Barnes, Colonel William S.

18__ - 1917

Turfman and Distillery Investor

Colonel William S. Barnes was a noted breeder of thoroughbred horses.  In 1881, he purchased half interest, with Colonel James E. Pepper, in the Melbourne Stud Farm.  Melbourne was located on Georgetown Pike, one mile from the city limits on the interurban tracks.  In 1891, Barnes acquired sole ownership of the farm.  In the late 1890s, the farm was home to the stallions Prince of Monaco, Rainbow, Jim Gore and St. Julien.  His farm was also noted for its fine band of broodmares.  In 1903 he began dispersing his stock and retired due to ill heath.

Between 1884 and 1891, he was also part owner of the Jas. E. Pepper & Company.  He was also a noted distiller.  He was once challenged to taste a musty whiskey, after one  sip, he indicated the distiller, type of mash and age, and then noted that it had been submerged during the spring flood.  Otherwise, it was fine bourbon.  He died in 1917.  In the 1970s, the farm was subdivided into the Melbourne Industrial Park. [i]


[i] Lexington Herald, April 28, 1901, Supplement and July 28, 1901, page 1, column 4.

William M. Ambrose, Bottled In Bond under U. S. Government Supervision, Limestone Press, Lexington, 2008.