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John F. Barnes

One of Wyoming’s successful stockmen, John F. Barnes, is a native of Missouri and a son of Joseph and Jane (Bennight) Barnes, the father born in Alabama and the mother in the same state in which their son, John, first saw the light of day. Joseph Barnes settled in Dent County, Missouri as early as 1844, and became one of the prosperous farmers of that part of the state. After remaining there until 1868, he migrated to northern Arkansas, where he spent the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits, dying in Sharp County in August 1875; Mrs. Barnes preceded her husband to the other world, departing this life in Missouri in 1863. John F. Barnes was born on November 17, 1857, in Dent County Missouri, and at the age of ten he accompanied the family to Arkansas. He was reared on the farm and spent his early life as his father'’ assistant growing up with a strong constitution which enabled him easily to withstand the rough usage he afterwards experienced on the range. He remained at home until he was about sixteen years old, when he severed the ties which bound him to the family fireside and in company with his brother, Thomas, returned to Dent County, Missouri, where they there engaged in farm work. Subsequently he quit that kind of labor and found employment in the mines of Dent County, following the latter vocation until coming to Wyoming in 1883. During the six years following his arrival in this state, Mr. Barnes worked on different ranches near Cheyenne, meantime becoming associated with a Mr. Blackwell in the cattle business, the two taking up land in Laramie County, about twenty miles east of Fort Laramie. They stocked their place after which Mr. Barnes returned to his work near Cheyenne, leaving his partner to look after their mutual interests on the ranch. Mr. Barnes continued in the employment of various parties until 1889, when he returned to his ranch to assist in the management of the business which had gradually grown in magnitude and importance during the intervening years. Mr. Barnes and Mr. Blackwell kept up their partnership until 1894 at which time the latter sold his interest to Mr. Barnes, who thus became sole proprietor. Since that year he has steadily continued to build up a prosperous business and at the present time he has a fine herd of cattle which with the ranch in his possession represents a fortune of sufficient magnitude to place him in independent circumstances. Mr. Barnes is a man of enterprise imbued with the true western spirit, which seldom fails to win success. While primarily interested in his own affairs he has not been unmindful of his duty to the community, consequently all movements for the public welfare and in him a zealous patron and to the extent of his ability a liberal supporter. Personally he enjoys the confidence of his fellow citizens and is popular with all parties with whom he mingles. He is a liberal provider for his family and has a comfortable home, which is the abode of a genuine western hospitality freely, dispensed to all who claim it. The marriage of Mr. Barnes and Miss Catherine Weber was solemnized near Fort Laramie on March 10, 1897. Mrs. Barnes was born in Idaho, being the daughter of John and Mary Weber, natives of Germany and early settlers of the Platte River Valley. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have two bright children; Della G. and Alice M., in whom are centered many hopes for the future.

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