Alfred Harrison Carnes was a Nelsonville businessman and prominent citizen. He served as a township trustee and on the local school board.
Carnes was born in 1824 in Loudon County, Virginia and came to Morgan County, Ohio in 1832. After his parents died, Carnes worked a variety of jobs, including as a fireman and train engineer. Carnes moved to Nelsonville in 1842 at the age of 17 and worked for some time in the coal mines.
In 1846, he enlisted to fight in the Mexican-American War. After only a few months, he fell ill and ended up in New Orleans in a hospital.
Carnes returned to Nelsonville after his recovery and married his first wife, Sarah Ann Cruthers, in 1850. They had 5 children. Sarah Ann died in 1858 shortly after giving birth to their daughter, Mary Zepher Carnes.
In 1860, Alfred married Emily Bridge of Nelsonville. They had two children, Ina May and Clara.
In 1856, Carnes had started working as a store clerk for his friend, Matthew Van Wormer. In 1860, the store was taken over by W.B. Brooks. Carnes continued to work under Brooks until 1871 when he purchased, along with his son-in-law W.P. Shepard, a business from Lewis Steenrod.
The storefront for Carnes & Shepard was located on W. Washington Street in Nelsonville (now the site of the library’s front parking lot). The store specialized in women’s attire, shoes, hats and all manner of dry goods.
Alfred Harrison Carnes died in 1915 at the age of 91. He was recognized as the last survivor in Athens County of the Mexican-American War. His grave, along with most of his family, can be found in Greenlawn Cemetary just outside of Nelsonville.