Tuesday, March 19, 2013

John S. Barnes (Tennessee Barnes' father): Family Info. & Sam Bass Outlaw Gang


          ca. 1812 - ca. 1843                                                                  1817 - before 1874
             John S. Barnes                                                                         Martha Cannon

Connection to the chart on this blog: John S. Barnes and Martha (Cannon) Barnes are the parents of Elmira Tennessee Barnes ("Tennie") and her twin brother, Seaborn Barnes, who was in the Sam Bass outlaw gang.

John S. Barnes was born in Alabama (possibly Louisiana) about 1812.  About 1817, Martha Cannon was born in the Pendleton District of South Carolina.  Her parents were Carter C. Cannon and Sarah Litimer.  John S. Barnes is shown on the tax list of Yalobusha county, Mississippi in 1834, 1835, 1836, and 1841 (Note: In 1841, no blacks are listed with the family.  Also, there is confusion as to whether the last name is Barnes or Burns).  In April, 1834 John S. Barnes was elected constable in the southwest district and gave as his securities besides some three whose names were given in other bonds, the following: J.L. Miller, C. Cannon, G.S. Stewart, Thomas Robertson, John Robertson, Mack Williams, and James McCoy (April 1834, Police Court).  In the Fall of 1834, Mr. Carton Carter Cannon put up a cabin on the ground now occupied by the Shaw Foundry and about the same time, John Barnes, a son in  law of Mr. Cannon, made an improvement where Mr. Tabor now resides.  The improvements were purchased in 1838-1839 by G.B. Ragsdale (who had moved up from the vicinity of Coffeeville) for a "stand", later a post office (1844) (Note: The post office was located outside of the county line - never in Yalobusha county until a few years ago, when the Legislature attached two tiers of sections of the county from the territory of LaFayette.  August, 1938 was the date of this information source).

John S. Barnes married Martha Cannon ("Patsy") on February 28, 1835 in Yalobusha county, Mississippi (Their marriage date is listed in the index, but the actual marriage book is lost).  She was born about 1817 in Pendleton District, South Carolina; she was the daughter of Carter C. Cannon and Sarah Latimer (or Lattin).  He was a lawman in Yalobusha county, Mississippi.  John S. Barns family moved from Mississippi to Texas between 1841 and 1843.  John S. Barns lived in Cass county, Texas from 1841 to 1853.  On July 3, 1841, James Skinner received a conditional certificate for 640 acres which John Barns and Calvin Cunningham witnessed.  Conditional land certificate was received on May 4, 1844 in Cass county, Texas for John S. Barnes.  The Texas General Land Office (File 848, Bowie 3rd class) shows 294 acres for John S. Barns on February 3, 1845.  (Note: Carter Cannon completed his land application in 1845.  He went broke in Yalobusha county, Mississippi).  John S. Barns is listed on the tax rolls for Cass county, Texas in 1846.  On August 29, 1846, John Barnes was selected for jury duty.  (Note: Cass county, Texas was organized in 1846; the parent county was Bowie county, which was organized in 1840).  Conditional certificates for 346 acres for John S. Barnes (File 220) never had the patents completed; the land was surveyed on October 19, 1848.  J.S. Barnes is listed as one of the several petitioners against Jacob Alewine, who was officially labled a lunatic.  John S. Barnes (spelled "Burns" in the source book) was an officer in the Mexican War (probably 1848 - 1850?).  On May 14, 1849, John S. Barns sold 294 acres to Asa Johnson.  (Note: Sources debate John S. Barnes death date/ location: 1849, 1853, possibly in Cass county, Texas as well as 1853 - 1856 and 1876 are death date possibilities).  On March 29, 1850, there was a District court case where John Barnes vs. John Waits.  In 1850, John ran for constable in Cass county, but only received two votes (Note: According to the 1878 Wayne Gard book, John S. Barnes was a sheriff and tax collector in Cass county.  There is no record of a sheriff named Barnes in Cass county.

On September 28, 1850, John and Martha are residing in Cass county.  (Barnes Lake in Cass county was on the land of John S. Barnes.  Descendants of Wiley Jackson Barnes and brother Warren Riley Barnes, who were born about a generation after John S. Barnes; the lake was probably named for their ancestors.

Barnes Lake, Cass county, Texas
Barnes Lake, Cass county, Texas

Wiley's family lived at the lake after John S. Barnes died.  The precise relationship between the two is not known.  Sources listed say that an old man named "Taylor" used to live in a shack near the bridge across Barnes Lake; the bridge rotted down and was never replaced.  The old wooden bridge had flat wooden boards on top of side rails that you could sit on.  Maude Marie Simpson Salmon has a picture of the old bridge.  Mr. Taylor charged people to fish in the lake.  When Mrs. Salmon heard about it, she made him move.  There were two Barnes girls and a brother Jack Barnes, deceased).  The value of their real estate was 6000; they lived in Precinct # 4, Hickory Hill (now called Avinger).  At this time, John's occupation was that of a farmer.  On February 17, 1853, John S. Barns sold land to James Skinner.  In February/ March, 1853, there were two land transactions between John S. Barns and the heirs of James Skinner, Sr.

