Barnes, George Powell

View print friendly version


Birth Date: 20 September 1856 (Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia)

Death Date: 9 December 1949 (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

Parents: Hiram Barnes and Catherine (nee Dawes)

Family: Mary Cecilia Merry in 1879, 4 sons, 4 daughters

Education: Ipswich and Brisbane National schools

Religion: Methodist

Relationship to Politician: His brother, Walter was the member for Bulimba from 1901 to 1915 and 1918 to 1923 and then the member for Wynnum from 1923 until his death in 1933


Acquired dairy farms at Mount Tabor and Canning Downs; Partnership dissolved in 1893; Formed milling business with John Archibald (former Legislative Council member), 1885; Opened produce firm with brother Walter and TF Merry, Barnes & Co. Ltd., 1880; Established own store in Warwick, 1878; Became junior partner with Merry and Tucker in Toowoomba, 1874; Purchased drapery business in Warwick, 1873; Assistant at Finney, Isles and Coy store in Brisbane, 1871; Clerk at Morgan Davies' store in Gympie, 1870; Cashier at TF Merry's store in Toowoomba, 1868

Local Government Service: Long-serving member of the Warwick Shire Council

Parliamentary Representation:

House Party Electorate From To Elected/Departure Reason
Assembly IND Warwick 5 Feb 1908 1 Oct 1909
Assembly MIN Warwick 2 Oct 1909 21 May 1915
Assembly LIB Warwick 22 May 1915 15 Mar 1918
Assembly NAT Warwick 16 Mar 1918 11 May 1923
Assembly UAP Warwick 12 May 1923 7 May 1926
Assembly CPNP Warwick 8 May 1926 11 May 1935 Did not contest

Additional Information

Notes: George Barnes' father, Hiram, was a senior driver for Cobb & Co. and established the company in Queensland. In 1865 he took 16 coaches from Bathurst to Brisbane. In 1868 he commenced the Brisbane-Gympie-Maryborough run. Hiram Barnes made a fortune on his first day on the Castlemaine goldfields. Member, Warwick Chamber of Commerce, the Co-operative Dairy Co., the Warwick School of Arts, the Ambulance Society and the fire brigade. Vice-president, the Eastern Downs Agricultural and Horticulturist Society. George Barnes was a philanthropist and had a reputation for helping the struggling farmer. He was given a civic funeral with the mayor, aldermen and members of the Warwick Council forming a guard of honour at the church and at the graveside

Sources: Image courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland; Letter from Claire Wagner, great-niece to George and Walter Barnes, 11 Mar 2004; Courier-Mail, 'Civic funeral at Warwick', 10 Dec 1949; Lack, Clem, Three Decades of Queensland Political History, 1929-1960 (Brisbane: Government Printer, 1962); Waterson, DB and John Arnold, Biographical Register of the Queensland Parliament: 1930-1980, (Canberra: ANU Press, 1982); Waterson, DB, Biographical Register of the Queensland Parliament: 1860-1929, 2nd revised edition (Sydney: Casket Publications, 2001); Costar, B.J., Barnes, Walter Henry (1858–1933), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University

[Last Modified: Monday, 27 February 2017]