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Edward O. Barnes
Posted by Jean Crowl 7 May, 2009
From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894) May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
EDWARD O. BARNES is recognized as one of the leading citizens of Raritan, who is prominently identified with its best interests, and is active in promoting those enterprises which are calculated to prove of public benefit. He is now engaged in the publication of the Raritan Reporter and also deals in groceries and gents' furnishing goods. He was born in La Harpe, Ill., on the 11th of September, 1858, and is a son of Harrison H. and Mary E. (Coulsou) Barnes. They are among the honored pioneer settlers of Hancock County, and are still living in La Harpe. Further mention is made of them in connection with the sketch of Robert H. Barnes, on another page of this work.
Our subject remained at home and attended the public schools of La Harpe until fourteen years of age, when he began working as a delivery boy and assistant clerk in a grocery store. There he remained for about a year, when the La Harpe Leader was established, and he entered the new printing-office. Five mouths later he came to Raritan, where for half a year he was employed as a salesman in a general store. He then worked for eight months in his brother's harness-shop at this place, after which he began clerking in his brother's hardware store, and also became fore- man and local editor of the Raritan Bulletin, with which he was connected until the spring of 1881. He then went to Kirkwood and established the Kirkwood Leader, in partnership with H. C. Smalley, but in the following December he sold out and returned to Raritan, working for his brother in the furniture store until September, 1883.
Mr. Barnes then went to Beadle County, S. Dakota, and for a short time worked on the Huron Leader. Later he became foreman of the Jim Rivoli Pilot, of Altona, S. Dakota, and continued his connection with the same until December, when he returned to Raritan for a few months. His next place of residence was in Omaha, Neb., where for three mouths he worked on the Omaha Bee, after which he came to this place and established the Raritan Reporter. It was at first only seven by ten inches in size, but the following January he enlarged it to a six-column folio, and has published it continuously since. In 1889, he erected the first brick building ever put up for an office in Raritan, and still occupies it. In the building adjoining his printing-office, he put in a stock of gents' furnishing goods, and in July, 1892, he formed a partnership with C. B. Gove, a dealer in groceries and furnishing goods. They continued business together until August, 1893, when Mr. Barnes bought out his partner's interest and has since been alone in merchandising.
On the 23d of November, 1880, was celebrated the marriage of Edward O. Barnes and Miss Emma May Stansbury, of Raritan. Three children were born unto them, but Herman S, the eldest, died at the age of two and a half years. Charles Harrison and Edna Claribel are still with their parents. The lady is a member of the Reformed Church.
Mr. Barnes votes with the Democratic party, but edits his paper independently. Socially, he is a member of Raritan Lodge No. 170, I. O. O. F., and Raritan Camp No. 862, M. W. A., in both of which he has filled all the offices. He has for three years served as representative from the Odd Fellows' society to the Grand Lodge, and takes an active interest in the work of the fraternity. He conducts both his newspaper business and his store, and is one of the wide-awake and enterprising young business men who give life and prosperity to a town.