John S. Barns died in Tarrant county, Texas between 1853 - 1856 (There are several other conflicting death dates, as mentioned above).  (Note: The Tarrant county, Texas courthouse burned down in 1876, destroying most records).  In 1856 and 1857, a John Barnes paid poll tax in Tarrant county, Texas.  In 1863, John Barns has 174 acres of land taxed in Tarrant county.  Sometime between 1866 and 1870's (when Seaborn Barnes was young), Martha (Cannon) Barns moved to live with relatives near the village of Handley, Tarrant county, Texas (nine miles east of Fort Worth) with five children after she was widowed.  One source says they "lived off the charity of relatives".  In July, 1874, twelve and a half acres were set aside for the heirs of Martha Barnes out of the estate (Note: Estate documents located in Tarrant county, Texas) of C.C. Cannon, deceased (Note: from C.C. Cannon estate documents.  B.H. Barnes to D.C. Harrison, April 20, 1877).  Martha (Cannon) Barnes dies in Tarrant county, Texas prior to July, 1874.  On June 5, 1877, D.C. Harrison (John Barnes' brother in law) acquired land from John Barnes' heirs.  The land was sold for non-payment of taxes.  Harrison bought it for $ 6.86.  J.S. Barnes is listed on the Cass county, Texas Delinquent Tax list for February 7, 1889 (The note says: Owner: J.S. Barnes, no acres, 100 original grantee:  BBB & CRR Co.  Note: In the same list, but harder to read is: Owner: John Barnes. no acres. Original Grantee: ___).  A.J. Barnes is listed on the roll of unrendered property in Cass county, Texas for 1890 (The note says: Owner: unknown ABS # 111  Cert.#  Original Grantee: J. Barnes.  Grant acres: 294 Acres unrendered: 294 Value $: 441).

The Children of John S. &  Martha (Cannon) Barnes:

I.  Sarah Jane Barns: She was born about 1836 in Yalobusha county, Mississippi.  She married James Skinner on December 15, 1852 in Cass county, Texas.  James Skinner was born about 1826, possibly in Indiana.  Sarah Jane Barnes died about 1853 in Cass county.

II.  Rhoda Ann Barns: She was born about 1838 in Yalobusha county, Mississippi.  She married James Skinner, her sister's widow, on December 23, 1854 in Cass county, Texas.  Rhoda possibly died in Cass county, Texas.

III.  Mary E. Barns: (Was her name Mary C.?).  She was born about 1841 in Yalobusha county, Mississippi.  She possibly died in Texas.

IV.  Elmira (Emeline?) Tennessee Barns ("Tinnie"): She was born about 1842 (Tombstone says 1851) in Cass county, Texas.  (Note: Birth years vary in sources from 1842, 1843, to 1851).  A relative said that an uncle raised her since she was an orphan.  She married Martin Van Buren Digby ("M.V.") on January 28, 1869 in Austin county, Texas (one source says Tarrant county).  Martin Van Buren Digby was born about 1843 in Mississippi.    On April 4, 1877, M.V. and Tennie Digby sold 1/6th interest out of the 74 acres set apart for the John Barnes heirs out of the estate of C.C. Cannon and Sarah Cannon.  Tinnie died of a stroke on August 19, 1931 in Austin, Texas (Travis county) at St. David's hospital.  She was buried in Temple, Texas (Bell county) at Hillcrest cemetery (block # 4; Row # 3).  A.C. Hewett Funeral Home handled funeral arrangements.  The had the following children:
     A.  James H. Digby: He was born about 1870 in Tarrant county, Texas.
     B.  William Seaborn Digby: He was born on January 12, 1872 in Tarrant county, Texas.  He married Mattie Minerva Wallace on December 27, 1896.  She was born on March 9, 1874; she died on October 1, 1936 at Scott and White hospital in Temple, Texas (Bell county).  Will Digby married a second time to (2) Lilly (          ) Haire.  Will died on February 11, 1952 in Belton, Texas; he and his wife are buried in the North Belton cemetery in Belton, Texas.  They had children.
     C.  Claud Digby: He was born about 1876 in Tarrant county, Texas.
     D.  Alta Digby: She was born in January of 1880 at Haught's Store in Dallas county, Texas.  She married D McKay.  They had two daughters; one of them  married Sam Floca in Temple, Texas.
     E.  L. G. Digby:

