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Widows Application 1898

Widows Application 1898 portion of…

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

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

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

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

General Affidavit of Bertha Mickelson, 25 February 1901.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register of Coroner's Inquest

Register of Coroner’s Inquest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The steps are very complicated in murder investigations today.

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

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

A familiar figure of the times!

A familiar figure of the times!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The scene is turned over to law enforcement. 

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

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

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

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

3.  An officer is put in charge of the investigation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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George’s father, John Barclay, passed away on 25 December, 1897.  I tried to find out if George attended the funeral but I did not have any luck with the newspaper gossip columns in Pine River and in Shakopee.  He is barely mentioned in the obituary.

The last time I posted on my 2nd great-grandfather John Barclay, I talked about his Civil War service in several posts and caught up with the happenings in Eagle Creek, Scott County, Minnesota.

There are many more posts on John Barclay that were done early in this blog so check on the Categories on the right side.  These were the most recent.

1.  Catching up with the Barclay’s of Eagle Creek Twp., February 12, 2012

2. The 1890 Census and Veterans Schedules – John Barclay dated February 25, 2012

3.  Rejected Claim:  John Barclay’s Civil War Pension!, dated March 11, 2012.

In 1894, John and his wife Ellen/Helen, sell land to a Charles G. Bowish of Shakopee, Minnesota.  They receive $1 from this person which might imply some relationship?

For the sum of $1.00 convey the following land:  The north half of the NE qtr of Section 23 in township 115 of range 22.  Except a mortgage thereon and on their lands, payable to Henry Hinds.  Witnessed by Charles G. Hinds and E. J. [Affolter] and signed by John Barclay and Helen Barclay etc.

Source:  John Barclay & Wife to Charles G. Bowdish of Shakopee City, Minnesota, 21 June 1894, Vol. 39 pg. 227 Instrument #1304, Scott Co., Minnesota FHL#1255725. 

In the Minnesota State Census of 1895 we find the family of John Barclay to be as follows:

Family #54:  Barclay, John, age 94, male, white, born in Scotland, Resident of state 45 years, 45 years in enumeration district, occupation none, mother and father both of foreign birth.  Barclay, Ellen, age 65, female, white, born in Norway, both parents of foreign birth.  Barclay Charlie, age 35, male, white, born in Minnesota.  In state and enumeration district 35 years, a farmer, employed 12 mos of the year.  Both parents of foreign birth.

Source:  Family of John Barclay, 1895 Minnesota State Census, Eagle Creek, Scott County, Minnesota, pg. 2, Schedule #5, Enumerated on the 10th day of June 1895. FHL#565810. 

In 1898 the Every Name Index to the Scott Co. Atlas of 1898 has Barclay listed and we find Helen Barclay and William Barclay are the owners of the land.

John is not there but Helen and William are? 1898 Plat Book

John is not there but Helen and William are? 1898 Plat Book

John Barclay appears in the Vital Record and Indexes of 1853-1972 for Scott County, Minnesota – Death Records. Vols. A-C 1871-1907, FHL#1379418.

Index: Barclay, John, line 25, Dec. 25, 1897, Book B, pg. 24, line 146.

Register of Deaths in the Town of Eagle Creek, Scott Co., Minnesota
1897 line 6 Dec. 25, 1897 John Barclay, Male, White, married, 96 years old, born in Scotland, Name of parents John and [Mary], parents birthplace Scotland, cause of death old age, Date of record Jan, 3, 1898. Copies of the register at the Scott Co. Historical Society, June 2007.

Much to my delight I did find an obituary notice on John in the Scott County Argus newspaper for December 30, 1897 page 4 column 1.  George is alluded to but not named like his brother Alexander.

John Barclay's Obiturary 1897

John Barclay’s obituary 1897

BARCLAY – At the home of his son Charles , in Eagle Creek, Saturday, Dec. 25, 1897, of old age, John Barclay, aged ninety-six years.  Deceased was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 18th day of March, 1801, and the first forty years or more of his life were spent in his native land.  By his first wife seven children were born to him; and in the 40’s the family, diminished by the loss of the wife and mother, came to America.  All these children are still living, one, Alexander, being a resident of Dakota county, another lives elsewhere in this state, three live in Connecticut, and two in the far west.  As early as 1848 John Barclay located at Fort Ridgely, in the then wilderness of the great Minnesota territory, and in 1853 he came to Eagle Creek and took up a claim.  Some years later he married Ellen Iverson, who with four children survives him.  These children are Charles, at home; William located at Pony, Mont.; Mary, at Butte, Mont.; and Annie, now Mrs. David Carter, of Marinette, Wis.  Of these only Charles and Mrs. Carter were able to be at the funeral.  This took place Tuesday afternoon from the Presbyterian church, Rev. J.B. Ferguson officiating, an the remains were followed to their last resting place in the Valley Cemetery by neighbors and may friends of the early pioneer days.

Note:  There was also a funeral notice in the Dec. 31, 1897 Shakopee Tribune under Local

“Died: — John Barclay died at the home of his son Charles, in Eagle Creek township last’ Saturday at the advanced age of 96 years.  Funeral took place from the Presbyterian church last Tuesday; Rev. Ferguson officiating. “

In searching the court Probate records for Scott County, I did not find a will or probate/estate file for John Barclay.  I did find one for his wife in 1907.  John had sold land to his wife about 1867 and there are deeds in which he sold land to his sons.  This means that he probably didn’t have enough money to have a probate; however, there should be a court record of  dismissal if that was the case.  So I am not sure what happened?

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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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George Angus Barclay was discharged with honor at the end of the Civil War on August 24, 1865. 

