com.

Joel Barnes – Select Newspaper Articles transcribed.

Select Newspaper Archives articles found via Find My Past regarding Joel Barnes
United States, Indiana, Sullivan (City) filters applied.
Sorted by Date

December 12, 1884 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana, – Public Notice – Nelson Barnes Property to be sold. See: Sullivan Democrat December 12, 1884 – NA-FMP – Crop.png for details. Same notice also ran on December 19th and December 26th. Of particular interest is the spelling of Plautina and Tryphenia and that the marriages for Lucy, Martha, Plautina, and Tryphenia all occurred before 12 Dec 1884.

December 25, 1886 – Sullivan Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Mr. Joel C. Barnes has resigned as constable of Turman Township.

July 23, 1889 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Clint Phillips and Joel Barnes, of Turman township, each buried an infant child last week.

January 7, 1890 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Announced himself as candidate for Assessor of Turman Township, subject to the primary election. Notice also ran January 14th, January 17th, January 21st, January 24th, and January 28th, January 31st, and February 4th.

June 14, 1892 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – An advertisement indicated that Joel C. Barnes had a 1250 pound binder made by Milwaukee Steel Junior. Ad also ran on June 21st and

June 9, 1893 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel C Barnes purchased e ½ NE Section 5, T 8. R 10 for $675 from John Pittman.

September 15, 1893 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel Barns, pt e ½ ne sec 5, t8, r10 from Rebecca Drake.

May 15, 1896 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel C. Barnes transferred a tract in Turman to Flora Riggs $400.

April 30, 1897 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana, – Joel Barnes brought a suit for James Trueblood to quiet title.

October 8, 1897 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana, – Joel Barnes attended the wedding of Mr. B. A. Dix and Miss Emma Graves.

March 8, 1900 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Real Estate – Emma Dix to Joel C Barnes 8 acres in Turman tp, $280.

January 1, 1902 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana, – Mrs. Malinda Lister is very sick at her daughter’s, Mrs. Joel Barnes, near Fairbanks.

April 3, 1902 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel C. Barns, of Turman township, was in town today for the first time in several weeks. He has had a serious spell of sickness with malarial fever, but is recovering his strength rapidly.

April 9, 1902 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel Barnes has recovered from his spell of sickness.

March 10, 1904 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana, – Petit Juries for March Term – The Men Who Will Make up the Panels for the Coming Court Session. – Joel C Barnes, Turman tp.

April 27, 1904 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana, – Circuit Allowances – Joel C. Barnes Petit Jury $25.00

September 29, 1904 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel Barnes and family attended the funeral of Bob Conner’s little boy Saturday.

November 3, 1904 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Frances Conner called on his brother-in law, Joel C. Barnes, Sunday. [This relationship is not understood.]

March 29, 1905 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana, – Joel C. Barnes, of Fairbanks township, made the Union [Newspaper] a call Friday. Mr. Barnes is now 48 years of age and still resides in the house that he was born in. He states that he has not been out of Sullivan county only a few times during his lifetime.

January 24, 1907 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Mr. Joel Barnes pronounces the complaint rheumatism.

February 21, 1907 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana, – Joel C. Barnes of Dodd’s bridge was in the city Monday to get an outfit which he had ordered for making maple sugar. Mr. Barnes is the owner of 400 fine sugar trees and is in the sugar and molasses business quite extensively. He says that the sugar is running in great shape.

March 5, 1907 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana, – Mr. Joel Barnes is in the maple sap business, wholesale this year. Joel is an old hand at the business and is manufacturing some excellent syrup without any brown sugar.

April 24, 1907 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana, – Joel Barnes and Charles Harris are hauling logs for the new church.

May 22, 1907 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel Barnes has purchased a new corn planter.

May 23, 1907 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel Barnes is shearing many sheep this season.

July 16, 1907 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Mr. Joel Barnes took a load of fine lambs to the Sullivan market last week.

January 16, 1908 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel Barnes has embarked in the lumber business. Quite a number of logs can be seen at Francis’ Mill belonging to Mr. Barnes ready for the mill.