V.  Berry Henderson Barnes ("Henderson"): He was born about 1846 - 1847 in Cass county, Texas.  He married Theodosia F. Leatherman about 1866 in Tarrant county, Texas (One source says they were married in Bell county, Texas on September 7, 1865).  She was born about 1848 in Minden, Claiborne county, Louisiana (location unsure).  Her parents were Daniel Leatherman and Rebecca __________.  (There is a B.H. Barnes who was the original grantee and patentee of 160 acres on May 31, 1871 in Tarrant county, Texas; Abstract # 98/ 3).  Henderson and Theodosia's family was in Tarrant county, Texas in 1880 (Note: They are shown twice in this census: (1) village of Handley, Tarrant county on page 42 and (2) District 91 on page 76A).  Berry Henderson Barnes and Theodosia (Leatherman) Barnes ("Dosie") were very rigid Baptists.  She would not let relatives in her parlour except for a very few occasions to see the stereopticon or hear the Victrola.  B.H. Barnes was harsh.  He took in two of Martha F. Barnes' kids: Lily and Judson (Jack).  Jack's hunting dogs barked a lot, so one day B.H. sent Jack to a party on Sunday.  When Jack returned home, B.H. had killed all of his dogs.  At this point, Jack left their home.  On April 4, 1881, there was a deed from B.H. Barnes to Martha Puchet of Sebastian county, Arkansas.  B.H. Barnes died of tuberculosis on October 25, 1883 in Handley, Texas (Tarrant county).  (Note: He was the first person to spell his last name with an "es" - Barnes).  Some sources have suggested that Theodosia's death was on August 8, 1928 in Dallas, Texas (Dallas county).  Henderson and Theodosia had the following children:
     A.  John F. Barnes: He was born about 1867 in Tarrant county, Texas.  He was married, but had no children.  Some relatives saw them as very dull people.
     B.  Robert E.W. Barnes ("Robert"): He was born about 1869 (1867?) in Tarrant county, Texas.  He probably died fairly young.
     C.  Phillip N. Barnes ("Phil"): He was born about 1871 (1872?) in Tarrant county, Texas.  His father made his children make a promise to him on his deathbed that they would not drink liquor.  Phil was the only child to break that promise; some relatives refused to visit him because of this.  He had children.
     D.  Emma Ophelia Barnes ("Ophelia"): She was born about 1874 in Tarrant county, Texas.  She never married.  She was strict like her mother, but more likeable.  She was  a career woman.
     E.  Charles Henry Joseph Barnes ("Charley"): He was born about 1877 (1878?) in Tarrant county, Texas.  He was married in 1907.  He had children.
     F.  Ida May (Maud?) Barnes: She was born in May, 1880 in Handley, Tarrant county, Texas.  She lived up to the late 1940's or early 1950's.  She had a step-son, but no other children.
     G.  Clementinus Claud Barnes ("Claud"): He was born in May, 1880 in Handley, Tarrant county, Texas.  He died young.
     H.  Ozee Barnes: She was born after 1880 (one source says Ozee is a boy).  Ozee or Ozee's son died soon after Charles Barnes, son of B.H. Barnes.

VI.  Martha F. Barnes: She was born about 1848 (1847?) in Cass county, Texas.  She married James Whiting (Whitten?) Beall about 1863, possibly in Tarrant county, Texas.  He was born in 1844 (1846?) in Attala county, Mississippi.  He was the son of Josiah D. Beall and Ann Tatum Dent ("Nancy").  (Note regarding Josiah D. Beall: He is listed in the slave schedule, not population schedule of the 1850 Attala county, Mississippi census.  He was born in Franklin county, Georgia.  He also had a patent for 160 acres on September 23, 1859; Tarrant county, Texas?).  James Whiting Beall had a second wife named Mary Elizabeth Williams.  He died in 1879 in Cooke county, Texas (One source says Tarrant county).  He was buried in the Dunville cemetery in Cooke county.  Martha died about 1872 (1873?) in Tarrant county, Texas (Note: Could she have died from childbirth complications with daughter, Lilly?).  They had the following children:
     A.  Judson Tatum Beall: He was born on September 22, 1864, possibly in Denton county, Texas.  He was raised by Henderson and Theodosia (Leatherman) Barnes.  He married Emma Artelia Rogers on November 25, 1890 in Tarrant county, Texas.  She died after 1941 in Roby, Fisher county, Texas.  Judson Tatum Beall died on March 1, 1941 in Roby, Texas; he was buried in Roby on March 2nd.
     B.  James Edward Beall: (One source says Edward James Beall).  He was born about 1866 in Texas.
     C.  Laura Josephine (Josaphine?) Beall: She was born on March 3, 1870 (one source says August) in Industry, Austin county, Texas.

Laura Josephine Beall
Laura Josephine Beall

She married Louis David Smith on March 11, 1893 in Tarrant county, Texas.  Louis David Smith was born on June 29, 1865 in Prairie City, McDonough, Illinois.  He was the son of Walter Evander Smith and Catherine L. Luper (Lupfer).  Louis David Smith died on May 24, 1944 in Quanah, Hardeman county, Texas.  She died on December 15, 1958 in Fort Worth, Texas (Tarrant county); she was buried in Quanah, Texas (Hardeman county) on December 17th.
     D.  Lilly (Lilla?) E. Beall: She was born about 1872 in Austin county, Texas.  Lilly was raised by Henderson and Theodosia (Leatherman) Barnes.  She married Caleb Henry Tyler on January 7, 1886 in Cauthron, Scott, Arkansas.  He was born on March 12, 1865 in Missouri.  His paents were Asberry Tyler and Martha Cheney.  Caleb Henry Tyler died on February 9, 1942 in Sulfer, Murray, Oklahoma and is buried at Oaklawn cemetery in Murray, Oklahoma.  She died about 1891 in Tarrant county, Texas.

VII.  Seaborn Barnes ("Sebe"): (One source said he was often called "Sanford"; Sam Bass nicknamed him "Nubbins Colt").  He was born about 1852-1853 (1849 according to his tombstone), possibly in Cass county, Texas (One source says Tarrant county).

