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Archive for the ‘Amarilla Spracklin Barclay’ Category

J.G. Dawes and Amarilla, 1902 courtesy of the city of Pine River - From Logsleds to Snowmobiles

J.G. Dawes and Amarilla, 1902 courtesy of the city of Pine River – From Logsleds to Snowmobiles

Amarilla was going in a new direction when the turn of the century came to Pine River.  She was going to be leaving behind her life with George Barclay and entering into another relationship with J.G. Dawes.  The picture above appears on page 113 of the Logsleds to Snowmobile book of the history of Pine River.

J.G. Dawes said in the Grand Jury proceedings in 1899, that he came to Pine River in February of 1899.  He came from St. Paul and Minneapolis.  He was a flour salesman and he came to make a deal with the Barclays.

By 1900 J.G. and Amarilla were together.  Apparently Amarilla made Dawes an offer he couldn’t refuse for he was working for her as a store clerk by 1900.

Line 63, dwelling 36, family 36, Barclay, Ammarilla, Head, white, female, born Nov. 1858, age 41, marital status: widowed, married 16 yrs., place of birth Iowa, father born in England, mother born in Ohio, occupation: owner of a store, can read and write and speak English. The rest of the columns were difficult to read.

Line 64, same dwelling & house numbers, Dawes, J.G., employee, white, male, born Mar, 1851, 47 years old, single, born in New York, father and mother were English, occupation: Store Clerk, can read, write and speak English.

Source: Amarilla Barclay Household, 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Twp. 137 R. 29 (Pine River), Cass County, Minnesota, SD# 6, ED#50, Sht 3, pg. 8, FHL #1240759, #8974.

They must have been something to see walking around the town dressed in their finest clothing as the picture above indicates.  Makes me wish I had known her and J.G. What stories they both would have told!

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Amarilla was appointed the Administrator of her husband George A. Barclay’s estate back in December 1898.  George did not have a will and Amarilla and Grace were his only heirs.  The estate is on file at the Minnesota Historical Society under Cass County Government. As you can see, Amarilla’s name was spelled as “Ammarilla and even spelled “Ammerilla.”

1.  #1065 – Order to Examine Accounts at Walker on August 15, 1899 at 10 a.m. in the Probate office, Cass County, Minnesota.

2. #1065 – Final Decree August 15, 1899 document.

The final decree included Amarilla Barclay and Grace McDonald to receive the land and general merchandise of great grandfather’s estate.

That the said deceased died intestate, and the residue of said estate consists of the following described Real and Personal estate, to-wit:

A ______of general merchandise at Pine River, Mnn. fixtures, furniture and household goods. Notices?, mortgages, open accounts and cash on deposit at First National Bank of Brainerd $655.15 and other miscellaneous articles and personal property.

The NE4 & NW 4; NW 4 NE 4; SE 4 NW 4 and SE 4 SE 4 all in Sec 6, T 137 R 29; the ____SE, Sec 28, T 138 R. 29; Lot 6 Sec 8 F 137, R 29; Lot 7 & SE 4 SW 4 Sec 31, T 138 R 29; NW4 & NW 4 Sec 12 T. 137 R. 30, All in Cass County; and SW 4 NW4, NW, SW__Sec 10, T. 137 R 29 in County of Crow Wing in said state…

that the following named persons are entitled to said estate by law Ammarilla Barclay and Grace A. McDonald. …That said Ammarilla Barclay 1/3 there of an to said Grace A. McDonald 2/3 thereof; and all and irregular of the Real estate and the same in hereby assigned and vested in the said Ammerilla Barclay and Grace McDonald…

the following to-wit: N2 NW 1/4 Sec 6 – 137 -29, the Homestead, to said Ammarilla Barclay during the time of her natural life remainder to Grace McDonald in fee simple, all other land to Ammarilla Barclay an undivided 1/3 interest in fee simple and to Grace A. McDonald an undivided 2/3 interest in fee simple. …McGary Judge of Probate

Seven days later on 22 August, 1899 a deed was registered with the Cass County Register of Deeds, Cass County Courthouse, where  Grace sold back to Amarilla some land  for $1.00.

This indenture made this 22 August 1899 between Grace A. McDonald and Ronald S. McDonald her husband, parties of the first part to Ammarilla Barclay of the county and State of Minnesota, for one dollar to them in hand…page 98, Deed K. 1899. 

The north half of the northwest quarter (N1/2 of NW 4) and the southeast quarter of the Northwest quarter (NE4 and NW4) of Section Six (6) township 137, range twenty nine (29), also lot seven (7) and the southeast quarter of the southwest quaret (SE 4 of SW $) of Section thirty one (31) township one hundred and thirty-eight (138) Range twenty nine (29) togher with all the personal property of whatever nature the land may be now situated and being of said piece or parcels of land for any of said pieces or parcels. Signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald in the presence of A. Picket and Sarah A. Blinn.

County of Cass, 22nd day of August 1897 before me Notary Public – Grace A. McDonald formerly Grace A. Barclay and R.S. McDonald, husb. – free act and deed. J.G. Dawis, Notary Public. Signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald.  Witnesses by a A. Picket and Sarah A. Blinn. 

Very interesting that a J.G. Dawis signs as a notary public, could this be J.G. Dawes?

Another deed appears on the 26th of November, 1899 were Grace and Ronald McDonald sell more land back to Amarilla, Page. 414, Deed P for $2000 dollars.