January 22, 1908 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana – Conferred the Degrees – Graysville, Jan. 18. – The Fairbanks Star No. 321 visited Graysville Chapter this afternoon and conferred the mysteries of the order upon Mr. and Mrs. William Benefield.
Those that attended were…. Mr. and Mrs. Joel Barnes and daughter. After the work was conferred the Graysville chapter prepared a banquet in honor of the visiting members.

May 14, 1908 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana, – Bro. Joel Barnes attended prayer meeting at our church last Thursday night.

August 21, 1909 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – WOMEN PULL HAIR ONE IS ARRESTED – Interesting Scene is Enacted at Dodds Bridge Church Last Sunday

Constable John Watson Saturday just before noon arrested Mrs. Clint Riggs of near Dodds Bridge for assault and batter on Mrs. Joel Barnes. Mrs Riggs promised to come to Sullivan Monday and attend to the matter. Both are prominent, being the wives of well to do farmers in the northwest part of the county.
The assault is alleged to have occurred just as Sunday school adjourned last Sunday and the affair caused quite a sensation in the Neighborhood. Mrs. Riggs is said to have thrown Mrs. Barnes down as she stepped from the church and to have administered a pretty good hair pullinb [sic] before those standing near by separated the two fighting females.
Mrs. Riggs justifies her action by saying that Mrs. Barnes had been telling over the neighborhood that she, (Mrs. Riggs) stole chickens from the Barnes hen roost. Mrs. Barnes denies having told stories of this nature.
Should the case come to trial in the Justice’s court pretty interesting session is looked for.

[Question: Is Mrs. Clint Riggs the mother-in-law of Flora Barnes Riggs and mother of Harlon Riggs? (Also note, Mrs. Joel Barnes (Marada) is Flora’s step-mother and would be about 42-years-old.]

September 16, 1909 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Mr. Joel Barnes and family went to the Webb graveyard to attend to Mrs. Barnes’ parents’ grave last Friday.

August 11, 1910 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Mrs. Joel Barnes and daughters, Alma, Essie and Mabel spent Thursday visiting Mrs. Barnes’ grandsons, the Riggs twins.

[Flora Barnes Riggs had twins.]

February 23, 1911 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel C. Barnes has sold 72 acres of land known as the Prairie farm to a Mr. Alexander of Paris, Ill. Mr. Alexander has also purchased the Ladd place which contains 402 acres and the Charles Boles farm of 120 acres.

March 6, 1911 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – TRANSFERS – Joel C. Barnes to Warner S. Alexander, Land in Fairbanks, $2920.

March 9, 1911 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Tuesday Feb. 27th being the 44th birthday of Mrs. Joel Barnes a large number of her neighbors and friends gathered in to remind her of it. The surprise was complete. At noon 45 guests sat down to such a dinner as the good housewives of that vicinity now how to prepare. The remainder of the day was spent in conversation and singing. And a very touching prayer by Bro. Jas Dodd after which all returned to their homes wishing Mrs. Barnes many a happy return of the day.

….

Mrs. Triphena Mayfield of Beech Grove visited her brother Joel C. Barnes and family Thursday and Friday.

[Note the Sullivan Daily Times reported it was her 43rd birthday. However, it was actually her 44th as reported correctly by the Democrat.]

June 15, 1911 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel Barnes has purchased a new carriage.

July 21, 1911 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Those who attended the conference at Merom were Mr. and Mrs. Joel Barnes and daughters, Alma, Essie and Mabel and Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Brown and daughter Hazel, Mr….

November 8, 1911 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel Barnes an Charles Harris have been hauling gravel on the Kentucky road.

November 9, 1911 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – The appearance of the church was greatly improved last week by grading the lawn and making some concrete steps. Those that assisted in the work were Chas. Boles,… Joel C. Barnes ….

December 26, 1912 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana –

WEDDING SURPRISES FRIENDS

 

Miss Alma Barnes and Charles Harris Wed Quietly

The marriage of Miss Alma Barnes and Mr. Charles Harris of Dodd’s Bridge Thursday, December 19 was a surprise to their many friends. The young couple went to Sullivan where the ceremony was performed.
The Bride is the accomplished daughter of Joel C. Barnes and Mr. Harris is the second son of Mrs. Ann Harris of Sullivan and a prosperous young farmer in this vicinity. They will be at home to their many friends ad his country home after January 7, 1913. We wish them much happeniess.

