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Archive for the ‘GENERAL Information’ Category

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 acres of Government land under the old and now repealed cash-entry system, at $1.25 an acre.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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More news about the railroad coming to Pine River appears in the Brainerd Tribune for June 9, 1894:

1. George Barclay returned from Brainerd last Friday.

2. The engineers are pretty near through with surveying the line for the new railroad, and work will soon begin. Sooner the better.

3. Last Monday a delegation of railroad magnates called on Mayor Ed Allen to ascertain if the city authorities of Pine River would grant the new railroad the right of way through our main street, where they now have their stakes drove, and after a short council it was granted. Watch our smoke.

4. F. H. Kimball the chief engineer, came up from Brainerd last night.

NOTE:  There is a notation that an F.H. Kimball was the architect for the Reading Railroad’s headhouse terminal in 1891 at Wikipedia was this the same man?

June 16, 1894 the Brainerd Tribune reports:

1. Paddy McDonald, the Duluth railroad contractor, was in Pine River last week looking over the route of the new road.

Note:  According to the Duluth Township Newsletter pg 5, July 2006:

“Paddy McDonald ran the crew that cleared the trees and brush from along the right of way. He was a well-known pugilist (Boxer) who had fought some very noted heavyweight contenders. He was also the man who was entrusted by the railroad to carry the payroll by dogsled from Duluth to Two Harbors and then Soudan before the track was completed to there. Alone and at night, he carried in excess of $16,000 in gold and silver coins contained in a heavy wooden box with lid nailed down. A formidable foe with either deadly weapons or fists, he was a man to be reckoned with. Now he ran the crews engaged in clearing the line.”

2. Mr. Grant, the Faribault railroad contractor, was here last Wednesday looking over the line of the proposed new road.

3. Last Week George Barclay located some farmers from Todd County who are hunting homesteads in Cass county. Emigration to Pine River will soon commence.

4. We will soon have the cars passing our doors now. The last line that was run passes the front of the house so near that its necessary to tear the old house down and build a new one. We’ll build a solid brick block to start the town booming. Hurrah for Pine River!

5. George Barclay returned from a cruising trip last Sunday and says the country is all on fire over toward Woman Lake. He had a narrow escape from being killed by a falling tree whilst coming home.  

Note:  I tried to find out more about this fire but online lead me to the big one that occurred in later in September of 1894.

June 24, 1894 the Brainerd Tribune has these items of interest:

1. George Barclay left last Tuesday for the twin cities and Chicago. He will be gone about two weeks.

2. Mr. Foley, who has the contract for building the new railroad , was here last Saturday.

3. When the new railroad is completed as far as Pine River,  Mayor Ed Allen will issue invitations to all city authorities between here and St. Paul.

Note:  The Minnesota Historical Society  has an excellent newspaper collection and I have visited this archive on several occasions 2000, 2001, 2007.  The Brainerd Tribune was only one newspaper that I studied.  I had prepared a spreadsheet with date events for each person/surname I was targeting.  I had studied the society’s holdings in advance so that I knew which newspapers were at what times and dates.  I was then able to pull the microfilm reels to access the newspapers quickly.  Newspaper research is hard work and takes time, so if you can prepare yourself before going to an archive it helps a great deal to save time.   It doesn’t hurt to practice at home before going on your trip.  Where do they place obituaries and funeral notices, where are important stories placed, what are the sections of the newspaper etc.  Newspapers can add little pieces of information that can make the lives of your ancestors more interesting.  Each newspaper is a little different so you need to take your time and get us to the format when you first begin.  Also the time frame of the newspaper can mean a different focus.  Most newspapers in the earlier part of the 1800’s did not really have obituaries unless you were wealthy and were more business oriented. The gossip columns or the news of different local areas did not show up till about the 1880’s.

So what do you think was George Barclay’s reason to go to the Twin Cities and Chicago for two weeks?  I would love to know why he went on this trip.  I do know that Grace, his daughter was at school in the Twin Cities at the time.  Why Chicago?

The Minnesota Historical Society & Me 2007

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The decade of the 1890’s was going to be a very eventful decade for The Barclays of Pine River!  We begin this decade with George’s father and a Civil War pension.