Grace to Amarilla November 1899 Land

Portion of deed – Grace to Amarilla November 1899 Land

The North half of the North West quarter (N1/2 NW1/4) and the South East quarter of the North West quarter (SE1/4 NW1/4) of section Six (6) Township one hundred and thirty (137) Range Twenty nine (29).  Also Lot seven (7) and the South East quarter of the  South West quarter (SE1/4 SW1/4), of Section Thirty one (31) Township one hundred and thirty eight (1380 Range Twenty nine (29.). This was signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald and witnesses also by A. Pickett and Sarah A. Blinn. 

Grace and Amarilla were now in control of George’s estate and with the Final Decree it was now all in their hands to manage as they pleased.  In about a year to two Grace and Ronald would leave Pine River for Grand Rapids, Minnesota and by 1905 they would be in International Falls, Minnesota. Amarilla could have gone with them but she chose to stay in Pine River and she would continue to do so till her death in 1942. Grace and Amarilla kept in touch over the years for Amarilla was to become a grandmother 6 times over.

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Cass County Courthouse

Cass County Courthouse

The loss of her husband must have been a shock to Amarilla.  Their relationship may not have been one that great love stories are made of but they seemed to have had a bond.  They had been married 20 years. During that time they had struggled to build a settlement together.  They had a son and lost him in a terrible accident.  They raised Grace together, who was probably the best part of them.  Would Amarilla have stayed with George to the end if he had not been killed?  Hard to say.  It is suggested that neither were faithful to each other?  Only they really knew what was going on. I think both were independent and determined people and pretty much did what they wanted.  So their relationship was probably very interesting.

In any event, Amarilla was now in control.  She had probably learned a great deal from her husband in how to handle business matters.  Before his death she had been a grantor on several deeds.  She would come to deal with taxes, mortgages, deeds and more over the span of her life.  As the administrator of her husband’s estate she would see to the best interests of herself and her daughter.  She would stay in Pine River and become a very important part of the history of that city.

In 1899 she had to deal with tax issues:

Cass County Courthouse, Pg. 37 Judgement book 1898 to 1902, Mrs. A. Barclay, SE1/4 SE ¼, Sec 6, Twp 137, Range 29, Acres 40, Year 1899, $2.76, $.41, $.27, $3.44, Stamped Bid in for State

In April of 1899, Amarilla and a Curtis Bridgeham entered into a chattel mortgage, Book Misc. E, pg. 373 and 374-5, Cass County Register of Deeds, Walker, MN.  He was indebted to her for $395.00 due in one year with interest of 10%.  There was mention of the Northern Pacific Railway made and some land was involved.

Portion of Chattel Mortgage 1899

Portion of Chattel Mortgage 1899

 “…a conveyance proper deed of the following described lands, situate in the County of Cass, State of Minnesota, to wit: – The northwest quarter of the Southwest quarter (NW1/4 SW 1/4) ____ seven (7) of Section No. Seven (7), township one hundred and thirty-seven (137) range twenty-eight (28); said contract being dated June 30th, 1897 and numbered R.15054. 

A Chattel Mortgage definition is taken from the Free Dictionary:

A transfer of some legal or equitable right in Personal Property as security for the payment of money or performance of some other act. Chattel mortgages have generally been superseded by other types of Secured Transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a body of law adopted by the states that governs commercial transactions.

The rights of the lender who gives a chattel mortgage are valid only against others who know or should know of the lender’s security interest in the property. Since the borrower possesses the property, others cannot realize that a chattel mortgage exists without notice. Each state, therefore, has developed a system for recording instruments showing the existence of chattel mortgages for particular items of property; these records are usually located in the county clerk’s office.

If a recording system is in existence a buyer is presumed to know about a mortgage. Once, therefore, the mortgage is properly recorded, the buyer obtains the debt in addition to the property.

This not all that Amarilla’s name would be on regarding deeds and court documents.  This is only the beginning.

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Something must have happened between November 1898 and May 1899 that set in motion the convening of a Grand Jury regarding the murder of George A. Barclay.

The jail registers for Cass County, Minnesota show that Louis Bebo and Joseph DeJerrold were there in the month ending January-February, 1899 time frame. They were only there from February 14, 1899 to February 23, 1899.  As far as I can tell there is no paper trail for this incarceration other than the jail register.  So who ordered this and how it came about is unclear.

On May 9, 1899 Andrew  Hayford and Louis Bebo were indicted for murder in the 1st Degree and a Bench Warrant was issued 10 May 1899.  G. Hardy, the Sheriff was ordered to deliver them to the jail at Brainerd, Crow Wing County. In the Cass County District Court Records of 12 May, 1899, is an entry about this bench warrant and the indictment for murder.

Grand Jurry

Grand Jury

The Grand Jury came together in June of 1899.  The case was called at the Collins Precinct, Cass County, June 16, 1899 at 10 am.  B.F. Hartshorn appeared for the prosecution.

Here is a summary of the purpose of a Grand Jury, but I don’t know if this is exactly what it was like in 1899 in Minnesota.

A Grand Jury works with a prosecutor to determine if charges are to be brought against a potential defendant.  Grand Juries are made up of up to 23 people and it can go on for months.  There are no judges only the prosecutor who explains the law and works with the jury to gather evidence and hear testimony…They need a super majority of 2/3 or 3/4 agreement. Even if the grand jury does not indict the prosecutor can bring the defendant to trial if there is a strong case. They have to prove to the trial judge that they have a case.  If they have an indictment they can go right to trial.   (See Findlaw for more information).

