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Amarilla’s older brother was killed in a terrible accident on June 22, 1893.  I do not know how she took the news or whether she went to the funeral.  Henry had stayed behind in Iowa, while Amarilla had headed north to Minnesota.  He had left Iowa County by 1875 and was married by then (see below for information about the marriage).  Amarilla was in Minnesota and married by 1878.  So they were not close in location. 

Henry Franklin Spracklin was a full brother to Amarilla.  He was the oldest son and child of the first family of his father Daniel D. Spracklin and Elizabeth Keller.  Oliver and Mary had died young.  Amarilla and Henry were all that was left of this first family. 

In my post dated November 3, 2011 - Spracklin & Keller Connection, Amarilla’s Parents.  I outlined the four children that Daniel had with Elizabeth Keller before her death in 1859.

Daniel D. and Sarah Spracklin, the 2nd wife, were still living at the time of Henry’s death in Iowa County, Iowa. Let’s review the census both Federal and state to get a feel for what was happening in this family leading up to the death of Henry.

State census for Iowa at Ancestry are:  1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925.   Any census taken before 1856 was specific to certain counties so you would need to study the list that Ancestry provides to get back further than 1856.  Their database covers 1836 to 1925. The Spracklin name is not easy to find in these census so you will need to use a variety of spellings and names in your search. 

I spent several days in the building below research the Spracklins and mostly Henry.  There are two offices for the State Historical Society one in Des Moines (main) and the other in Iowa City, Iowa. 

State Historical Society of Iowa – Iowa City

U.S. Federal Census 1880 – D.D. Spracklin Household, Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa, page 7, ED #211 #267 line 41.

Location: #69/63, Spracklin, Daniel (David), white, male, married, 50 years old, farmer, born in Ohio, father was born in England. and mother was born in Ohio. Spracklin, Sarah, white, female, 40 yrs, wife, keeping house, born in Indiana, father born in Virginia, mother born in Ohio. Spracklin, Lydia, white, female, 15 yrs., daughter, at school, born in Iowa. Spracklin Virdia, white, male, age 13, son, at school, born in Iowa. Spracklin Reed A., white, male, age 11, son, at school, born in Iowa. Spracklin, Daniel, white, male, age 10, son, at school, born in Iowa. Spracklin, George, white, male, age 7, son, born in Iowa. Spracklin, Charles, white, male, age 6, son, born in Iowa. Spracklin, Alfred, white, male, age 3, born in Iowa.

Note:  This census is probably the only on that features all of the 2nd family of Daniel D. Spracklin. 

Henry is not listed here and neither is Amarilla.  We do not find Henry till the 1885 Iowa Census.  He is not listed in the 1880 as far as I can determine and believe me I have tried.

Source:  Iowa State Census 1885,  The Henry Spracklin Family, Muscatine, Muscatine, Iowa, Line 2, Roll IA 1885_239.

85, 72, Spracklin Henry, walnut at between 4 & 5th st., age 32, male, married, laborer, Ohio. Spracklin, Elisabeth, age 31, female, married, keeping house, PA. Spracklin Harry, age 7, male, Keokuk. Spracklin Maggie, age 6 female, Scott. Spracklin Eddie, age 5, male, Scott. Spracklin, Flora, age 3, female, Scott, Spracklin, John, age 2, male, Scott. Spracklin, Wilbur, 0, male, Scott.

Daniel is living in Iowa County with the family in 1885 – D.D. Spracklin Family, Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa Film #1021479, Iowa Co. Genealogical Society. 

 House #127, Family 127, Daniel D. Spracklin, Twp 78, Range 12, Section 19, Residing in Dayton Twp., 41 yrs. old, male, married, farmer, born in Ohio. Sarah Spracklin, residing in Dayton Twp., 40 yrs. old, female, married, housewife, born in Indiana. Read A. Spracklin, 16 yrs. old, male, born in Iowa. Dalia Spracklin, 14 yrs. old, male, born in Iowa. Peter G. Spracklin, 12 yrs. old, male, born in Iowa. Charles E. Spracklin  10 yrs. old, male, born in Iowa. Alfred M. Spracklin, 8 yrs.? old, male, born in Iowa. All residing in Dayton Twp. same range and section.

