Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Grace Barclay McDonald’ Category

Scales of Justice

George Angus Barclay was shot and killed on October 29, 1898 and the trial regarding the murder did not happen until a year and half later, taking place on May 7 and going through till the 16th of 1900!

There aren’t any documents between the release of Andy Hayford in December 1899 until the 4th of May 1900 when Bebo requests that he be granted counsel for the charge of Murder in the 1st degree.  He had no money and had been incarcerated for quite some time.  A. H. Hall was assigned his defense attorney by the court.

Hall filed a three page  brief in it where he complains that the Sheriff created 2 jury panels and interviewed people.  The clerk was supposed to create the juries.  He said that the handwriting was not the clerk’s.  He went on to say that the Sheriff would erase a name if he didn’t like what the potential juror said.  Hall stated that at the beginning of the year a jury pool is created and there are plenty of people, therefore the Sheriff didn’t need to get a jury together.

As far as I can tell there are no documents or maybe one or two that survived from the trial.  There is a Director Examination of  J. Deperrold and a testimony of Ed Mahon but I cannot be sure they are from the trial.  It does read on Mahon’s papers called as witness on the part of the State, being duly sworn…no dates are on these documents.   These documents are done in a question and answer style which makes me think they are part of the trial.  There is a handwritten document about various testimonies which is extremely hard to read but it may be another of Hall’s writings.  There is a platte map of Pine River that was used probably in the inquest, grand jury proceedings and trial.  It has historical significance for Pine River because it shows where the buildings were.  It was used to show how long it would take to get from one building to another.

I think that the newspaper pretty much sums up the trial and what happened.  Can you imagine sitting in the courtroom and watching this event unfold.

Murder Trial Events 1900

Murder Trial Events 1900

The Cass County Paper, Front Page, Vol. 7, No. 18.

Murder Trial – Bebo Found Not Guilty

“When the trial of Louis Bebo for the murder of Geo. A. Barclay was called on Monday the 7th day of May speculation as to the outcome ran high.  To accommodate the crowd, the court was held in the Opera House and that was crowded in spite of the intense heat.  The case was opened by the State’s Attorney Hon. B.F. Hartshorn abely assisted by Hon. C.C. McCarthy, of Grand Rapids, while the defense was conducted by G. W. Hall, of Minneapolis.  The evidence adduced against the accused was very pointed and abely presented  but was met in a masterly manner by overwhelming evidence.  The jury was drawn with great care, over 150 men being called before twelve men could be found suitable to act.  The case went to the jury on Tuesday, the 15th day of May at five o’clock p.m. and  the jury remained out all night and until 11:30 a.m. of the following day when they bought in a verdict of not guilty.  

There is a pathetic side to this case that is very touching and sounds like a dime novel yarn.  When Geo. A. Barclay was shot down by some dastardly coward a year ago last fall Bebo was suspected of the crime and close watch was placed on him which resulted later in his arrest and a hearing before Justice Sundberg where he as acquitted for lack of evidence.  Later on more evidence was found that seemed to prove his guilt and he was indicted by the grand jury a year ago.  Since that time he has been in close confinement in the county jail of Hennepin county and during this time two of his children have died and he was kept in total ignorance of the fact until he was brought here and placed on trial for his life.  A brother of Bebo was here to attend the trial and had manfully supported the prisoner broke down and wept like a child when the words “Not Guilty” fell from the lips of the judge.  

He was taken in toe by his attorney, shaved, wined and dined and started south the next morning in company with his wife and brother.  A great mistake has been made and no one realizes this more than do the officers of the law who were led by the combination of circumstances to believe in the guilt of the accused.  In fact we have heard Sheriff Hardy remark that as badly has he deplored the error, such had been the circumstances surrounding the case that if ever he was again placed in the same position he would be compelled to act just as he done on in this case.  The county attorney has been hard-worked during the past three weeks but has met half way every emergency. One, instance of his untiring zeal in behalf of the state was made manifest last Tuesday when he represented the state in the case against Geo. Franklin before Justice of Peace A.A. Oliver.  This case was called in the evening and lasted several hours, being a jury trial, yes we owe Hon. B.F. Hartshorn a vote of thanks.”

