Early History of 
Barnes, Kansas

Barnes is a small town located on the Central Branch of the Union Pacific R.R. one hundred and seven miles west of Atchison, Kansas, and near the head of North Coon Creek. The Railroad was completed to this point in the latter part of November, 1876, and was extended on to Greenleaf immediately. The first one to build on the town site was Henry Ober, who erected a store building and moved the Maplewood Grange store to this point.

Elm Grove Post Office was established in July, 1872. J.R. Ober was the first postmaster. The office was kept on the old Farner place. In January, 1878, Mr. Ober started a store and in March 1878, Elm Grove Post Office was moved into Barnes and the name changed to Barnes Post Office. The town was named after A.S. Barnes who was the railroad surveyor and owned and operated the first lumber yard.
Maplewood Grange was organized in the fall of 1874. A Co-operative Grange store was established with E.K. Wolverton as Superintendent. Afterwards, it was moved to the house of J.G. Petty and then to Barnes. In May 1877, the Maplewood Gange built an elevator at a cost of $800.


A.H. Dearborn was a Washington County Pioneer, coming from Iowa in the Fall of 1868. He succeed in in spite of hot winds and grass hoppers and added a several hundred acres. Being by nature a trader, he began trafficking in cattle, hogs, and grain, and in a few years, moved to Greenleaf. About the year 1884 he came to Barnes and pursued the calling until 1895, when he planned and erected one of the most substantial buiness blocks in the County at a cost of nearly $8,000.
Mr. Dearborn is the architect of the structure and superintended the work from cellar to roof. The dimensions are 52-84 on ground and is 45 feet each, with ten foot ceiling, and back of these are two cellars, 24x39 feet.
The first story facing on Center street contains two store rooms, 24 x 80 feet with 14 foot ceiling. A stairway leads from the street to the second story where is found an exceptionall fine opera hall; 49 x 55 in the clear with a 14 foot ceiling. At the back end are two large dressing rooms with a 20 foot stage between, equipped with fine curtain scenery. 18 feet of the front of the upper story is divided into very nice office rooms. He occupies one store room with general merchandise and the other with hardware. The building is capable of accommodating a $30,000 stock. The material of this building of rock and lumber was the best to be had and it is but a matter of simple justice to say that Mr. Dearborn is to be commended for this enduring landmark.

The members of the English Lutheran Church were organized in August, 1879, by J. Shauer and had service in Mr. Ober's Store. They built their church in 1880 with J. Shauer being their first pastor. The congregationalist in the neighborhood organized a class in 1877. They held services in the Grange elevator in 1878. The Methodists held revival meetings in the English Lutheran Church in South Barnes in 1884. They had some meetings in the old Barta building, before building a church in North Barnes in 1884. Mr. Fred Roper spaded the first shovel of dirt for the foundation of the church.