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Archive for the ‘Mary Spracklin’ Category

My Aunt Miriam had a letter in her possession which was in rather rough condition.  As I read this letter I realized that it was written by my great great grandmother Elizabeth (Keller) Spracklin.  I then turned it over and to my surprise there was another letter written by Daniel D. Spracklin to home.  

I do not know if this letter was ever sent and how it got into my Aunt’s possession?  I have very few personal items from my family so this was amazing to hold in my hands.

Please note that for safe keeping the letter was separated gently. It was actually 2 pages connected together. There are two letters and they filled up both sides of the paper.  On one side was a letter from Daniel and then on the other side was a letter from Elizabeth. 

I share these letters here because they are so precious and need to be seen by others who are members of the Spracklin and Keller families.

Someone put tape in the center to hold it together.  This is a very bad thing to do.  Cellophane tape is corrosive.  This has obscured and made it difficult to figure out what was written where the tape covers.  Several cousins have tried to help interpret the letters.    

In transcribing the letter I tried to follow their use of English and their spelling.  The following is the best effort of myself and several cousins’ who I sent the letter to.  Scroll below for a copy of the actual letters.

First is Elizabeth’s letter:

January the 7: Dear Sister I take my pen in hand won (se) more tu let you now that we are all well tu day and du hope these few lines may find you tugging the same blaessing you would then that I was well if you guest seen what I had dun tu day I have washed and chicend and I scronbd and backed I hav good helth this winter we had a vary pleasnt winter her we have (covered by tape and cannot read) ___________________________of Caroline getting married yet I hope She has got a compain that they can liv hapy I wish them good luck and mutch happiness now Ammarila burrow for the bard I wonder in my giserd if you are ajonta futufabar and cum out tu Iowa or will you bee like the rest Can’t beeve many yet or will you squatt down on daddy back plase I am a bout tu think that you are all agon to stay there tu get har and I would like tu be thare wih you and hav a good visit witch snow I could if I was thre I would like tu curn home with my little Henrey and Mary and see you all and cum back home again tu Iowa I would mutch rnther liv in Iowa then in Ohio but I would like tu hav you all cum out here and live I know that you could make alivin easer then you can thare Mary can run and play out adores with Henry they hav grate times She can say mama and build and pah a good many things Pare & Son _____she looks like vina little girl (tape has stained the page and can’t read the works) ______________________________bin inviting I hav knit mine lace of ____for tu Sell igot a half a dolar a pare I have got dun purty nice a knity and then ma I peese ____ quiltg if I can I must beve sum came for ___tu rite sum I wish you would rite oftener and tell mother tu rite and Caroline I Should like tu here a word from hur giv my lov tu all my brotherss and Sisters and pap and mother and Susn your self tell Peter that I an see him ___ but not ___ He could not have sent me eny thing that I like tu see so well E.S A E.

Daniel’s letter:

January 18, 1858: Good morning it is a rany morning We are all well and I hope that you are all well Well paw I reckon that you are most redy to sell out and leave them Clay nobs and Come whare land is rich and easy tended it and more than a bout half the work to tend a crot here that it is their and more sure Just come out here and see for your self and not always set to home and study about it times is dull here at present evry thind is low that the farmer has to sel for their not mutch money ___ it been failed last year (tape has been added and it has made it difficult to read the lines) __________________________________________________________________then to help it on money went down so that it makes money maters purty Clost but times is a mending a liddle we have had the best winter weather that I ever saw – turn over to the other side.

Well Peter ireckon you have a good crop this year and are a getting ritch so fast that you hurt me to think of land or my th___ a but coming to see us ______ the and com on iron hos.

 This winter it has bin dry and stil and cumfer table for a bout a six weeks Well Peter you talk a bout going to Mishigan well if I nowed what I new now and had a farm in Mishigan or any other timber and had to go and blear it up or had my Chois to go to a (pracr) cuntry with out eny thing I would to the prar cuntry and I firmley be lieve that I would have an improved farm in the firesir first noro that is just good sens and you would think (tape has been put on this letter and it has obscured the writing) ___ if you ______but ______ well _______________________get___________________tell Caroline ___with her and ________nan match say and give my love to all the folks and tell them to come out and se us no more room goodbye. D.D. Spracklin.

