BARNES, ROBERT A. - Springfield gave many of her native sons to the service of the country. The Capital City was too loyal and too enthusiastic, being the home of Lincoln and the capital of the State of Grant and Logan, for there to be any lack of soldiers to round out the full measure of enlistments. One of the men born here, who demonstrated his patriotism in this way, was Robert A. Barnes, now a retired agriculturist residing at No. 306 East Cedar Street, born January 16, 1845. He is a son of George C. and Mary Jane (Meyers) Barnes, and grandson of Gilbert Barnes, of German birth, who located in Dauphin County, Pa., and whose death occurred in Springfield, about 1849. George C. Barnes was born in Dauphin County about 1817, early in life learned the carpenter trade, and when he came to Springfield in 1840, he found ready employment, being thus engaged until 1852, when he moved to the Preston Breckenridge settlement, and from there to a farm (1855) in the southeastern part of Sangamon County, which he improved. He paid seven dollars per acre, for 120 acres. It is now worth $175 per acre. In 1860 he sold this farm at a profit, but at nothing like the figure it commands today. His wife died in 1849, and in 1851, he married Susan Hutton, of Macoupin County. After selling his first farm, he bought eighty acres in Sand Prairie, selling it in 1866. He then moved to Ottawa, Kan., purchasing 200 acres in that vicinity, and died there in 1897. Of the three children born of the first marriage Robert A. is the only survivor. The following children, now living, were born of the second marriage: Jane, John, Edwin, Charles, Hosea, Anna, Lizzie and Arthur.
Until he was seventeen years of age, Robert A. Barnes attended the country and city schools. The first city school he attended, was in a frame house which stood near what is now the corner of Eleventh and Adams Streets. In May, 1863, he enlisted for six months as a teamster. In February, 1864, he reenlisted as a private for three years or during the war, in Company C, One Hundred Twenty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Colonel Howe. The regiment was attached to the Seventeenth Army Corps, under General Sherman, but later transferred to the Sixteenth Army Corps, under A. J. Smith. Mr. Barnes participated in the battles of Canton, Clinton, Jackson Crossroads, Champion Hill, Mobile, and others less important. At the close of the war, Mr. Barnes returned to Springfield and began farming on his place of thirty acres in Christian County. This he sold, moving to a forty-acre farm in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon County. Until 1903, he was engaged in farming, but in that year, sold his property, moving to Springfield, which has since been his place of residence.
On March 15, 1868, occurred his marriage with Susan J. Cary, daughter of Samuel H. and Anna (Fogle) Cary, deceased. Mr. Cary was an old and highly respected farmer of Sangamon County. He married Anna Fogle, of Noble County, O., where Mrs. Barnes was born March 3, 1851. When she was six years old, her parents moved to Sangamon County, and there she attended school until she was sixteen years old. She was brought up in the Methodist Church, of which she is a member, while her husband belongs to the Christian Church. The children born to them are as follows: Annie, Mrs. H. H. Snodgrass, of Springfield; Fred, of Peoria, married Linnie Ferguson; Lillie, Mrs. Harmon Haggard, of Springfield; George, of Springfield, married Pearl Adams; Emma, Mrs. Luther Jacobs, of Springfield; Mary, Mrs. John Ginther, of Edinburg, Ill.; Myrtle, Mrs. Oscar Drennan of Springfield; Maud, Mrs. Wesley Truax, of Springfield. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have twenty-one grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all living. Mr. Barnes belongs to Stephenson Post No. 30, G.A.R., of Springfield, and to the Odd Fellows, No. 268, Rochester Lodge. In politics, he is a Republican. He is a man who has always done what he believed was his full duty, and has every reason to be proud of the record, he has made for himself in the city and county that gave him birth.