[Note: Strange phraseology for Charles Harris’ paternity.]

March 13, 1913 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – DODD BRIDGE – The coal drill which was drilling a test hole on Joel C. Barnes’ place completed their work last week and moved the machinery to Sullivan. Good quality of coal was found and also deep veins. The farmers are all anxiously awaiting for their money.

November 24, 1913 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – TWO GOOD WELLS ARE BROUGHT IN – Kennedy and Ohio Oil Companies Find Couple Of Producers.
….
The Ohio Oil Company has made a location on the Joel Barnes farm just a short distance north of Dobbs Bridge in Fairbanks township.
….

December 17, 1913 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana – The Ohio Oil Company Sunday hit a fine producer on the Joel Barnes land near Dodd’s bridge and parties from West Yorkm, Ill. Struk a good producer on the Cushman Farm. Northwest of Graysville. These two finds have caused great excitement in the west part of the county.

December 18, 1913 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana –

CROWD GOES TO SEE WELL SHOT
Joel Barnes Farm In Turman Township Center of Attraction Today.

The well on the Joel Barnes farm in Turman township was drilled in Wednesday,, and will be shot this afternoon. This well is one half mile north of Dodds bridge and is in an entirely new territory, A large number of Sullivan people have gone out to see this well shot.

December 24, 1913 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana – …. The fact that a producing oil well was struck last week on the farm of Joel Barnes in Fairbanks township caused considerable excitement in the west part of the county. The well was first reported as a regular gusher but is now producing twenty barrels per day. The….

July 1, 1914 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Mr. and Mrs. Joel C. Barnes and daughters Essie and Mabel and Mrs. Alma Harris went to Shelburn Sunday to be present at the arrival of the body of their nephew, who died in Honolulu in May.

[Note: need to determine who this may have been.]
Barnes Family in motor car.
c. 1915-1916

August 2, 1916 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Mr. and Mrs. Joel C. Barnes and family motored to Bicknell Saturday to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lister and daughter, Francis.

[Note: This is the first mention of the Barnes family “Motoring” and probably relates to the photo of the family in the automobile.]

August 31, 1916 – Sullivan Democrat – Sullivan, Indiana – Mrs. Mary Crooks, of Sullivan, is visiting her sister, Mrs Joel C. Barnes and recuperating from an attack of hay fever.

March 19, 1918 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – A delightful surprise party was given at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joel C. Barnes, in honor of their fifteenth birthday of their daughter, Miss Essie, and also the birthday of Ray Butler, of near Shelburn. Those in attendance were…

October 25, 1918 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana:

LETTER FROM RAY BARNES 
Joel C. Barnes has received the following letter from his son, Ray Barnes:
Co. E, 309th Amm. Train.
84th Div., A. E. F.

 

Dear Folks:

Am O. K, and hope this will find you people the same. We are on the water now, so you know that I am happy. We are certainly having find weather.

How are the girls getting along in school, and how do they like to be hauled to school? I bet it makes them get up pretty early to get started. Has the Jewell boy got back yet? I heard they were going to send him home. I saw Sam Holt, who used to be at Graysville, at the last camp where I was, and also Jesse Lowery and the Shelburn boys. They sure look like real soldier now. I suppose all of the meons are gone by now. Are are the crops this year? Have they jeard from Oral and Buck lately?

Write to me, if you don’t hear from me as often as you used to.

Your Son,
                         RAYE

January 16, 1919 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – FELL FROM LADDER – Mrs. Joel Barnes of Dodds Bridge fell from a twelve foot ladder while assisting her husband in trimming shade trees, and suffered the fracture of her haw bone and right arm. She was brought to the county hospital by Dr. H. E. Bland of Fairbanks.

[Note: Front Page Article along with WHOLE OF U.S. VOTES DRY – NEBRASKA IS 36TH STATE TO RATIFY]

August 12, 1919 – Sullivan Daily Times – Sullivan, Indiana – Joel C. Barnes received word of the death of his brother, Theodore Barnes, at Danville. Mr. Barnes was a soldier of the Civil War.

