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Archive for the ‘George Alexander Barclay’ Category

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 1880’s were drawing to a close and events were unfolding in Minnesota that would make for lots of change in the state.  The next decade the 1890’s was going to be very busy and very eventful in Pine River and more.

Let’s take a quick review of the 1880’s. 
 
Starting a Family:
George and Amarilla started the decade with the birth of their son, George Alexander, who died  suddenly of an accident at 18 months in June 1881 .  The following year they found happeniness in the birth of their daughter Grace born in April  1882. 

Land More or Less:
They sold some land in a quit claim deed to a [Fred] Hitter/Hilter of Wright County on 25 October 1881.  This deed was recorded 8 May 1882 in the Crow Wing County Courthouse for Cass County, Deed Book E, pg. 247. 

Description:  $175.00 – The southeast quarter (SE1/4) of the northeast quarter (NE1/4) of section ten (10) and the north half of the northeast quarter of section twelve (12) all in township one hundred thirty-seven (137) north range twenty nine (29) west.  The total amount of acreage was not indicated in this deed? 

They added to their land holdings by  buying land from the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1883 (82 3/4). In 1884 they received another patent #11834 (40 plus acres), and expanded by adding a storage building sometime around the early part of the decade.*  The little settlement was growing with a total population of 29 people in 1885 per the Minnesota State Census.  Another land patent came through in April of 1888 #16446 (160 acres). 

A Mortgage Deed
Things must have been going well for the Barclays in 1888 when George and Amarilla executed a mortgage deed with Michael Hagberg on September 25, 1888 for $2077.38.*  It was filed for record January 11, 1889.   George would pay two promissory notes due one year after the date, each for $1038.69 and interest.  This mortgage was satisfied and on record in Book J, pg. 566 in the Crow Wing County Records. 

On October 2, 1914, 25 years later this same mortgage satisfaction appears in Book W, pg. 372 in a typed form, not handwritten.  It referred to M. Hagberg and Matilda Hagberg, his wife.  It is also attested to for accuracy by the Register of Deeds. We think the court was updating its books. 

Now it was suggested that “this deed was for equipment.”* Well, I do not think so.  Instead it was for the purchase of about 5 pieces of land in T137 R 29 (Wilson); two pieces in T138 R29 (Barclay); and one piece in T130 R30 (Walden).  Several lots were mentioned. 

There is a Michael Hagberg buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd a link to his him is at FindAGrave.  There is an article with the tombstone information stating he was a blacksmith in early Brainerd?  If this is the same man he lived in the Brainerd area for a long time.

Boy do I love a mystery?  What was George A. Barclay up to?

Well at some point I will do a summary of his land holdings and we will see what we come up with. 

A Robbery:
Unfortunately they ended the decade of the 1880’s with a robbery at the Ranch.  George Barclay reported a long list of items stolen in Pine River on April 20, 1889.  Among the items taken were 2 Winchester rifles and 6 boxes of cartridges, lots of clothing, lots of yardage, 400 ratskins and 5 linx skins for a total of $512.30 ? * 

I have often wondered what my great grandfather’s store might have looked like?  I visited the Harkin Store in 2001 (eight miles northwest of New Ulm, MN).  This museum is a period store set about 1870:   http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/hs/  It is part of the Minnesota Historical Society historical sites. 

Do you think George and Amarilla’s was this neat and tidy?  The Harkin Store had a mail center, candy area, women’s items, flour bins, a place to sit by the pot belly stove and more.  Depending on the clientele at George’s store there might be a difference in the inventory?

Harkins Store

*Some of these events mentioned above were inspired by the book:  “Logsleds to Snowmobiles, A Centennial History of Pine River, Minnesota 1873-1973,” written by the Citizens of Pine River, edited by Norman F. Clarke, Pine River Centennial Committee 1979.   Chapter:  The Barclays, 102-129.   Page 106 for the Robbery or the Brainerd Dispatch April 21, 1889 pg. 1.  There is a copy of this book in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. A quick seach of WordCat and you will get 18 hits in various libraries across the country.

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Grace Amarilla Barclay was born on April 10, 1882 to George Angus and Amarilla Barclay.  There is no record that completely confirms where Grace was born but most of the records point to Pine River as her place of birth. 

There is a brief reference to a baby being born in the records of the Methodist Episcopal church but nothing specific. Grace’s entry into this world was not as dramatic as her baby brother. 

In 1882-3 Rev. J. A. Gilfillan reports the baptism of one infant at Pine River, crossing of that stream by the Leech Lake and Brainerd road.  Monday Sept 24, 1888 the Bishop confirmed one person.  

Pg. 82-83  Register of the Diocese of Duluth – almost in pieces.

I, Grace’s granddaughter have thoroughly studied the Register of Baptisms & Marriages by Rev. Whipple 142.F.15.3B 1859-1895 MHS and did not find any mention of Grace except for the above possible reference.  No deaths or burials either.

No actual birth record has been found about the birth of Grace.  Her death certificate from the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) gives this date as her birth date. 

See the blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes  posted dated July 18, 2010, July 26, 2010 on the death of Grace. 

In Grace’s father, George’s Civil War Pension file there is an affidavit that he signs and in that record he says that “Gracie” is his daughter and Amarilla is his wife.

