Heir Mail article honoring George A. Barclay, Civil War Soldier…

In 1998, The Crow Wing County Genealogical Society Newsletter in Brainerd, Minnesota published an article about George Angus Barclay.  This article appeared in their Heir Mail newsletter. The editor kindly sent me a copy and I thought it was well done considering he was not her ancestor.

Heir Mail Newsletter excerpt

Heir Mail Newsletter, a portion

  • CIVIL WAR VETERAN MEETS UNTIMELY END
  • George A. Barclay
  • 1844 to 1898
  • Wagner, Company, I, 9th MN Infantry
  • Enlisted 15 Aug. 1862,
  • Discharged 24 Aug, 1865
  • Resident about 25 years.
George A. Barclay Article

George A. Barclay Article a portion of…

George Barclay operated a hotel and store in Pine River for a number of years. He was also engaged in lumber operations in the areas.

The following quotation is taken from Down the Mississippi written by Captain Glazier in 1881. Capt. Glazier describes his trip to Pine River and his pleasant surprise in finding George Barclay’s place. “Sometimes in the road and sometimes out of it; now driving along the shore of a lake and again over huge logs and boulders, it was voted that our ride to Pine River was unlike anything we had ever else where experienced. The ranch of George Barclay, the only white habitation between Gull and Leech Lakes, was reached at five o’clock in the evening. Here we were most agreeably surprised to find very good accommodations for both man and beast. Barclay is a decided favorite with the Indians, and his prosperity in this isolated corner of Minnesota is largely due to his friendly relations with them.  He is always supplied with guns, knives, beads, tobacco and such other goods as are in demand by his dusky neighbors, for which he received in exchange furs, game, snake-root, and such other products of the forest as find a ready market at Brainerd or St. Paul.”

Later Brainerd historian, Sarah Thorp Herald added, “In 1894 Barclay’s establishment had lost all resemblance to a trading-post and had become a lumberman’s hotel of some pretensions. It was a two-storied structure with the inevitable “false front” of frontier towns, and stood in a grove of jack pines near the newly-laid Brainerd and Northern Railroad tracks. 

Newspaper accounts of 3 Nov. 1898 describe Mr. Barclay’s death: “Mr. Barclay was shot about seven-thirty on Sat. evening. When the fatal shot was fired, he was sitting in a chair, smoking a cigar, and talking to four or five men, about five feet away from a window in the barroom of the hotel. The assassin fired through the glass, the ball passing through Mr. Barclay’s neck from side to side, probably cutting the carotid artery of the jugular vein.”

After authorities were notified the remains were brought to Brainerd for burial. The Pap Thomas Post of the BAR handled the arrangements. The funeral services were conducted from the Episcopal Church with Rev. C.F. Kite officiating. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetery (Current records do not list his burial.) (Note:  There is not death certificate for George only the Coroners records.) He was survived by his wife and a married daughter, Mrs. R.A. McDonald.  (Note: Should be R.S.) 

From what I’ve been able to determine from my research, no one was ever convicted of shooting George Barclay. Those on the scene saw no one, the killer apparently was able to escape into the darkness of the nearby forest and escape being brought to justice. Her Mail, Fall. 1998. (Note: There are several posts on this blog describing the murder, coroner’s report, grand jury and trial regarding the murder of George A. Barclay.)

I have visited the Crow Wing Genealogical Society in Brainerd located in the Family History Center near the Church.  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mncrowwi/gs/  Researching George Barclay and Amarilla required extending my search beyond Cass County.  I thank them for this nicely done article on my great-grandfather.

I wrote a post on this blog about George’s service as a Wagoner in the Civil War.  It is really difficult to find information about men who served in the support part of the Civil War. The focus is the battles and the officers.  It has turned out to be one of the most popular posts on this blog.  A quick Google search reveals a little more information about this valuable service to the war effort now appearing online.

Amarilla’s Final Resting Place…Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, MN

In 2000 and 2001, I visited Brainerd on my trips to Minnesota.  I was stunned to learn that there was no tombstone for my great-grandmother Amarilla. She was buried in the plot with George Angus Barclay, their son George Alexander Barclay, and the first baby of daughter Grace and husband R.S. McDonald.

