Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘McDONALD/MacDONALD SURNAME’ Category

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

The death of her father must have been a great shock to my grandmother Grace.  She was only a little over 16 years old at the time of his murder.  I wonder what she might have been thinking.  I have wondered what the news of her father’s death would be like for her.  Things had been tense between them because of Hank Taylor’s interest and then her marriage to my grandfather R.S. McDonald.  George had not been happy and told her so.

Here is a possible scenario:

            R.S. entered the hotel room.  Grace was just finishing tucking her hair into place.  She turned to greet him and stopped short.  R.S. looked at her intently.  “What’s wrong?” she said.  Ronald Sandfield McDonald searched carefully for the words that would tell his lovely new wife of the tragedy that had occurred.  “Well, Mr. McDonald, what on earth is wrong.” She demanded.  R.S. could see no other way but to say the words.  “Your father has been shot.”  Grace looked at him and blinked standing there with a puzzled look at her face.  “Papa, shot? Is he all right?”  R.S. took a deep breath and said:  “No, I am afraid to tell you this, but he died very quickly and suffered little.”  Grace began to sway and R.S. rushed to catch her and gently helped her to the bed.  “This can’t be. Are you sure?”  Grace said.  “Yes, here is the telegram that came just now.”  He handed it to her.  Grace took it into her hands and read it slowly and carefully.  It was from her mother, Amarilla and it asked her to come home immediately.  She held it tightly in her hand and the room was filled with silence. R.S. sat next to her gently comforting her. The last several months since their marriage had been hard but this was totally unexpected and unbelievable. R.S. was the first to break the silence and said “I have made arrangements to get you to Pine River as quickly as possible.  He rose from the bed and went to her suitcase and started packing her things.  Grace sat quietly on the bed, reading the telegram again and again.  Clutching it in her hand.  “Papa, dead?”

            Grace and R.S. said their goodbyes at the Cloquet train station.  “I have some business to finish up and will be going off to the camp.  I will come down to Pine River in a couple of days and be with you.  I am so sorry, Grace.  I wish I could be with you now but Backus has me running.”  Grace smiled gently at her husband. His job as Superintendent for Backus was not an easy one.  Grasping the railing she climbed abroad the train. Feeling a tug at his heart, R.S. watched the train starting its journey.  Leaving her behind was always hard but this was worse.  He turned on his heels and dashed up the street.

            Grace somehow found a seat on the train next to the window.  The train began to pick up speed.  Can’t this train go faster, she thought.  Wanting to get home and find out what had really happened to her father and yet on the other hand a tremendous dread of what was to come engulfed her.  Papa, dead……no it can’t be.  He was just yelling at Yllander a few weeks ago.  Papa always yelled! …

Written by her granddaughter in 2005.  My grandmother had her written compilation “Words of Wasted Moment.” I hope I have done her proud to write this scenario.  See the posted dated September 19, 2013 “1898: Sweet Sixteen – Grace Barclay is growing up. “

How Grace managed to get from Cloquet, Minnesota to Pine River by November 2, 1898 for the Coroner’s Inquest on the death of her father George, is only speculation on my part.  I am convinced she used the railroads to do it. Getting around as a passenger in Minnesota had not been easy but progress was being made by 1898.  She either went to St. Paul and headed for Brainerd where she took the train to Pine River; however, if the railroad was in place from Duluth to Brainerd then she could have gone to Duluth from Cloquet and transferred to get into Brainerd and then headed north to Pine River. Fun to speculate on her route.

The Historical Maps website has a railroad map for Minnesota dated 1900.  Grace was no stranger to traveling the trains.  She had been riding them for years going to school in St. Paul and traveling with her parents.

http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/historicalmaps/us_states/minnesota/index2_1891-1900.htm

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Grace and Ronald's Marriage picture

Grace and Ronald’s Marriage picture

The family lore is that Grace was not strong, but I don’t agree.  She was her father’s daughter and also a little of her mother.  You can see what I mean as you read the following account of the events of the marriage.

Mrs. Grace Barclay recalled says:

I was married the 8th of September in Hudson, Wis., I was at home immediately prior to the marriage.  Came back Oct. 1.  I stayed in Minneapolis from the four to the fourteenth of October. From there I went to Grand Rapids, Minn.  I stayed there a while and went out to a camp for a week, but kept rooms at the hotel all the time.  My husband is superintendent for Backus in the Willow River country.  We were near Cloquet when we heard 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.  He said he would drive across country and will be here tonight,…

My grandmother Grace was 16 years old when she married my grandfather Ronald. Grandfather Ronald was 32 years old at the time. I pondered this 16 year difference in their age when I saw the birth records at the Koochiching County Courthouse in International Falls, Minnesota.  I was looking for my Dad’s birth record and his siblings. I remember saying out loud incredulously:   “Grandpa what were you thinking?”