There were objections made by the defendants mostly about the warrant not being read and these were overruled.

These are the names on the Indictment for murder written on 9 May, 1899.

The foreman of the Grand Jury was a Wm. D. Welch. The witnesses were as follows:  J.H. Middleton, G.L. Hardy, Fred Yllander, Andrew Whiteside, Enoch McMahon, C.H. Workman, R.C. Workman, R.C. Workman Jr., Thomas Nelson, Mrs. Geo. A. Barclay, Geo. A. Weaver, Thomas Coble, Bertha Michelson, Frank Beck, T.D. Shay, Ed Coyle, W.A. Curo, and J.G. Dawes.

Here are summaries of what was in the testimonies and you will see that not all of them are included.

1.  C. Fred Yllander was up first.

Yllander gave testimony at the corner’s inquest in November 1899.  He worked for Barclay as the store clerk and bar keeper.

“I being present at the time about six feet from him.  I stood looking over the bar with my face toward him, I looked up when I heard the report of the gun.  I saw him try to raise, but he could not and fell, at this I went out side of the bar to assist him I saw he was bleeding.  I went to summon other aid, when I came back I found the bullet had entered the neck of the left side and came through on the other side.  He died in about thirty minutes.

Apparently there was a plat map (Plat A) which described the scene inside the house.  Yllander recognized it.  This drawing was not in the court documents.

The best that can be gleaned from the description is that the scene was in the southwest corner of the house which faces southwest. There is the bar room.  There are two large windows a dood (indicating stairs). There was a notation where the post was located. Yllander says that Barclay was sitting east of the door smoking a cigar with one foot under him.

The bullet went through Mar Barclay’s neck and lodged in the post in the center of the room, the bullet went in a direct line so as to enter the post after passing through Mr. Barclay’s neck. 

Yllander describes that there was a small round hole in the window east of the door about 5 or 6 inches from the lower corner next to the door in the large front window. There is a court 8 feet wide in the front and southwest corner of the house.

Yllander refers to Coyle as a defendant.  There is no record of Coyle being served a bench warrant for this crime.  He did get put in the Crow Wing jail about the same time as Bebo and DeJerrold for stealing whiskey from Mrs. Barclay.

Interesting that there were 25 to 30 people after the train came in.  Pine River was a busy place.

2.  E. F. Lynch undertaker D.M. Clark & Co.,

Mr. Lynch states that he resides in Brainerd. I am supposed to be an experienced hand at the business.  I had a State License.  I was called upon to prepare the body of Mr. Barclay for burial.  I went there Monday morning about 6 A.M…after he was shot.  I had to sew up the wound in order to keep fluid from escaping. I would take the wound to be a gun shot entering from the right side about four inches below the right ear and coming out about one inch below the left ear.  I don’t think the neck was dislocated.  I don’t think the bone was struck.  I consider he bled to death.  There was no blood coming out of the mouth.  He mentions that Coyle helped him with opening getting the casket from the depot.

There seems to a slight difference in the description of the trajectory of the bullet. Yllander said left side to right, Lynch said right to left.

3.  Mrs. George Barclay, wife of the deceased.

I was in the kitchen at the time he was killed.  I heard the report of the gun…I went into the room.  The report of the gun pulled me to the room, I saw Mr. Barclay lying on the floor.  I don’t think he was dead at the time, but he died on the floor before being removed.  I had not been in the room before that evening….

She goes on to state she knew various people like Bebo, DeJerrald, Coyle and Clapp.  There were incidents of intoxication, threats, words exchange but nothing that she felt was of concern.

4.  Joseph DeJerrald states pretty much the same as what he did at the coroner’s inquest.  He is a nephew of Bebo and had been living with them for the last three years which later he says four years. Bebo lives 4 miles from Pine River.  His testimony wanders so much that it makes it hard to follow him.

He states that he was going to the depot at the time of Barclay’s killing.  They then went to unhitch the horses at the corn crib, Bebo took his rifle to the depot and they put the team in the old barn and got feed for the horses.  As he was putting his gun in the depot someone came in and said Barclay was shot.   He references his time in jail with Bebo back in February and mentions his uncle is now in jail in St. Paul.

 5.  Ed Harris was a new witness.  He lived in Walker and he talks about Clapp, Bebo and blurts out that the Indian’s did it and murdered Barclay.

6.  George L. Hardy, Sheriff of Cass County.  Frank Breese Deputy Sheriff from Cass County testified at the coroner’s inquest.

I know of the death of Mr. Barclay.  I am Sheriff of Cass County.  I was at the inquest.  I subpoenaed witnesses. I made examination of the premises.  I have seen this drawing before.  I and Mr. Middleton made these drawings.  This is a plan of the Hotel, Saloon and store.  I saw the hole in the window. 

I have the bullet in my possession.  It weighed 210 grains when taken from the post.  It corresponded with a bullet from a 38-56.  I examined Bebow’s gun, it was a 38-56 Winchester.  I got some of the bullets he used in his gun.  The 38-56 factory made bullets weigh 255 or 256 grains.  This bullet when it came from the post was badly battered up on the front end and along the side.  The butt end was not battered.  

Mr. Hardy believed the bullet from the post was similar to Bebo’s bullets. From this point Mr. Hardy meanders around about his conversations with Clapp and Coyle at the inquest, in February and others.  There is nothing about what happened at the time of the shooting at the actual scene of the murder.

