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Widows Application 1898

Widows Application 1898 portion of…

On November 21, 1898 Amarilla tried again for George’s Civil War pension remember that George tried at least twice to get this money but failed.  She filed the Declaration for Widow’s Pension in the county of Crow Wing with the help of Henry D. Philips Law Offices of Washington D.C.

Something happened because the claim had the word ABANDONED stamped a on December 9, 1898 document and several others.

Apparently on 21 November 1900, J.G. Dawes appears on another Declaration of Widow’s Pension with Amarilla.   J.G. Dawes was the notary public at the bottom of the form.  So J.G. tried to help her out.

Several other documents followed from friends and a physician.  They are very interesting and I wonder what stories these people would have told about George and Amarilla.

General Affidavit of Bertha Mickelson, 25 February 1901.

That she was well acquainted with George Barclay deceased for a period of 4 years before his death.  That in the evening of October 29, 1898 about half pass seven o’clock said George Barclay was shot and killed by a person unknown at the time he was sitting in a chair in his own house.  I heard the report of the gun saw him fall and he expired on the floor where he fell.  The ball passed through his neck.  The shot was fired from outside of building and was fired through a window. 

The Physician’s Affidavit was signed by T. F. [Rodwell] M.D. on the 7th of August 1901.

That he is a practicing physician and that he has been acquainted with the said soldier two years, and that he was a man then whose general appearance would not admit I should judge of unusual labor.  I met George Barclay September 1896 and occasionally until his death Oct. 1898.  Where I was called to testify as to cause of death which was from a bullet fired by some unknown person while said Barclay was seated in his house at Pine River passing through his neck thereby causing instant death. 

General Affidavit of John Bubar, age 53 years  Henry Shalding, age 46 years citizens of Brainerd, 28 January 1902.

That they knew personally and were well acquainted with the soldier, George A. Barclay, for a period of 28 years commencing in the year 1867 and continuing up to the  time of his death in the year 1898; that they are acquainted with and have known personally Ammarilla Barclay, widow of George A. Barclay, soldier, for a period of 20 years commencing in the year 1882 and continuing up to the present time; that they personally know said George A. Barclay and Ammarilla Barclay were married and lived together as husband and wife; that they verily believe that said George A. Barclay and Ammarilla Barclay or either of them, was never married prior to their said marriage; that the contents of this affidavit are known to affiants by personal knowledge, observation and acquaintance for a time as aforesaid. 

Something happened and the lawyers were still trying to get a resolution in 1905 and 1906 but it doesn’t appear anything came of it.  You notice that the time frame it really stretched out which means that it was difficult to get resolution.  Every time the law was updated there would be a flood of these widows declarations. Every time Amarilla applied she would have to resubmit documentation.

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Scales of Justice

George Angus Barclay was shot and killed on October 29, 1898 and the trial regarding the murder did not happen until a year and half later, taking place on May 7 and going through till the 16th of 1900!

There aren’t any documents between the release of Andy Hayford in December 1899 until the 4th of May 1900 when Bebo requests that he be granted counsel for the charge of Murder in the 1st degree.  He had no money and had been incarcerated for quite some time.  A. H. Hall was assigned his defense attorney by the court.

Hall filed a three page  brief in it where he complains that the Sheriff created 2 jury panels and interviewed people.  The clerk was supposed to create the juries.  He said that the handwriting was not the clerk’s.  He went on to say that the Sheriff would erase a name if he didn’t like what the potential juror said.  Hall stated that at the beginning of the year a jury pool is created and there are plenty of people, therefore the Sheriff didn’t need to get a jury together.

As far as I can tell there are no documents or maybe one or two that survived from the trial.  There is a Director Examination of  J. Deperrold and a testimony of Ed Mahon but I cannot be sure they are from the trial.  It does read on Mahon’s papers called as witness on the part of the State, being duly sworn…no dates are on these documents.   These documents are done in a question and answer style which makes me think they are part of the trial.  There is a handwritten document about various testimonies which is extremely hard to read but it may be another of Hall’s writings.  There is a platte map of Pine River that was used probably in the inquest, grand jury proceedings and trial.  It has historical significance for Pine River because it shows where the buildings were.  It was used to show how long it would take to get from one building to another.

I think that the newspaper pretty much sums up the trial and what happened.  Can you imagine sitting in the courtroom and watching this event unfold.

Murder Trial Events 1900

Murder Trial Events 1900

The Cass County Paper, Front Page, Vol. 7, No. 18.

Murder Trial – Bebo Found Not Guilty

“When the trial of Louis Bebo for the murder of Geo. A. Barclay was called on Monday the 7th day of May speculation as to the outcome ran high.  To accommodate the crowd, the court was held in the Opera House and that was crowded in spite of the intense heat.  The case was opened by the State’s Attorney Hon. B.F. Hartshorn abely assisted by Hon. C.C. McCarthy, of Grand Rapids, while the defense was conducted by G. W. Hall, of Minneapolis.  The evidence adduced against the accused was very pointed and abely presented  but was met in a masterly manner by overwhelming evidence.  The jury was drawn with great care, over 150 men being called before twelve men could be found suitable to act.  The case went to the jury on Tuesday, the 15th day of May at five o’clock p.m. and  the jury remained out all night and until 11:30 a.m. of the following day when they bought in a verdict of not guilty.  

There is a pathetic side to this case that is very touching and sounds like a dime novel yarn.  When Geo. A. Barclay was shot down by some dastardly coward a year ago last fall Bebo was suspected of the crime and close watch was placed on him which resulted later in his arrest and a hearing before Justice Sundberg where he as acquitted for lack of evidence.  Later on more evidence was found that seemed to prove his guilt and he was indicted by the grand jury a year ago.  Since that time he has been in close confinement in the county jail of Hennepin county and during this time two of his children have died and he was kept in total ignorance of the fact until he was brought here and placed on trial for his life.  A brother of Bebo was here to attend the trial and had manfully supported the prisoner broke down and wept like a child when the words “Not Guilty” fell from the lips of the judge.  

