John Carnes

John Carnes, founder of the Lima Locomotive Works, is
one of the city's prominent and representative men, and is connected
with one of the largest manufacturing plants in this section of the
State.  Mr. Carnes was born in 1822 at Barre, Vermont, and is the son of
James Carnes of that city.
        John Carnes doubtless inherited mechanical skill from his
father, who in his day was a carpenter and joiner of considerable
reputation, and this natural leaning was developed from boyhood.   He
relates with pardonable pride that he had made a pair of shoes and a
fine door panel before he was 12 years old.  He learned his trade with
his father and extended his knowledge to mill construction and, prior to
coming  to Lima, followed the trade of building sash mills.   His
mechanical skill covered other lines and after he came to Lima he made
the first pattern for the first locomotive that was ever built here, in
the infancy of an industry which has made Lima famous.  Mr. Carnes had
become acquainted, through a business transaction, with a Mr. Shay, a
capitalist, who desired to enter into engine building.  The plans and
designs made by Mr. Carnes were accepted and the ultimate result was the
building of the Shay engines, which are known all over the world.
         Prior to coming to Lima, Mr. Carnes owned a water-mill at
Sycamore and a machine shop at Upper Sandusky.  In February 1869, he
came to Lima and in association with George Disman, Jesse M. Coe and
Frederick Agerter, bought out the establishment of Chatman, Donnelly &
Company, and started what is now the great Lima Locomotive Works.  The
first line of manufactures was threshing machines, then the sawmill
machinery, but since 1885 the output has been locomotives.  This industry
is one of the most important of Northwestern Ohio, giving employment to
an army of workmen and having a weekly pay roll which reaches into
thousands of dollars.
          Mr. Carnes was married in 1847 to Mary Baldwin, a daughter of
Samuel Baldwin, and they have three children, viz: Ira P.; Emma, widow
of Charles Garrison; and Homer, who is a skilled pattern maker.  The
family belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mr. Carnes is a
zealous member of the Prohibition party and to its advancement he has
contributed time and effort.
         Although now 83 years of age, Mr. Carnes has by no means
retired into the background, his physical strength having been preserved
and his mental outlook being as clear as it was years ago.  During the
past year, when many of his contemporaries sought the rest and
retirement of the fireside, he was looking after the erection of a fine
three-story brick building on his property on the corner of Spring and
Central streets.  His energy and talents have made his life a busy one
and he can look back over many years filled with notable achievements.
His portrait accompanies this sketch.