About October 19, 1891 he filed his first set of claim papers.  This would be a long process for George and Amarilla. 

Most Civil War pension files are housed with the National Archives in Washington D.C.  There is a sizeable fee attached to obtaining one.  I was lucky.  I sought George’s pension before the rate hike took place.  I filled out all the paperwork that NARA requires and mailed it.  My papers came back to me with a note that the pension was with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.  So I wrote to the Veteran Affairs in June of 2001 and they sent me the file which was a good 2 inches thick.  I offered to pay for the copies, but they didn’t seem interested. 

Lisa Peterson, my colleague at APG, has written an article and posted it on her blog.  It gives an explanation of how to obtain a Civil War pension from the VA, but be advised that you might have to be a direct descendant so check with them first: 

http://www.kinquest.com/usgenealogy/va.php 

George started the process in 1891.  It was to be a long and difficult one, spanning 49 years.  If seems that every time the laws were changed regarding the Civil War pensions, Amarilla would try again and fail.  I was told it was not always fair who received the pension and who did not?

This Civil War pension was a gold mine of information about my great grandparents.  Each time they submitted they had to resubmit their vital information.  So I have several copies of their marriage license and more. 

Summary of George’s Civil War Pension: 1891 to 1895:

1. Veteran Identification Data page:  This is a summary sheet of the file for the Veterans Affairs office and includes File No., location and more.           

2.  Application of Discharged Soldier for Additional Bounty, 18th day of June 1867 for $100.00 – At Eagle Creek, Scott Co., Minnesota.  The 3rd page was a Power of Attorney.

Application of Discharged Soldier

 

Page two of the Application of Discharged Soldier

3.  Soldier’s Application – Declaration of Invalid Pension “ Act of June 27, 1890, Minnesota, County of Crow Wing, 19th day of October 1891, George Barclay aged 48 years resident of Pine River, Crow Wing Co, Minnesota declares he is the identical person who enrolled on the 15th of August 1862, Co. I, 9th Reg., Minn. Infantry, as Wagoner.  Who was honorably discharged at Ft. Snelling, MN on the 24th of August 1865.  He is unable to earn a support by reason of weakness of both legs near the knees.  He has not applied for pension and never appeared before.  Attest:  [S.G.] Alderman and [A.S.] Trommald.  Appeared before Jno. F. Fraker residing at Brainerd, Minn. and Louis Fache, Brainerd, Minnesota, known for 7 years and 10 years respectively signed by both. Sworn this 19th day of October, 1891 and signed by [S.F. Alderman] Clerk Dist. Court, Crown Wing, Minn.

4. Circular Call NO. 7 – Department of the Interior Bureau of Pensions 23 November 1891. I believe it is a direction to George to report to a Green B. Raum, Commissioner.

5. Military Service Name of Soldier George A. Barclay Enlistment information 25 November 1891.

6. Memorandum, Pension Affidavit of George Barclay, 6 January 1892.  Showing that George was represented by a Henry Phillips, Attorney at Law and Solicitor. Two copies.

7. Surgeon’s Certificate February 2, 1892. The medical examination that is done by a board of physicians that report the claimant’s condition. John Knight, Pres., E.C. [Furan] Sec’y., W. N. Morel, Treas. Following disability incurred in service:  weakness of both legs near the knee.  

8.  Memorandum dated 6 February 1892.  George explains his military service.

“State of Minnesota, Crow Wing…In the matter of Geo. Barclay for Pension. Personally came before me a Clerk of the District Court. “I have not been in the military or naval service of the United States since August 24, 1865.  That I served as Wagoner in Company “I” 9th Minn Vol. Inft. For the period of 3 years and 9 days and was never in any company.”  No signature

9.  Pension Affidavit of George Barclay, September 5, 1892 in George’s own words his health condition.

“Said soldier:  George Barclay dully sworn declares…as follows: That I incurred disease of the kidneys and injury to legs prior to Oct. 26, 1891; that said disabilities are not due to vicious habits and are to the best of my knowledge and belief permanent.  Dates when contracted are as nearly as possible as follows:  About September 1890, I was making hay on the river and had to enter the water and got my feet wet nearly every day my kidneys became much affected.  In May of 1865 at Marian, Alabama, I was riding a mule and he fell over and I went into a ditch and he fell across my legs.” (Transcribe as best as possible.)

10.  July 17, 1893 – Law Offices of Henry D. Phillips for George Barclay:  Written on this card it reads:  “Please speed action.”

11. Surgeon’s Certificate May 23, 1894, George is once again examined.  This time by John Knight, Pres., J. M. [Glinnor] Sec’y., L. M. [Bobcout] Treas. Disability incurred in the service:  Injury of legs & disease of the kidneys.

12.  Invalid Pension for George Barclay – Submitted for rejection 28 November, 1894. “No disability from causes alleged shown in a degree ratable under the Act of June 24, 1890.

13. December 11, 1894, From the Law Offices of Henry D. Phillips for George Barclay it reads:  “Please send status.” 

As you can see it was a cumbersome process and I found it very difficult to figure out exactly what each piece of paper meant.  When I received the pension it was not in any date order and of course they copied and put the cover page behind so it made it hard to figure out what piece of paper belonged to another. 

Based on what I have summarized here it looks like this is the first attempt of George A. Barclay to obtain his Civil War Pension. George will try again before his death in 1898.  I will share more about this pension file in a later post. 

It is interesting he was examined twice and they started with the weakness in the legs to later change it to injury of the legs and kidney disease.  George was 49 years old at this time.  Remember he was not a large man.  According to the Surgeon’s Certificate  he was 125 lbs. and 5 ft. 4 inches tall at this time.

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