Seaborn Barnes
(One source described Sebe as being very dark, and the known Barnes descendants at the time were dark).  Other sources include the following physical descriptions: slender, blond, beetle brow canti-levered over a generous Roman nose; prominent Adam's apple, and a roving foot.  Jeannine (Digby) Blair said that people called Seaborn Barnes "Red" because he had red hair.  She said that there was a lot of red hair in that family.  (Note: Jeannine stated that either Pearl Griffin Digby or Mary Elizabeth House Griffin told her this information).  Seaborn's widowed mother had to live off the charity of relatives; she and her five children lived at Handley, near Fort Worth, Texas.  Seaborn was mad about being a "have not".  He had no education.  Seaborn was a cowboy in his early teens, cooking for local ranches.  He worked as a potter for A.H. Serrens works south of Denton, Texas (Note: The 1870 Denton county, Texas census shows an Augustus Seren, potter from New York, although his son's death certificate spells the name "Serren".  Augustus H. Serren died in Denton county on January 6, 1874).

He spent a year in jail awaiting trial for shooting a man when he was seventeen years old; this would have been about 1866, if his birthday is correct.  He was acquitted.  In 1874, Sebe was put in jail in Calahan county, Texas.  He escaped, wearing his leg irons; he went across the street and had the blacksmith cut them off.  Seaborn arrived in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area about 1878.

Seaborn Barnes' involvement in the Sam Bass outlaw gang:

Controversial photo of members of the Sam Bass Gang
Identification of the above photo of the Sam Bass gang members vary:
1.  Jim Murphy (who betrayed the gang to the Texas Rangers) on left (Note: Another source said he betrayed them by sending a telegram to the Texas Rangers from the Belton Post Office); Sam Bass (seated); Seaborn Barnes (right), a large man.  (Source: Article on "Sam Bass Outlaw" in the Denver Post Magazine, March 30, 1986).
2.  (left to right): Seaborn Barnes; Sam Bass; Frank Jackson (Source: Article on "Death of Sam Bass" by Loraine Barnes.  Publication name and date not known).
3.  Photograph is of three other men, not the Bass gang at all.

Seaborn was a member of the Sam Bass outlaw gang; when Bass' first gang dissolved, he recruited Barnes, a tough western gunman.  The Sam Bass gang also included Frank Jackson, Tom Spotswood, Henry Underwood, Arkansas Tom Johnson, and later, Jim Murphy.  The Sam Bass gang robbed a stage in October of 1877 outside Mary's creek near Fort Worth; they only got $ 43.00.  It was at this point the gang stopped robbing stagecoaches and turned to trains.  In the spring of 1878, there were a string of train robberies that netted about $ 1, 500.00 each:
1.  Houston & Texas Central at Allen Station on Febuary 22nd.  $ 1, 280.00.
2.  Texas & Pacific safe in the mail car near Eagle Ford on April 4th.
3.  Texas & Pacific at Mesquite on April 10th.  This is the first time the gang encountered serious trouble.

Mesquite Train Robbery
This is believed to be the train which the Sam Bass gang held up in Mesquite
in the 1870's.  They missed $ 30, 000.00 which had been hidden in the stove in
the express car.  (Source: Dallas Times Herald magazine, 7-15-1962).

Several prisoners were being escorted on the train; between the several guards and the passengers, there was quite a volley of gunfire.  Seaborn received the following wounds: three bullets in his left leg and one in his right leg (Note: another place in the same source says he received one bullet in his left thigh and three bullets in his left leg).

Artistic depiction of the Mesquite Train Robbery by S. Seymour Thomas
(completed in 1880 when he was 12 years old).  This picture is reproduced from
Sam Bass by Wayne Gard (Source: Article "Account of Sam Bass is Exciting and
by Walter Prescott Webb. Dallas Morning News, July 26, 1936.
DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas.
On June 13, 1878, the gang escaped an ambush in Wise county, Texas near Salt Creek during a retreat from the aborted train robbery at Mesquite.

One of the gang's favorite hiding places was in the Cross Timbers area in Denton county, Texas.   Sam Bass was called the "Robin Hood of the Cross Timbers".

A 1991 view of the Eastern Cross Timbers looking southeastward
from the east end of the Ray Roberts Lake dam.  (Source:
An Illustrated History of Denton Co. Tx. from Peters Colony to
by E. Dale Odom).
 The normal range of the Bass gang was limited to the upper or northern cross timbers, or the area of prairie country in between the East and West prongs.  They would hide in the dense Elm and Hickory bottoms an enormous swamp area where "the foliage is dense - the vines hang in masses and it is not good daylight until 12 noon"  (Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen & Outlaws by Nash).  Another source says Bass would maintain his rendezvous "along the streams and in the dense postoak and blackjack groves and thickets of the cross timbers...." (Down in the Cross Timbers by Worth S. Ray).  One place some Denton county residents ran across Sam Bass was at "a crossing on Clear creek, several miles north of Denton, on the way to Pilot Point, in  an arm of the thickly wooded area of the cross timbers" (Down in the Cross Timbers by Worth S. Ray).  "...His main long term hideout was the cove near Rosston in Cooke county near the Wise county line, but he did spend some time in the Hickory Creek thickets south of Denton, used Pilot Knob as a lookout to locate posses chasing him, and rested occasionally at many other places in the county" (An Illustrated History of Denton county, Texas by E. Dale Odom).

Pat Digby relayed the following story to me in 2006.  He said he heard it when he was about twelve years old on a car trip in which Emmitt and Guy Digby were talking in the back seat after having several drinks: "Guy and Will S. Digby lived in East Texas.  Tinnie Barnes would have her kids surround the sheriff when he came to their house a couple of times looking for her brother, Seaborn Barnes.  The kids would hold the reins of the sheriff's horse, hold his legs, and gather close to him.  This would give Seaborn time to escape out the back door and ride away".

