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In Memory of Billy Harold Barnes
August 12, 1926 — August 9, 2000
Billy was born on August 12, 1926, to Nathan Lee and Vivian B. Barnes on a Wilson County farm located between Lucama and Fremont. During his formative years he helped his father on the family's farm growing tobacco, corn, wheat, soybeans, and hay. Additionally the family raised livestock including cows, hogs, and chickens. As an adult he never wanted to raise cows because he had to milk cows so often during his childhood chores. He graduated from Lucama High School and then from Carolina Business College of Rocky Mount. After attending business college he served one and one half years in the U.S. Army late in World War II.
Billy married the former Laura M. Flowers on August 20, 1949, and they settled on the family farm, living in the house his grandparents (Mr .and Mrs. Bennett Barnes) had lived in, and which is still the family home today. Together they had three children Greg born Oct. 3,1951, Johnnie Marie born July 9,1954, and Jeff born March 20,1956.
Billy was a farmer and helped neighboring farmers by spraying nitrogen on their crops during the summer In 1951 he went to work for Imperial Tobacco Company (the forerunner of Standard Commercial Tobacco Company) as a buyer on the Wilson Tobacco Market in 1951. He continued to raise corn, wheat, and soybeans after beginning work as a buyer. Eventually, however, he let a relative, Jarvis Ferrell, and his children tend his tobacco allotment each summer.
Billy worked as a tobacco buyer for Imperial Tobacco and Carolina Leaf Tobacco Companies for 27 years and later in life emerged as a leader in his community. He served on the Wilson County Planning Board from 1971 until 1974. He was also the Tax Lister for Crossroad Township from 1970 to 1976. Billy was a member of the American Legion and attended Little Rock Free Will Baptist Church.
His son Jeff later took over the farming operation when Billy's health declined. Billy, however remained as active as possible helping with many of the small chores of the farm. In addition to the three children Billy and Laura were fortunate to have six grandchildren.
This page given in memory of Mr. Barnes by the Associates in Tobacco.