Heirs of Alexander Barclay: Helen (Sarah Ellen) Barclay Sears

Sarah Ellen, a daughter of Minerva Parks and John Barclay, became an heir of uncle Alexander Barclay after the affidavits about the status of her father, John Barclay, were submitted to the Probate Court of Dakota County.

Again the following is a mix of my research and my cousin’s.

Sarah Ellen Barclay was born the 29 March, 1869 in Sibley Co., Minnesota. She died on 16 August 1957 in Seattle, King Co., Washington as Helen Westerholme. She started using the name “Helen” by 1910.  At the time of Alexander Barclay’s probate process in 1906, she was known as Sarah Ellen Sears.

We find Helen Sears with Lewis Sears in the 1910 Census.

Line 93, 1756, 190, 196, Sears, Lewis, Head, M, W, 47, M2, 5, born California, father New York, mother born Ohio, English, manufacturer, wrapping paper, yes, yes, 0, __, H

Sears, Helen, wife, F, W, 40, M2, 5, 1 Child born, 1 living, born Minnesota, Father born Minnesota, mother born Minnesota, English, none, yes, yes.

 Source: Sears, Lewis Family, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, SD#1, ED#216, Sheet # 7, Ward of city #14, enumerated 19 April, 1910, by Alonzo Wardell. 

Unfortunately, tragedy struck and Lewis died 2 July 1913 in Seattle and is buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on Queen Anne Hill next to her brother John A. Barclay’s grave.  I have not found an obituary notice at this time for Lewis Sears but I did find a picture of a man who could be him but I cannot post here so below is the location of the article.

Source:  Newspapers.com, The Seattle Republican, Seattle, WA, Friday December 25,  1903 First Edition. He was very handsome. What follows is the caption under the picture. 

Lewis Sears – Paper of this edition was supplied through Lewis Sears, who is the coats agent for the McClellan Paper Company, Minneapolis, Minn. manufacturers of all grades of fine book, cover, writing, ledger, bond and other class of papers. Office 214 and 216 James Street, Seattle.

Years pasted and Helen, as she was calling herself now, remarried to Alex W. Westerholm on the 13th day of February, 1918, in Seattle, King Co., Washington. He may have been Axel rather than Alex.

Source: #57932/62544, State of Washington, County of King, John B. Wright by authority of license bearing the 13th of February, 1918, Lawful Wedlock Alex. W. Westerholm and Helen Sears witnesses were S.W. Biggs and a Leola May Blinn. 

They are together in the 1920 U.S. Census.

Line 82, Arrowsmith Ave., 9767, 175, 189, Westerholm, Axel W. Head, O, M, M, W, 42, M, 1899, Na, yes, yes, born Sweden, Swedish, parents Swedish, yes, Sea Captain, Alaska Steamship Co. W. 

Westerholm Helen Sears, wife, F, W, 48, M, yes, yes, born Minnesota, farther born Scotland, mother Massachusetts, yes, Manager President, Lewis Sears Paper Co., EM

Source: A. Westerholm Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, SD#1, ED#317, Sht. 7, enumerated 13 January 1920, by Martha F. Steele. 

An interesting development, John Barclay is living with his sister in Seattle in 1930.

Line 5, 14 Ave S., 1710, 258, 258, Westerholm, Capt. W, Head, O, $6000.00, M, W, 50, M, 38, no, yes, born Sweden, his parents born Sweden, 1893 Na, yes, Captain, Alaska Boat, 

Westerholm, Helen S. H., wife, H., M. W, 52, S., no, yes, born Minnesota, father born Scotland, mother born Illinois, yes, no occupation, 

Barclay, J.V., brother-in-law, M,W, 52, S, no, yes, born Minnesota, father born Scotland, mother born Illinois, yes, laborer, Lumber Mill. 

Source: Capt. Westerholm Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, block 5133, ED #17-173, SD #2, Sheet #30A, enumerated 14, April, 1930 by Rebecca E. M. Crauley. 

Much to my delight John is still living with them in 1940.

Line 22, 14 Ave So., 1710, 264, 0, 9000, Westerholm, Capt. Axel, Head, M, W, 62, M, No. 6, born Sweden, NA, Same house, No, yes, Captain Ship, Alaska Steam Co., pw, 130 etc. 

Westerholm, Helen, wife, F, W, 65, M, No, 6, born Minnesota, Same house, no, no, no, no, no, H, no occupation. 

Barclay John A., brother-in-law, M, W, 67, S, No, 6, born Minnesota, Same house, no, no, no, no, no, U, no occupation. 

Source:  Capt. Westerholm Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, block 61-62-63, SD#1, ED#40-278, Sht #13, enumerated on April 13, 1940 by Elizabeth Glemley. 

