Amarilla’s older brother was killed in a terrible accident on June 22, 1893. I do not know how she took the news or whether she went to the funeral. Henry had stayed behind in Iowa, while Amarilla had headed north to Minnesota. He had left Iowa County by 1875 and was married by then (see below for information about the marriage). Amarilla was in Minnesota and married by 1878. So they were not close in location.
Henry Franklin Spracklin was a full brother to Amarilla. He was the oldest son and child of the first family of his father Daniel D. Spracklin and Elizabeth Keller. Oliver and Mary had died young. Amarilla and Henry were all that was left of this first family.
In my post dated November 3, 2011 - Spracklin & Keller Connection, Amarilla’s Parents. I outlined the four children that Daniel had with Elizabeth Keller before her death in 1859.
Daniel D. and Sarah Spracklin, the 2nd wife, were still living at the time of Henry’s death in Iowa County, Iowa. Let’s review the census both Federal and state to get a feel for what was happening in this family leading up to the death of Henry.
State census for Iowa at Ancestry are: 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925. Any census taken before 1856 was specific to certain counties so you would need to study the list that Ancestry provides to get back further than 1856. Their database covers 1836 to 1925. The Spracklin name is not easy to find in these census so you will need to use a variety of spellings and names in your search.
I spent several days in the building below research the Spracklins and mostly Henry. There are two offices for the State Historical Society one in Des Moines (main) and the other in Iowa City, Iowa.
U.S. Federal Census 1880 – D.D. Spracklin Household, Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa, page 7, ED #211 #267 line 41.
Location: #69/63, Spracklin, Daniel (David), white, male, married, 50 years old, farmer, born in Ohio, father was born in England. and mother was born in Ohio. Spracklin, Sarah, white, female, 40 yrs, wife, keeping house, born in Indiana, father born in Virginia, mother born in Ohio. Spracklin, Lydia, white, female, 15 yrs., daughter, at school, born in Iowa. Spracklin Virdia, white, male, age 13, son, at school, born in Iowa. Spracklin Reed A., white, male, age 11, son, at school, born in Iowa. Spracklin, Daniel, white, male, age 10, son, at school, born in Iowa. Spracklin, George, white, male, age 7, son, born in Iowa. Spracklin, Charles, white, male, age 6, son, born in Iowa. Spracklin, Alfred, white, male, age 3, born in Iowa.
Note: This census is probably the only on that features all of the 2nd family of Daniel D. Spracklin.
Henry is not listed here and neither is Amarilla. We do not find Henry till the 1885 Iowa Census. He is not listed in the 1880 as far as I can determine and believe me I have tried.
Source: Iowa State Census 1885, The Henry Spracklin Family, Muscatine, Muscatine, Iowa, Line 2, Roll IA 1885_239.
85, 72, Spracklin Henry, walnut at between 4 & 5th st., age 32, male, married, laborer, Ohio. Spracklin, Elisabeth, age 31, female, married, keeping house, PA. Spracklin Harry, age 7, male, Keokuk. Spracklin Maggie, age 6 female, Scott. Spracklin Eddie, age 5, male, Scott. Spracklin, Flora, age 3, female, Scott, Spracklin, John, age 2, male, Scott. Spracklin, Wilbur, 0, male, Scott.
Daniel is living in Iowa County with the family in 1885 – D.D. Spracklin Family, Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa Film #1021479, Iowa Co. Genealogical Society.
House #127, Family 127, Daniel D. Spracklin, Twp 78, Range 12, Section 19, Residing in Dayton Twp., 41 yrs. old, male, married, farmer, born in Ohio. Sarah Spracklin, residing in Dayton Twp., 40 yrs. old, female, married, housewife, born in Indiana. Read A. Spracklin, 16 yrs. old, male, born in Iowa. Dalia Spracklin, 14 yrs. old, male, born in Iowa. Peter G. Spracklin, 12 yrs. old, male, born in Iowa. Charles E. Spracklin 10 yrs. old, male, born in Iowa. Alfred M. Spracklin, 8 yrs.? old, male, born in Iowa. All residing in Dayton Twp. same range and section.
Note: Some interesting spellings to note in this census: Reed is spelled “Read,” Dalia is probably Daniel. Reed has been difficult to find in the census so use different spellings when searching for him and maybe one of his children.
Unfortunately the 1890 US Federal census was mostly destroyed by fire in 1922 and nothing survived for Iowa. So we cannot take a good look at Henry’s family and Daniel’s to compare for the year of 1890.
By 1893 Henry had moved and was working at the Weyerhaueser-Denkmann mill in Davenport, Scott Co., Iowa when a log slammed back on him. The following article describes the accident and events.
Source: The Davenport Democrat & Leader, Friday Evening June 23, 1893 front page column 1, Davenport, IA, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
“A Workman Meets His Death In a Mill”
About the middle of the afternoon as H.F. Spracklin, a workman in the Weyerhauser-Denkmann mill, was shoving a plank into an edging machine, the plank became involved in the machinery in some manner so that it was hurled back, striking Spracklin in the breast and shattering his left arm. The man fell like a log, and although his fellow workmen ran to his assistance it was evident that nothing could be done to alleviate his sufferings. Physicians were telephoned for and it was deemed advisable to remove the injured man to Mercy hospital. This was attempted, in the city ambulance, but the injured man died en route, when the wagon was in the neighborhood of Fourteenth and Gaines streets. Mr. Spracklin lived a short distance north of the Orphans’ home. He leaves a wife and nine children, the eldest about 16 years of age, whom he supported by his labors. While it is not known that the family is threatened with destitution now that their paternal support is removed, it is plain that the death of the husband will bear heavily upon them.”
Henry had married Elizabeth Downey on 16 November 1875 in Keokuk Co., Iowa. Elizabeth was born about 1854 in Cambria Co., PA. Her parents were John Downey (1822 to 1912) and Margaret McGavery (1826 to 1872). Elizabeth’s grandparents were Dennis Downey (b. 1798, Ireland) and Elizabeth Crilley (b. 1790 died 19 Aug 1880 in Loretta, Cambria Co., PA. She is buried in the St. Michael’s Cemetery.
Finding out what happened to Elizabeth after Henry’s death is a very interesting story which I will share in a future post.
Source: Keokuk County, Iowa, Marriages 187-1880, #1313, Nov. 16, 1875, pg. 49, State Historical Society, Iowa City, IA.
There was some confusion on the number of children Elizabeth and Henry had together. One researcher had combined Henry’s kids with the his first son Harry who had 10 children. The account above listed 9 children. With a great deal of work on my part and on my cousin’s who is a great-grandson of Henry, we have been able to identify and get a better understanding of just how many children Elizabeth and Henry had. I will discuss Henry’s and Elizabeth’s children in the next post.
I would like to thank my cousin Jerry Spracklin, who supplied some if not all of the research on this family. I met Jerry and his family back in 2003 when I went to Iowa to do research. If you wish to know more about this family of Henry and Elizabeth please contact me and I would be happy to connect you with Jerry.