Barnes Motor & Parts
Barnes Motor & Parts Company was founded in 1921 by John Thomas Barnes and Joseph Bennett Barnes. Robert Edward
Kirkland joined the firm with his two brother-in-laws in 1922. In 1927 the business was incorporated and became
a wholesale automotive parts and machine shop company and Robert E. Kirkland became General Manager. In 1939 a
branch store was opened in Raleigh, NC. In 1949, Robert E. Kirkland Jr, after serving three years in the US Army
during World War II, receiving a battlefield commission at age 19 and then returning to graduate Phi Beta Kappa
from UNC-Chapel Hill joined the firm to work with his father. In 1950, Robert E. Kirkland and his family purchased
the remaining outstanding stock from the W.N. Harrell Family and became the sole owners. In 1954, a third store was
opened in Greenville, NC. In 1955, Henry Hyman Walston III, son-in-law of Robert E. Kirkland, joined the firm where
he continued to work until his retirement at age 70. The company continued to expand and at the time of Robert E.
Kirklandís death in 1963 (see memorial), the company had grown to nine stores in eastern North Carolina. Three years before Robert
Edward Kirkland Jr became President, Dr. John A. Kirkland became Vice President, and Martha Kirkland Walston became
In 1973, Henry Hyman Walston IV, after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill and serving two years in the US Navy
joined the firm. In 1975 Robert E. Kirkland III, after graduating from East Carolina University, also joined the
firm. Today in 2005, those two grandsonís of Robert E. Kirkland are the third generation of their family to manage
the business with Henry serving as the President and Robert as Vice President.
Barnes Motor & Parts Co. has continued to grow through the years and currently has sixteen locations scattered
throughout Eastern North Carolina.
In 1999, the Barnes management team, determined it would benefit the company to affiliate with Genuine Parts Co. Inc.
( NAPA Auto Parts ) as their primary supplier. At this time Barnes Motor & Parts Co. Inc. merged with
Kenly Motor & Parts Co. Inc. who owned the NAPA Auto Parts locations in Kenly and Wilson NC. Kenly Motor & Parts Co.
Inc. was managed by George Alan Hinnant. Kenly Motor & Parts Co. had a history very similar to Barnes Motor & Parts
with Alanís father, Harold Hinnant and grandfather, Blenn Hinnant, having proceeded him in ownership and management
of the company. Today Alan serves as Secretary-Treasurer of Barnes Motor & Parts Co. and is a member of the management
team along with Henry Walston and Robert Kirkland III.
As Barnes Motor & Parts Co. looks forward the company is in the process of upgrading the appearance of its
sixteen locations including, relocating where necessary, constantly improving its product offering and
continuing its long history of strong outside sales, good communication, friendly service and competitive prices.
We believe our success continues due to our ability to adapt to changing business climates over the years and by
maintaining the same integrity and commitment to our customers and the strong family values and sense of community
service this company was founded on.
Robert E. Kirkland, Jr.
Barnes Motor & Parts Company, Inc.