Ira BARNES was born May 1840 in Illinois, USA. He married Mary Catherine KNIBBS 24 May 1881 in Broadhead, Green County, Wisconsin, USA. He died 28 May 1920 in Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota, USA. Mary Catherine KNIBBS, daughter of John KNIBBS and Amelia Ann BLODGETT , was born March 1859 in Wisconsin, USA. She died 06 April 1947 in Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota, USA.

Children of Ira BARNES and Mary Catherine KNIBBS are:
1. John Knibbs BARNES, b. 16 February 1882 See John Knibbs BARNES & Agnes Irene LEVERS

Marriage Notes for Ira BARNES\Mary Catherine KNIBBS:

Other Marriages/Unions for Ira BARNES:

Notes for Ira BARNES:

Also known as: Katherine H

The LDS tell us that Ira was the son of James and Lydia Barnes.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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,
  3. 1870 US Federal Census,
  4. 1880 US Federal Census,

Notes for Mary Catherine KNIBBS:

Also known as: Katie M or Kate or Kathrina Mary

From the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, (Milwaukee, WI) July 02, 1878:

Commencement Exercises
Our city schools closed for the summer term Friday. Commencement exercises of the high school were held in the Courthouse in the afternoon, consisting of orations and essays. Seventeen young ladies and gentlemen graduated. Their names are Misses Mary Barden, Katie and Nellie Knibbs, Susie Wells, Susie Whitelaw, Loa Kennan, Martha Karch and Rachel Buttrey. The gentlemen were Fred Turner, Fred Cole.

Note that Mary was known at Katie and her sister Helen was known as Nellie.

The History of the City of Portage, Columbia County tells us that Kathrina Mary Knibbs and her sister Helen Blodgett Knibbs both graduated from the Portage High School in 1878.
Under the careful management of teachers and officials, the class of '78 were very encouraging and satisfactory. The graduates were Mary Ellen Borden, Rachael Ann Buttery, Joseph Francis Gallagher, Loa Brown Kennan, Kathrina Mary Knibbs, Thurlow Wheeler Maine, Isabella Jane O'Neill, Lillie Elenor Schneider, James Horace Wells, Susy F. Whitelaw, Grant Robinson Bennett, James Alfred Cole, Martha Ann Karch, Helen Blodgett Knibbs, Bennet R. Lewis, Bernard Joseph McMahon, Louis Oscar Pfaff, Fred Jackson Turner and Susan Elizabetyh Wells.

At some time between August 1878 and December 1879, Mary was appointed to the Third Ward Second Primary School.
From August, 1878, to December, 1879, the only changes in teachers to note are the appointment of Miss M. Karch to the First Ward High Intermediate, Miss Kate Knibbs to the Third Ward Second Primary, Miss Rachel Buttrey to the First Primary of the Second Ward, and Miss Filie Collipp to take charge of the new primary class in the basement of the high-school building.


We know from her mother's obituary that Mary (or Katie as she was known) married a man named Ira Barnes, a "gentleman of high esteem".

I've also read that in the late 1880's there were a number of women who were early members of the Aberdeen Library Board, among whom were Mrs. Rudolphus Burgitt, Miss Mott, Mrs. J. H. Perry, Mrs. Charles Fisher, Mrs. Ira Barnes, Mrs. Louis Lager and Mrs. R. N. Jewett.

In 1925 Catherine was living in Aberdeen, South Dakota, aged 66, a widow, with her occupation given as Housekeeper.

In 1930, she was still living in Aberdeen City, South Dakota:
Catharine Barnes Head Wid 71 Wisconsin
Clara Sullivan Roomer UnM 40 Nurse Iowa
Vera Lighthall Roomer UnM 48 Teacher Iowa
Florence A Kroeger Roomer UnM 36 Teacher Minnesota
Grsace E Clement Roomer UnM 35 Teacher Minnesota

In 1940, we see Catherine living at Aberdeen City, Brown, South Dakota, on 6th Ave. S.E.:
Katherine M Barnes Head 81 Wid Wisconsin
Clara Sullivan Lodger 50 UnM Nurse Iowa
Emma Wahl Lodger UnM 36 Clerical North Dakota
Grace Clement Lodger UnM 45 Teacher Minnesota
Velma Ackels Lodger UnM 33 Secretarial Work Nebraska

Catherine was still living in South Dakota in 1945, aged 86.

See an extract from the South Dakota State Census from 1945.


Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Catherine.

Sources for Mary Catherine KNIBBS:

  1. 1880 US Federal Census,
  2. 1860 US Federal Census, as Mary Cath 
  3. 1900 US Federal Census,
  4. History of City of Portage, Columbia County,