A native of Omaha, Jeff Barnes is a fifth-generation Nebraskan whose great-great-grandfathers included a hunter for wagon trains west and a pioneer editor of a Sand Hills newspaper. After years as a newspaper reporter and editor himself and public relations writer, Barnes wrote his first historical travel guide, "Forts of the Northern Plains," published by Stackpole Books in 2008. Covering the history of 51 military posts in seven states, the book was a top-ten best seller in three categories on Amazon.
His second book, "The Great Plains Guide to Custer," is the first historical travel guide to the sites visited by George Armstrong Custer in the region and will be published in January 2012.
Barnes is a past chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, and a frequently requested speaker with the Nebraska Humanities Council. He presents throughout the Great Plains on the history of the region.