Daniel Spracklin’s Children: Charles Edward Spracklin Settles in Minnesota 1874-1946

Charles Edward Spracklin

Charles Edward Spracklin

Charles Edward Spracklin was a son of Daniel and Sarah Spracklin.  He was born the 19th of September, 1874 in Benton Co., Iowa according to my records; however, his Death Certificate gives 1873 as his birth year.

Charles Edward or Ed as I think he was called, lived in Benton County, Iowa with his parents and migrated with them to Iowa County, Iowa.  He remained with his parents up to about 1905. He is featured the 1885 1895, 1905 Iowa State Census which I have shared on this blog in posts about his father Daniel.  He was also in the  1900 U.S. Federal Census.

By 1910 he migrated up to Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota although his obituary says he came there in 1915. He concentrated on the townships west of Pine River in the lower part of the county.

Cass County Twp.

Cass County Twp.

He married Arminda Victoria Ward about 1915 probably in Minnesota. I do not know her father’s name but her mother was Martha Ellen Walker.  There is an Arminda V. Ward living with a Jonas O. Welker and Edward C. in Bungo Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota in 1910.  She is listed as his niece and age 26. She was born in Minnesota and her parents were born in Ohio. Jonas’ parents were born in Ohio and New Hampshire. He is a farmer on a general farm.  I could not find her in the 1900 U.S. Census but I did find her in the 1905 Minnesota State Census as Armenda V. Ward, age 21, census date June 26, 1905, Cass County, Bungo, Minnesota, born about 1884 and above her is listed an Ora J. Welker and Edwin C. Welker.

Arminda was the author of the Spracklin Family Outline featured on the Solomon Goss Blog dated August 5, 2011 titled: Ancestor Outline by Armindo Spracklin.  You will see that she has different vital dates for some of the children of Daniel and Sarah, but that is not unusual in genealogy.  I will make a page for this Outline that she created and publish it at the top of this blog, it is very special source given to me by my Aunt Miriam.

In 1917 he is involved with the deed partitioning the land of his father Daniel Spracklin and he shares this deed with his sister Amarilla and his wife Arminda.  I will present more information in a later post on these partition deeds.

Portion of the Deed for Charles, Arminda and Amarilla for Daniel's estate

Portion of the Deed for Charles, Arminda and Amarilla for Daniel’s estate

Charles Edward Spracklin registered for the Draft in 1918. We see that Charles writes he was born in 1875, so his birth year keeps changing.

Charles Edward Spracklin, Star Route Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota, age 43, birth 19 Sept 1875. White, Native born, occupation farming, self, Nearest Relative: Mrs. Arminda Spracklin, Star Route, Pine River, Cass, Minnesota, Medium height, medium build, eyes brown, color dark, Signed by Robert Paulsen, 12 September, 1918.  Source: WWI Draft Cards: Charles Edward Spracklin, WWI Draft Card, #751, Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota, Order#1788, 12 Sept 1918.

On 10 April 1919 Charles Edward Spracklin obtained a patent for land in Minnesota.

Charles' Patent

Charles’ Patent

Charles land from BML

Charles land from BML

Charles and Arminda are in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census in Minnesota:

Source:  Charles E. Spracklin Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Walden Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota, SD#6, ED#93, Sht 2A, enumerated 26, January 1920 by B.F. Rhoades.

Line 6, EM, 25, 25, Spracklin, Charles, E. head, O, M, Male, White, 45, Married, yes, yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana, yes, farmer, farm, C, 13.
Spracklin, Arminda V., wife, F, W, 36, Married, yes, yes, born Minnesota, parents born Ohio
Spracklin, Ines A. M. Daughter, 2 6/12 S, born Minnesota
Abbott, Martha E. mother-in-law, 59 Widowed, yes, yes, born Ohio, Father born Ohio, mother New Hampshire.

In 1928 Charles or Edward “Ed” was in the local news.  I was trying to find out more about Charles Edward because it is rumored his brother Peter came to Minnesota and other events took place but I was unable to find any other news.

Ed Spracklin in the News

Ed Spracklin in the News

Ed Spracklin’s team indulged in a short runaway Tuesday but before they got fully underway became entangled in a road drag and stopped after the tongue of the wagon had been broken. The wagon was loaded with two Jersey cows so it was fortunate that the road drag interfered. The team became frightened at a passing train. Source: Pine River Journal Newspaper, Pine River, MN Friday, Sept. 28, 1928.

Charles and Arminda were living in Bull Moose Twp., in Cass Co., Minnesota in 1930.

Source: Charles E. Spracklin Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Bull Moose Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota, Dist. 12, ED 11-12, SD 2, Sht 1A 208, Enumerated on August 14, 1920, T138, R31

Line 24, [N6 /14] 6, 6, Spracklin, Charles E. Head, R, yes, M, W, 56, M, 41, No, yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother Indiana, farmer, general, O, yes, No, 6.
Spracklin, Arminda V. Wife, F, W, 46, M, 32, No, yes, born Minnesota. 
Spracklin, Ines E.daughter, F, 2, 12, S, yes, yes, born Minnesota.
Spracklin, George D., son, M, W, 8, S, yes, born Minnesota.  

Charles and Arminda are now in McKinley Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota in 1940.  They have their grandson with them and that means that Ines had died.

Source: Charles E. Spracklin Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, McKinley Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota, SD#10, ED#11-31, Sht #1 B, enumerated on 8 April 1940, by Leslie L. Bundry.

Line 47, 11, R, 1, yes, Spracklin, Charles E, Head, M,W , 65, M, No. 6, Iowa, Same place, yes, yes, 24, farmer, farm, OA, 26, yes, 9.
Spracklin, Arminda V. Wife, F, W, 56, Married, No., 7, Minnesota, Same place, yes, no, no, no, no, H.
Spracklin, George D. son, M, W, 18, S, No 7, Minnesota, Same Place, no yes, 39, farm laborer, farm, CW, 52, 100, no.
Klinet, Charles, grandson, M, W, 3, S, No 0, Minnesota, —

They had two children:

1.  Ines Amirilla Spracklin born 31 July, 1917 and died 28, November, 1936.  She married a Henry Klinert and they had one child Charles Henry Klinert, born 8 November 1936.   I am happy to say that Charles married in 1959 in Montana and he died in San Diego, California. Find A Grave has a memorial to him and his wife at the Miramar National Cemetery there. Henry, the father,  was living in Bull Moose Twp., in the 1940 Census listed alone and as a widow. There is a Henry Klinert who died in 1989 in Crow Wing, Minnesota but I don’t know if it him at this time. I think Ines would be proud to know her son Charles was a highly decorated serviceman.  Ines Spracklin Klinert is buried near her father in the Bethlehelm Cemetery in McKinley Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota. Find A Grave has a memorial for her.

2.  George David Spracklin born 5 August, 1921 and died 4 June, 1993 in Miles City, Custer Co., Montana. He married first to Mary Josie Kastanck and had four children: David Edward, Clifford Joe, Elise Inez, Suzzy Mabel. He then remarried to a Marla Jean Fleming in Miles City, Montana and had one daughter.  After 1946, George took his mother to Montana after the death of his father Charles Edward because she wanted to be buried in the mountains as the story goes. George died in Miles City, Montana on 4 June, 1993 and is buried in the Custer County Cemetery.  He doesn’t have a tombstone but instead, he has a metal tag on his gravesite. I have placed a memorial at Find A Grave for him.

Charles Edward Spracklin passed away on 10 September 1946:

002190 #Death Cert. or 2490? Died in Deerfield Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota, usually resides in the same place. Was in that community 5 years. Male, white, married to Arminda who was 63 yrs old. Date of Birth for Charles was Sept. 19, 1873, age 72 yrs, 11 mos, 21 days. Occupation farmer born in Benton Co., Iowa. Father Daniel Dare Spracklin born in Ohio, mother Sarah Blackier born in Ohio. Informant was George Spracklin of Backus, Minnesota. Charles was buried at McKinley Twp. on 9/16/1946. Northland Funeral Home handled the arrangements, located in Pine River, Mn. Signed by Annie Compton on 9/19/1941, Local Registrar. He died on Sept. 19, 1946 of chronic myocarditis over 8 months. D.E. Gyres, M.D. ? of Pegquote Falls, 9/11/1946.

Cass Co. Pioneer of 34 years is buried at Backus:  

Funeral services were held in Backus for Charles Edward Spracklin, 72 years of age, who passed away September 10th at his home in Deerfield Township. Services were held at the Backus Congregional Church with Reverend Glen Erickson officiating. Music and singing were furnished by Mrs. Erikson and Donna Culter. Pallbearers included Bill Backs, John Cunningham, Harold Roger, Ernie White, James Bishop and Melvin Ray.

Internment in the Backus cemetery. A resident of Cass County for 34 years Mr. Spracklin was well known and highly respected and his many friends were saddened by the news of his death. Charles Edward Spracklin born September 19, 1874, at Benton, Iowa, and passed away September 10, 1946 at his home in Deerfield Township, Cass County, Minnesota.

He had 15 brothers and five sisters, 18 of whom preceded him in death. At 18 months of age he moved with his parents to Deep River, Iowa. When he was 18 he migrated to western North Dakota and eastern Montana for a short time, then returned to Deep River, Iowa, by way of Shenandoah, Nebraska. In 1912 he came to Pine River, in 1919 he moved to Backus, where he resided until his death. During that time he made three trips to the Dakota harvest field and two to Iowa for corn picking. In 1915 he was united in marriage to Minn Armenda Ward, of Pine River. This union, a son and daughter were born. His daughter preceded him in death 10 years ago. He had been ill for some time. He leaves to mourn his passing his wife and son, George, and four grandchildren, all of Backus. Also 41 nieces and nephews, and many great, and great great nieces and nephews. The out-of-town guests at the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. George Gilchrist and their two sons, Alvin and Delmer of Sobway, Minn.; Mr. and Mrs. Vanderhoff of Nisswa, and Lewis Gilchrist, also of Sobway.

Source:  Walker Pilot Newspaper, July 20, 1946.

Note:  15 brothers and five sisters is a little much and I am not sure why these number were given in the obituary.  Again the year of his birth changes.

Charles Edward Spracklin is buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery in McKinley Twp., Cass County, Minnesota. Find A Grave has the cemetery listed in Pine River but is it pretty far from the town. I visited his grave in 2007 when I returned for the 3rd time to Pine River on a genealogical research trip.  It took a bit of driving on country roads next to corn fields and going straight west into the sun from Pine River and then north to find the cemetery.  Charles did not have a stone but he did have a small metal stake.  I have added a memorial for him at Find A Grave.

