Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Early Chula Vista Resident - Lucius B. Barnes (1866-1949)

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society occasionally receives queries requesting an obituary lookup or a death certificate for a resident of Chula Vista. We do the lookups and pass them on. It struck me that we might want to post these obituaries online just in case descendants or other relatives do a web search for these folks, especially for early Chula Vista residents.

The Chula Vista Public Library has a complete collection of microfilm of the Otay Press (1930-1945) and Chula Vista Star-News (1945 on) newspapers. These were weekly or twice-weekly publications, and in the early years they were chock full of family information - births, marriages, deaths, vacations, visitors, special events, etc. Unfortunately, there is no index available for this newspaper.

In this case, Lucius B. Barnes was a prominent man in early Chula Vista history (the city was incorporated in 1911) and served his community well. The obituary provides his birth date and place, marriage date and place, death date and place, employment and community service, wife's maiden name, children and grandchildren names and locations in 1949.

Chula Vista (CA) Star, Friday, April 1, 1949, page B-1:

Headline: "Lucius B. Barnes, 83, Pioneer Orchardist, Dies in Sleep; Masonic Services Today."

"Chula Vista Masonic lodge 626 will conduct funeral services for Lucius B. Barnes, 83, resident of Chula Vista for 43 years, who died in his sleep Monday, at ten o'clock this morning from Hubbard mortuary chapel. Emerson A. Logan, worshipful master of the local lodge, appointed Clarence Shepherd, past master of Silvergate lodge to act as master, Dr. Williston Wirt, pastor of the Community church in which Mr. Barnes was a deacon at the time of his death, will assist. Cremation in Greenwood crematorium will follow.

"Born in Hands Grove, Iowa in February 1866, Mr. Barnes received his early schooling in Iowa and attended night school after coming to this area from Riverside. Prior to that the family had resided at El Cajon, National City and Santa Ana. Mr. Barnes came to El Cajon in 1882. He and the former Miss Lena Burgess were married December 30, 1896 in El Cajon and celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary last December.


"Shortly after coming to Chula Vista, Mr. Barnes built the home at 789 Second Avenue, where the family has resided for 42 years. He was a pioneer in the citrus industry here and served as manager of the Orchard Operating company from its earliest inception until its dissolution. He had also managed orchards for non-resident owners and had operated his own 20 acre orchard. He was in charge of the National City citrus packing house of the San Diego Fruit company later becoming superintendent of the company's orchards in this area.


"Mr. Barnes was worshipful master of the Southwest Masonic lodge in National City in 1900 and received his 50 year membership pin from Fred S. Weed, inspector for the 110th Masonic district, in ceremonies in the Chula Vista lodge June 11, 1948. A charter member of the Chula Vista Rotary club, Mr. Barnes served on the board of deacons of the Community church for many years and was extremely active in church affairs.

"In 1948 he retired from the board of trustees of the Sweetwater Union school district upon which he served for 16 years. He also served as a member of the Chula Vista city council.

"He is survived, in addition to Mrs. Barnes, by a daughter, Mrs. Mildred Larson, Evanston, Illinois; three sons, Murray L. Barnes, Chula Vista; Kenneth B. Barnes, San Diego; Lyman J. Barnes, Rancho Santa Fe; five grandchildren, Elinore and Lloyd Barnes, Rancho Santa Fe and Kenneth, Norah and Mildred Larson, Evanston; one great-grandson, Alf David Larson, Evanston; two sisters, Mrs. Floy King and Miss Elinor Barnes, both of San Anselmo; and a brother, Ford Barnes, San Diego."


If you are searching for an obituary, city directory entry or death certificate for a Chula Vista resident, the Chula Vista Genealogical Society can help. Please submit your query on the CVGS query page at We request a $10 donation for these services and we try to respond quickly.

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