The large tombstone, in the photo below, that I am standing by is for George Barclay. To the front left is the smaller Civil War foot stone.  The tombstone to the right is for little baby George Alexander.  It has the lamb on the top. There was no stone for Amarilla. I checked with the Evergreen Cemetery Office, who are very helpful, to confirm that she was buried there. They have a diary of the dead at their website: http://www.brainerd.net/~evergreencem/dotd.html

Barclay Plot Evergreen Cemetery 2000.

Barclay Plot Evergreen Cemetery 2000.

I set about getting a tombstone for my great-grandmother and by the next visit in 2001 it was in place. Nothing fancy just a stone that gave her information. Her tombstone is in the forefront of the picture below. Much better, only problem is it reads as her birth year 1859, it should be 1858.  Darn!  I don’t understand how that happened but apparently it is not unusual for mistakes to be made on tombstones.  Sigh!  I do have my records and the paperwork asking me to check the information.  The form says 1859, but I did not make note of any changes so I could not go back and complain to the company who did the stone.  So my advice, if you create a stone for an ancestor keep careful notes.  It is not easy to do it from afar.

In the following picture you can see the new tombstone in the foreground.

George's, baby George and Amarilla 2001

George’s, baby George and Amarilla 2001

 

Amarilla should be 1858 for her birth year. Well it is only two months off.

Amarilla should read 1858 for her birth year. Well it is only two months off. Sigh!

 

Amarilla's new tombstone and her great granddaugher 2001

Amarilla’s new tombstone and her great granddaugher 2001

We visited again in 2007 before heading up to Pine River.  At least great grandma has recognition now.

Find A Grave has memorials to the Barclay’s with information, links, tombstones and more. The people who had created the memorials where kind to transfer the management to me and in some cases added new information. The memorials continue to evolve as I add links and information.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=67276024

1933: Jefferson G. Dawes succumbs…

J.G. Dawes 1900 to 1902

J.G. Dawes in about 1900 – 1902

Jefferson G. Dawes came to Pine River about 1899 for business reasons. He was a flour salesman. He ended up staying in Pine River and helping Amarilla manage her store and other businesses. He also got involved with the murder investigation for George A. Barclay’s death by testifying at the grand jury trial. Apparently J.G. made a move to try to get Pine River made the county seat in 1901. We know that George Barclay was not happy with Walker being selected. An article appeared in the Saint Paul Globe:

New County, Maybe. Cass Lake to be the prospective Seat of Government

Cass Lake, Minn, April 9, 1901, First Edition, page 3 – During the past week, the plans of a number of the residents of the southern portion of Cass county to move the county seat from Walker to Pine River, the southern residents in return to assist in creating a new county with Cass Lake as the county seat, have been made public. J.G. Dawes, a resident of Pine River, was here for several days and broached the subject to a number of prominent citizens. 

He appears with Amarilla in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as store clerk. In 1902 and they married in Minneapolis. He became mayor of Pine River and he and Amarilla platted the city of Pine River.  He built the house in 1904 for Amarilla which still exists. He ventured out to Longville, about this time, and platted that town and built a hotel there.

Source: Jefferson was listed with Amarilla in the 1905 Minnesota State Census, in Pine River, Walden Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota, enumerated 1-2 June, 1905 by Daniel Kline, Line 11, Dawes Jefferson G, Pine River, Male, 56, W, born New York, parents born in England, 29, 1, 9, 4, Retired. Dawes, Ammarilla, Pine River, F, 46, W, born Iowa, parents born Ohio, 28, 3, 28, 3, Retired.

After 1905, I have not been able to show that Amarilla or J.G. were together. So what happened to J.G. Dawes from about 1905 to 1919 when I pick up his trail again. Well J.G. Dawes, being the salesman he was, got a long just fine. Here are some articles about J.G. from the newspapers that I found very interesting.

The Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, March 20, 1908, page 3, J.G. Dawes Back From Mexico, J.G. Dawes, of Pine River, in Brainerd on His Way Home from a Two Month’s Visit in Southwest. J.G. Dawes, for many years a prominent business man of Pine River, is in Brainerd on his way home from a two months’ visit to New Mexico. He also visited Mexico while there…He also visited Texas…

The Brainerd Dispatch on Tuesday, May 19, 1914, page 5 J.G. Dawes impresses visitors from Duluth, B.J. Madden and J.D. Campbell, large stockholders in the Cuyuna-Mille Lacs mine – In the city they met J.G. Dawes former mayor of Pine River, who now makes his headquarters in Brainerd and who is selling agricultural lands and stirring up immigration for Crow Wing county. He has some of the best kind of land for stock raising. 

