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Coroner's Court

Coroner’s Court

I was interested in the actual proceedings of a Coroner’s inquest and found some information at the County of Adams, Illinois website, here is a summary:

1.  A Coroner’s Inquest is an inquiry into the manner and cause of an individual’s death, conducted by the Coroner or Deputy Coroner with a court reporter and six jurors present. The jurors are citizens of the county in which the death took place. 

2. The jury is to determine the cause and manner of a death whether Suicide, Homicide, Accident, Natural or Undetermined.  

3. Witnesses are summoned who have pertinent information concerning the incident such as the person who found the deceased, witnesses to the incident, a direct relative.

4.  When the jury has concluded their deliberations, they will issue a verdict. The Corner’s verdict has no civil or criminal trial significance. The verdict and inquest proceedings are fact-finding in nature and statistical in purpose.

5.  If a person is implicated as the unlawful slayer of the deceased or accessory thereto, an arrest may be affected. 

6.  The testimony presented at the inquest is sworn and under oath and properly documented and/or recorded. 

Based on the above description, it looked like Mr. E. R. Sundberg, Justice of the Peace and Acting Coroner took the necessary steps to preside over the inquest into the death of George A. Barclay.  He took several actions:

  1. October 31, 1898 subpoenas for Louis Bebout (?), Joseph DeJerrold, R.C. Workman, R.B. Dunsmore, Eugene McMahon and John Doe.  (by E.R. Sundberg).
  2. October 31, 1898 – Listing the names of jurors to appear at the Barclay Hotel  for service on November 1, 1898 – (by E.R. Sundberg) The jurors for the coroner’s inquest were R.D. Holden, John King, J.B. Spencer, B. O’Connor, Peter Dennis and John A. Wilson.
  3. November 1, 1898 subpoenas for Mary Aitkin and Mrs. Louis Bebo.  They are being asked to appear on November 2, 1898. (E.R. Sundberg).
  4. November 1, 1898 – Sundberg requests the Sheriff to attach the body of Louis Bebo and bring him to the inquest. (by E.R. Sundberg).

The inquest took place on November 1-2, 1898 at the Barclay Hotel.  This was about 2 full days after the shooting that took place on Saturday, October 29, 1898 at about 7:10 to 7:30 pm.

October 1898

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  1  2  3    

Here is a transcript of one of the subpoenas listed above.

Pine River Hotel

Pine River Hotel

State of Minnesota, County of Cass:

The State of Minnesota to R.D. H[olden], Peter Dennis, John Wilson, J.B. Spence, John King, & B. O’Connor you and each of you are hereby summoned to be and appear before the undersigned and to constitute a coroner’s jury for the purpose of holding and inquest upon the dead body of George Barclay, which inquest will be held at Barclays Hotel, Pine River, in said county, on the First day of November, A.D. 1898, at 9 o’clock in the forenoon.  Hereof fail not at your peril. Given under my hand this 31st day of October A.D. 1898, E.R. Sundberg, Justice of the Peace and Acting Coroner. 

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

The steps are very complicated in murder investigations today.

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

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

A familiar figure of the times!

A familiar figure of the times!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The scene is turned over to law enforcement. 

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

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

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

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

3.  An officer is put in charge of the investigation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

=============================

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

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

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

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

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

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Below are some newspaper accounts of the murder of George A. Barclay.  They were published several days after the event.

img153 - Copy

November 3, 1898 – Cold Blooded Murder, George A. Barclay, A Wealthy Lumberman of Pine River, Killed by the Hand of an Unknown Assassin.”  Published in the Brainerd Journal. This is five days after the murder.  They have R.S. McDonald as R.A. McDonald.  I have broken up the very long paragraph to make it easier to read.

“Last Saturday night, while seated in the waiting room of his hotel at Pine River, Geo. A. Barclay was mysteriously murdered by some culprit who remains as yet undiscovered.  Whether the deed of a madman or an enemy no one is certain.

About 7:30 o’clock he was seated in his hotel close by a window when suddenly from the outside a shot was fired whether from rifle or revolver is not known and crashing through the window it entered and passed thru his head near the back of the neck and embedded itself in a post not far distant.

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

A coroner’s jury yesterday was summoned and returned as their verdict, “that George A. Barclay came to his death by a gun shot from the hands of some person unknown to this jury.”

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 enterred in Evergreen Cemetery.  The deceased leaves a widow and one married daughter to mourn his death.  

