SUMMIT WILLIAM BARNES. Among the farmers of Macoupin county there are few who occupy a higher position in the estimation of the community than the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this review. He has been engaged in farming and stock raising ever since his boyhood and is also very prominent in political, religious and fraternal affairs, being one of the most active and efficient workers in the county along those lines. A native of Carlinville township, he was born on a farm north of Carlinville, March 31, 1863, a son of Andrew J. and Mary Barnes, the former of whom was born in Ohio. The grandfather of our subject was Elias Barnes, a native of Pennsylvania. Andrew J. Barnes came to Macoupin county, from the Keystone state early in the ‘60s and engaged in farming in Carlinville township until 1868. He then moved to South Otter township where he continued until his death in 1877, his wife having been called away about twelve years previously.
Summit W. Barnes attended the public schools until fourteen years of age, when his father died and the family was broken up. He then took up his residence with an uncle in Montgomery county and carried his studies further in the public schools of that section. In 1879 he returned to South Otter township and secured employment as a farm hand under William Huson at nine dollars per month. He worked for wages until 1884, when he began farming for himself in South Otter and later in Nilwood township. In 1888 he moved to Wichita, Kansas, but after one year's experience in the Sunflower state came to the conclusion that conditions were more favorable east of the Mississippi river. Accordingly, he returned to Macoupin county and again worked for wages until 1897, when he resumed farming upon a small place in Nilwood township. In 1900 he enlarged his operations and since 1904 has been cultivating the D. C. Enslow farm, which comprises three hundred and forty acres. He raises the cereals upon an extensive scale and is also a large cattle feeder and shipper. He takes great interest in the development of the agricultural and live stock resources of the state and is a stockholder of the Macoupin County Fair Association.
On the 13th of February, 1884, Mr. Barnes was married to Miss Clara S. Davidson, of South Otter township, a daughter of David and Carolina (Graves) Davidson, the former of whom was born in Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have no children of their own but have an adopted daughter, Hattie, to whom all desirable advantages of education and training have been extended.
In politics Mr. Barnes adheres to the democratic party. He has served for seven years as central committeeman of Nilwood township, two years as assessor and three years as highway commissioner and school director. Religiously he is identified with the Southern Methodist church and is deeply interested in church work, being a local preacher of this denomination. He also serves as trustee and steward of the church and for fifteen years has been superintendent of the Sunday school. For five years past he has represented the denomination at both district and annual conferences, proving one of the most efficient workers of that body. He is also actively connected with fraternal organizations and is a member of Girard Lodge, No. 171, A.F. & A.M., of which he is junior warden; Chapter No. 132, R.A.M.; and the council at Sullivan. He also belongs to McVey Camp, No. 3065, M.W.A., having served as manager for nine years. He has the reputation of being a good shot and holds membership in the Nilwood Gun Club. Notwithstanding the responsibility involved by the management of a large farm, Mr. Barnes finds time to discharge his various other duties and performs his work so acceptably that his services are in constant demand. His life has in an important degree been devoted to the promotion of the comfort and happiness of others and he seeks no reward except the consciousness of following in the footsteps of the great teacher who said: "He that loseth his life shall fine it."