John Moses Karnes
(Son of John Karnes)

(October 15, 1864 - December 22, 1946)

1st Wife: Jane Johnson (? - ?)

The following is taken from the autobiography of John Moses Karnes:

There was also a settlement near where Lum Hall now lives. In that settlement lived Clark Pruett, Mr. Brewer, who was Dud Brewer's father, Jim Bolin, my brother-in-law, Troy Johnson, whose daughter I marries in later years.

In September of 2007, I received the following from Bettye Sparks Busby:

My grandfather's sister (Jane Johnson) was John M. Karnes first wife. She died young and was the mother of Joe & Jim Karnes then Uncle Johnny married Bertha Sando.

I imagine Jane is buried in Lulu cemetery but she doesn't have a monument. Wm. Troy & wife are buried in the field of Amanda Johnson . There monuments are readable I have been told. Hope to view them this fall after poison ivy season. A man by the name of Smith farms the land. Jane could also be buried there.

Nothing else is known of John Moses Karnes' first wife other than her being the daughter of Troy Johnson who lived in Southeast Missouri. It is assumed that she passed away somewhere between March 13, 1893 (the birth of her youngest child) and June 13th, 1898 (The marriage of John Moses Karnes and Bertha Sando). It is also a reasonable assumption that her birth would have been somewhere near 1870.


Joseph Walter Karnes "Joe" (July 27, 1887 - ?)

James "Jim" Karnes (August 8, 1889 - August 9, 1954)

Lela Karnes (March 13, 1893 - November 8, 1910)

2nd Wife: Bertha Elizabeth Sando (July 12, 1880 - July 10, 1950)

Born in Indiana, Married on June 13, 1898.


Paul Karnes (June 11, 1901 - August 13, 1910)

John Senter Karnes (March 28, 1905 - February 2, 1946)

George Patton Karnes (February 23, 1909 - February 15, 1950)

Baby Karnes (July 24, 1913 - July 25, 1913)

Charles Sando Karnes (“Digger”) (May 17, 1914 - December 19, 1965)

John Moses Karnes was born in Pemiscot County, Missouri and lived his entire life in Southeast Missouri (Pemiscot and Dunklin Counties - also known as the "Boot Heel" region). He was primarily a businessman and landowner. In 1913, he built the Hotel Bertha in Senath, named for his second wife. The hotel operated until approximately 1940, and the family continued living in the hotel until approximately 1945. In 1943, at age 79, he wrote a brief autobiography. I have transcribed an electronic version that is very helpful for searching names and locations. I also have a PDF Scan of the original document.

John Moses Karnes and most of his children are buried at Lulu Cemetery just south of Senath, Mo, in Dunklin County. Joseph Walter Karnes and James Karnes are buried in the cemetery located in Senath.



"I am a product of Nature. I have traveled Nature's road from the time I was born until now, and will continue to travel Nature's road through life. Then what? I do not know. I learn more in silent communication with the great, noble and wonderful powers of Nature than I do from all other sources."

- John Moses Karnes '43