Note:  Some interesting spellings to note in this census:  Reed is spelled “Read,”  Dalia is probably Daniel.  Reed has been difficult to find in the census so use different spellings when searching for him and maybe one of his children. 

Unfortunately the 1890 US Federal census was mostly destroyed by fire in 1922 and nothing survived for Iowa.  So we cannot take a good look at Henry’s family and Daniel’s to compare for the year of 1890. 

By 1893 Henry had moved and was working at the Weyerhaueser-Denkmann mill in Davenport, Scott Co., Iowa when a log slammed back on him.  The following article describes the accident and events. 

Source: The Davenport Democrat & Leader, Friday Evening June 23, 1893 front page column 1, Davenport, IA, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

“A Workman Meets His Death In a Mill”

About the middle of the afternoon as H.F. Spracklin, a workman in the Weyerhauser-Denkmann mill, was shoving a plank into an edging machine, the plank became involved in the machinery in some manner so that it was hurled back, striking Spracklin in the breast and shattering his left arm. The man fell like a log, and although his fellow workmen ran to his assistance it was evident that nothing could be done to alleviate his sufferings. Physicians were telephoned for and it was deemed advisable to remove the injured man to Mercy hospital. This was attempted, in the city ambulance, but the injured man died en route, when the wagon was in the neighborhood of Fourteenth and Gaines streets. Mr. Spracklin lived a short distance north of the Orphans’ home. He leaves a wife and nine children, the eldest about 16 years of age, whom he supported by his labors. While it is not known that the family is threatened with destitution now that their paternal support is removed, it is plain that the death of the husband will bear heavily upon them.”

Henry had married Elizabeth Downey on 16 November 1875 in Keokuk Co., Iowa.  Elizabeth was born about 1854 in Cambria Co., PA.  Her parents were John Downey (1822 to 1912) and Margaret McGavery (1826 to 1872).  Elizabeth’s grandparents were Dennis Downey (b. 1798, Ireland) and Elizabeth Crilley (b. 1790 died 19 Aug 1880 in Loretta, Cambria Co., PA.  She is buried in the St. Michael’s Cemetery. 

Finding out what happened to Elizabeth after Henry’s death is a very interesting story which I will share in a future post. 

Source:  Keokuk County, Iowa, Marriages 187-1880, #1313, Nov. 16, 1875, pg. 49, State Historical Society, Iowa City, IA.

There was some confusion on the number of children Elizabeth and Henry had together.  One researcher had combined Henry’s kids with the his first son Harry who had 10 children.  The account above listed 9 children.  With a great deal of work on my part and on my cousin’s who is a great-grandson of Henry, we have been able to identify and get a better understanding of just how many children Elizabeth and Henry had.  I will discuss Henry’s and Elizabeth’s children in the next post.

I would like to thank my cousin Jerry Spracklin, who supplied some if not all of the research on this family.  I met Jerry and his family back in 2003 when I went to Iowa to do research.  If you wish to know more about this family of Henry and Elizabeth please contact me and I would be happy to connect you with Jerry.

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On 4 May, 1880 John Keller, Amarilla’s grandfather, passed away from stomach cancer.  John Keller was the father of Amarilla’s mother Elizabeth Keller Spracklin and the husband of Mary Anne Delano Keller.  How this death affected Amarilla is unknown and whether she even knew her grandfather is also unknown.  Amarilla was 21 years old at his death or about that age.

The grandparents had settled in South Bloomfield Twp., Morrow County, Ohio.  Morrow County, Ohio was a composite of several counties: Knox, Richland, Marion and Delaware Counties.  It was established in 1848.  Birth and death records were not recorded till 1867, marriage started 1848 by the county.   Apparently there was a great deal of protest about the formation of Morrow County at the time. 

