BARNES, CAREY E. - There is no profession that carries with it more dignity or calls for more reliability from its members than that of the law. From it, come the men who are called to guide the Ship of State; through it, the basis on which the country stands, is set, and its members are everywhere called upon to protect the weak, as well as dispense justice to the strong. Carey E. Barnes, of Springfield, is a type in the profession that has furnished some of our strongest men; the type that was born and bred on the farm, later becoming a country school teacher, and after a long and hard struggle, during which the strictest economy and frugality had to be practiced, finally was admitted to the Bar and subsequently achieved success.
Carey E. Barnes was born at Litchfield, Ill., January 21, 1865, a son of Walter J. and Nancy (Willian) Barnes. Walter J. Barnes was a native of New York State, but as a young man, decided that he could find more opportunities in the West. He subsequently came to Illinois, where he was married to Nancy Willian, and they settled in Litchfield. For a number of years Mr. Barnes was engaged as a car dresser, in the shops of the Big Four Railroad Company, but later he purchased a farm and lived there until his death, in 1905, his property being located near Edinburg, Ill.
The boyhood of Carey E. Barnes was spent much as that of any other farmer's son, but he was a boy with ambition far above that of the average youth, and he embraced every opportunity that presented itself, to gain a good education. After a term of years in the district schools of his locality, he spent three years in the Northern Indiana Normal School, at Valparaiso, Ind., and in order to earn enough to get a law education, he taught in the country schools four years. He then took up the study of his profession with the law firm of Conkling & Crout, and was admitted to practice at the Bar in 1892, at which time he formed a partnership with John S. Schnepp, the present Mayor of Springfield, who wrote the "Municipal History of Springfield," appearing in the historical section of this work. The firm operated under the name of Schnepp & Barnes. In 1899, Mr. Barnes was elected to the office of City Attorney, and shortly thereafter formed a new connection, his partner being Hon. James A. Connolly, under the firm name, Connolly & Barnes. Mr. Connolly is the contributor of the history of the "Bench and Bar of Sangamon County," which appears in this work. Mr. Barnes served as Clerk of the House of Representatives, of the Thirty-ninth General Assembly, at Springfield. In every connection, he has shown himself to be a man of the strictest integrity, and his record as a citizen and public official is one of which any man need not be ashamed.
In 1894, Mr. Barnes was united in marriage with Jennie E. Simpson, of Springfield, Ill., daughter of Mark Simpson, of Decatur, Ill. To Mr. and Mrs. Barnes, there have been born, two children, Elsie and Jennie. Fraternally, Mr. Barnes is connected with the B.P.O.E., the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Improved Order of Red Men, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Court of Honor, in all of which organizations, he is extremely popular.