Charles E. Spracklin

Charles E. Spracklin

CharlesSpracklin2

Charles E. Spracklin grave site

Arminda wanted to be buried in the mountains so she moved to Bozeman, Montana after Ed’s death. I visited Arminda’s grave site in the Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman,  I tried to locate a tombstone but there wasn’t one at the site. The following is a picture of me standing approximately where her grave is located in this cemetery.  I wanted to pay my respects to her for writing the Spracklin Pedigree outline.

Arminda's Grave in Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman, MT.

Arminda’s Grave in Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman, MT.

Source: Death Certificate for Arminda Spracklin, date of death 26 July, 1955. #130, Montana, Gallatin Co.,  died at the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Female, White, widowed, date of birth June 17, 1883, age 72 years, housewife, home, born New York, Mills, Minnesota, father unknown, mother Martha Walker, husband Charles Spracklin. Informant George D. Spracklin, cause of death heart failure with complications. Name of Cemetery Sunset Hills. etc. 

So it turns out that there were several Spracklins that migrated and lived in Minnesota.

Daniel Spracklin’s Children: Peter George Spracklin A Very Restless Man…1957

Peter George Spracklin

Peter George Spracklin

Peter George Spracklin has given me quite a lot of trouble.  He has been very difficult to research.  He was a restless man and migrated to many places over the years. This has been confirmed by his descendants who say he went to Minnesota, Oregon, and other parts of the country but eventually ended up in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Peter George Spracklin was a son of Daniel and Sarah Spracklin.  He was born 31 August, 1872 in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa. His death certificate has 1874 but I think that is not quite right?

He died 26 January, 1956 in Reading, Berks Co., Pennsylvania.  He is buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Reading. Peter has a memorial at Find A Grave but no tombstone picture at this time.

Peter appears in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census with his parents and siblings and also in the 1885 Iowa State Census living in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa. By the 1895 Iowa State Census Peter is not present. He would have been about 23 years old when he left home.

Peter marries the following year from the census on 1 January, 1896 to Etta Mae Hall in Calhoun Co., Iowa. She was born about 1878 in Iowa and her parents were J.W. Hall and S.E. Hardesty.

I can’t find Peter in the 1900 census, however, but I did find him with Etta in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census living in Poweshiek County, Iowa.

Source:  Peter George Spracklin Family, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Warren Twp., Poweshiek Co., Iowa, SD#6, ED#127, Sht#4B, enumerated on 20 April, 1910 by Charles H. Marble. Note:  The page is very difficult to read and faded so I don’t know what kind of work he was doing. 

Line 65, 66, 67, Spracklin, Peter George, Head, M, W, 34, M1, all born Iowa, father born England, mother born Iowa.  

Spracklin, Etta May, wife, F, W, 31, M1, five born five living, born Iowa, father Ohio, mother born Iowa.
Spracklin, Blanche Alma, daughter, F, W, 13, S
Spracklin, Hattie Ellen, daughter, F, W, 11
Spracklin, Ivan [Transis], Son, M, W, 5
Spracklin, Charles Earl, Son, M, W, 2
Spracklin, Emma Jane, daughter, F, W, 2/12

In the 1915 Iowa State Census which is a series of cards. Peter is not listed in Emmet County but Etta is with the children.

#207 Female, white, married, can read and write, 36 years in US, 28 in Iowa. Etta M. Spracklin, age 36, Emmet, Estherville, 8 common school, Christian, father born Ohio, mother born Iowa. 

#208 Female, white, single, can read and write, 16 years in US, 6 years in Iowa, Hattie E. Spracklin age 16, Emmet, Estherville, Ward 2, 8 common school 1 high school, born Iowa, Christian, parents born Iowa. 

#209 Male, white, Public 9, can read and right, 10 years in US, 9 years in Iowa, Iven F. Spracklin, age 10, Emmet, Estherville, 4 common, born Oregon, parents born Iowa. 

#210 Male, white, Public School, can read and write, 8 years in Iowa, Charles E. Spracklin, age 8, Emmet, Estherville, Ward 2, parents born in Iowa.

#211, Female, white, years in Iowa 5, Ema B. Spracklin age 5, Emmet, Estherville, parents born in Iowa. 

Etta Mae Hall married Robert J. West on the 2nd of March, 1916 in Albert Lea, Freeborn Co., Minnesota according to the Minnesota Marriage Index so it is not surprising to find Peter in the 1920 census listed as divorced.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census we find Peter with his son Ivan in Nebraska adding another state to his list of wanderings.

Line 95: 17/17 Spracklin Peter, head, Renting, male white, age 47, divorced, can read and write, born in Iowa, father born in Ohio, mother born in Indiana, laborer. Ivin Spracklin, son, male, white, age 14, single, can read and write born in Oregon, father born in Iowa, mother born in Iowa, occupation none.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Dustin Twp., Holt Co., Nebraska, SD 6, ED 1, Sht #4B, Jan. 2, 1920 by James D. Beck.

Peter and Etta had the following children:

1.  Blanche Alma Spracklin was born 9 August, 1896 in Calhoun Co., Iowa and died in 2001. She married a J.P. Vanderoff on 15 April, 1914.  He was born 8 December, 1888 and died 2 April 1951 in Shattuck, Faribault, Minnesota. They had Roy Poe Vanderoff born in 1919 in Iowa. Roy married Donna and had five children.

Source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Superior Twp., Dickinson County, Iowa, SD#11, ED#52, Sht#1B, enumerated 15, March 1920, by Harry L. Davis. 

Line 59, X, 11, 11, Vanderoff, John P. Head, R, M, W, 31, M, yes, yes, born Iowa, parents born New York, yes, Laborer, Section

Vanderoff, Alma Blanche, wife, F, W, 23, m, yes, yes, born Iowa, parents born Iowa

Vanderoff, Roy, son, M, W, 5/12, S, born Iowa, parents born Iowa.

Anderson, Ernest, Lodger, M, W, 21, S, yes, yes, born Illinois, parents born Ohio, laborer, general

Anderson, Lionel, Lodger, M,W, 26, S, yes, yes, born Illinois, parents born Ohio, proprietor, garage.

Blanche Alma Spracklin died on 15 March, 2001 in Roseburg, Douglas Co., Oregon. She is buried in the Wilbur Cemetery in Wilbur, Douglas Co., Oregon.  Find A Grave has a memorial to her, a picture of her tombstone and an obituary notice that is pretty detailed.

There is a WWII draft card #161 for a John P. Vanderoff age 28 years old, Home Spirit Lake, Iowa, dated of birth December 8, 1888, natural-born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Farmer, self in Dickinson Co., married, Caucasian, no military service. He is medium height, medium build, eyes blue, hair black, not bald and has all his body parts, signed by John S. Blou, Dickinson Co., Iowa, June 5, 1917.

2.  Hattie Ellen Spracklin was born 29 October, 1898 and I have that she died about 1969. I don’t have much on her life. She may have married a Carl R. Abolt.

Source:  Iowa County Marriages: Name Carl R. Abolt, Event Date 21 Nov. 1920 in Iowa. his age is 21 father W.D. Abolt, mother Nellie Bentry, Spouse Hattie Spracklin, age 21 born about 1899 Father PJ Spracklin, Etta Hall. Iowa County marriages index. GS Film #1863613.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census there is a Hattie Spracklin age 21 born about 1899 living on 15th Street, singled and occupied at a Barber shop in Des Moines, Iowa.

In trying the 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census I cannot find a Carl with a Hattie.  I find a Carl living in Des Moines but on his own.  There are multiple Hatties in the 1940 Census with different surnames.

3.  Ivan Frank Spracklin was born 25 February. 1905 in Roseburg, Douglas, Oregon. He married Florence L. Nick and they had four children together.  Ivan appears with his family and wife Florence in the 1940 U.S. Federal census living in Reading, Pennsylvania.

4.  Charles Earl Spracklin was born 11 June, 1907 and died 21 December, 1999 in Reading, Berks Co., Pennsylvania.  He married Catherine and had six children one died as a baby.

In the 1930 U.S. Federal census for Reading, Pennsylvania Peter is living with his son Charles and family.  By the 1940 census Peter is not listed but Charles and Catherine are there with their children living in Reading.

5. Birdie Emma Spracklin was born 7 July 1909.  She married a Richard Gage on 3 August, 1928 in Jackson (not sure if it is Minnesota or Iowa) and had several children. Richard Gage is buried in the Owatonna Memorial Gardens in Steele Co., Minnesota. Find A Grave has a memorial but not a photo of the tombstone.  There is a Birdie listed but the dates are 1909 to 1919 and I am not sure what that means.

Birdie and Richard a living in Emmet Twp., Emmet Co., Iowa in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.  They have Deloris with them and she is a baby.  They migrated to Westford Twp., Martin Co., Minnesota by the 1940 U.S. Federal Census.  They have their four daughters with them: DeLoris, Orpha, Geraldine, and Katherine.

Returning to the mother, Etta Mae appears with her husband Richard West in the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census in Center Twp., Emmet Co., Iowa.  By 1940 they have migrated to Minnesota and settled in Westford Twp., Martin Co., Minnesota.  Martin Co. is along the border between Minnesota and Iowa. There is also a 1910 U.S. Census in which a Richard West appears with his wife Nellie and children in Estherville:  George, Everett, Charley and Bird.

Etta Mae Hall Spracklin West passed away on the 7th of September in 1972.  She outlived both husbands by 15 years.  A cousin thinks this obituary is not quite correct, so be careful.

Mrs. Robert J. West (Etta May) 93, died yesterday, Sept 7, 1972 at a nursing home in Crosby, Minn. She was a former resident of Estherville. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 pm, Monday in Fuhrman Funeral Home, Estherville, and interment will be made in East Side Cemetery. She was born Sept. 22, 1878 at Coon Rapids. She was married to Mr. Spracklin who later died. After his death she was married to Robert J. West and they farmed east of Estherville. He died in 1957. She lived in Estherville for some time, then moved to Minnesota a few years ago.

Survivors include five sons, Ivan Spracklin of Reading PA., Robert West of Faribault, Minn., Everett West of California and George West of Adel; four daughters, Mrs. Richard (Birdie) Gage of Owatonna, Minn. Mrs. Blanche Vanderhoff of Roseburg, Ore., Mrs. Bern Busy of Adel and Mrs. Rose Maloney of Lewisville, Minn.; 13 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; and one sister living in California. Friends may call at Fuhrman Funeral Home, Estherville, after noon on Sunday until time of services. Source: Estherville Daily News, Friday, September 8, 1972, page 8.

Robert and Etta are buried in the East Side Cemetery in Estherville, Iowa.  Find A Grave has a memorial and tombstone photo for Etta Mae West along with her husband Robert with links.

