Reason John "Slim" Barnes

Photo courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project

(September 5, 1880 - February 25, 1954)

Lusk Free Lance
February 25, 1954

R. J. Barnes dead from self-inflicted gunshot wound today

Reason John "Slim" Barnes, longtime resident of this locality, died early today (Thursday) from a gunshot wound, declared by Coroner George Earl Peet as self-inflicted. Barnes' lifeless body, a pistol still in hand, was discovered by his son, William, about 8:00 o'clock this morning. He had gone to his father's home to take him his breakfast, as had been his custom for some time. The dead man was 73 years of age.

Authorities were immediately notified and Coroner Peet and Sheriff Ben Brown investigated. Coroner Peet estimated death had occurred about 6:00 a.m. according to the condition of the body. Barnes had placed the muzzle of the 33.20 pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger. No inquest will he held, it was learned.

Deceased was born Sept. 5, 1880 at Libertyville, Ia, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. Barnes. His wife Eunice May Barnes, passed away in 1939. The son, who discovered his body is the only immediate survivor.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 o"clock p.m. Saturday, February 17th, from the chapel of the Peet Funeral Home. Rev. Orliss Shroyer, pastor of the Church of God will officiate. Interment will be in the Lusk cemetery.

The Lusk Herald
March 4, 1954
R. J. Barnes Dies, Gunshot Wound; Final Rites Held

R. J. "Slim" Barnes, 73, long-time resident of this area, died Thursday morning, Feb. 25 of a cerebral hemorrhage caused by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The late Mr. Barnes was discovered in his home in the west part of Lusk about 8:00 a.m. Feb. 25 by his son William, who lives nearby.

It is reported by Niobrara County Sheriff Ben F. Brown that when his body was discovered, Mr. Barnes was still holding the 32/20 six-shot pistol with which he shot himself. County Coroner Earl Peet set the time of death at about 6:00 a.m. Feb. 25. It was deemed unnecessary to go the expense of holding an inquest.

Reason John Barnes was born Sept. 5, 1880 at Libertyville, Iowa, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Barnes. His wife, Eunice May, preceded him in death in 1939. His sole, immediate survivor is a son, William.

Funeral services were conducted from the Peet Chapel Saturday afternoon at two o'clock, with the Rev. O. F. Shroyer, pastor of the Church of God of Prophecy officiating. Mrs. H. J. Templeton, Mrs. A B. DeCastro and Rex Yocum sang "I'm Heading For The Last Round-Up" and "Empty Saddles", accompanied by Mrs. J. P. Watson at the organ.

Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery. Bearers were: Matt Bast, Sam Thomas, Helmuth Klemke, Claire Lee, Louie Vierk and James McGinnis.

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