Julius H. Barnes papers
Scope and Contents
The collection contains correspondence, financial materials, articles, pamphlets, photographs, news clippings, sketchbooks, a tape recording, and miscellaneous reference materials. Most of the records originate from the period between 1940-1958 and document Barnes' financial interests and his involvement in the St. Lawrence Seaway project. Some personal correspondence is also included. A card index to the general correspondence is available.
The collection has been divided into six groups. In addition, the collection includes a sound recording of a speech.
General Correspondence, 1887-1959, represents the largest group of records, and includes business correspondence, supporting reference materials such as financial statements and legal documents, and a small amount of personal correspondence. A card file provides an index to much of the material in this group. Because the collection has been reorganized a Card Index Cross Reference was created and should be consulted to convert old box/folder numbers to the new designations. In addition to the business correspondence, this group of records contains biographical material such as manuscripts written by Barnes, and correspondence from many public officials, including Herbert Hoover.
St. Lawrence Seaway File, 1920-1958, is mostly composed of correspondence, but also includes Congressional documents, articles, financial records, newsletters, and public relations materials. Two organizations are prominent in this record group. The National St. Lawrence Association, 1944-1949, a privately funded organization was founded by Barnes two years after the collapse of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Tidewater Association. The National St. Lawrence Association faltered and was revitalized in 1949 as the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Association. Barnes was honorary chairman. Another organization, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, was established by congress in 1952 and its records may also be found in this collection. These records, along with S3040 Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Tidewater Association records, provide a comprehensive record of the development of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Artifacts, Awards, and Miscellany, 1879-1957, includes award certificates, citations, sketchbooks, two log books of trips Barnes took on the ship Ohio in 1894, and a scrapbook with photographs presented to Barnes from the "children of Poland" in 1921.
Pamphlets, 1917-1948, contain articles written by Barnes on such topics as capitalism and communism.
Photographs, circa 1880s-1947, contain unorganized photographs that probably date from the 1800s to Barnes' death. Included are family photographs and photographs related to Barnes' businesses, including Klearflax Linen Looms weavers room workers.
Sound Recording of shipyard speeches, June 3, 1942, is comprised of one cassette recording of speeches made by Julius Barnes, Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen and Admiral Vickery at the Barnes-Duluth Shipyard. The recording was originally made on phonodisc by KDAL Radio, Duluth, Minnesota. A transcript of Barnes' speech may be found in S2284 Julia Marshall papers.
- Majority of material found in 1940-1958
Conditions Governing Access
Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.
Biographical / Historical
Julius Howland Barnes, Duluth, Minnesota industiralist, had a long record pf public and private service. As an industrialist, he was President of the Barnes-Duluth Shipbuilding Company and the McDougall-Duluth Company, Chairman of the Duluth Klearflax Linen Looms, and, as Chairman of the Erie and Saint Lawrence Corporation at New York, operated a fleet of freighters along the Great Lakes-Erie Canal and Atlantic Coast.
His public service record shows him as head of the Food Administration Grain Corporation in 1917 under Herbert Hoover and as U.S. Wheat Director by special appointment of President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. He was also President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1921-1924 and Chariman of the same organization from 1929-1931. His capacity in these functions is shown by the awards and decorations received throughout his career. He was decorated by six European nations, awarded honorary degress from five universities including Harvard, and was given a testimonial dinner by the National Businessmen in 1920 at Washington D.C. Perhaps his most enduring memorial is the Saint Lawrence Seaway for which he was an ardent and perhaps the primary supporter and activist for nearly half a century. He was president of the National St. Lawrence Association from 1944-1949 and honorary chairman of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Association.
Barnes was born February 2, 1873 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Julia Matilda Hill and Lucien Jerome Barnes. The family moved to MIchigan in 1874 and later went to Washington D.C. where they stayed until the early 1880s when they moved to Duluth, Minnesota. Lucien died when Julius was 16, following which the youth went to work for Ward Ames, a grain buyer in Duluth. Six years later he was in business for himself, and by the time World War I began, he had what was probably the largest grain exporting business in the nation.
Barnes had a long-time interest in alternative uses for agricultural products, and after 25 years of experimentation, developed a process whereby flax straw from seed flax could be turned into a yarn suitable for making rugs. From this, Klearflax Linen Looms resulted which survived until the advent of nylon rugs in the early 1950s.
Barnes had business interests in many diverse fields and was for many years a symbol of the poor boy making good under the free enterprise system. He was a recognized public speaker, and was the author of many pamphlets trumpeting the benefits of the American system. Perhaps the best known was "Which Way: Americanism or Communism." He was a member of the Republican Party, but as a social-minded person, his views were often considered "liberal."
He was especially symphathetic with young people and showed it in his interest in the YMCA, the Duluth Boat Club, and other philanthropies. His relations with his own children, however, were often sour, resulting in the disinheritance of his daughter.
Barnes was extremely active well into his later years. He suffered some quite severe business reverses in the early 1950s. He died April 17, 1959 at the age of 86, one week before the St. Lawrence Seaway officially opened.
Julius Howland Barnes was a Duluth MN, industrialist and supporter of the St. Lawrence Seaway project. He headed many corporations, including the Barnes- Duluth Shipping Co., Klearflax Linen Looms, McDougall- Duluth Co., and the Erie and St. Lawrence Corp. His public service includes head of the U.S. Food Administration Grain Corporation under Herbert Hoover in 1917, U.S. Wheat Director in 1919, and President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. An Advocate of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Barnes was President of the National St. Lawrence Association in 1944. Barnes was also involved in Duluth civic affairs and was an important backer of the local YMCA and Duluth Boat Club.
13.00 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The collection contains correspondence, financial materials, articles, pamphlets, photographs, news clippings, sketchbooks, a tape recording, and miscellaneous reference materials. Most of the records originate from the period between 1940-1958 and document Barnes' financial interests and his involvement in the St. Lawrence Seaway project. Some personal correspondence is also included.
Arrangement of Materials:
The collection has been divided into six groups: General Correspondence; St. Lawrence Seaway File; Artifacts, Awards, and Miscellany; Newspaper Clippings; Pamphlets and Photographs. In addition, the collection includes a sound recording of a speech.
This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-726-8526.
Other Finding Aids
This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library, and are on permanent loan from the St. Louis County Historical Society.
- Audio Recordings Subject Source: Local sources
- Awards Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Barnes, Julius H. (Julius Howland), 1873-1959
- Business Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Businesses Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Certificates Subject Source: Local sources
- Correspondence Subject Source: Local sources
- Drawings Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Families Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Financial records Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Government records Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Great Lakes (North America) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Tidewater Association
- Newsletters Subject Source: Local sources
- Newspaper clippings Subject Source: Local sources
- Photographs Subject Source: Local sources
- Publications Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Scrapbooks Subject Source: Local sources
- Shipbuilding Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Shipping Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Ships Subject Source: Local sources
- St. Lawrence River Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- St. Lawrence Seaway Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Guide to the Julius H. Barnes papers
- Finding Aid Authors: B.H. Bruemmer.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Collecting Area Details
Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area
Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001