7.  J. G. Dawes is a witness.

I am not a detective.  I am manager of the Barclay estate with view of taking the daughter’s interest. I have been there since about the middle of February.  I was in the employ of the North Dakota Milling Association… I sold them a car of feed and remained there over night…

Apparently J.G. Dawes went to St. Paul May 10th and talked in private to Bebo.  From his visit he took on the role of assisting Bebo with his earthly possession which were to be distributed among his children.  Dawes say that Bebo  implicated Clapp and Coyle as being the means of killing Mr. Barclay…that Clapp and Coyle were the principal men that caused the killing of Mr. Barclay.  Bebo denied he killed Barclay.  Dawes finished with we had possibly an hours conversation but nothing else bearing on the matter. 

The court adjourned:

Apparently the court was adjourned until Monday morning, June 19th, 1899.  State rests and the defendants move to dismiss the defendants on the ground, that form the evidence no public cause has been show that defendants or either of them committed the crime charged or any other crime. 

I am frustrated because I can’t figure out if Clapp or Coyle were ever arrested for this crime.  There is no examination of Andrew Hayford nor of Bebo at this Grand Jury and I am not even sure they were present.

The above are of course extremely stripped versions of the testimonies of these witnesses.

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Jefferson G. Dawes

Jefferson G. Dawes

J.G. Dawes first appeared in Pine River around the end of 1898 or early 1899. He was a flour salesman and had come to Pine River to make a deal with George Barclay.

Jefferson G. Dawes would make a big impact on Pine River.  At the request of Grace, George’s daughter, he was going to be involved in the Grand Jury proceedings for George’s death.  He would be the major of Pine River and he would marry Amarilla.

J.G. was born on 7 March 1847 in New York. Tracking him from that date to 1898 reveals nothing in the Minnesota census nor the U.S. Federal. Single men are hard to trace.  His parents were James Daws and Mary Ann [Sooderhaus].  I will share more about J.G. in a future post.

Looking at his photograph, I think that J.G. must have been the kind of person that you would notice.

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The coroner’s inquest and the testimonies of the witness imply that George disinherited Grace, his daughter, but that was not true. He threatened to but never really did.  George was not happy about her marriage.  They did have words but according to Grace they reconciled before his death. It turns out he didn’t have a will.  His estate was “intestate.”

Amarilla was appointed the Administrator of George’s estate. She had not wasted anytime in getting the probate process started.

The beginning stages of the probate process for the estate of George A. Barclay takes place at the end  of 1898 in Cass County, Walker, Minnesota.  

1. Application of petition of the Estate of George A. Barclay by Amarilla on November 1, 1898 . The personal property of said deceased does not exceed $5,000.  She is appointed Special Administrator with a bond of $8,000.

2. Order for Hearing and Notice of Application for Appointment of Administrator – November 7, 1898:  Appearance before the court on 8 Dec 1898 at 10 o’clock at Walker. In addition an order to publish once a week for three weeks in the Walker Pilot is included as required by law.

3. #1065 Order Appointing Administrator – December 8, 1898 – Amarilla is appointed on the petition of E.R. Sundberg. The bond was $15,000.

Amarilla is appointed the Administrator of George's Estate

Amarilla is appointed the Administrator of George’s Estate

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George Angus Barclay is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, Minnesota. There are several stones in this plot.  The very tall one to the left is George’s monument, the small one on the right is the son’s, George Alexander’s, tombstone and the one in front of the large monument is George’s Civil War stone.  The shiny flat stone in the foreground is Amarilla’s.

George's Tombstones in Evergreen

George’s Tombstones in Evergreen

Close up of George's Tombstone

Close up of George’s Tombstone

Father, George Angus Barclay, Born Aug. 18, 1844, Died Oct. 29, 1898 Aged 54 Yrs, 2 Mos & 11 Days.

A Good Man is Known by His Works. 

George's Civil War stone

George’s Civil War stone very hard to read

George and Amarilla’s first grandchild is also buried in this plot.  R.S. McDonald is listed as the father. There is no stone for this baby but it is noted in the cemetery records.

Evergreen has placed their Directory of the dead online and you can click on the ? mark and go to Find A Grave for this cemetery and there is some very interesting links at Find A Grave.  They are misspellings as well so be careful. 

http://www.brainerd.net/~evergreencem/dotd.html

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GRid=108429087&CRid=82259&  Do a search for Urton, Barclay, Dawes and more.  It is very interesting.

George Alexander the son

George Alexander the son

Warren Huffman had kind words for my great grandfather and stated in his own words in the 1973 Pine River Journal:

The first winter was a hard one for new settlers to get started. George Barclay had the one store in Pine River and without the credit that he extended it would have been impossible to stay. George Barclay had his detractors, but he was a kind-hearted man and generous. He was a small man with a high-pitched voice. I remember him well, and we all felt a genuine sorrow and loss when he was shot by an unknown person as he sat reading in the lobby of the Barclay Hotel.” By Warren Huffman in his own words “As I remember … 1894, Pine River Journal (Newspaper), Cass County, MN. 1973.

Amarilla is also buried there and upon my first visit she did not have a tombstone. There is one there now. More on her death in future posts.

George's Tombstone and his great granddaughter

George’s Tombstone and his great-granddaughter 2001

George A. Barclay, son George Alexander and Bonnie 2001.

George A. Barclay, son George Alexander and Bonnie 2001.

