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Archive for the ‘Crow Wing County’ Category

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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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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According to several newspaper accounts, George Angus Barclay was accused of selling liquor in violation of state law. Here is one article that makes this accusation.

The article appeared in the Brainerd Dispatch on July 17, 1891 (Vol. 10, #35) on the front page about a murder near George’s Ranch.  The article spans two columns and goes the length of the front page.  Here is a small portion of it.

Murder near Barclay Ranch 1891

Stabbed in the Stomach, Pat Ryan is Murdered near

George Barclay’s Ranch with a Butcher Knife

Squaw-Man, White Men and Red Men All take a Hand in The Fiendish Bloody Tragedy.

 The unlawful selling of Liquor at the Bottom of the Murderous Mess.

“Patrick Ryan was murdered at Barclay’s lumber ranch on Saturday morning last by being stabbed in the stomach three times with a butcher knife, and his body lay bleeding in the hot rays of the sun until the authorities arrived from Brainerd on Sunday. 

On Saturday afternoon a Frenchman names Philip Provo, came to this city and notified Coroner Bain that the murder had been committed, who immediately procured assistance in the person of J. McNaughton, and started for the scene, which is 89 miles from Brainerd, in the vicinity of White Fish Lake and Pine River.  They arrived there the next morning and found a sickening sight.  Ryan’s body lay some 300 yards from Barclay’s ranch at the Indian camps in a pool of clotted blood.  The butcher knife which did the bloody work lay beside the man’s inanimate form which was cut and slashed in many pieces.  In his stomach were three cuts, any one of which would have caused death.  The back of both hands were cut and also his arms, and on the back of his head was a bruise as if made with a gun, and the supposition of many is that he was knocked down and then finished with the knife.  Coroner Bain called a jury together and during that day and the next they labored studiously to get at the facts in the case, swearing witnesses, taking testimony, and going over the ground.  The result of their deliberations was that Patrick Ryan met his death at the hands of Fred Ellis, a squaw-man, Wabash-can-we-gut, or White Cloud, a Leech Lake Indian, Waugh-bugh-chek, a White Oak Point Indian, and Cang-gee-geeluc, chief of the Cass Lake tribe. 

Just as the jury had reached this decision Sheriff Spalding arrived, he not having been notified until Sunday of the occurrence, and then only by rumor.  The parties charged with the murder were all there and he put them under arrest and started for Brainerd that night, going as far as Jenkins.’  Here the party put up for the night, at being late and very dark.  In the middle of the night Cang-gee-geeluc complained of being very ill, and his hand-cuffs were loosened, and as he seemed to get worse Coroner Bain gave him an emetic, the red man almost throwing up his moccasins–in the absence of boots.  In a short time he began rubbing his stomach and moaning again, and said he was “heep sick,” so the dose was again given him with a similar result, and as he had emptied the pail the first time he did so the second time, but as he stepped to the door he gave a jump into the darkness and was gone.  The Indian had played a very sharp trick.  It was useless to follow him, and the party came on to Brainerd the next morning and landed the three prisoners in the county jail.  They were brought up before the court for hearing on Wednesday, but Ellis said there were some witnesses he desired at Barclay’s, in the persons of two squaws who he claims saw the whole transaction, the hearing was postponed until Monday at 10 o’clock.

As near as can be ascertained from the parties who went up from Brainerd and the testimony given at the coroner’s inquest, the murder was the outcome of a drunken brawl, which was participated in by white man and Indians, and to judge from the scarred countenances of the witnesses and prisoners it must have been a terrible encounter.  It seems that at Barclay’s whisky and beer is sold as freely as in any saloon in Brainerd, and has been for some length of time in violation of the state law, and on this particular day “the boys” were having a high old-time.  Fred Ellis, who lives with a squaw at that place, came to Barclay’s in the evening, after having had a fight with his dusky wife, in which the red men at the wigwams interfered and gave him the worst of it.  He obtained some court-plaster, washed his wounds, and in company with Patrick Ryan stepped up to the bar and drank for thirty minutes, according to his sworn statement.  Ryan volunteered to go with him and “fix the Indians plenty,” and they started.  Ryan never came back alive, and his body was found next morning with a butcher knife lying beside it which belonged to Ellis, who accounts for it by saying that in the fight in the fore part of the evening the Indians took his knife and revolver.  Ellis says an Indian chased him and he ran leaving Ryan at the camp, and he finally came back and went to bed with the other fellows, and that in the morning Billy Burnet came and told them Ryan had been killed.  The case is a complicated one  The Indian who escaped was covered with blood and said he got it by holding Ryan in his arms when he died, he, and the Indians had been attracted to the spot by groans, and upon arriving found the man in a dying condition.  It is more than probable that the Indian will be recaptured and every effort is being made in that direction.  No one is to blame for losing him ____ the cunning known to people of his tribe was brought into play.  Philip Provo was arrested on Tuesday and is being held, but from what we can learn the evidence is not very strong against him.  Ryan’s body was brought to the city on Monday night and buried in Evergreen Cemetery.  A gentlemen who lives at Faribault, telegraphed to have it sent to him, then after they had prepared it for shipment he telegraphed back that they had found their son in Denver, alive and well, and that the murdered man was no relation of theirs.  The following is the testimony of the important witnesses at the coroner’s inquest…”

