BARNES, (HON.) CHARLES ALBERT , attorney-at-law and County Judge of Morgan County, residing in Jacksonville, was born in Alton, Ill., July 4, 1855, and is a son of the the Rev. and Eunice A. (Hubbard) Barnes. (A detailed record of the career of his father will be found elsewhere in this volume.) At the age of five years he was brought by his parents to Jacksonville, where he attended the public schools and Illinois College, being graduated from the latter institution with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1876. Having decided upon a career in the law, he began his professional studies in the office of his brother, the late Hon. William H. Barnes, of Tucson, Ariz., at that time one of the successful young lawyers of Jacksonville, and afterward entered the law department of the University of Michigan, from which he was graduated with the class of 1878. Being admitted to the bar at once, he engaged in practice with his brother, the partnership continuing until 1884, when William H. Barnes removed to Arizona to become a Judge of the Supreme Court of the Territory by appointment of President Cleveland. Since that time Judge Barnes has remained in practice alone.
In 1882 Judge Barnes was appointed by the City Council to the office of City Attorney of Jacksonville, serving one year. In 1884 he was nominated for office of State's Attorney of Morgan County, was elected, and remained in office, by virtue of successive elections, until 1892. Upon the resignation of Richard Yates from the office of County Judge in 1897, he was elected to fill the vacancy, and was re-elected to the office in 1898 and in 1902. Unwavering in his devotion to the welfare of the Democracy, he has consistently supported its men and measures since attaining maturity. He has served as Chairman and Secretary of the Democratic County Central Committee, and has been a delegate to numerous State Conventions of his party. In 1892 he was a delegate to the democratic National Convention at Chicago, supporting the candidacy of Grover Cleveland.
Judge Barnes has been deeply interested in educational affairs, and particularly in the cause of higher education. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jacksonville Female Academy, and for some time has been a Trustee of Illinois College, to whose support he has ever been faithful. In religion he is a communicant of the State Street Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, of which he has been a Trustee for several years. Judge Barnes has been prominent for several years in the work of the Knights of Pythias. In 1893 he filled the office of Grand Chancellor of the Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois; in August, 1904, at Louisville, Ky., he was elected Supreme Chancellor for the World in 1906. In Masonry he is identified with Jacksonville Lodge No. 570 and Jacksonville Chapter No. 3. He is also a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. During the life of the "Morgan Cadets," an early local military company connected with the Illinois National Guard, of which he was a charter member, he served for eight years as a private.
On February 19, 1889, Judge Barnes was united in marriage with Madge G. Martin, a daughter of James Martin, of St. Louis, and they are the parents of two children-one daughter, Elson, and one son, James Martin. A gentleman of reserved and dignified bearing, of unquestioned integrity in social and professional life, of pronounced public spirit and with an unfailing desire to render practical assistance in the promotion of those well-considered projects having for their aim the advancement of the best interests of the community, Judge Barnes has risen in the esteem of his fellow-men as he has progressed in his career, until he is now generally recognized as a citizen of the highest utility and worth.