He was taken in toe by his attorney, shaved, wined and dined and started south the next morning in company with his wife and brother.  A great mistake has been made and no one realizes this more than do the officers of the law who were led by the combination of circumstances to believe in the guilt of the accused.  In fact we have heard Sheriff Hardy remark that as badly has he deplored the error, such had been the circumstances surrounding the case that if ever he was again placed in the same position he would be compelled to act just as he done on in this case.  The county attorney has been hard-worked during the past three weeks but has met half way every emergency. One, instance of his untiring zeal in behalf of the state was made manifest last Tuesday when he represented the state in the case against Geo. Franklin before Justice of Peace A.A. Oliver.  This case was called in the evening and lasted several hours, being a jury trial, yes we owe Hon. B.F. Hartshorn a vote of thanks.”

You can see Mr. Hartshorn’s tombstone and a brief biography of him at Find A Grave.  He is buried in the Motley Public Cemetery in Todd County, Minnesota.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37482142

“Verdict of Not Guilty, Given in the Case of Louise Bebo at Walker,”

St. Paul. May 16, a special from Walker, Minn. says; The Trial of Louise Bebo for the murder of George A. Barclay at Pine River on Oct. 29, 1898, is ended after occupying the time of the court for over eight days.  The jury was out all night and until 11:25 this morning, when they returned a verdict of not guilty, and Bebo was given his liberty.  Bebo was arrested about 18 months ago on the same charge and discharged at the preliminary hearing before Justice E. R, Sundberg in this village for lack of evidence.  The matter was taken up again by the grand jury a year ago and an indictment brought in against him.  Since that time he has been in jail.  During his confinement two of his children have died and his homestead at Pine River has been taken possession of by another party.  Bebo is generally believed to be innocent and will return to Pine River and endeavor to regain possession of his homestead. 

Thursday, May 17, 1900, Minneapolis Journal, pg. 10.  Minnesota:

“Walker – The jury returned a verdict finding Bebo not guilty of murdering G.A. Barclay at Pine River, October 29, 1898.  The case was on trial over eight days.

Friday, May 18, 1900, The Brainerd Dispatch.  This was almost the same article from the Duluth newspaper with a little more detail in this account.

“Bebo Acquitted, The Verdict of Not Guilty is in Accord with Public Sentiment,”

“A dispatch from Walker on Wednesday says that the trial of Louis Bebo for the murder of George A. Barclay at Pine River on Oct. 29, 1898, is ended after occupying the time of the court for over eight days.  The jury was sent out at 6:20 on Tuesday evening and remained out all night and until 11:25 Wednesday morning, when they returned with a verdict of not guilty, and Bebo was given his liberty.  Bebo was arrested about eighteen months ago on the same charge and discharged at the preliminary hearing before Justice E.R. Sundberg for lack of evidence.  The matter was taken up again by the grand jury a year ago and indictment brought in against him.  Since that time until the opening of court three weeks ago he has been confined in the Hennepin county jail.  During his confinement there two of his children have died and his homestead at Pine River has been taken possession of by another party.  Bebo is generally believed to be innocent and is receiving congratulations on his acquittal from nearly every one in the village.  He will return to Pine River and endeavor to regain possession of his home.”

The news was featured in several other papers Cass Co. Independent Cass Lake Times May 17, 1900 and  the Thursday, May 17, 1900, Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, MN) pg. 2 issue.

I wonder what my grandmother Grace thought about all this?  She may have been grieving not only for the loss of her father George A. Barclay but for the loss of her first-born child who did not survive.  This would have been George’s grandchild.  It was born and died on the 29th of August 1899 and is buried in an unmarked grave at the Evergreen Cemetery with its grandfather George and its baby uncle George A. Barclay.  There would be more children to come.

What happened to Bebo, well life didn’t treat him to well according to an article in the Cass County Pioneer, Feb. 28, 1902, he was judged insane by the Probate Court at Walker and taken to the asylum in Fergus Falls and later transferred to Hastings Hospital were he spent the rest of his life till 1945 and was buried in Osseo, Minnesota.

This murder took place 114 years ago.  The choices that were made that night of October 29, 1898 are now well beyond any resolution or placement of blame even though murder cases always remain open.  All the individuals there that night or those that may have been involved with the murder are all gone now, they all passed on so re-interviewing them would be impossible.  The Barclay Hotel where the crime took place went up in smoke in 1915. The buildings there are gone and it is a totally different town today. The case file is not complete in my estimation so any review or attempt to try to solve this crime would be pretty difficult.  Still, many questions, many theories of what happened but…

The trial was over, the verdict was brought in and Pine River moved into the new century and as they say life went on.

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J.G. Dawes and Amarilla, 1902 courtesy of the city of Pine River - From Logsleds to Snowmobiles

J.G. Dawes and Amarilla, 1902 courtesy of the city of Pine River – From Logsleds to Snowmobiles

Amarilla was going in a new direction when the turn of the century came to Pine River.  She was going to be leaving behind her life with George Barclay and entering into another relationship with J.G. Dawes.  The picture above appears on page 113 of the Logsleds to Snowmobile book of the history of Pine River.

J.G. Dawes said in the Grand Jury proceedings in 1899, that he came to Pine River in February of 1899.  He came from St. Paul and Minneapolis.  He was a flour salesman and he came to make a deal with the Barclays.

By 1900 J.G. and Amarilla were together.  Apparently Amarilla made Dawes an offer he couldn’t refuse for he was working for her as a store clerk by 1900.