Captain June Peak at age 35.  This is the way he looked
when he was commissioned to drive the Sam Bass gang
out of Denton county.  Captain Peak was one of the first
to talk with Jim Murphy about giving the gang away.
(Source: Article "Sam Bass Texas" by Walter Prescott
Webb in the Dallas Morning News, 1-2-1927.  DRT
Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas.

Basic Sequence of Events at Round Rock, Texas (July, 1878):

Thursday, July 18th pm: Some of the gang go into Mays' and Block's store to get horse feed.  Barnes entertains the idea of stealing horses for the gang so they would all have fresh horses to ride.  Murphy discourages this idea because it would make the town folks suspicious.  Murphy says to stay with the original plan of staying there four or five days, rest the horses, and pretend to buy cattle.  Barnes agrees with the plan.  Upon returning to camp, Barnes again states his complete trust in Murphy and thanked Frank Jackson for preventing the boys from killing him a few weeks ago.

Friday, July 19th am: Murphy urges Barnes to go with him to get a shave and take a look around town.

Saturday, July 20th: Sam Bass plans to rob the bank at Round Rock at 3:30 pm.

Old bank at Round Rock, Texas which Sam Bass gang planned to rob.
Current Location: Fort Tumbleweek near Liberty Hill, Texas.
(Source of Image: Leonard & Lynda Kubiak)

At Round Rock, Texas, Barnes shot Sheriff Hoke Grimes twice and killed him when Grimes put his hand on Barnes' shoulder and asked him if he had a gun.  Barnes and the others had on long coats.  Barnes was shot through the head at Round Rock, Texas (Williamson county) on July 19, 1878 (some sources say July 20) about 4:15 pm by Texas Ranger R.C. Ware ("Dick") of Lieutenant Reynold's company (See note at bottom of article regarding Dick Ware).

Dick Ware
(Source of image: Rick Calvert;
"Find A Grave" website, 6-8-2011)
Dick Ware tombstone
Colorado City Cemetery
Colorado City, Texas
Mitchell county.
(Image: "Find A Grave",
added by Beth on 5-15-2012)
Grave: just west of flagpole.

Dick Ware ran out of the barber shop with two guns in his hands; he had the striped barber bib still around his neck.  Barnes had one foot in his saddle; he turned to fire at Ware.  Ware stopped and shot once, hitting Barnes squarely in the forehead.  According to Samuel Edward Loving, Barnes was shot right behind the ear, and the ball came out over his eye (The Cattleman, article by Clopton).  Ranger Ware shot Barnes with a Colt 44 while Barnes was running to his horse, according to Ranger Ira Aten at the Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas.  (Note: Leonard Dansby's Sept. 30, 1980 article in San Antonio News states that Barnes was killed with a .45 slug).  (Note: Sam Bass was killed by Henry Harrell (one source says George Harrell) with a Colt 45 single action # 29569.  This is the gun in the Texas Ranger museum).  Seaborn's body was identified by Jim Murphy; he was accompanied by Major Jones.  Barnes had three bullets in his right leg and one bullet in his left leg (sources differ as to how many bullets were in which leg).  Barnes is buried in the Round Rock cemetery, which is two and a half miles north of town; his tombstone now reads, "SEABORN BARNES Here lies Seaborn Barnes, a member of the Sam Bass gang.  Born in Cass county,Texas in 1849.  He was known as 'Seab' or 'Nubbins Colt'.  On Friday, July 19, 1878 at 4:15 pm he was shot through the head as he fled Koppell's store located next to Miller's Exchange Bank on Main street, Round Rock.  Following the killing of Deputy A.W. Grimes and the wounding of Deputy Maurice Moore the fatal shot was fired by Texas Ranger Richard C. Ware.  He was 'right bower' to Sam Bass". "Right bower" means "Sea Anchor".

Graves of Seaborn Barnes (left) & Sam Bass (right)
Round Rock Cemetery, Round Rock, Texas

Seaborn Barnes' tombstone
Entrance to Round Rock Cemetery
Round Rock, Texas
(Note: His original tombstone was made of sandstone; Seaborn Barnes and Sam Bass have had their tombstones replaced several times due to people chipping the other ones away).  An article in the San Antonio News in 1980 states that, "Barnes was totally loyal and devoted to his leader Sam Bass...."  Pearl (Griffin) Digby said of Seaborn, "The family was ashamed of him" and Mack Flanagan Digby said, "He was mean as a snake.  The Bass gang stopped at William Seaborn Digby's farm on the way to Round Rock to water their horses.  Will Digby knew the gang wouldn't hurt them since they were Seaborn's relatives."  

Reproduction of "Wanted" poster.
Source: McMinnie's Posters
Reproduction of "Wanted " poster.
Source: McMinnie's Posters

Major John B. Jones correspondence regarding Sam Bass Gang:
(Copies of the telegraphs came from the Texas State Archives in Austin, Texas)

Major John B. Jones

Major John B. Jones was the commander of the Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers from 1874 to 1880.  It was his task to clean up Texas at its worst, just after the carpetbaggers had withdrawn.  The above image of him is from an article titled "Sam Bass Texas" by Walter Prescott Webb.  Dallas Morning News, January 2, 1927.  DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas.