You can see Mr. Hartshorn’s tombstone and a brief biography of him at Find A Grave.  He is buried in the Motley Public Cemetery in Todd County, Minnesota.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37482142

“Verdict of Not Guilty, Given in the Case of Louise Bebo at Walker,”

St. Paul. May 16, a special from Walker, Minn. says; The Trial of Louise Bebo for the murder of George A. Barclay at Pine River on Oct. 29, 1898, is ended after occupying the time of the court for over eight days.  The jury was out all night and until 11:25 this morning, when they returned a verdict of not guilty, and Bebo was given his liberty.  Bebo was arrested about 18 months ago on the same charge and discharged at the preliminary hearing before Justice E. R, Sundberg in this village for lack of evidence.  The matter was taken up again by the grand jury a year ago and an indictment brought in against him.  Since that time he has been in jail.  During his confinement two of his children have died and his homestead at Pine River has been taken possession of by another party.  Bebo is generally believed to be innocent and will return to Pine River and endeavor to regain possession of his homestead. 

Thursday, May 17, 1900, Minneapolis Journal, pg. 10.  Minnesota:

“Walker – The jury returned a verdict finding Bebo not guilty of murdering G.A. Barclay at Pine River, October 29, 1898.  The case was on trial over eight days.

Friday, May 18, 1900, The Brainerd Dispatch.  This was almost the same article from the Duluth newspaper with a little more detail in this account.

“Bebo Acquitted, The Verdict of Not Guilty is in Accord with Public Sentiment,”

“A dispatch from Walker on Wednesday says that the trial of Louis Bebo for the murder of George A. Barclay at Pine River on Oct. 29, 1898, is ended after occupying the time of the court for over eight days.  The jury was sent out at 6:20 on Tuesday evening and remained out all night and until 11:25 Wednesday morning, when they returned with a verdict of not guilty, and Bebo was given his liberty.  Bebo was arrested about eighteen months ago on the same charge and discharged at the preliminary hearing before Justice E.R. Sundberg for lack of evidence.  The matter was taken up again by the grand jury a year ago and indictment brought in against him.  Since that time until the opening of court three weeks ago he has been confined in the Hennepin county jail.  During his confinement there two of his children have died and his homestead at Pine River has been taken possession of by another party.  Bebo is generally believed to be innocent and is receiving congratulations on his acquittal from nearly every one in the village.  He will return to Pine River and endeavor to regain possession of his home.”

The news was featured in several other papers Cass Co. Independent Cass Lake Times May 17, 1900 and  the Thursday, May 17, 1900, Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, MN) pg. 2 issue.

I wonder what my grandmother Grace thought about all this?  She may have been grieving not only for the loss of her father George A. Barclay but for the loss of her first-born child who did not survive.  This would have been George’s grandchild.  It was born and died on the 29th of August 1899 and is buried in an unmarked grave at the Evergreen Cemetery with its grandfather George and its baby uncle George A. Barclay.  There would be more children to come.

What happened to Bebo, well life didn’t treat him to well according to an article in the Cass County Pioneer, Feb. 28, 1902, he was judged insane by the Probate Court at Walker and taken to the asylum in Fergus Falls and later transferred to Hastings Hospital were he spent the rest of his life till 1945 and was buried in Osseo, Minnesota.

This murder took place 114 years ago.  The choices that were made that night of October 29, 1898 are now well beyond any resolution or placement of blame even though murder cases always remain open.  All the individuals there that night or those that may have been involved with the murder are all gone now, they all passed on so re-interviewing them would be impossible.  The Barclay Hotel where the crime took place went up in smoke in 1915. The buildings there are gone and it is a totally different town today. The case file is not complete in my estimation so any review or attempt to try to solve this crime would be pretty difficult.  Still, many questions, many theories of what happened but…

The trial was over, the verdict was brought in and Pine River moved into the new century and as they say life went on.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

The death of her father must have been a great shock to my grandmother Grace.  She was only a little over 16 years old at the time of his murder.  I wonder what she might have been thinking.  I have wondered what the news of her father’s death would be like for her.  Things had been tense between them because of Hank Taylor’s interest and then her marriage to my grandfather R.S. McDonald.  George had not been happy and told her so.

Here is a possible scenario:

