The untimely death of Frank Barnes, president of the Beaver Dam Deposit Bank, on December 4, 1940, took from Beaver Dam and Ohio County, Kentucky, one of the men it could least afford to lose. No man in Ohio County had more friends nor was greater loved and admired than Frank Barnes. There are many who will long remember his sympathetic consideration for the debtors of the Beaver Dam Deposit Bank during the trying depression days. Many more who have benefited from his participation in religious, educational and civic affairs had cause to love him in life, and mourn him in death. Frank Barnes was only forty-seven years of age when a sudden heart attack cut short a career of honor and service in business, civic, fraternal and religious circles. He was one of the men who form the backbone of a community, and the passing of years serves only to increase the realization of the severe loss which his passing meant to the city, state and nation.
Frank Barnes was born in Beaver Dam, Kentucky, on July 17, 1893. His parents were John Hiram and Maggie (Eblen) Barnes. Frank Barnes received his early education in the Beaver Dam schools, and later attended the University of Kentucky. During World War I he served in the United States Army. After his return home, he entered banking with his father, and after the death of his father in 1934 Frank Barnes became president of the Beaver Dam Deposit Bank. His entire adult life was spent in banking, but his other business activities included presidency of the Beaver Dam Manufacturing & Supply Company, and membership in the John H. Barnes Insurance Agency. His real estate holdings were extensive, and he distinguished himself as both banker and business man. The marriage of Frank Barnes and Nora Frances Jackson, who was born in Clinton, Kentucky, on April 10, 1897, was solemnized on June 16, 1923. Two daughters, Anna Frances and Janette, were born to this union. Anna Frances was born at Beaver Dam on July 13, 1926, and her sister Janette was born on March 16, 1932. The family worships at the Beaver Dam Methodist Church, of which Mr. Barnes was long a member. Two brothers and a sister also mourned the death of Frank Barnes. Dr. Malcolm L. Barnes is house physician at the Louisville City Hospital; and the Honorable Marshall Barnes, vice-president of the bank, is a former state representative from Ohio County and assistant clerk of the House. Miss Anna Barnes lives in Beaver Dam.
Frank Barnes was always an active member of the Kentucky Bankers Association. He belonged to the Masonic Order, and was also a member of the Shrine. Mr. Barnes served his community in official capacities, both municipal and educational. He was able and efficient in all that he undertook, and could always be relied upon to help in any project which was aimed at community betterment. The great throngs which passed by his bier before the body was laid to rest in the rolling Ohio County hills whence he came paid tribute of admiration and love to a man whose personal popularity was as great as his business ability. Beside the hundreds of his fellow citizens who came to pay him homage, nearly a hundred sorrowing friends came from other locations to pay their respects to the man whose friendship had meant so much to them. There were representatives from Louisville, Lexington, Clinton, Central City, Owensboro, Greenville, Caneyville, Arlington, Decatur, Alabama; Hodgensville, Hawesville, Livermore, St. Matthews, Logansport, Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Franklin, Morgantown, Fordsville, Centertown, Dundee, Russellville, and Lewisburg, giving proof of the wide circle of friends who grieved at his passing.
The following excerpts from an article which appeared in the Hartford News aptly describes the sentiment of the entire community:
"The death of Frank Barnes was an immeasurable loss to his home city, the entire county, and the state’s financial circles. Citizen and business man of the highest type, Christian gentleman in all of life’s relationships, Mr. Barnes’ passing from a career of activity and accomplishment in the prime of life not only cast a pall of sorrow over the hearts of his loved ones, but brought sadness to the host who had the privilege of calling him 'friend.’ ”
Source: A Sesqui-Centennial History of Kentucky; by Frederick A. Wallis. Published 1945.