Peter George’s Death Certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, #060-085, #1952 #204:  Died in Berks Co., Reading, PA at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Alsace Twp., Hay Road (Tempe R.D. #1). Peter G. Spracklin died January 26, 1957. Male, White, Divorced. Date of birth Aug 30, 1874 (??) age 82. Laborer, contracting firm. born in Iowa. Father is Daniel D. Spracklin no record on the mother. Did not serve in Armed forces, Informant Charles E. Spracklin residence Reading, PA. Peter died of shock and hemorrhage and gastric ulcer chronic with general arteriosclerosis. Signed by the Coroner. Burial Jan 30, 1957 in Forest Hills Memorial Park, Exeter Twp.,  Berks, PA.

If you would like more information on this family, please leave a comment and I will find you. There are living descendants of this couple and I am sure they would be willing to share, they have been very generous to me.  As usual please double-check the information presented here and realize that I have not presented all that I have.

Daniel Spracklin’s Children: Daniel Goss Spracklin 1870 to 1927

Daniel Goss Spracklin was a son of Daniel D. and Sarah Spracklin.  He was born 21 September, 1870 in Benton Co., Iowa. He died 8 August, 1927 in Calhoun Co., Iowa and is buried in the Cedar Township Cemetery in Calhoun County.

Daniel’s mother Sarah was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church circuit that covered the churches of Deep River, Bethel, Mt. Zion, Spring Dale, and Keswick in Iowa and Poweshiek County. Sarah was listed as a member and Daniel G. Spracklin’s baptism was listed on page 186. Source: FHL#1003429 Item 3. 

Daniel married on 29 January, 1907 to Susan Matilda Marrow.  She was born 23 August, 1869 in What Cheer, Keokuk Co., Iowa and died on 19 December, 1909 in Enid, Garfield, Oklahoma. Susan’s parents were John Marrow and Rebecca Kinder.

Daniel Goss Spracklin and Susan M. Lash

Daniel Goss Spracklin and Susan M. Lash, courtesy of a cousin

Source: Iowa Marriages, 1809-1992, Family Search, Daniel Goss Spracklin born 1871 in Benton, Iowa, age 36, to Susan Morrow Lash born 1870 in Mahaska County age 37. Marriage took place on 29 January 1907 in Sigourney, Keokuk, Iowa. Daniel’s father was Daniel Dare Spracklin and his mother was Sarah Blacketer.  The bride’s father was John Morrow and her mother was Jane Kinder.  Daniel was single and the bride was widowed.  Source:  Marriage Records for Mahaska Co., Iowa, FHL#1005844, pg. 77

Susan had been married before to a Robert Louis Lash on 16 November, 1890 in Mahaska Co., Iowa ( Source: Marriage Records 1844 to 1939 Mahaska Co., Iowa FHL#985383). Robert was born 10 July, 1869 in What Cheer and he died 23 August, 1899. Find A Grave has a tombstone photo and memorial to Robert with links to several children.  He is buried in the Indianapolis Cemetery in Rose Hill, Mahaska County, Iowa.

Susan and Robert Nash had the following children:

1.  Jessie Orvil Lash born 31 March, 1892 in What Cheer, Keokuk Co., Iowa and he died 16 April 1969 near Deep River, in Poweshiek Co., Iowa.  Jessie is buried in the Goldenrod Cemetery in Deep River, Poweshiek co., Iowa.  Find A Grave has a tombstone photo and memorial to him.

2. Bessie Jane Lash was born 28 March 1894 in What Cheer and died 27 June 1912.

3. Fred Nesburt Lash was born 22 April 1898 in What Cheer and he died 17 January 1930 in California.  He is buried in the Oakdale Citizens Cemetery in Oakdale, Stanislaus Co., California. Find A Grave has a picture of his tombstone and a memorial with links at the website.

4. John Charles Lash was born 24 March 1900 in What Cheer and died the 17th of December 1940 in Hot Springs, South Dakota. He may have married several times and had several children.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Susan appears with her children living in Pleasant Grove, Mahaska, Iowa as a widow. She has Jesse, Bessie, Fred and John with her.  She is still there in 1895 per the Iowa State Census.

Going back to 1880 we find Daniel Goss Spracklin in the U.S. Federal Census living with his parents Daniel and Sarah and his siblings. He 10 years old.

In 1885 Daniel is listed under the name Dalia and he is 14 years old. In the 1895 Iowa State census Daniel is 24 years old and he is single.  In both 1885 and 1895 he is living with his parents in Dayton Twp., Iowa County, Iowa.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census Daniel G. Spracklin has a birth date of September of 1870 in Iowa. He is 27 years old and single. Daniel is with his parents and brother Charles.

Daniel and Susan Morrow Lash one child together.

5.  Opal Matilda Spracklin born 29 August, 1908 in Poweshiek Co., Iowa. She died February 1987 in Calhoun Co., Iowa. Opal married a Clarence Harrison Vote on 18 August, 1925 in Gilmore City, Humboldt Co., Iowa.

Opal Spracklin as a little baby

Opal Spracklin as a little baby

Clarence was born 8 August, 1888 in Somers, Webster Co., Iowa and died about 15 February, 1976. He was the son of John Martin Vote and Eleanor Amanda Hocket. Clarence had been married before to Lillian Cressinger. She was born 28 March, 1886 and died 10 April, 1920.  They had one daughter named Alberta Lillian.

Clarence and Opal appear in the 1930 U.S. Census.

Source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census in Somers Town, Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.  Clarence is a truck driver for a dray line.  ED 13-6, SD#5, Sht#2A. Enumerated April 3-4, by Lela J. Wright.

Line 32, 38, 40, Vote, Clarence H, Head, 0, $2000, yes, M, W, 41, M, 20, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born PA, mother born Wisconsin, truck driver, dray line, no, 5.

Vote, Opal M., Wife of H, F, W, 21, M, 17, No, yes, born Iowa, parents born Iowa, and all children born Iowa.

Vote, Alberta L, daughter, F, W, 19, S, yes, yes, Iowa

Vote, Bernice A, daughter, F, W, 4 3/2, S, No, Iowa

Vote, Clarence, F, son, M, W, 3 2/12 S, No, Iowa

Vote, John D., son, M,W, 1 3/12 S, No, Iowa

Clarence and Opal are listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census living in Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa,

Source:  1940 U.S. Federal Census living in Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa, SD#7 ED#13-16, Sht#3A, enumerated 9 April, 1940 by Vesla M. Tripp. 

Line 35, 580, 200 yes, Vote, Dick. O. Head, M, W. 51, M, no 6.6. all born in Iowa, all same house, yes, yes, farmer, farming, 52, 0, yes

Vote. Opal, wife, F, W. 31, M, yes, H1, 9

Vote, Alberta, daughter, F, W, 29, S, no. H4, 30

Vote. Bernice, daughter, F. W. 14, S, yes, 8, 8, Egg [Cauller], Creamery

Vote, Clarence, Son, M, W, 13, S, yes, 5, 5

Vote, John, Son, M, W, 11, S, yes, 5, 5, 

We find Daniel in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census living in Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma.  He is widowed.

Source:  1910 U.S. Federal Census, Enid Township, Garfield Co., Oklahoma, SD#1, ED#16, Sht #7 A, enumerated on 27 April 1910 by __________.

Line 32, 92, 92, Spracklin, Daniel G., Head, M, W, 39, Wd, all born in Iowa, father born in Ohio, mother born in Indiana, English, farmer, farm

Spracklin, Opal M., daughter, F, W, 2, S, yes, yes. 

Lash, Jessie O., step-son, M, W, 18, S

Lash, Bessie J., step-d, F, W, 16, S

Lash, Fred N., step son, M, W, 12, S

Lash, John C., step son, M, W, 10, S

Daniel has migrated back to Iowa by 1915 and is living in Deep River not to far from where his parents farm was located.  Daniel was not listed with the Estate Partition deeds for his father’s land but he did get his portion of the estate money at the final report in April of 1916.

Source: 1915 Iowa State Daniel G. Spracklin and his daughter Opal appear on the individual cards for that census. 

#54? D.G. Spracklin, age 44, Iowa Co., PO Deep River, Dayton Twp., occupation farmer, total earnings in 1914 $200. Common education 10 yrs. Born in Iowa, father born in Ohio and mother born in Indiana.

#55 Opal Spracklin 6 yrs. old, Iowa Co., PO Deep River, Dayton Twp., born in Iowa, father born in Iowa, mother born in Iowa, six years in Iowa.

In 1920 Daniel is in Iowa with a couple by the name of Gray.  The relationship of the Gray family, if any, to Daniel is unknown to me. Opal, his daughter, is living with Virda Huston Spracklin in Franklin, Jerauld Co., South Dakota. Virda is Daniel’s older brother.

Source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census,  Somers Town, Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa, Precinct No. 1, SD#10, ED#32, Sht# 7B, enumerated the 19th & 20th of January, 1920, by William A. Thompson.

Line 95, 162, 165, Spracklin Daniel, Head, 0, M, M, W, 49, wd, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother Indiana, laborer, steam railroad, W, 85.

Gray, Chauncey, Head, M, W, 58, M, born Illinois, father born New York, parents born New York, carpenter, house, W, house, W. Gray, Blanche A, wife, F, W, 54, M, born Wisconsin, father born Ohio, parents born Ohio. 

Much to my delight, Daniel and Opal appear in the 1925 Iowa State census together.

Source:  1925 Iowa State Census, Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa, residence date 1 January 1925. Two pages. 

Line 137 Spracklin, Daniel G., Head, m, w, 55, W, 0, F, $500, $300, Born Iowa, Father Spracklin, Daniel D., born Ohio, Mother Sarah Blacketer born Indiana, married in Iowa

Line 138 Spracklin, Opal M., daughter, F, W, 16 S, Father Daniel Spracklin, born Iowa, Mother, Susie M. Morrow, born Iowa, married in Iowa. 

Daniel died the 8th of August, 1927 and he is buried in the Cedar Cemetery in Calhoun County, Iowa.

Daniel Goss Spracklin

Daniel Goss Spracklin, photo courtesy of P. Stoudt

Source: Cedar Township Cemetery, Calhoun County, Iowa,  Published by the Iowa Genealogical Society, Des Moines, Iowa, page 13. 

Please double check the above information and if anyone knows where Susan or Opal are buried, I would like to know.

Another Visit to Montana in 2010: The sites of Montana, Part II

The rest of our trip to Montana in 2010, would be to enjoy the sites and attend the wedding that would take place in Bozeman.

Our first stop, after leaving Miles City, was at the Rosebud Rest Area. It was on a cliff above the Yellowstone River and the view was incredible.