Line 63, dwelling 36, family 36, Barclay, Ammarilla, Head, white, female, born Nov. 1858, age 41, marital status: widowed, married 16 yrs., place of birth Iowa, father born in England, mother born in Ohio, occupation: owner of a store, can read and write and speak English. The rest of the columns were difficult to read.

Line 64, same dwelling & house numbers, Dawes, J.G., employee, white, male, born Mar, 1851, 47 years old, single, born in New York, father and mother were English, occupation: Store Clerk, can read, write and speak English.

Source: Amarilla Barclay Household, 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Twp. 137 R. 29 (Pine River), Cass County, Minnesota, SD# 6, ED#50, Sht 3, pg. 8, FHL #1240759, #8974.

They must have been something to see walking around the town dressed in their finest clothing as the picture above indicates.  Makes me wish I had known her and J.G. What stories they both would have told!

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Amarilla was appointed the Administrator of her husband George A. Barclay’s estate back in December 1898.  George did not have a will and Amarilla and Grace were his only heirs.  The estate is on file at the Minnesota Historical Society under Cass County Government. As you can see, Amarilla’s name was spelled as “Ammarilla and even spelled “Ammerilla.”

1.  #1065 – Order to Examine Accounts at Walker on August 15, 1899 at 10 a.m. in the Probate office, Cass County, Minnesota.

2. #1065 – Final Decree August 15, 1899 document.

The final decree included Amarilla Barclay and Grace McDonald to receive the land and general merchandise of great grandfather’s estate.

That the said deceased died intestate, and the residue of said estate consists of the following described Real and Personal estate, to-wit:

A ______of general merchandise at Pine River, Mnn. fixtures, furniture and household goods. Notices?, mortgages, open accounts and cash on deposit at First National Bank of Brainerd $655.15 and other miscellaneous articles and personal property.

The NE4 & NW 4; NW 4 NE 4; SE 4 NW 4 and SE 4 SE 4 all in Sec 6, T 137 R 29; the ____SE, Sec 28, T 138 R. 29; Lot 6 Sec 8 F 137, R 29; Lot 7 & SE 4 SW 4 Sec 31, T 138 R 29; NW4 & NW 4 Sec 12 T. 137 R. 30, All in Cass County; and SW 4 NW4, NW, SW__Sec 10, T. 137 R 29 in County of Crow Wing in said state…

that the following named persons are entitled to said estate by law Ammarilla Barclay and Grace A. McDonald. …That said Ammarilla Barclay 1/3 there of an to said Grace A. McDonald 2/3 thereof; and all and irregular of the Real estate and the same in hereby assigned and vested in the said Ammerilla Barclay and Grace McDonald…

the following to-wit: N2 NW 1/4 Sec 6 – 137 -29, the Homestead, to said Ammarilla Barclay during the time of her natural life remainder to Grace McDonald in fee simple, all other land to Ammarilla Barclay an undivided 1/3 interest in fee simple and to Grace A. McDonald an undivided 2/3 interest in fee simple. …McGary Judge of Probate

Seven days later on 22 August, 1899 a deed was registered with the Cass County Register of Deeds, Cass County Courthouse, where  Grace sold back to Amarilla some land  for $1.00.

This indenture made this 22 August 1899 between Grace A. McDonald and Ronald S. McDonald her husband, parties of the first part to Ammarilla Barclay of the county and State of Minnesota, for one dollar to them in hand…page 98, Deed K. 1899. 

The north half of the northwest quarter (N1/2 of NW 4) and the southeast quarter of the Northwest quarter (NE4 and NW4) of Section Six (6) township 137, range twenty nine (29), also lot seven (7) and the southeast quarter of the southwest quaret (SE 4 of SW $) of Section thirty one (31) township one hundred and thirty-eight (138) Range twenty nine (29) togher with all the personal property of whatever nature the land may be now situated and being of said piece or parcels of land for any of said pieces or parcels. Signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald in the presence of A. Picket and Sarah A. Blinn.

County of Cass, 22nd day of August 1897 before me Notary Public – Grace A. McDonald formerly Grace A. Barclay and R.S. McDonald, husb. – free act and deed. J.G. Dawis, Notary Public. Signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald.  Witnesses by a A. Picket and Sarah A. Blinn. 

Very interesting that a J.G. Dawis signs as a notary public, could this be J.G. Dawes?

Another deed appears on the 26th of November, 1899 were Grace and Ronald McDonald sell more land back to Amarilla, Page. 414, Deed P for $2000 dollars.

Grace to Amarilla November 1899 Land

Portion of deed – Grace to Amarilla November 1899 Land

The North half of the North West quarter (N1/2 NW1/4) and the South East quarter of the North West quarter (SE1/4 NW1/4) of section Six (6) Township one hundred and thirty (137) Range Twenty nine (29).  Also Lot seven (7) and the South East quarter of the  South West quarter (SE1/4 SW1/4), of Section Thirty one (31) Township one hundred and thirty eight (1380 Range Twenty nine (29.). This was signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald and witnesses also by A. Pickett and Sarah A. Blinn. 

Grace and Amarilla were now in control of George’s estate and with the Final Decree it was now all in their hands to manage as they pleased.  In about a year to two Grace and Ronald would leave Pine River for Grand Rapids, Minnesota and by 1905 they would be in International Falls, Minnesota. Amarilla could have gone with them but she chose to stay in Pine River and she would continue to do so till her death in 1942. Grace and Amarilla kept in touch over the years for Amarilla was to become a grandmother 6 times over.