The article continues with more testimony from Charles Ashland, Ellis’ Statement, Mamie Vagwin, Philip Provo, and White Cloud which doesn’t really tell much but actually gets more confusing. 

I tried to locate this Coroner file but did not find one in the Crow Wing records which go back to 1887.  It might be in another location?  Cass County records start in 1898 at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul on one of my trips.  I have not check state law at the time. 

Articles like this give an idea of what life might have been like for George, Amarilla and my grandmother Grace in Pine River.

 

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The 1880′s were drawing to a close and events were unfolding in Minnesota that would make for lots of change in the state.  The next decade the 1890′s was going to be very busy and very eventful in Pine River and more.

Let’s take a quick review of the 1880′s. 
 
Starting a Family:
George and Amarilla started the decade with the birth of their son, George Alexander, who died  suddenly of an accident at 18 months in June 1881 .  The following year they found happeniness in the birth of their daughter Grace born in April  1882. 

Land More or Less:
They sold some land in a quit claim deed to a [Fred] Hitter/Hilter of Wright County on 25 October 1881.  This deed was recorded 8 May 1882 in the Crow Wing County Courthouse for Cass County, Deed Book E, pg. 247. 

Description:  $175.00 – The southeast quarter (SE1/4) of the northeast quarter (NE1/4) of section ten (10) and the north half of the northeast quarter of section twelve (12) all in township one hundred thirty-seven (137) north range twenty nine (29) west.  The total amount of acreage was not indicated in this deed? 

They added to their land holdings by  buying land from the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1883 (82 3/4). In 1884 they received another patent #11834 (40 plus acres), and expanded by adding a storage building sometime around the early part of the decade.*  The little settlement was growing with a total population of 29 people in 1885 per the Minnesota State Census.  Another land patent came through in April of 1888 #16446 (160 acres). 

A Mortgage Deed
Things must have been going well for the Barclays in 1888 when George and Amarilla executed a mortgage deed with Michael Hagberg on September 25, 1888 for $2077.38.*  It was filed for record January 11, 1889.   George would pay two promissory notes due one year after the date, each for $1038.69 and interest.  This mortgage was satisfied and on record in Book J, pg. 566 in the Crow Wing County Records. 

On October 2, 1914, 25 years later this same mortgage satisfaction appears in Book W, pg. 372 in a typed form, not handwritten.  It referred to M. Hagberg and Matilda Hagberg, his wife.  It is also attested to for accuracy by the Register of Deeds. We think the court was updating its books. 

Now it was suggested that “this deed was for equipment.”* Well, I do not think so.  Instead it was for the purchase of about 5 pieces of land in T137 R 29 (Wilson); two pieces in T138 R29 (Barclay); and one piece in T130 R30 (Walden).  Several lots were mentioned. 

There is a Michael Hagberg buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd a link to his him is at FindAGrave.  There is an article with the tombstone information stating he was a blacksmith in early Brainerd?  If this is the same man he lived in the Brainerd area for a long time.

Boy do I love a mystery?  What was George A. Barclay up to?

Well at some point I will do a summary of his land holdings and we will see what we come up with. 