Mr. Barclay was well know all over this section of the state and had not to any ones knowledge a single enemy.  No definite clue has yet been obtained although several suspects are being watched.  It is to be sincerely hoped that ere long the murder will be avenged and that the murderer will have that justice meted out to him which he so justly and richly deserves.”

November 5, 1898 – Cowardly Crime, Barclay Foully Murdered in Pine River, published in the Brainerd Tribune.   This one is seven days after the crime was committed. (page 8, Col. 4,)   This account gives more information about where the assailant stood and what type of gun may have been used and is nicely detailed.

Geo. Barclay Foully Murdered at Pine River, while sitting in his own house.  The Victim an Old and Well Known Resident.  The people of this city were shocked on Saturday evening last by the news that Geo. Barclay , the well known hotel keeper and trader at Pine River, had been foully murdered by some cowardly assassin while sitting in his house conversing with several acquaintances.  The first news of the tragedy came over the B. & N. M. wires and the particulars were not known until Monday.  

Mr. Barclay was shot and killed about 7:30 Saturday evening.  When the fatal shot was fired he was sitting in a chair, smoking a cigar, and talking to four or five men, about five feet away from the window in the barroom of the hotel.  The assassin fired through the glass, the ball passing through Mr. Barclay’s neck from side to side, probably cutting the carotid artery of the jugular vein, as he bled profusely, and then imbedded itself in a pine post that supported the ceiling in the middle of the room.  He lived only a few minutes.  

The bullet was dug out, taken to Walker and carefully weighed by a jeweler.  Its weight is exactly 210 grains which corresponds with either a 40-60 Winchester (an old model gun) or a Colt’s 44 caliber revolver.  

The slug, which is mushroomed and much distorted, looks more like a 40 than a 44, and careful measurement of that part of the base that remains intact gives color to this theory.  It was imbedded in the pillar to a depth of two inches.  A rifle-ball should have gone somewhat deeper, but, on the other hand, a revolver slug would hardly pierce a heavy window pane and a man’s neck and go to that depth in seasoned wood.

The shot was fired, probably from a position about 15 feet outside the window as the hole in the post is about 10 inches higher than in the pane.  

Although there were several men in the room at the time, the murderer was seen by no one so far as known.  The night was very dark and the assassin no doubt sought the cover of the woods a few rods away and made good his escape.  

There seems to be no doubt that it was a willful, premeditated murder, though there is absolutely no clue whatever to the perpetrator of the cowardly deed.  Mr. Barclay had no trouble with anyone, and so far as known had no enemies who would be capable of committing such a crime.  

Justice E. R. Sundberg, of Walker, in the absence of the coroner impaneled a jury and held an inquest which was not concluded until Wednesday morning.  A searching investigation was made, but no light was thrown upon the mysterious crime, and a verdict was returned to the effect, that deceased had come to his death by shooting at the hands of some person unknown to the jury.

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.

Geo. Barclay was about fifty-four years old, and had been a resident of this section for about twenty-five years.  For many years he has kept a hotel and store, and engaged in lumbering operations at Pine River.  He was well known in Northern Minnesota, was generally well liked, and had the reputation of being honest and straight forward in his dealings with his fellow men.  He was a member of the G.A.R., having entered the service as wagoner, in Co. I, Ninth Minnesota, in August, 1862, and serving until his discharge in August, 1865.  He leaves a widow and one child, the latter being the wife of R.A. McDonald.”

The Brainerd Dispatch on 04 November 1898 printed an article on George A. Barclay’s murder.  You can find a transcript at Find A Grave, Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd.

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Pandemonium rained on the night of my great-grandfather George’s murder, October 29, 1898.  People were running here and there, shouting and yelling and there was a great deal of confusion.  There were many witnesses that had their own take on the actual happenings of the event.

In my last post I wrote a possible scenario of what may have happened that night taken from these eye-witness accounts.

Cowardly Murder

Someone had been standing out in front of the Barclay Hotel in the dark with a gun and aimed through the window.  The bullet went through the front window of the hotel and through George Barclay’s neck and into the post behind/or near him.  Nothing could have been done for him even though they tried to wire for medical aid which would come by train from Brainerd to Pine River.  He was gone!

Whatever aspirations that George had left to realize, they would not happen now and he would not be there for the births of his grandchildren.