Sadly the 1890 U.S. Federal Census was burned in a fire in 1921.  At Ancestry.com they have what they call the 1890 U.S. Census Fragment.  All that remains of Minnesota is Wright County:  Rockford.  There are other counties in other states but all total what survives is about 1233 pages?  Ouch!

There is a 1890 Veterans Schedule at Ancestry.com that can help the situation.  This is what Ancestry says about this schedule. 

“This database is an index to individuals enumerated in the 1890 special census of Civil War Union veterans and widows of veterans available on microfilm M123 (118 rolls) from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Although this schedule was to be used to enumerate Union veterans, in some areas, Confederate veterans were listed as well

Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M123, 118 rolls); Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.”

George A. Barclay is not listed in this Veteran’s schedule which only covers Leech Lake and Gull River for Cass County. Gull River is listed as “Grill” at Ancestry.  His brother Alexander is not listed in this Veteran’s schedule.  He is living in The Town of Eureka, Dakota County, Minnesota and that city is not listed either. 

Fortunately Eagle Creek in Scott County is listed and we find George and Alexander’s father featured. It was because of this list I learned that John Barclay did participate as a carpenter in the Civil War for a few short months towards the end of the war.

The top part of the Veterans Schedule for John Barclay:

Top Part of the Veterans Schedule

Zeroing in on John Barclay’s Civil War Service:

John Barclay Entry

Sometime there are remarks written at the bottom about a soldier, here is some information about John Barclay.  It is very difficult to read:

Remarks Veterans Schedule

Hse 57, Family 57 John Barclay, Carpenter Dec 1865 to June 1866, 6 mos. A note down below reads: Was sworn as a carpenter at St. Louis, Mo to serve ___M (quartermaster) at ____, Mo. was discharged at extinction of term.

Source:  1890 Special Schedules of the U.S. Surviving Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, and Widows, etc.  NARA: M123, Roll 23 Minnesota Veterans of 1890, pg. 1, SD 2, ED 177, line 7. FHL#3381823 Eagle Creek, Scott Co., Minnesota, pg. 1, #5757.

This Veterans Schedule for John Barclay lead me to his Civil War pension file which I will feature in the next post.

********

The Civil War Blog post on Veterans Schedules was very interesting.  The focus is about the Civil War in Pennsylvania.  It is very interesting for the author explains how to read the schedule giving examples. There are other topics of interest as well.   

http://civilwar.gratzpa.org/2011/03/u-s-census-returns-1890-veterans-schedules/

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In review, Amarilla had three full siblings from the first marriage of Daniel’s.  Amarilla and Henry survived to adulthood in this family till he was killed in 1892.  Add the seven half-siblings from the 2nd marriage, minus the youngest who died. 

There was more.  Her step-mother Sarah Blacketer  was married before she married Daniel D. Spracklin  in 1863 in Iowa.  Her first husband was Charles Edward Allgood. 

Charles or perhaps he was referred to as Edward, was born on 9 June 1829 in Kentucky and it looks like he died sometime around March of 1861? I have not been able to verify it.  I did locate Sarah and Edward in the 1860 census for Iowa.  They were living in Mahaska County, Iowa.

Source:  1860 U.S. Federal Census for Edward Allgood, Mahaska County, Iowa, pg. 239, Oak Township, August 7, 1860, 1627/1709, Edward Allgood, 31 years, farmer, 310, born Kentucky, Sarah 23, housewife, born Indiana, Emily Allgood, 3 born in Indiana, Phebe D. Allgood under a year, born in Iowa

I descend from the Elizabeth (Keller) Spracklin and Daniel D. Spracklin line.  The first family.  So I really have not taken the time to study Sarah and her family origins.  There are several living descendants of Sarah and Daniel, cousins, that know a lot more and have more on this side of the family. 

What little I do know is that Sarah’s parents were James Houston Blacketer and Phoebe? 

James was born on 6 April 1801 in Virginia and died 16 May 1852 while Phoebe lived from 1801 to 1861.  He married Phoebe on 3 January 1824 in Mercer Co., Kentucky.  James may have married three times to Susanna Hamilton,  Sarah Hammer and Phoebe Romaine/Romine?  Please verify this information for I am not real comfortable with it.   I am questioning the Sarah Hammer part? 