Rosebud Rest Stop

Rosebud Rest Stop and the Yellowstone River

I wanted to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield again, even though I had seen it on the last trip in 2003.  It is really very interesting and they are now featuring both sides of the conflict.

http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm  Here is what I wrote in my travel journal about that experience:

We got their about 1 pm.  The first thing was to go and hear the ranger talk.  This time it was a young lady who I think was new. After, we then went into the visitor center and they said a film was to be shown soon. I looked a look at the gift shop which had a lot of books on the history of the battle, Custer and the Indians.  We found seats for the film.  It was an interesting presentation of the battle giving a little more detail and showing the areas that they were talking about so it added to the Ranger talk.  Once that was over we went through the museum which featured some information and artifacts from Custer’s life donated by his wife who lived 54 years after his death.  What the soldiers worn and used and the mix of their heritage.  Some could not speak English they were new immigrants.  There was information about battle tactics. They had a machine in the back that had selections on the different groups that were involved in the battle and you could search them if you new a name.  They were the soldiers, the officers, the Indians and more.  The had a collection of the guns that were used by the soldiers. 

Ranger Talk at Little Bighorn Battlefield

Ranger Talk at Little Bighorn Battlefield

We then walked up to Last Stand Hill where Custer was killed along with his two brothers Tom and Buster and all the others in his outfit.  He is not there anymore having his remains placed at Annapolis. Others are buried in a mass grave under the big monument.  When they buried them at the time of the battle they did not have the proper tools to bury them and the graves were shallow.  An archaeological dig was done in the 1980’s after a fire had burned the area and they found a lot of artifacts like bullets and other things.  They could track a soldier by his bullets. There is still a lot of conjecture about the battle and the maps show that with the dotted lines. We visited the Indian monument.  They are adding tombstones for the Indian’s in a different color which is good.  They are honoring the Indian’s and trying to show both sides of the battle at this time.  I think that is a good thing.

Indian Exhibit Little Bighorn Battlefield

Indian Exhibit Little Bighorn Battlefield

We then returned to the car to take the road to the other sites which defines the movements of the officer by the name of Reno.  You drive for 5 miles along the ridge through private land.  The rain was upon us by that time with a big cloud and it was not fun so we had to stay in the car.  We arrived at the other end of the road and the rain opened up by then with the big cloud right over us.  I did manage to get the monument and the battle plan of Reno but that was about it before it started to rain. 

A Monument to the Battle

A Monument to the Battle

I think that the battlefield is haunted and it is always raining when I visit. What does that mean?

Our next stop was Billings where we stayed in the Dude Rancher Hotel.  I thought it would be good idea from the description online and have a western flare.  It was interesting.  Later it was on the TV show Hotel Impossible to get a revamp.  http://www.duderancherlodge.com/

I had really enjoyed my visit to the Western History Cultural Center in Billings on my first trip, so I wanted to stop and visit this archive. http://www.ywhc.org/

We arrived at the Western History Cultural Center about 11 a.m. and I figured we would put in two hours but we did about 2.5.  We had to park on the street and use quarters.  It was not like it had been 8 years ago and it was a little disappointing but I enjoyed what was there.  They had the lady photographer’s collection.  Alan had purchased a CD of her work so we have a selection of her photographs and can study them.  All black and white and she was doing this at the turn of the century and early 1896 to 1900’s.  Amazing dedication.  The Cheyenne Exhibit was sad but very interesting.  The oral histories that they have collected from the Indians is a good thing.  I guess you can access them.  The other exhibits were other oral histories of several musicians.  There were paintings and sketches as well.  They saved a sketch book of one of the Indians at one of the forts who had been shot with his sketch books with him and they are wonderful drawings, somewhat childlike but wonderful.

If you like Train Depot’s you might want to check out the one in Billings.  http://www.billingsdepot.org/  http://www.billingsdepot.org/history-depot/

We had to move on so we headed to Livingston arriving a the Train Depot with only fifteen minutes to view it.  The other museum was closing a 5 pm as well.  http://www.livingstonmuseums.org/depot/index.html  My timing on this trip was off a bit.

Livingston, MT

Livingston, MT

From Livingston we made it to Bozeman and found our Comfort Inn without too much trouble and settled in.  The next day was Friday so we had most of the day to dally and would later go to the wedding rehearsal picnic.

My goal was to find the gravesite of Armindo Spracklin the wife of Charles E. Spracklin a 1/2 brother of my great-grandmother Amarilla. The story is she wanted to be buried in the mountains so her son took her to Bozeman to live. This is what happened when we visited the cemetery, from my 2010 travel journal.

Armindo Spracklin's gravesite in Sunset Cemetery, Billings

Armindo Spracklin’s gravesite in Sunset Cemetery, Billings. Me standing about where it would be but no headstone.

We headed first to the Sunset Hills Memorial Park Cemetery and the office for the cemetery.  A nice man in work clothing was in the office and he helped located where Armindo Spracklin wife of Charles Edward Spracklin was buried.  He instructed me that we could follow him for it was a little difficult to find.  He drove thru the cemetery gates in his big truck that had dirt in the back and made his way through the cemetery.  This cemetery is huge so going to the office is a good idea. He came to an area in a shady part of the cemetery and tried to find the grave but there was no stone.  He finally decided it was next to this tree and this other person.  I was a little disappointed but not surprised for her husband’s marker was one of those metal tags. Find A Grave has a memorial and picture pretty much like mine for Armindo.

I wish I had money to do stones for family, maybe I can work something out, but I do have a long list.  Armindo made up a pedigree outline with the names and dates of our family history and I wanted to at least try to find her and pay my respects. I publish that on the Solomon Goss Blog with the title: Ancestor Outline by Armindo Spracklin, August 5, 2011.

Our next stop was the museum where I wanted to see if I could find any information on my great-uncle William Barclay, 1/2 brother to my George A. Barclay. http://gallatinhistorymuseum.org/  I write more:

The Gallatin County and Pioneer Museum which is right next door to the Gallatin County Courthouse.  We went inside and the museum was on the right and the archive center was on the left.  We paid the $5.00 admission fee.  I looked at books and then went into the archive area and was greeted by a nice lady but I was not allowed beyond a certain point.  I didn’t prepare myself for this type of archive and should have known better. 

Gallatin Historical Museum

Gallatin Historical Museum

I gave her William Barclay’s name and she brought me an obituary file but I didn’t find him listed.  I was thinking that if his wife had died in 1919 before him and his baby son had not survived he probably was going to be hard to find and the obituary I wanted would not be done.  She showed me on the map where Pony and Willow Creek were located south of Three Forks and we will go there tomorrow when we go to the Lewis and Clark Caverns.  She told me of a the Headwaters Heritage Museum in Three Forks and that they might have more local information.  He was a miner and poultry farmer in Pony, then Hot Springs and then Willow Creek were he died.  I tried online to see if I could find him in the cemeteries but he is not showing up.  So I will need obituary notices, family histories, cemetery information in the area when I get to the historical society. 

The lady told me that probate and deed indexes and information would be in the courthouse and I thought about going but decided I could call or email them for his probate if there was one.  He had some money and owned the farm in 1930 so he just might have given his inheritance to his brother or something like that? I then toured the museum which was on several floors and they had a chronology of the businesses in the area.  A flip chart of the different communities in the county like Willow Creek which I took a picture of.  Lots of information and artifacts.  A map of the trails to Montana and a little about them like the Bozeman Trail.  

When you travel with your hubby you do have to find activities they will enjoy.  He discovered that there was a Computer Museum in Bozeman.  http://www.compustory.com/

American Computer museum in Bozeman

American Computer museum in Bozeman

It is called the American Computer & Robotics Museum and it was on the south side of town at Kagy and 19th road in a group of buildings that looked like condominiums. We arrived with only about 30 minutes to view the museum and the nice docent gave us a quick tour around and then turned us loose to study the exhibits.  It was a great museum with awards for Computer Pioneering offered to many people.  They had the history of the telephone, TV, telegraph and all technologies that led up to the computer and cell phones. I teased them about a mag card typewriter and MTST which I used in my profession as a secretary.  Apparently they have a warehouse with a lot of stuff in it.  My hubby said they are the biggest computer museum in the country and very prestigious.  We didn’t have much time but at least we now know it exits and I highly recommend it to you. 

We were off to a picnic which was the rehearsal dinner where we gathered at a park in Bozeman.

Rehearsal Dinner picnie

Rehearsal Dinner picnic

Because I had enjoyed the Lewis and Clark Caverns so much I wanted my hubby to see them.  So, the next day, we headed up to the park. The wedding was later in the day. I wrote about this visit in my 2010 travel journal.

The Jefferson River Valley, Yup another river....

The Jefferson River Valley, Yup another river….

The scenery was spectacular.  We came to Three Forks about 40 minutes later and turned south on Highway 2 for the caverns.  It is a semi-circle from the west to the east. We were following the Jefferson River.  There is the Missouri Headwaters Park to the north of I-90 and it is where the Jefferson, Madison and the beginning of the Missouri River meet.  We would not have time to go to the park and see the rivers merge. 

The Sign

The Sign

The entrance to the caverns park has a new visitor center.  We stopped to see what was there. 

Visitor Center at the entrance

Visitor Center at the entrance

We then headed up to the visitor center at the top near the cavern opening.  I remember the climb up is about 2 miles with views of the Jefferson River valley.  We arrived and immediately went to see when the next tour was and we were in luck for it was about 9:45 and the next tour was 10 am. Our guide was young man and fun. He gave us the rules and we walked to the cavern entrance.  This took about 30 minutes to walk the path which is very steep.

The Ranger tells us the rules

The Ranger tells us the rules

At the entrance to the caverns our guide told us the story of the man who promoted the caverns. It turned out he did not have rights to it for it was railroad land and so that began a competition of locking the entrance door and cutting the locks between the man and the railroad company. This went on till his death in 1932 when the railroad gave the land to the State of Montana.  We had to be quiet the first couple of rooms so as not to scare the bats and no flash.  It was really hard to adjust to the lack of light in the caverns. 

We entered the caverns and the stairs going down were dark, but wide enough and there were hand railings in some areas.  The guide would walk us along through the caverns and then stop in a room and give an explanation of the specific room.  The was temperature was cool inside. We went down stairs, through tight tunnels and there were cave formations all around.  Some of the stairs were very steep and in one area we had to slide down on our butts. The formations were spectacular in each room and as we went along the rooms got bigger and bigger. The guide would turn off the lights behind us and turn on the lights ahead.  They had first used wooden steps and they rotted within 2 years and now it was cemented.  All work had been done by candlelight.  

The Caverns

The Caverns

The Caverns more

More views…

In one room the guide turned off the lights and it was so dark you could not see your hand before you. In the last room it had these huge formations. The very last part was a long tunnel with two doors to prevent the wind coming into the cave. 

We were done and it was out into the sunshine again and the wonderful view of the Jefferson River Valley.  We took our time getting back to the visitor center.  I decided to get a hot dog to help with keeping me happy. We headed back down in the car and stopped at a couple of vistas to take pictures. 