A Robbery:
Unfortunately they ended the decade of the 1880′s with a robbery at the Ranch.  George Barclay reported a long list of items stolen in Pine River on April 20, 1889.  Among the items taken were 2 Winchester rifles and 6 boxes of cartridges, lots of clothing, lots of yardage, 400 ratskins and 5 linx skins for a total of $512.30 ? * 

I have often wondered what my great grandfather’s store might have looked like?  I visited the Harkin Store in 2001 (eight miles northwest of New Ulm, MN).  This museum is a period store set about 1870:   http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/hs/  It is part of the Minnesota Historical Society historical sites. 

Do you think George and Amarilla’s was this neat and tidy?  The Harkin Store had a mail center, candy area, women’s items, flour bins, a place to sit by the pot belly stove and more.  Depending on the clientele at George’s store there might be a difference in the inventory?

Harkins Store

*Some of these events mentioned above were inspired by the book:  “Logsleds to Snowmobiles, A Centennial History of Pine River, Minnesota 1873-1973,” written by the Citizens of Pine River, edited by Norman F. Clarke, Pine River Centennial Committee 1979.   Chapter:  The Barclays, 102-129.   Page 106 for the Robbery or the Brainerd Dispatch April 21, 1889 pg. 1.  There is a copy of this book in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. A quick seach of WordCat and you will get 18 hits in various libraries across the country.

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George Angus Barclay operated a “half-way house” or stopping place in the area of Pine River.  He was not the only one who had such a place along the Leech Lake Road.   He was situated 30 miles north of Brainerd and so his location was a good place to stop, rest, refresh and then continue your journey on to Leech Lake or some other destination.  

“When the Cloughs’ outfit finished logging that area, they sold the ranch to Jenkins; and by that time there was so much commotion and traveling along the Leech Lake Road — and the abilities of Ma Jenkins in the kitchen had become so widely noised about — that they had no insurmountable problems continuing the place as a “Halfway House” or traveler’s rest station.  Next north was George Barclay’s at Pine River; to the south was John Bishop’s at the Gull-Round thoroughfare; and now the Web Hill Ranch helped split the distance between the latter two.” 

Source:  Old Timers, by Carl Zapffe, of Historic Heartland. Association, Echo Publishing & Printing, Volume I, pages 6-7, 1988 1st Edition, 1998 2nd Edition.  Mr. Zapffe passed in 1994 and his Association is no more.  The photographs in his collection and maybe more were given to the Nisswa Historic Society, Nisswa, MN, unfortuantely they do not have a website. 

See my post dated January 17, 2011 “Wedding Photos of George and Amarilla,” for more information about Mr. Zapffe.  

I tried to use the maps of the Leech Lake Road in Mr. Zapffe’s Vol. II that apparently came from the National Archives, but it was very hard and since I do not live in Minnesota I decided to abandon the effort but what I did create on my map was almost a direct line between Bishop, Jenkins and Barclay pretty much following Hwy 371. 

The Pine River Centennial newspaper of 1973 had some very interesting articles and mentions George and Amarilla:

“…The history of Pine River really starts with Mr. and Mrs. Barclay (Mrs. Urton).  Mr. Barclay came here in 1876, and with a partner by the name of McNannie, starting a trading post about a mile south of what is now the village site, a few rods this side of the river where the remains of the old cellar may still be seen.  This location was abandoned after a little over a year, in favor of the present location of the village where Mr. Barclay built a log building and conducted a little store and Indian trading post, about where the Anderson Lumber Company yard is now located. 

 Mrs.  Barclay, or you will remember her as Mrs. Urton, came her in July 1878.  At that time there were only three log buildings where the village of Pine River now stands, one being the store formerly mentioned, one used as sort of half-way house for Tote-Teamsters on the trip to and from Brainerd to Leech Lake (now Walker), and a very  large log barn where several of those large loads of supplies could be driven in for over night. 

 Logging had not been started at this point at that time and there were very few white settlers in the territory.  Mrs. Urton once related that while the inhabitants were practically all Indians, she never had any fear of them and they never gave them the least bit of trouble of any kind until after the white man came with his firewater. 

 About this time the Episcopal and Catholic societies started to try educating some of the Indian children and used to come up here to gather up a group of them, taking them away for a four-year course.  They were taught some kind of trade and it was some of those boys who, on their return from the school, built an addition on the old log store and that was where the first school was started.  It would indeed be interesting to trace the evolution of this school through to our present modern high school but time will not permit.”

