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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILFORD P. BARNES, a well known business man of Warrensburg, and formerly a member of the firm of Barnes & Christopher, is now a traveling salesman. When in his twentieth year he embarked in business on his own account as an agriculturist, and the first year cleared over $600. During the following ten years he operated a farm near Holden, and in this way laid the foundation of his success. In 1893 he invested in a tract of land near Houston, Tex., and now owns four hundred acres in that vicinity. In the fall of 1894 he embarked in the livery business in Warrensburg, but in the spring of the following year he sold his interest in the concern.

The parents of our subject are L. N. and Bettie A. (Pratt) Barnes, the former a native of Monkton, Addison County, Vt., and the latter of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The father, when about five years old, accompanied his parents to Ohio, and settled on a tract of land in the wilderness of Cuyahoga County. Soon after removing there. Grandfather Barnes died, leaving three children. When our subject’s father arrived at mature years he began cutting and rafting timber down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. He went to the southern part of Ohio to begin his work, and landed there with only twenty-five cents, but during the season made about $600 for the company by whom he was employed. After two years he went to Jefferson City, Mo., and located land-warrants for himself and others. His education was a good one for that day and was acquired by self-culture. He was especially fond of mathematics, and was a competent surveyor.

In Johnson County, October 4, 1859, Mr. Barnes married Bettie A. Pratt, with whom he had been acquainted from childhood, and who had come to this county with her married sister. Until the war they lived on a farm west of Holden and then moved to Indianapolis, Ind., where they resided until the close of hostilities. During that time Mr. Barnes was superintendent of the city railroad yards, having nine tracks under his charge. On going back to Johnson County, he took up his abode in Madison Township, and a year later sold out, buying a farm east of Holden, and there he passed his remaining years, his death occurring in October, 1891. In politics he was a Whig, and in later years a Republican and, although he was not an office-seeker, was Assessor for one term. He was a charter member of the Masonic lodge at Holden, and was also a charter member of the Christian Church, in which he served both as Deacon and Elder.

W. P. Barnes was born near Holden, September 10, 1860, and from his sixth year has lived in this county, as for a few years previous to that he was a resident of Indianapolis. Though he had but poor opportunities for obtaining an education, he made the best of his advantages and is to-day a well informed man. May 8, 1881, his marriage with Mattie G. Briscoe was celebrated in Center View Township, in which locality her birth occurred December 3, 1859. To their union have been born two children: Arthur S., whose birth occurred near Center View, October 10, 1887; and Elmer C., born near Holden, September 19, 1889. Mr. Barnes cast his maiden vote for James G. Blaine in 1884, and is a loyal Republican.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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