Fred Floyd Barnes

This document provides information about Fred Floyd Barnes. The information is provided by his grandson, Fred E Hayes.

I do not have a great deal of information about my grandfather. He died in 1964 when I was eleven. Like everyone else, I sincerely regret not having asked him questions about his life. I cannot recall any conversations that I had with Fred Floyd.

I’m named after Fred Floyd Barnes. He was 60 years old when I was born. He lived at 3804 Wood Street, Wheeling, WV. My recollection of him is an easy chair in the dining room where he sat smoking a cigarette.

Fred Floyd Barnes:  June 11, 1893 – February 4, 1964

 Taken in the Back yard of 3804 Wood Street, Wheeling, WV. The picture is labeled November 1964; but this is after his death. The picture must have been taken before February, 1963 and developed in 1964. I don’t remember the cat.

Early Life and Parents 1893-1920

Fred Floyd Barnes was born in Barnesville, Ohio. His parents are George Barnes and Elizabeth Holton. The parents were married in October 19, 1891 in Barnesville, Ohio (Belmont County, Ohio Marriages 1871-1902). Fred Floyd Barnes was an only child, born in June 11, 1893. The last name and birth city name are not coincidental; his ancestors founded the city of Barnesville. The actual founder is James Barnes.  Fred Floyd is descended from James’ brother, David Barnes.

·         George E Barnes (1862 - 1932?)

·         George W Barnes (1827-1895)

·         Allen Barnes (1807-1873)

·         David Barnes (1761-1833) brother to James Barnes; founder of Barnesville.

I speculate that Fred Floyd Barnes middle name is after his paternal grandmother’s maiden name: Martha Floyd.

My information on Fred Floyd Barnes early life is based on census and related information from and my recollections of what others may have told me in my own youth. Between his wife Brookie Opal (Plants) Barnes and Fred Floyd Barnes; one completed 3rd grade and the other 5th grade.

Fred Floyd Barnes’ father was George Barnes (1862-1932?). He and his five siblings grew up in Barnesville, Ohio. George Barnes is listed as a Bricklayer in the 1880 census. Records from 1890 and 1900 Census have not been found.  The 1910 census shows the Barnes family (George, Elizabeth and ‘Frederick’) living at 140 Ohio Street, Barnesville Ohio. George Barnes occupation is still bricklayer. The 1920 Census shows George Barnes at age 57 working as a Brick Mason and still living at 140 Ohio Street as renters. Four members of the Wilde family are also living in the 140 Ohio Street residence.  Fred Floyd Barnes WWI Draft registration (1917) also shows 140 Ohio Street as the residence and shows that his mother, Elizabeth, was dependent on him. I do not know much about Elizabeth Holton other than her name and her parent’s names. I believe that she lived in Barnesville prior to the marriage to George E. Barnes.

 140 Ohio Street, Barnesville, Ohio taken on 10/08/2010. A neighbor, sixty six (66) years old and who lived in that neighborhood all of his life remembers that the Wildes lived in the house. This location is a short walking distance (<  ½ mile) from downtown Barnesville.

 Front view of 140 Ohio Street. There’s a 2nd building in the rear of the lot; the age and use is not known.

I have an obituary record from “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, and 1958-2007” showing the death of a George E Barnes on 09/12/1932. George E Barnes does not appear on 1930 census. Elizabeth Holton died in 09/15/1927 as indicated by “Obituaries & Miscellaneous Records Relating to Barnesville, Belmont County, Ohio” in the Barnesville Library.

Fred Floyd is listed as a Cigar Roller in the 1910 and 1920 census. His WWI draft registration lists him as an automobile repairman.

Although there is no evidence here – it’s possible that Fred Floyd Barnes was working at the Roby Cigar Company (now defunct) that is listed with a Barnesville address. The Wheeling Stogie factories were simply too far away from Barnesville. Cigar Roller was likely not a high-skill, well-paying job.


WWI Military Service

Fred Floyd Barnes served in France during World War One. He was drafted into the army.