Jefferson River Valley

Jefferson River Valley

Before heading back to the motel, we took more time to do research on my great-uncle William Barclay, brother to George A. Barclay.  http://www.tfhistory.org/

Headwaters Museum

Headwaters Museum

We drove back the same way and turned onto a gravel road that took us to Willow Creek where William Barclay, half-brother to George, had homesteaded and died.  We then went on up the road to Three Forks where the Headwaters Heritage Museum was located.  We found it at Cedar and Main in an old bank building. There was a nice lady that greeted us and offered to have her son look for an obit on William Barclay so I gave her some information.  I doubt I will hear from them.  She did loan me the Three Rivers history book but he was not in that either.  The museum was wonderful with vignettes on the upper floor of a dentist office, military sets, trains and more. 

It was time to return to Bozeman and get ready for the wedding. Finding the location proved to be a challenge, because GPS was not working. It was set in a lovely forested area southwest of Bozeman.

The Wedding Venue

The Wedding Venue

The guests gathered out on a lovely grass field as the rain clouds began to gather. A little into the ceremony we started to hear the sounds of thunder.  We were stoic but finally the bride gave the word when the rain started to come down. Everyone made it back to the lodge area very quickly and gathered into the area that the tables were set up for the dinner.  The ceremony resumed as the rain came down outside.  It was a fun wedding and most everyone was there from my husband’s side of the family.

Guests gather

Guests gather

The next day, was our last day in Montana.  We decided to take in the Museum of the Rockies:  https://www.museumoftherockies.org/

We arrived at the Museum of the Rockies which is at the south side of Bozeman on Kagy and it was a lot bigger than I expected.  The parking lot was pretty much full.  In the lobby we found a line waiting for tickets. 

Museum of the Rockies

Museum of the Rockies

DSC06496

 

I wanted to see the dinosaurs and so we headed in that direction. We only had about 2 hours to tour the museum so we needed to move along quickly.  The dinosaur display was wonderful. 

DSC06495

Predators are the little guys

This museum states that T-Rex was a scavenger and not a predator. Scavengers are a more common animal, while predators are not.  I was not aware that they had done so much research since I was interested in Dinosaurs in my childhood. I didn’t realize that they have found dinosaur bones in 48 of the 56 counties.

They had an Indian exhibit, a western exhibit which had some really nice wagons but I could not take pictures. They also had the DaVinci Exhibit we had seen before. Pretty amazing. 

On this trip we had flown into Billings Logan International Airport. http://www.flybillings.com/

Rather than backtrack to Billings, we would fly out of the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, which is north of Bozeman.  http://www.bozemanairport.com/ I recommend that you go to an airport’s website because they have so much information on them and are truly helpful when you are planning a trip.

Here is what I wrote in my journal in 2010:

It was off to the airport which neither one of us believed was really there because we could not see it from the freeway. It was north of the town in Belgrade. It is a very small airport and there are not many flights out.  Again it was the propeller type airplane like the one we took to Billings. Everyone who had attended the wedding the day before was slowly trickling into this airport, so the wait was fun to have family around to visit with.

After getting our tickets and checking our luggage my hubby headed to the Hertz desk to check in the car. We had done 706 miles for this trip. We headed through security and they made me take my video camera out of the camera bag.  Our gate was about ten steps from the security gate. 

More of the family trickled in as we waited. It was decided that there were about thirteen people on our flight who had attended the wedding.  It was fun to hear them chatting away as we waited for the plane. When the time came to board the plane we walked down some stairs and then climbed into the airplane. The ride was a little bumpy but we arrived safely at SeaTac and were only about fifteen minutes late.  

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Seattle's Downtown area

Seattle’s Downtown area

On this trip we visited with relatives from both sides of the family.  We attended a wedding.  Went to and walked through many museums of a great variety of topics. Took the time to enjoy the beautiful State of Montana.  I was able to learn about and view several rivers and did a little genealogy research regarding my great Uncle William Barclay. As you can see my trips are busy, filled with adventures and complicated.

The Family of Amos and Iva Heiss Spracklin….

Amos Earl Spracklin was a son of Reed and Julia Siler Spracklin.  He was born on the 28th of August, 1899 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Amos Spracklin in 1919

Amos Spracklin in 1919

He died on the 12th of December, 1983 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana. He is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City Montana.

Amos & Iva's Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery in Miles City

Amos & Iva’s Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery in Miles City

Amos married Iva Myrtle Heiss on the 26th of July, 1924 in Miles City, Montana.

Kafroth & Mary C. Heiss

Kafroth & Mary C. Heiss

Iva was born in Baldwin, Burleigh Co., North Dakota. She was the daughter of Kafroth Rodney Heiss, Jr. who was born 31 May, 1858 in Erie, Erie Co., Pennsylvania and died 6 December, 1928 in Warms Springs, Deer Lodge, Montana.  Her mother was Mary Katherine Unzen born 14 February, 1879 in Minnesota and died 20 June, 1973 in Miles City, Montana. She was the daughter of Joseph Unzen and Elizabeth Morris.

Joseph Unzen and Elizabeth are buried in the Saint Leo Cemetery in Yellow Medicine Co., Minnesota. Find A Grave has a photo of their tombstones and a memorial with links.  It is possible from the Find A Grave information that Joseph’s father was Nicholas Unzen born 2 August, 1788 in Germany and died 18 February, 1872 in Le Sueur Co., Minnesota.

Mary K. Heiss is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City with her son Rodney. Find A Grave has a tombstone photo and memorial for both.  There are other Heiss buried there but the relationships are not clarified.

Kafroth’s father was Kafroth Rodney Heiss Sr. who died 12 August, 1858 in Fairview (probably a township), Erie Co., Pennsylvania. The mother was Mary Ann Long born in Fairview, Erie Co., Pennsylvania.  There is a memorial at Find A Grave for a Kafroth Heiss with no information and no tombstone.  There are other Heiss buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

We find the family of Kafroth and Mary Heiss living in Wason Flats, Garfield County, Montana in the 1920 U.S. Census. The name is under Kafront R. Heiss. He is 71 years of age in this census. Wason Flats is east of Cohagen in Garfield County, Montana.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Wason Flats, Garfield Co., Montana, School Dist#33, SD#2, ED#123, Sht #5B, enumerated on 21 February, 1920 by J. Budd Kaus. 

Line 76, Farm, 114, 114, Heis, Kafront R., Head, 1, 0, F, M, W, 71, M, all able to read and write, several in school, born Pennsylvania, parents born in Pennsylvania, yes, farmer, general farm, 110.

Heiss, Mary wife, F, 2, 41, M, born Minnesota, parents born in West Prussia

Heiss, Rose, daughter, F, W, 18, S, born Washington

Heiss, Arthur, son, M, W, 15, S, born Minnesota, maid, housework

Heiss, Iva, daughter, F, W, 13, S, born North Dakota, 

Heiss, Elizabeth daughter, F, W, 11, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Roddy son, M, W, 9, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Joseph son, M, W, 5, S, born North Dakota

Heis, Deloris, daughter, F, W, 2, S, born Montana

According to my information Kafroth and Mary had about nine children, including Iva:  Bob, Joe, Art, Rose, Delores, Ann, Rodney died 1961, Iva Myrtle and Elizabeth Susanna 1908 to 2001 who married Harley Grover Spracklin.

So I went back to 1910 and find Kafroth and Mary K. Heiss living in North Dakota.

Source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Menoken Twp., Burleigh, North Dakota, SD#2, ED#35, Sht#1A, enumerated on 18 April, 1910 by Ole Sather.

Line 1, 1, 1, Heiss, K. Head, M, W, 53, Married 12 years, born in PA, parents born in PA, English, Farmer

Heiss, Mary K. wife, F, W, 31, Married 12 years, 5 born 5 living, born Minnesota, parents born Germany, English, house farm

Heiss, Annie Mary, daughter, F, W, 10, S, born Washington

Hessi, Rosy Elmirel, daughter, F, W, 8, S, born Washington

Heiss, Arthur Floyd, Son, M,W, 5, S, born Minnesota

Heiss, Iva Mary, daughter, F, W, 3, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Elizabeth Susanna, daughter, F, W, 1, S, born North Dakota

We have added a couple more children for Kafroth and Mary K. Heiss to the family group.  I am not finding them in the 1900 U.S. Census but it looks like they were in Washington State at that time.

Here are is another photo of Amos and Iva’s homestead, which is now owned by a daughter.

Amos' Homestead near Jordan, 2003. It is probably torn down by now it was going to ruin

Amos’ Homestead near Jordan, 2003. It is probably torn down by now it was going to ruin ad was dangerous.

In 1930 Amos is living near his father Reed and mother Julia.

Amos and Iva Spracklin and one of their girls, probably Margaret

Amos and Iva Spracklin and one of their girls, probably Margaret

Source:  Reed Spracklin Family and Amos Spracklin Families, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Sheldon Twp., Garfield Co., Montana, School Distr #41., Garfield Co., Montana SD2, ED 122, Sh#5a, Mar 22, 1930, #T625-971.

Line 3, 2, 2, Spracklin, Amos. E, Head, yes, M, W, 30, m, 24, No, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother, born Nebraska, yes, Farm, laborer, Farm, 2. 
Spracklin, Iva, M, Wife – H, F, W, 30, M, 24, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa and mother Minnesota. 
Spracklin, Margaret R, daughter, F, W, 3, S, no, born Montana
Spracklin, Alice, M, daughter, F, W, 1, S, no, born Montana

Line 7, 3, 3, Spracklin, Reed, A. Head, yes, M,W,, 61, M, 39, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana, Farmer, farm, 3.
Spracklin, Julia A, wife-H, F, W, 51, M, 29, No, yes, born Nebraska, father Indiana, mother Iowa
Spracklin, Roy, Son, M,W, 16 S, yes, yes, born Iowa
Spracklin, Everett, R, son, M, W, 19, S, no, yes, born Iowa
Spracklin, Forest, E, son, M, W. 12, S, yes, yes, born Montana
Spracklin, Clara L., daughter, F, W, 10 S, yes, yes, born Montana

Amos and Iva are residing in the Sawtell area of Garfield Co., Montana in 1940.

Source: Amos E. Spracklin Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Sawtell (School District), Garfield Co., Montana, SD #3, ED 17-25, Sht# 1A, Enumerated April 24, 1940 by Donald M. Zimmerman. 

Line 6, 2, R, 4, yes, Spracklin, Amos L., Head, M, W, 40 , M, No, 44, born Iowa, all same house, farmer,, farm.
Spracklin, Iva, wife, F, W, 34, M, No 8, North Dakota. Spracklin, Margaret, daughter, F, W, 13, S, yes, 6, Montana, Spracklin, Alice, daughter, F, W, 11, S, yes, 5, Montana, Spracklin, Betty, daughter, F,W, 9, S, yes, 4, Montana, Spracklin, Bertha, daughter, F, W, 7, S, yes, 2, Montana, Spracklin, Dorothy, daughter, F, W, S, Montana, Spracklin, Helen, daughter, F, W, S, Montana.  