July 6, 1921 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana, Front Page

WELL KNOWN FARMER FOUND DEAD IN BED
Joel C. Barnes, 64, of Turman Twp., Succumbs to Attack of Heart Failure

Joel C. Barnes, 64 years old, a native of the county and a life-long resident of Turman township, was found dead in his bed early Thursday morning by his family, who had called him for breakfast and receiving no response found his lifeless body in bed.

The funeral was held Friday afternoon at the Dodds Bridge M. E. church, of which the deceased was a member, and was conducted by Rev. L. L. Johnson, pastor of the Methodist church at Graysville, and the Masonic lodge of Fairbanks, of which the deceased was a member. The widow survives, together with one son, Ray Barnes of Sullivan, and four daughters, Mrs. Harlan Riggs of Fairbanks, Mrs. Chas. Harris of near Dodds Bridge, and misses Essie and Mabel Barnes, who live at home.

Joel C. was a son of Nelson and Mercy (Taft) Barnes who came to this county from Neew York state during the forties. He was born and reared in Turman township and had always followed the vocation of a farmer. In 1876 he was married to Josephine Conner who died in 1892. Five children were born to this union, two survive, Mrs. Charles Harris and Mrs. Harlan Riggs. In 1893 Mr Barnes was married to Maranda Lester, five children being born to this union, three surviving, Ray Barnes and Misses Essie and Mabel Barnes.

Mr. Barnes was a democrat in his political affiliation and was an active member of the Masonic lodge and the Eastern Star lodge at Fairbanks.

July 13, 1921 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT

Notice is hereby given that the undersigned as been appointed administrator of the estate of Joel C. Barnes, late of Sullivan County, Indiana, deceased. Said estate is supposed to be solvent.

Ray Barnes, Administrator. Arthur E. DeBaun, Attorney.
1st insertion July 13, 1921 – 3t.
———- DISCLAIMER ———-

 

Getting to Know an Ancestor – Essie Pansy Barnes Roberts (1903-1982)

Getting to Know an Ancestor: 

Starting with Ancestry and Family Search

My primary reason for genealogical research is to get to know someone, an ancestor. Often the ancestor is mine or my wife’s but occasionally the ancestor is a friend’s or, not nearly often enough, a client.  Census records are a key starting point to know an ancestor. Census records also situate the individual in time and place, which then provides a context for other searching and getting to know the ancestor.  Information about my presentation, “Getting to Know You: Ancestors through Genealogy” is on my website.
I like to use Ancestry.com as my baseline regarding an individual.  Many of their collections include images, which make validation of the transcriptions easier.  Family Search is also an excellent resource. Because of indexing quirks, sometimes you can find an ancestor on one system and not the other. Family Search also has many of the Census records images available through them at no charge. For census records that they don’t have the image for, Family Search often directs you to the images on Ancestry or Fold3. What is really cool is you can save records you find, when the image is not available from Family Search, to a personal Source Box (you need a free account with Family Search).  Later, you can visit your local library, most of whom have access to the Library Edition of Ancestry.com and/or Library access to Fold 3, access your Family Search account, then access your source box. From there you should be able to select the images you have been wanting, download them to a thumb drive and have the images you desire. Personally, I find having an Ancestry.Com account well worth the expense and I recommend getting one. If you are an AARP member and want an Ancestry.com account, CALL Ancestry and tell them you want the one-time AARP Member discount.  If you haven’t used the discount already, you can use it for a renewal too.
I find it difficult to write about an ancestor I’ve never known, nor met in person, when there are many other people who knew the ancestor in life. With the exception of the photo, the below story of Essie Pansy Barnes Roberts is based almost entirely on what I have found on Ancestry.com. My goal was to follow Essie through all the Censuses during her life and then fill in some details based upon stumble on finds on Ancestry (got to love those shaky leaves). Next time I’ll use what I learned here and use social media, scour newspapers, and search other sources for relevant information to fill in the texture of her life, but here are the basics of Essie’s life.

