- DEATH FOREVER STILLS VOICE OF NOTED ORATOR
General Barnes, One of California's Greatest Lawyers and Public Speakers, Succumbs to Cancer of the Throat
GENERAL W. H. L. BARNES, the noted lawyer and orator, died last evening at 7:15 o'clock at the California Hotel. his wife and two sons, W. S. Barnes and Lieutenant J. W. Barnes, U.S.A. were gathered round the bedside when the end came.
Up to the last General Barnes retained his mental faculties, and Dr. Julius Rosenstirn, who had been in close attendance upon the sick man throughout his illness, said that the general was fully aware of everything that was taking place up to within ten minutes of his death.
General Barnes died of cancer of the throat. he first complained to Dr. Rosenstirn last March of a malignant growth that had formed on his tongue. he had a dread of both cancer and surgical operations. he had only a year or so ago seen his friend, Governor Booth, die of cancer and he would not accept the diagnosis of his physician the he had a cancer nor would he allow an operation to be performed upon him. Gradually the growth crept from the sick man's tongue to his throat, then to his lungs. Hemorrhages set in and he bled to death.
BIDS HIS SON GOOD-BY
Yesterday the family was warned that the general's end was near. During the twenty-four hours next preceding his death he had no less than four hemorrhages, the last one, at 6 o'clock last evening, being the most severe of all.
In the afternoon about 4 o'clock General Barnes appeared to rally somewhat and knowing that his life was fast ebbing, he sent for his son, W. S. Barnes, and warmly grasping his hand, bade him an affectionate farewell. Those gathered round his bedside at the end were, besides his wife and two sons, Dr. Rosenstirn, D. A. Ryan, who had been General Barnes' confidential clerk for many years, and Miss Vincent, his stenographer, who had also been employed in the general's office for some time.
General Barnes leaves two brothers, John S. Barnes, a capatalist, who is at present residing at his summer home at Lenox, mass., and James Barnes of Hartford, Conn., and one sister, Mrs. Henry M. Baker, of New York.
The funeral will take place on Thursday, and at the express wish of the deceased's wife, will be of a military nature. Adjutant General Stone, on behalf of the National Guard, will order out as an escort the First Regiment of Infantry, the First Artillery Battalion and Troop A, Cavalry, all of the organization.
George H. Thomas Post, Grand Army of the Republic, with A.D. Cutler commanding; the Loyal Legion and numerous fraternal societies of which the general was a member will also attend.
At a late hour last evening it had not been decided whether the body would be buried in the National Cemetery at the Presidio, or cremated.
BORN IN NEW YORK
William Henry Linow Barnes was a native of the State of New York, having been born at West Point, where his father occupied a chair in the United States Military Academy, February 11, 1836. Most of his youth was spent at Springfield, Mass., where he attended school until he was ready for college. He chose Yale for his alma mater and was graduated with the class of 1855 with high honors, especially in belies lettres and history, for which he had an early liking.
On leaving Yale he studied law with the eminent jurist Reuben H. Chapman, afterward Chief Justice of Massachusetts. he was admitted to the bar in 1857 and soon after moved to New York City, where he became associated in the practice of his profession with the law firm of O'Conor & Fullerton and with Joseph H. Choate.
On the outbreak of the Civil War the young barrister laid aside his books and briefs and shouldered a musket, enlisting in the famous Seventh Regiment, New York Volunteers, and hurrying with it to the defense of the national capital. After some months' service he was promoted sergeant and sent to New York to recruit for the Seventy-sixth Regiment, New York Volunteers, the famous "Ironsides," with which he again served in the field.
In 186 General Barnes came out to San Francisco, where he has ever since resided, and engaged in the practice of law. His eloquence and forensic ability soon commanded for him a leading place among the many legal lights at the bar of the State and with it a very lucrative practice. He has been engaged in many of the most important cases that ever came before our courts - among which were the celebrated Horace Hawes will case and the Hill-Sharon suit - and he was, as a rule, on the victory side.
General Barnes assisted in framing the present constitution of California. he was one of the fifty-two non-partisan delegates chosen to represent the State at large. The delegates assembled in Sacramento in December, 1879, and completed their work in March, 1768. Among his associates in this notable convention were ex-Senators Hager and Casserly, Joseph Hoge, David S. Terry, Samuel M. Wilson, M. M. Estee, Volney E. Howard, General John F. Miller, Judge McFarland, Henry Edgerton, Thomas H. Laine, Joseph W. Winans and many other public men of superior attainments.