Some people have been a little mean and unfeeling about George’s death.  He did have a married daughter, Grace, and she would have children. George’s grandchildren were my dad’s family and from them would come great-grandchildren.  Yes, descendants are living today of this man George Angus Barclay and his wife Amarilla.

My family knew of the murder of George but there was not much detail about the events of that night and what happened after. All we knew was that he was murdered and he “yelled a lot,” and may have had enemies?

The notes of my Aunt Miriam did little to explain the murder. She has the 28th not the 29th.

George's Death

Upon finding the court documents in 2001 and reading them, I will have to say that it was indeed emotional.  The murder was 103 years old back in 2001 when I read about it.  Here I was grieving over the rather sad way that my great grandpa died.

I have studied and read every line of the court documents looking for clues.  Frankly, I was surprised to find anything in the court records on this event.  After looking at the court documents that have survived, I feel a lot of documentation is missing and possibly removed from the files, which is probably not surprising, after all it was at that time 103 years old.

It would be difficult to solve this murder, why.

1.  The crime scene is gone:  The Barclay hotel burned in 1915 (a subject for a future post).  I have not been able to find any blue prints for the hotel which could be of help by telling us where things were inside.

2.  Evidence is long since gone.  The bullet was dug out of the post and removed by Deputy Sheriff Frank Breese with permission from the court.  It was examined and weighed.  What happened to it and where it has gone is unknown.   How long does a county keep evidence?

3.  Witnesses and suspects are gone:  Those individuals present at the scene of the crime are long since dead.  So witnesses and suspects who one would talk too are gone.

4. George himself has been gone a very long time and the condition of his body would be unknown.

5.  The only items left are the court records which to me are not complete and newspaper accounts.

It has long been a dream of mine to hire a forensic expert or CSI but it might be a little expensive.  Just having them review what information I have collected might be of great interest.  I was hoping Cold Justice the TV show would take it on but after having watched their first season I have learned that it is very difficult to work a case that is 25-30 years old because the evidence is lost imagine a hundred years ago. The Cold Justice website would only accept cases referred to them by a law enforcement officer.  I can just imagine the laughter from the county police regarding this 115 year old murder (2013) when they have more urgent cases to solve.

I know, I am dreamer or either I have watched too many crime shows. HA!

Oh, this murder case may be 115 years old but it is still an open case but inactive for there is no statute of limitations on murder in the USA.

 http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_statute_of_limitation_on_murder_in_the_US_and_other_countries

So what did happen that night of October 29, 1898. Well, let’s start with a few newspaper accounts.

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George's Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

George’s Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

The mist was beginning to form, evening was coming.  It had rained on and off throughout the day. The leaves were falling and a nip was felt in the air.  It was late October 1898.  The train had come in that day.   It always came on Saturdays.  The crowd of passengers it discharged was unusually large that day.  By now, most of them had gone on their way.  Heading home to their farms in the tall pines or out to a logging camp to prepare for the winter logging drive.  The chore boy, McMahon was at the upper barn helping Bebo and his nephew, Deperrold, bed down their horses for the night.  All that remained was to close up the barn and lock the feed box.  A group of hunters had come in that day and were settling in at the station depot.  The smell of dinner coming from Amarilla’s kitchen was on the breeze.  The lights from the Barclay Hotel glowed brightly.  Darkness was settling upon Pine River.

The Barclay Hotel

The Barclay Hotel

George Angus Barclay settled himself in a chair, from this vantage point he could keep an eye on what was happening in his establishment.  He had been tending bar in the saloon while Yllander, the bartender had been on dinner break.  Yllander had returned to his duties.  Good thing, he thought, it would be such a relief to sit down and rest his aching muscles.  He was pleased there was a substantial crowd in the saloon this evening.  The liquor was moving and the profit would be good.  Several of the men were buying drinks for others. Talk filled the air.  He settled back with a good cigar and the smoke from it circled upwards. The evening was going along pretty much like any other Saturday night at the Barclay Ranch.

