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Alfred Spracklin’s Stone, Community Cemetery, Millersburg, Iowa

The death of Henry Spracklin was a blow which was followed by the death of the youngest son of Daniel and Sarah.  He was the youngest of all the children of both marriages.

Alfred Marion Spracklin died 12 December 1893 and is buried next to his parent’s tombstone in the Community Center Cemetery east of Millersburg, Iowa.

According to a cousin he may have died of a snake bit?  I do not know for sure, because I have not yet found an obituary about this death or an article in the newspaper about an accidental death.  He might have just died of some illness.

He was said to have been born 16 July 1876 based on family information from other researchers.  If you look at the tombstone his age is given and 1876 works and if you trace the last letter I think you will agree it is a “3.”

While trying to find out more about Alfred, I discovered his death is stated as 1898, according to the book:  Iowa County Cemetery Stones & History 1844 to 1975 pg. 13, by the Iowa County Historical Society in 1976, a copy was found at the Iowa Genealogical Society in Des Moines.  You will note the spelling of “Spracklen.

Here is the transcription in the published book:

Spracklen, Albert M. son of DD & S died December 12, 1898 age 17 yr. 4 mo. 26 days

DD b. Feb. 16, 1830 d. Mar. 9, 1915

Sara his wife b. Aug. 28, 1836 d. Apr. 22, 1907

father and mother

Here is the research I did awhile back.  While not an exhaustive search it is a beginning:

Death Records 1880-1918, Poweshiek Co., Iowa – Register of Deaths no. 1 1880-1893 #1028406 Item 5: No Alfred found.

Register of deaths v. 2 1893-1901 FHL#1028407 Item 1: No Alfred Spracklin found.

Record of deaths v. 3 1897-1908 FHL#1028407 Item 2: No Alfred Spracklin listed. I was trying to determine the correct year of his death by studying all these records.

Death Records 1880-1935 Iowa Co., Iowa Register of Deaths v. 1 1880-1904 FHL#988209 Item 1. No listing for Alfred Spracklin for either 1893 or 1899.

Let us review the 1895 Iowa State Census for Daniel Spracklin and we find that Alfred is listed as deceased.  Alfred appears in parentheses and a “D” is written by his name.  I am going with the 1893 year for his death.

Iowa State Census for 1895 – Daniel Spracklin

At this point I have yet to find an obituary or article about Alfred’s death.  If I am having trouble finding him in Poweshiek and Iowa Counties is it possible that he died elsewhere?  He did have brothers living in Calhoun County which is northwest of Iowa County.

Again, how this death affected Amarilla is unknown.  I have no funeral announcement to see if she came to the services.  She had left her home in Iowa by 1875.  If I could find her in the 1875 Minnesota State Census that would be helpful but she is not showing up.  Iowa did not have and 1875 State Census.   By 1878 she had married George A. Barclay and was living in Pine River, Minnesota.

It is possible she didn’t know her half baby brother that well?

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My cousin wanted to know what happened to the children of Henry and Elizabeth’s after his death.  They were very poor.  Elizabeth did received $300 from Weyerhaeuser-Denkmann as compensation for the death of her husband.  The other mystery was what happened to Elizabeth?  She disappeared from the records after 1898?

We turn to the 1895 Iowa State Census to see what life was like for Elizabeth after Henry’s death:

1895 Iowa State Census

Source:  Elizabeth Spracklin Family, 1895 Iowa State Census, Davenport Twp., Scott Co., Iowa Microfilm #99, 4th Ward in Davenport, Line 23, Dwelling 6, Hse 6, State Historical Society, Des Moines, IA.

Spracklin, Elisabeth, age 41, Widow, Born in Pennsylvania, Keep House, Catholic, Harry, age 17, Single, born in Scott Co., Cigar Maker, Catholic, Maggie, age 16, Single, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Flora, age 12, Single, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Bessie, age 8, Single, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Elmer, age 6, Single, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Raymond, age 4, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Elroy, age 2, born in Scott Co., Catholic.