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Cass County Courthouse

Cass County Courthouse

The lost of her husband must have been a shock to Amarilla.  Their relationship may not have been one that great love stories are made of but they seemed to have had a bond.  They had been married 20 years. During that time they had struggled to build a settlement together.  They had a son and lost him in a terrible accident.  They raised Grace together, who was probably the best part of them.  Would Amarilla have stayed with George to the end if he had not been killed?  Hard to say.  It is suggested that neither were faithful to each other?  Only they really knew what was going on. I think both were independent and determined people and pretty much did what they wanted.  So their relationship was probably very interesting.

In any event, Amarilla was now in control.  She had probably learned a great deal from her husband in how to handle business matters.  Before his death she had been a grantor on several deeds.  She would come to deal with taxes, mortgages, deeds and more over the span of her life.  As the administrator of her husband’s estate she would see to the best interests of herself and her daughter.  She would stay in Pine River and become a very important part of the history of that city.

In 1899 she had to deal with tax issues:

Cass County Courthouse, Pg. 37 Judgement book 1898 to 1902, Mrs. A. Barclay, SE1/4 SE ¼, Sec 6, Twp 137, Range 29, Acres 40, Year 1899, $2.76, $.41, $.27, $3.44, Stamped Bid in for State

In April of 1899, Amarilla and a Curtis Bridgeham entered into a chattel mortgage, Book Misc. E, pg. 373 and 374-5, Cass County Register of Deeds, Walker, MN.  He was indebted to her for $395.00 due in one year with interest of 10%.  There was mention of the Northern Pacific Railway made and some land was involved.

Portion of Chattel Mortgage 1899

Portion of Chattel Mortgage 1899

 “…a conveyance proper deed of the following described lands, situate in the County of Cass, State of Minnesota, to wit: – The northwest quarter of the Southwest quarter (NW1/4 SW 1/4) ____ seven (7) of Section No. Seven (7), township one hundred and thirty-seven (137) range twenty-eight (28); said contract being dated June 30th, 1897 and numbered R.15054. 

A Chattel Mortgage definition is taken from the Free Dictionary:

A transfer of some legal or equitable right in Personal Property as security for the payment of money or performance of some other act. Chattel mortgages have generally been superseded by other types of Secured Transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a body of law adopted by the states that governs commercial transactions.

The rights of the lender who gives a chattel mortgage are valid only against others who know or should know of the lender’s security interest in the property. Since the borrower possesses the property, others cannot realize that a chattel mortgage exists without notice. Each state, therefore, has developed a system for recording instruments showing the existence of chattel mortgages for particular items of property; these records are usually located in the county clerk’s office.

If a recording system is in existence a buyer is presumed to know about a mortgage. Once, therefore, the mortgage is properly recorded, the buyer obtains the debt in addition to the property.

This not all that Amarilla’s name would be on regarding deeds and court documents.  This is only the beginning.

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Something must have happened between November 1898 and May 1899 that set in motion the convening of a Grand Jury regarding the murder of George A. Barclay.

The jail registers for Cass County, Minnesota show that Louis Bebo and Joseph DeJerrold were there in the month ending January-February, 1899 time frame. They were only there from February 14, 1899 to February 23, 1899.  As far as I can tell there is no paper trail for this incarceration other than the jail register.  So who ordered this and how it came about is unclear.

On May 9, 1899 Andrew  Hayford and Louis Bebo were indicted for murder in the 1st Degree and a Bench Warrant was issued 10 May 1899.  G. Hardy, the Sheriff was ordered to deliver them to the jail at Brainerd, Crow Wing County. In the Cass County District Court Records of 12 May, 1899, is an entry about this bench warrant and the indictment for murder.

Grand Jurry

Grand Jury

The Grand Jury came together in June of 1899.  The case was called at the Collins Precinct, Cass County, June 16, 1899 at 10 am.  B.F. Hartshorn appeared for the prosecution.

Here is a summary of the purpose of a Grand Jury, but I don’t know if this is exactly what it was like in 1899 in Minnesota.

A Grand Jury works with a prosecutor to determine if charges are to be brought against a potential defendant.  Grand Juries are made up of up to 23 people and it can go on for months.  There are no judges only the prosecutor who explains the law and works with the jury to gather evidence and hear testimony…They need a super majority of 2/3 or 3/4 agreement. Even if the grand jury does not indict the prosecutor can bring the defendant to trial if there is a strong case. They have to prove to the trial judge that they have a case.  If they have an indictment they can go right to trial.   (See Findlaw for more information).

There were objections made by the defendants mostly about the warrant not being read and these were overruled.

These are the names on the Indictment for murder written on 9 May, 1899.

The foreman of the Grand Jury was a Wm. D. Welch. The witnesses were as follows:  J.H. Middleton, G.L. Hardy, Fred Yllander, Andrew Whiteside, Enoch McMahon, C.H. Workman, R.C. Workman, R.C. Workman Jr., Thomas Nelson, Mrs. Geo. A. Barclay, Geo. A. Weaver, Thomas Coble, Bertha Michelson, Frank Beck, T.D. Shay, Ed Coyle, W.A. Curo, and J.G. Dawes.

Here are summaries of what was in the testimonies and you will see that not all of them are included.

1.  C. Fred Yllander was up first.

Yllander gave testimony at the corner’s inquest in November 1899.  He worked for Barclay as the store clerk and bar keeper.

“I being present at the time about six feet from him.  I stood looking over the bar with my face toward him, I looked up when I heard the report of the gun.  I saw him try to raise, but he could not and fell, at this I went out side of the bar to assist him I saw he was bleeding.  I went to summon other aid, when I came back I found the bullet had entered the neck of the left side and came through on the other side.  He died in about thirty minutes.

Apparently there was a plat map (Plat A) which described the scene inside the house.  Yllander recognized it.  This drawing was not in the court documents.

