Getting to know Amarilla Spracklin Barclay

Amarilla was my great-grandmother and wife of George Angus Barclay.  On the same page of Miriam’s Notes, below George’s paragraph, was a similar one about Amarilla.  As I read for the first time about my great-grandmother I pondered what her life might have been like.   

Here is what my Aunt Miriam shared with me in 1986:  

Amarilla Spracklin Barclay Notes


Some thoughts on these notes:   

Her name was Amarilla Spracklin and she was born in 1858 and died in 1942.  It is true that she would change the spelling of her name adding an extra “m” so it could be “Ammarilla.” 

Was she born near Marengo, Iowa, well I think she was born closer to Blairstown which is north of Marengo about 10 minutes by car.  I know this because I traveled there to Iowa in April 0f 2003.  Her father, Daniel D. Spracklin, owned land first in Benton County, then later in Iowa County, Iowa. 

Amarilla was the 4th child of Daniel D. Spracklin and Elizabeth Keller, this is true.     

Elizabeth Keller died March 10, 1859.  Amarilla was born November 17, 1858.  Amarilla really never knew her mother.  She was a baby when Elizabeth died just months later. 

Her father Daniel D. Spracklin remarried in 1863 and proceeded to have 7 more children.  This is true. 

She did migrate to Brainerd and later in life had a store.  I have not found anything that really states she was a milliner.  She did own a store and helped George run his many enterprises. 

She did marry George on July 27, 1878 but not in the St. Paul Episcopal church.  It was at a friend’s home in Brainerd according to the Brainerd newspaper.  Rev. Root did officiate. 

They had a son George Alexander who was born January 10, 1880 and died a year later on January 19, 1881.  The circumstances of his death were a mystery that unfolded much later. 

Their daughter Grace was born on April 10, 1882 in Pine River and she married and had eight children, six of which lived long happy lives.  

Amarilla was the daughter of Elizabeth Keller who was the daughter of John Keller and Mary Delano.  This is true.  

George and Amarilla are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd.  I have visited their graves several times.  

With this information from these two paragraphs I was ready to dig in and learn as much as I could about the life and times of my great grandparents Amarilla and George Barclay.

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