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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
William W. Barnes

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 753-754 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Prominent among the business men of Canajoharie, New York, is William W. Barnes, who, for many years, has been a valued representative of one of its most important business interests, his work including the proper distribution of the products of the Beech-Nut Packing Company, as well as having the personal charge and supervision of the many warehouses over the country. He was born in Canajoharie, October 8, 1878, his parents being Abram C. and Ellen (Wohlgemuth) Barnes, the name being of English descent. Abram C. Barnes was born at Buel, New York, August 8, 1853, and is living in Ames, New York, age seventy-one years. He is a farmer. His parents were Levi G. and Almena J. (Miller) Barnes. Levi G. Barnes was born in Montgomery county, June 29, 1830, and died in Ames, May 22, 1897. His wife was born in Sand Lake, New York, January 4, 1832, and died January 14, 1921, in Canajoharie. Levi G. Barnes was the son of Comfort and Abigail (Smith) Barnes. Comfort Barnes was born in Norway, New York, and died in Steuben county. He was the son of Lewis Barnes, who married a Miss Kennedy. He was born in Massachusetts in 1705 and died in Norway. Almena J. (Miller) Barnes, the paternal grandmother of the subject of this review, was the daughter of John Adams and Hannah (Coons) Miller. John Adams Miller was of German descent and was born October 4, 1799, in Columbia county, New York, and died in Ames on March 1, 1894. He was a farmer by occupation and died at the age of ninety-five years, in possession of all his faculties, having scarcely known a day's illness in his life. At the age of ninety he went into the field one day with the men, mowing three acres of grass with a scythe, just to prove to the men that he was able to hold his own without any difficulty. His wife, Hannah (Coons) Miller, was born September 24, 1798, and died on June 21, 1850. They were married on March 30, 1821. Ellen (Wohlgemuth) Barnes, mother of William W. Barnes, was born in Freysbush, March 20, 1854, and is now living in Ames. She is the daughter of Abram and Lavina (Dunckel) Wohlgemuth. Her father was born in Freysbush in January, 1828, and died in 1913. His occupation was farming. His wife, the maternal grandmother of William W. Barnes, was born in Freysbush, in July, 1834, and died in 1919. Abram Wohlgemuth was the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Shoemaker) Wohlgemuth.

William W. Barnes attended the public and high school at Canajoharie and began teaching public school at the age of eighteen, teaching in Stone Arabia, Glen and Charleston, all in Montgomery county, being occupied in this way for about five and one-half years. On July 5, 1901, he became associated with the Beech-Nut Packing Company of Canajoharie, as bookkeeper, which position he held for three years. He then took charge of the traffic department as manager and is still thus employed, having supervision of the various warehouses over the country.

On the 31st of January, 1900, at Ames, Mr. Barnes was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Marcley, daughter of Lawyer and Martha (Moyer) Marcley. She was born April 15, 1875, in Hyndsville, New York. Lawyer Marcley was born at Hyndsville, and died in that place, having been engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was the son of Harvey and Laney (Myers) Marcley. Laney (Myers) Marcley was born in Freysbush and died in Canajoharie, November 3, 1815. Harvey Marcley [was] the son of Henry Marcley and Elizabeth (Francis) Marcley. Henry Marcley was born in Hyndsville and died in the same place. His wife was born in Seward, New York, and died in Hyndsville, aged ninety-eight years. Margaret (Moyer) Marcley, mother of Mrs. William W. Barnes, was born in Freysbush and died in Canajoharie. She was the daughter of Henry and Margaret (Garlock) Moyer. Henry Moyer was born in Freysbush and died in Johnstown, New York. He was the son of Frederick Moyer. Margaret (Garlock) Moyer was born in Freysbush and died in that place. The name Moyer is well known in the annals of Revolutionary fame. Mrs. William W. Barnes is a member of the Reformed church and in politics is a progressive republican. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Eastern Star, and of the Monday Evening Club, all of Canajoharie.

Mr. and Mrs. William W. Barnes are the parents of two daughters: Etta Barnes McBean and Margaret Elizabeth Barnes. Etta Barnes McBean was born on May 16, 1901, and graduated from Canajoharie high school in 1921, and from the Potsdam Normal School in 1923. On January 8, 1923, she was married to Douglas M. McBean, son of the late Stewart and Catherine (McPherson) McBean. Douglas M. McBean was born February 17, 1900, in Montreal, Canada, and graduated from the Clarkson School of Technology at Potsdam in the class of 1923, with the degree of B. S. He was formerly mechanical engineer for the Aluminum Company of America at Massena, New York, and is now with Beech-Nut Packing Company. They have one child: William Stewart McBean, born in Massena on January 13, 1924. Margaret Elizabeth Barnes was born in Canajoharie on October 9, 1908, and is now attending Canajoharie high school.

William W. Barnes is a member of Hamilton Lodge, No. 79, A. F. & A. M., of Canajoharie and of the Elks Lodge, No. 226, of Gloversville. He also holds membership in the Fort Rensselaer Club of Canajoharie and the Auto Club of the same place. He attends the Reformed church and casts his vote with the republican party. He finds recreation in his home and among his flowers, but is fond of automobiling. Mr. Barnes has a genius for deciding upon the right thing at the right time, which, with his close application to business, has brought him well-merited success.

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