The best that can be gleaned from the description is that the scene was in the southwest corner of the house which faces southwest. There is the bar room.  There are two large windows a dood (indicating stairs). There was a notation where the post was located. Yllander says that Barclay was sitting east of the door smoking a cigar with one foot under him.

The bullet went through Mar Barclay’s neck and lodged in the post in the center of the room, the bullet went in a direct line so as to enter the post after passing through Mr. Barclay’s neck. 

Yllander describes that there was a small round hole in the window east of the door about 5 or 6 inches from the lower corner next to the door in the large front window. There is a court 8 feet wide in the front and southwest corner of the house.

Yllander refers to Coyle as a defendant.  There is no record of Coyle being served a bench warrant for this crime.  He did get put in the Crow Wing jail about the same time as Bebo and DeJerrold for stealing whiskey from Mrs. Barclay.

Interesting that there were 25 to 30 people after the train came in.  Pine River was a busy place.

2.  E. F. Lynch undertaker D.M. Clark & Co.,

Mr. Lynch states that he resides in Brainerd. I am supposed to be an experienced hand at the business.  I had a State License.  I was called upon to prepare the body of Mr. Barclay for burial.  I went there Monday morning about 6 A.M…after he was shot.  I had to sew up the wound in order to keep fluid from escaping. I would take the wound to be a gun shot entering from the right side about four inches below the right ear and coming out about one inch below the left ear.  I don’t think the neck was dislocated.  I don’t think the bone was struck.  I consider he bled to death.  There was no blood coming out of the mouth.  He mentions that Coyle helped him with opening getting the casket from the depot.

There seems to a slight difference in the description of the trajectory of the bullet. Yllander said left side to right, Lynch said right to left.

3.  Mrs. George Barclay, wife of the deceased.

I was in the kitchen at the time he was killed.  I heard the report of the gun…I went into the room.  The report of the gun pulled me to the room, I saw Mr. Barclay lying on the floor.  I don’t think he was dead at the time, but he died on the floor before being removed.  I had not been in the room before that evening….

She goes on to state she knew various people like Bebo, DeJerrald, Coyle and Clapp.  There were incidents of intoxication, threats, words exchange but nothing that she felt was of concern.

4.  Joseph DeJerrald states pretty much the same as what he did at the coroner’s inquest.  He is a nephew of Bebo and had been living with them for the last three years which later he says four years. Bebo lives 4 miles from Pine River.  His testimony wanders so much that it makes it hard to follow him.

He states that he was going to the depot at the time of Barclay’s killing.  They then went to unhitch the horses at the corn crib, Bebo took his rifle to the depot and they put the team in the old barn and got feed for the horses.  As he was putting his gun in the depot someone came in and said Barclay was shot.   He references his time in jail with Bebo back in February and mentions his uncle is now in jail in St. Paul.

 5.  Ed Harris was a new witness.  He lived in Walker and he talks about Clapp, Bebo and blurts out that the Indian’s did it and murdered Barclay.

6.  George L. Hardy, Sheriff of Cass County.  Frank Breese Deputy Sheriff from Cass County testified at the coroner’s inquest.

I know of the death of Mr. Barclay.  I am Sheriff of Cass County.  I was at the inquest.  I subpoenaed witnesses. I made examination of the premises.  I have seen this drawing before.  I and Mr. Middleton made these drawings.  This is a plan of the Hotel, Saloon and store.  I saw the hole in the window. 

I have the bullet in my possession.  It weighed 210 grains when taken from the post.  It corresponded with a bullet from a 38-56.  I examined Bebow’s gun, it was a 38-56 Winchester.  I got some of the bullets he used in his gun.  The 38-56 factory made bullets weigh 255 or 256 grains.  This bullet when it came from the post was badly battered up on the front end and along the side.  The butt end was not battered.  

Mr. Hardy believed the bullet from the post was similar to Bebo’s bullets. From this point Mr. Hardy meanders around about his conversations with Clapp and Coyle at the inquest, in February and others.  There is nothing about what happened at the time of the shooting at the actual scene of the murder.

7.  J. G. Dawes is a witness.

I am not a detective.  I am manager of the Barclay estate with view of taking the daughter’s interest. I have been there since about the middle of February.  I was in the employ of the North Dakota Milling Association… I sold them a car of feed and remained there over night…

Apparently J.G. Dawes went to St. Paul May 10th and talked in private to Bebo.  From his visit he took on the role of assisting Bebo with his earthly possession which were to be distributed among his children.  Dawes say that Bebo  implicated Clapp and Coyle as being the means of killing Mr. Barclay…that Clapp and Coyle were the principal men that caused the killing of Mr. Barclay.  Bebo denied he killed Barclay.  Dawes finished with we had possibly an hours conversation but nothing else bearing on the matter. 

The court adjourned:

Apparently the court was adjourned until Monday morning, June 19th, 1899.  State rests and the defendants move to dismiss the defendants on the ground, that form the evidence no public cause has been show that defendants or either of them committed the crime charged or any other crime. 

I am frustrated because I can’t figure out if Clapp or Coyle were ever arrested for this crime.  There is no examination of Andrew Hayford nor of Bebo at this Grand Jury and I am not even sure they were present.

The above are of course extremely stripped versions of the testimonies of these witnesses.

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Jefferson G. Dawes

Jefferson G. Dawes

J.G. Dawes first appeared in Pine River around the end of 1898 or early 1899. He was a flour salesman and had come to Pine River to make a deal with George Barclay.

Jefferson G. Dawes would make a big impact on Pine River.  At the request of Grace, George’s daughter, he was going to be involved in the Grand Jury proceedings for George’s death.  He would be the major of Pine River and he would marry Amarilla.