Source:  Kentucky Marriages to 1850, Spouse: Blacketer, James married 03 Jan. 1824, to Romine, Phebe.  Blacketer, James married on 18 Nov. 1820 to, Hamilton, Sarah, Ancestry.com.  

Please note:  Ancestry compiles the information from various sources and then makes a database.  It is wise to check the details of their databases.  You can access Ancestry at your local public library free with a library card. 

I did meet a fellow researcher at the Iowa County Genealogical Society when I was in Marengo, Iowa several years back in 2003 and unfortunately I do not remember her name I was overwhelmed that day.  She was more up on the Blacketers/Blacketeers/Blackaters than I was.  It might be worth it to check with this society and see what they have in their surname files, pioneer files and obituaries and more on this family.  I was there in 2003 and my focus was the Spracklins.  They have moved their office and library from the Marengo Public Library. There is a link on the right side of this blog to this county genealogical society.  Do not confuse it with the state society which is in Des Moines and titled the Iowa Genealogical Society. 

Edward and Sarah married on 25 December 1852 in Rockville, Parke Co., Indiana. 

Source:  Marriages, 1851 to 1860, Parke County, Indiana, Compiled by Mrs. R. E. Bess Ott Swope Chairman of Genealogical records Committee, Estabrook Chaper to the DAR. Edward Allgood to Sarah Blacketer, Marriage Date:  25 Dec. 1852.  Ancestry.com.

They had 4 maybe 5 children of which only one survived. 

1.  John G. Allgood 27 March 1854 to 25 September 1855.

2.  James H. Allgood 3 Mar 1856 to 13 Mar 1856

3.  Emily Jane Allgood born 3 May 1857 in Rosehill, Mahaska Co., Iowa and died 29 October 1925 in Mahaska Co., Iowa.  She married a William M. Gilchrist 28 October 1875 in Marengo, Iowa Co., Iowa and they had 11 children.  Emily was at the funeral of her mother in 1907.  Daniel had to give his approval of Emily’s marriage.  If you see the Gilchrist name it is probably Emily.  More on this family in a later post.   Emily and William had (11) eleven children that I know of.

4.  Phoebe Delilah Allgood was born 18 Jan 1860 and died March 1861.

There might be a possibility of another child:  There is a baby buried in the Titler Cemetery, northwest of Marengo, Iowa.  The tombstone reads:  Daug. of E & S. Allgood, Died May 18, 1862, aged 2 yrs. 4 mos.  

I found this in the cemetery publications and photographs that I have featured on my BJM’s Cemetery Discoveries blog: http://bjmcemeterydiscoveries.blogspot.com/search/label/Titler%20Cemetery 

Charles Edward Allgood has been difficult to trace.  I checked the Iowa WPA Burials and there a many Allgoods in Mahaska County but I did not have enough detail to make a connection, so I do not know who Edward’s parents.  I cannot find probate/estate files in Mahaska Co. in that county.   I did find a James Algood Estate, John H. Allgood Estate and a John E. Allgood estate in the indexes for Mahaska Co., Iowa – Source Probate Records 1844-1899, Indexes 1851-1964, FHL# Probate Indexes #976783, Guardians #976791, Administrators Index 1856-1867 #975994 and Probate Records V. C-D 1860-1865 FHL#976787.  I did not make copies, these are what was in the index only.  No Charles or Edward only was appearing. 

My theory is he is buried with other Allgoods in Titler cemetery north of Marengo?  Some illness was sweeping the country in the early 1860’s and Canada, lots of people lost.  Somehow Sarah had to get from Mahaska Co. to Benton Co. by 1863 to marry Daniel.  So if the baby in the Titler is their child and it died in 1862 maybe Edward is there in Titler without a stone?   

Titler’s cemetery’s records are not in good shape except for the two publications and my photographs of the cemetery tombstones. (See BJM’s Cemetery Discovery link above.) I was informed that there was no platte map found to help identify all those buried there.  A Henry Blacketer is in the 1856 Iowa census living near Daniel and Elizabeth Spracklin in Benton County, Iowa.