Grace and Ronald did marry on September 8, 1898 in Hudson, St. Croix County, Wisconsin.  Hudson is just across the state line between Minnesota and Wisconsin and not that far from Minneapolis/St. Paul.  The distance is 29 miles by our freeway standards.  The marriage record is quite odd and very plain.  It has no identifying publication marks stating it is from Wisconsin.  It almost looks like a scrap of paper.  I do have the Wisconsin Vital records application and the envelope this Marriage record was returned to me in.  You will have to take my word that the marriage was performed in Wisconsin.

In reviewing their marriage record we find the following information:

Ronald S. McDonald is the husband, his father is Archibald, his mother is Mary.  Ronald’s occupation is lumberman and his residence is given as Duluth. He was born in Canada.  Grace’s name is written “Gray A. Barclay.” Her parents are George A. Barclay and Amarilla Spracklen.  She was born in Pine River, MN.  They married on Sept. 8, 1898 in Hudson, St. Croix Co.  (I wrote in the state).  They are white. The ceremony was Presbyterian.  The witnesses were Mike Dorgan and Grace & Charles Burnley.  The witnesses were from Hudson, St. Croix Co.  The marriage was registered September 26, 1898 and the parties were sworn.

What do I think about this information?  Well there are a few pieces of information that are very interesting.   The first is that Ronald’s place of residence is Duluth.  I have suspected that he did live there.  The other piece of information is the marriage ceremony was Presbyterian.  Ronald was Catholic.  Grace her religion was unknown.  He basically married outside his faith.  The witnesses are also intriguing because their names are unfamiliar to me.  Their residence is given as Hudson?

My Aunt Miriam, didn’t know when and where her parent’s marriage took place, it has been solved.  The lesson learned is that if you can’t find it in the state they are residing in then try the neighboring states.

I mentioned that the marriages was in secret.  This is true.  Grace’s father George Angus Barclay was not happy about it and threatened to disinherit her.  He said and unkind comment about grandfather Ronald which I will not repeat here. Apparently, father and daughter made up in time.

For more information about this marriage see the blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  Go to the right side of this blog and you will find it listed under BJ’s Family History Blogs.   This other blog goes into detail about the Mac/McDonald side of the family.  The marriage of my grandparents, Grace A. Barclay and Ronald S. McDonald united these two families.  Their youngest son Keith would be my father.

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

My great-grandfather George did apply for his Civil War pension.  I will be writing about that in future posts but at this time I am taking a break from this blog to focus on other lines of my family. 

Ontario and Quebec

Ronald S. McDonald married Grace Barclay, the daughter of George and Amarilla.  These two individuals are my grandparents. I have not posted about this marriage on this blog for I am trying to be chronological about George and Amarilla’s lives and events.   Ronald and Grace married in 1898 in Wisconsin, in secret!

I did share about my grandparents in another blog about my dad’s McDonald side where I will share about my trip:   

The Man Who Lived Airplanes: http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/

Ronald’s family came from Quebec and probably originally settled in Ontario.  I have long wanted to visit Ontario and Quebec and will be doing so soon. 

The other blog involved is the blog about my mother’s family and I will share other parts of the trips on that blog: 

 Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg blog: http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

Don’t worry, I will let you know what is happening as I travel along.  The Man Who Lived Airplanes will be the main focus of the trip to Ontario and Quebec.  The Boardman and Browns will cover the visit to Hastings County and British Columbia.  I am trying to keep the research specific to the theme of the blog. 

Come and join me!

There are several choices to participate and contact me, either on this blog or the others. 

  1. You can click “follow” and it will send you a notice of any updates.  It usually shows up on the right side of a post like a hover.
  2. You can make a comment on a post. Click on “Leave a Comment.” I like comments.  I will try to get back as quick as I can but when I travel it can be a challenge.  All comments are approved by me before they are published. 
  3. You can “subscribe “and I am the only one who knows who you are.  See the box on the right of the blog in the side bar.
  4. You can go to the “About and more” or “Compiler and More” or “About” page on the top of one of my blogs and scroll to the bottom before the “Shared List” stuff and find my Gmail – cut and paste that into your email browser.  There are other suggestions to find me on that page. 
  5. Click “Like.”   To find this box click on comments and it is hidden there at the bottom.

There are actually “Barkley’s” and Kellers Canada.  I wonder?

Read Full Post »

Most of the stories I heard growing up were dominated by my McDonald side through my father Keith.  His full name was Keith Barclay MacDonald.  I heard stories about the family through his siblings. My father really didn’t talk that much about his family.  He was close to his father and siblings.  I knew a little about my father’s mother Grace, my grandmother, but the stories were mostly about her death and it was all very sad.   