Affidavit of Grace's Birth

I have no baby pictures of Grace but I do have a picture of her that I think was taken when she was very young. 

Grace Amarilla Barclay

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For many years I did not know how little baby George died.  I had been to the cemetery and viewed his tombstone next to his father but I didn’t understand why he had died so young?

On my last trip to Minnesota in 2007, I found a brief article in the Brainerd newspaper that described the whole ordeal.

George Alexander was only 18 months old.  He died on the 19th of June 1881 on the way to Brainerd from Pine River.  Apparently he drank  some German Cough balsam that was filled with probably codeine and his little body could not handle the amount of narcotic and he died en route probably in his mother’s arms as George tried desperately to get them to Brainerd and get help.  They were too late.

There is no mention of the death of the baby in the Whipple papers at the Minnesota Historical Society (Methodist Episcopal).  The papers are very difficult to read and I have actually looked at them twice to see if I could make out anything else. 

The article appears in the Brainerd Tribune, Saturday, June 25, 1881 under Local News – Death of Baby George A. Barclay.

1) Mr. and Mrs. G.A. Barclay desire to express their heartfelt thanks to the citizens of this place for their kind sympathy and attentions manifested during their recent bereavement, and for the assistance rendered during the last solemn rites at the funeral of their lamented child.

2) A sad occurrence transpired in the family of Mr. George Barclay, postmaster at Pine River, last Saturday.  Their infant child, about seventeen months old, had in some manner got hold of a bottle of German cough balsam , and drank the whole of it.  No physician being nearer Pine River than Brainerd, Mr. and Mrs. Barclay immediately started with the child for this place. But the effects of the potion were to speedy, as just upon arriving in town the child expired.  This is a very severe blow to the bereaved parents, and the sympathies of the community are heartily enlisted in their behalf.  The remains were interred in the Brainerd cemetery on Monday.

George Alexander is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, MN location:  Center N 1/2 Lot 17 Block 7.  He is next to his father and mother, George and Amarilla Barclay.

George Alexander Barclay

Written on the tombstone for baby George is the following: 

Sacred to the memory George A. infant son of G.A. & A. Barclay died June 19, 1881 1 yr. 5 mo. 9 days.  Underneath this stone do lie as much virtue as could die which when alive did vigor give to us much beauty as could live. 

There is a little lamb on the top of the tombstone.  This tombstone is to the right of the father, George A. Barclay in Evergreen Cemetery in Brainered, MN.

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It was a happy day in Pine River the 10th of January 1880 when George and Amarilla’s son George Alexander Barclay as born. 

On my second trip to Minnesota in July of 2001, I found the actual records of George Alexander’s birth that are mentioned in the “Logsleds…” book.  I did not find the actual quote from Rev. Benjamin Whipple that they feature in the book about the baptism of young George. I did find parish records recognizing the birth of the baby boy.   The collection of the Whipple papers at the Minnesota Historical Society is large and complicated and I have tried at least twice to figure it out. 

Source: “21, baptised George Alexander sone of  Geo A. & Amanda Barclay born 10 January 1880 Sponsors parents, Rev. I.A. Gilfillan at 1/2 ____ house.” (Very difficult to read) (Vol. 10 ,P1035, Box 43 Manuscripts, P.E. Church, Diocese of Minn. Vol 8-16 MHS). 

Source:  Whipple Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths 1859-1895 1 Vol., #142.F.15.3B, Minnesota Historical Society.

Baptisms: August 21, 1880, Pine River, George Alexander Barclay, Parents:  George A. & Ammanda Barclay, Sponsors and witnesses:  Parents and Rev. I.A. Gilfillan.  (Register of Baptisms, Marriages – Whipple Records 142.F.15.3B 1859-1895 1 Vol. – MHS) 

On page 106 first column there is an interesting account of the baptism of baby George in the Logsleds to Snowmobiles book.  This account was taken from The Whipple papers at the Minnesota Historical Society.  

It reads:  “Time evening. Log hotel in the woods, kept by a frontier man and his wife. She is eight miles from the nearest white woman, and between her and Brainerd, 36 miles distant, are just two of her sex. They are happily and contented all alone in the woods with the little infant son God has given them. The Bishop assembles all hands in the dining room and proceeds to baptize the boy. “Name this child,” says the Bishop. “George Alexander,” says the sponsor, the name of the father. “Stop,” says the exulting frontiersman. “George Alexander Barclay,” giving his own name in full. He wished all present and absent to understand that the boy was a Barclay.”

Based on what I have determined, I think it was the Rev. Gilfillan who did the baptism and the journal is housed in the Whipple papers which is a collection of the Rev. Whipple’s. 

There seems to be a little confusion regarding the actions of the father.  The son was named “George Alexander” while the father was “George Angus.”  Did George Angus Barclay name is son after his brother Alexander?

Based on the information from the 1880 census we know that there weren’t that many people in Pine River in 1880 so George and Amarilla were probably far from religious gatherings so they either took this as an opportunity to have their child baptised.  The other possibility is that George was not Catholic.  We see that there are two instances in which George and Amarilla interact with the Episcopal faith, 1) their marriage, 2) the baptism of their child. 

Both Rev. Whipple and Gilfillan are very extraordinary men and no matter which of the two men it was that stopped at the Barclay Ranch is was a major event. 

For Rev. Whipple:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Benjamin_Whipple

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