Source:  Pine River Journal, Pine River, Cass County, Minnesota, 1873 to 1973 Centennial, Vol. 37, Number 22, pg. 2, “Early History of Pine River,” by Frances M. Allen.  

Ever since I heard the term “tote road” I became interested in what it looked like.  I have seen pictures of them as dirt roads or roads with logs laid across them.  You can use Google Images and search for photographs.  People are taking wonderful photos and writing blogs about tote roads.   This is as close as I could get to the area in question.  Can you image driving a wagon with ox or horses along a muddy road.  Hmmm…?

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/61191318

Notes of Interest:  My copy of this issue was given to me by the Pine River Journal Newspaper.   They have a wonderful collection of newspapers at their office in Pine River.  The Minnesota Historical Society also has a great newspaper collection but they are missing some issues of the Pine River newspaper in the 1930′s.
There are actually two volumes of Mr. Zapffe’s “Old Timers” booklets.  They are oversized measuring 16 inches long by 11 inches wide and they contain approximate 188 pages with an index.  I obtained my copies at the Crow Wing Historical Society in Brainerd.   They are amazing, with lots of photographs, great stories of the families in the area, maps and more covering the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region.  He does indicate where he obtained the information in some cases.

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With the death of Amarilla’s grandmother Mary Anne Delano Keller (3 August 1882)  the land and estate of John and Mary was divided up and partitioned among the children and heirs.  Amarilla and George Barclay were the Grantor’s along with others in the following partition deed.   This is one of several deeds dividing up the land among the heirs of John and Mary Keller.  It is the most significant to me because George and Amarilla Barclay (Barkley) are signees. 

The partition deed was dated December 14, 1883.  It was recorded in the Index for Morrow County, Ohio deeds under the name of Charles P. Groves et. al. as Grantor and W.F. Keller et. al. the Grantee.  The clerk’s copy was recorded in Vol. 37, pg. 594, FHL#388692.  Below is a transcription of that deed and my best effort at reading the handwriting of the clerk.

Charles T. Groves et. al.          

Quit Claim Deed   to

Wm. F. & Ida C. Keller

Received: June 18, 1884                     

Know all men by the presents that Mr. Charles T. Groves & Mary E. Groves, his wife of Johnson County and State of Kansas, George Barkley & Amarilia Barkley, his wife of [Twin Grove], State of Minnesota & Henry F. Spracklin and Elizabeth Spracklin, his wife of the County of Muscatine and State of Iowa in consideration of the sum of thirty one hundred and fifty dollars to them paid by William F. Keller and Ida C. Keller of Morrow Co., Ohio in receipt  ____is hereby acknowledged do hereby revise, release and forever quit claim to the said William F. Keller and Ida C. Keller their heirs and assigns forever, the following real estate situated in the County of Morrow in the State of Ohio and in the Township of South Bloomfield and bounded and described as follows viz:  

The East half of the North half of the North East Quarter of Section No. Eleven (11) Township No. Six (6) Range No. Fifteen (15). Also Twenty Three (23) acres of land of the East end of the South Half of the North East Quarter of Section No. Eleven (11) Township No. Six (6) Range No. Fifteen (15) Containing in all about sixty three (63) acres of land, more or less. 

To have and to hold said premises with all the _____ and appurtenances hereto belonging to the said William F. Keller and Ida C. Keller their heirs and assigns forever.  In Witness Whereof, the said Charles T. Groves, Mary E. Groves, George Barkley, Amarilia Barkley, Henry F. Spracklin and Elizabeth Spracklin wife of said Henry F. Spracklin, who hereby relinquishes all their right of dower in the premises have hereunto set their hands and seals this 26th day of March in the year of our Lord one Thousand eight hundred and eighty four.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered   

Henry F. Spracklin (seal),  Elizabeth Spracklin (seal), George A. Barkley (seal) Amarilia Barkley, (seal),   Charles F. Groves (seal), Elizabeth Groves

In the presents of us  ___Brown,  J.R. Hanley  Witness to signature of George Barkley and Amarilia Barkley – W.H. [Oelmahan], Rachel [Haileny], H.O. Danley.                                                                                              

State of Iowa Muscatine County  ss.