J.G. was born on 7 March 1847 in New York. Tracking him from that date to 1898 reveals nothing in the Minnesota census nor the U.S. Federal. Single men are hard to trace.  His parents were James Daws and Mary Ann [Sooderhaus].  I will share more about J.G. in a future post.

Looking at his photograph, I think that J.G. must have been the kind of person that you would notice.

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After the Coroner’s inquest returned their verdict of “undetermined” in the death of George Barclay the funeral was allowed to take place:

Minnesota Dept of Veteran Affairs website of Memorials

Minnesota Dept of Veteran Affairs website of Memorials at the State Capitol Complex

“The remains were brought to this city today and were met at the train by friends and Pap Thomas Post No. 30, G.A.R. under who auspices the services were conducted, the murdered man being an old soldier and member of this post.  

The funeral services were conducted at the Episcopal church, Rev. C. F Kite officiating. The remains were interred in Evergreen Cemetery. The deceased leaves a widow and one married daughter to mourn his death.”  From the Cold Blooded Murder article Nov 3, 1898. 

Another version of the funeral:

“The remains were brought to Brainerd on Thursday morning for interment and the funeral took place at 11 a.m. from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rev. C. F. Kite conducting the services.  The members of Pap Thomas Post, G.A.R. and the Women’s Relief Corps, met the funeral cortege at the station and marched with the procession to the church and thence to the cemetery.” From Cowardly Crime article Nov. 5, 1898.

See post dated November 28, 2013 “Cold Blood Murder and Cowardly Crime – November 1898,” for the complete articles.  

Alexander, George’s brother had heard of the shooting.  So he left his home in Farmington, Dakota County, Minnesota to attend the funeral on November 3, 1898. The brothers had served in the Civil War and were G.A.R. (Grand Old Army) members so I know that he would have wanted to attend and be part of the G.A.R. processional.

Source:  Local News – A.A. Barckley started for Pine River, Dakota County Tribune.

A.A. Barckley started for Pine River Wednesday morning to attend the funeral of his brother, who was shot there Saturday.

Alexander attends George's funeral

Alexander attends George’s funeral

The newspaper combined the murder events with the funeral and didn’t prepare a separate article on the events of the funeral of George A. Barclay. Unfortunately the G.A.R. Chapter that George was a member of lost their papers in a fire in about 1910, so I was unable to obtain anymore details on the funeral of George.

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The Coroner’s Inquest regarding the murder of George A. Barclay took two days.  On the second day a verdict was issued and it was recorded in the Register of the Coroner, Cass County, Minnesota.  It appeared in the newspaper the next day.

Register of Coroner's Inquest

Register of Coroner’s Inquest

Source: The Register of Coroner’s Inquests, County of Cass, State of Minnesota, in the Matter of the Inquest held upon the body of George A. Barclay, by E.R. Sundberg, acting Coroner of said County.

Nov. 2, 1899: Oct 31, the following jury was impaneled J.B. Spencer, B. O’Connor, Peter Dennis, John A. Wilson. Jury sworn and examination opened.  Verdict of Jury: That the said George A. Barclay came to his death on Oct 29, 1898 between 7 & 8 P.M. O’clock while sitting in his Hotel office by a bullet passing through his neck from a gun or revolver in the hands of some person on the outside of the building and to this jury unknown.  In testimony whereof the said coroner and jurors of this inquest have hereunto set their hands the 2nd day of Nov. 1898.   John King, Foreman, R.D. Holden, P. Dennis, John A Wilson, J.B. Spencer, B. O’Connor.  E.R. Sundberg, Justice of the Peace, & Acting Coroner. 

The following appeared in the Cass County Pioneer on November 3, 1898

“The Coroner’s jury sitting over the remains of Geo. Barclay after a two day session brought a verdict as follows:  We find that deceased came to his death by a gun shot wound inflicted by some party unknown to the jury.” Particulars next week.”

The next week issue for November 10th was missing on the film at the Minnesota Historical Society.

There is no official death certificate for George A. Barclay at the Cass County Courthouse per my personal investigation. After George’s death,  Amarilla tried for his Civil War pension on several occasions and below is an affidavit that described the death of George A. Barclay several years later.

Bertha Michelson on February 25, 1901 made this statement, she knew George about 4 years.  It is interesting to me that she was not among the witnesses at the Coroner’s Inquest?

That she was well acquainted with George Barclay deceased for a period of 4 years before his death.  That in the evening of October 29th, 1898, about half passed seven o’clock said George Barclay was shot and killed by a person unknown at the time he was sitting in a chair in his own house.  I heard the report of the gun saw him fall and he expired on the floor where he fell. The ball passed through his neck.  The shot was fired from outside of building and was fired through a window.” 

It could be assumed that this would be the end of the investigation of George A. Barclay’s death, but it was not.  A Grand Jury would be called in May of 1899 and then in May of 1900 there would be a trial.  There was more events to come in this sad tale.

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Mr. Sundberg, Justice of the Peace and Acting Coroner, moved quickly to put into place the Coroner’s inquest which was held at the Barclay Hotel on November 1 and 2, 1898 after the shooting on October 29, 1898.

The testimony of all of the witnesses would be to extensive for me to present here.  What will be presented will be a transcript summary of some of the witnesses testimony.  The book: Murder and Mayhem, True Crime Accounts, Cass County 1897-1938, written by the Cass County Historical Society, has some excerpts of some of the testimonies.

Here are some of my selected excerpts of the testimonies.

