Judge Alphonso (Alanson) Barnes-“The Record”, page 2, Vol.1, No. l May 1895
Born Lewis County, N.Y.1817. Red law at office of David Bennett and admitted to bar at 23 Practiced in N.Y. until 1854 when he moved to Delevan, Wis. Appointed “Draft Commissioner” by Lincoln and filled levees for Civil War. Appointed associate Chief Justice of Dakota Territory by President Grant April 1873 with headquarters in Yankton, 2nd Judicial District. After and as a result of a dispute over the railroad and bond situation maneuvering by Gov. Burbank, he was re-assigned to the 3rd. Judicial District with headquarters in Pembina by Whitney, Territorial Secretary in the absence of Burbank. His letters and personal appearance in Washington against the administration of Burbank caused Burbank’s resignation. He was reappointed Associate Justice by President Hayes in 1877 and was succeeded by Judge Hudson in l88l. Was a delegate to the Fargo convention for Division in 1882. After the Burbank episode, the Territorial Legislature re-named Burbank County on July 14, 1874 to Barnes County In his honor Burbank had named the county after his name when created on January 4, 1873.

Barnes County “The Record” page 29, Vol.1, No. l May 1895
County Named after Judge Alphonso (Alanson) Barnes, Associate Justice of Dakota Territory by Territorial Legislature on July 14, 1874
County first named Burbank after the then Governor of Dakota Territory, John A. Burbank, a political appointee of President Grant. Burbank, maneuvering to make a fortune thru railroad promotion and the sale of land and bonds, threatened Judge Barnes with banishment to Pembina if he did not rule on the legality of his actions. Barnes refused and sent information to Washington regarding Burbank’s schemes. The Territorial surveyor corroborated his reports and Burbank was forced to resign. Barnes in the mean time had been banished to the 3rd. Judicial District at Pembina by Burbank’s henchman, the Territorial Secretary, Whitney, while Burbank was in Washington to plead his case. Territorial Legislature then re-named Burbank County to Barnes County in his honor, after Burbank had resigned.