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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Frederic C. Barns

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 448-451 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

Portrait of Frederic C. Barns

Portrait: Frederic C. Barns

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Frederic C. Barns, an able young Utica lawyer, is efficiently discharging the duties of deputy attorney-general by appointment of Attorney-General Carl Sherman. A representative of a prominent old family of Oneida county, his birth occurred in the town of Westmoreland, New York, on the 16th of January, 1897, his parents being Arthur C. and Ida M. Barns of that place. The father is a retired agriculturist. The ancestral record of the family is traced back to the year 1644 in the county of Norfolk, England. It was in 1649 or 1650 that William Barns crossed the Atlantic to the New World, settling at East Hampton, Long Island. Captain Amos Barns, who commanded sailing vessels, was born in Lotteryville, Connecticut, on the 13th of February, 1779. He and his wife, Mrs. Margaret (Dickens) Barns, sailed from Westerly, Rhode Island, to Albany, New York, and thence came to Utica via the Erie canal. They founded the town of Manchester, now known as Clark Mills, and in 1833 settled on the farm in Westmoreland which is now the home of Arthur C. Barns, the father of Frederic C. Barns.

In his youth F. C. Barns attended the grade and high schools of Westmoreland and then matriculated in Syracuse University, remaining a student in the latter institution from 1915 until 1917, when he entered military service. He was commissioned first lieutenant with the rating of flying instructor and was in charge of acrobatic flying at Mather Field, Sacramento, California, and at Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas. After being honorably discharged in February, 1919, he reentered the Syracuse University College of Law, where he continued his professional training until graduated in June, 1920. Following his admission to the bar in July, 1921, he opened an office in Utica, where he has been actively engaged in practice to the present time and has built up a clientage that has already connected him with considerable important litigation. Concerning his appointment as deputy attorney-general on the 26th of April, 1924, a local newspaper said:

"Mr. Barns will direct prosecutions in Oneida county of violators of the agricultural laws of the state, cooperating with the Department of Farms and Markets. Much significance is attached to the appointment of Mr. Barns, as it is definite and fitting approval and recognition of the new democratic party and M. William Bray, new county chairman, by leaders of the party in the state. Mr. Barns is well known in Utica and vicinity, having practiced law here for the past three years. He was active in the fall campaign of 1923 and assisted in the sweeping victories of the Bray faction in the primaries and at the polls on election day… Mr. Barns, through association with his father in handling and breeding Holstein cattle, is well qualified for his new position and will carefully safeguard the interests of the state and its citizens."

On the 10th of September, 1921, Mr. Barns was united in marriage to Miss Carolyn Howse, daughter of Samuel and Mary Howse of Naples, Ontario county, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Barns have one child, Mary June, who was born in Utica, on the 26th of April, 1923. Mr. Barns is a member of Alpha Chi Rho fraternity and enjoys well merited popularity in both social and professional circles of Utica and Oneida county.

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