A Narrative History of The People of Iowa


MARION HAMILTON BARNES, the postmaster of Wapello, is one of Iowa's native sons who may be said to have graduated into the world of affairs through the experience of the World war.  He was born at What Cheer, Iowa, February 1, 1897, son of Joseph V. Barnes.  His father was born in Ohio, came to Iowa when a child with his parents and grew up at West Branch, had a common school education and has devoted all his active career to railroading.  He has been railroad agent at a number of places in Iowa and he and his wife now reside at Thornburg.  He is the present mayor of the town and is a member of the Masonic fraternity.  He married Miss Antoinette Sale, of Iowa City, and of their four children two are living, Marion H. and Frances Josephine.

Marion H. Barnes was educated in schools in the different towns where his father was representing the railroads, including Little Rock, West Branch, Columbus Junction, and was graduated from the Wapello High School in 1917.  While in high school he was a member of the football, basketball and track teams, and he also gained his first knowledge of the postal service while still in school, working in the local postoffice on afternoons and Saturdays.  For about a year he was clerk at Wapello for the Rock Island Railroad.

Mr. Barnes in May, 1918,  joined the colors, was in training for a time at Fort Leavenworth and went to France, unattached, in the Fourth Depot Brigade.  He was stationed at Clermont ferrand, France, and in May, 1919, returned to America and was discharged at Camp Dodge.

After the war he was again an employee of the Rock Island Railroad at Wapello, until 1924, when he received an appointment as postmaster.  He is now serving his second term in that office, and has given a very prompt and energetic administration of the office.

He is a member of the Iowa and National Postmasters Associations, belongs to the American Legion and for two years was adjutant of his local post.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is treasurer of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Wapello.  Mr. Barnes married, November 25, 1919, Miss Ella M. Drake, of Columbus Junction.  They have one son, Joseph M., born July 26, 1920.


~ source: A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC., by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York. 1931
~ transcribe by Debbie Clough Gerischer for the Great War