The oldest son of Sumter merchant B.J. Barnett (1826-1897) and his wife Zelda Barnett (c.1829-1882), Joseph Barnett (1851-1902) got his start in the mercantile business around 1880 by managing his and his father’s general merchandise store, Barnett & Son, in Mayesville, South Carolina. After he and his father dissolved their partnership in 1884, Joseph continued to work in Mayesville as a farmer and merchant. By the time of his death in 1902, he had “amassed a large fortune from his extensive mercantile and farming interests.”1
Main Image: News about a fire in 1887 that destroyed four bales of cotton belonging to Joseph Barnett. Reprinted from The Watchman and Southron, October 5, 1887.