Be it remembered that on this 26th day of March A.D. 1884 before me the subscriber Notary Public in and for said County personally came the hereinafter named Henry F. Spracklin and Elizabeth Spracklin his wife the Grantors in the above conveyance and acknowledge the Execution signing and sealing of the same to be their voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes herein mentioned and the said Elizabeth Spracklin wife of the said Henry F. Spracklin being at the same time examined by me separate and apart from her said husband and the contents of said instrument being by me made known and explained to her then declared that she did voluntarily sign seal and acknowledge the same and that she is still satisfied herewith as her voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned.  In Testimony thereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my Notarized Seal on the day and year last aforesaid.

                                                                                    (Seal ) Thomas Larson, Notary Public

State of Minnesota County of Crow Wing ss.

Be it Remembered that on the 11th day of April A.D. 1884 before me the subscriber a Notary Public in and for said County, personally appeared George Barkley,  Amarilia Barkley his wife the Grantors in the above Conveyance and acknowledged the Execution Signing and Sealing of the same, to be their voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned and the Said Amarilia Barkley wife of the Said George Barkley being at the same time examined by me Separate and apart from her said husband and the contents of said instrument being by me made known and explained to her then declared that she did voluntarily sign seal and acknowledge the same that she is still satisfied therewith is her voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned.

In Testimony thereof I have herewith subscribed my name and affirmed my seal on this day and year last aforesaid.

                                                            (Seal)  W. M. [Clinaban], Notary Public

State of Kansas,C ounty of Johnson   ss.

Be it Remembered that on this 28th day of April 1884 before me the subscriber a Notary Public in and for said County came the herein before named Charles T. Groves and Elizabeth Groves his wife the Grantors in the above conveyance and acknowledges the Execution Signing and Sealing of the same to be their voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned and that the said Elizabeth Groves wife of the said Charles T. Groves being at the same time examined by me separate and apart from her said husband and the contents of said instrument being by me made known and explained to her then declared that she did voluntarily sign seal and acknowledge the same and that she is still satisfied therewith as her voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned.

In Testimony Whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my Notarial seal on the day and year aforesaid.

                                                            Seal  S.H. Barnard, Notary Public

 (Commission Expires June 26, 1887)  Recorded this 8 day of July 1884, By C. ? Han Bri….. Recorder

Deeds can be very helpful in pinpointing the residence of a person and their relationships.   Henry Spracklin  is the full brother of Amarilla.  This deed is significant because it places Henry in Muscatine County, Iowa in 1884 with his wife Elizabeth.  My cousin and I, were finding it difficult to track Henry once he left home after 1870.  So this was great news to find this deed and discover where Henry was living. My cousin descends from this man so it was a great find.

Amarilla and George Barclay are my great grandparents.  This deed connects Amarilla to the Keller and Delano family.  The Delano family is very old and goes back to Philip Delano of the 2nd boat to Plymouth 1620, the Fortune. 

Charles T. Groves and Elizabeth (Mary Elizabeth Helt) are descendants of Lovina Lavinia (Keller) Helt, daughter of Mary and John, and sister to Elizabeth Keller Spracklin.  It places them in Johnson County, Kansas at this date. 

William F. Keller is the Grantee and Executor of his father John’s will.  He is the younger brother to Lovina and Elizabeth and it places him in Morrow County, Ohio at this date.

Recently I traveled to both Massachusetts and Ohio to dig into the research on Amarilla’s forebears and created another blog that will in more depth the Delano, Keller, Spracklin and Goss connections in Amarilla’s ancestral past.  It is too complicated and large for this Barclay blog.  This blog’s focus was on Amarilla’s and George’s life with references to her connections to these families.   That blog is titled “Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio.”   http://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/  I have placed a link under “Blogs I Like” to my other blogs.

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For many years I did not know how little baby George died.  I had been to the cemetery and viewed his tombstone next to his father but I didn’t understand why he had died so young?

On my last trip to Minnesota in 2007, I found a brief article in the Brainerd newspaper that described the whole ordeal.

George Alexander was only 18 months old.  He died on the 19th of June 1881 on the way to Brainerd from Pine River.  Apparently he drank  some German Cough balsam that was filled with probably codeine and his little body could not handle the amount of narcotic and he died en route probably in his mother’s arms as George tried desperately to get them to Brainerd and get help.  They were too late.

There is no mention of the death of the baby in the Whipple papers at the Minnesota Historical Society (Methodist Episcopal).  The papers are very difficult to read and I have actually looked at them twice to see if I could make out anything else. 