Neither Helen (Sarah Ellen) nor John seemed to escape tragedy in their lives. Helen’s husband Axel was a Captain and his ship blew up.  An article about this accident at sea appeared in the Seattle Times Monday 24 April 1944 on page 7, column 2, 3 and more. The article also had pictures of the Capt and Mrs. Westerholm but I cannot share them here. What follows is only a portion of the article.

Families of Missing Straub People Still Hope for Return

Families of the seafaring men lost in the sinking of the Liberty ship John Straub last Wednesday today clung desperately to the hope that their men had reached shore safely or boarded ships nearby in Alaskan waters. Notified yesterday of the disaster, the wives and mothers telephoned each other and sought information additional to the meager accounts of survivors and Coast Guard officials.

Mrs. Axel W. Westerholm, 1718 14th Ave. S., wife of the 66 year old captain who has been going to sea with the Alaska Steamship Company since 1918, could not believe the veteran skipper could meet with a serious accident. “He was determined to keep going as long as vital cargoes were needed in distant parts,” she said.” He could have retired some years ago.”

First Trip on Straub:

Captain Westerholm, one of the Seattle’s oldest mariners in point of service, was in the vicinity of Dutch Harbor when the Japanese made their first raid at the outpost early in the summer of 1942. Although it was believed it was his first trip on the John Straub, he had been master of other Liberty ships and had served on passenger ships, freighters and cargo ships of all types…

The articles goes on to describe other men involved in the accident. There are other articles on the same page discussing the Liberty Ships and why they were in the waters in that location.

Helen Westerholm buried her brother John Avery Barclay at Mount Pleasant near her first husband Lewis Sears on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, Washington in 1951.  She herself passed on 16 August 1957.

Her death is recorded in the Washington State Digital Archives:

Image #1135, Doc#15366, Helen S. Westerholm, 16 Aug 1957, 86 Female, father John Bartlay, mother Minerva Parks, in Seattle, King Co., Washington. 

A funeral and obituary notice appeared in the Seattle Times on Sunday, August 18, 1957 for Helen:

Funeral: Westerholm – Helen S. 641 East 72nd, Mother of Raymond Steadman, Seattle. Private services Monday 11 a.m. Green Lake Funeral Home, Interment Evergreen. page 48, column 4. 

Obituary: Mrs. Alex W. Westerholm. Private funeral services for Mrs. Helen Sears Westerholm, 86, will be held tomorrow in the Green Lake Funeral Home. Burial will be in Evergreen. Mrs. Westerholm died Friday in a nursing home after a long illness. Mrs. Westerholm was born in Minnesota. She came to Seattle from California in 1912. She was a member of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Westerholm was the widow of Capt. Alex W. Westerholm master of the Liberty ship John Straub. He was killed when the ship exploded in Alaskan waters April 19, 1944. 

Mrs. Westerholm is survived by a son, Raymond A. Steadman, Seattle. 

UPDATE 2/21/2015:  Based on the information about Helen’s interment, I visited the Evergreen Washelli Cemetery and found her gravesite: 

Helen Westerholm Tombstone in Evergreen, Seattle, WA

Helen Westerholm Tombstone in Evergreen, Seattle, WA

Here we finally see that Raymond Steadman was Helen’s son.  He has appeared in the census with Minerva mother of Helen as a boarder and grandson.  Who the father is unclear at this time and does this mean that Helen (Sarah Ellen) was married a 3rd time?

Raymond Steadman was born about 1889 in California and died on 24 January 1967 in Seattle, King Co., Washington in the Seattle Times Newspaper. Unfortunately it does not tell us about his parentage.

Obituary:  Raymond A. Steadman – Funeral services for Raymond A. Steadman 78, of 7018 Fifth Av. N.E. will be at 10:30 o’clock tomorrow in the Acacia Chapel, with burial in Acacia. He died yesterday in a hospital after a brief illness. Mr. Steadman came here from his native San Francisco 20 years ago. He owned and operated the Lake City Motel nine years, and also was an apartment house owner. His wife Lucille A. Steadman survives.

Update 2/21/2015:  Acacia Cemetery is very near so I visited it and found the gravesite for Raymond and Lucille.  

Lucille Steadman's stone is to the right of Raymond's.

Lucille Steadman’s stone is to the right of Raymond’s.

Raymond Steadmans Tombstone, Acacia, Seattle, WA.

Raymond Steadmans Tombstone, Acacia, Seattle, WA.

In the next post I will write about Minerva Parks Barclay Buchwald and what happened to her, the mother of John Avery and Helen (Sarah Ellen) Barclay.

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