            R.S. entered the hotel room.  Grace was just finishing tucking her hair into place.  She turned to greet him and stopped short.  R.S. looked at her intently.  “What’s wrong?” she said.  Ronald Sandfield McDonald searched carefully for the words that would tell his lovely new wife of the tragedy that had occurred.  “Well, Mr. McDonald, what on earth is wrong.” She demanded.  R.S. could see no other way but to say the words.  “Your father has been shot.”  Grace looked at him and blinked standing there with a puzzled look at her face.  “Papa, shot? Is he all right?”  R.S. took a deep breath and said:  “No, I am afraid to tell you this, but he died very quickly and suffered little.”  Grace began to sway and R.S. rushed to catch her and gently helped her to the bed.  “This can’t be. Are you sure?”  Grace said.  “Yes, here is the telegram that came just now.”  He handed it to her.  Grace took it into her hands and read it slowly and carefully.  It was from her mother, Amarilla and it asked her to come home immediately.  She held it tightly in her hand and the room was filled with silence. R.S. sat next to her gently comforting her. The last several months since their marriage had been hard but this was totally unexpected and unbelievable. R.S. was the first to break the silence and said “I have made arrangements to get you to Pine River as quickly as possible.  He rose from the bed and went to her suitcase and started packing her things.  Grace sat quietly on the bed, reading the telegram again and again.  Clutching it in her hand.  “Papa, dead?”

            Grace and R.S. said their goodbyes at the Cloquet train station.  “I have some business to finish up and will be going off to the camp.  I will come down to Pine River in a couple of days and be with you.  I am so sorry, Grace.  I wish I could be with you now but Backus has me running.”  Grace smiled gently at her husband. His job as Superintendent for Backus was not an easy one.  Grasping the railing she climbed abroad the train. Feeling a tug at his heart, R.S. watched the train starting its journey.  Leaving her behind was always hard but this was worse.  He turned on his heels and dashed up the street.

            Grace somehow found a seat on the train next to the window.  The train began to pick up speed.  Can’t this train go faster, she thought.  Wanting to get home and find out what had really happened to her father and yet on the other hand a tremendous dread of what was to come engulfed her.  Papa, dead……no it can’t be.  He was just yelling at Yllander a few weeks ago.  Papa always yelled! …

Written by her granddaughter in 2005.  My grandmother had her written compilation “Words of Wasted Moment.” I hope I have done her proud to write this scenario.  See the posted dated September 19, 2013 “1898: Sweet Sixteen – Grace Barclay is growing up. “

How Grace managed to get from Cloquet, Minnesota to Pine River by November 2, 1898 for the Coroner’s Inquest on the death of her father George, is only speculation on my part.  I am convinced she used the railroads to do it. Getting around as a passenger in Minnesota had not been easy but progress was being made by 1898.  She either went to St. Paul and headed for Brainerd where she took the train to Pine River; however, if the railroad was in place from Duluth to Brainerd then she could have gone to Duluth from Cloquet and transferred to get into Brainerd and then headed north to Pine River. Fun to speculate on her route.

The Historical Maps website has a railroad map for Minnesota dated 1900.  Grace was no stranger to traveling the trains.  She had been riding them for years going to school in St. Paul and traveling with her parents.

http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/historicalmaps/us_states/minnesota/index2_1891-1900.htm

Read Full Post »

George's Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

George’s Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

The mist was beginning to form, evening was coming.  It had rained on and off throughout the day. The leaves were falling and a nip was felt in the air.  It was late October 1898.  The train had come in that day.   It always came on Saturdays.  The crowd of passengers it discharged was unusually large that day.  By now, most of them had gone on their way.  Heading home to their farms in the tall pines or out to a logging camp to prepare for the winter logging drive.  The chore boy, McMahon was at the upper barn helping Bebo and his nephew, Deperrold, bed down their horses for the night.  All that remained was to close up the barn and lock the feed box.  A group of hunters had come in that day and were settling in at the station depot.  The smell of dinner coming from Amarilla’s kitchen was on the breeze.  The lights from the Barclay Hotel glowed brightly.  Darkness was settling upon Pine River.

The Barclay Hotel

The Barclay Hotel

George Angus Barclay settled himself in a chair, from this vantage point he could keep an eye on what was happening in his establishment.  He had been tending bar in the saloon while Yllander, the bartender had been on dinner break.  Yllander had returned to his duties.  Good thing, he thought, it would be such a relief to sit down and rest his aching muscles.  He was pleased there was a substantial crowd in the saloon this evening.  The liquor was moving and the profit would be good.  Several of the men were buying drinks for others. Talk filled the air.  He settled back with a good cigar and the smoke from it circled upwards. The evening was going along pretty much like any other Saturday night at the Barclay Ranch.

The Barclay Hotel had three floors.  In addition to the saloon and the kitchen, there was a dining room, a store,  and living quarters for the Barclays.  You could rent a room for the night or as long as you needed.  The gabled roof was black  with shingles – advanced technology for the day. The porch roof extended out and wrapped itself around two sides of the building. The front of the building had a facade with a small portion of gable roof and on each side it protruded out in a straight line creating a wing on both sides.  This gave the building a little more flair otherwise it would have ended up looking like a big huge box.  There was a balcony on the front side and from it hung a big bold sign “Hotel Barclay.”  On the first floor there were two large picture windows in the front flanking a door.  Around the corner and down the side was another door. White sideboards ran all around and it was affectionately called the “White Elephant  This was definitely a big step up from the log cabin George Angus Barclay had built on the South Fork of the Pine River back in 1873.  The Brainerd Dispatch called the structure “as fine a building (as) would be expected in a town of 500 people.”