RB05 – Essie Pansy Barnes Roberts (1903-1982)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 6

Essie Barnes Roberts aka “Gran”
to her many grandchildren.
Photo courtesy of granddaughter.  
Essie Pansy Barnes was born on 15 March 1903 in Graysville (Turman Township, Sullivan County) Indiana.[i] She died on 20 November 1982 in Mount Clemens (Macomb, Michigan), aged 79[ii].
She is the daughter of Joel Clinton Barnes (1857-1921), and Marada Mae Lister, (aka Marady, May, Morady, & Maranda) (1867-1932).
The 1900 Census indicates that before she was born, her mother, Marada, had three children before 1900. One was John Lister, whose father is unknown. One was an older brother, Ray, whose father was Joel Barnes. The third child was born and died before 1900. It is unclear of that child was Joel’s of if he or she had a different father. [iii]
Likewise, her father had three children by another wife, Sarah Josephine Conner. The children were Flora, Flava, and Anna/Alma.  Flava was born in 1881 and died in 1882.  This set the stage for Essie’s birth in 1903.
1910 Census indicates 7-year-old Essie living in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana with her father, mother, paternal half-sister Anna, maternal half-brother John A, Lister, older brother Ray, and younger sister Mabel. Essie was attending school. The 1910 Census also indicates that her mother had six children, four of which were living. The implication of this is that Marada had another child between 1900 and 1910 that had died.[iv] 
1920 Census indicates the 16-year-old Essie living in Turman Township, Indiana with father, mother, brother Ray, and sister Mabel Bessie. Essie was attending school.[v]
In May, 1922, Essie married Bert Allen Roberts (1903-1949), son of Hugh Ellis  Roberts (1884-1908) and  Clora D  Scott [roberts] [adams] (1884-?) in Sullivan County, Indiana[vi]. Her marriage registration indicates that her father was dead. Subsequent research found that her father, Joel, died in 1921. The registration also indicates she was living in Graysville, which is an unincorporated community in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana, the same place she was born.
The 1930 Census finds the young couple thirty miles to the north renting a home at 613 North 15th Street in Terre Haute, Indiana. Bert is working in construction as a plumber’s helper. Their oldest child Pansy is attending school. Their oldest son, Bert and their twins, Hugh and Helen, and Essie’s 63-year-old mother, Marada (“May” in the Census) round out the household.[vii] Marada died in 1932.
Ancestry.Com’s City Directories for Terre Haute show the Bert and Essie living at 354 Chestnut in 1934 and 1936. [viii] [ix]
The 1940 Census finds the family living at 1719 Chestnut Street, Terre Haute. Because they are living at the “same place” as in 1935, it appears that they moved up Chestnut Street and didn’t have the street renumbered. 
Their oldest daughter is listed in the 1940 Census as “Penny” and not Pansy. She is 17 years old and attending high school.
Bert Junior is 15 years old and also attending high school.
The twins, Helen & Hugh, are 13-years-old and are attending grade school (7th grade)
Finally, 11-year-old John is in the 5th grade.[x]
Sometime in the 1940’s the Roberts’ moved to the Detroit, Michigan area.  Essie’s husband, Bert, died in a fiery motor vehicle accident in 1949.

Essie lived Ferndale (Oakland County, Michigan) sometime before 1982 when she died at Mount Clemens, Macomb County, Michigan.[xi]

Further Research

The name, birth, & death of the child born before 1900 that died.
   Ada Barnes was born on 21 March 1898 and died on 19 December 1899.
The name, birth, & death of the child born between 1900 and 1910 that died.
   Nelson Barns was born on 14 April 1901 and died 22 November 1902.
Trace Essie oldest daughter’s name from Pansy to Penny and determine what her name actually was. It may also give insight into Essie’s middle name of Pansy.
Trace the children of Bert & Essie through the school system.