1.  Tarrant county, Texas Deeds: Book S, page 639
2.  Tarrant county, Texas Deeds: Book C, page 508.
3.  1846 Tax Rolls of Texas (Cass county only) Cass county Genealogical Society. Gen 976.4 Cass C 1977-79. v. 4-6. Vol. 4  No. 1 1977. (Lists John S. Barnes as present in 1846). 
4.  Cass county Genealogical Society. Gen. 976.4 Cass C  1977-79. v.4-6. Vol. 5 No.2  1978  p. 38-39.
5.  Pauline (Barnes) Prescott, Fort Worth, Texas (don't consult; doesn't like to discuss the Barnes family).
6.  Cass county Genealogical Society. Vols. 1-3. June 1974. page 13. Book 1, page 180.
7.  Tarrant county, Texas Deeds: Vol. F, page 516.
8.  1880 Tarrant county, Texas census (Berry Henderson Barnes family: 30; E.D. 91; sheet 5; line 27).
9.  Cass county Genealogical Society. Vols. 1-3. Vol II. no 1  1975.  Oct/ Nov. 1955 page 23.  (The original source is an old Linden newspaper).  For 1889 Delinquent Tax List for Cass county, J.S. Barnes.
10. Cass county, Texas - Records of 1890.  Gen. 976.4  Cass C  compiled by Cass county Genealogical Society.  1990. page 137.
11. Census Records:
     a.  1850 Cass county, Texas census (Hickory Hill, now called Avinger), page 727.
     b.  1880 Tarrant county, Texas census (James & Martha Beall).
     c.  1850 Attala county, Mississippi census.
     Note: No census after the 1850 Cass county, Texas shows the John S. Barns family.  They could have been in the 1860 Tarrant county, Texas census, but it was burned.  (I need to check alternate spellings of the Barns name on the census).
12. Jean Jones (Barnes researcher): auntjean@rapidramp.com - Family Talk.  Thelma Jean Jones (great grandaughter of Lily Barnes).
13. Barnes mailing  list: MAISER@rmgate.pop.indiana.edu  SUB BARNES (Place on first line of message and send).
14. Internet links that may prove helpful:
     Genealogy Online
     WWW Genealogy Databases
     Surnames: WWW surname archive
     National Queries Forum
     Rand Genealogy Club
     Roots Surname List Name Finder
     Roots Location List Name Finder
     Roots - L
15. Jean Jones e-mail:  DNNM42A@prodigy.com
16. Cecilie Gaziano (major source of information on Barnes families).
17. A Sketch of Sam Bass, The Bandit by Charles L. Martin.  Dallas: Herald Steam Printing House, 1880.  Reprinted in 1956 by the University of Oklahoma Press (Charles L. Martin was a Dallas newspaperman).
18. Sam Bass by Wayne Gard.  1936, reprinted by the University of Nebraska Press.  Lincoln, 1964.
19. Charline Morris (Mrs. Alonzo Morris).  Information regarding Barnes Lake in Cass county, Texas.  She gave me the following sources:
     a.  Mr. Harlan B. Pitchford
     b.  Lilly Barnes (used to live at Barnes Lake; in her 70s in 1997).
     c.  Maude Marie (Simpson) Salmon (wife of Jack Salmon, dec'd).  She owns Barnes Lake.
     d.  Fred McKenzie: Wrote book on Avinger, Texas.
20. The Texas Rangers by Walter Prescott Webb. Publisher: University of Texas Press. Copyright: 1965.
21. San Antonio News article on September 30, 1980 by Leonard Dansby (about Seaborn Barnes).
22. Frontier Times, Vol. 2.  October, 1924. No. 1 (Published monthly at Bandera, Texas by J. Marvin Hunter). p. 11 - The Complete Version of the Sam Bass song.
23. The Cattlemen: Article, "Texas Branding of Sam Bass" by Mildred Cooke Clopton. 1953.  pgs. 31, 47-49 (DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas).
24. The Authentic History of Sam Bass and His Gang by a citizen of Denton county.  Frontier Times, 1932. pages 170-175.  (DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Tx).
25. The Tenderfoot Bandits Sam Bass and Joel Collins, Their Lives and Hard Times, by Paula Reed and Grover Ted Tate, 1987. Vol. 51. Great West & Indian Series.
26. The Dallas Morning News, July 26, 1936.  Article, "Account of Sam Bass is Exciting and Authentic" by Walter Prescott Webb (DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas).
27. The Sun, July 25, 1878 article "The Tragedy in Round Rock" (DRT Library in the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas).
28. The Houston Post, Sunday, September 26, 1965 article, "Sam Bass: Walter Prescott Webb's Story of Texas' Beloved".  (DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas).
29. The Dallas Morning News, January 2, 1927 article, "Sam Bass, Texas" by Walter Prescott Webb (DRT Libary at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas).
30. Article, "The Story of Sam Bass" by Charles Lee Martin (DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas).
