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We must remember that back in 1898 in a local area like Pine River it was not easy to investigate a crime or a death.

The steps are very complicated in murder investigations today.

Here is a much more detailed explanation of a murder investigation, I am sure there are better websites to consult but it will do.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-involved-in-criminal-murder-investigations.htm

A familiar figure of the times!

A familiar figure of the times!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

So if we take and compare the murder of my great-grandfather George A. Barclay to the standards of today’s murder investigations we see that there are a lot of discrepancies. I confess that I am a big crime scene fan (CSI), but drama is not reality.  I am going to jump in and take some of the steps in the above link and share my thoughts below regarding George’s murder based on the documentation that I have found.  If only Sherlock Holmes could help?

1.  The murder is reported by someone who comes across the victim.  That person is asked to remain on site.  

In this murder case there are many people who witnessed the actual event and were nearby who heard the gunshot.

The news of the crime occurred when the railroad office was contacted requesting medical help for George Barclay.  This was described in the “Cold Blooded Murder,” article which I featured in my post dated November 28, 2013 titled:  Cold Blood Murder and Cowardly Crime, November 1898.   I will be referring to those two articles a great deal so you might want to go and read them.

“A telegram was immediately sent to General Manager Hear, of the B.& N. M. for a special train with  medical assistance, but before this could be procured a second message was received saying that he had passed away.”

2.  Verification of death of the victim by paramedics or coroner

Someone apparently knew how to determine if an individual had died.  It was not made apparent who that was in the records.  The nature of the wound and the number of witnesses was probably sufficient. Although each witness had their version of the actual death.  Some indicated that George died quickly and others said he lingered for up to 30 minutes.  The time of death was given as 7:10 pm and I have seen 7:30 pm given.  I have also seen the day mixed up.

I am going for this:  Time of death was given at 7:10 to 7:30 pm, October 29, 1898.

3. The scene is turned over to law enforcement. 

It is not clear that the scene was turned over to law enforcement.  A newspaper tidbit reported that:

On November 3, 1898 in the Cass County Pioneer  (Vol. 5, #42, p. 8, col.)

“B.F. Hartshorn and Geo. Hardy went to Pine River to look into the facts concerning the murder of Mr. Geo. Barclay.

B.F. Hartshorn was the Cass County Attorney and Public Prosecutor  (1897 to 1903 Cass County History).  Geo. Hardy was the sherif at the time (1897 to 1905 Cass County History).  Both of these men will be involved up till the trial.

3.  An officer is put in charge of the investigation

Again this is not made clear in the transcripts as to what law enforcement officer was conducting an investigation. Frank Breese, Deputy-Sheriff was at the Coroner’s inquest to give testimony regarding the bullet that killed George.

4.  The scene is secured to prevent contamination of the evidence.  

With all the witnesses and people coming and going that night at Barclay’s I doubt that the scene was secured at all.  As for contamination that happened immediately.  In the testimony at the Coroner’s Inquest several people were reported as touching the body.  I am sure in the confusion, chairs were moved around.

5.  The murder scene is observed and documents with photographs taken.

Photography was not like we have today with digital cameras and instant recording of events.  It is not clear to me who observed the crime scene.  I am assuming Mr. Sundberg the Justice of the Peace and Acting Coroner did a walk through along with the jury members, maybe Hartshorn and Hardy were there?

6.  Evidence is collected and bagged and sent to the crime lab. 

In the next post I  In a future post, I will review the evidence that was collected.  In this case we have the body as evidence and the area around it, the bullet, the post where it logged, the scene of the crime, the hole in the window and glass on the floor, the location from where the gun was fired, witness accounts and their guns, and more.

7.  The body is first removed and taken to the coroner’s office for autopsy.  

This was not done until the inquest was over and even then I do not see any evidence of an autopsy performed. George’s body remained where it had crumpled till the Coroner’s inquest was completed. A Mr. E. F. Lynch who resided at Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota was an undertaker for D.M. Clark & Co.  He was called upon to prepare the body of Mr. Barclay for burial.  He testifies in what appears to be the Grand Jury proceedings.

7.  People are interviewed who were involved with the murder or nearby when the murder occurred.  

There are many witnesses that gave testimony at the Coroner’s Inquest.  I cannot tell if anyone else did any interviewing of the witnesses other than at the Coroner’s Inquest.