The Barclay Hotel had three floors.  In addition to the saloon and the kitchen, there was a dining room, a store,  and living quarters for the Barclays.  You could rent a room for the night or as long as you needed.  The gabled roof was black  with shingles – advanced technology for the day. The porch roof extended out and wrapped itself around two sides of the building. The front of the building had a facade with a small portion of gable roof and on each side it protruded out in a straight line creating a wing on both sides.  This gave the building a little more flair otherwise it would have ended up looking like a big huge box.  There was a balcony on the front side and from it hung a big bold sign “Hotel Barclay.”  On the first floor there were two large picture windows in the front flanking a door.  Around the corner and down the side was another door. White sideboards ran all around and it was affectionately called the “White Elephant  This was definitely a big step up from the log cabin George Angus Barclay had built on the South Fork of the Pine River back in 1873.  The Brainerd Dispatch called the structure “as fine a building (as) would be expected in a town of 500 people.”

ColdBloodedMurder - Copy

Clapp was arguing with Barclay about some national political issue and Amarilla, Mrs. Barclay, was in the kitchen going about her dinner chores when the report of the gun echoed out across the night.   Amarilla’s head jerked up from her task and then she heard the commotion in the bar.  Her long dress swished as she swiftly made her way to the saloon where she spotted her husband.  He was crumpled there on the floor.  Something was dreadfully wrong. Someone was yelling “Barclay has been shot!” The men in the bar were running here and there. The tension in the air was sharp.  Pandemonium reigned. Amarilla heard someone screaming and realized it was herself.  Running over to George she knelt down, blood was coming from his neck.

George Angus Barclay tried to raise himself but couldn’t.  The pain was intense, he couldn’t get his breath, consciousness was fading.  He tried to speak “Co…l” came from his lips.  Time had run out for George Angus Barclay.

This man had survived the bloodiest years in United States history – the Civil War.  As a fresh young recruit he an enlisted at Fort Ridgely, Minnesota at the time of the 1862 Dakota Indian uprising. Later he had traveled up and down the Mississippi as a wagoner with the 9th Regiment, Company I of the Minnesota Volunteers.  He had received an honorable discharge and returned to Minnesota to establish a trading post at Pine River.  He farmed with his brother Alexander for a while, but it was not what he dreamed of doing for his life’s work.  He married Amarilla in 1878 in Brainerd. They lost their son George Alexander at 18 months of age in 1881 and the following year 1882, he held his daughter, Grace, in his arms.

Now he lay dying at age 54 and at the top of his life, successful in all he had done since the war.  The Minnesota frontier had only challenged him and pushed him on and he had come to this end on the floor of his hotel on October 29, 1898 at about 7:30 p.m.  Within 30 minutes or less, he was dead.   As he lay dying, Amarilla applied a cold towel to his head, giving him the last few minutes of comfort he would have in his life.

Written by his great-granddaughter, the person writing this blog, in 2005 from court records, newspaper accounts and more.

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Grace, daughter of Amarilla and George Barclay was growing up and in the spring she turned sixteen on April 10th, 1898.

Grace circa 1895

Grace circa 1895

If you would like to learn more about my grandmother Grace Amarilla Barclay McDonald you can go to the blog “The Man Who Lived Airplanes” where I talk about Grace.  This other blog is about her son Keith, my father and his life and the heritage of the McDonald/McDonell side of the family.

http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/

Here are some posts about Grace and her children.  On the right of the above blog is an Archive and you can find the months involved.

  • Grace Barclay McDonald dated May 29, 2010
  • Ronald and Grace: Family Life! dated April 10, 2010
  • Ronald and Grace’s Children dated February 27, 2010
  • Keith’s Parents:  Ronald and Grace’s Marriage! dated January 20, 2010

As a young girl she went to Minneapolis/St. Paul to attended school there.  I have not been able to determine what the name of the school was and I have tried.  All I have found are vague references to Grace being at school or home from school and more.

While going to school Grace wrote in her composition book and titled her work:  Words of a Wasted Moment.  It was filled with poems, stories, home work and tall tales.

Grace's Words of A Wasted Moment - Table of Contents

Grace’s Words of A Wasted Moment – Table of Contents

I had hoped that it would be more autobiographical but it was not.  It was more a musing of a young girl and school lessons.  There is one comment she makes in which she references Ronald (R.S.), her future husband. Here is what she writes.

Words of a Wasted Moment -

All Day Long

I have fussed and fumed and fretted

All the long day through

I have worried puzzled and stormed

And thought of you (Ronald dearest)

 

I am tired now the evening is here

I am glad though all is well

With you my dear whom I’ve

Learned to love so well (better than life)

6 pm  Jan 20, 1897

How my grandparents met is one of great speculation. Pine River was a stopping place and George an Amarilla’s hotel probably brought a lot of traffic.  The train depot was right there so people were coming and going. The travelers were salesmen, hunters, fishermen, farmers, gamblers, railroad men, settlers, agents, government officials and lumbermen.  My grandfather Ronald’s profession was lumberman and actually Superintendent so he may have been looking for lumber sales and places to cut timber or on his way to another location.