1.  C. Fred Yllander “being sworn says: I knew Barclay.  He died at 7:10 P.M. on Saturday night, Oct. 29.  He sat about six feet from window.  I was in his employ, tending bar and was here when he died.  I stood about two feet from the end of the bar, inside, reading.  Mr. Barclay…he took a chair and sat down about six feet from the window.  He sat talking to a man who was standing in the doorway between the card room and bar.  Just then I heard a loud report of a gun.  I thought it was fired inside because I saw flame come through the window.  At first I thought it was an accident but afterwords saw the hole through the window.  I saw Barclay try to raise himself and then fall on the floor.  I went to him but two others were there first.  He tried to open his mouth to speak but couldn’t.  He died almost instantly.  While on the floor, we found the bullet had entered the left side of the neck and come out on the right side of the back of the head.  The bullet lodged in a post in the center of the room.  When the gun went off I saw no one on the porch or anyone near.  I saw no one with firearms on the inside.  I have no idea who shot Barclay.  I have worked for him since October 11th and have known him since January… He was universally like.  He was not a drinking man and was perfectly sober on the day of the shooting… A man named Clapp (Claff) was talking to Barclay when he was shot.  Mrs. Barclay was in the dining room and came out a few seconds after.  She was working in the dining room at the time the shooting which occurred, at 7:10… As near as I can judge, the person that did the shooting must have stood a few inches from the window.  I saw neither the gun nor the man.  There were six persons in the room at the time of the shooting, including Barclay. Barclay and the man were talking about national matters.  Fred Cotton was inside the card room. Clapp had been standing talking several minutes with Barclay when the shot was fired…”

2.  Frank Breese Deputy Sheriff from Cass County:

“I helped to dig the bullet out of the post.  Indications show that the bullet came through the window from the outside.  We took the bullet out about 3 o’clock P.M. Oct. 31. Advised by county attorney not to take it out sooner.  I have weighed the bullet. It weighs 210 grains.  I have a scientific table showing the size and weight of bullet’s published by Wm. R. Burkhard & Co. dealers in guns and sporting goods.  A bullet weighing 150 grains is a 38 Smith and Weston;  210 grains Colt center fire pistol; 255 grains, 38.56 Winchester; 210 grains, 44 Colts Revolver; 205 grains, 44 Smith & Weston American; 255 grains 44 Smith & Weston Russian; 115 grains, 44 Smith & Weston Russian Gallery; 210 grains, 40-60 Winchester rifle.  At the time the bullet was weighed nothing adhered to make it heavier.  A 38-56 Winchester rifle bullet weighs 255 grains.”

3.  Eugene McMahon worked for Barclay taking care of stock.  He had been there 5 years.  He was referred to as choreboy.  He was outside at the upper barn when he heard the shot. He observed Bebo and a young man before and after the report of the gun. He talked about   Hank Taylor a driver for Cook who was a gambler and crook. Taylor had shown interest in Grace which caused trouble with George, Amarilla and Grace.

4.  E. Coyle telegraph operator and station agent was on the railroad track on a hand car when stopped and told about Barclay being shot. He witnessed George’s body on the floor.  He described Bebo’s gun as a 38-56 Winchester and Deperold’s had a 45-90 Winchester.  He mentions Hayford.  He also talked about Hank Taylor and the trouble between him and Barclay.

5. The hunters were R.C. Workman Sr., Charles Workman, Thomas Nelson, R.C. Workman Jr. and R.B. Dunsmore. They came from Wright County to hunt and were at the Depot/Express office when Barclay was killed.  The younger Workman made the claim that he saw a short man in dark clothes running across the railroad tracks about 5 minutes are the shot was fired.  He also said that Bebo came into the Depot office with a gun in a blanket about two minutes after the shot.   The older Workman also saw a man running across the tracks. Nelson he talked about Bebo coming in and out of the Depot and the Winchester in the corner but didn’t see it wrapped in a blanket. Dunsmore observed Bebo coming and goings with the blankets but didn’t remember any guns.

6.  Joseph Deperold (Deperrold)  was a nephew of Louis Bebo.  He was with Bebo at the barn first and then at the depot. He will be examined in later transcripts.

7. Mrs. George Barclay wife to the deceased.  She was in the kitchen at the time of the gun shot.

“I am the wife of George Barclay.  I was in the kitchen when I heard that he had been shot.  I heard the shot and the fall of Mr. Barclay.  I have no idea or suspicion as to who killed him. Mr. Barclay was a passionate man and had words with a good many men but not enough to warrant suspicion.  He had words in July with Hank Taylor, Mickey Burns, and Tom Twohy.  Mr. Barclay was not a man who would hold spite…. Mr. Barclay didn’t like Taylor and ordered him away… Taylor was not a respectable character…. Taylor wanted to take Gracie for a boat ride one day.  She wanted to go…I sat in the stern of the boat, Gracie in the center, and Taylor in the bow rowing.  Just as we landed on our return, Mr. Barclay came down.  He was very angry…  I never heard Taylor make any threats.  Taylor left soon after.  Possibly two days.  He has never been back.  I had no reason to believe that anybody would do Mr. Barclay any harm.  I have no idea as to who fired the shot.  

8.  Mrs. Grace McDonald, daughter of George A. Barclay and Amarilla, was absent at the time of the shooting in Cloquet, MN.  She describes the events with Hank Taylor and her recent marriage to R.S. McDonald.  This testimony of Grace’s gave me the information I needed to find the marriage record of my grandparents which was elusive up to this time.