This is probably where the funeral ceremony for George A. Barclay took place.  I can picture Amarilla, Grace, R.S. McDonald and Alexander gathered there by the grave. How did they bring the casket in an open wagon or in a funeral wagon?  Who else was there? Did the G.A.R. perform a military ceremony for this Civil War veteran?  So many questions…

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The Coroner’s Inquest regarding the murder of George A. Barclay took two days.  On the second day a verdict was issued and it was recorded in the Register of the Coroner, Cass County, Minnesota.  It appeared in the newspaper the next day.

Register of Coroner's Inquest

Register of Coroner’s Inquest

Source: The Register of Coroner’s Inquests, County of Cass, State of Minnesota, in the Matter of the Inquest held upon the body of George A. Barclay, by E.R. Sundberg, acting Coroner of said County.

Nov. 2, 1899: Oct 31, the following jury was impaneled J.B. Spencer, B. O’Connor, Peter Dennis, John A. Wilson. Jury sworn and examination opened.  Verdict of Jury: That the said George A. Barclay came to his death on Oct 29, 1898 between 7 & 8 P.M. O’clock while sitting in his Hotel office by a bullet passing through his neck from a gun or revolver in the hands of some person on the outside of the building and to this jury unknown.  In testimony whereof the said coroner and jurors of this inquest have hereunto set their hands the 2nd day of Nov. 1898.   John King, Foreman, R.D. Holden, P. Dennis, John A Wilson, J.B. Spencer, B. O’Connor.  E.R. Sundberg, Justice of the Peace, & Acting Coroner. 

The following appeared in the Cass County Pioneer on November 3, 1898

“The Coroner’s jury sitting over the remains of Geo. Barclay after a two day session brought a verdict as follows:  We find that deceased came to his death by a gun shot wound inflicted by some party unknown to the jury.” Particulars next week.”

The next week issue for November 10th was missing on the film at the Minnesota Historical Society.

There is no official death certificate for George A. Barclay at the Cass County Courthouse per my personal investigation. After George’s death,  Amarilla tried for his Civil War pension on several occasions and below is an affidavit that described the death of George A. Barclay several years later.

Bertha Michelson on February 25, 1901 made this statement, she knew George about 4 years.  It is interesting to me that she was not among the witnesses at the Coroner’s Inquest?

That she was well acquainted with George Barclay deceased for a period of 4 years before his death.  That in the evening of October 29th, 1898, about half passed seven o’clock said George Barclay was shot and killed by a person unknown at the time he was sitting in a chair in his own house.  I heard the report of the gun saw him fall and he expired on the floor where he fell. The ball passed through his neck.  The shot was fired from outside of building and was fired through a window.” 

It could be assumed that this would be the end of the investigation of George A. Barclay’s death, but it was not.  A Grand Jury would be called in May of 1899 and then in May of 1900 there would be a trial.  There was more events to come in this sad tale.

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Mr. Sundberg, Justice of the Peace and Acting Coroner, moved quickly to put into place the Coroner’s inquest which was held at the Barclay Hotel on November 1 and 2, 1898 after the shooting on October 29, 1898.

The testimony of all of the witnesses would be to extensive for me to present here.  What will be presented will be a transcript summary of some of the witnesses testimony.  The book: Murder and Mayhem, True Crime Accounts, Cass County 1897-1938, written by the Cass County Historical Society, has some excerpts of some of the testimonies.

Here are some of my selected excerpts of the testimonies.

1.  C. Fred Yllander “being sworn says: I knew Barclay.  He died at 7:10 P.M. on Saturday night, Oct. 29.  He sat about six feet from window.  I was in his employ, tending bar and was here when he died.  I stood about two feet from the end of the bar, inside, reading.  Mr. Barclay…he took a chair and sat down about six feet from the window.  He sat talking to a man who was standing in the doorway between the card room and bar.  Just then I heard a loud report of a gun.  I thought it was fired inside because I saw flame come through the window.  At first I thought it was an accident but afterwords saw the hole through the window.  I saw Barclay try to raise himself and then fall on the floor.  I went to him but two others were there first.  He tried to open his mouth to speak but couldn’t.  He died almost instantly.  While on the floor, we found the bullet had entered the left side of the neck and come out on the right side of the back of the head.  The bullet lodged in a post in the center of the room.  When the gun went off I saw no one on the porch or anyone near.  I saw no one with firearms on the inside.  I have no idea who shot Barclay.  I have worked for him since October 11th and have known him since January… He was universally like.  He was not a drinking man and was perfectly sober on the day of the shooting… A man named Clapp (Claff) was talking to Barclay when he was shot.  Mrs. Barclay was in the dining room and came out a few seconds after.  She was working in the dining room at the time the shooting which occurred, at 7:10… As near as I can judge, the person that did the shooting must have stood a few inches from the window.  I saw neither the gun nor the man.  There were six persons in the room at the time of the shooting, including Barclay. Barclay and the man were talking about national matters.  Fred Cotton was inside the card room. Clapp had been standing talking several minutes with Barclay when the shot was fired…”

2.  Frank Breese Deputy Sheriff from Cass County:

“I helped to dig the bullet out of the post.  Indications show that the bullet came through the window from the outside.  We took the bullet out about 3 o’clock P.M. Oct. 31. Advised by county attorney not to take it out sooner.  I have weighed the bullet. It weighs 210 grains.  I have a scientific table showing the size and weight of bullet’s published by Wm. R. Burkhard & Co. dealers in guns and sporting goods.  A bullet weighing 150 grains is a 38 Smith and Weston;  210 grains Colt center fire pistol; 255 grains, 38.56 Winchester; 210 grains, 44 Colts Revolver; 205 grains, 44 Smith & Weston American; 255 grains 44 Smith & Weston Russian; 115 grains, 44 Smith & Weston Russian Gallery; 210 grains, 40-60 Winchester rifle.  At the time the bullet was weighed nothing adhered to make it heavier.  A 38-56 Winchester rifle bullet weighs 255 grains.”

