James Foote Barnett

Page 577-578 - James Foote Barnett, a man of intellectual ken and good professional attainments, a lawyer and financier, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 17, 1869, and is a son of James and Lucy (Foote) Barnett, who are mentioned elsewhere in this volume. The preliminary education of James F. Barnett was acquired in the Grand Rapids public schools, and in 1887 he was graduated from historic old Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts. He then completed a course in Yale University, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1891, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. His Alma Mater subsequently conferred upon him the supplemental degree of Master of Arts, the preceding year having brought him the master's degree from Columbia University in recognition of his work in international law under John Bassett Moore in the School of Political Science. He was graduated from the New York Law school in 1893 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and in due course was admitted to the Michigan bar. He began the practice of his profession in his native city, Grand Rapids, and now has one of the most comprehensive private libraries on international law to be found in the United States. In this library he delights to spend much time in private study. He has made several valued contributions to the standard and periodical literature of his profession, especially in the field of international law. His able monograph, "International Agreements Without the Advice and Consent of the Senate," published originally in the Yale Law Journal and afterward enlarged and revised into a forty-page pamphlet, was a timely contribution to the discussion of the treaty-making power, brought into public notice by President Roosevelt's intervention in Santa Domingo in 1905 without previous congressional assent. In the Michigan State Constitutional convention in 1907-8, his preparation in the field of political science stood him in good stead. There it was his good fortune to offer a solution for the problem which most divided that body -- popular initiative in constitutional amendments -- and to see his proposal embodied in the new constitution. Mr. Barnett is a Republican in his political allegiance, and in 1910 served as president of the Lincoln Republican Club of Grand Rapids. He was offered a position in the consular service, but declined. As a member of the committee on international law of the American Bar Association, Mr Barnett for several years prepared the annual reports of the committee. Mr. Barnett is now retired, in a large degree, from the active practice of his profession, and devotes his time chiefly to his private interests, though he is a director of the Old National Bank, as well as a member of the executive committee of the Old National Company. He is also a director of the Antrium Iron Company, and has other business interests. He is a member of the Peninsular Club, the University Club and the Kent Country Club. He is affiliated with the Psi Upsilon fraternity of Yale University, and he and his family are attendants at the Park Congregational church of Grand Rapids. His beautiful semi-rural home, "Chalet au Lac," about four miles from Grand Rapids, as the home suggests, is a bit of Switzerland, with vistas over a small chain of lakes. The natural planting of great beauty is supplemented by a judicious selection of pines and spruces, the appropriate background for a Swiss landscape. On October 6, 1913, Mr Barnett was married to Katherine Waddell, daughter of Mr and Mrs James Waddell, of Grand Rapids. Mr and Mrs Barnett have two children: Mary Ann and Nancy Frances. Since their honeymoon trip Mr and Mrs Barnett have taken many other lengthy excursions, which include a trip around the world and a tour of Russia and Siberia just before the World war.

Transcriber: Terry Start
Created: 13 December 2002
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/barnettjf.html