 (There are some fancy swirls and marks indicating something was attached and on the left is written)

 This is some of lury f hare Henery says he don’t wont’ enough tu send his ha___ of

 (On the right side of the letter is written)

 This is sum of Mary 3en hare

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The photocopy of the actual letter is in two parts.  If you laid them out on a table they would be side-by-side and writing would have been on both sides.  Click on the image and it will open into another window.  To get back to this post click your back button. 

Elizabeth's Letter 1858

 

Elizabeth continues 1858

  

Daniel Writes 1858

Daniel's Letter 1858

Daniel's continues 1858

 

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Source:  Letter by Elizabeth and Daniel Spracklin dated January 1858.  This letter was in the possession of their great grand-daughter Miriam McDonald but is now in the possession, as of 2008, of their great great grand-daughter and compiler of this blog.

Some comments: 

Elizabeth wishes her sister Caroline happiness.  Caroline married Joseph Van Houten in 1857.  I visited the Van Houten graves in Ohio in August of 2011.  I knew that they had migrated to Hardin County, Ohio so I made it a point to seek out their place of burial.  They are buried in the Dunkirk Cemetery north of Kenton, Hardin County, Ohio.   The Ammarilla mentioned in the letter is another of Elizabeth’s sisters.   

Daniel refers to a Peter.  I believe it is his older brother he is addressing and not his grandfather Peter who died in 1845? 

If you are wondering where the locks of hair of the two children are, well, they were not attached to the letter and nowhere to be found in the papers that were given to me back in 2008 by a family member.

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In recent published posts I have talked about John Keller and Mary Anne Delano Keller who were Amarilla’s grandparents on her mother’s side. 

Amarilla was the daughter of Daniel D. Spracklin and Elizabeth Keller.  Daniel’s parents were John Andrews Spracklin and Lydia Goss.  Daniel and Elizabeth had 4 children.  By 1860 Elizabeth had passed.  She had died in 1859 just months after Amarilla’s birth.  

Elizabeth Spracklin's Tombstone , Titler Cemetery, Iowa

A thorough page by page search of the Iowa census was attempted but Daniel was not found.  Amarilla does appear in the 1860 Iowa census in Benton County, Iowa but she is not with her father Daniel? She is with her sister Mary and another family.

1860 U.S. Federal Census Family of Shelley/Spracklin Dwelling# 1175, Hse #1217, pg. 178, Roll #M635-325 Iowa & Jasper Co.,  Marengo Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa, National Archives, Alaska-Pacific Region, Seattle, WA. 1175/1217 – Joseph Shelley, 68 yrs. old, male, farmer, $1400 real estate, $100 personal, born in Tennessee. Sarah Shelley, age 48, born in Maryland, Martha Shelley, age 13, born in Indiana, Eliza, age 9, born in Indiana May Sprackling age 4, male?, born in Iowa, (A)melia age 1 yr., female, born in Iowa

It is my belief that this is Mary and Amarilla even though the spelling is different.  The ages are correct and the location is close.  As for the Shelley family, I do not know what their relationship to Daniel maybe.  The Spracklins and the Kellers are large families and this could easily be relatives that I do not have knowledge of.  They could also just be neighbors and friends helping out.  

The other interesting fact is that Henry, the older brother is also displaced and living with another family in 1860.  In this case it is his Aunt Olive a sister of Daniel’s.

 W. P. Merifield Family, 1860 U.S. Federal Census Leroy Twp., Benton County, Iowa, Reel No M653, # 311, Page 162. Merifield, W.P. 29 farmer 800, 300, born in Ohio, Olive 27 yrs. born in Ohio, Lydia 7 yrs. born in Iowa, Corista 2 yrs born in Iowa, Spracklin, Henry 7, born in Ohio.

There is no sign of Amarilla’s father.  I did a house by house search of the township and there were lots of houses that were empty.  I even searched in Ohio to see if Daniel had gone back to his home in Knox County, Ohio because his father John Andrews Spracklin had died in 1862.  I cannot find him. 

