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

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

Cowardly Murder

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

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

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

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

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

George's Death

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

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

It would be difficult to solve this murder, why.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deed between E. W. Davis and Amarilla

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanborn 1892 Brainerd

Sanborn 1892 Brainerd

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

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

Ellen Barclay’s will is under the name of Helen Barclay.

Last Will and Testament of Helen Barclay, pg. 428

I, Helen Barclay of Shakopee in the County of Scott and State of Minnesota being of sound mind and memory do make, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament.  First: I order and direct that my, Executor herein after, named pay all my just debts and funeral expenses as soon after my decease as conveniently may be. Second: After payments of such funeral expenses and debts, I give devise and bequeth unto my son William Barclay one dollar, to my daughter Anna Carter one dollar and to my daughter Mary Clark one dollar.  Third: After the payment of the above bequests, by my Executor, I give devise and bequeth all the rest and residue of my Estate personal and real to my son Charles Barclay to have and hold the same to himself his heirs and assigns forever. Fourth, I hereby constitute my son Charles Barclay to be Executor of this my last Will and testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made.  In testimony thereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal the 9th day of September in the year of our Lord 1905.  Helen X Barclay. 

This instrument was on the day of the date thereof signed, published and declared by the said testatrix to be her last Will and Testament in our presents, I do at her request, have subscribed our names thereto as Witnesses, in her presence and in the presence of each other. Jul J. Peace, Fred P. Berens. 

Will and Certificate of Probate Helen Barclay

Will and Certificate of Probate Helen Barclay

Source: Scott County, Probate Court, Final Decrees of Distribution page 4, Roll 1, Final Decrees with indexes, 1884-1968, 20 volumes, Order Book U, Oct. 1906 – Oct. 1911, pp. 265-601, Frame No. 511.

Certificate of Probate page 429

State of Minnesota, County of Scott ) ss.  In Probate Court

In the matter of the Estate of Helen Barclay deceased.  Be it remember, that on the day of the date hereof, at a Special Term of said Probate Court, pursuant to notice duly given the Last Will and Testament of Helen Barclay late of said County of Scott, deceased bearing date the 9th day of September 1905, and being the annexed written instrument, was duly proved before the Probate Court in and of the County of Scott aforesaid, and was duly allowed and admitted to probate by said Court according to law, as and for the Last Will and Testament of said Helen Barclay, deceased, which said Last Will and Testament is recorded and the examination taken thereof filed in the this office. 

In Testimony whereof, The Judge of the Probate Court of said County has hereunto set his hand an affixed the seal of the said Court at Shakopee in the said County, this 4th day of January 1908. 

A. Meyer, Judge of Probate

There was in the Probate Order Book pg. 257 a Final Decree of Distribution of the Estate. It was a form and I have summarized it here.

County of Scott, The Matter of the Estate of Helen Barclay

The above entitled matter came on to be heard on the second day of May 1908…The representative of said estate appeared in person and by Counsel and no adverse appearance or objection was made.  

First…hearing made and filed on 7th of April, 1908 and that said citation has been published as required by law in the Shakopee Tribune.  

Second, all debts, funeral, burial, last sickness have been fully paid…final account herein which has been settled and allowed by the Court and that all specific bequests have been fully paid and satisfied.  

Third – the said decedent died testate on the 30th day of November, 1907 and  was a resident of Shakopee, County of Scott, State of Minnesota.  Fourth:  residue of estate consists of the following property, to-wit,

(A) personal property of the value of $700.00 comprised of the following items, viz:

1.  One note and mortgage dated Feb 7, 1905 made by Thos. J. Shanlay to C. J. Sord, recorded Feb. 20, 1905 at 1:10 pm in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Powner County and State of North Dakota for $700.00 and assigned by said C. J. Sord to said Helen Barclay – Int. 6% due Dec. 1, 1909.

(B) Real property – none.  Those and other tracts or parcels – none.  

Fifth, That the following named person is the sole residuary legatee and is the only person entitled to the residue of said estate of said decedent by the terms of the last Will and Testament of said decedent, Charles Barclay son of said decedent. 

Signed by N. Meyer, Judge of said court, on third day of May, 1908. 

Source:  Final Decree of the Distribution of the Estate of Helen Barclay, State of Minnesota, Scott County, pg. 357, 3rd May, 1908, Scott County Historical Society.