Did they met on the train to Minneapolis and St. Paul?  It is possible because Grace was used to traveling the railroads with her parents and maybe on her own.  Or did Ronald come to Pine River to do business with George or other lumbermen?

My grandfather Ronald (R.S. McDonald) was not the only one that noticed Grace.

Hank Taylor came to Pine River about June 28th and was there till around the 5th an 6th of August 1898.  He paid attentions to Grace and she went for a boat ride with him accompanied by her mother, Amarilla.

Can you picture a boat ride?

Can you picture a boat ride?

Mr. Taylor was generally credited with a bad character by many persons and had words with George Barclay.   He had been a prize-fighter and bouncer and possibly a thief.  It was believed he stole a watch. The situation was not good and Grace and her father George had words.  George didn’t like Taylor and ordered him away.  I gave it a try in the 1895 Minnesota state census and then the 1900 U.S. Federal to see if I could find Mr. Taylor but no luck.

Oh my, events are getting very interesting in Pine River!

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Meanwhile, back in Pine River in 1898, Amarilla was involved in some land transactions.

May 3, 1898 she is involved with a deed where she is buying land from an Erik Thunell.  George witnessed this deed for her.

Instrument No. 3928, Erick Thunell of the county of ___ (cut off), State of Minnesota to Ammarilla Barclay of the County of Cass State of Minnesota consideration of one hundred and sixty ($160.00) to him paid…the East 1/2 one half of the southwest quarter (E SW) (32) township one hundred thirty-eight (138) Range ______(cut off). Signed by Erick Thun___ (cut off). Witnessed by G.A. Barclay and Wm. Fuller. 

Written on the side: Affidavit See K of Misc. pg. 519. 

Source:  Erik Thunell to Ammarilla Barclay, Deed Book P, pg. 164, 3 May, 1898, Instrument #3928, Cass Co., Register of Deeds, Minnesota.  This deed was a form and some of the writing was cut off on the side of the page.

A couple of months later on August 23, 1898 at 4 pm Amarilla buys land from a E.W. Davis.  This time George is not a witness.  The amount of the transaction is $950.00, was this money George gave Amarilla or was it her own?  These are lots in Brainerd.

Deed between E. W. Davis and Amarilla

Portion of a Deed between E. W. Davis and Amarilla

E. W. Davis to Ammarilla Barclay. This Indenture made this 16th Day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight between E. W. Davis, and Nellie G. Davis his wife of the County of Pipestone and State of Minnesota, parties of the first part and Ammarilla Barclay of the County of Cass and State of Minnesota, party of the second part. Witnessth that the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of nine hundred and fifty and no/100 dollars _____in hand part by the said party of the second part. The receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged do by these presents grants bargains sell [revise], release and convey unto the said party of the second part and her heirs in and assigns forever all the following described lot, piece or parcel of land situate in the County of Crow Wing and the State of Minnesota, and known as follows to wit: lots numbered nineteen (19 and Twenty (20) of block numbered one hundred (100) of the original Town (now city) of Brainerd of the recorded plat there of an filed in the office of the register of deeds for the County of Crow Wing in the State of Minnesota – To Have and to Hold the same together with all the hereditments and appurtenances thereunto belonging ______________unto the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns forever, and the said E. W. Davis and Nellie G. Davis, parties of the first part for and of themselves their heirs executors and administrators do covenent with the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns that they _____ not made, done ____________ or suffered any act of thing whatsoever, whereby the above described premises or any part thereof ____or at any time hereafter shall or may be ______________charges or encumbered in any manner whatsoever. and the _______ granted premises against all ______lawfully claiming the same _____through or under the said E. W. Davis the said party of the first part will forever warrant and defend. In testimoney whereof the said party of the first part have hereunto their hands and seals this day and year first above written. Signed, Sealed and delivered in the presence of Marion Hanna and S.E. Wharton. Signed by E. W. Davis and Nellie G. Davis.