World War I started in 1914 – mostly because everyone was itching for a fight. The initial spark was the assassination of Grand Duke Franz Frederick, Austrian Royalty in the Austria-Hungary Empire, by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo (modern Yugoslavia). The Austrians threatened Serbia; Russia threatened Austria; Germany stood by Austria and England and France supported Russia. Once the trains started to move troops forward to mobilization points; there was no stopping the various juggernauts. The war in the trenches continued until United States entry in April 1917. We got tired of German submarines sinking merchant ships with Americans aboard (unrestricted submarine warfare – precisely what we did in WWII). The ‘Zimmerman Telegram’ from the German Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador to Mexico also contributed. The Zimmerman Telegram was an offer to Mexico for monetary support if they declared war on the United States. They were promised territory in Texas and New Mexico. The United States declared war in April 1917.

It took until 1918 for significant numbers of United States troops to be sent to Europe. In the United States, draft boards were setup.

Fred Floyd Barnes’ draft registration was completed on June 15, 1917. He’s an Automobile repairman (not a cigar roller). He lives @ 140 Ohio Street, Barnesville, Ohio. Blue Eyes, Brown hair, medium height, medium build.

My entire knowledge of his wartime experience is limited to what I remember my father, Edward P. Hayes, telling me. This is something that he would have learned in the 1950’s (after he married Mary Elizabeth). I was fortunate to find a document @ that lists WWI service for Ohio residents. Otherwise – my knowledge would be very limited. I’ll include the text of the Entry for Fred Floyd Barnes next and then expand on that based on further research and reasonable extrapolation.

Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.

NA LB 3 Belmont CO, O. Mch 29/18 Br Barnesville, O. 24 10/12 yrs 14 CO 4 Tng Bn 148 Dep Brig to Apr 22/18; CO A 330 Inf to Jul 25/18; Co A 7 Inf to dsch. Pvt Meuse-Argonne: Defensive Sector. WIA degree undetermined about Oct 1/18. AEF June 12/18 to Feb 14/19. Hon dsch Mch 7/19.

Boot Camp – Camp Sherman

Fred Floyd Barnes was inducted on March 29, 1918. Boot camp occurred at Camp Sherman in Ohio (near present day Chillicothe, Ohio). Camp Sherman was founded in 1917 and trained over 125,000 soldiers in WWI. It no longer exists. Camp Sherman is about 120 miles from Barnesville, so we can imagine a train trip from Barnesville to Columbus and thence to Chillicothe. He was assigned to 14th Company 4th Training Battalion, 148 Depot Brigade. Note that boot camp was only 3 weeks long.

A contemporary newspaper article (1918) that I found at the Barnesville Library describes how seven Barnesville recruits had recently died of Influenza (flu) at Camp Sherman. This is in the time frame that Private Barnes was in training at Camp Sherman. The flu epidemic of 1918-1919 took a large toll at various training camps and military bases – the close quarters likely contributed to the spread of disease.

He probably trained with the M1903 Springfield rifle. This was a bolt action weapon with a 5-shot clip.

Advanced Training in France

Barnes was transferred to Company A, 330rd Infantry Regiment, 83rd Division on April 22, 1918. This division was a ‘Depot Division’ and supplied replacements to other divisions. Sometime between April, 1918 and June, 1918; Fred Floyd Barnes was sent to France and was assigned as part of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF).

Between June 12, 1918 and July 25, 1918 (6 weeks), Barnes likely got more training – mostly in Trench warfare. This training occurred in France. This would have involved instructions on how to stay alive (don’t stick your head above the trench); how to detect different types of artillery rounds; gas warfare training, and marksmanship.

American Expeditionary Forces – 3rd Army Division

 3rd Division arm patch.

In July 25, 1918, Barnes was assigned to Company A, 7th Infantry regiment. He was in France by now. This regiment was part of the 3rd Division, 28000 strong, which was a regular Army division. During WWI, the 3rd Division suffered 3000+ killed in action and 12000+ wounded in action.


Given the assignment date, he would have been involved in the Aisne-Marne offensive also known as the 2nd Battle of the Marne, (July, 18, 1918 – August 6, 1918) although my reading of the order of battle implies that the 3rd division was a Corps reserve (not directly sent into the front lines or into attack). At this point, the Americans did not yet have command of an entire front line. The American forces were under overall French command. These battles were a series of offenses to eliminate German salients or bulges in the trench lines.