As usual more questions arise when you read a will and the other documents associated with it.  Helen/Ellen’s will is very interesting in that several of the children only get $1.00, but we must remember that the land John and Helen/Ellen owned was slowly sold to Charles and William.  Perhaps the daughters received gifts before they left home an after their marriages.  Yes, there is much more to do on Helen/Ellen Barclay and her life. I will leave that to her descendants as I am of the 1st wife Margaret and what to spend my time trying to find out more about her.

Ellen Barclay lived another 10 years after her husband John Barclay.  She died in 1907.

In this post I want to share what I know about Ellen, because I think it fits with John Barclay’s end of life.  They had been together 29-30 years and had 4 children.  The children were Charles, William, Mary E., Anna Elizabeth.  I will go into more detail on the lives of John Barclay’s children from both marriages, when I get to the death of Alexander Barclay who was a half-brother to Ellen’s children and full brother to the first seven, Margaret’s children.  Alexander left a very involved probate file when he died in 1906.  He was George Angus Barclay’s full brother and my great grandfather and subject of this blog.

Her name has been a frustration because documents have her as Helen or Ellen.  The writing was so bad you could not read it.  The tombstone has her name as Ellen so I will use that name.  In John Barclay’s obituary notice it was said that her maiden name was Iverson but in her own obituary it is listed as Stevenson.  It is possible she was married before John, but so far I do not see any evidence for a first marriage for Ellen.  It is also possible that the use of Iverson was a mistake.  I am choosing to go with Ellen Stevenson Barclay till I am sure.

There is so much more research to do on Ellen Stevenson Barclay. I wish I had the time.  Ellen is the second wife of John Barclay and I do not descend from her.  I descend from Margaret  and frankly I am more interested in finding the origins of John Barclay and his first wife Margaret.  So I present what I have learned about Ellen for those who would be interested.

In order to understand Ellen’s life you need to review some of the posts I have written about John Barclay.  She will be featured in census and other documents like deeds, etc.  You can find other posts by using the search box on the right of this blog.  You can also seek out the Categories on the right of this blog and under SURNAMES you will find “Barclay Surnames.”   From there scroll down and you will find John Barclay and Ellen/Helen Stevenson.  Unfortunately the names are alpha order rather than by the lineage.

So what happened to Ellen after John’s death?

In 1898, after John’s death, Ellen Barclay (widow) rents her land to her son Charles Barclay on 29 August 1898

$100 yearly for years during the life of the party of the first part to be paid on April first and Jany first of each year.  The NW atr of the NE qtr of Sec 23, Twp. 115, Range 22, according to the government survey thereof.  Also said party reserves the use of two rooms in the building on the above property, use of the present garden, also parture, barn, corn and feed for one cow, poultry 

Source:  Deed of Indenture Ellen Barclay to Charles Barclay, Aug 29, 1898, Vol. 47, pg. 287 #11684, FHL# 1255725, Scott County, Minnesota

On 13 February 1899 another son William Barclay sells his share of the land to his brother Charles.

For a sum of $1800.00, Wm. and wife Clara E. Barclay are residing in Mammoth, Madison Co., Montana sold to Charles Barclay residing in Eagle Creek, Scott Co., Montana to-wit, the south 1/2 of the NE qtr of Sec. 23, Twp. 115, Range 22, 80 acres according to gov. survey.  Except a certain mortgage payable to Henry Hinds of Shakopee. Witnessed by W.R. Macfadden and F. H. Wilbour and signed by William Barclay and Clara E. Barclay in the State of Montana, County of Madison etc.

Source:  Deed of Wm. Barclay and wife Clara E. to Charles Barclay, February 13, 1899, Vol. 47, pg. 33 #12062, Scott Co., Minnesota, FHL #1255727.

After John’s death in 1897, we find that the next census is the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.  In this census we learn that Ellen was living with her son Charles.  This census shows us that the only child that is still around is Charles. The remaining three children of John and Ellen have married and migrated elsewhere.  William and Mary E. went to Montana.  Anna married and went to Wisconsin to live.  Charles is a mystery.  After his mother’s death it is difficult to determine where he went.  There are possibilities for a Charles Barclay living in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

28/28 Barcley, Charlie, Head, Jan. 1860, 40 years old, single, born in Minnesota, Father born in Scotland, mother born in Norway, farmer, educated, land info.  Barcley, Ellen, mother born Apr 1833, 67 years widow, one child born, one child living, born in Norway and both parents where born in Norway. Naturalized 1858, 45 years in country (means she immigrated in 1855), educated.  Carter, John, Nephew born Feb. 1890 10 years, single.  Born in Wisconsin, Father born in Canada Fr., mother Minnesota, at school, 8 grade, educated.