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The Cass County Historical Society published a book in 2010 titled:

Murder and Mayhem, True Crime Accounts Cass County 1897-1938

The authors collected documentation from many sources and they feature right at the very beginning the George Barclay Murder in Pine River in 1898, pages 1 to 24.  There are many other names and cases discussed in this book.  A copy may be obtained from the Cass County Historical Society for about $25.00.   http://www.casscountymuseum.org/publications.html

In this book you will find a pretty good coverage of the sources that were generated regarding the murder of George Angus Barclay.  Since they probably had a space issue they were unable to publish all of the information so you have to keep in mind that it is not totally complete.  I have most of what they share in this publication and they have other items I do not have which add to the story.

At the beginning of the section on George Barclay there is in introduction taken from the book Logsleds to Snowmobiles: A Centennial History of Pine River, Minnesota (1873-1973), Pine River Centennial Committee, 1979.  I would like to caution you that there are mistakes in this introduction.  The purpose of this blog was to correct those errors.  They state he was killed in the lobby, well there seems to be other information stating it was the saloon area of the hotel. Since there is no floor plan available it is difficult to be clear. First, George was more likely born in Enfield, CT not New Jersey, although I have not yet proved it.  I have shared in past posts about George’s earlier years and the census places George and his siblings scattered in the Connecticut area around Enfield and Hartford. Alexander and a sister Mary, older siblings, state they were born in Hartford and Enfield respectively.  This sort of  places a damper on being born in Scotland.  His father John Barclay in his Naturalization papers says he came to the United States in 1833.  I have posted about this event. However, George and his brother Alexander did not enlist together in the Civil War.  George waited a full year before he enlisted.  Alexander was older by two years.  I have all of their Civil War Service Records and pensions and I have thoroughly shared them in this blog.  Again, George did not march with Sherman to the sea, his brother Alexander was the one who did. No where in George’s Civil War Service or Pension record which I have shared on this blog does it say that he was with Sherman.  However, Alexander’s Civil War documents do state this fact. I mapped out their company records so you can see from those maps that they were going in separate directions.  Now granted those company records may only cover the main events.  Individual soldiers could be sent where ever they were needed.  I have shared the article from the Northwest Magazine and the mention that George had 840 acres but I am not convinced.  I will tally it someday in the future and see if it matches.   Oh and on page 23 Amarilla married George Urton in 1922 and this is not correct she married him in 1919 but I will get to posting on their marriage later.

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Minnesota 1857 Census

 

By 1857 George and Alexander are living with their father John Barclay in Eagle Creek, Shakopee, Scott County, Minnesota. 

On Line 20 we find John Barclay age 46, male, white, born in Scotland and a farmer.  Below him is Alex age 16 born in Connecticut and then there is George age 14 born in Connecticut.  

Here is the beginning of evidence that points to Connecticut as Alexander and George’s birthplace.  

The question is how did they get from Connecticut to Minnesota? 

The Logsleds to Snowmobile Book by the city of Pine River gives this statement: 

“Sometime before the Civil War his mother died, and George and his brother, Alexander, were placed in different foster homes.  George ran away from his “turf family,” found his brother, and together they enlisted on August 13, 1862 in the Union Army.” page 104.  

What a great and wonderful adventure these two young men would have had.  I often ponder it, wondering what route they took, what sights they saw.  How did they know their father was in Minnesota?  

I have been to Enfield and drove from Enfield to East Windsor where the 1850 Census places these brothers living near each other.  I was curious as to the distance.  It is close and took about 5-10 minutes to drive it.  Two young boys without means they would have had to walk to get to each other unless they talked a good story to someone and hitched a ride.  It is doable.  

Based on the 1850 Census which I have discussed in past posts (April 11, 2010) we have seen that Alexander was in East Windsor and George was in Enfield, Connecticut. 

I have a theory.  There was an older brother name John Avery Barclay who would have been about 20 or 21 years old in 1857.  I talked about the 1850 Census for Enfield in which I found a John Bartley about the right age living in Enfield (April 18, 2010 post).  Alex was 16 and George 14 when they were with their father in 1857.  Maybe this is a little more involved than is realized?  

Their older brother John Avery Barclay takes up residence in Silbey Co., Minnesota in the 1860 Census.  He is living in Kelso and farming.  He is 25 years old.  The only evidence that this John is a brother is from Alexander’s probate file.  I will talk more about this brother and his family in future posts.  

Of course this is idea that they all came together is speculation on my part.  

As for the comment about the Civil War, well it is not quite right.  Alexander enlisted first and then George followed him a year later.  I will discuss the Civil War service of Alexander, George and John Barclay Sr. in future posts.  Each person was involved in very different ways and all survived to live for many years beyond.

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In April of 2007 I traveled to Hartford, Connecticut to attend the New England Regional Conference.  This was an opportunity to do research on my Barclay and Goss families. 

Enfield Historical Society

I visited The Enfield Historical Society and talked with Mr. Anthony Secondo the President.  Mr. Secondo recommended the book about the carpet industry in Enfield and Thompsonville. 

After our talk I wandered the Enfield Museum looking at the displays.  I did review the names of the Shaker cemetery listing they had posted but did not see any Barclay names.

Mr. Secondo told me about some houses built by the Scottish weavers and told me where to go to see these houses.  He remembered the name Barclay and said it was the name of a street that was now nonexistent due to development.  I did find the area and the houses.

He suggested this book: 

Broadlooms and Businessmen: A History of the Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Company (Harvard Studies in Business History), by John S. Ewing and Nancy P. Norton. 

The background and company material for this book is housed at the Harvard Business School.  They do not allow outside researchers and genealogists to do research at the school.  The chances that I might find the names of John and Margaret Barclay among the papers is a long shot. I am hoping for a list of workers which is not given in the book.    

Apparently the carpet company would recruit weavers from Scotland and then bring them over to the U.S. to work in the carpet factories.  The Scottish company that did the recruiting of the weavers is the Gregory, Thomson & Co. (page 46.) .   These Scottish weavers were brought over in about 1829. 

The Enfield Historical Society Website has this article about the Thompsonville Carpet Factory: 

http://www.enfieldhistoricalsociety.org/EHScarpet.html

I find this idea of the Scottish weavers very interesting.  Does it have anything to do with my Barclay family, I don’t know at this time.

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George and his brother Alexander have been identified in the 1850 Connecticut census for Enfield and East Windsor. 

Things get even more interesting when a reference to an Agness Barclay is found.  She is living in 1850 in Enfield in close proximity to George and Alexander.  One of George and Alex’s sisters is named Sarah Agnes which was determined from Alexander’s probate file. 

1850 Census - Agnes Barclay

The family begins on line 5, Dwelling 429, family 641.  It is headed by an Alpheus Pease, age 65, married and a farmer with $3500 in real estate,  born in Connecticut. He is followed by Lois Pease age 61 born in Connecticut.  There doesn’t seem to be any children listed for this couple unless you look down below and you find on line 18 a Alpheus D. Pease age 35 with a wife and children named Pease.  On line 24 we have a Thomas C. Pease age 35 and family which you cannot see from the sample above. 

These names follow as best I can interpret them as they come after Lois Pease:

  • Maranda Stevens age 28, female
  • Luthara age 3/12 , female
  • Sarah L. Wilson age 13 female with a B by her name

Starting here is a line with the notation “Town Poor” and listed as “Pauper” from line 11 to line 17.

  • Line 10 – Betsey Chapin age 75, female
  • Line 11 – Gennett Earl age 74, female
  • Line 12 – Amy Mills age 74, female
  • Line 13 – Stephen Mills age 55,  male
  • line 14 –  Agness Barclay age 4, female, born in Connecticut
  • line 15 – James Lynch age 2 male, born in Scotland
  • line 16 – Robert Mollis/Hollis age 6 male, born CT
  • line 17 – Julia Wheeler age 4 female, born CT

As we continue to dig into the census we find several other interesting possibilities for George and Alexander’s siblings.

1850 Connecticut John Bartley

A  John Bartley is living with the Olmstead family in Enfield.  The spelling is slightly different.  I have seen this spelling version of the Barclay surname before in other documents.  The family starts on line 9 with an Obadiah Olmstead age 34 male, farmer with $4000 in real estate, born in Connecticut.  He is followed by Hannah age 30, [Sauranu] age 7 female and Frederick age 4 male.  John is on line 13.  This John is 16 years old which means he was born about 1834 and born in Scotland.  John is followed by a James Boyle age 28 farmer, born in Ireland.  This John Bartley is a strong possibility for the older brother of George and Alex. 

1850 Connecticut - James Barclay

The next possible sibling is James Barclay.  There is a reference in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Litchfield, Litchfield County, Connecticut on Line 29, Dwelling 131, Family 144 a family starting with a Joshua D. Berry age 40, male, Epis Clergyman with $10,000, born NH.  He is followed by Jane Berry age 28, F, born Ct.,  After her is the James Barclay age 12 male, born Ireland that is of interest.  The census states he is Irish but that could be an easy error?  This boy is born about 1838.  He is a possible candidate for another brother of George and Alexander.  Litchfield is to the west of the others so this James is suspect.

Mary J. Barclay 1850 Connecticut

Mary J. Bartley also appears in the 1850 census in East Windsor closer to Alexander and living with yet another family by the name of Rees.  The family starts on line 24 with 179/216 Lydia P. Rees age 62, with $2000 and born in Connecticut.  Under her is Lydia F. Rees age 31 and she is followed by Mary J. Barclay on line 26, age 10 and also born in Connecticut.  James [McDonahue] age 9 and born in Ireland is last.  So this is a strong possibility that it is a sister.

In review we have George, Alexander, Agnes, John, Mary J. and a possible James Barclay all about the right ages to be siblings living in the general vicinity of each other in 1850 in Connecticut.  I think it is too compelling to be ignored.   Hopefully, I have interpreted other census and Alex’s probate file correctly regarding the ages of his siblings.  So out of seven (7) siblings we find six (6).  We are missing Martha. 

We return to the quotation from the Logsleds to Snowmobile book (history of Pine River, Minnesota) makes this statement on pg. 105.

Sometime before the Civil War his mother died.  George and his brother Alexander were placed in different foster homes…”

The Barclay siblings are living with families with surnames of Berry, Pease, Olmstead, Barber, William and Rees.  Some of these names are very much a part of the history of Enfield, Connecticut.  The chances of them being family members is still a possibility but more likely they are taking in the “town poor” and caring for them.

The website an Historical Overview of the American Poorhouse System talks about the history of the poorhouse and how poor people were dealt with.  Other ways to care for the poor could include 1) outdoor relief provided by an Overseer of the Poor and 2) auctioning off the poor and 3) contracting with someone in the community for care of paupers:  http://www.poorhousestory.com/history.htm

From this and a few other articles looking in state records, selectman/overseer’s of the poor reports, town and meeting records of a specific town and then local newspapers for auction dates are possibilities for future research.

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In trying to verify the birthdate and find the birthplace of George Angus Barclay I tracked him back in the U.S. Federal Census to 1850 in Connecticut.   All evidence for census and other documents were pointing to Connecticut as his birthplace not Scotland or New Jersey.  A census search of 1850 does not reveal a George Barclay of this age born in New Jersey. 

The census does reveal a George Barclay living in Enfield, Hartford Co., Connecticut at the age of six years old.  He is living with an entirely different family and not with his parents.

1850 Enfield Census

It looks like George is part of  two households.  The family he is living with starts with a notation on line 15 and begins with a Lucy William age 65 with $4000 real estate value. Under her is Lucy M. William age 27. Then we start another family on line 17 with an Edwin D. William listed as age 26. Under him is Margret P. William age 26, born in NJ.  We follow with George Barclay 6 years old born.  He attended school within the year.  All the people listed have been born in Connecticut except Margret.

Running a census search for members of this Williams family in 1860 reveals no Lucy, Edwin or Margret living in the Enfield area or in Hartford County.  

So who are these people? 

I am suspicious about Margret.  The name is the same as the one given for George’s mother.  It might be coincidence.  The fact that she is born in New Jersey is interesting. It has been suggested by Aunt Miriam that George was born in New Jersey.  It is possible that the parents divorced?  Her age is maybe a little to young for being a mother of 7 children.   Is she John Barclay’s sister.  If John was born in 1801 as indicated on documents I have collected, he would be 49 years old.  So he is probably a little too old to be a brother.  Things are not looking good for this Margret William as a candidate for George’s mother, but we will remain open to all possibilities at this time.

Nearby in East Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut which is southeast of Enfield we find Alexander Barclay. He is living with yet another family and is about the right age for George’s brother.

The family we are interested in starts on line 20 with an [Alonso] Barber age 30 who is a farmer with $2500.  Next comes a Nancy Barber age 25.  We then have Alfred at 3 years of age, next is [Frederic] at 1 year of age.  [Lorain] Peas follows at age 17.  Last we find Alex Barclay at age 9 years.  All are born in Connecticut.  Alex has attended school in the last year. 

In running a census search for this Barber family in 1860, you can find them still living in Enfield.  They do not  have any children listed in their family group with a different family name.    These two families the Barbers and Williams have means and money. 

Where are John Barclay and Margaret? I have been unable to find any reference to John or Margaret in the U.S. census for 1850 or  in 1840 that fits.  All my Aunt Miriam knew about Margaret was that “she died before the Civil War.” 

With this information, I decided to write the Enfield City Hall to see if I could find a birth record for George.  They wrote back that they were unable to locate a birth record for a George A. Barclay. 

The Logsleds to Snowmobile book (history of Pine River, Minnesota) makes this statement on pg. 105.

Sometime before the Civil War his mother died.  George and his brother Alexander were placed in different foster homes…”

In the next post we will dig further into the Connecticut census and discover the possibility of other Barclay children nearby and living with other families in Hartford Co., Connecticut.

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