Benton County 1872

So the death of Elizabeth Keller Spracklin in 1859 really created a temporary scattering of the family of Daniel D. Spracklin at that time.  There does not appear to be any evidence that he joined the fight and enlisted in the Civil War.  

By 1870 Daniel is back in the census and he is remarried to Sarah.  He has Henry and Amarilla with him from his first marriage.  Emily is Sarah’s daughter from her first marriage. Sister Mary died on the 27th of September 1861.  This death must have affected Amarilla even though she was very young.   

By 1870, Sarah and Daniel have started to have a family of their own.  The other children: Lydia, Birdie H (Virda), Reed A. are of the 2nd family.

Daniel D. Spracklin Household, 1870 U.S. Federal Census LeRoy Twp., Benton Co., Iowa,  June 17, 1870, Post Office is Blairstown, Page 18. Line 34, 123, 122, Spracklin, Daniel, age 40, male, white, famer, $3300, $700, born in Ohio, father and mother of foreign birth, citizen of US.  Sarah,  34 yrs., female, white, keeping house, born in Indiana.  Henry F. 17 yrs., male, white, born in Ohio.  Emily,  13 yrs, female, white, born in Indiana.  Ammarilla, 11 yrs., female, white, born in Iowa.  Lydia M., 5 yrs., female, white, born in Iowa.  Birdie H., 4 yrs., male, white, born in Iowa. Continued page 19:  Reed A., 1 yrs., male, white, born in Iowa.  Henry, Emily, Ammarilla, Lydia attended school within the year. 

There are other names listed under the notation for Daniel in 1870.  Nelson, Peter 26, farmer with 600 value of personal estate from Denmark, Nelson, Hardie 26 keeping house, from Denmark, Nelson, Andrew 1 yr. born in Iowa, Nelson, Peter 5/12 yr. born in Iowa, all have parentage that are foreign birth, Frederickson, Ann 8, from Denmark, Anderson, Peter 23, laborer Denmark, both with parentage foreign.

Daniel remarried on 21 November 1863 to Sarah Blacketer Allgood in Marengo, Iowa Co., Iowa.  He is still living in LeRoy Twp. in Benton County, Iowa but that will change.  Amarilla was 5 years old when he marries Sarah.  She may be young but old enough to know that something has happened. 

Daniel's Land in Leroy Twp., Benton County, Iowa

In the closeup of the Benton Co. Atlas Daniel’s land is in two parts of 40 acres each.  There is a double line almost in the middle and Daniel’s land is on the left of the line under the School.  There is a dot showing this piece of land.  The other land is to the right on the other side of the double line with another dot next to a Case and below A. Justus.  Which piece of land Daniel had his house located on is not known.  This is why Amarilla’s great-granddaughter, the writer of this blog, believes she was born nearer to Blairstown.  Daniel did not move to Iowa County, Iowa 20 miles south till after 1872.  Amarilla was born in November of 1858.

If you go back to the 1856 Iowa State Census you will find interesting things going on.   Daniel is not mentioned in published indexes for this census but he is definitely there and he and Elizabeth and their son Henry are living next to Blacketers, and Daniel’s sister Olive Merrifield and her family.

1856 Iowa State Census

So Amarilla’s beginnings are a bit precarious.  She looses her mother at a very early age, a sister dies and she is separated from her brother and father for maybe a year or two?  Then her father returns to marry a stranger.  This is a lot for a 5-year-old to take in.

Miriam, Amarilla’s granddaughter writes:  “Amarilla (Ammarilla, sometimes she varied it) belonged to the first family, hated the second and left home.  Supported herself as a seamstress.  Married George Angus Barclay in Brainard, Minn.  He had land…”

Note:  Titler Cemetery is featured on my blog:  BJM’s Cemetery Discoveries scroll to the bottom of this list of posts and you will find the Spracklin stones for Titler as well as some Merifield and more: http://bjmcemeterydiscoveries.blogspot.com/search/label/Titler%20Cemetery

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