Joseph Van Clief Karnes (1841-1911) Collection (KC287)
Native Sons Archives (NSA)
J.V.C. Karnes was born in Boone County, Missouri, the youngest of four boys in a farming family. The children were all educated by subscription. Karnes entered the State University at Columbia in the fall of 1857, where he followed the traditional course of study for that time. The university students' work was disrupted by the Civil War (in which he supported the Union cause), but his senior class was allowed to finish its coursework, and he earned the A.B. degree. In the fall of 1862, Karnes began his law studies at Harvard, but he returned to Missouri after being offered a tutorship which began in January 1863. He married Mary A. Crumbaugh, a graduate of Christian College, and they moved to Kansas City in 1865. Karnes was a lawyer, and began his practice of Karnes and Ess, later teaming up with partner L.C. Krauthoff. J.V.C. Karnes was a prominent and influential member of the civic and legal community. In 1868, he was appointed as a U.S. Circuit Court Commissioner, and in 1869, he was an appointed member of the Board of Education -- a position he held until 1882. Karnes also served on the Kansas City Park Board from 1899-1901, and he lectured at the University of Missouri and the Kansas City School of Law. He was a member of such organizations as the Provident Association, the University Club, the Commercial Club, and the Greenwood Club.
This collection contains a typed autobiography of Karnes, written in 1906. It includes a variety of information concerning his family history and education, people he knew, the Kansas City public school and library system, and city charter reform. The collection also contains a small scrapbook volume comprised of clippings and writings. 1863-1937
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
updated: Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
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