Amos and Iva in 1967 at Thanksgiving

Amos and Iva in 1967 at Thanksgiving

Iva Heiss Spracklin passed away on November 24, 1969.

Mrs. Iva Myrtle Spracklin, 63, wife of Amos E. Spracklin, former Jordan area rancher, died Monday, November 24 at her home in Hamilton. Funeral services for Mrs. Iva Spracklin were held, Friday afternoon in the Chapel of Stevenson, Miles City Funeral Home with the Rev. Leland Rubesh of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. Music was under the direction of Mrs. Marian Pinkham. Mrs. Spracklin was born in Baldwin, N.D. on October 16, 1906, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. K. Heiss. As a young girl she moved with her family to the Cohagen area where they homesteaded. She received her schooling in Miles City. She was married to Amos E. Spracklin on July 26, 1924 at Miles City and following their marriage they moved to the Jordan area where they farmed and ranched. They retired from the ranch in 1964 when they moved to Hamilton and have made their home there since. Surviving are her husband of Hamilton and six daughters. Mrs. M. Roberts of Hamilton, Mrs. F. Bickel of Rock Springs, Mrs. D. Cole of Miles City, Mrs. B. Roufley of Jordan and Mrs. D. Euell of Bozeman and Mrs. Fishell of White Sulphur Springs. Also surviving are her mother Mrs. Mary K. Heiss of Miles City, and three brothers, Bob Heiss of Garden Grove, Calif., Joe Heiss serving in the U.S. Army and Art Heiss of Miles City; four sisters, Rose Pembrook of Lewiston, Idaho, Delores Rogers of Roundup, Ann Larson of Lewiston, Idaho, and Elizabeth Spracklin of Miles City; 25 grandchildren and seven great grand children. She was preceded in death by one brother, Rodney Heiss in 1962 and one daughter, Mary Ann Spracklin in 1923 near Jordan. Pall bearers were: Martin Derenburgen, Donald Weeding, James Rogers, Waldo Bentley, George Spracklin, Roy Spracklin, Thomas Billings, Pete Ronning and Bob Phipps. Burial was in the family plot in the Sunset Memorial Gardens in Miles City.”  Note: There were issues with the water table at Sunset and so the casket was moved to the Custer County Cemetery next to her husband Amos in Miles City, MT.

Amos lived fourteen more years beyond his wife and passed away on 12 December, 1983 at the age of 84 years old.

Obituary for Amos Earl Sprackin
“Amos Earl Spracklin, 84, longtime rancher of the Jordan area, died Monday at the Garfield County Hospital in Jordan of a long illness. He was born Aug. 28, 1899 in Calhoun Co., Iowa the son of Reed Spracklin and Julia Siler. Mr. Spracklin came to Montana with his parents in 1915 when he was a young man. They homesteaded on Lone Tree Creek, 19 miles west of Jordan. On July 26, 1924, he married Iva Myrtle Heiss at Miles City. They continued to ranch west of Jordan until 1964 when they moved to Hamilton. In 1974 he moved to Mill Iron where he lived until 1978 when he entered the rest home at Jordan where he lived until his death. Survivors included six daughters, Mrs. Clint (Margaret) Vial of Portland, Oregon; Mrs. James Roufley of Brusett, Mrs. Ferdinand  Bickel of Mill Iron, Mrs. Delbert ole of Alzada, Mrs. Jesse Euell of Bozeman and Mrs. Jacob Fowler of Hamilton; three brothers Clifford of Hamilton, LeRoy of Roundup, and Forest of Washington; one sister, Clara Monger of Lewistown; 27 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Iva on Nov. 24, 1969 at Hamilton. Funeral services will be held Friday, 2 p.m., in the chapel of Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home. Rev. Leslie Payne of the First Christian Church will officiate. Burial will be in the family lot of the Custer County Cemetery.”  source unknown, probably Miles City newspaper. 

Amos and Iva had the following children:

Amos and Iva's Girls

Amos and Iva’s Girls

  1.  Mary Anna Spracklin, born 14 August, 1925 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died on the 15th of September 1925.  My understanding is that Mary is buried on the homestead property.
  2. Margaret Rosailie Spracklin was born 18 October, 1926 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died 22 December, 2012, in Jordan. Margaret married about five times 1) Daniel L. Ward on 5 April, 1945 in Miles City. They divorced in 1961. Daniel was born 1911 and died 1963. 2) She married Alexander Kline on 17 November, 1961 in Roundup, Montana and they later divorced.  He was born about 1916. 3) The next was Ira Clayton Lewis on 1 February, 1964 in Vancouver, Washington. 4) Henry C. Roberts on and Margaret married on 20 December, 1967. Henry was born about 1906 and died 1966.  5) She married Clinton F. Vial on 5 April, 1974 in Vancouver. Clinton was born 1907 and died 1983 in Washington.  Margaret had several children from her first marriage. She is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, Montana. Find A Grave has a nice memorial for her but no tombstone photo at this time.
  3. Alice May Spracklin was born on 9 December, 1928 in Brusett, Garfield Co., Montana and she died on the 28th of January, 2015 in Billings, Montana. She is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, Montana. Alice married a Ferdinand Herbert Bickel on 7 October, 1945 in Miles City. He died on 2 January, 1998 in Ekalaka, Carter Co., Montana. He is also buried in the Custer County Cemetery. Find A Grave has tombstone photos a memorial and links for this couple. Ferdinand and Alice had several children and a long married life together. Alice was married briefly before to a C. Yungk but it was annulled.
  4. Betty Jean Spracklin was born 23 October, 1930 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana. Betty died on the 10th of February, 2013 in Miles City from a heart attack. Betty was married twice. She first married to a Henry Francis Stocker on 3 June, 1948 in Miles City and had several children with this man.  They divorced in 1960 and she remarried to a Donald Delbert Cole on 21 March, 1961 in Glendive, Dawson Co., Montana. Donald was born on 18 September, 1925 in Terry, Montana and died 7 April, 2000 in Miles City. Betty is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. Find A Grave has a memorial for her but does not have a tombstone photo at this time.
Betty Spracklin Cole

Betty Spracklin Cole

5.  Bertha Evelyn Spracklin born 27 July, 1932 in Jordan, Montana. Bertha was married on 18 September 1948 in Miles City to James Everetts Roufley.  They had four children together one son and three daughters.

James was born 17 August, 1918 in Stanton, Mercer Co., North Dakota.

James with brother Harold

James with brother Harold

James fought in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge.

James Roufley after basic training Fort Ord.

James Roufley after basic training Fort Ord.

He died on 12 July, 1991 and is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City.

James Roufley's Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery

James Roufley’s Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery

James’ parents were James Franklin Roufley who died 2 February, 1972 and Ethel May Percy born 21 November, 1893 and died 21 September, 1978 in Miles City.  Ethel is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. James had a brother name Roy who died in 9 September, 1981 in Yellowstone Co., Montana.

Bertha and James settled on the land that was formerly Amos and Iva’s homestead.

6.  Dorothy Josephine Spracklin was born 1 January, 1935 in Garfield Co., Montana. She married twice first to a Jesse Bernard Euel on 21 Mary, 1951 and later to a Mr. Tucker.  Dorothy was living in Bozeman at the time of her mother and father’s deaths.

7.  Helen Marlys Spracklin was born on 23 June 1937 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died 6 April, 2014 in Spokane, Washington.

Helen Spracklin Fowler

Helen Spracklin Fowler

Helen married three times.  The first was in April of 1955 she married a Leon W. Seniba. They later divorced in 1961.  Another marriage was to a Mr. Fishel.  She later married a Jacob E. Fowler born 8 March, 1934 and died 3 July 1981 in Miles City. Jacob and Helen had about seven children together.

Both Helen and her husband are buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana. Jacob has a tombstone picture and memorial at Find A Grave.

If you would like more information about any of these individuals, just leave a comment and I will be happy to contact you.  As always please double check the information presented above.

Traveling to Montana to meet Amos Spracklin’s family, a son of Reed and Julia Spracklin – 2003

About 2002, I received an email from a cousin and this individual suggested that I talk to another cousin who had done quite a bit of research on the Spracklin family back in the early and mid 1980’s. This cousin was my half cousin.  She was a descendant of the second family of Daniel D. Spracklin and his wife Sarah.  She lived in Miles City, Montana and I decided to go and visit her.

So in 2003, my sister and I, drove to Miles City in my 1995 Aerostar Van to visit our cousin. Neither one of us had met her before so it would be a great adventure.  We would stop at motels or hotels as we got close to the end of the day and use the coupons you get in those newspaper booklets they distribute at rest stops. Usually I book my motels and lodging in advance because I don’t want to mess with it while driving around.

As usual my genealogy research trips are very complicated and involve many facets.  On this trip it would be researching Spracklins, Mc/MacDonald’s, meeting family and visiting museums and various sites along the way.

We left Seattle about 11 am on Tuesday September 2nd and made it to Rathdrum, Idaho.  It takes about five hours to get to Spokane if you don’t stop at all the rest stops for coffee and cookies.

The view from Twin Lakes in Idaho.

The view from the cabin on Twin Lakes in Idaho.

We were going to meet up with a childhood family friend.  Mickey had lived with our Aunt Vivian, our father’s sister, when he was a boy. He was her nephew on her husband’s side and a member of the McKanna family.  He had a cabin near a lake just across the border from the Spokane area in Idaho and we were stopping there for the night.  We knew him when we were kids and he is part of my Mac/McDonald family memory and I wanted to see him and have him tell me more stories. I had reconnected with him several years earlier.  He had kindly loaned me a photo book that was formerly my Aunt Vivian’s, I had scanned all the photos and have used many of them in my posts on my blog: The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  McKanna’s actually came to Miles City and Mickey asked me to see if I could find out anything more about them.

The next day we headed further east and stopped at Wallace.  I was hoping to find out something about my great Uncle Angus McDonald so we stopped at the museum. I was trying to place him in the area but it was not going to happen.  Angus was my grandfather’s older brother.  http://wallace-id.com/  The Wallace District Mining Museum had city directories and there were McDonald’s listed but it was hard to tell if they were my McD’s.  http://wallaceminingmuseum.org/

We arrived in Missoula, Montana where we stopped for lunch.  We asked about the forest fires and decided to go a different route to stay as far away from them as possible.  We could see and smell the smoke.

Here is a little excerpt from an online paper about those fires.

By most measures, the fire season of 2003 was historic for Northwest Montana. Not since 1910 had there been such an array of wildfire in the region, not to mention the rest of the northern Rockies.

By mid-September there were 16 large fires in Northwest Montana that ended up covering more than 300,000 acres.