Meuse-Argonne – Pvt. Barnes is wounded in action

American General Pershing took combat command of American forces with their own sector along the front and was given responsibility for a major attack in the Meuse-Argonne sector. This was the largest American offensive in the war and lasted until Armistice on November 11, 1918. In this case the objective was to reduce a large German Salient with the ultimate goal of capturing an important railroad juncture in Sedan. A large number of American forces had to be transferred from the St. Mihiel to the Argonne region. Meuse is the name of the river and Argonne is the name of the forest (also Battle of the Bulge in WWII).

The 7th Infantry regiment (“CottenBalers”) was part of this offensive as a unit in the 3rd Division. The 3rd was a Corps reserve for the general attack that started on September 26, 2010. The Meuse-Argonne campaign included the “Lost Battalion” and Sergeants York’s Medal of Honor exploits.

Sometime around October 1, 1918, Private Barnes was wounded in action. My father, Edward P. Hayes, told me that he was gassed and wounded in the back with shrapnel from an artillery barrage by the Germans. Since the 7th regiment was in reserve during the time (October 1) of the Meuse-Argonne campaign, the artillery barrage may have simply been the normal actions of both sides to harass rear areas. If he was actually wounded several days later, he may have been wounded when the 7th Regiment was moving forward in the general assault.

 Recovery, Return to the United States and Discharge from the Army

The Ohio history shows assignment to the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) from June 12, 1918 to February 14, 1919. Wounded in October, 1918, Private Barnes likely was in hospital in late 1918 in France. He got back to the United States sometime around February 1918 (depending on whether the transfer from AEF occurred before or after he returned from France). Private Barnes was discharged from the Army on March 7, 1919.

Medals and War Records

No records remain of medals or awards for Private Barnes. His army records were destroyed with others in a fire at the St. Louis Federal Records Center in the 1960’s. The Purple Heart (wounded in action) medal was not awarded in WWI, but in 1932, there was legislation to retroactively award such medals to WWI veterans. I do not know if Private Barnes ever got a Purple Heart.

Fred Floyd Barnes was in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) – that’s where he went to get a beer as Brookie would not allow liquor in the house. Interestingly, Fred Floyd Barnes’ grandfather, George W.  Barnes, is listed as a “Great Pleader for Temperance” in his obituary.

 George W. Barnes in Barnesville 100th Anniversary Book (1908)

1920’s and 1930’s – Marriage and Children

The 1920 census shows Fred Floyd Barnes living in the 140 Ohio Street, Barnesville, Ohio address and employed as a Cigar Roller.

Vicki J (Hayes) Grant provided information that Fred Floyd Barnes married Brookie Opal Plants on August 24, 1924 in Wellsburg, West Virginia. Reverend Hill was the minister. Fred Floyd was 33 when married according to the 1930 census (this does not completely square with the 1924 marriage date – he would have been 31 if that date is correct). Brookie Opal was 24 when married.

First child, Mary Elizabeth Barnes was born in May 9, 1925. I speculate that she was named after her two grandmothers: Mary (Sims) Plants and Elizabeth (Holton) Barnes. His second child Eileen Barnes was born on September 19, 1927.

The 1930 census shows a family of 5 renting a house at 93 East First Street, Wheeling, WV. Family members included Fred (37), Brookie (30), daughter Mary E (4 11/12), Emma I (2 5/12) and Mary Plants (57) mother of Brookie.  Note the error in Eileen’s name.

Fred Floyd’s occupation is Stogie Roller – and I assume that he is now working for the Wheeling Stogie company or other cigar company in Center Wheeling. Brookie Opal is listed as a seamstress.

I recall Mary Elizabeth telling me that they lived on 1st Street, Wheeling and that they kept chickens for eggs (and dinner). 1930 would have been at the beginning of the Great Depression – a tough time for everyone.  Google Earth implies that this house/address no longer exists.

The Barnes family attended the 1st Baptist Church in Wheeling, West Virginia. In the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, The Church was in Center Wheeling. I do not specifically recall if Fred Floyd Barnes attended church or not – but Brookie did.