John and Mary Keller had eleven (11) children.  Elizabeth Keller was their oldest and first-born. 

1. Elizabeth Keller born 4 Aug 1831, probably Sparta, Knox Co., Ohio married Daniel D. Spracklin 1 Jan 1853 in Sparta, Morrow Co., Ohio and died in Benson Co., Iowa near Blairstown/Marengo.  Buried in Titler Cemetery northwest of Marengo. This is Amarilla’s mother.

2. Susan Keller born 3 Nov. 1832, Sparta, Knox Co., Ohio d. 20 June 1834, Sparta, Knox Co., Ohio, burial unknown.

3.  Peter Keller born 28 Nov. 1834, Sparta, Knox Co., Ohio married Eliza Ann Everts 6 July 1957 in Sparta, Morrow Co., Ohio.  Peter died 22 May 1869 in So. Bloomfield Twp., Morrow Co., Ohio and is buried with his parents in the Hedding M.E. Cemetery in that location.  His information is listed on the left side of the parents tombstone.   Peter and Eliza had 5 children.  It is possible she remarried to a Mr. Denzer.  Peter served in the Civil War and I believe he died because of his wounds.  I have not obtained his Civil War service or pension record at this time but might when I visit Washington D.C. in June 2011.

NOTE:  The History of Morrow County in various versions is online at Google Books. 

4.  Lovinia Lavinia Keller was born 17 Feb 1837 in Sparta, Morrow Co., married William Golf Helt on 17 Feb 1855 in Morrow Co., Ohio and died 22 Dec 1837 in Sparta, Morrow Co., Ohio.  They had 8 children.  I believe William died before 1883.

5.  Amarilla Keller born 28 Mar 1839 in Sparta, Morrow Co., Ohio and married Harrison Barr on 12 Sep 1858 in Sparta, Morrow Co., Ohio.  They had about 9 children.  Amarilla died 12 May 1915 in Galion, Crawford Co., Ohio and Harrison was before 1910 in Polk, Crawford Co., Ohio.

6.  Caroline Keller born 28 Nov 1841 in Sparta, Knox Co., Ohio married Joseph Higgs Van Houten on 1 Dec 1857 in Morrow Co., Ohio.  They had 5 children.  Caroline died 2 Jun 1902 in Washington Twp. Hardin Co., Ohio and Joseph followed in 29 Jan 1903 in the same location. 

7.  John Delano Keller Jr. was born 22 May 1844 in Sparta, Morrow Co., Ohio and he probably married Mary L. Carson about 6 Dec 1868 in Morrow Co., Ohio.  He died 4 Jun 1876 in Fredericktown, Knox Co., Ohio. 

8.  Mary Ann Keller was born 16 Dec 1846 in Sparta, Morrow Co., Ohio and died sometime after 1900.  She married an Alexander Shaffer on 24 Jun 1866 in Morrow Co., Ohio.  They had about 9 children.   I have reason to believe they moved to Richland Co., Ohio to live.

9.  Henry Keller was born 29 Mar 1849 in Sparta, Morrow Co., Ohio and married Martha Kees (Keyes) 28 Oct 1871 in Morrow Co., Ohio.  Henry died after Aug 1909 in Morrow Co. and Martha followed in about 1927.  They had 2 children.

10.  Harriet Ellen Keller was born 15 Mar 1852 in Morrow Co., Ohio and married 3 Jan 1875 in Morrow Co. to John Lacy.  She died 22 Mar 1920 in Dresden, Muskingum Co., Ohio and he followed after 1930 in the same location.

11.  William Franklin Keller was born 15 Sep 1855 in Fredericktown, Knox Co., Ohio and married on 22 Dec 1880 in Galion, Crawford Co., Ohio to Ida Catherine Riblet.  They had 3 children.  He died 2 Feb 1911 in Morrow Co., Ohio and she followed on 16 Nov. 1930.

