Ira BARNES was born May 1840 in Illinois, USA. He died 28 May 1920 in Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota, USA. Eliza UNKNOWN in Wisconsin, USA. She died bef. 1880.


Children of Ira BARNES and Eliza UNKNOWN are:
1. Marzo BARNES, b. abt. 1868
2. Ruth J BARNES, b. 16 May 1875

Other Marriages/Unions for Ira BARNES:
See Ira BARNES & Mary Catherine KNIBBS


Notes for Ira BARNES:

Also known as: Katherine H

The LDS tell us that Ira was the son of James and Lydia Barnes.
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We first see Ira in 1870, living in the village of Brodhead, Green County, Wisconsin, with his wife and son Alonzo. They were living with several others in the household of a Catharine Conet, a widow from Hesse Damstadt, Germany:
Ira Barnes M 35 Cabinet Maker New York
Eliza Barnes F 25 Wisconsin
Alonzo Barnes M 2 Wisconsin
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We can see Ira in 1880, living with his parents and two children living at Brodhead, Green County, Wisconsin. He's identified as a widower.

James Barnes Head Mar 76 NY Retired Farmer RI MA
Lydia Barnes Wife Mar 74 NY Keeping House RI RI
Ira Barnes Son Wid 40 IL Furniture Merchant NY NY
Marzo Barnes GSon 12 WI At Home IL WI
Ruth Barnes GDau 5 Dakota IL WI

Unfortunately, we don't yet know any further details about Ira's first wife, other than she was born in Wisconsin, USA.
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I believe from the obituary of Ira's second wife's mother (Amelia Knibbs) that Ira and his second wife Mary Knibbs were living in Aberdeen, South Dakota in 1887 when Mary's mother died at Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa.
Tragically, Ira's mother also died in January 1887 and Ira was unable to attend her funeral at Broadhead, Wisconsin on 5 January because he was at his mother-in-law Amelia Knibbs' death bed with his wife.
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In 1889-1890, Ira was living in Aberdeen City, Brown Cpunty, South Dakota and had sisters-in-law Harriet and Helen B Knibbs living with him as boarders.
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In 1900, Ira and Mary were living at Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota. Ira is listed as a grocery merchant born Mar 1840 in Illinois (parents both new York) and Mary as a housewife born Mar 1859 Wisconsin, parents born where expected. They had been married 19 years. She had 4 children one of whom had died. A son John R 18 and daughter Ruth J 25 are with them. John would be the son from Ira Barnes' first marriage, and Ruth the daughter from his second marriage to Katy Knibbs.

Barnes Ira 60 May 1840 b.New York Grocery Merchant
Barnes Catherine Wife 41 Mar 1859 b.Wisconsin House Wife
Barnes John H Son 18 Feb 1882 b.Wisconsin At School
Barnes Ruth J Daug 25 May 1875 b.South Dakota Teacher Kindergarten

Ruth was Ira's daughter from a previous marriage.
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We see Ira in 1910 living at Aberdeen Ward 4, Brown, South Dakota:
Ira Barnes Head Mar 69 Illinois
Katherine H Barnes Wife Mar 51 Wisconsin
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In 1920, we see Ira living at Brown, South Dakota:
Ira Barnes Head Mar 79 Illinois
Katherine M Barnes Wife Mar 60 Wisconsin
Dortha Luker 35 Wisconsin
Bernice Farnam 28 South Dakota
Margurite Blair 26 South Dakota
Aggrues Sawyer 28 Kansas
Anna Lindblom 30 South Dakota
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We understand from an obituary for Ira's mother-in-law Amelia Knibbs, that Ira was "a gentleman highly esteemed". Other items have identified that he seemed to be an active and well respected member of the community at Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota.

From the Early History of Brown County, South Dakota by Miss Helen Bergh:
The greatest civic enterprise of its day was the erection of the Grain Palace in 1893. It stood at Main Street and Fifth Avenue covering half a block with a seating capacity for 1600 persons. The work was all done by citizens, who gave labor or pledges of money. It was an ornate structure devoted to conventions, entertainments and an annual fall display of agricultural products. One of these was denominated as the state fair. At this annual exposition the festivities were presided over by the Grain Lady known as the Queen of Aberdeen. She was wholly garbed in grains and grasses, on her head a crown of the same. Her left hand held flowers and upon her wrist was poised a live pigeon. Grain Palace sentiment was brought to the point of action by a committee consisting of Rev. F. A. Burdick, Ira Barnes, George Schlosser, Robert Moody as president and C. F. Easton, treasurer.

On January 7, 1899, Senator Lawson, often thought to be the father of the Northern Normal and Industrial School, proposed a bill for the creation of the school in Aberdeen; the bill went through many revisions and it would not be until March 2, 1899 that the new school would exist on paper; however both a site and funding were still needed. In 1900 Aberdeen had the fastest growing population in northern South Dakota and supporters for the building of the School began to organize in greater numbers.

Wealthy Aberdonians quickly responded and started to donate their land for the school; responding to the demand to pick a site, the Aberdeen City Council created a committee of twenty-five individuals responsible for choosing the location. The committee was comprised of the well-to-do individuals of Aberdeen, including Ira Barnes, W.F.T Bushnell, C.F. Easton, F.W. Brooks, Ed Askew, B.C. Lamont, William Tennant, W.G Bickellhaupt, James Lawson, and Andrew Melgaard.
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Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Ira.

Sources for Ira BARNES:

  1. 1900 US Federal Census,
  2. findagrave.com,
  3. 1870 US Federal Census,
  4. 1880 US Federal Census,

Notes for Eliza UNKNOWN:

Sources for Eliza UNKNOWN:

  1. 1880 US Federal Census,

Notes for Marzo BARNES:

Sources for Marzo BARNES:

  1. 1880 US Federal Census,

Notes for Ruth J BARNES:

I think it was this Ruth Barnes who married a man named Bruce McVay from Iowa on 28 Jul 1909 at Aberdeen, Souith Dakota.
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I believe this is Bruce and Ruth in 1910, living at Woonsocket Ward 1, Sanborn, South Dakota:
Bruce Mc Vay Head Mar 45 Iowa
Ruth J Mc Vay Wife Mar 34 South Dakota
Margaret E Mc Vay Daur 6 South Dakota
Ruth L Mc Vay Daur 5 South Dakota

I'm not sure if the children were from Bruce and Ruth or if perhaps Bruce had married previousl;y.
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In 1925, they were living in South Dakota.

Sources for Ruth J BARNES:

  1. 1880 US Federal Census,
  2. 1900 US Federal Census,
  3. LDS IGI Records, gave location