 Former 1st Baptist Church; now the Macedonia Baptist Church. I guess that it has seen better days. I recall the large number of steps to get in and the dark interior. Wheeling 1st Baptist Church moved to its present location on National Road, Wheeling in 1960.

1940’s and 1950’s – Move to 3804 Wood Street Wheeling WV

Information for this period of Fred Floyd Barnes’ life is at best fragmentary. I really only have one document, his WWII draft record from 1942. has not yet published results from the 1940 census; so that document is not available. I don’t have personal recollections of stories. Perhaps some of the other grandchildren can provide more information.

The 1942 Draft records show this home address:

20 6th Street,
McMechan, WV

This is consistent with Mary E Barnes attending Union High School in Benwood, WV (she only attended Wheeling High School one year; graduating in 1944).

Fred Floyd Barnes is listed as 5’ 6” and 132 pounds (but parents and grandparents always seem larger than life and certainly taller than 5’ 6”).

Fred Floyd’s employer in 1942 is listed as ‘Pollack Inc.’ A quick Google search reveals a link to a Jewish Business Pollack – with various business links to Bloch Brothers and Mail Pouch. It seems too good to be true - an actual link to Fred Barnes’ early 1940 employment – but is consistent with his occupation as a ‘Cigar Roller’. A short excerpt from the web link above:

Pollack stogies were all hand-rolled until 1942 when, because of economic conditions, rolling machines were introduced and the art of hand-rolling, which had begun in Wheeling around 1840, stepped aside for the march of progress.

Sometime between 1942 and 1943, The Barnes family moved to 3804 Wood Street, Wheeling, West Virginia. This house still exists. It’s a block south of Ritchie Middle School (former Ritchie Junior High School built in 1929 and one of the few schools built in that time period with a pool. Vicki, Eileen and I all attended Ritchie Junior High School. We all walked a block to grandma’s house for lunch. )

The 3804 Wood street house was two stories with a basement. It had a small backyard abutting on an alley in the back. On the other side of the alley was the back of a truck garage (as a kid we were always enjoined to stay away from the exhaust pipe on the back wall of the truck garage). The house had a front room, dining room and kitchen on the 1st floor. The kitchen was an add-on to the original house (as a young kid I helped my Dad put in screw jacks under the kitchen floor to help raise and level the kitchen – OK, I really did not help, I was just there).

In the dining room there was a set of stairs to the 2nd floor that had two bedrooms and a bath.

The dining room had an impressive dining set of mahogany dining table, cupboard and chairs. I believe these passed to Debbie Kiely when the house was sold in 1974.

There was a coal furnace in the basement. When I was going to Ritchie Junior High School, one of my lunchtime tasks was to shovel coal into the furnace as required by the weather.

1960’s – Floods and Final Passing

There was a major flood of the Ohio River in the early 60’s. Fred Barnes would have still been alive at this point. When the river rose and flooded; it did not overflow the embankment for the railroad tracks that paralleled the river; but it came up through the storm sewers. As a young kid, I helped move furniture to the 2nd floor in anticipation of the river reaching flood stage. I can remember looking down the basement stairs and seeing grungy brown water lapping at the top steps. For that flood, the water eventually reached 2-3 feet high on the 1st floor. The river rose enough to flood the streets. The smell was significantly terrible.

Fred Floyd Barnes died of lung cancer on February 4, 1964. Whether the disease was due to smoking or lung damage from being gassed in WWI is not known.

He is buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery, Wheeling, WV. The address is Fairmont Avenue. For those who grew up in Wheeling, you proceed up 29th Street. Instead of going up the hill toward Bethlehem (where the Burger King used to be), you bear to the right as if you were going to Mozart. Mt Zion Cemetery is on the right before you head up the hill to Mozart. I’ve been unable to locate the gravesite - after two attempts. My recollection is that is the grave is higher up the hill, generally in the middle (the cemetery is on the side of a steep hill except for a small section along the creek at the bottom).

The Mt Zion Cemetery does not appear to be actively maintained. Someone is mowing the grass, but the interior roads are in sad shape and there are numerous fallen gravestones (note to self – never ask for an obelisk as a grave marker).

Mt. Zion Cemetery
Ohio County Commission
(304) 234-3628