31. American-Statesman, Sunday, August 14, 1927.  Article, "Death of Sam Bass Retold by Spectator" by Ted Thompson.  (DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Tx).
32. A Sketch of Sam Bass, The Bandit by Charles L. Martin.  University of Oklahoma Press.  The Western Frontier Library.
33. Round Rock, USA !!! Project of the Round Rock Kiwanis Club, 1972.
34. Williamson County, Texas: Its History and It's People.  Williamson county sesquicentennial Genealogical Society.  Article, "I Saw the Shooting of Sam Bass" by J.B. Warden (submitted by Mrs. Clara Warden Pafford).
35. Initial sources in Cecilie Gaziano research:
     a.  1850 Cass county, Texas census (John and Martha Barns).
     b.  Yalobusha county, Mississippi Tax List 1834-35; 1836 and 1841 (for John and Martha Barns group).
     c.  Cooke county, Texas Tax Roll, 1878 (James & Martha Beall).
     d.  Texas General Land Office, File 848.
     e.  Tarrant county, Texas Deeds (Vol. F, p. 516, 1876; Book C, p. 508, 1877) (John & Martha Barns).
     f.  Personal papers/ notes of Aileen Beall Whaley (deceased) of Sweetwater, Texas (James & Martha Beall).
     g.  Texas death certificate # 71559 (James & Martha Beall).
     h.  1880 Tarrant county, Texas census (James & Martha Beall).
     i.  March, 1876 Denton county, Texas guardianship file (James & Martha Beall).
36. Yalobusha county, Mississippi Tax List for 1834 and 1835.
37.  Yalobusha county, Mississippi Marriage Records 1846 - 1870 by Frances L. Turnage.  Water Valley, Mississippi: comp. 1958. (Note: Book A has been lost for many years; only the index remains.  Fort Worth library has a hand copied index with the Barns marriage date. page 6) (John and Martha Barns).
38.  Yalobusha county Historical Society Files & Records, vol. 1, page 7.
39.  Article, "Comments on the Early History of Water Valley" North Mississippi Herald, author unknown, August 4, 1938, Yalobusha Pioneer, vol. 17, # 4, Winter, 1992. (page 15).
40.  Mack Digby, June, 1980.
41.  Vera (Barnett) Digby, 1980.
42.  Pearl (Griffin) Digby, May 11, 1980.
43.  Mrs. Elmira Tennessee (Barnes) Digby Confederate Pension Application, Texas State Archives, Austin, Texas.
44.  The Donahoe Community and Donahoe, Texas - A Ghost Town by Mr. E.A. Limer Jr.
45.  1880 Texas Soundex (D-210 micro-copy T-773, Roll # 18.  D200-0450).  Fort Worth, Texas library.
46.  The Texas Ranger Museum, Waco, Texas - 1995.  (Note: Ranger Ira Aten identified Ranger Dick Ware's gun as a Colt 44; this was the gun that killed Seaborn Barnes in Round Rock, Texas.  The gun is not located at this museum; the type of gun was identified.  The Colt 45 that killed Sam Bass is at the museum).
47.  Random search of the Fort Worth Democrat newspaper 1873-1890 at the Fort Worth library (on microfilm; difficult to read).
48.  Marcelle Hull, UTA Libraries, Special Collections (possibly has information on Seaborn Barnes).
49.  Frontier Times, 1933 (A letter from S.W. Digby about John Barnes involvement in the Mexican War).
50.  A book written by Wayne Gard in 1878.
51.  Letter from Rick Miller to Billy Blair dated December 20, 1996 requesting help for the definitive new book he's writing on the Sam Bass gang.
52.  Letter dated May 22, 1995 from Dan Agler, Collections Manager for the Moody, Texas Ranger Library at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas.
53.  Down in the Cross Timbers by Worth S. Ray.
54.  Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen and Outlaws by Jay Robert Nash (Copyright: 1994).
55.  Six Years with the Texas Rangers by J.B. Gillett (Note: J.B. Gillett was a Texas Ranger who was an eye witness to the shoot-out in Round Rock between the Rangers and the Sam Bass gang).
56.  An Illustrated History of Denton county, Texas (From Peters Colony to Metroplex) by E. Dale Odom, 1996.
57.  Pictorial History of the Wild West by James D. Horan and Paul Sann.  Bonanza Books, New York.
58.  1968 Footprints, page 77.  Patent volume 543, No. 38.  Abstract # 98/3. (B.H. Barnes land).
59.  1968 Footprints, page 77.  Patent volume #179, No. 27.  Abstract # 163/3.  (Josiah D. Beall land).
60.  Jeannine (Digby) Blair conversation on April 21, 2012 with Billy Blair (regarding Seaborn Barnes being called "Red" because he had red hair....).
61.  The Handbook of Texas - article on Texas Ranger Richard Clayton Ware (Dick Ware, who killed Seaborn Barnes).  (See citation in note below).
62.  "Find A Grave" website for Richard Clayton Ware.
63.  Pat Digby, September, 2006. (Story about Tinnie Barnes' family protecting Seaborn Barnes when the sheriff arrived).