Source:  Charlie Barclay & Mother, 1900 U.S. Federal Census,  Eagle Creek, Shakopee, Scott County, Minnesota, FHL#1240788, Microfilm T623, Roll 788, page 142, SD ?, ED 172, Sheet #2.  I do not understand the number of children fro Ellen in this census.  All her children lived long lives?

Something happened in 1904 because a notice in the gossip column of the Scott County Argus was featured on May 20, 1904.  I have no idea what this means?

“Eagle Creek: Charles Barclay has moved his household furniture into Shakopee, and will make that his future home.  Charlie was always kind and obliging to everyone and we will all miss his happy smile very much.”

In 1906 he is still living in Shakopee per his half-brother Alexander Barclay’s probate case. This probate will be featured indepth at a later time on this blog.

Charles Barclay, aged 45 years, residing at Shakopee, Minn., who is a half-brother.

Ellen passes on 30 November 1907 in Shakopee.  She is buried with John in the Valley Cemetery in Shakopee. You see that they use the name Helen in the obituary notice but Ellen is on the tombstone.

Helen Barclay Death Notice Shakopee Tribune Dec. 13, 1907 pg. 4 col 3 Maiden: Stevenson also in the Argus on Dec 6, 1907 pg. 1 and col 4.

Helen's 2nd Obituary Notice

Helen’s 2nd Obituary Notice

Died – Barclay – At her home in this city, Saturday, November the 30th, Mrs. Helen Barclay of heart disease. Aged 73 years. Helen Stevenson was born in Norway in 1834, and came to this country in 1849(39?) settling in Wisconsin, then Iowa, finally coming to Minnesota in 1848. She moved to Shakopee in 1850 with her husband, John Barclay, and was one of the early pioneer settlers of Shakopee. Mrs. Barclay leaves four children to mourn her loss. They are: Mrs. Mary Clark of Montana, Mrs. Anna E. Carter of Marynette, Wis.; and Charles at home, and William Barklay of Montana. The funeral was held from the residence, Tuesday, at two o’clock in the afternoon, Rev. Mr. Ganschow officiating. We extend our sincere sympathy to the bereaved children.

2nd Obit – Scott Co. Argus – Friday, Dec. 6, 1907 – Died – Mrs. Helen Barclay, whose maiden name was Stevenson, died at her home in this city, Saturday, November 30th, 1907, of heart failure. Deceased had been in poor health for several months past, but not until two days prior to death did her condition give cause for alarm. Mrs. Barclay was a native of Norway, where she was born April 25, 1834. She came to America in 1849 and has resided in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. Her husband, John Barclay, and she were pioneer settlers in Scott county where the family is well-known. For several years past Mrs. Barclay has made her home in Shakopee with her son Charles, who survives her together with another son, William of Montana, and two married daughters. The funeral took place, Tuesday afternoon, at two o’clock, from the family residence, Rev. Carl Ganschow officiating, and interment was in the Valley Cemetery.

Helen's obituary notice Dec 1907.

Helen’s obituary notice Dec 1907.

The above information gives us some good information on Ellen/Helen Iverson/Stevenson.  Ellen left a probate file and will.  I will present that in the next post.

Note:  I was having a great deal of trouble researching the early years of the state of Minnesota and when it was a territory and was unable to find an actual marriage for John and Ellen in the records.  Minnesota went through a lot of changes before it became a state and was associated with records of a territorial nature of Michigan and Wisconsin.  The counties also changed their boundaries.   Here is a Wikipedia article that might help to get you started on researching in Minnesota http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Minnesota

The other problem is that not a lot of documents have been filmed by the Family History Library for some of the counties of Minnesota.  So access to the documents is onsite.  I have traveled to Minnesota three times and would love to go back for more research, we will see.

Me at the Minnesota Historical Society 2007, my third time there.

Me at the Minnesota Historical Society 2007, my third time there.

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