Hon. Clarence A. Barnes, commissioner of the St. Louis court of appeals, was born in Mexico, Missouri, February 10, 1876, and is a son of A. C. Barnes, a native of Ohio and of English descent. The father was reared and educated in the Buckeye state and in 1865 became a resident of Mexico, Missouri, where he has since made his home, successfully conducting a real estate business. During the Civil war be joined the army and was with General Thomas in active service during the last year of hostilities, being at that time between seventeen and eighteen years of age. His political endorsement has always been given to the republican party and he has ever been keenly interested in questions of public concern, giving his support to all those interests which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. He married Nannie Garrett, a native of Virginia, whose people came to Missouri in 1838, casting In their lot with the early settlers of the state. Mrs. Barnes passed away in 1910 at the age of fifty-six years. She was the mother of five children, four sons and a daughter.
Clarence A. Barnes, the second of the family, was educated in the public and high schools of Mexico and was graduated with the class of 1895. He spent the year 1895-6 at the Northwestern University and took an academic course at Columbia, Missouri. He later entered the University of Missouri, where he took a law course, graduating in 1899 with the LL.B. degree. Following his graduation he entered into partnership with F. R. Jesse, of Mexico, who was prosecuting attorney of Audrain county, thus forming the firm of Jesse & Barnes, a relationship that was maintained until 1900. Mr. Barnes then entered into a partnership relation with George Robertson under the firm name of Robertson & Barnes, so continuing until 1906. when he began practice independently. He remained a representative of the profession in Mexico until October, 1919, when he was appointed to his present position as commissioner of the St. Louis court of appeals and took up his abode in this city.
Mr. Barnes has always been keenly interested in questions of public importance, and his aid and influence have ever been given on the side of progress and improvement. He is a member of the board of directors of the Mexico Chamber of Commerce, was supervisor of the thirteenth census of the ninth congressional district and is recognized as one of the republican leaders of Missouri and was a delegate to the national convention of the party at Chicago in 1912. He has always been an earnest supporter of party principles and does all in his power to promote the growth and insure the success of the republican organization. For four years he served as a member of the state central committee. However, he has always regarded his professional interests as the most Important interests of his life and has been admitted to practice in all the state and federal courts, including the United States supreme court. His clientage is extensive and of an important character. He is an honorary member of the St. Louis Bar Association and also belongs to the Missouri State, Audrain County and American Bar Associations. During the period of the World war he was confidential adviser of the Council of Defense and chairman of its legal committee. He was also an active member of the Red Cross committee for Mexico and chairman of the board of instruction to drafted men. He likewise was a member of the city social service board of Mexico and was also a Four-Minute speaker. actively supporting the Liberty bond and other war drives.
On the 3d of June, 1903, Mr. Barnes was married in Mexico, Missouri, to Miss Ruth A. Lakeman, a native of Mexico and a daughter of J. G. and Sally (Hirer) Lakeman. They have become the parents of four children: Marjorie, Lakeman, James T. and Lawrence.
Mr. Barnes still retains his membership in the First Christian church of Mexico. Since removing to St. Louis he has become identified with various public interests of the city and is a member of the Million Population Club and belongs to the University Club and to the Men’s Club. He is likewise identified with the Sigma Nu, a college fraternity, and with the Knights of Pythias lodge. His political and professional activities have made him widely known throughout the state and he is regarded as a man of influence in public affairs, while his marked devotion to duty is one of his recognized salient characteristics