I may or may not have this right but I have the following children for Sarah’s siblings it is looking like these might be all Phoebe’s children based on the marriage record I mentioned above and the Blacketer family history PDF link below:   

  1. John Blacketer b. 17 May1827,
  2. Keziah Blacketer b. 22 May 1829,
  3. Mary Blacketer b. 30 December 1831,
  4. James Blacketer b. 1 July 1833,
  5. Sarah our subject,
  6. Delilah Blacketer b. 3 May 1842,
  7. Phoebe Blacketer born 5 May 1844
  8. 1/2 brother (mother Susanna Hamilton?) Henry Baily Blacketer b. 18 Oct 1821 died about Oct. 1866 in Benton Co., Iowa and married a Mary who was born about 1822 in Tennesee.  They had Jarvis R. Blacketer b. abt. 1842 in Iowa,  Thomas I. Blacketer b. abt. 1844 Iowa and Sarah I. Blacketer b. abt. 1853 in Iowa.

I mentioned the 1856 Iowa State Census and that there were Blacketers near Daniel.  Who is this Henry Blackater?  An older sibling or some other connection to this family like the 8th child listed above? 

Source:  1856 Iowa State Census, Benton Co., Iowa

Page. 80 – House dwelling 136, family 142 – D____(Should be Daniel), Spracklin, age 36, male, married, been in Iowa one year, born in Ohio, trade is carpenter. Spracklin, Elizabeth, 25 years old, female, married, one year in Iowa, born in Ohio. Henry Spracklin, 2 years old, male, 1 years in Iowa and born in Ohio.

Page 78 House 136, family 160 – Henry Blackater, 36 yrs old, Male, married, born in Kentucky, 3 yrs in Iowa, farmer, native, may have done military service. Mary Blackater, age 34, female, married, resident in Iowa 3 yrs., born in Tennessee. James R. Blackater, 14 yrs old, male, 3 yrs in Iowa and born in Indiana. Thomas I (J) Blackater 12 years old, 3 yrs. in Iowa and born in Indiana. Sarah Blackater is 3 yrs old, 3 yrs in Iowa and born in Indiana. Susan Woods 14 yrs old living with them and in Iowa 7 yrs., born in Ohio.

Another source is the Ancestor Outline done by Arminda Spracklin, wife of Charles Edward Spracklin, 1/2 sibling to Amarilla. This was given to me by my Aunt Miriam McDonald, sister to my father Keith. 

Page 3 Allgoods

I featured the 3 pages on my blog:  Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio at this link:  http://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/ancestor-outline-by-armindo-spracklin/

I did find an estate or rather a guardianship for a Henry Blacketer in Iowa County!  I think this is the older brother.

Henry Blacketer Estate, Iowa Co., Iowa

 
 

Henry Blacketer Estate page 2

 
 
Source:  Probate File #2865 of Henry Blacketer, June 3, 1865, FHL#988212, Index Vol., 3, pgs. 39, 201 and 257 FHL#988213, Iowa County, Iowa.  As you can see if is more like a guardianship.  I do not know who Polly Gripe is?
 
Below is a PDF is a family outline by Lydia Marie Spracklin Ross, one of Amarilla’s half-siblings.
 
 
The information I have provided most definitely needs to be verified with original records like marriage, death and more.  I wish there was more time and money but I have to decide, like we all do, where my priorities lie.  I present this here in hopes that it might help someone else and if I do have things mixed up by all means please leave a comment or contact me through the Compiler page at the top. 
 
 

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Daniel and Sarah Spracklin by permission

Daniel D. Spracklin married Sarah Blacketer Allgood on 21 November 1863 in Marengo, Iowa Co., Iowa. 

Marriage of Daniel to Sarah 1863

Source:  Marriage Record of Daniel and Sara Spracklin Vol. C 1863-1874, Microfilm at the Iowa Genealogical Society, Des Moines, Iowa. Marriage Record, November 21, 1863. D.D. Spracklin and Sarah Allgood received marriage license November 21, 1863, State of Iowa, Iowa County. I herby certify that on the 22nd day of November 1863. D.D. Spracklin and Sarah Allgood were by me joined together in marriage. Given under my hand the 22nd date of November 1863, D.W. Chance J.P.

 

Daniel & Sarah's Children

Photo:  L to R:  Daniel Goss Spracklin, Charles Edward Spracklin, Virda Huston Spracklin, Peter George Spracklin, Lydia Marie Spracklin, Reed Andrews Spracklin.  I think they look cold.  I would say this was taken about 1908 or maybe 1915???

Daniel and Sarah’s Children: 

1.  Lydia Marie Spracklin was born 12 July 1864, Benton County, Iowa and died the 27th of May 1930 in Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa.  She married Thomas Jefferson Ross on 9 Sept. 1881 in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa.  They are both buried in the Cedar Cemetery, Rinard, Calhoun County, Iowa. 

2.  Virda Huston Spracklin was born 11 June 1866 in Benton County, Iowa and died 15 November 1927 in Woonsocket, Sanborn County, South Dakota.  He married Lillie Mae Amsden on 12 November 1889 in Rockwell City, Calhoun Co., Iowa.  They ar both buried in the Eventide Cemetery in Woonsocket.  I was very excited to see that FindAGrave has a picture of Virda’s tombstone.  I have tried to figure out how I could visit. 

3.  Reed Andrews Spracklin born 24 August 1868, Benton Co., Iowa and died 18 July 1938 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana.  He married Julia Ann Siler on the 29th of December 1897 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.  They are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, Montana.  Reed was the administrator of his father’s estate.  I have visited his granddaughter Bertha Spracklin Roufley on several occasions and learned a great deal about Reed. 

4.  Daniel Goss Spracklin was born 21 Sept. 1870 in Benton Co., Iowa and died the 8th of August 1927 in Calhoun Co., Iowa.  He married a Susan Matilda Marrow on the 29th of January 1907 in Iowa Co., Iowa.  I do not yet know where Daniel is buried. 

5.  Peter George Spracklin was born the 31st of August 1872 probably Iowa Co.  His father Daniel had moved the family from Benton Co. to Iowa County and 20 miles south and it was about this time that he made that move.  Peter died on the 26th of January 1956 in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania.  He married Etta Mae Hall on 1 January 1896 in Calhoun Co., Iowa but that marriage didn’t last.  Peter has descendants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and I have had the great fortune to meet them while traveling in Ohio in 2011. 

6.  Charles Edward Spracklin was born the 19th of September 1874 probably in Iowa County.  He died on the 10th of September  1946, Deerfield Township, Cass County, Minnesota and is buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery, McKinley Township, Cass County, Minnesota.  He married Arminda Victoria Ward sometime in 1915 in Pine River, Cass County, Minnesota.  I have been to the graveside of both Charles and Arminda. 

7.  Alfred Marion Spracklin was born 16 July 1876 in Iowa County, Iowa and died Dec. 12 1893 in Iowa County.  He is buried with his parents in the Community Cemeter east of Millersburg.  There is some confusion in the published cemetery records of his exact birth date.  Some say it was 1899 but I believe it was 1893.  More on Alfred in a future post.

Each one of the children of Daniel and Sarah and has a great story to tell.  One of my biggest problems in tracking the descendants of Daniel and Sarah was that most left and lived in other parts of Iowa or headed for the Dakotas, Minnesota, Oregon, California even some went back to Pennsylvania.  By the time of Daniel’s death  in 1915 they had scattered.  Spracklins are a restless bunch and they don’t like to leave records unless you are willing to dig for them. 

I pause to give a great deal of credit to my whole and half cousins who have helped me to learn more about each one of these families, the first and the second of Daniel’s.  I am grateful for their passion and willingness to share.   Of course my interest tends to lean toward the first family so forgive me if I error or fail to present all information. 

Note:  The two photographs were given to me by my cousin Gloria Spracklin Spinler  Gloria Stocker Spinler a great granddaughter of Reed Spracklin. She gave me permission to share.  Her Aunt Bertha helped to clarify and confirm correctly, who the persons in the photograph were.  Reed was her grandfather.

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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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The partition deed of John and Mary Keller’s land featured in the post dated October 8, 2011 “Partition Deed:  Morrow County, Ohio 1884,” connects Amarilla to the Keller family. 

To understand Amarilla you have to understand that she was part of a very large family, actually two, as well as extended families of Keller and Spracklin.  Her father Daniel D. Spracklin married twice as I have indicated in past posts.  So Amarilla had full and half siblings.  

Daniel marries Elizabeth 1852

Daniel’s married first to Elizabeth Keller and they married in Morrow County, Ohio on the 28 December 1852 (another source as their marriage 1 Jan 1853).

By 1856 they had migrated to Benton County, Iowa and settled there.  Sadly Elizabeth Keller died the 10th of March 1859 just months after she gave birth to Amarilla.  Amarilla never knew her mother having been born the 18th of November 1858.  She was just a baby!  This marks the first tragedy that my great-grandmother Amarilla experiences in her life. 

Elizabeth, Oliver and Mary's Tombstone, Titler Cemetery, Iowa

Let me describe Daniel and Elizabeth’s family of which they had four (4) children.  Only 2 survived to adulthood, Henry and Amarilla:

1.  Henry Franklin Spracklin b. 13 September 1853 probably in Toledo, Ohio as his parents began their journey to Iowa.   He married Elizabeth Downey 16 November 1875 in Keokuk County, Iowa.  He died 22 June 1893 in Davenport, Iowa in a lumber mill accident leaving 9/11 children.  He was listed as a grantor in the partition deed along with his sister Amarilla Barkley.  It placed Henry in Muscatine County, Iowa in 1884. 

2.  Oliver Solomon Spracklin b. 18 October 1854 based on the U.S. census.  He was probably born in Iowa.  He died 10 September 1855. He is buried in Titler Cemetery northwest of Marengo, Iowa with his sister Mary and mother.

Oliver's separate stone!

3.  Mary Ellen Spracklin born 17 August 1856 in Iowa and died 27 September 1861 in Iowa.  Mary is also buried in Titler Cemetery with her brother Oliver and mother Elizabeth. 

Mary's inscription on the main tombstone

4.  Amarilla Grace Spracklin was born 17 November 1858 in Benton Co., Iowa and died in Pine River, Cass County, Minnesota 10 August 1942 under the married name of Urton.  She is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, Minnesota near her first husband George Angus Barclay. 

My Aunt Miriam had in her possession a letter written by Elizabeth on one side and on the other a letter written by Daniel dated January of 1858.  I will share that with you in the next post for it further connects Amarilla to the Keller family. 

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Sources

Ancestor Outline by Armindo Spracklin featured in the posted dated August 5, 2011 “Ancestor Outline by Armindo Spracklin,” on my other blog:  Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio.  This outline was given to me by my Aunt Miriam. Armindo was the wife of Charles Edward Spracklin, one of Amarilla’s 1/2 brothers.

Family History Notes of Miriam McDonald, grand-daughter of Amarilla Spracklin Barclay, approximately 8 pages.  There is personal information contained in these notes so I am carefully sharing them through this blog and other blogs.

Death Certificate of Amarilla Urton, #02159, Aug. 10, 1942, Pine River, Cass County, Minnesota.  , Minnesota State Department of Health, Records, Minnesota Historical Society, index online at the MHS. 

Cemetery Records of the Titler Cemetery originally by Mrs. Kaye Sanches of Des Moines, Iowa, retyped by Marion A. Gunderson, 2001, at the Iowa Genealogy Society Library. As you can see by the tombstone pictures above, the stones are up against a tree and not over the grave.  There where depressions near the stones in the soil that I almost stumbled into. 

Visit to the Titler Cemetery by the compiler in April of 2003 when photographs of the cemetery were taken. Marengo, Iowa.  See BJM’s Cemetery Discoveries blog posts starting with the date of July 17, 2010 were I feature the Titler photographs. 

http://bjmcemeterydiscoveries.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html

Census for the State of Iowa 1856, Vol. 48, Film#1021301, pg. 78-80 State Historical Society, Des Moines, Iowa.  Be careful the index of this 1856 census does not show Daniel for some reason?  Ancestry.com has the Iowa State Census.  Also featured in the July 1, 2011 post (see below).  Before Daniel and after him are Blacketers and Merrifields that are enumerated. 

1860 U.S. Federal Census was discussed in the post dated July 1, 2011 “Stepping Back In Time: Amarilla’s Life In Iowa Before George!” on this blog. 

Marriage Records, 1848-1951, Index 1848-1948 FHL#388779 Morrow Co., Ohio.  Vol. 1A, pg. 119 for Daniel and Elizabeth’s marriage FHL#388779.

Sources for Henry Spracklin and Amarilla will be detailed in future posts.

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