Frank D. Barnes, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Frank D. Barnes

FRANK D. BARNES - The progressive and splendid management of the Barnes Ice and Coal Company have made the prospect of an ice famine in this city most improbable. This large corporation has a capacity for the storing and manufacturing of ice which precludes any possibility of a shortage of ice. Since it was first established in this city, it has grown considerably and now serves a large number of people in and around the Calumet region, and also does an extensive business in coal. At a cost of $50,000 a modern storage house has been completed for a capacity of six thousand tons of ice; the building measuring one hundred twenty-five feet by one hundred feet and is thirty-six feet high.

The founder of this concern, Frank Barnes, was born in Wheeler, Indiana, October 26, 1873, the son of Joseph and Martha (Wade) Barnes. He attended the common school at Wheeler, and after leaving school learned telegraphy. He served in that capacity in many places, particularly in Liverpool, Indiana, from 1890-1895, after which he became a train dispatcher and eventually chief train dispatcher of the Chicago Division for the Pennsylvania Railroad until 1912. In that year he came to Gary from Hobart, and purchased the Knickerbocker Ice Company, which he operated until 1920, when it was destroyed by fire. He showed great aptitude in this business in his initial venture, developing it from one thousand tons to twenty thousand tons capacity. After the destruction of this business by fire, Mr. Barnes organized what is now known as the Barnes Ice and Coal Company, it today being the largest plant of its kind in this region.

During the local war activities Mr. Barnes rendered great service as food administrator and fulfilled the exacting duties of this position in a generally satisfactory manner.

As the Barnes Ice and Coal Company developed, the proprietor entered other avenues of interest and investments, including the purchase of one hundred sixty acres known as the Hobart Park Addition and also eighty seven acres in East Gary. To handle this property a real estate department ment was added to the business, and more than seventy-five acres of the Hobart property has been disposed of to date.

Mr. Barnes was married to Fannie Smith, daughter of George and Alice (Ferrin) Smith, and to this union were born George F. and Vera R. George F. Barnes attended school at Chicago, and has graduated from the high schools of that city; he entered the American Trust and Savings Bank of Hobart, and at the age of twenty-one he became cashier of this concern - at that time being one of the youngest bank cashiers in the state of Indiana. He later entered the service of the South Side Trust and Savings Bank as teller, and after serving for eighteen months bought a fourth interest in the Barnes Ice and Coal Company and served as vice-president for three years. In 1918 he joined the United States army, serving in the First United States Cavalry for eighteen months. He was later transferred to the machine gun contingent at Augusta, Georgia, being honorably discharged December 1, 1919. His marriage was to Dorothy Smith and they have two children.

The daughter, Vera, is a graduate of the high schools of Chicago, and in 1920 was united in marriage with Fred H. Bowlby of Hobart, Indiana, now chief engineer for the Barnes Ice and Coal Company.

Source: Cannon, Thomas H., H. H. Loring, and Charles J. Robb. 1927. History of the Lake and Calumet Region of Indiana Embracing the Counties of Lake, Porter and Laporte. Volume II. Indianapolis, Indiana: Historians' Association. 827 p.
Page(s) in Source: 480-481

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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