1.  There is an estate settlement for a John S. Barns in Tarrant county on April 26, 1852, but probably is the wrong Barns  (Billy Blair has a copy of the settlement).
2.  Problem: Confusion with other "John Barnes" or "John S. Barns" in Cass county and Tarrant county.
3.  John S. Barnes in Cass county, Texas who bought land for the International Railroad Company.  Could this one be ours?  On January 15, 1874, there was a deed of trust between John S. Barnes et. al. to the International RR Company (C611).
4.  The "Barneses" were one of seven families living in Handley, Tarrant county, Texas.  This is the same time that the railroad came through Handley.  The "Barneses" lived on Village Creek.  1876.  (Which Barnes was this?).
5.  How to get access to John S. Barnes' Mexican War record?
6.  Yalobusha county, Mississippi has two county seats: one in Water Valley and one in Coffeeville.  Our Barnes records are in Coffeeville; the other courthouse burned.  Some of the Creek Indians went to Water Valley, Mississippi about 1820 or so.  They were from South Central Georgia.
7.  Possible early migration patterns for the Barnes family:
     a.  From NC to SC to GA to ALA.
     b.  From NC and SC to TN to ALA.
8.  Cecilie Gaziano believes that William Barnes is John S. Barnes' father (not proven).
9.  How to get copies of John S. Barns land grants at the Texas land office?
10. Railroad records; books; wanted posters for John S. Barns or Seaborn Barnes.
11. Check Arlington, Texas cemetery records.
12. Check Rose Hill cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas.
13. Polly C. Barnes is listed as John S. Barnes' wife in settlement of John S. Barnes estate in 1852.  Could this have been a second wife of our John S. Barnes?
14. Cass county, Texas was renamed Davis county during the Civil War.
15. Read sheet on "Early Land Laws" in my Barnes file.
17. Migration pattern for Barnes:
     Before 1841: Yalobusha county, Mississippi.
     1841-1843: Move to Texas.
     1843-1866: Cass county, Texas.
     1866-1870's: Martha (Cannon) Barnes moves family to Handley, Tarrant county, Texas.
18. Originally, "Barnes" was "O' Barnes" in Ireland.
19. The "Cannons" lived in the northern part of the Yalobusha county, Mississippi.
20. Check the Denton county Historical Museum, especially for information on potters in Denton county.
21. Fort Tumbleweed - Gateway to the Old West.  Located 20 miles NW of Austin, Texas near Liberty Hill.  http://www.forttumbleweed.com   (Source of image of Round Rock, Texas bank which the Sam Bass gang planned to rob).
22.  There is a Tennessee Barnes (1848 - 1930) in Lincoln county, Missouri (with a picture).  Any relation?
23.  Richard Clayton Ware (Dick War) article in The Handbook of Texas:
(H. Allen Anderson, "WARE, RICHARD CLAYTON,"  Handbook of Texas
Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwabf).  accessed April 22, 2014.  Uploaded on June 15, 2010.  Published by the Texas State Historical Association).
"Ware, Richard Clayton (1851 - 1902).  Richard Clayton Ware, Texas Ranger, sheriff, and United States marshall, the oldest son of Benjamin F. and Mary Jane (Price) Ware, was born on November 11, 1851, on the family plantation near Rome, Georgia.  In 1870 he came with his family to Texas and settled near Dallas.  Ware joined the Frontier Battalion on April 1, 1876 and was assigned to Company E under Lt. B.S. Foster.  He continued to serve in that company under lieutenants Nelson O. Reynolds and C.L. Nievill.  In July, 1878 Ware was among the rangers sent to accompany Maj. John B. Jones to Round Rock to intercept Sam Bass and his gang.  Ware was in a barbershop being shaved when the outlaws entered the town and killed Deputy Sheriff A.W. "High" Grimes.  He rushed from the shop only partially shaved and fired his gun at the fleeing outlaws.  One shot killed Seaborn Barnes, and another, it is thought was the bullet that fatally wounded Sam Bass.  Although Lieutenant Nevill's official report, based on the coroner's verdict, credited George Herold (or Harrell) with the fatal shot, several eyewitnesses, including fellow ranger Chris Connor, attributed it to Ware.  Even the dying Bass declared that the man who felled him had lather on his face.  The controversy over who really killed Sam Bass was never entirely resolved.  In 1880 Ware was transferred to Company B of the Frontier Battalion under Capt. Ira Long and sent with them to Hackberry Springs in Mithcell county.  Ware resigned from the company in 1861 to become the county's first sheriff.  He had won that job by a single vote, and not long afterward his opponent was killed by Ranger Jeff Milton while resisting arrest.  Ware was re-elected until November 11, 1892, when his deputy defeated him.  President Grover Cleveland appointed Ware U.S. Marshall for the Western District of Texas on May 11, 1893.  He held that office at Colorado City headquarters until January 26, 1898, when the McKinley administration replaced him.  Ware was a Mason, an Oddfellow, and a lifelong bachelor.  He moved to Corpus Christi for his health and later to a Fort Worth hospital in 1902.  He developed heart trouble, which resulted in his death on July 2, 1902.  He was buried in Colorado City.  
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Corpus Christi Caller, July 4, 1902.  H. Gordon Frost and John H. Jenkins,  'I'm Frank Hamer': The Life of a Texas Peace Officer (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968).  J. Evetts Haley, Jeff Milton (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1948).  Robert W. Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches (Dallas, 1972).  Thomas Thompson, The Ware Boys: The Story of a Texas Family Bank (Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1978).  Walter Prescott Webb, The Texas Rangers (Boston: Houghton Miffin, 1935, rpt. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982).  H. Allen Anderson"


  1. Hello, and great work!!! I am a descendant of John and Martha's daughter Mary Elizabeth Barnes. Cecilie and I have been working together recently to prove the relationship... danhale1974@gmail.com

  2. Great Job!!!! it is always a joy to read about our past history, it is actually more interesting than the news of today.:-)

  3. Great Job!!!! it is always a joy to read about our past history, it is actually more interesting than the news of today.:-)