3.  Eugene McMahon worked for Barclay taking care of stock.  He had been there 5 years.  He was referred to as choreboy.  He was outside at the upper barn when he heard the shot. He observed Bebo and a young man before and after the report of the gun. He talked about   Hank Taylor a driver for Cook who was a gambler and crook. Taylor had shown interest in Grace which caused trouble with George, Amarilla and Grace.

4.  E. Coyle telegraph operator and station agent was on the railroad track on a hand car when stopped and told about Barclay being shot. He witnessed George’s body on the floor.  He described Bebo’s gun as a 38-56 Winchester and Deperold’s had a 45-90 Winchester.  He mentions Hayford.  He also talked about Hank Taylor and the trouble between him and Barclay.

5. The hunters were R.C. Workman Sr., Charles Workman, Thomas Nelson, R.C. Workman Jr. and R.B. Dunsmore. They came from Wright County to hunt and were at the Depot/Express office when Barclay was killed.  The younger Workman made the claim that he saw a short man in dark clothes running across the railroad tracks about 5 minutes are the shot was fired.  He also said that Bebo came into the Depot office with a gun in a blanket about two minutes after the shot.   The older Workman also saw a man running across the tracks. Nelson he talked about Bebo coming in and out of the Depot and the Winchester in the corner but didn’t see it wrapped in a blanket. Dunsmore observed Bebo coming and goings with the blankets but didn’t remember any guns.

6.  Joseph Deperold (Deperrold)  was a nephew of Louis Bebo.  He was with Bebo at the barn first and then at the depot. He will be examined in later transcripts.

7. Mrs. George Barclay wife to the deceased.  She was in the kitchen at the time of the gun shot.

“I am the wife of George Barclay.  I was in the kitchen when I heard that he had been shot.  I heard the shot and the fall of Mr. Barclay.  I have no idea or suspicion as to who killed him. Mr. Barclay was a passionate man and had words with a good many men but not enough to warrant suspicion.  He had words in July with Hank Taylor, Mickey Burns, and Tom Twohy.  Mr. Barclay was not a man who would hold spite…. Mr. Barclay didn’t like Taylor and ordered him away… Taylor was not a respectable character…. Taylor wanted to take Gracie for a boat ride one day.  She wanted to go…I sat in the stern of the boat, Gracie in the center, and Taylor in the bow rowing.  Just as we landed on our return, Mr. Barclay came down.  He was very angry…  I never heard Taylor make any threats.  Taylor left soon after.  Possibly two days.  He has never been back.  I had no reason to believe that anybody would do Mr. Barclay any harm.  I have no idea as to who fired the shot.  

8.  Mrs. Grace McDonald, daughter of George A. Barclay and Amarilla, was absent at the time of the shooting in Cloquet, MN.  She describes the events with Hank Taylor and her recent marriage to R.S. McDonald.  This testimony of Grace’s gave me the information I needed to find the marriage record of my grandparents which was elusive up to this time.

“I am the daughter of George Barclay and was married the 8th of September.  Prior to that time I lived at home during vacations.  Papa often lost his temper and had trouble with several people and some of the quarrels were on account of credit in the store.  I have heard threats of violence but not from people I would think meant it. Taylor came here on June 28.  He was here until about the 5 or the 6 of August.  He came here to board on the 13 of July, but had been here before.  He told me that he had been married…. I went for a boat ride with him….He is a man who would hold revenge.  He had been a prize-fighter and bouncer.  Father and I had words and we didn’t speak for a week or so.  After that we were on good terms. He was angry when I got married and he threatened to disinherit me, but since that time he has become reconciled to me.  Mrs. Grace Barclay recalled says: I was married the 8 of September in Hudson, Wis., I was at home immediately prior to the marriage…. My husband is superintendent for Backus in the Willow River country.  We were near Cloquet when we hear of the murder of my Father.  Mr. McDonald told me.  I left Mr. McDonald at Cloquet.  He went to the woods and I came home.  I said he would drive across country and will be here tonight, Wednesday.  Father was afraid of Taylor.”

9.  Louis Bebo a local farmer living 34 miles west from Pine River. He knew Barclay about 15 years.  He heard the shots when he was at the depot.