ColdBloodedMurder - Copy

Clapp was arguing with Barclay about some national political issue and Amarilla, Mrs. Barclay, was in the kitchen going about her dinner chores when the report of the gun echoed out across the night.   Amarilla’s head jerked up from her task and then she heard the commotion in the bar.  Her long dress swished as she swiftly made her way to the saloon where she spotted her husband.  He was crumpled there on the floor.  Something was dreadfully wrong. Someone was yelling “Barclay has been shot!” The men in the bar were running here and there. The tension in the air was sharp.  Pandemonium reigned. Amarilla heard someone screaming and realized it was herself.  Running over to George she knelt down, blood was coming from his neck.

George Angus Barclay tried to raise himself but couldn’t.  The pain was intense, he couldn’t get his breath, consciousness was fading.  He tried to speak “Co…l” came from his lips.  Time had run out for George Angus Barclay.

This man had survived the bloodiest years in United States history – the Civil War.  As a fresh young recruit he an enlisted at Fort Ridgely, Minnesota at the time of the 1862 Dakota Indian uprising. Later he had traveled up and down the Mississippi as a wagoner with the 9th Regiment, Company I of the Minnesota Volunteers.  He had received an honorable discharge and returned to Minnesota to establish a trading post at Pine River.  He farmed with his brother Alexander for a while, but it was not what he dreamed of doing for his life’s work.  He married Amarilla in 1878 in Brainerd. They lost their son George Alexander at 18 months of age in 1881 and the following year 1882, he held his daughter, Grace, in his arms.

Now he lay dying at age 54 and at the top of his life, successful in all he had done since the war.  The Minnesota frontier had only challenged him and pushed him on and he had come to this end on the floor of his hotel on October 29, 1898 at about 7:30 p.m.  Within 30 minutes or less, he was dead.   As he lay dying, Amarilla applied a cold towel to his head, giving him the last few minutes of comfort he would have in his life.

Written by his great-granddaughter, the person writing this blog, in 2005 from court records, newspaper accounts and more.

Read Full Post »

Grace and Ronald's Marriage picture

Grace and Ronald’s Marriage picture

The family lore is that Grace was not strong, but I don’t agree.  She was her father’s daughter and also a little of her mother.  You can see what I mean as you read the following account of the events of the marriage.

Mrs. Grace Barclay recalled says:

I was married the 8th of September in Hudson, Wis., I was at home immediately prior to the marriage.  Came back Oct. 1.  I stayed in Minneapolis from the four to the fourteenth of October. From there I went to Grand Rapids, Minn.  I stayed there a while and went out to a camp for a week, but kept rooms at the hotel all the time.  My husband is superintendent for Backus in the Willow River country.  We were near Cloquet when we heard 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.  He said he would drive across country and will be here tonight,…

My grandmother Grace was 16 years old when she married my grandfather Ronald. Grandfather Ronald was 32 years old at the time. I pondered this 16 year difference in their age when I saw the birth records at the Koochiching County Courthouse in International Falls, Minnesota.  I was looking for my Dad’s birth record and his siblings. I remember saying out loud incredulously:   “Grandpa what were you thinking?”

Grace and Ronald did marry on September 8, 1898 in Hudson, St. Croix County, Wisconsin.  Hudson is just across the state line between Minnesota and Wisconsin and not that far from Minneapolis/St. Paul.  The distance is 29 miles by our freeway standards.  The marriage record is quite odd and very plain.  It has no identifying publication marks stating it is from Wisconsin.  It almost looks like a scrap of paper.  I do have the Wisconsin Vital records application and the envelope this Marriage record was returned to me in.  You will have to take my word that the marriage was performed in Wisconsin.

In reviewing their marriage record we find the following information:

Ronald S. McDonald is the husband, his father is Archibald, his mother is Mary.  Ronald’s occupation is lumberman and his residence is given as Duluth. He was born in Canada.  Grace’s name is written “Gray A. Barclay.” Her parents are George A. Barclay and Amarilla Spracklen.  She was born in Pine River, MN.  They married on Sept. 8, 1898 in Hudson, St. Croix Co.  (I wrote in the state).  They are white. The ceremony was Presbyterian.  The witnesses were Mike Dorgan and Grace & Charles Burnley.  The witnesses were from Hudson, St. Croix Co.  The marriage was registered September 26, 1898 and the parties were sworn.