In this 1895 State Census for Iowa, we see that 7 of the children are living with Elizabeth.  The missing children are Edward Oliver, Sophia, Wilbur, John Daniel.

I turn to Daniel, their grandfather and Henry’s father and take a look at the his 1895 entry.

Source:  1895 Iowa State census, D. D. Spracklin Family, Film #1929364, Iowa, Iowa Co., Dayton Twp., Iowa Co. Gen. Society.

Hse # 66, family #67, Daniel Spracklin, age 65, married, born in Ohio, father foreign birth, mother native, farmer, under religion “none.” Sarah Spracklin, age 57, married, born in Indiana, both parents natives, keeping house, Protestant. Daniel Spracklin age 24, single, born in Iowa, farmer, no religious affiliation. Edward O. 15 yrs. old. (Alfred M. Spracklin D) age 17. Both Edward and Alfred were born in Iowa. Religious affiliations not indicated.

We see that Daniel is caring for Edward O. and that identifies one of the children missing from Elizabeth’s household.   

Elizabeth disappears by 1898 and doesn’t reappear in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. 

What happened to Elizabeth the wife of Henry?

Let’s take a look at Daniel and see what we find in the 1900 U.S. Census: 

Line 97, Dwelling #103, Family #103, Spracklin, Daniel, Head, White, Male, born Feb 1830, age 70, married, 37 years, born in Ohio, father born in England and mother born in Ohio, occupation farmer, reads and writes, owns land, been there 34 years, there is a farm house. Spracklin, Sarah, wife, white, female, born Aug. 1836, she is 63 years old, married 37 years, 7 children living, 6 out of 7 still living, she was born in Indiana, father was born in Virginia and mother was born in Ohio. She can read and write. Spracklin, Daniel G., son, white, male, born Sept. 1870, age 27 years, single, born in Iowa, farm laborer, he can read and write and did attend school. Spracklin, Charles Ed, son, white, male, Sept. 1874, age 25 years, born in Iowa, farm laborer, can read and write, attended school.

There is no mention of Elizabeth nor any of her children in Daniel’s household in 1900. At this point I turned to the city directories for Davenport, Iowa starting in 1894.  I did this research at the Iowa State Historical Society branch in Iowa City, Iowa. 

1894 Spracklin, Elizabeth Mrs. (widow Henry F) r 317 LeClaire

Spracklin, Harry L, labr 317 LeClaire

Spracklin, Henry F. (died June 22d 93)

No further info under street listing

Source: 1894-1895, 1896-1897 F629.D21 Roll #1

Spracklin, Elizabeth mrs. (wid Henry F) r 943 LePage

Spracklin, Harry L, cigarmkr bds 321 LeClaire

Spracklin, Margaret E. Miss, domestic r 943 LePage

No info on Harry as a cigarmkr in the business section

Under the street listing for LeClaire we find the following name: Mrs. Matilda J. Parke

1898-1899

1898-99 Davenport City Directory

Newton, John S. blacksmith r 943 LePage (Note same address as Elizabeth but the initial is S no D?)

(Mr. Newton is not listed under the businesses)

Under street name LePage

943 is John S. Newton

Source:  1898 Roll #2 F629.D21

Spracklin Edward, r943 LePage

Spracklin, Harry L, r 943 LePage

Spracklin, John, 4 943 LePage

Under the street of LePage we find: Mrs. Annie McElroy and Miss Elizabeth Spracklin

Source:  1900 F629.D21 – nothing under street listings

Spracklin John D. wks Stearns Paint Co., r 943 LePage

Spracklin, Wilbur V. r943 LePage

I gave all this city directory research to my cousin and he did a little poking around but didn’t get very far when we visited the State Historical Society of Iowa in Des Moines.  This John Newton person was suspicious.  He was living at the same address?  Elizabeth disappears. 

Well I sort of spilled the beans when I wrote in the post describing Henry and Elizabeth children:  Do you remember the obituary for Ortha?