I live about three miles west of Pine River.  I will have lived here three years next March.  I have been acquainted with Barclay fifteen years.  I lived near here all that time.  I have had some difficulty with him here at the house twice…The trouble with Barclay originated twice while I was drinking.  I have never had any trouble with him about shooting at the house.  He accused me of shooting at the house but after wards knew that it was not me.  I was in the operator’s house when it was done.  I had no part in it.  I was here when Barclay was killed….  I came back Saturday evening.  I hitched my team at the corncrib and it stood there about a half an hour.  From there I think I came into the saloon and took a drink with Mr. Coyle.  I don’t remember the time.  At that time I was sober.  I had two or three drinks before I went out.  The second time I took a drink was out of a bottle belonging to Coyle…  After drinking with him I went and unhitched the team…I took the blankets out of the wagon after the horses were unhitched after putting the horses in the barn… My gun was not wrapped up.  I put it in a corner of the depot. I don’t think anybody looked at it.  It was a 38-56 Winchester…. When I heard the shot fired I was just going into the depot with the blankets.  My nephew was with me at the time… I came from the depot to the hotel and saw Barclay and went back to the depot and said that Barclay was shot.  I came right over after hearing the shot and saw him.  There were quite a number in the room.  Lyman Preston, the choreboy, bartender, Whitesides.  I can’t remember any others.  Barclay was dead then.  I saw Mrs. Barclay there…  After I came and saw that Barclay was dead I went directly back to the depot.  I was in the bar about ten minutes.  I saw Coyle at the depot after that.  I saw four men on a hand-car…. I made one or two trips between the depot and the hotel after Barclay was killed.  It was at the depot the first time that I went over that I said that Barclay was killed.  Then they all turned out and came over here.  I came with them.  That was the second time I came over here….He talks about meeting up with his wife, making arrangements with the hunters and that he buys his own shells and load some.

10.  Mrs. Mary Bebo was Louis Bebo’s Indian common law wife.  She claims that she has been married eleven years and has five children.  She was near Walker when she heard of Barclay’s death.  She said that her husband didn’t know who killed Barclay.

11.  Mary Aitkin was a friend of Bebo and Mrs. Bebo.  She heard of the killing of Barclay and testified that Mrs. Bebo told her that her husband killed Barclay because he was jealous of their relationship.

12.  George A. Weaver knew Barclay since 1861 and he knew Bebo and that Bebo and Barclay had trouble with money.

13.  Eber Smith owned a summer resort on Woman Lake. He knew Hank Taylor in the past and talked about Taylor and felt he was treacherous.

14. Andrew Whitesides worked for Barclay in the store and had been there 4 years.

I have been working for Mr. Barclay since 1894…I have had charge of the store since the fall of 1894.  I was here when Mr. Barclay was shot…As far as I can judge about one and a half or two minutes after the report of the gun I came into the bar room.  I didn’t see Bebo in the room, he was not there.  He came in later.  No one was with him, I went to the Telegraph office while I was there.  I heard him say nothing about Mr. Barclay being shot.  I was in the Telegraph office 15 or 20 minutes.  I don’t remember seeing Bebo at the Depot when I came out.  I saw him again after I came back kneeling by the body listening to the pulsation.  I can’t say which time that was. I observed nothing particularly suspicious about him that day…Bebo and Barclay have had considerable trouble about settlement for hay in the Spring, but I thought it was settled to Bebo’s satisfaction…The trouble about shooting at the house was later.  Mr. Hayford and Mr. Barclay had a good deal of trouble and Mr. Barclay succeeded in having Hayford discharged.  Barclay and Hayford were never friendly.  Hayford was here at one time with a gun and I thought he wanted to shoot Barclay.  This trouble continued until Hayford moved away and started a store at Jenkins.  He has often abused Mr. Barclay while he lived here he and Bebo were together a good deal.  The trouble between Barclay and Hayford was about freight.  Hayford was very careful to add-on as much to Barclay’s freight as he could and Barclay thought he was overcharging.  He drank a good deal.  I thought Hayford had told Bebo that Barclay had a good deal to do with his squaw and thereby caused enmity.  I never saw anything unusual between Barclay and the squaw.  The general impression was that there were grounds for suspicion that they were intimate.  The general relations between Barclay and his wife were not entirely smooth and they have had some trouble.  One instance in particular a man named Taylor staffed here and went boat riding with Mrs. Barclay and her daughter.  Barclay found them and abused her a good deal in the bar room…I never thought there was much affection between Barclay and Mrs. Barclay….she [Mrs. Barclay] has been an inmate of a variety theater.  The relations between Barclay and his daughter have been about the same as between Barclay and Mrs. Barclay.  Barclay was much opposed to his daughter’s marriage.  I heard the girl say Barclay had threatened to disinherit her.  The marriage was a secret one.  McDonald and Barclay were friendly…”

The above has a lot of opinions, conjecture, gossip and it is difficult to know what is really of significance.  Unfortunately, the jury did not come to any conclusion.

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We must remember that back in 1898 in a local area like Pine River it was not easy to investigate a crime or a death.

The steps are very complicated in murder investigations today.

Here is a much more detailed explanation of a murder investigation, I am sure there are better websites to consult but it will do.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-involved-in-criminal-murder-investigations.htm

A familiar figure of the times!

A familiar figure of the times!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

So if we take and compare the murder of my great-grandfather George A. Barclay to the standards of today’s murder investigations we see that there are a lot of discrepancies. I confess that I am a big crime scene fan (CSI), but drama is not reality.  I am going to jump in and take some of the steps in the above link and share my thoughts below regarding George’s murder based on the documentation that I have found.  If only Sherlock Holmes could help?

1.  The murder is reported by someone who comes across the victim.  That person is asked to remain on site.  

In this murder case there are many people who witnessed the actual event and were nearby who heard the gunshot.

The news of the crime occurred when the railroad office was contacted requesting medical help for George Barclay.  This was described in the “Cold Blooded Murder,” article which I featured in my post dated November 28, 2013 titled:  Cold Blood Murder and Cowardly Crime, November 1898.   I will be referring to those two articles a great deal so you might want to go and read them.

“A telegram was immediately sent to General Manager Hear, of the B.& N. M. for a special train with  medical assistance, but before this could be procured a second message was received saying that he had passed away.”