What do I think about this information?  Well there are a few pieces of information that are very interesting.   The first is that Ronald’s place of residence is Duluth.  I have suspected that he did live there.  The other piece of information is the marriage ceremony was Presbyterian.  Ronald was Catholic.  Grace her religion was unknown.  He basically married outside his faith.  The witnesses are also intriguing because their names are unfamiliar to me.  Their residence is given as Hudson?

My Aunt Miriam, didn’t know when and where her parent’s marriage took place, it has been solved.  The lesson learned is that if you can’t find it in the state they are residing in then try the neighboring states.

I mentioned that the marriages was in secret.  This is true.  Grace’s father George Angus Barclay was not happy about it and threatened to disinherit her.  He said and unkind comment about grandfather Ronald which I will not repeat here. Apparently, father and daughter made up in time.

For more information about this marriage see the blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  Go to the right side of this blog and you will find it listed under BJ’s Family History Blogs.   This other blog goes into detail about the Mac/McDonald side of the family.  The marriage of my grandparents, Grace A. Barclay and Ronald S. McDonald united these two families.  Their youngest son Keith would be my father.

Read Full Post »

Grace, daughter of Amarilla and George Barclay was growing up and in the spring she turned sixteen on April 10th, 1898.

Grace circa 1895

Grace circa 1895

If you would like to learn more about my grandmother Grace Amarilla Barclay McDonald you can go to the blog “The Man Who Lived Airplanes” where I talk about Grace.  This other blog is about her son Keith, my father and his life and the heritage of the McDonald/McDonell side of the family.

http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/

Here are some posts about Grace and her children.  On the right of the above blog is an Archive and you can find the months involved.

  • Grace Barclay McDonald dated May 29, 2010
  • Ronald and Grace: Family Life! dated April 10, 2010
  • Ronald and Grace’s Children dated February 27, 2010
  • Keith’s Parents:  Ronald and Grace’s Marriage! dated January 20, 2010

As a young girl she went to Minneapolis/St. Paul to attended school there.  I have not been able to determine what the name of the school was and I have tried.  All I have found are vague references to Grace being at school or home from school and more.

While going to school Grace wrote in her composition book and titled her work:  Words of a Wasted Moment.  It was filled with poems, stories, home work and tall tales.

Grace's Words of A Wasted Moment - Table of Contents

Grace’s Words of A Wasted Moment – Table of Contents

I had hoped that it would be more autobiographical but it was not.  It was more a musing of a young girl and school lessons.  There is one comment she makes in which she references Ronald (R.S.), her future husband. Here is what she writes.

Words of a Wasted Moment -

All Day Long

I have fussed and fumed and fretted

All the long day through

I have worried puzzled and stormed

And thought of you (Ronald dearest)

 

I am tired now the evening is here

I am glad though all is well

With you my dear whom I’ve

Learned to love so well (better than life)

6 pm  Jan 20, 1897

How my grandparents met is one of great speculation. Pine River was a stopping place and George an Amarilla’s hotel probably brought a lot of traffic.  The train depot was right there so people were coming and going. The travelers were salesmen, hunters, fishermen, farmers, gamblers, railroad men, settlers, agents, government officials and lumbermen.  My grandfather Ronald’s profession was lumberman and actually Superintendent so he may have been looking for lumber sales and places to cut timber or on his way to another location.

Did they met on the train to Minneapolis and St. Paul?  It is possible because Grace was used to traveling the railroads with her parents and maybe on her own.  Or did Ronald come to Pine River to do business with George or other lumbermen?

My grandfather Ronald (R.S. McDonald) was not the only one that noticed Grace.

Hank Taylor came to Pine River about June 28th and was there till around the 5th an 6th of August 1898.  He paid attentions to Grace and she went for a boat ride with him accompanied by her mother, Amarilla.

Can you picture a boat ride?

Can you picture a boat ride?

Mr. Taylor was generally credited with a bad character by many persons and had words with George Barclay.   He had been a prize-fighter and bouncer and possibly a thief.  It was believed he stole a watch. The situation was not good and Grace and her father George had words.  George didn’t like Taylor and ordered him away.  I gave it a try in the 1895 Minnesota state census and then the 1900 U.S. Federal to see if I could find Mr. Taylor but no luck.

Oh my, events are getting very interesting in Pine River!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: