A career of steadfast industry has had its usual and merited reward in the case of Alfred K. Barnes, one of the most highly respected and substantial farmer citizens of Florence Township. His home is on Rural Route No. 2 out of Wakeman, and most of his early life was spent in Wakeman Township of Huron County, and part of his farm extends over into that county. He has lived so effectively as to gain prosperity and contentment, and represents some of the sterling English stock which has been so prominent in the development and settlement of this section of Ohio. Born at Royalton, in Lorain County, February 23, 1855, Alfred K. Barnes is a son of George and Sarah (Heith) Barnes. Both parents were born near London, England, his father in 1820 and his mother in 1827. Both were of families of farmers, and in the early days they participated in the methods of husbandry employed in the old county. The father reaped grain with a sickle, and his wife spent many days in the harvest fields binding up the cut gain. During their married life in England three children were born, William, Charles and Thomas. The last was only a few months old when the family started for America in 1852. They too passage on a sailing vessel at Liverpool, were six weeks in making the voyage to New York City, and after some months they came on West and settled at Royalton, in Lorain County. While living there two more children were born, Elizabeth and Alfred K. About 1857 the father brought his family to Camden, in Lorain County, rented farms in that locality for several years, but later bought 130 acres in Wakeman township of Huron County. That was the permanent home of the Barnes family, and after a career of wee-merited prosperity the father died there in 1893. The mother, who passed away in 1911, was a woman of wonderful physical vigor and is said to have never been sick a day in her life until her final illness. Both were members of the Wakeman Congragtuioan Church, and in politics he was a republican. A brief redord of all their children is as follows: William, who is a farmer in Townsend Township of Huron county, is married and has two sons and three daughters; Charles died in Wakeman Township after his marriage, leaving two sons and tow daughters; Thomas, who is a resident of Camden Township, is Lorain County, has been twice married, having a son and daughter by his first wife and a daughter by his second; Elizabeth is a widow of C. D. Bacon, who was a farmer in Wakeman Township, and she still lives there and is the mother of two daughters; the next in order of age is Alfred K.; George is a farmer in Wakeman Township, and by his marriage to Miss Braley has tow sons and two daughters; Edward, a resident to Townsend Township has four sons and a daughter; Fred, who as a farmer occupies the old homestead in Wakeman Township, is married, but has no children.
It was on the old home in Wakeman Township that Alfred K. Barnes grew to manhood, combining the advantages of the local schools with the salutary discipline of farm duties and responsibilities. He was married in the township to Miss Nettie R. Erswell. She was born in Wakeman Township and was reared and educated there. Her parents were Thomas and Mary J. Walden Erswell. Her father was also a native of England, coming to the United States when a boy with his parents who spent the rest of their lives in Huron County, and he grew up there and married Miss Walden, who was a native of Huron and after constructing his last house in Wakeman Township died in 1872 when in middle life. His widow is still living in Huron County and is now seventy years of age.
It was in 1892 that Mr. and Mrs. Barnes moved to Florence Township, and here for the past twenty-three years they have steadily advanced in material prosperity. His homestead comprises forty acres in Florance Township, with forty acres adjoining in Wakeman Township in Huron County. All the land is well improved and his buildings are especially creditable to his enterprise and ability as a home maker. He has a large and comfortable eight room house, its white front set in the midst of green trees, and also has a large basement barn 32 by 40 feet and other building needed for the care of his stock and crops. Besides the cultivation and productions of his home place Mr. Barnes does a extensive business in the buying and shipping of wool, and also buys and ships large quantities of General stock.
Mr. and Mrs. Barnes are both members of the Congregational Church. They have on son, Charles Alfred, who was born May 23, 1874, graduated from the Wakeman High School, and quite early in life entered the employ of the Standard Oil Company, beginning as a ditch laborer, and working up until he is now head operator in the main office in Cleveland. He married Bess E. Balford of Brunswick, Ohio, and their two daughters are named Dorothy and Dora. Both Mr. Barnes and his son are active republicans in politics, and while the father is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees at Cleveland his son is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity.
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, Published 1916