2.  Verification of death of the victim by paramedics or coroner

Someone apparently knew how to determine if an individual had died.  It was not made apparent who that was in the records.  The nature of the wound and the number of witnesses was probably sufficient. Although each witness had their version of the actual death.  Some indicated that George died quickly and others said he lingered for up to 30 minutes.  The time of death was given as 7:10 pm and I have seen 7:30 pm given.  I have also seen the day mixed up.

I am going for this:  Time of death was given at 7:10 to 7:30 pm, October 29, 1898.

3. The scene is turned over to law enforcement. 

It is not clear that the scene was turned over to law enforcement.  A newspaper tidbit reported that:

On November 3, 1898 in the Cass County Pioneer  (Vol. 5, #42, p. 8, col.)

“B.F. Hartshorn and Geo. Hardy went to Pine River to look into the facts concerning the murder of Mr. Geo. Barclay.

B.F. Hartshorn was the Cass County Attorney and Public Prosecutor  (1897 to 1903 Cass County History).  Geo. Hardy was the sherif at the time (1897 to 1905 Cass County History).  Both of these men will be involved up till the trial.

3.  An officer is put in charge of the investigation

Again this is not made clear in the transcripts as to what law enforcement officer was conducting an investigation. Frank Breese, Deputy-Sheriff was at the Coroner’s inquest to give testimony regarding the bullet that killed George.

4.  The scene is secured to prevent contamination of the evidence.  

With all the witnesses and people coming and going that night at Barclay’s I doubt that the scene was secured at all.  As for contamination that happened immediately.  In the testimony at the Coroner’s Inquest several people were reported as touching the body.  I am sure in the confusion, chairs were moved around.

5.  The murder scene is observed and documents with photographs taken.

Photography was not like we have today with digital cameras and instant recording of events.  It is not clear to me who observed the crime scene.  I am assuming Mr. Sundberg the Justice of the Peace and Acting Coroner did a walk through along with the jury members, maybe Hartshorn and Hardy were there?

6.  Evidence is collected and bagged and sent to the crime lab. 

In the next post I  In a future post, I will review the evidence that was collected.  In this case we have the body as evidence and the area around it, the bullet, the post where it logged, the scene of the crime, the hole in the window and glass on the floor, the location from where the gun was fired, witness accounts and their guns, and more.

7.  The body is first removed and taken to the coroner’s office for autopsy.  

This was not done until the inquest was over and even then I do not see any evidence of an autopsy performed. George’s body remained where it had crumpled till the Coroner’s inquest was completed. A Mr. E. F. Lynch who resided at Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota was an undertaker for D.M. Clark & Co.  He was called upon to prepare the body of Mr. Barclay for burial.  He testifies in what appears to be the Grand Jury proceedings.

7.  People are interviewed who were involved with the murder or nearby when the murder occurred.  

There are many witnesses that gave testimony at the Coroner’s Inquest.  I cannot tell if anyone else did any interviewing of the witnesses other than at the Coroner’s Inquest.

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The Cass County Historical Society published a book in 2010 titled:

Murder and Mayhem, True Crime Accounts Cass County 1897-1938

The authors collected documentation from many sources and they feature right at the very beginning the George Barclay Murder in Pine River in 1898, pages 1 to 24.  There are many other names and cases discussed in this book.  A copy may be obtained from the Cass County Historical Society for about $25.00.   http://www.casscountymuseum.org/publications.html

In this book you will find a pretty good coverage of the sources that were generated regarding the murder of George Angus Barclay.  Since they probably had a space issue they were unable to publish all of the information so you have to keep in mind that it is not totally complete.  I have most of what they share in this publication and they have other items I do not have which add to the story.

At the beginning of the section on George Barclay there is in introduction taken from the book Logsleds to Snowmobiles: A Centennial History of Pine River, Minnesota (1873-1973), Pine River Centennial Committee, 1979.  I would like to caution you that there are mistakes in this introduction.  The purpose of this blog was to correct those errors.  They state he was killed in the lobby, well there seems to be other information stating it was the saloon area of the hotel. Since there is no floor plan available it is difficult to be clear. First, George was more likely born in Enfield, CT not New Jersey, although I have not yet proved it.  I have shared in past posts about George’s earlier years and the census places George and his siblings scattered in the Connecticut area around Enfield and Hartford. Alexander and a sister Mary, older siblings, state they were born in Hartford and Enfield respectively.  This sort of  places a damper on being born in Scotland.  His father John Barclay in his Naturalization papers says he came to the United States in 1833.  I have posted about this event. However, George and his brother Alexander did not enlist together in the Civil War.  George waited a full year before he enlisted.  Alexander was older by two years.  I have all of their Civil War Service Records and pensions and I have thoroughly shared them in this blog.  Again, George did not march with Sherman to the sea, his brother Alexander was the one who did. No where in George’s Civil War Service or Pension record which I have shared on this blog does it say that he was with Sherman.  However, Alexander’s Civil War documents do state this fact. I mapped out their company records so you can see from those maps that they were going in separate directions.  Now granted those company records may only cover the main events.  Individual soldiers could be sent where ever they were needed.  I have shared the article from the Northwest Magazine and the mention that George had 840 acres but I am not convinced.  I will tally it someday in the future and see if it matches.   Oh and on page 23 Amarilla married George Urton in 1922 and this is not correct she married him in 1919 but I will get to posting on their marriage later.

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