Miriam, my aunt, had provided my first introduction to my great grandparents on the Barclay side by sending me a page of typed notes about 1986 that had two paragraphs describing each one of these two individuals with the surname of Barclay. 

As I read the two paragraphs that described by great-grandfather and grandmother I tried to reach my mind behind the words.  I was astounded! Who were these two people?  Reading about these two individuals for the first time sparked a great curiosity in me.  I will start with George’s paragraph  

George A. Barclay Notes

 

In reviewing these notes here are a few thoughts based on what I have learned.  I will go into more detail in future posts.    

His name was George Angus Barclay and this is correct. 

The date of birth of 1846 is not correct. He was born August 18, 1844 per his Civil War Pension file.  

The death of date of 1898 is correct.  He died October 28, 1898.  

He enlisted August 15, 1862 as a wagoner Co. I, 9th Minn. Vol. Inf.  This is all correct according to his Civil War Pension file and Civil War Service file.  The enlistment at Fort Snelling is not correct.  He enlisted at Fort Ridgely at the time of the Dakota Indian uprising.  

He homesteaded in what is called Pine River.  Yes he bought land in the Pine River area and settled there by about 1873.   

He operated a half-way house.  I didn’t know what this term “half-way house” meant.  Answers.com defines this as:   

“A stopping place, such as an inn, that marks the midpoint of a journey.” 

True, he first had a trading post on the south fork of the Pine River and later he moved up to the present area of Pine River about where the visitor’s center is located.  He built a house, barn, a store, later a hotel.  It was situated by a train depot after about 1896 and was a place were a lot of hunters, loggers, businessmen, settlers and travelers would stop for the night.  

He financed “gyppo loggers.”  Again I did not know what this term “gyppo” meant.  Dictionary.dot com defines this term as: 

 “a logger who operates on a small budget and typically gleans the timberlands already cut by larger companies.” 

“someone willing to do piecework, usually a non-union worker…” 

George did have logging interests.  I have a timber contract he had signed.  To what extent and who he employed is not known.  

He was shot while reading the paper on October 28, 1898.  This is true my great-grandfather was shot and killed.  The bullet traveled through the front window of his hotel. It caused quite an up roar and resulted in a Coroner’s Inquest and later a trial.  

It is not known whether he was born in Scotland or New Jersey.  George’s birth is still shrouded in mystery.  I have tracked him back to 1850 where he was living in Enfield, Connecticut.  He is six years old.  He is not with his father or mother.  He is with a completely different family.   

His father was John Barclay.  This is true.  I have been researching John Barclay and have quite a bit of information on him.   

His mother was “Margaret.”  George’s mother is a mystery.  Miriam knew very little about her and so far I have not been able to identify her.   

George was indeed a small man as described in his Civil War Pension file medical records.  He came in at 5 feet 4 inches tall.  In 1892 he weight 125 lbs.  If you compared my great-grandfather with me, we would be about the same size.  He was a wagoner in the Civil War which means he handled those huge wagons and mules?  

I was able to target each one of these comments written by my Aunt Miriam and it started me on a great adventure in researching the life of my great-grandfather.

Read Full Post »

Miriam McDonald

Before I go any further on this blog, I want to stop and take the time to acknowledge the work done by my Aunt Miriam.  Miriam is the granddaughter of Amarilla and George Barclay.   

George and Amarilla had a daughter named Grace.  Miriam was Grace’s daughter and older sister of my father, Keith.  She provided me with  family history notes on my great-grandfather and mother George Angus Barclay and Amarilla Spracklin Barclay. In 1986 I wrote to my Aunt Miriam and in response she sent to me approximately six pages of Family History notes, photos, charts and other memorabilia.  From those six pages which later grew to about 10, I was able to find information about my family and go well beyond what Miriam started by sharing this information.   I will be sharing her notes with you. 

Miriam probably did this research prior to 1980.  She had no internet or options for research like we do today.  On the whole the notes are accurate if not vague.  There are slight mistakes but mostly she was right on.  I am so grateful.

Miriam was an English teacher at Franklin Junior High School in Yakima, Washington from about 1935 to 1972.  She never married and did not have any children.  After her retirement Miriam traveled the world.  She visited Scotland where the Barclay’s and McDonald’s came from many years ago. 

She died before most of this research was done (1997), so she never knew that her notes would lead to many wonderful discoveries regarding the Barclays and other surnames in our family such as McDonald, Spracklin, Goss, Delano, Keller, Cooley, Wolcott, Bliss, White, Vassall and more. — Thank you, Miriam.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: