James M. Barnes (politician)

James Martin Barnes (January 9, 1899 – June 8, 1958) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois and administrative assistant to Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.

James M. Barnes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 20th district
In office
January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1943
Preceded byScott W. Lucas
Succeeded bySid Simpson
Personal details
Born(1899-01-09)January 9, 1899
Jacksonville, Illinois, US
DiedJune 8, 1958(1958-06-08) (aged 59)
Washington, D.C., US
Political partyDemocratic

Early lifeEdit

James Martin Barnes was born on January 9, 1899, in Jacksonville, Illinois. He attended the local schools and served in the United States Marine Corps during World War I.[1]


Barnes graduated from Illinois College in 1921 and Harvard Law School in 1924. He was admitted to the bar in 1924 and practiced in Jacksonville. He was also active in business, and served on the boards of directors of the Ideal Baking Company, the Jacksonville Farm Supply Company and other companies.[2]

A Democrat, he served as Morgan County Judge from 1926 to 1934, afterwards resuming the practice of law.[3][4]

Barnes was elected to the Seventy-sixth and Seventy-seventh Congresses and served from January 3, 1939, to January 3, 1943. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1942.[5]

In March 1943, Barnes was appointed as administrative assistant to President Roosevelt. He continued in the position under President Truman following Roosevelt's death, serving from March 1, 1943, to July 15, 1945.[6] In 1944 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.[7]

After leaving the White House Barnes practiced law in Washington, D.C.[8][9]

Death and burialEdit

Grave at Arlington National Cemetery

Barnes died in Washington, D.C., on June 8, 1958.[10] He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 13, Grave 14684-22-23. His gravesite is near the intersections of Farragut and Wilson Drives.[11]


  1. ^ Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois Blue Book, 1941, page 55
  2. ^ Durward Howes, editor, Who's Who Among the Young Men of the Nation, Volume 2, 1936, page 33
  3. ^ John Leonard Conger, William Edgar Hull, editors, History of the Illinois River Valley, Volume 3, 1932, page 85
  4. ^ Chicago Tribune, Obituary, James M. Barnes, June 9, 1958
  5. ^ Chicago Tribune, Illinois G.O.P. Wins Four More Congress Posts, November 5, 1942
  6. ^ Chicago Tribune, Downstate Lame Duck Appointed Roosevelt Aide: Ex-Rep. Barnes Gets $10,000 Job, March 4, 1943
  7. ^ Associated Press, Dubuque Herald, Still Awaiting FDR's Views on Vice President, July 16, 1944
  8. ^ Associated Press, Lewiston Tribune, Ex-Congressman Dead, June 9, 1958
  9. ^ Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Bar Journal, Volume 34, 1946, page 27
  10. ^ New York Times, James Barnes, Ex-Representative, Dies; Lawyer in Capital Was Roosevelt Aide, June 9, 1958
  11. ^ Arlington National Cemetery, Burial record, James Martin Barnes, accessed August 15, 2013

External linksEdit

  • United States Congress. "James M. Barnes (id: B000158)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 20th congressional district

Succeeded by