Individual fire acreages were impressive: the Robert Fire covered 57,570 acres, Wedge Canyon 53,325 acres, Little Salmon Complex 88,000 acres, Rampage Complex 24,488 acres, Blackfoot Lake Complex 29,836 acres and Middle Fork Complex 11,851 acres.

Combined, the 2003 fires accounted for roughly half the acreage burned on the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park over the previous 20 years.

“The year 2003 will go down as a very historic fire year,” declared Steve Barrett, a fire ecologist who has studied long-term fire histories across Northwest Montana. – By Jim Mann Daily InterLake, December 27, 2009. http://www.dailyinterlake.com/members/a-monster-year-for-fires/article_e529a93c-f2a6-11de-8498-001cc4c03286.html

We left Bozeman around 8:30 am on Wednesday September 3rd.  We headed for the Lewis & Clark Cavern’s which was a very amazing experience.  This is what I wrote in my travel journal in 2003:  http://www.visitmt.com/listings/general/state-park/lewis-and-clark-caverns-state-park.html

Once inside the park we traveled a wiggly waggly road for about 4 miles before reaching the parking lot for the caverns.  We paid for our tickets and checked out the little gift shop at the café.  After a wait of about 30 minutes we started up the trail to the caverns.  It was hot and so the trail up was warm but pretty easy except for the steepness of the grade.  The vista was beautiful of the Jefferson River in the valley below.  We waited about 15 minutes at the cavern entrance before the guide came and started with guidelines to the caverns.  He was a young man who reminded me of friend but a bit shorter.  He was very nice and friendly and cracked silly jokes. I was not prepared for the caverns at all but was truly amazed at what we found.  It was a wonderous place and a world all its own. The stairs were tight to walk down in the dim light but I managed well.  There were stalagmites and stalactites and strange formations that only a cave can create from the action of the water dripping down.  Each area that we stopped in was unique and had its own eerie beauty.  Several of the areas were large caverns with these incredible formations that had taken millions of years to make.  Unfortunately damage had been done by guests of earlier years and you could see the ragged edges of the broken pieces that were left behind.  The cave was supposed to have bats but there were not very many at this time of the year.  It took the 2 hours that they said it would to view the caverns but it was well worth it especially the part that we had to get down on our butts and slide down a section of the trail.  There was a lot of ducking of the head and I banged mine several times.  The walk was mostly down and the steps took us to this cavern they called the Cavern of the Gods and it was like descending a long beautiful twisting spiral staircase. All great things come to an end and this little adventure found its own conclusion down a very long tunnel with two doors.  The doors were there to prevent a wind tunnel effect that would rush the air in and cause the caverns to dry out.  In 2010 I visited these caverns with my hubby.  He is tall so it was a challenge for him. 

Lewis & Clark Caverns

Lewis & Clark Caverns

The trail to the Caverns

The trail to the Caverns

The Caverns

The Caverns

Further along our trip we took in the The Western Heritage Center in Billings, Montana which had a wonderful exhibit about the history of Montana and provided me with a basic history of the area when Reed Spracklin migrated there.  We visited an old pioneer cemetery on Boot Hill and drove to the Pictograph Caves which are southeast of Billings. http://stateparks.mt.gov/pictograph-cave/.

Miles City Water Towers

Miles City Water Towers

Miles City is about two hours from Billings. We arrived in Miles City on Friday about 5 p.m. to be warmly greeted by Bertha at her trailer.  We spent the evening chatting and settling in.  We made cheese sandwiches to fill ourselves up.  I gave the research copies of research from my trip to Iowa and more to her and she spent some time reviewing them.  I spent a lot of the time at her kitchen table that week studying her research and learning about the Spracklin family and getting to know my cousin. She had done a lot of work and had gathered a lot of information by writing letters to family members and research archives seeking information about the family.  She was very generous with her research and shared all that I wanted.

Miles City

Miles City

During our stay we visited the Custer County Community Cemetery where various family members are buried including Amos and Iva Spracklin, Bertha’s parents.  This cemetery is in Miles City and Find A Grave has a listing for most of the cemetery.

Custer County Cemetery in Miles City

Custer County Cemetery in Miles City

We also visited the Range Rider Museum which is amazing.  They have newspapers in flip displays, display cabinets filled with artifacts, black and white photos of the Indians that are outstanding, photographs of the ranchers in the area who are placed on their wall of fame. http://www.rangeridersmuseum.com/.  The buildings outside house wagons, automobiles and more.

Wall of Fame Range Rider Museum

Wall of Fame Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

Unfortunately, Miles City’s genealogy society did not survive so you have to visit historical societies or go to museums like the Range Rider. We did visit the Miles City library where we did some obituary research. I did not go to the courthouse in Miles City another stop if you have ancestors there.  It was a busy visit so I had to pick and choose and my focus was the research that my cousin had done.

The Library in Miles City

The Library in Miles City

Several days later Bertha took us to her ranch, west of Jordan, Montana.  It was a two-hour drive from Miles City to Jordan and then about thirty minutes to the ranch.  As we drove along I realized that Bertha was the rancher. She was raised in Montana and became her father’s right hand man. Amos and Iva’s children were all were girls. Amos of course, had wanted a son to help him with the ranch but it didn’t happen.  So Bertha took on that role. She knew everything about the ranches along the highway and chatted away telling us the history of the area and story of the families that lived there.  She knew about barbed wire and what each type was for and she could recognize individual cattle something her father had trouble with.

Jordan, Montana in the rain

Jordan, Montana in the rain

We arrived in Jordan the county seat of Garfield County.  They have a the Garfield County Museum which we visited briefly.

The ranch is not too far from Jordan.  You go west for about 20-30 minutes…

The Ranch near Jordan

The Ranch near Jordan

We approached a fork in the road and she mentioned the 1996 FBI standoff with the Montana Freemen that was located 20 miles up the road from the fork.  The left fork in the road was the road to Bertha’s ranch.  She said that we needed to go over several cattle guards before we got there and I think she said it was about 5 miles from the fork in the road.  As we drove along she pointed out where her land was describing it to us and telling us she had 4850 acres all paid for.  The road had become gravel a while back. 

We passed a big pile of wood on the right and on the left were metal buildings that were the barn and corral.  The house was up on a slight hill.  Cars, trucks and other buildings were scattered about the land.  We climbed out of the van.  Bear, Bertha’s small white poodle, jumped out and was running around checking out the area and leaving his calling card.  There was a beautiful Border Collie named Hey who was on a chain and he turned out to be a very friendly and a gentle dog.  He was the black and white typical of that breed but his eyes were like a wolf’s.  We entered the ranch house by way of the basement door.  Ahead of us was a wooden staircase that lead up to the main floor of the double wide mobile home that Bertha had installed on a cement foundation.  I later noticed the metal strip and the bolts along the lower part of the mobile home.   The other thing that I first saw was the head of an antelope on the basement wall. 

We headed for the stairs to the main floor of the house.  We turned a corner and found the son in the kitchen preparing dinner.  He was standing over a large pan of sliced potatoes.  I found myself wandering out to the deck area that had a vista of the land around the ranch.  I wasn’t sure of the deck area but it seemed sturdy. The view took in the barn area and the land that stretched out before me.  The wind was hot on my face and was blowing bits of dirt about.  There were buttes in the distance and cattle out on the land grazing.  There was much talk about wayward buffalo coming onto the land.  

Dinner was served and the barbecued ribs just melted off their bones.  They were delicious.  The potatoes were also good and I ate two helpings.  Everyone was gathered around the two tables in the kitchen area. Everyone ate heartily.  

We then went on a tour of the ranch again, from my travel journal in 2003:

The Ranch

The Ranch from the house

Bertha and son took us on a tour of the ranch showing the house that she grew up in.  It was in a sad state of deterioration.  It was also filled with farm things.  The floor was rotting out and the ceiling was coming down. There were old torn and tattered pieces of furniture scattered and piled about.  There was a stove or two.  There were even jackets still hanging on hooks by the door.  The house had only three rooms in the beginning but was later expanded to include the kitchen area.  Amos and Iva slept in the bedroom on the first floor while kids slept upstairs.  Behind the old farmhouse was the shed that was used for several tasks.  The right end was for the chickens and the left end was used for the milking cows.  The backside was used as the granary.  It was showing its age and they were planning to tear it down.  There were at least three round tower like structures now used for grain.  They were better and easier to use.  We then made our way down to the barn area and we walked around there.  Bertha talked about repairs and rotted posts and what needed to be done to fix things up.  They explained how the gates worked and walked us through the barn, pointing out their saddles and showing us the initials on the stalls for the horses.  You had to walk carefully because there were cow piles all about and even a carcass of an antelope left to rot.  I may not know much about ranching but it seemed to me to be a never-ending task. 

Amos, his homestead

Amos, his homestead, now owned my Bertha

The Lights of Jordan — I mean Jordan in Montana from my 2003 travel journal:

The evening was not yet over and the major event of the night was about to take place.  Bertha wanted us to see the lights of Jordan from a bluff on her land.  So just before dusk we all piled into her son’s big black truck.  I had to climb up and in.  We started out the gate of the ranch past the barn area and onto the gravel road crossing it towards the south.  We picked up speed and so far things seems pretty okay and I would say he went about 4 miles then he make a sharp turn to the left off the road and we were as it is called “bushwhacking.”  We bumped along over sagebrush with bunnies hopping frantically out-of-the-way.  Bertha and her son discussed the route up the hill in their usual feisty way.  He reminded her he knew the way as good as she did.  I probably will never know how he knew the way in the dark but they both seemed to know exactly where they were and where every bump and creek bed was.  I actually did pretty good although I was tossed around quite a bit. Just when I thought he was going to go over a big cliff and he stopped the truck and turned off the motor and pointed to the lights of Jordan in the distance.  Then Bertha pointed to the house lights of the ranch. The son remembered and said that he used to come up to this hill with his Dad (Jim) and sit and look out for fires till 2 a.m. in the morning.  Lighting was playing out its game to the right of us and sending strikes out but so far no rain.  Within about 10 minutes or a little more he started the engine and proceeded to go straight ahead. The cliff that loomed before us was not as bad as I had thought but we did go pretty straight down for a bit.  The drive back to the gravel road was a little less wild and bumpy and we actually seemed to get back to the road faster. As we drove along Bertha was pointing out deer and we couldn’t see anything. So the truck abruptly stopped by a big piece of farm equipment and out came a spotlight.  They held up the spotlight and we then started to see lots of animals.  First you see their eyes flashing in the dark and then you can make out there form. We were told that you can tell the type of animal by the color of their eyes.  We saw lots of deer, the most I have ever seen in my life.  It was great. We made it back to the house in one piece and I headed for bed.  It was very hot. 

On the way back from the ranch, the next day, we stopped at the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan where Reed and Julia Spracklin are buried along with other family members.