The article appears in the Brainerd Tribune, Saturday, June 25, 1881 under Local News – Death of Baby George A. Barclay.

1) Mr. and Mrs. G.A. Barclay desire to express their heartfelt thanks to the citizens of this place for their kind sympathy and attentions manifested during their recent bereavement, and for the assistance rendered during the last solemn rites at the funeral of their lamented child.

2) A sad occurrence transpired in the family of Mr. George Barclay, postmaster at Pine River, last Saturday.  Their infant child, about seventeen months old, had in some manner got hold of a bottle of German cough balsam , and drank the whole of it.  No physician being nearer Pine River than Brainerd, Mr. and Mrs. Barclay immediately started with the child for this place. But the effects of the potion were to speedy, as just upon arriving in town the child expired.  This is a very severe blow to the bereaved parents, and the sympathies of the community are heartily enlisted in their behalf.  The remains were interred in the Brainerd cemetery on Monday.

George Alexander is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, MN location:  Center N 1/2 Lot 17 Block 7.  He is next to his father and mother, George and Amarilla Barclay.

George Alexander Barclay

Written on the tombstone for baby George is the following: 

Sacred to the memory George A. infant son of G.A. & A. Barclay died June 19, 1881 1 yr. 5 mo. 9 days.  Underneath this stone do lie as much virtue as could die which when alive did vigor give to us much beauty as could live. 

There is a little lamb on the top of the tombstone.  This tombstone is to the right of the father, George A. Barclay in Evergreen Cemetery in Brainered, MN.

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As we have seen, George’s was busy with his life.  He had established a trading post on the south fork of the Pine River, then moved it to higher land, and obtained several patents for land in the area.  In July of 1878 he went to Brainerd for some reason, probably to get supplies or do business, and took time to go a courting.  He met and married Amarilla Grace Spracklin at a friend’s house.

Amarilla had left her home near Blairstown, Iowa and migrated to Brainerd, Minnesota sometime after the 1870 U.S. Census.  Her granddaughter Miriam said Amarilla arrived there about 1877.  Amarilla had been living with her father, step-mother and  half siblings since about 1863 in Iowa. 

If you look at Iowa in reference to Minnesota you would see that Iowa is just straight south of Minnesota. 

State Map of US

Miriam writes in another part of her notes, that Amarilla was not happy in her situation:

“Her father, Daniel Dare Spracklin had two families. Amarilla (Ammarilla , sometimes varied it) belonged to the first family, hated the second and left home.  Supported herself as a seamstress. ” 

“Came to Brainerd, Minn., in 1877 and earned her living as a dressmaker and milliner.” Miriam McDonald Notes circa 1980′s.

There is no state census in Iowa for 1875 so we cannot be sure if Amarilla was still at home at that time.  Miriam makes a further comment:  “Born near Marengo, Iowa, Nov. 17, 1858.”  It was probably closer to Blairstown which is north of Marengo.  In 1878 Amarilla would have been 20 years old.  

The Logsleds to Snowmobile book  makes the following statement:

“On July 27, 1878, in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brainerd, with the Reverend Herbert Root officiating.  George Angus Barclay married Ammarilla Spracklin.  Barclay’s new bride was the first permanent white woman settler on the Pine River.  She continued to hold the distinction for 15 years.” pg. 105 

This reference implies that George and Amarilla were married in the St. Paul Episcopal Church in Brainerd, however the evidence shows that the record of the marriage from the St. Paul Episcopal Church hint that it was at the residence of a C. H. Mayo.  Click on the photo to make it larger.  

St. Paul Episcopal Church Register

Here is a copy of their marriage license.  It is one of several that were in the Civil War Pension file of George A. Barclay’s.

1902 Copy of Marriage License

A brief article found in the Brainerd Tribune dated Saturday, August 3, 1878 on page 2 on the left at the bottom also repeats this information of a marriage at a friend’s house, the home of a C. H. Mayo. 

Barclay & Sprecklin Marriage

How George and Amarilla met is  a mystery.  Miriam said that Amarilla was a milliner, a person who makes hats.  

An article in the Brainerd Daily Dispatch taken from the Centennial Edition (1871-1971) on the history of Brainerd and the Crossing states that their were 21 stores,  and 1 tailor shop.  So it might be possible that George spotted Amarilla in the town at one of these locations? 

“After a brief courtship they were married on July 27, 1878.  Following the ceremony, the new bride of 19 and her husband drove as far as Gull Lake, probably to John Bishop’s half-way house on Bishop’s Creek, where they stayed overnight.  The next day they continued on with their “tote” to George Barclay’s Ranch on the Pine River.” 

Logsleds to Snowmobiles, pg. 112

The Coroner’s Inquest file regarding the murder of George Barclay from Cass County Records had a testimony by a Andrew Whitesides, an employee of George A. Barclay since 1894.  He testified at the coroner’s inquest about George’s murder but in addition he made an interesting comment  about Amarilla – that she was “an inmate of a variety theater?” 

Now the same article I mentioned from the Brainerd Daily Disptach does indicate there were 15 saloons, and 2 billiards halls but it does not mention a theatre in Brainerd?

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Many sources point out that George A. Barclay formed a partnership with a D. McNannie.  The “Logsleds…” book has a full page picture of this man sitting in a chair and make several references to him in the book.  They suggest McNannie was a mixed blood Ojibwe. 

Studying the land laws of the United States back in 1875 might show some interesting reasons for this partnership.  The whole issue of land and the Indians is very complicated and subject to the laws of the U.S. Federal Governments. 

In checking on McNanny/Nannie at the BML website I did not find any other patents in his name, only the two he purchased with George back in 1875. 

Interestingly these two patents are in Section 8 of T137 R29 Wilson Township.  Visualize the northwest corner of Wilson Township – Section 6:  On its right to the east is Section 5.  South of Section 6 is Section 7 and to its right going east is Section 8.  So Section 8 is diagonal to Section 6 and to the southeast.  The Pine River flows through this Section 8 and the Leech Lake Military Trail follows the river. 

1.  Cass  County – 5/1/1875 - St. Cloud #7373

#7373 Patent – D. McNanny and George Barclay of Cass Co., Minnesota, ….deposited in…St. Cloud, Minnesota the South East quarter of the North East quarter of Section eight in township one hundred and thirty-seven of range twenty-nine in the District of Lands subject to sale at St. Cloud, Minnesota containing 40 acres…said tract has been purchased by the said D. McNanny and George Barclay…In Testimoney Whereof, I, Ulysses S. Grant…have caused these letters to be made PATENT.. 1 of May 1875 etc…

2.  Cass County – 5/1/1875 – St. Cloud #7374 

 #7374 Patent – D. McNanny and George Barclay of Cass Co., Minnesota, St. Cloud, Minnesota the lot numbered six of section eight in township one hundred and thirty-seven of range twenty-nine in the District of lands subject to sale at St. Cloud, Minnesota containing 32 acres and seventy-five hundredths of an acre..DO GIVE AND GRANT, unto the said D. McNanny and George Barclay…In Testimony Whereof, F.  Ulysses S. Grant…1 of May 1875, etc…

In Summary

1.  #7373 SE1/4 of the NE1/4 in Section 8 Township 137, Range 29.  This is approximately where this piece of land is located. Click on the map to make it bigger.

Patent #7373 Added

2.  Lot Six (6) in Section 8 Township 137, Range 29. My Deed Mapper software will not do lot’s.  So I do not show this patent on the above topo map. Further detail will be needed to find this particular lot being referred to in this patent.  It is in the same location as #1. 

Go back to the Minnesota Public Land Survey website and you will see a survey done in 1865 that makes this very interesting reading.  Select the township 137 and the range 29 and it will bring up this old map of the area that is very interesting and closer to what George and McNannie knew in 1875.  

http://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/glo/index.html 

Total acres:  40 + 32 75/100th = 40+32 75/100th acres

Another puzzling thing is that this is in Wilson Twp. not Barclay Twp.  as some sources suggest.  Since I could not find any more patents except these two for McNannie he would have to have purchased land elsewhere by deed.  Barclay Twp. is T138 R29 and Wilson is T137 R29. 

Our Target Area of Townships - Cass County

It is interesting to me that they spell McNannie’s name in different ways which is not a surprise but means you do have to be diligent when researching him.  It might be interesting to study the deeds of Cass and Crow Wing for McNannie.  I have not done that at this time concentrating on George and Ammarilla.

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