State of Minnesota County of Pipestone
On this 16th day of August AD 1898 before me a Notary Public within the foresaid County personally appeared E. W. Davis and Nellie G. Davis husband and wife. ____known to be the Persons described in and who executed the foregoing and ____instrument, and acknowledged that they executed the same as their free act and deed. S.E. Wharton, Notary Public in and for Pipestone Co., Minnesota.

Source:  E. W. Davis to Ammarilla Barclay, Special Warranty Deed, Filed August 23, 1898 4 pm #10691, Vol. 9, pg. 129-130, Crown Wing Co., Minnesota.  This deed was a challenge to read and you can see I did not get quite a lot of the words. Sometimes I have to read a deed several times before I get all the words.  I think we can figure out what is happening.

So Amarilla is buying lots in Brainerd.  I wonder why?  Were George and Amarilla planning on retiring in Brainerd?  He was 54 years old and she was just about 40.  They had been working the land and businesses in Pine River for 25 years.  Oh there could be so many reasons, I guess I will never know.

On the City of Brainerd website there are maps and they have a 1892 Sanborn Map that features the blocks and lots for Brainerd. The one that Amarilla is focusing on is page #3.  Block 100 is between E. Ivy and E. Juniper and N. Broadway and N. 9th St.  Click on the image and scroll to the bottom.  Unfortunately I cannot find this block on a current map online.  Cities are known for changing street names over the years.  If anyone knows where this is located please let me know.

Sanborn 1892 Brainerd

Sanborn 1892 Brainerd

UPDATE:  Thanks too two very nice persons who commented on this post (see comments), the other map titled Turner 1871 also shows the 100 block in Brainerd (Lots 19 and 20).  According to this map the land is not to far from the Courthouse in with the Barclay’s did a lot of business and the Episcopal Church, well if it is St. Paul’s then they have their marriage record.  I did seek out St. Paul’s church when I visited but can’t seem to find my picture.  I was so close.

 http://www.ci.brainerd.mn.us/docs/maps/historic/Turner1871.pdf  Be patient it does open but slowly.

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George is involved in another round of politics in 1897 regarding the organization of Cass County. Of course George A. Barclay wanted Pine River to be the county seat.  He was too late in organizing the convention to vote on that subject. This notice for a convention to choose a county seat for Cass appeared in the  Cass County Pioneer newspaper in July of 1897 somewhat hidden in back pages.

A convention for choosing a county seat in Cass Co., MN

A convention for choosing a county seat in Cass Co., MN

Notice:  Pursuant to notice duly given calling a non-partisan convention for the county of Cass for the purpose of selecting a location for a county seat to be voted on at a coming special election.  Said convention was called to order by Wm. H. Hallett, who was elected chairman.  A. J. Collins was elected clerk.  After seating the delegates the chairman was authorized to retain an able attorney to look after an direct the petitioners who wish to change the county seat.  One hundred dollars was raised for current expenses, Geo. Barclay of Pine River giving his check for $50.  Owing to the inclemency of the weather, but twenty of the sixty delegates attended. Those present, wishing to give every part of  the county a chance to vote on this important question.  The convention was adjourned until the 21st of June 1897 to meet at the Ellis post office school house on section 7 town 135, range 31, at 2 o’clock p.m.  On said date the delegates present will proceed to select a site for a new county seat.  All precincts are requested to have their delegates attend said adjourned convention.  Dated at County convention this the day of June, 1897 A Collins, Sec.  Wm. H. Hallet, Chm.

Source:  Notice, Cass County Pioneer Newspaper, Walker, MN, Film June 17, 1897, #1/2/1897 to 6/2/1898, Thursday, July 15, 1897 edition, Minnesota Historical Society newspaper collection.

I return to the Logsleds to Snowmobiles book about the history of Pine River on page 110 lower part of the first column:

“The governor appointments as Cass County Commissioners those who “will organize the county and decide the county seat” consisted of men all friendly to the timber interests.

It soon became obvious to George Barclay and others that “timber forces” were in control of the politics of the county, at least temporarily, for on May 14, 1897, the boom town of Walker which had been in existence for only a little over a year was “named” by the new commissioners the county seat of Cass County. 

