James Walter Barnes

Type Value
Name James Walter Barnes
Born 1862-09-03
Gender M
Type Value
Father Peter T. Barnes b. (1828-09-03, Tygarts Valley, Marion County, West Virginia) d. (1914-11-29, Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia)
Mother Mary Vandervort b. (1827-08-13, Monongalia County, West Virginia)
Married 1852-03-00
Type Value
Family Olive Cooper b. (1861-10-31, Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia)
Children 1 Hugh Barnes b. (1886-07-23)
2 George Roscoe Barnes b. (1888-03-04, Marion County, West Virginia) d. (1975-07-24)
3 Walter Kenneth Barnes b. (1891-04-06)
4 Homer Francis Barnes b. (1895-05-12)
5 Mabel Irene Barnes b. (1898-07-17)


The following taken from: Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley West Virginia by James Morton Callahan Professor of History, West Virginia University Copyright 1912 Lewis Historical Publishing Company

James Walter, son of Peter T. and Mary (Vandervort) Barnes, was born September 3, 1862, in Palatine, Marion county, Virginia, now First Ward, Fairmont, West Virginia. He attended the public schools of Marion and Taylor counties, and the Fairmont State Normal School, from which he was graduated in June, 1879. During the years 1879-80 he served as teacher in the school of Doddridge, Pleasants and Hancock counties, a position for which he was well qualified. He then entered the University of Virginia as a student of the law department, remaining during the years 1883-83, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1883. The following year he taught in Fairmont schools, and in the spring of 1885 he accepted a position in the fairmont State Normal school as teacher, being rapidly promoted from on position to another until he became principal in 1892, in which responsible capacity he served until 1901, inclusive, when he was removed by a partisan board of regents under Governor A. B. White. In 1891, as the representative of the board of education of Fairmont independent district and executive committee fo Fairmont Normal School, he went to Charleston, and memorialized the legislature, then in session, asking that the state’s interest in the old normal school building, amounting to $15,000, be transferred in consideration of that sum to the Fairmont district, and still further that the state make an appropriation of $20,000, which, with the aforesaid $15,000, was to constitute a fund to be used for the purpose of erecting a new normal school building. After much persistent labor he succeeded in securing the necessary legislation providing for the transfers and appropriation, and the present fine building, which for thoroughness of work, completeness of arrangement, and taste of architectrual design, is unsurpassed by any in the state, was erected. Through his instrumentality the school increased in standing, power and influence, and ranked amont the representative institutions of learning in the south. In 1891 the University of West Virginia conferred the degree of Master of Arts upon him. In 1902 he took up the management of the Consolidated Telephone Company, when it covered but a few counties, and has developed and enlarged the same until it and its allied companies now cover twelve counties of Northern West Virginia, and is one of the strongest competitors of the Bell Telephone Company. He is a member of the executive board of the Fairmont Trust Company. He has been president of the West Virginia Telephone Association since 1910, being also its first president in 1905; first vice-president of the Western Independent Telephone Association; member of the advisory board of the National Telephone Association. In addition to being secretary and manager of the Consolidated Telephone Company he is secretary and manager of the National Telephone Company of Monongalia county, the Beeghley Telephone Company and Western Central Telephone Company. He is a Democrat in politics, and has served a recorder of the town of Palatine, and was a candidate for Congress in the first congressional district in 1904, running twenty-five hundred votes ahead of the Parker-Davis vote in the district. He is a member of the Presbyterian church and clerk of session for seven years, and superintendent of the Sunday school since March 1889, a period covering twenty-two years, except in 1901-02, when he resided in Jefferson county. He is a member of Mount City Lodge, Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Barnes married, in First Ward, Fairmont, West Virginia, June 3, 1884, Olive Cooper, born in Clarksvurg, West Virginia, October 31, 1861. Children: 1. Hugh Cooper, born July 23, 1886; graduated in 1902 from Shepherd College, State Normal School, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and from West Virginia University, 1909; engineer fo tests, R. D. Nuttal & Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 2. George Roscoe, born March 4, 1888; graduate of Fairmont high school, 1906; traffic manager of Consolidated Telephone Company. 3. Walter Kenneth, born April 6, 1891; graduate of Fairmont high school, June 5, 1909; accountant, Consolidated Telephone Company. 4. Homer Francis, born May 12, 1895; student a Fairmont high school, class of 1913. 5. Mabel Irene, born July 17, 1898; member of the Second Ward school.