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Robert A. Barnes Business Ledgers Collection (WUA00447)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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Robert A. Barnes Business Ledgers Collection (WUA00447), 1831-1911 | WUA University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Robert A. Barnes Business Ledgers Collection (WUA00447), 1831-1911Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1831-1890

ID: WUA/06/wua00447

Primary Creator: Barnes, Robert A. (1808-1893)

Extent: 11.0 Linear Feet

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Robert A. Barnes Business Ledgers Collection consists of accounting ledgers, sales books, and expense records from Robert Barnes's business ventures during the 19th century. The materials concern Barnes's partnerships with John W. Reel, John C. Swon, and the Vairin & Reel Company, which Barnes oversaw after the death of John W. Reel in 1838. The books include day to day expenses of the various companies, as well as financial relationships with individuals and other businesses throughout the South and Midwest United States, especially in St. Louis, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana; and small towns throughout Missouri and Illinois. One book contains extensive numerical data on the payout of Robert Barnes's estate, including the preparation for the formation of Barnes Hospital.

Collection Historical Note

Robert Augustus Barnes, born November 29, 1808, was a grocer, commission merchant, banker, real estate investor, and philanthropist. He was born in Washington D.C. and moved to Louisville, Kentucky at the age of thirteen after the death of his father. Robert was raised in Louisville by his uncle, Richard Barnes. In 1830, Robert Barnes moved to St. Louis and worked at a mercantile house for two years until, at the age of just 23, he established his own grocery and commission company. He did business throughout the Southern and Midwestern United States and found great financial success through his business endeavors and investments in stocks and real estate.

Barnes became the president of the State Bank of Missouri in the early 1840s. During his twenty-six years as the bank's president, Barnes maintained his involvement in various businesses and organizations throughout St. Louis, including the St. Louis Railroad Company. It was Robert Barnes, in his role as bank president, who approved the loan request of a young Adolphus Busch, who would in turn use the loan money to expand the Anheuser-Busch Brewery into a national powerhouse.

In 1845 Barnes married Louise DeMun, from the prominent DeMun family of St. Louis. They had two children, neither of whom survived infancy. Robert Barnes died April 2nd, 1892, two years after his wife, Louise. With no surviving heirs, Barnes dedicated much of his estate to philanthropic endeavors, with his most notable contribution being the $850,000 he dedicated to the creation Barnes Hospital. His goal was to build "a modern general hospital for sick and injured persons, without distinction of creed..." Construction began on Barnes Hospital in 1912 after investments had grown the bequest to nearly $2 million. A partnership with Washington University influenced the design of the hospital buildings, leading to the creation of labs and classrooms to help Barnes Hospital fulfill its role as a teaching facility for medical students at Washington University. The hospital was completed in 1914 and opened that same year. In his will, Barnes requested that the hospital's director place a memorial wreath on Barnes's grave each year, a tradition which has been carried out with little interruption since the hospital's founding.

Administrative Information

Repository: WUA University Archives

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Source: Transferred from the Medical School Library, 1992.

Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Processing Information: Processed by Sarah Gabriel in August 2017.

Finding Aid Revision History: Created by Sarah Gabriel in August 2017.


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Item 1: Journal: D., V. & R. [Vairin & Reel], 1834-1836Add to your cart.
Daily sales and expenses

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