While his services could command larger fees from wealthy clients, they were often given in their fullest and best measure where not a cent was to come in return, a notable instance of which generosity was in the case of Walter Rosser, defended by General Barnes on the charge of the murder of young Hildebrand in 1898. After the trial and acquittal of the son the aged father, who had mortgaged his home and little farm back in Alabama to raise the funds necessary for his son's defense, waited on General Barnes and asked how much he owed him. "Not a cent," was the reply of this big-hearted man, who it is said acted in the matter solely on account of his friendship for Colonel Smith, who commanded the First Tennessee Regiment, to which young Rosser belonged.
AN ARDENT REPUBLICAN
General Barnes was a Republican in politics and an ardent party man. He took an active part in every campaign since 1867, giving the powerful aid of his eloquence and logic at every needed point from the Oregon line to San Diego. He was generally called where the fight was fiercest and the voters most obdurate, and to his efforts has been due the turning of many a day of seeming defeat into one of handsome majority.
For sixteen years he was on of the leading spirits of the "Invincibles," a famous political club of fifteen or twenty years ago. Often was he called to preside over the Republican State conventions, and his prompt decisions, absolute fairness, and parliamentary ability served to allay much of the bitterness incident to defeat in such gatherings and prevented many a hurtful breach in the ranks of the party.
Few men in the United States could equal General Barnes as a raconteur or in making timely speeches, set or impromptu, whatever the occasion. Whether to lament the passing of some honored citizen, welcome the return of others, or charm the sense of fitness of thought and word at some feast his tact and talent were perhaps more frequently called into service than in case of any other man in the country.
His power as a speaker was well illustrated at a meeting of citizens of San Francisco in the Palace Hotel in 1893 in the matter of the Midwinter Fair. The whole project was about to fall through for lack of the necessary support. Lethargy instead of enthusiasm seemed to possess the people. The meeting of leading citizens was called by the directors to settle the question whether they should abandon the project of holding the fair or go on with it. General Barnes addressed the meeting in a speech that will be long remembered by those who heard it. Under his eloquent urging lethargy fled apace, enthusiasm and zeal that contributed and worked for the fair ruled the day - the credit of San Francisco was saved.
While an ardent and active Republican all his life General Barnes was in no sense a politician for "revenue." he never sought office at the hands of his party, except once to consent to the presentation of his name before the Legislative Assembly of 1898 as a candidate for the United States Senatorship. He received a handsome complimentary vote, and had merit alone prevailed he might have won the prize.
HAD HISTRIONIC TALENT
As might have been expected of a man of his oratorical attainments, General Barnes possessed much histrionic talent and had he made the stage his choice in seeking a vocation would undoubtedly have taken a high rank among its great men. When he was yet a young man he played the leading part in "Rosedale" at the old California Theater, for the benefit of the Mercantile Library, and the most competent critics adjudged his performance to be fully equal to Barrett's, who had made great reputation in the role.
General Barnes was one of the best known men in club life in the State, being long an active member of the Pacific-Union Club and Bohemian Club and one time president of the latter and an honorary member of the Union League Club. he was also a life member of the San Francisco Art Association. he was past commander of the George H. Thomas Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and past department commander of the organization.
He was for many years an active member and past master of California Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and a member of California Commandery of Knights Templar.
General Barnes was appointed a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California in 1898 to succeed Timothy Guy Phelps and took a lively interest in the duties of his office.
He was decorated by the King of Sweden for distinguished services in behalf of some sailors of that nationality who had been grossly mistreated by the mate of the vessel to which they belonged.
General Barnes always took great interest in military matters, and for six years was colonel of the First Regiment, National Guard of California. During the riots that grew out of the Kearney agitation he was appointed major general, commanding all the troops of California.
General Barnes was first married just before the breaking out of the Civil War to a daughter of the banker Gould of New York, sister of George H. and Dr. Fred S. Gould of Santa Barbara. Three sons were born of this marriage - William S. Barnes, former District Attorney of the city and county of San Francisco; J. W. Barnes, lieutenant, United States army, and Sanford Barnes. The three boys, with their mother, followed their father to San Francisco in 1863, and Sanford died not long after their arrival. The mother after a long period of suffering as an invalid died November 17, 1897.
In the latter part of February, 1900, in New York City, General Barnes was married to his second wife, who survives him. She was Mrs. Anna Scott of Toledo, Ohio.