“I am the daughter of George Barclay and was married the 8th of September.  Prior to that time I lived at home during vacations.  Papa often lost his temper and had trouble with several people and some of the quarrels were on account of credit in the store.  I have heard threats of violence but not from people I would think meant it. Taylor came here on June 28.  He was here until about the 5 or the 6 of August.  He came here to board on the 13 of July, but had been here before.  He told me that he had been married…. I went for a boat ride with him….He is a man who would hold revenge.  He had been a prize-fighter and bouncer.  Father and I had words and we didn’t speak for a week or so.  After that we were on good terms. He was angry when I got married and he threatened to disinherit me, but since that time he has become reconciled to me.  Mrs. Grace Barclay recalled says: I was married the 8 of September in Hudson, Wis., I was at home immediately prior to the marriage…. My husband is superintendent for Backus in the Willow River country.  We were near Cloquet when we hear of the murder of my Father.  Mr. McDonald told me.  I left Mr. McDonald at Cloquet.  He went to the woods and I came home.  I said he would drive across country and will be here tonight, Wednesday.  Father was afraid of Taylor.”

9.  Louis Bebo a local farmer living 34 miles west from Pine River. He knew Barclay about 15 years.  He heard the shots when he was at the depot.

I live about three miles west of Pine River.  I will have lived here three years next March.  I have been acquainted with Barclay fifteen years.  I lived near here all that time.  I have had some difficulty with him here at the house twice…The trouble with Barclay originated twice while I was drinking.  I have never had any trouble with him about shooting at the house.  He accused me of shooting at the house but after wards knew that it was not me.  I was in the operator’s house when it was done.  I had no part in it.  I was here when Barclay was killed….  I came back Saturday evening.  I hitched my team at the corncrib and it stood there about a half an hour.  From there I think I came into the saloon and took a drink with Mr. Coyle.  I don’t remember the time.  At that time I was sober.  I had two or three drinks before I went out.  The second time I took a drink was out of a bottle belonging to Coyle…  After drinking with him I went and unhitched the team…I took the blankets out of the wagon after the horses were unhitched after putting the horses in the barn… My gun was not wrapped up.  I put it in a corner of the depot. I don’t think anybody looked at it.  It was a 38-56 Winchester…. When I heard the shot fired I was just going into the depot with the blankets.  My nephew was with me at the time… I came from the depot to the hotel and saw Barclay and went back to the depot and said that Barclay was shot.  I came right over after hearing the shot and saw him.  There were quite a number in the room.  Lyman Preston, the choreboy, bartender, Whitesides.  I can’t remember any others.  Barclay was dead then.  I saw Mrs. Barclay there…  After I came and saw that Barclay was dead I went directly back to the depot.  I was in the bar about ten minutes.  I saw Coyle at the depot after that.  I saw four men on a hand-car…. I made one or two trips between the depot and the hotel after Barclay was killed.  It was at the depot the first time that I went over that I said that Barclay was killed.  Then they all turned out and came over here.  I came with them.  That was the second time I came over here….He talks about meeting up with his wife, making arrangements with the hunters and that he buys his own shells and load some.

10.  Mrs. Mary Bebo was Louis Bebo’s Indian common law wife.  She claims that she has been married eleven years and has five children.  She was near Walker when she heard of Barclay’s death.  She said that her husband didn’t know who killed Barclay.

11.  Mary Aitkin was a friend of Bebo and Mrs. Bebo.  She heard of the killing of Barclay and testified that Mrs. Bebo told her that her husband killed Barclay because he was jealous of their relationship.

12.  George A. Weaver knew Barclay since 1861 and he knew Bebo and that Bebo and Barclay had trouble with money.

13.  Eber Smith owned a summer resort on Woman Lake. He knew Hank Taylor in the past and talked about Taylor and felt he was treacherous.

14. Andrew Whitesides worked for Barclay in the store and had been there 4 years.

I have been working for Mr. Barclay since 1894…I have had charge of the store since the fall of 1894.  I was here when Mr. Barclay was shot…As far as I can judge about one and a half or two minutes after the report of the gun I came into the bar room.  I didn’t see Bebo in the room, he was not there.  He came in later.  No one was with him, I went to the Telegraph office while I was there.  I heard him say nothing about Mr. Barclay being shot.  I was in the Telegraph office 15 or 20 minutes.  I don’t remember seeing Bebo at the Depot when I came out.  I saw him again after I came back kneeling by the body listening to the pulsation.  I can’t say which time that was. I observed nothing particularly suspicious about him that day…Bebo and Barclay have had considerable trouble about settlement for hay in the Spring, but I thought it was settled to Bebo’s satisfaction…The trouble about shooting at the house was later.  Mr. Hayford and Mr. Barclay had a good deal of trouble and Mr. Barclay succeeded in having Hayford discharged.  Barclay and Hayford were never friendly.  Hayford was here at one time with a gun and I thought he wanted to shoot Barclay.  This trouble continued until Hayford moved away and started a store at Jenkins.  He has often abused Mr. Barclay while he lived here he and Bebo were together a good deal.  The trouble between Barclay and Hayford was about freight.  Hayford was very careful to add-on as much to Barclay’s freight as he could and Barclay thought he was overcharging.  He drank a good deal.  I thought Hayford had told Bebo that Barclay had a good deal to do with his squaw and thereby caused enmity.  I never saw anything unusual between Barclay and the squaw.  The general impression was that there were grounds for suspicion that they were intimate.  The general relations between Barclay and his wife were not entirely smooth and they have had some trouble.  One instance in particular a man named Taylor staffed here and went boat riding with Mrs. Barclay and her daughter.  Barclay found them and abused her a good deal in the bar room…I never thought there was much affection between Barclay and Mrs. Barclay….she [Mrs. Barclay] has been an inmate of a variety theater.  The relations between Barclay and his daughter have been about the same as between Barclay and Mrs. Barclay.  Barclay was much opposed to his daughter’s marriage.  I heard the girl say Barclay had threatened to disinherit her.  The marriage was a secret one.  McDonald and Barclay were friendly…”

The above has a lot of opinions, conjecture, gossip and it is difficult to know what is really of significance.  Unfortunately, the jury did not come to any conclusion.

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