Barclay, together with W.H. Hallett immediately called a “non-partisan convention” at the Collins House precinct south of Barclay’s Ranch for the purpose of “selecting a location for the county’s seat.”  Barclay had high hopes that the “convention” would select his settlement in place of Walker, and, therefore, he readily contributed $50 to defray part of the $100 convention expense.  Apparently, he hoped that in an election resulting from the conflict over two alternative county seats that the more populated southern portions of the county would outvote the northern region.  Barclay was to be disappointed for the hastily called convention could not agree on any single policy and broke up without taking positive stand on an alternative county seat.”  From the Brainerd Dispatch June 18, 1897, pg. 4, Logsleds bibliography notes pg, 516. 

According to the Cass County Historical Society the reason Walker was named the county seat was because it was incorporated in 1896 having 100 male voters.  Pine River had not yet incorporated and that would not happen till 1901.

UPDATE July 11, 2013:  Apparently I have written this post 2 times.  I apologize for that confusion.  I wrote about the County Seat of Cass on March 21, 2013.  So I am adding the last part of that post to this one and then deleting the March post.

Once Walker was chosen as the county seat of Cass County, Minnesota the next step was to incorporate Pine River.  It took a few years for that to happen.

The Logsleds Book Continues on page 111:

“It is not known when George Barclay first conceived of the idea of incorporating his settlement into a village, but is certain that by the time of the official organization of Cass County in 1897, he had definite plans on his mind.”

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A very kind individual sent me an article about George Barclay and Pine River taken from a journal written in 1897 and revisited  in the April/May 2005 issue of the MuskyHunter.com magazine.  George’s grandson, Keith, liked to fish and taught me how.

An article featuring Barclay's in Pine River in July of 1897...

An article featuring Barclay’s in Pine River in July of 1897…

…at 3:30 started on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota R.R. for Pine River Station.  A logging train off the track ahead of us delayed us somewhat, and we did not reach Pine River until about 7 o’clock, too late to depart for Kabekona Camp that night.  We found Pine River a typical backwoods railroad station.  There are two houses in the town; one a log cabin, the other a hotel, saloon and general store combined.  Barclay, the owner of the hotel, does quite an extensive teaming business for the logging caps in the surrounding country, and, being a Down East Yankee, seems quite prosperous.  Around the saloon door was gathered a miscellaneous crowd of about a dozen lumber cruisers, loggers, Indians and teamsters, nearly all drunk or willing to become so.  After attending to our luggage and making arrangements for an early morning start for Kabekona we retired to our beds which we found clean  and comfortable enough. Tuesday morning dawned cloudy, wet and cold, but we determined to start anyway, as we had little affection for the crowd around Pine River.”

Source:  “On the Trail of the Muscallonge 19th Century Musky Hunters search for nirvana in the wilds of northern Minnesota.” Larry Ramsell, Research Editor Musky Hunter.com. April/May 2005 pg. 80 – 81. “Excerpted from the “New Muscallonge Waters,” July 10, 1897 Issue of Forest and Stream by W.P. Mussy.   This was a journal about a fishing party.

My Aunt Miriam writes in her notes regarding George:

“He had land–Pine River is on it now –ran a “stopping place” and equipped gippos. (A gippo was an independent logger.) 

Note:  Miriam misspelled the word gippos in her notes.  It is spelled “gyppo.”

 Wikipedia has a definition at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyppo_logger

Hmmm….this description of Pine River shows that it was a pretty rough place in 1897.

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George tried again in April of 1897 for his Civil War Pension.  I refer you to the post I wrote on July 15, 2012 titled “George Barclay Seeks His Civil War Pension.”  In that post I did a list of the documents in the pension file that covered the time period of 1891 to 1895.  George’s first attempt at securing his Civil War pension.

1, On April 5, 1897 he again filled out the “Declaration for Invalid Pension” form

Soldier’s Application, George Barclay, I 9 Minn Inf. Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn.  Filed by H.D. Phillips Law Offices, (Stamped several times April 10, 1897, and April 20, 1897.)  Minnesota, Crow Wing, 5 April 1897 in the Dist. Court a record for George Barclay aged 52, resides at Pine River, County of Crow Wing, State of Minnesota, identical person who enrolled on the 15 Day of August 1862 in 1st Lt. M. Greenleaf’s Company I 9th Regiment, Minnesota, Infantry, as Wagoner in the war of the Rebellion and served at least ninety days and was honorably discharged at Fort Snelling Minn on the 24th of August 1865.  

