“I know every cow trail that is out here.”
On November 21, 1949 Bill Barnes was born to Joe and Helen Barnes in Morton County. He rode along side of his father, a range rider, on 108,000 acres of government land in Morton County. In 1968, Bill followed in his father’s footsteps when he was hired as a range rider for the Morton County Grazing Association. In the 1970’s he was promoted to Association Manager. In this capacity, he takes care of not only the land but around 5,200 head of cattle each season. For his hard work, Barnes has received a 75th Anniversary Chief Award for outstanding service to the Cimarron National Grasslands. He married Myrna Caffee at her home in Elkhart on June 24, 1985, adding two stepsons, Brian and Todd Elsen, to his family. Bill has two children from an earlier marriage, Troy and Madonna. As a faithful family man, he is adored by three grandchildren and six step grandchildren. Dedicated to the welfare of youngsters, Barnes has been honored by St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital with a Volunteer Award. This is for his time spent cooking for the Eighty-one Corrals Camp Out held preceding the St. Jude’s Trail Ride. Bill enjoys demonstrating his Dutch oven cooking programs at the Morton County Museum and cooks for the Trail Ride held in conjunction with the annual Pioneer Days celebration. He is often seen driving people to special occasions in his horse-drawn buggy. Bill is indeed a true Southwestern Kansas Cowboy as he continues to work on the ranch with his unmistakable smile, gentle demeanor and generous spirit.
Year inducted: 2009