Bio- Sawyers

Santa Clara County, famed the world over for landscape beauty, climate, fruit and intelligent, progressive and kindhearted people, is also known, to those familiar with the real California of- today, as among the leading shires in the Golden State for attracting those so distinguished in the world of science, art or letters that any section of the country would feel itself honored in their residence. Prominent among such eminently desirable citizens to whom this favored portion of the coast has made. an irresistible appeal, and who, in turn, have conferred something upon life here of exceptionally high value, is Charles Edward Barns, the astronomer of Morgan Hill, known to the scientific world as a fellow-scientist, to the literary world as an inspiring writer, and to the world of art as the genius presiding over the Diana Printery, which bids fair to rival, in genial fame, the renowned Walpole Press of old Strawberry Hill.

Mr. Barns was born at Burlington, Wis., on July 23, 1864. the son of Caleb P. and Elizabeth A. (Eddy) Barns, who were both natives of Northern New York. They migrated westward, and became sturdy pioneers in the Badger State, where Caleb became a banker, and thus it happened that Charles Edward attended the excellent Wisconsin schools, where the processes for stimulating the curiosity of a lad are properly appreciated and used by the pedagogues. and then, at the academy at Racine, he prepared for college. In 1884. he entered Columbia University Law School, and soon after was busy studying the natural sciences and high mathematics. He also became a special writer on the staff of the New York Herald.

Later, when only twenty-three years of age, Mr. Barns made a tour of China, Japan and India. primarily to recover shattered health; but he also acquired a wealth of material, fact and local color, which he applied to excellent advantage in his work in fiction during the next eight or nine years, most of which time, after his return to New York. were spent in the service of the New York Herald. It was his fortune during this period to make a trip to Continental Europe, and he spent two years in extensive travels in France and Italy, stopping a good part of this time at Venice and Florence. Such a man, with an unusual head upon his shoulders, and something very unusual therein, could not lie around idle; he was, in fact, in constant demand by Eastern publications.

For many years. M. Barns had been associated. as a friend, with Charles Kellogg, the naturalist, and having visited his home near Morgan Hill in 1915, he was greatly impressed with the natural resources and the beauties of the Santa Clara Valley. He resolved to locate here some day; and in 1918 he made good his resolution and removed with his family to California. Now he has a comfortable home in a handsome orchard of twenty acres at Morgan Hill, in which he has erected a dwelling house, a study and an observatory; for he was busy with astronomical work for many years before coming to California. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society, which includes representatives of every department of astronomy, and is a charter member of the Association of Variable Star Observers. He is a thoroughly  modern scientist, and looks forward confidently to a complete revision of the rules governing experimental astronomy.

A most interesting evidence of Mr. Barns' intense and unselfish devotion to the cause of astronomical science is afforded in the learned publications, issued from time to time in the form of very neatly-printed booklets, from his own private press known as the "Diana Printery." Such an one is the little volume entitled, "The Practical Observing of Variable Stars," a series of timely essays on this most fascinating field of practical astronomy, wherein Edward C. Pickering wrote upon "Organized System," and other scholars discussed the "Conversion of Calendar Date to Julian Days," the "Variable Stars for the Amateur," "The Variable Star Problem," "The Spectrum of Variable Stars," "The Overcoming of Initial Difficulties," "Charts and Their Uses," "Method in Observing," "Conditions in Observing Faint Stars," "The Subject of Personal Equation," and "The Plotting of Light Curve," and there is much good matter by the secretary. The work is well illustrated, -and is serviceable as well as entertaining. In some respects a more important issue of these brochures is that devoted to a "Memorial to Edward Charles Pickering," whose life stretched from 1846 to 1919, a memorial of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. Besides an excellent portrait, and the well-written tribute, there is a lengthy poem entitled, "Translated," by Charles Edward Barns, which well reveals the author's depth of thought and sympathy of heart, and is a graceful and worthy addition to the great mass of Pickering In Memoria. Particularly suggestive, in the light of recent world-events, is the content of the last admirable verse:

Monarchs maintain and pass, forsooth—The exiled kings, unsceptered czars; But who adds one cosmic truth,
He shall be deathless as the stars.

At Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1884, Mr.. Barns was married to Miss Mabel E. Balston, the daughter of James P. Balston, a native of Fredricksburg, N. S., and their union has been blessed with three children: Cornelia has become the wife of Arthur Garbett, the composer and writer, for several years associated with the title department of the Victor Phonograph, they have one child, Charles Richard; Fred B., who is an electrical engineer and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served ill the United States Army during the late war, and while in France for two years was commissioned first lieutenant, he is married, and resides in New York City; and Miss Anne Barns was formerly of the traffic department of. the Southern Pacific Railroad. Mr. Barns is a Blue Lodge Mason.
 Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1111


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight