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Archive for the ‘FAMILY & ASSOCIATE SURNAMES’ Category

George Barclay’s Ranch was smack in a location that required that he have dealings with the railroads. We have seen this before in 1883 when he signed a deed for land.

The Logsleds to Snowmobile book about the history of Pine River mentions the Railroad and the right of way.

When the railroad actually arrived at Barclay’s in August, 1894, the right-of-way divided his buildings with the house and trading post west of the tracks and the hotel to the east.  The Barclay’s eventually donated to the B&NMRy 100 feet on either side of the track on condition that their buildings within the right-of-way be moved at railroad expense.” pg. 110 second column lower right.

There is a deed regarding this very thing dated 24, October 1895.

Right of Way

Right of Way

Source:  Right of way Deed, George A. Barclay and Wife vs. Brainerd & Northern Railroad, October 24, 1895 at 10 am. Book N, pg. #157 #3237, Cass County Courthouse, Register of Deeds, Walker, MN.

Know all [ ] by others presents that George Barclay and Amarilla Barclay, his wife of Cass County, State of Minnesota, for and in Consideration of one dollar with in Law paid by the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the said Company this succession and assigns, a strip belt or piece of land, one hundred feet wide, extending across the following described tracts of land in Cass County, State of Minnesota, described as follows to wit:

Lot No. (6) of Section No. 8, the south east quarter of the northwest quarter (SE1/4 of NW1/4), and the North half of the Northwest quarter (N1/2 of NW1/4) of Section No. 6 – all in Township No. 137 of Range No. 29; and Lot No. Seven (7); of Section No. 21 in Township No. 138 of Range No. 29 hereby conveying a strip of land fifty feet wide on each side of the center line of said Company as now located and established. Including also a strip or piece of land fifty (50 Feet in with, situate and extending along an adjoining the west five of the above described right of way through and across the named tract in the Northwest quarter of Section No. 6 in Township No. 137 of Range No. 29. Said cash [ ] price being in addition of the 100 feet in width of the right of way above conveyed and with Right to said Company its succession and assigns to protect any cuts which may be made on said land by erecting on both sides thereof portable Snow Fences: provided however, that such…

Unfortunately, the 2nd page is missing so we don’t get the whole story.  This happens when you are doing research and having to move real fast.

Several years later, George on 19 July 1897, George entered into a contract with the Northern Pacific Railroad regarding timber.

Made on the 19th Day of July, 1897 between Edwin H. McHenry, Frank G. Bigelow as Receivers of the NPRR and Geo. A. Barclay of Pine River, MN, $50.00 to cut and remove pine timber suitable for saw logs on the following lands:  Twp 137, Range 30 etc. Not to include the cutting of Tamarac, Oak or Jack Pine.  Does not prevent the sale of other timber.  Signed by Barclay, Whitesides, Frank Vogel, and the Federal Land agent.

Timber Contract Northern Pacific RR

Portion of the Timber Contract Northern Pacific RR

A copy of this contact was in his Civil War pension file.

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Sometime in the middle of 1897 Dennis McNanny/ie, George’s partner in the early years of the settlement of the Pine River area, died.

Crow Wing Courthouse

Crow Wing Courthouse – National Reg Historic Places

George petitioned the court filing a claim against McNanny’s estate.  He did this on 10 September 1897 and was awarded land on the 27th of November 1897.

Source:  Suit against McNanny estate, (Lis Pendens) September 10, 1897, Crown Wing Co., Minnesota, Vol. Misc. E, pages 121-122.  This suit was very difficult to read, I did my best and hopefully you get the idea:

Notice of Lis Pendens, George A. Barclay plaintiff vs. Heirs of Dennis McNanny - State of Minnesota, County of Crow Wing, In district court, 15th Judicial District

George A. Barclay, plaintiff vs.
Unknown Heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased and all other parties, unknown, claiming nay rights, title, _____, lein or _____ in the real estate described in the complaint herein, defendant

Notice is hereby given, that an action has been commenced in the Court by the above named Plaintiff against the above named Defendants, and the object of said action is _______a judgement and decree of said Court declaring and adjudging the ad___ claim of said unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased and ______ other persons or parties unknown in ______Land hereinafter described ____ void, ____that the said unknown heirs of said Dennis McNanny deceased and all other person or parties unknown and _____ who right Title, Inherit or _______ in claim ____said Land or any ____thereof, that the Plaintiff ______and adjudges ____fee simple absolute of said land ______ whole thereof. and for such other and further relief as ____ Court seems just and proper.

The premises affected by said action an situate in the County of Crow Wing and State of Minnesota ______described as follows to wit:

Lot #6 in the South East quarter of the North East quarter (SE 1/ 4 NE 1/4) of Section numbered Eight (8). The South West Quarter of the North west quarter (SW 1/4 NW 1/4) and the North West quarter of the South west quarter (NW 1/4 SW 1/4) of Section numbered Ten (10) all in the Township numbered one hundred and thirty-seven (137) Range numbered Twenty nine (29) Dated August 31st, 1897.

S.A. Alderman, Plaintiffs Attorney, Brainerd, Minnesota.

George Barclay returned in November 1897 for the final decision.  Again, I had trouble reading the deed:

Dennis McNanncy et all Rgr Court – Geo. A. Barclay
State of Minnesota, County of Crow Wing, District Court, 15th Judicial District

George A. Barclay vs. the unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny, deceasd and all other persons and parties unknown claiming any right, title, estate, lien or interest in the said real estate described herein. Defendants.

This course having been duly brought _______heard before the Judge of said Court at Chambers and it appearing satisfactory to the Court that this Summons herein have been duly served on the defendants herein, that more than twenty days have elapsed since the ______of said Summons and that no ____________ ____________or copy of either has been served upon the Plaintiff’s attorney and that no appearance has been made herein by the Defendants, the unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased or any other defendant and _____ proof having been made after the matter and things alleged in the ___________and the Court having duly counsel ____the same and having made and filed its findings, affacts and ____________________ ____on Motion of A.F. Alderman, attorney for the Plaintiff herein it is adjudged and decreed that the _____claim defendant, the unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased and of all persons or parties claim ____through _________otherwise and the Land herein ______particularly described is void and that the said Defendants the unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased and all persons and parties claiming through or under them or otherwise ____________________title, inherit or estate in or claim ____said Land ______part thereof – and it is further adjudged and decreed that the Plaintiff George A. Barclay the owner in fee simple of the following described land situate int he county of Crow Wing, State of Minnesota to wit:

Lot number six (6) in the south west quarter of the Northeast quarter (SE 1/4 NE 1/4) of section number Eight (8). The Southwest quarter of the northwest quarter (SW 1/4 NW 1/4) and the Northwest quarter of the Southwest quarter (NW 1/4 SW 1/4) of Section numbered Ten (10) all in Township number one hundred thirty seven (137) Range numbered Twenty-nine (29) said land being the same described in the ______account here in _____the findings of said Court. Dated at Brainerd, Minnesota this 27th day of November AD 1897. Samu’l H. Parker, Clerk of the District Court Crow Wing County, Minnesota, By N.A.M. Johnston, Deputy.

Source:  Dennis McNanny et. all vs. George A. Barclay, Suit against McNanny’s estate filed December 6, 1897, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota, Book Misc. E, pages 147-148. 

There is so much more research I could do in court records and deeds regarding my great-grandfather George Barclay.  I wonder if these deeds have something to do with the lawsuit that George was involved in earlier in the year per the gossip column of the newspaper, or is it something entirely separate?  For McNanny a search of court records might be very interesting for any court proceedings involved with his estate and deed research.

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The organization of Cass County and the establishment of Walker as the county seat was taking place but at the same time George Barclay was also involved with business, local events, and family happenings.  I return to the gossip columns in the newspaper and learn that Grace and Amarilla were both mentioned as well.

January 2, 1897: “Mr. Barclay made a flying trip to Brainerd and returned with his wife and daughter.  The later came up to spend vacation.” Grace was sixteen years old at this time.

“Mr. Barclay is still buying ties and is very busy, but his health is not good, as he is lame in his left shoulder. “

January 2, 1897 George is on the move.

January 2, 1897 George is on the move.

Source:  Local News – Pine River, The Cass County Pioneer Newspaper, 1/2/1897 to 6/2/1898,  January 2, 1897

July 1: “Geo Barclay has been down to Minneapolis ever since the 14th of this month. He was down on a lawsuit, which is now over. He returned on the 28th.”

“Andrew Whitesides, Mrs. Mickleson, Phil Reeler, Billy Pickler and The Moose were all down to the city as witnesses for Mr. Barclay.  Miss Barclay was down also.  She returned last Monday.”

“Mrs. Barclay is not feeling very well, but she is still working.”

Mr. Barclay and party including his daughter stopped in Minneapolis about a week.  Miss Barclay took down a couple of her father’s witnesses.”

Source:  Local News-Pine River, July 1, 1897, Thurs, Cass County Pioneer Newspaper. 1/1/1897-6/2/1898.

July 15: “Mr. George Barclay was down to Brainerd Saturday last and reports the washouts as bad.”

Source:  Cass County Pioneer, Jan. 2, 1897 to Jan 2, 1898 – July 15, 1897 Front page, 3rd column at the top. 

Note:  I do not know what lawsuit the gossip column was referring to? I am a bit curious but have not had time to research it.  It would require looking at court documents and that could get tricky depending on which court it was in, state, federal or county? The fact that my grandmother Grace was involved is very intriguing.  If I was to speculate it might have had something to do with the railroad or his past partner?

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Right in the middle of the Cass County organization we find that there is a deed in the Crow Wing County Deed books where George and Amarilla are selling land to a Dennis [Sixton].  This is a form deed that was filled out and is the county clerk’s version of the deed.

George Barclay & wife to Dennis Sixton

George Barclay & wife to Dennis Sixton

This indenture made this 3rd day of May in the year of our Lord 1897, between George A. Barclay and Amarilla Barclay his wife at Crow Wing County, Minnesota part of his of the first part and Dennis Sixton of said County, part of the second part…..

the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter (SE 4 NE 4) of Section Eight (8) in Township one hundred and thirty-seven (137) of Range Twenty-nine (29) and containing forty (40) acres more or less according to government survey thereof.

In the presence of S.F. Alderman, and L.E. [Slerus] signed by George A. Barclay and Ammarilla Barclay.

I, S. F. Alderman…..3rd day of May 1897 personally came before me George A. Barclay & Ammarilla Barclay his wife to me well known as the same persons described in and who executed the deed…they acknowledged that he executed the same freely and voluntarily as his free act and deed. S. F. Alderman, Notary Public, Crow Wing Co., Minn. 

Source:  Deed Book Y, pg. 112 Instrument No. #9727, filed for record 3rd of May 1897 at 3 pm. [A. Mahlum] Register of Deeds, Crown Wing Co., MN. 

When I use the brackets [   ] it means I am making my best guess on the spelling of that word or name.  The other interesting piece of information is that in this deed Amarilla is spelling her name with two “m’s,” and may have signed it that way in the original.

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The railroad had come to Pine River about 1894-95 and George Barclay’s Ranch was right in the middle of the RR’s plans to build.

Clipart from ABKL Designs

Clipart from ABKL Designs

http://abkldesigns.com

On October 24, 1895 a Right of Way Deed was filed in Cass County regarding the land that would be affected by this great event.

Source:  Right of Way Deed George A. Barclay & wife to Brd & Nor Minn Ry Co., Cass County, Deed Book N, pg. 157, #3237

Right of way Deed Filed Oct. 24, 1895 @ 10 am
George A. Barclay & wife to Brd & Nor Minn Ry Co.

Know all [ ] by others presents that George Barclay and Amarilla Barclay, his wife of Cass County, State of Minnesota, for and in Consideration of one dollar with in Law paid by the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the said Company this succession and assigns, a strip belt or piece of land, one hundred feet wide, extending across the following described tracts of land in Cass County, State of Minnesota, described as follows to wit: Lot No. (6) of Section No. 8, the south east quarter of the northwest quarter (SE1/4 of NW1/4), and the North half of the Northwest quarter (N1/2 of NW1/4) of Section NO. 6 – all in Township No. 137 of Range No. 29; and Lot No. Seven (7); of Section No. 21 in Township No. 138 of Range No. 29 hereby conveying a strip of land fifty feet wide on each side of the center line of said Company as now located and established. Including also a strip or piece of land fifty (50 Feet in with, situate and extending along an adjoining the west five of the above described right of way through and across the named tract in the Northwest quart of Section No. 6 in Township No. 137 of Range No. 29. Said cash [ ] price being in addition of the 100 feet in width of the right of way above conveyed and with Right to said Company its succession and assigns to protect any cuts which may be made on said land by erecting on both sides thereof portable Snow Fences: provided however, that such…

George & The B&N Ry Co.

George & The B&N Ry Co.

Unfortunately, I did not get all of this deed and am missing page 2 which would give us the date it was written, who signed it and anymore information that may have been included like moving buildings.  The date given above is the date of recording.  We do get a description of what land was involved in this “Right of Way.”

There is a really nice pictures of the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway engines at this website:

http://www.northerntrackersrrclub.com/history.shtml

Maybe there is someone out there that knows more about this particular railroad.  I find railroad history to be very confusing with all the buying and selling, building of lines and removal of tracks and merging of railroads.  I am not that familiar with Minnesota geography to really understand what they describe in some books etc. So I will defer to those with more knowledge than me.

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About 1895 to 1897 in Cass County the subject of organization of the county of Cass came up.  It was a political hot potato and my great-grandfather. George, joined the fight!

Cass County had gone through a great many changes over the years and now the real fight was taking place.

Photograph on the wall of the Pine River Visitor Center in Pine River, MN

Photograph on the wall of the Pine River Visitor Center in Pine River, MN

The photograph above is of George A. Barclay.  It was given to the Pine River Visitor Center by the Silbaugh’s who own a store there and I bought some T-Shirts and a hoodie.  It is also featured in the Logsleds to Snowmobile book written by Pine River that has given me a starting point for my research.  The picture was taken sometime in the mid 1890′s.

This particular photo of the picture hanging on the wall of the visitor center, was taken by me his great-granddaughter when visiting in 2001.  The visitor center was not open the first trip to Minnesota in 2000.  If you get a chance stop by the Pine River Visitor Center which is out on the highway #371 and take quick tour inside there are lots of treasures there and this photo on the wall. Say “Hello” to John, the man at the counter.  He is a good friend.  If the Train Depot museum is open stop in and look for the plaque I prepared as a tribute to George and Amarilla and their descendants.

Meanwhile, back in 1895 George wrote two letters to the Weekly Journal in Brainerd, MN.  They were featured on the front page of the newspaper.

Jan 24, 1895, Weekly Journal, Front Page, column 3, Brainerd, MN

“Cass County Organization” “A number of people in Cass county are again agitating the question of organization that counts in George A. Barclay one of the oldest residents and largest property owners of that county, is not in favor of organization which would benefit only a few office holders and other beneficiaries. He writes to the Journal as follows:

Pine River, Mnn. Jan 21, 1895
Editor of the Journal
“I notice there is a sober agitation over the question. “Shall Cass County Organize!” and I would like to venture a few remarks. “Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire.” I say “No Cass needs no organization.” We have all the liberty and protection guaranteed to us by the Constitution of the United States. What more do we need, unless it be for show? I have lived in Cass county since 18___ (big black mark covers the date) and my experience proves that we are far better off today than when the county was organized, as it was at one time. My tax receipts show that taxes were at least ten times as high proportionally when we were organized as they are today. Have we any guarantee that organization will not restore the same rates formerly? It is true we are greatly in need of a poor fund, but do we have to organize the county to get it? Do we have to buy all the luxuries of modern life in order that we may get the necessaries? If so, I fear the poor fund will suffer while we are spending our money for a court house and jail, and paying a horde of officers to look after our business, and when we get through there will be nothing left for the poor. We get just as fair assessments as when the county was organized. I have property in both Crow Wing and Cass, and my taxes are only a very small fraction higher than in organized Cass, and in one instance, when the assessor was from the southwestern part of the county they were even higher here than in Crow Wing. What would they be if we should organize? If the western portion of the county wants organization, we will readily grant it, but we will struggle just as hard to join ourselves to Crow Wing as they do to organize Cass. As I said before, we have all the government we need. Our commissioners have always treated one in a gentlemanly manner when I have had business before them. In what way will we be better by organization. We have not the population to maintain a separate organization, even if we do have plenty of pride and manly independence to induce us to do so. There would a court house and jail to build, and a multitude of officers to pay, and the result would be enormous taxation and a heavy bonded indebtedness at a high rate of interest, and we would have no better government than we have now. The men holding office would be benefited, and property in the immediate vicinity of the county seat would be enhanced in value, but all the rest of the county would suffer for it. What we want is a thrifty population , a development of our agricultural resources, and more wealth to support a county government, and we may be assured that organization will naturally follow. Let us not fly until we have few feathers on our wings. We should not jump out of the nest for a hundred foot fall, as we did a few years ago. Respectfully, G.A. Barclay.”

Portion of George A. Barclay's first letter on Cass Co. organization

Portion of George A. Barclay’s first letter on Cass Co. organization

On February 5, 1895 the Cass County Pioneer has an article refuting George’s first letter, pg. 108 2nd column Logsleds to Snowmobiles:

“An article in the Brainerd Journal signed by Mr. Barclay of Pine River would lead one to think that Cass County had not improved any since the time of that “premature organization.” And Mr. Barclay also seems to think that if a county is organized it naturally follows she must follow in the footsteps of Crow Wing County and bond herself for four times what she is worth to build elaborate buildings for which they have but little use.  Now we have a great deal of respect for Mr. Barclay and consider him one of the shrewdest businessmen within our borders, one whose farsightedness has gained for himself much wealth as well as much notoriety whose attendance to business is akin to self-slavery and a lumberman.  This last is sufficient to explain why he desired Cass County to remain unorganized.  It is to his business interests to oppose any such measure and we do not doubt but what he will be a formidable foe to the movement.” 

George’s Letter No. #2

Thursday, March 7, 1895, A Letter from Geo. A. Barclay, PINE RIVER, Minn., Feb 28, 1805

Editor of Journal:  We notice our organization friends are still having their say, one of them intimating that I do not believe what I say, but am simply trying to deceive others.  I suspect it is the deceiver that is throwing stones, but don’t intend to enter into a personal wrangle, and will leave it to the people to decide who is trying to mislead them.

Of course, I am working for my “business interests,” and I believe for the business interests of every man in the county who does not seek office, or expect to live at the county seat.  Increased taxation means increased burdens on the people, and very man should ask himself the questions, “How much will I and my family be benefitted by organization.  What are you going to give me for the increase in my expenses.”  Will it make my farm more fertile, or the rain more sure, or me more economical.  My prosperity depends on these.”

Of course there is good argument in favor of organization.  A home market is a great advantage to farmers.  Judges, lawyers and county officials are proverbial eaters. If we should organize, the judge, half a dozen lawyers and a few county officers with one editor would require an enormous quantity of food, probably as much as 13 cabbages and a bushel of potatoes every day more than are used at present.  Just think of it! 4.745 cabbages every year, one more on leap years, or one for every person in the county!  Farmers near Brainerd and other markets would not be benefitted, however, because very few of them are foolish enough to walk twenty-five miles with a cabbage when they could step out of their doors and sell it for a better price.

And those cheap(?) county buildings?  Every one knows it costs something to build a court house and jail, even if it is a log shack, as our friends propose.  Add to this the little (*) more that our officials would cost thousand costs to have our business done in Brainerd, and the $12,000 that Cass already owes, and then  the on that “sinking fund” and it would sink Cass so deep that it would be several generations before the neighboring counties could inspect our worthy editor’s tombstone.

What the people of the county want is not to bond themselves for these luxuries, but to be a little patient, and our natural advantages are such that we will have neighbors to help share the expense and build something that we can be proud of without having to tag ourselves with a sinking fund. 

In conclusion, let the people watch the way one of our fellow citizens striketh right and left at other editors and county officials, and ceaselessly hunteth for county advertising, and they will call to mind a warning from Scriptures, “The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

G.A. Barclay. 

The book about the history of Pine River gives quite an account of this process of the organization of Cass County starting on about page 108 and going through to page 110.  On page 109 this paragraph appears:

“Under this act, in the fall of 1895, petitions were circulated in the lower half of Cass County for the annexation to Crow Wing County of the 16 townships west of Crow Wing County.  The Brainerd Dispatch reported that “the idea originated with citizens of Cass County.  Fully two-thirds of the actual bona fide citizens have already (by October 1) signed the petition.” 

George Barclay apparently at first was not actively involved in the petition movement as he was opposed to any form of organization of Cass County. ”  

On page 110:

Meanwhile on February 23, 1897, Cass County was officially organized and in the organization the disputed portion annexed to Crow Wing County was, by design, included as part of Cass County.  The lumber interests as well as George Barclay by this time were concerned over the possibility that the 1895 annexation law might be employed to divide up Cass County altogether (Hubbard County already had annexed part of Cass County).  Pat McGarry, an anti-lumbering “progressive” who was just beginning what was to be a long and colorful political career, lead the fight against the organization plan calling it “A trick of the Walker-Pillsbury forces.”  

This fight was carried to the state legislature and was finally resolved. A person could spend a great deal of time learning about the organization of Cass County, Minnesota but I really don’t have time and there are those who are more informed than myself.

However, the next fight was where would the county seat be?

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The time had come for Cass County, Minnesota to organize and become a real county.

Cass County was created on September 1, 1851 by the legislature of the Minnesota Territory. It was not formally organized until 1897. Cass County was formed from portions of Dakota, Mahkatah, Pembina and Wahnata Counties. The county was named in honor of Lewis Cass.[4] In turn, before formal organization, land from Cass County was split off to form other of the surrounding counties.

Source:  Online at Wikipedia – Cass County, Minnesota

Cass Counties timeline

Cass County’s timeline

The Cass County Government website has a nice history of Cass County Government.  It didn’t have officers till 1872 and the boundaries where sliced off over the years by other counties – see the above timeline.

http://www.co.cass.mn.us/index.html

http://www.co.cass.mn.us/government/gov_home.html

The book:  “Cass County Heritage,” by the Cass County Historical Society, 1999 has several pages of the history of the county, Chapter III, page 15 to 23, and goes into more depth. This book can be located by using WorldCat to find it in several libraries.  I tried to find it at the Minnesota Historical Society but was not getting a hit.  They usually have these types of books in their reading room.

In Chapter III, they describe the organization of Cass County and Crow Wing County’s maneuvering to take more land from Cass before it did finally become a county.

Cass remained part of Crow Wing until the re-organization in 1897.  In 1897 Walker was made the county seat but before that it was West Brainerd where you went to do business.

Like all political events the organization of Cass County, Minnesota in 1897 was of great interest to the inhabitants, businessmen and more. My great-grandfather George Angus Barclay was against the organization of the county and wrote several articles for the newspaper which I will feature in the next post.  Here the Weekly Journal makes a comment about the 2nd letter.

Weekly Journal News Feb 1895.

Weekly Journal News Feb 1895.

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George, Amarilla and their daughter Grace are featured in the 1895 census for Minnesota.  The 1880 U.S. Federal Census was rather vague and the 1885 spelled names wrong so this 1895 census was the only one that showed them together as a family.  I have posted about George the census in past posts.

A portion of that 1895 Minnesota State Census for Pine River

A portion of that 1895 Minnesota State Census for Pine River

Here is the 1895 Minnesota census:

Line 13, Barclay Geo. A, age 51, born in Conn., occupation [Lumberman], 12, sold, no, no, no. Barclay, Ammarilla, 37 years born in Iowa. Barclay, Grace A., 13 years born in Minn. 

 Source:  Geo. Barclay Family, 1895 Minnesota State Census, Twp. 137 Range 29W, Cass Co., Minnesota, Schedule 13 pg. 1,  FHL #0565765.  

When I went to source this census, I had a bit of a fright because the actual page looks like Twp. 127 rather than Twp. 137.  I therefore went to Family Search and double checked the film number to make sure I was not wrong.  I am happy to report that I am now correct with both FHL and Ancestry.   When I first started doing genealogy I was not very good at sourcing so a lot of the older research needs updating.  I do remember looking at the film for this particular census and probably doing that research at the Minnesota Historical Society at that time using film.

George’s brother Alexander Barclay was living in Dakota County.  Let’s see what was happening with Alex

6th line down: Barklay, Alexander A. 52 years, Male, White, born Conn. 40 years in area, 4 years?, farmer, 12, sold, yes, yes, yes.

Below him is Giles, Fannie B. 73 years old, female, white, born Mass, housekeepr, 12, no, no, no.

Source:  1895 Minnesota State Census, page 3, Lakeville Twp., Dakota Co., Minnesota, P.O. Farmington.

His father John Barclay was still living in Scott County with his wife Ellen/Helen and son Charlie

Family #54:  Barclay, John, age 94, male, white, born in Scotland, Resident of state 45 years, 45 years in enumeration district, occupation none, mother and father both of foreign birth.  Barclay, Ellen, age 65, female, white, born in Norway, both parents of foreign birth.  Barclay Charlie, age 35, male, white, born in Minnesota.  In state and enumeration district 35 years, a farmer, employed 12 mos of the year.  Both parents of foreign birth.

Source: 1895 Minnesota State Census, Eagle Creek, Scott Co., Minnesota, pg. 2, schedule #5, enumerated on 10 June 1895, FHL#565810.

This will be the last census that George (died 1898), Alexander (died 1905)  and John Barclay (died 1897) all appear in.  Even though Alexander lives till 1905 I have not been able to find him in the 1900 census nor the Minnesota state census of 1905.

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My family has not always been easy to trace and doesn’t show up in published works as much as I would like.  Once in a while I get lucky.  George A. Barclay appears in the article “Homes for Settlers in Northern Minnesota,” in February of 1895 of the Northwest Magazine on pages 34 and 35.

As an example of prosperous pioneer life in this region, George A. Barclay settled there in 1873, at Pine River, thirty miles north of Brainerd and in the heart of the region. He entered 6.0 (640?) acres of Government land under the old and now repealed cash-entry system, at $1.25 an acre. He had $50 left and all his other worldly goods he carried in a pack on his back. He hired a Chippewa Indian to help him build a log house the first in that region. It is still standing in good condition. The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota track runs between his old home and the log barn on the left. Mr. Barclay has now ninety acres under successful cultivation; he has a good store, doing a business, as shown by his books, of $3,000 a month, and he has just completed a new hotel and store building. His property is now worth $18,000 or $20,000.”

A portion of the article about George Barclay's Ranch

A portion of the article about George Barclay’s Ranch

Of course, this article was written to attract other settlers to the area.  I am guessing the Chippewa Indian was McNanny/Nannie.  The article included a picture of George’s Ranch.

George's Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

George’s Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

Source:  “Home for Settlers in Northern Minnesota,” Northwest Magazine, Feb. 1895, Vol. 13 #2, St. Paul, MN

Compare the above picture with this photograph of George’s Ranch in the Logsleds to Snowmobiles book.  Permission given by the town of Pine River.

This is where my grandmother Grace grew up.  Do you see a little girl with pigtails running around and possibly a dirty face?

Barclay's Ranch in Logsleds Book

Barclay’s Ranch in Logsleds Book

When I was traveling in Minnesota in 2001, my goals was to seek out museums that might show me a little of what life might have been like for my great grandparents, George and Amarilla, and their daughter Grace.   So I took out a Minnesota Historical Society membership and it gave me access to several of their historic sites such as the Harkin Store in New Ulm:  http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/harkin-store  This store is a living museum set in 1870 which is close to the time frame of George’s first trading post but I lean toward his later store.

This store seemed very well stocked, with a stove in the center and some chairs.  It also had a mail center (George was postmaster for a time) and a bulletin board.  Did great grandfather’s store look like this or was it totally different?  Somehow I think that his very early store was probably a little cruder and there was the smell of liquor and cigars? He did have to bring goods from Brainerd or trade with the Indians.  When Amarilla joined him in 1878 things might have gotten a little more organized and cleaner, maybe?

Harkin Store

Harkin Store

Warm yourself by the stove

Warm yourself by the stove

I was also curious about their living quarters what would it have been like.   My travels took me to the Cross Lake Historical Society and Pioneer Village:  http://www.crosslakehistoricalsociety.org/  It was wonderful and I highly recommend it.

Cabin at Cross Lake Historical Society 2001

Cabin at Cross Lake Historical Society 2001

If you compare the two photos above of George’s ranch you see the outside of the buildings and these cabins look similar.  Below are two photos which show a little of the interior of the cabin.  In this cabin they had everything.  The kitchen, dining area, laundry area and sleeping area.  Did my great grandfather’s cabin look like this one?  With the addition of the Barclay Hotel, things might have changed a lot.

The Interior with a bed, dishes, rugs and more.

The Interior with a bed, dishes, rugs and more.

More of the interior with a stove and a wash area.

More of the interior with a stove and a wash area.

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Life in Pine River in the Summer of 1894 was filled with many activities  such as the coming of the railroad, George Barclay’s travels to Brainerd and beyond, the GAR celebrations, and the 4th of July celebration in Pine River.

While all this was going on, George A. Barclay had time to plan and recruit a contractor to build his new hotel, store  and saloon.

George Barclay has let the contract for the building of a new saloon to White & White of Brainerd. It promises to be a fine structure, having a glass front and being two stories high. Guess George intends starting the boom himself.  

Source: The Brainerd Tribune Local Pine River news, July 7, 1894, Minnesota Historical Society Newspaper Collection.

Another source gives this detail about the contract for the hotel:

On June 29, 1894, George Barclay contracts with I.U. White of Brainerd to build a hotel, store and saloon all in the same building. The Hotel Barclay or Barclay House was also known as the “White Elephant.” It burned in December, 1915, in a fire that threatened all of Pine River.

Source:  Cass County Heritage 1897-1997, pg. 55, Cass County Historical Society, Walker, MN

George Barclay is shipping up lumber to build his new saloon and store.  

George Barclay went to Brainerd last Monday night.  

Source: Brainerd Tribune, Local Pine River news July 14, 1894.  (Monday in 1894 is the 9th of July)

George Barclay returned from Brainerd last Monday night accompanied by Miss Barclay. 

George Barclay intends to commence building his new building next Monday.

Source: The Brainerd Tribune, Local Pine River news,  July 21, 1894.  (Monday in 1894 would be the 23rd).

If I have calculated this correctly, George started building his new hotel about July 23, 1894.  On a visit in 2007 to Pine River, I went to the town hall and inquired if they might have old Barclay Hotel building plans but was told “no.”  The hotel did burn down in 1915 and I will post about that in the future.  I am sure a lot documentation was destroyed when the hotel burned.  I also tried to find I.U. White of White & White who was the contractor but so far I have not been successful.

The Barclay Hotel

The Barclay Hotel

NOTE:  I obtained permission of the town of Pine River to post this photo of the Barclay Hotel as found in their book about the history of Pine River:  “Logsleds to Snowmobiles 1973.”

“The years 1893 and 1894 saw the building of the railroad through here, at that time called the “Brainerd Northern.” The same year brought the first frame building of any importance, the Barclay Hotel. This was a large building, painted white and by some with less vision than Mr. Barclay, it was known as the “White Elephant.” However, the years following proved that his judgment was good as this stopping place enjoyed a wonderful patronage for many years.

Mr. Barclay also built a large store building on the corner where the Fraser building or Locker Plant now stands, where they conducted a general store until he was shot and killed while sitting in his office smoking a cigar in October 1898.”

Source:  Early History of Pine River, pg. 2-3, 1973, Bicentennial Issue, Pine River Journal, Pine River, Cass Co., MN. 

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