Private Frank Barnes has died.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 December 1919.

Ten Wilson County men named Frank Barnes registered for the World War I draft in 1917-1918; six were Black. One, born 2 April 1895, was the son of Andrew and Stella Williams Barnes. This Frank Barnes was severely injured during his service in France, but absolutely did not die of disease during the war.

This Frank Barnes’ service card shows he was discharged on 12 March 1919. He is listed with his family in the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County and, in fact, lived to 1981.

Who, then, was the Frank Barnes, son of Stella Barnes, who died while in service during World War I?

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III; North Carolina World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919,


  1. Thanks for this Lisa. This Frank Barnes was my Great Great Uncle. I am very proud of his service as an Infantryman in The U.S. Army. As you probably know, African Americans were most often regulated to non/ combat roles during World War 1

    Last year you came across an article that mentioned my Uncle Frank who was the lone survivor of a lightning strike that killed his brothers.

    Thanks Ms. Henderson for your work! Much gratitude.

  2. For clarity’s sake, my Uncle Frank is Not the Frank Barnes listed as having succumbed by disease.

    1. If your uncle Frank was the son of Drew and Stella Barnes, yes, that is what I’m saying. As he is the only Frank Barnes, son of Stella, that I’m aware of, I don’t know who the deceased Frank was. (The other possibility is that the writer(1) incorrectly identified the deceased soldier or (2) incorrectly identified his mother.

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