Endnotes
[i] Sources: Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 – Family Search (Other) – 1930 Census / Indiana, Vigo, Terre Haute, Page 9A – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other) – 1940 Census / Terre Haute, Vigo Indiana – Bert Roberts – Ancestry.com  (Other) – 1910 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 178, Page 8A – Joel C Barnes – Ancestry.Com (Digitizing) – 1920 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 0270, Sheet 1B – Ancestry.Com (Digitizing) – U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 / Essie Roberts – 384-20-4983 – Ancestry (Other) – Michigan Deaths, 1971-1996 / Essis P Roberts (1903-1982) – Ancestry (Internet)
[ii] Source: Michigan Deaths, 1971-1996 / Essis P Roberts (1903-1982) – Ancestry (Internet)
[iii] Source: 1900 Census, Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, ED 138, Sheet 7B – Joel C Barnes, Ancestry
[iv] Source: 1910 Census, Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 178, Page 8A – Joel C Barnes, Ancestry
[v] Source: 1920 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 0270, Sheet 1B – Ancestry.com  (Digitizing)
[vi] Sources: Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 – Family Search (Other) – 1930 Census / Indiana, Vigo, Terre Haute, Page 9A – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other)
[vii] Source: 1930 Census / Indiana, Vigo, Terre Haute, Page 9A – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other)
[viii] Source: U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 / 1934 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Bert A Roberts. – Ancestry (Other)
[ix] Source: U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 / 1936 – Terre Haute – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other)
[x] Sources: 1940 Census / Terre Haute, Vigo Indiana – Bert Roberts – Ancestry.com  (Other) – U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 / 1940 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other)
[xi] Sources: U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 / Essie Roberts – 384-20-4983 – Ancestry (Other) – Michigan Deaths, 1971-1996 / Essis P Roberts (1903-1982) – Ancestry (Internet)
———- DISCLAIMER ———-
Search Military Records - Fold3 Search Military Records - Fold3

Donna in Logansport, IN, at the Nelson Theatre – February 19, 1920

I haven’t discovered where the “Chin Chin” cast were immediately before they arrived at the Nelson Theatre in Logansport, Indiana on February 19th. We know they were in Madison, WI for Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th, but are still unsure where they were from the 15th through the 18th, immediately before the one night show in Logansport.

Advertising

February 11th was the first announcement for the show in the Logansport Pharos-Tribune. It was a very lengthy article, “Chin Chin’ Is Coming To the Nelson Theater.” Another article appeared on the 12th.

The trials and tribulations of a show on the road is evidenced by the Logansport Pharos-Tribune on February 13th. Apparently, back on February 8th, the Barnett Hotel caught fire and was destroyed. With the “Chin Chin” cast coming to town there were not enough hotel rooms available for the cast of 55 members. Because of that, the cast would use sleeper cars during their stay[i].

Logansport Pharos-Tribune – Feb 13, 1920 · Page 2

HOTELS ALL FULL SO
SHOW COMPANY WILL
STAY IN SLEEPERS

Logansport’s loss in hotel accommodations, occasioned by the fire that destroyed the Barnett hotel last Sunday afternoon, made itself conspicuous yesterday when Jack Goettler, advance agent for “Chin Chin,” the Charles Dillingham production to be staged at the Nelson next Thursday, was unable to secure hotel accommodations for the company that will present the attraction here.

There are 55 members in the company, and Goettler sought all the local hostelries in his efforts to make reservations for the members. Before leaving the city last night, the advance agent said the company would come to Logansport in sleepers which would be used to house the people during their stay here. 

Donna is probably the 2nd from Left
Source: Logansport Pharos-Tribune
February 14, 1920, Page 5
Via Newspapers.Com

Also on the 14th was a picture of “The Four Leading Ladies of Chin Chin” Although the quality of the photo isn’t very good, it appears that Donna is the woman 2nd from left.

Additionally there was a short article about the show focusing mostly upon it being a Charles Dillingham Production and that it includes an Ivan Caryll score.

News on the 15th focused upon the show being an extravaganza and included photos of the bareback riders in the show which we have seen before.

An article on the 17th was really interesting as it explained something of the unknown previously [ii].

Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Indiana) · Tue, Feb 17, 1920 · Page 5

Salaries Are Higher
In “Chin Chin”


“Handsome is as handsome does,” is not applicable in the selection of the chorus of the present day musical comedy. The demand for a beauty chorus has increased the salaries of the fair young girls more than 100 per cent in the past ten years. In 190? the average salary was $15.00 per week. Today the lowest salary of a “Chin Chin” girl is $30, and range from that figure to $50.00 for the “first row girls.”