Sources for these children have been the U.S. Federal Census 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910 etc for Knox and Morrow Co., visiting cemeteries and tombstones -  Book:  Cemetery Inscriptions for Morrow Co., Ohio Vols 1-6.  A book: The Genealogical History and Alliances of the American House of Delano 1621 to 1899, pg. 426. (This book gives Sparta as the birth place of many of the children), Deeds from Morrow Co., and Knox Co., Ohio., on-line family trees, message boards, marriages – Marriage Records, 1848-1951, Morrow Co., Ohio.  Repositories have been the Family History library, Morrow Co. Genealogical Society and more.  Death records for Hardin Co., Ohio. and Probate/Estate Records for Morrow, Knox and other counties.  These are the highlights of the sources I have consulted for this family. 

Note:  If you are particularly interested in one of these family lines please contact me for more specific source details and family links.   Place a message in the comments to me and I will respond.  I am still trying to learn more about each sibling so the reseach is ongoing. 

I plan to travel again to Ohio in August/September 2011 and hopefully I will learn more about Elizabeth Keller’s siblings, parents and Amarilla’s aunts and uncles. 

The most important search will be to see if I cannot figure out the parentage of John Keller the grandfather and father of these children who have been listed.  He is said to have been born in Washington Co., Pennsylvania and his death record with Morrow Co. states the same but gives no parents names.  So far I have not been able to make a connection.  Washington County, PA was like a pass through to other parts of the country so they could have just stopped to have the baby and then moved on.  At least this is my theory and the real parentage of John Keller is somewhere in the records in Ohio in Knox, Morrow, or one of the nearby counties?  There were lots of Keller families living in Ohio. 

John did have a will and estate that was probated in Morrow Co.  Usually the clerks are very careful but some of the documents from the clerk books for John’s estate are very difficult to read.  Amarilla is not mentioned in any of these estate documents. 

Source:  Probate Records of Morrow Co., Ohio 1848-1926, and General Index 1848-1950 #388711, No. 1376, FHL#388711 for Index, Record of Wills FHL#288713 Vol 3, pg. 297, proof of will pg. 297.  page 298 not titled but probably Proving of the Will.  Pg. 445 FHL#388724 Affidavit (hard to read) probably filing of the will.  Note:  More needs to be done on this estate in the books and packets.

A search of the newspapers in the area did not reveal an obituary on John Keller but the announcement about the estate was found  

Mt. Gilead – Morrow Co. Sentinel Newspaper 1/1/1879 to 4/28/1881 Thurs, June, 10, 1880 Under New Advertisements: Executor’s Notice – Notice is hereby given that the undersigned have been appointed Executors of the last Will and Testament of JOHN KELLER, late of Morrow County, Ohio dec’d. All person indebted to the estate are requested to make immediate settlement. MARY A. HENRY, WM. T. KELLER (Ex’rs. June 10, 1880 (40-3w).

NOTE:  I do not know who Mary A. Henry is?  Did Mary his wife remarry or do we have another error?

Back in 2007 the Federation of Genealogical Societies and Association of Professional Genealogists held their conferences and Ohio was not that far from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  So I visited the counties of Hardin, Knox, and Morrow in Ohio and spent some enjoyable time there.  I will return in 2011 and see if I cannot find more treasures.  

I also found and visited the Hedding M.E. Cemetery in Morrow Co. 

John Keller and Mary Ann Delano with Son Peter

As you can see the bush is trying to topple the arched stone and when I visit again I will make sure that things are okay.  The stone also has a lot of mold on it and Peter’s information is on the left side next to me but covered in this mold and hard to read.  The stone is near a big tree so it is shrouded in shade.  A cousin had sent me a copy of the tombstone years ago (a descendant of William Franklin Keller) and I thought it was huge but you can see that is about my size and rather unique.  Just click on the photo and you can enlarge it to read it and make a copy.  John is on the left and Mary is listed on the right front columns.

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