Albert Crane Barnes (1854-1931 ), a native of Addison,
Vermont, was the assistant state’s attorney for Cook
County at the time of the Iroquois Theater fire.
Barnes graduated from the University of Vermont in
1876, Albany Law School in 1877 and was admitted to
the New York Bar in 1877. Before moving to Chicago
in 1885 he spent a few years with the federal
government in Washington, D.C. writing decisions for
disputes between railroads and land owners. That was
followed by two years in North Dakota as a governor
appointee organizing Bottineau County (where he
became the district attorney for a short while). In
1904 when Albert’s boss, states attorney Charles
Samuel Deneen, became the 23rd governor of Illinois,
Albert became superior court judge of Cook County,
Illinois, a position held until 1917.
Barnes first wife, Carrie E. Smith, died in 1891.
Five years later he married Jessie Welles Griswold
(1863-1935, buried in Graceland). I found no
evidence of children but Albert and Jessie had a
servant and house guests. In 1900 Jessie’s widowed
father, Joseph W. Griswold, lived with them. In 1910
a nephew from Plattsburg, New York, Mark S. Watson,
shared their home. Mark was a newspaper reporter for
the Chicago Tribune. Thirty five years later he won
a Pulitzer for his 1944 work for the Baltimore Sun
reporting from international fronts during WWII.
Barnes was a republican, a member of many
professional and fraternal organizations and proudly
traced his ancestors to the American Revolution.