The American chorus girl recognized as the best in the world, receives many times the amount paid to the “flappers” of London or the “ensemble” of Paris. In London two pound is the average, while in Paris 132 francs is the highest salary paid.

In “Chin Chin” which comes to the Nelson theatre Thursday night, there are thirty girls, the average salary is #35.00 and the season last 40 weeks, bring the total charged to $42,000

In 1900 a company in a musical comedy usually had twenty-four girls with the salary of $15.00 the total paid was 0 the total paid was $12,499. So today the manager charges $29,600 to the “high cost of beauty.”
We know Donna was a “front row girl” so we can assume she earned $50.00 per week.

On the 18th, there is an article which mentions that “Chin Chin” will be greeted by a Full House and there was an unusual demand for tickets. There is also mention of an article in the Memphis Tenn. News Scimstar that the show played at the New Lyric apparently the Sunday night proceeding. [Possibly the 15th.]

1920-02-14 – Logansport Pharos-Tribune

On show day, February 19th, 1920 there is a very interesting photo of two of the cast members. There are errors between the header & footer. It shows Aladdin and the American Girl but it mentions that it is playing at the Colonial Theater for three days. A definite mistake but the costumes clearly appear to be “Chin Chin.” There is also a photo of the 16 “Chin Chinners” (women staring in the show, a short article, and the regular “Chin Chin” advertising.

The day after the show, an after show review ran in the paper as well. In it Donna is mentioned.

Miss Montran as the Goddess of the Lamp, was delightfully charming, and her rich, musical voice captivated the audience with her first solo, “Violet” and gained her more favor when she sane “The Gray Dove.”

The Nelson Theater
The Nelson theatre opened in 1908[iii]. It was renovated in 1917 and reopened to the public on 6 November, 1917, as the Majestic Theatre.[iv] Sometime between then and 1920 it must have changed its name back as it was called the Nelson Theater when Donna and Chin Chin played there on 19 Feb 1920. According to Cinema Treasures it was renamed the Luna Theatre in 1921. This is confirmed by the 1922 Supplement to the Julius Cahn Gus Hill Theatrical Guide, which lists the theater as the Luna. Interestingly enough the manager in the 1922 supplement, H. R. Byerly must be the same person as the Harlow Byerly who announced the “Chin Chin” show coming to the Nelson in 1920[v].  Apparently there wasn’t a management change between the Nelson and the Luna theatres as is typical when theaters are renamed or change hands. The 1922 Guide also indicates that the theater capacity didn’t change between during the 1917 renovation and 1922. The theater held 1190 people, 422 on the floor level, 320 in the balcony, 400 in the gallery, and 48 in the boxes[vi].

According to Cinema Treasures, the theater was renamed the Roxy Theatre in November 1934 and operated into at least the early 1950s. It was closed in the late 1950s and stood unused into the 1970s[vii].

I have been unable to find a photo of the Nelson Theater that may be used on this site. There is an excellent photo on Flickr at https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1182/5126153267_4793abb028.jpg which shows the Barnett Hotel and the Nelson Theater were next door to each other. I’ll bet you could smell the Barnett during the show at the Nelson only 11 days after the fire.

Further Research
Look for “Chin Chin” playing at the New Lyric in Memphis, TN, possibly the 15th of February. Check the News Scimstar for articles.

     [Update: I have been unable to find any Memphis newspapers from February 1920 on line.  Also, the Logansport paper mist named the Memphis paper. It should have been the News Scimitar.  The Library of Congress indicates that

Tennessee State Libr & Arch, Nashville, TN
Univ of Memphis, Memphis, TN

are both holding, however, neither have February 1920 issues. The Tennessee State Library & Archive indicates that they may have the issues in question.  I will put a visit there on my wish list.]

Endnotes

[i] Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport,
Indiana) · Fri, Feb 13, 1920 · Page 2 via Newspapers.Com
[ii] Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport,
Indiana) · Tue, Feb 17, 1920 · Page 5 via Newspapers.Com
[iii]
Cinema Treasures – Roxy Theatre.
[v] Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport,
Indiana) · Sat, Feb 14, 1920 · Page 5 via Newspapers.Com
[vii]
Cinema Treasures – Roxy Theatre

————- DISCLAIMER ————-