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery Overview, Jordan, MT

Pioneer Cemetery Overview, Jordan, MT

We stayed in Miles City for about a week and then headed out.  Our goal was to visit Yellowstone but we were going to do that in a little different way by viewing the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Park and then driving to Sheridan and across the Bighorn Mountains to Cody and from Cody to Yellowstone.

Big Horn Battlefield, tombstone

Big Horn Battlefield, tombstone

The Lecture by the Ranger at the Big Horn Battlefield

The Lecture by the Ranger at the Big Horn Battlefield

I drove to the battlefield.  It was raining and the wind was blowing so the weather was not really great. We almost missed the battlefield because we got on the wrong road.  We found the Crow Wing Agency sign and we doubled back and headed to the East until we caught up with the main road and it was just a little farther to go. 

The wind was really cold at the Little Bighorn Battlefield.  We arrived at around 3 pm.  It took a lot longer than I anticipated to get there. We were able to attend a lecture by the ranger about the battle even though the wind was cold and the big nasty rain cloud threatened above.  I was listening to the ranger talk but became quiet fascinated with the mud on his boots which was caking up and then falling off as he worked his way closer to the shelter as the rain came down on him.  http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm

Custer’s last stand was definitely a broader and larger military maneuver than I had imagined. The events took place over a very big area stretching to the Wolf Mountains to the south.  Custer’s part of the battle took place in a small area close to the visitor’s center.  To see the rest of the battlefield we had to drive a road for about 3-5 miles.  The formal cemetery was near the visitor center. They said that the Indian village stretched two miles in the valley below.  That must have been a site to see.  The Little Bighorn River Valley was beautiful to look down on from the hills where most of the fighting took place.  Apparently this is the only battlefield that has tombstone markers scattered about the fields.  The men were buried where they fell. 

After our visit to the park, we headed to Sheridan in Wyoming.  There were very ominous clouds in the distance but we made it before they dumped on us. We started up the highway to the Bighorns but decided it was getting too dark and we better find a place to stay.  Sheridan was not far and found this wonderful old style hotel with creaky floors and a big steep staircase.  The hotel room was lovely and old-fashioned making you think of bygone days. Spracklins lived in Sheridan, they are the descendants of Peter Spracklin a brother to our second great-grandfather Daniel D. Spracklin.  So it was good to see the town.  I didn’t have time to do any research there.  If you want to know more about Peter and his family go to the blog Solomon Goss in Fearing Twp. for information.

After breakfast we made our way to the highway that takes you over the Bighorn Mountains.  I am a big fan of Longmire having read the novels and watched the TV show. So when the show came on I was remembering the area. Absaroka County does not exist, but it is in the area on the west side of the Bighorns.  The show is actually filmed in Arizona.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1836037/

Burgess Station Big Horn Mountains

Burgess Station Big Horn Mountains

Free Range Cattle

Free Range Cattle

Leaving the Bighorns

Leaving the Big Horn Mountains

The next morning after breakfast and gas for the car, we set out for the Bighorn Mountains. What an experience.  The road winded up the side of the foothills going steeper and twisting around the sides of the hills.  You could look ahead and see the road winding up the side of the mountain and could look back and see the valley below and get an incredible vista.  The height of the passes in the Bighorns were 9000+ feet and we climbed and climbed up to a wonderland of trees and ground lightly laced with snow. The road itself was clear but the hills were snowy.  Cattle are allowed to roam freely so we came upon some migrating down to better pastures.  I will never forget the one white cattle that came at the car with such determination and with its power.  I have never been in direct line of  a large animal so it was cool to see it move toward us.  They moved off the road toward the trees in order to avoid the car. There were about 20 coming down the road.  They may have been domesticated animals but they were a site to see in this high mountain area.  We came upon more of them along the road and had to stop, I believe one more times. 

Arriving at the visitor center and we got out of the car.  It was cool and crisp. The quiet and the stillness were almost soft.  It was beautiful. We spent some time in the visitor center reading the exhibits.  http://www.bighornmountains.com/  I bought a Smokey Bear doll as a memento he was very special to me when I was a kid. 

As you get to the western side of the road you start going down and the scenery gets more barren and rocky. We chose to go the Shell Canyon route and that took us through some real magnificent geological formations of rock that had pushed up from the earth’s core.  They looked like someone had laid then on their side.

We came off the Bighorn Mountains onto the Bighorn Plateau where the road took us to Cody, Wyoming.  It took about 50-60 miles to traverse this big fertile plain which was rather flat, barren and straight.  After awhile my sister, who was driving, became restless and wanted a curve in the road.  As we approached the foothills to the Rockies we started to see more step formations.  Cody lies at the base of these foothills before you head to Yellowstone. 

We stopped in Cody and had some dinner and found a place to stay.

The Buffalo Bill Museum

The Buffalo Bill Museum

Apparently Buffalo Bill Cody founded the town of Cody and lived near it.  The Buffalo Bill Museum is actually 4-5 museums.  We spent time in the Plains Indian’s Exhibit.  I took quick tours of the other exhibits and almost lost my sister in the first. http://centerofthewest.org/explore/buffalo-bill/

We had rented a cabin in Yellowstone near the main lodge so we needed to get there by Sunday night.

I had not been to Yellowstone since the mid 1950’s when we went their with our parents.  I didn’t remember much except Old Faithful and the bears.  There was one that my dad named Professor. He was a little black bear who was able to walk around the rim of the garbage cans.  My mother and I sat in the car, our food was up in the tree on a rope. This type of behavior in bears is now discouraged for their safety as well as the visitors. I was about seven years old at that time.  We also drove down to the Grand Tetons and I do remember them.

One of many signs for the Continental Divide

One of many signs for the Continental Divide

The Yellowstone Sign on the eastern side of the park, Hwy 14 west of Cody

The Yellowstone Sign on the eastern side of the park, Hwy 14 west of Cody

We found our cabin behind the main lodge and settled in.  I called my hubby to check in and a coyote ran by as I was talking to him.  http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Yellowstone Lodge

Yellowstone Lodge

While we were at Yellowstone we participated in several Buffalo Jams. A Buffalo Jam is where the buffalo get on the highway and you have to stop and wait.

A Buffalo Jam

A Buffalo Jam one of several…

It  was rutting season so the males were being distracted and butting heads. They made this guttural puffing sound.

Bison fighting

Bison fighting

We saw a coyote eating a wolf kill.  He was very cautious because the wolves would kill him if they found him.

A Coyote at a Wolf Kill

A Coyote at a Wolf Kill

There was elk and one male was herding his females across the river.

Male Elk herding his females

Male Elk herding his females

I did remember the lake for it was big:

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone has abundant geysers and we explored.  Unfortunately I did not keep careful records of where we went, so I have pretty geyser pictures but I am not sure what geyser areas we were at.  You can walk out over some of the areas to get close up on these board walks.

There are boardwalks you can travel on to get closer

There are board walks you can travel on to get closer

One of many geisers

One of many geysers

There is a lot of texture in the geysers, steam, heat and the smell of sulfur.

Lots of Texture at the geisers...and steam

Lots of Texture, steam and heat.

The pools are many and beautiful…

The many pools with steam are beautiful...

The many pools with steam are beautiful…some a very blue

I did remember the mud pots because I thought they were funny back when I was a kid. The sound was gulp gulp. Trying to get a picture of them erupting is very difficult, this took a bit of time.

Mudpots...

Mud pots exploding

Of course you cannot miss old Faithful which I do remember from my childhood visit.  This time I got to sit on the veranda of the lodge with a nice glass of wine to watch the spectacle.

Old Faithful 2003

Old Faithful 2003

MoreOldFaithful

We headed back to Seattle a couple of days later and just made the drive from Yellowstone to home.  It was a good trip. I was pleased. The trip was about 2427 miles with little excursions here and there.  My Aerostar Van did great.  This might be my longest car trip for it beats Ontario.

MAKE A JOURNAL OF YOUR TRAVELS, a little advice…

About 2003 I started to journal my trips, both genealogical and vacation, because I realized that I was forgetting.  A journal of our trip to Yellowstone in the mid 50’s would be amazing to have now.  Some of the trips I had taken required me to backtrack and recreate what happened.  Currently, I journal at night before going to bed each day of the trip.  It is still fresh in my mind.  I learned this from our cousin Paul Goss who did a lot of research on the Goss family in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.  He traveled to many places and met relatives and interviewed them about the Goss family but he didn’t realize that his trips were actually sources and important, especially when he talked to family and got their stories.  Going back to my early years I wish I had journals of those trips, not to mention photographs.  It is difficult for me to remember when and where we went on all the camping trips with my parents.

I would like to encourage you to journal your trips or at least write out an outline of the days events.  You would want to put in your journal the following. Here are a few suggestions and don’t forget to take pictures.

  1.  What you saw that day like a bridge that was really cool, a valley view, a river, what towns you passed through a picture of the sign announcing the town. A town’s water tower. A museum, library or archive you visited. A ferry you took. I wrote in my Ontario journal that I was in Paris, Paris in Ontario.  I also drove across the Thames river several times.  The Thames is a river in Ontario that flows through London, Ontario.  What road were you on, what was the weather like. My trip from London to Strathroy in Ontario it was pouring rain and getting into my hotel was a big experience.  I was driving in western Ontario and there were these amazing windmills coming out of the ground.  The only thing I didn’t do was get a good picture.
  2. When driving you can get lost and that can be an interesting experience.  Or there is a really scary part of the road like the round about in Montreal that I barely made it through.
  3. Where you stayed.  I have had some really interesting experiences at motels.  The one I stayed in Hartford, CT the first time was really bad so the second time through I found a better place south of that city in a lovely B&B. One man had a toupee on and I noticed this as he was checking me in. What was the place like?  I like Bed and Breakfasts and they can be really beautiful or it is a beautiful old hotel.
  4.  What you ate and where you ate it.  Yes, really, so if you go back you can find that same restaurant especially if you liked it.  We did this in Hawaii and I did this in Ontario.
  5. Who you met both family and people you encounter.  At Niagara Falls my waitress at the restaurant overlooking the falls was very knowledgeable and we chatted about the falls.  She told me many interesting things.  I spent a lot of great time visiting with cousins and close cousins and I tried to write out what was talked about.  Now, not all encounters a great and I write about them in my journal.
  6. I have several large binders with my trip itineraries, journals, maps and memorabilia and I frequently refer to them.  My Aunt Miriam went to Russia with my mother. She did a journal but there was no mention of my mom or other people, just the facts.  She did mention me taking them to the airport.  What I would give to get her impressions of the people she interacted with.
  7. Yes, I post my travels online with photos.  I also journal my trip in a Word.doc which allows me to write a more personal version.  They are all saved on my G drive under Genealogy trips Vol. I, Vacation Vol. II in my binders.

What I have written above is a short version of the actual trip to Montana in 2003 and this particular trip I did not post online because I didn’t start blogging till about 2010.