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Archive for the ‘George Angus Barclay’ Category

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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$1000 reward for information.

Gov. Glough has offered a reward of $1,000 for the apprehension of the murderer of Geo. A. Barclay who was shot through a window and killed in his hotel at Pine River on the night of Oct. 29.  Every effort has been made to detect the perpetrator of the deed, but not the slightest clue has yet been found.”

From the Brainerd Tribune, Nov. 12, 1898

This $1000 is a substantial award for 1898 in terms of dollars and would be worth $27,777.78 in today’s dollars.

I was curious about Governor Clough and found this at Wikipedia where they have a portrait of the man.  How does one get a governor to offer such a reward and why?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Marston_Clough and still another link

http://www.mnopedia.org/person/clough-david-marston-dm-1846-1924

The Minnesota Historical Society has an Inventory of his Gubernatorial Records but unfortunately the description does not include anything like offering rewards for information.  It does mention several cases that took place but not G. A. Barclay.

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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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After the Coroner’s inquest returned their verdict of “undetermined” in the death of George Barclay the funeral was allowed to take place:

Minnesota Dept of Veteran Affairs website of Memorials

Minnesota Dept of Veteran Affairs website of Memorials at the State Capitol Complex

“The remains were brought to this city today and were met at the train by friends and Pap Thomas Post No. 30, G.A.R. under who auspices the services were conducted, the murdered man being an old soldier and member of this post.  

The funeral services were conducted at the Episcopal church, Rev. C. F Kite officiating. The remains were interred in Evergreen Cemetery. The deceased leaves a widow and one married daughter to mourn his death.”  From the Cold Blooded Murder article Nov 3, 1898. 

Another version of the funeral:

“The remains were brought to Brainerd on Thursday morning for interment and the funeral took place at 11 a.m. from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rev. C. F. Kite conducting the services.  The members of Pap Thomas Post, G.A.R. and the Women’s Relief Corps, met the funeral cortege at the station and marched with the procession to the church and thence to the cemetery.” From Cowardly Crime article Nov. 5, 1898.

See post dated November 28, 2013 “Cold Blood Murder and Cowardly Crime – November 1898,” for the complete articles.  

Alexander, George’s brother had heard of the shooting.  So he left his home in Farmington, Dakota County, Minnesota to attend the funeral on November 3, 1898. The brothers had served in the Civil War and were G.A.R. (Grand Old Army) members so I know that he would have wanted to attend and be part of the G.A.R. processional.

Source:  Local News – A.A. Barckley started for Pine River, Dakota County Tribune.

A.A. Barckley started for Pine River Wednesday morning to attend the funeral of his brother, who was shot there Saturday.

Alexander attends George's funeral

Alexander attends George’s funeral

The newspaper combined the murder events with the funeral and didn’t prepare a separate article on the events of the funeral of George A. Barclay. Unfortunately the G.A.R. Chapter that George was a member of lost their papers in a fire in about 1910, so I was unable to obtain anymore details on the funeral of George.

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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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