That he is unable to earn a support by reason of Disease of Spine, partial Deafness, kidney trouble and weakness of lower limbs. Pension Application 1066560.  Signed in Pine River, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota by George Barclay and Attested by Louis [Zachering] and John F. [Frakes].  Louis [Doche] residing in Brainerd and John F. [Frater] also residing in Brainerd both knew claimant 14 years.  Signed by these men on 5th April 1897.  Prosecution of this claim by a Sam’l Parker, Clerk Dist. Crt, Crown Wing Co., Minn. 

2. On April 10, 1897 at the bottom another document has a big “ABANDONED” written across it.

NOTE:  Next in the file was the Timber Contract that I shared in the May 16, 2013 post, “Right of Way Brainerd & Northern RR October 1895 and the Timber Contract with NPRR in July 1897.” Why this Timber Contract was in the pension file I do not know.

3. A year later on April 28, 1898 a Department of Interior document was in the file.  Two of the same type of document.

1st form:  Western Div. Inv. Orig. No. 1066560 I 9 Reg’t Minn. Inf. April 28, 1898, Surgeons: 1st National Bank Block Sixth Str., Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minn. 10 o’clock am, every 1st and 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Signed by [H. Clay Evans] Commissioner.  Claimant:  George Barclay, Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn. Examined by [J.S. Camps], [Wemer Hemstead] and [A.F. Graves] 18 May 1898, signed by [Wemer Hemstead]. 

2nd form reads:  April 28, 1898 Mr. George Barclay, late a Wagoner Co. I, 9 Regt, Minn. Inf. Original #1066560, disease of spine, partial deafness, kidney troubles and weakness of lower limbs or any other disability.  Sign by W. Hemstead, Brainerd, Crown Wing Co. Minn. Claimant’s Post office:  Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn. 

George's Civil War Pension 2nd try 1897-98

George’s Civil War Pension 2nd try 1897-98

4. Followed by another larger document from the Department of the Interior asking questions of George.

Western Div. Inv Orig #1066560, George Barclay Co. I, 9th Reg’t. Minn Inf. Dated April 28, 1898. Mr. George Barclay, Pine River, MNN.  Signed by H. Clay Evans.  Are you a married man.  Answer: Amarilla Spracklen.  When, Where and by whom were you married:  Herbert Root. What record of marriage exists: married cerifect.  Were you previously married:  none.  Have you any children living:  Gracie A. Barclay Aprile 10, 1 o’clock 1882., Date of reply Af 6, 1898, signed by George Barclay.  

NOTE:  I featured this documents when I posted about Grace and her birth on May 23, 2011, “A daughter is born: Grace Amarilla 1882.” Since I do not have a birth record for Grace, my grandmother, this document serves as the acknowledgement that Amarilla was his wife and Grace (Gracie) was his daughter.  The document was in George’s handwriting  and signed by him.

5. The next month on May 18, 1898 he once again had a medical examination and the information was written on the Surgeon’s Certificate.

Surgeon’s Certificate, I, 9th Reg’t., Minn. Inf. Applicant for Original #1066560, Date of Examination May 18, 1898 Signed by J.S. Camp, Pres., Wemer Hemstead, Sec., A. G. Groves, Treas. (Board), PO:  Brainerd, County: Crow Wing, State Minnesota.

Original #1066560, George Barclay, Wagoner, Co. I, 9th Reg’t, Minn. Inf., Brainerd, Minn, Pine River, Minn. May 18th, 1898.  Disability:  Disease of Spine, Deafness, Kidney trouble, and weakness of lower limbs.  

Here is my partial summary of what was written on the Surgeon’s Certificate:  height 5 feet 4 1/2 inches; weight 130 pounds, age 54 years.  

a.  Disease of spine, no objective symptoms, no disability

b.  Deafness: can hear with both ears ordinary conversation at six feet, no disability

c.  Kidney trouble, no objective symptoms, no disability

d.  Weakness of lower limbs:  exaggerated knee reflex, no difference in measurement of legs, walks with difficulty and stiffness Rate 6/18.

f.  Disease of Urinary organs and other body parts:  he was given a rate of 4/18 and 6/18 respectively.  He had some problems that I am not going to share here.

g.  No evidence of vicious habits. 

Signatures of the 3 physicians at the bottom. 

There are no more documents regarding this attempt to obtain the pension by George himself  till November 21, 1898 and that one is under Amarilla’s name and called a Power of Attorney.

There will be more posts on this Civil War pension process from November 1898 to 1939.  All Amarilla’s attempt at securing her husband’s pension.

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