Parke – Ortha Raymond Parke, passed away at his home in the Walsh Apartments at 6:40 o’clock this morning, after 18 weeks of illness. He was born in Davenport Feb. 16, 1900, and was educated in the Davenport schools, ad has been employed as an usher at the Fort Armstrong theater. Surviving are the parents, Mr. and Mrs. David E. Parke, one brother, Earl David Parke of Duluth, Minn. and one sister, Miss Viola R. at home. The maternal grandmother, Mrs. J.S. Newton of Fairfield, Fla. also survives. Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock from Runge’s chapel, and interment will be made in Oakdale cemetery. The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Sept. 5, 1924.

I don’t know when my cousin obtained this information, maybe he gave it to me when we sat in his kitchen at his lovely home and I didn’t really catch it till much later.

Several months later, after my trip to Iowa, I decided to just fool around on Ancestry.com and study the census.  I could find no evidence of Elizabeth’s whereabouts in 1900, 1910 and 1920 until I found the Buford Family in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1930.  Guess who was listed with her daughter?  

Elizabeth Downey Spracklin Newton was living

with her daughter Elizabeth Ann Spracklin Buford in Florida. 

1930 US Federal Census, Florida:  West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Co., Precinct #14, ED#50-18, SD#7, Sheet #13 A, pg. 849, Ancestry.com.

Line 27, Iris St. 718/277/360 Burford, Charles R., Head, R, 60, No, male, white, age 55, married, 24, No, Yes, born Missouri, father born Missouri, mother born Iowa, yes, Farmer, track farm, Yes, not a veteran. Line 28 Burford, Bessie, wife-H, female, white, age 42, married, 17, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Pennsylvania, yes, no occupation. Line 29 Burford, Lillian E., daughter, female, white, 14, single, Yes, yes, born Iowa, yes, no occupation. Line 30 Betty A., daughter, female, white 13, single, Yes, Yes, born Cuba (Amer City), yes, no occupation. Line 31, Burford, Richard D., son, male, white, 9, single, yes, born Iowa, no occupation. Line 32 Newton, John S., Father-in-law, male, white 79 yrs, married, 27 yrs. No, yes, born in England, parents both born in England, 1855 Na, yes, no occupation, not a veteran. Line 33 Newton, Elizabeth, mother-in-law, female, white 73, married 18, No, yes, Pennsylvania, both parents born in Pennsylvania, yes, no occupation

I immediately sent an email to my cousin with a copy of the 1930 census.  Maybe a few hours later or a day or two later I received another email from my cousin with the title

 I FOUND HER! 

The following information was retrieved from The Flagler Tribune newspaper, vol. 33, No., 37 for Thursday, Oct. 11, 1945.  We have a copy on microfilm and have attempted to send you an actual copy of the obit itself, but the quality was so poor we were afraid you wouldn’t be able to read it.  Here is what the newspaper said:

Funeral services were held for Mrs. Elizabeth D. Newton, 92 and a resident of Bunnell for the past 30 years, on Monday at St. Christopher’s Church at Korona.  Burial was at Espanola Cemetery, where her husband is also buried. Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Margaret Parks of Bunnell, Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Buford of Sola, Cuba; three sons, John Daniel Spracklin of Blockwell, Okla., George Spracklin of Portsmouth, VA, Elroy Franklin Spracklin of Detroit, Mich., and a brother, Charles Downey of  Portsmouth, Iowa.

Sometimes you just take your time and study the clues and they will lead you to your goal. It might take a little while but don’t give up.  I was so happy to find the 1930 U.S. Census information and share it with my cousin.  Elizabeth is his great-grandmother. 

Elizabeth is no longer missing! 

We could use a tombstone picture but I am not planning to visit Florida soon, so we turn to Find A Grave and someone has posted the tombstone and information about Elizabeth.

Find A Grave has a picture of Elizabeth’s tombstone and one of her 2nd husband John S. Newton is at Find A Grave along with an obituary notice given by the contributor.

These documents have helped to identify the children who did survive for Henry and Elizabeth.  I am a happy genealogist!

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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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