The Brainerd Dispatch on Friday, May 14, 1915 page 23 had an advertisement for the Dawes Farm Land Company, J.G. Dawes, Manager.

J.G. Dawes Company in Brainerd, the AD

J.G. Dawes Company in Brainerd, the AD

The Brainerd Dispatch on Monday Nov. 6, 1916, page 5 – Value of Farms Lands Increase, J.G. Dawes of the Dawes Farm Land Agency, Gives Reasons Why an Advance is Due. Now is the Best time to Buy, Prices for Farm Products are the Highest Since the Civil War, Land at Bottom Price.  This is a long article with J.G. giving his opinion about agricultural lands and it is quite interesting, here is a little bit: “In an interview accorded the Dispatch, J.G. Dawes, head of the Dawes Farm Land Agency, stated that now was the time to buy land, as in his opinion the bottom had been reached in prices, etc…But now the fear of war has vanished, and the political campaign will be over in a few days. With the prices of farm products still at such a high notch and stocks of all kinds of farm products so far below normal it will take at least three good average crops to replace our stocks to a normal condition….He goes on to encourage people to buy. 

The Brainerd Dispatch presents another article on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 1919, page 5  with J.G. Dawes’ Plan Selling Farms, In These Days of Over Inflation of Land Values, Mr. Dawes has the Sanest Selling Plan. No Options are Allowed, Substantial First Payments are required on Land, Owner Continues Tenancy for Period….J.G. Dawes of the Dawes Land Co. of Brainerd has a plan which is conservative and just alike to buyer and seller, protecting especially the farmer wishing to sell his land.”  The article is very detailed and went on about how the plan works.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports on in another very detailed article on Tuesday, August 25, 1925, page 1 that J.G. interacts with Chicago Big Capitalists. These men were taking options at Rocky Point on Gull Lake with an additional 400 acres adjacent. “As stated by J.G. Dawes, the difficulty of securing the options was negotiated by Wrigley’s agent hinges on acquiring additional land so as to get an acreage of 800 acres. The eventual price, it is claimed is between $50,000 and $60,000. Cottages are to be built for fifty Chicago millionaires, says Mr. Dawes…”

So we see from the above that J.G. Dawes was making his way in the world and doing well.

Stepping back in time a little we review that on 18 August, 1909 Amarilla was granted a divorce from J.G. Dawes. J.G. didn’t contest it even though he felt it was unfair.  The terms of the divorce was divorce by cruel and inhuman manner which is a catch-all for just about any reason to get a divorce back then. In today’s world we have some form of no fault divorce. 

I could not find J.G. in the 1910 census but he is tracked down by the Special Examiner for Civil War Pensions. This man found J.G. Dawes living in Brainerd in 1919 which is confirmed by the above articles from the newspaper. This places J.G. Dawes in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census there and he has not remarried.

Source: Jefferson G. Dawes, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, City of Brainerd, Crow Wing. Co., Minnesota, Vol. 15, ED 122, Sheet 18, Line 93, M1569, Roll #31, D200.

Jefferson G. Dawes, white, age 71, divorced, birth place New York, living on 6th street, in-house 2215, living alone, father born in Ohio, mother in England. Occupation: Sales, [real estate].

J.G. Dawes is still in Brainerd in 1930 but he is now 83 years old.

Source:  J.G. Dawes, 1930 U.S. Census, Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota, ED#18-1, SD#5, Sht#5A, enumerated on April 4, 1930 by a Mrs. Margaret I. Henderson.

Line 35, 30, 62, Dawes, Jefferson G, Head, R, 5, No, M, W, 83, S, No, Yes, born New York, father born Ohio, mother Canada English, yes, no occupation. 

Jefferson G. Dawes died on October 4, 1933 in Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota. He was 86 years old.

Source: Jefferson G. Dawes (Daws), Certificate of Death, #3082 – Oct 4, 1933, FHL#2242330.

Died in Brainerd, Crow Co., Minnesota. Residence 404 4th Ave NE., died on Oct. 4, 1933. Male, white, single. Born Mar 7, 1847 (1874 crossed out), 86 yrs, 6 mos. 27 days, occupation laborer, born in New York, father was James Daws and mother was Mary Ann Sooderhaus (spelling unclear). Birthplaces of both parents unknown. Information was a Mrs. M. Hall B…….Place of burial Brainerd on Oct. 6, 1933, signed by undertaker D.E. Whitney, filed 10/10/1933. He died of Cardiac Insufficiency and other complications.

A brief obituary appeared in the Crow Wing County Review about J.G. Dawes:

Aged Resident of City Succumbs, October 6, 1933, page 1.  

J. G. Dawes, aged resident of Pine River and Brainerd died after a long illness Tuesday evening at the Brainerd City home. Funeral services were not announced yesterday. Mr. Dawes was well known resident of the area, having lived in Pine River for many years since, in fact, the early lumber days in this vicinity, and was involved in some of the early events of the community. He had been residing for some time in Brainerd, and for several years had made his home in the municipal home in Northeast Brainerd.

Another brief article appears in the Brainerd Dispatch on 4 Oct. 1933 pg. 8, c.3

Funeral arrangements were being completed today for Jefferson G. Dawes, 86, who died in the city home early today. The deceased was born in New York, March 7, 1847.

Brainerd Journal Press, front page 1.

On October 6, 1933 this appears:  Jefferson Dawes Dead, Jefferson Dawes, 86 year old, a familiar figure in Brainerd for the past few years, formerly being in the real estate business here, passed away Wednesday and the funeral was held today. Mr. Dawes was born in New York, March 7, 1847.

After searching, I was unable to locate a probate or estate record in the Crow Wing Court records for J.G. Dawes, which I find as odd. I now feel that I would like to do deed search on J.G. Dawes to see where it lead him.  I was focusing on the Barclay’s so I had not really sought out J.G. Dawes.

On one of my trips to Minnesota, I visited the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd and sought out J.G. Dawes’ burial location and tombstone. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a tombstone for J.G. but he is buried there.  The picture below is the approximate location of his grave.  This cemetery is well-kept but even with the best care a stone can disappear.  Whether he had one originally it is hard to say.

There is a Find A Grave memorial for Jefferson Dawes with some links.

He is in Sec NWC L17 B31 – Evergreens Directory of the Dead:  http://www.brainerd.net/~evergreencem/dotdnames_d.html

J.G. Dawes, Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, MN.

J.G. Dawes, Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, MN.

A PAGE at the top of this blog had a table of contents of the posts written about Amarilla and J.G. Dawes is listed as well. You will have to scroll down to find his section but remember you might need to read about Amarilla from about 1898 on so that you can understand how J.G. fits into the events of the town of Pine River.

I wish I could have learned more about his background, parents and family.  I suspect that he had a sister in living in Brainerd, maybe that is the Mrs. Hall in the death certificate?  If his parents came from England this means he is a newer line of the Dawes Family.

Amarilla marries a 3rd and final time to George Urton

Amarilla had been married to George Angus Barclay who was murdered in 1898.  She remarried to Jefferson G. Dawes in 1902 and that ended in divorce in 1910.  In 1919 she decided to marry again for the third time.

This time Amarilla married George W. Urton on 24 June, 1919 in Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota. The Logsleds Book states that she remarried in 1920 but that is not quite correct.

 “She married for the third time to George Urton, an area farmer. The Urton marriage was contracted in her old age because she was lonely. The town banker saw to it that papers to protect her property were executed before the wedding.” Ammarilla stayed married to George Urton until he died in 1939. So that was almost 20 years. Source: M. McDonald Notes.

Source: Marriage Record “E,” Cass County, Minn, pg. 268, June 19, 1919, Cass County Courthouse, Walker, MN. George Urton to Ammarilla Dawes June 24, 1919 in Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota. Rev. Art, Cartwright. [Witnesses Selma and Mevenar Tollefrud.]

Announcement of their marriage in the local newspaper.

Urton-Dawes:  George Urton and Mrs. Amarilla Dawes were united in matrimony last Tuesday evening, Rev. Cartwright officiating. Both of the contracting parties are well-known in this part of the county, the groom having been a resident here for several years past, and the bride, being one of the real pioneers of Pine River. It is expected that they will make their home in Pine River, and the Sentinel-Blaze joins their many friends in wishing them a full measure of happiness in their new relation. June 27, 1919 Pine River Sentinel-Blaze Newspaper.

George Urton was born 5 May, 1862 in Ohio to an Ezra Urton and Mary Ann Wilson. He was a horse trader by occupation. George was first married to Serepta Littleton born 14 November, 1864 in Ohio and died 13 January 1915 in Brainerd, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Jona Littleton and Lucresia Liddle. She is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery but there is no tombstone to mark her grave,  I have visited this cemetery several times and can verify that she has no tombstone. Here is the link to the Evergreen Cemetery directory of the dead:  http://www.brainerd.net/~evergreencem/dotdnames_u-v.html

Serepta Urton in Evergreen Cemetery

Serepta Urton burial location in Evergreen Cemetery – no stone

George and Serepta had  three children that I know of: 1) George Urton born about 1894. 2) Albert Urton who died about 1929 and, 3) an unknown child.

George, the son, married Mary Pederson on 3 August, 1915 in Walker, Minnesota. My search in the census did not find them so I was unable to verify any of this information.  I do have their marriage license.

As they say “3’s a charm,”  and I think that this was probably my great grandmother’s happiest marriage of the three. She stayed with Urton right up to his death. The fact that she didn’t pursue the pension application of George Barclay of 1916-1919, means to me that she cared for Mr. Urton.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census we find Amarilla with George Urton in Pine River.

Source:  George Urton Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, SD 6, ED 93, T625-R824, Sht 12A, 8, enumerated January 19, 20, 1920.

Street EM, House #110, Dwelling 115, Family 9, Urton, George, Head, own home, free of mortgage, male, white, 56 years old, married, able to read and write, born in Ohio, parents both born in Ohio, farmer. Urton, Ammarilla, wife, female, white, 61 yrs old, married, able to read and write, at home born in Iowa. Parents born in Ohio. 

On my visit to Pine River in 2001, I had the opportunity to talk to a Blanche Swift who had lived in Pine River since her birth about 1919. I think Blanche has since pasted away.  Miriam is Amarilla’s granddaughter.

Blanche knew Amarilla as a child. She remembered playing on the steps outside of Amarilla’s store and great-grandmother didn’t seem to mind or get after them for doing it.  She recalled lots of hats, general merchandise, some groceries, and sewing items. She remembered Miriam who visited a couple of times. They all thought that the Lindberg Store on Barclay Avenue was the general store or maybe it was where the Bank was located. Blanche’s dad trained horses and he and George Urton were friends. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of Amarilla with George Urton.  Having it would have been very cool.

G.A.R. Records Lost for Pap Thomas Post…1911

George Angus Barclay was an old soldier and he participated in the GAR – Grand Army of the Republic.

Much to my disappointment, the records for his local GAR post were lost in a fire. I did find his brother Alexander’s which survived.  There was some information but not as much as I had hoped.  Apparently the GAR gave George a big funeral and it would be great to have that information in more detail.

There was an article in the newspaper for Brainerd Dispatch May 26, 1911, page 1 column 6 titled:

Roster of Heroes Dead – List as Compiled for Dispatch by Pro. J.A. Wilson,

A Veteran of the Civil War.

Old Soldiers GAR

Old Soldiers GAR

There are over 80 names mentioned in the article.  It goes on to state that the Old Grand Army Records Were Destroyed in Odd Fellow Hall Fire of Last year. George appears about 23 names down: Geo. Barclay, 9th Minn. Inf.

There is a book titled: “Brainerd’s Half Century,” by Ingolf Dillan, published in 1923 by the General Print Co., in Minneapolis.  On page 138 there is a listing of the members of the Pap Thomas Post No. 30 with “Not Here” as the title?  George Angus Barclay is listed as sixth person down on the list.

There are muster rolls for the Pap Thomas post 30, located at Brainerd, County of Crow Wing, Minnesota.

Age: 48 years old and born in Connecticut

Residence was Pine River

Occupation Lumber

Entry into service August 18, 1862

Rank Wagoner, company [J or I] 9 Minnesota

Final discharge August 24, 1865, rank Wagoner, Co. [J or I] 9 Minnesota

Length of serve 36 months to end of war.

At the very least there is the newspaper account of the condition of the GAR Records for Pap Thomas Post No. 30 so we at least know the state of those documents.

George Angus Barclay is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd.

Evergreen Cemetery Final Resting Place for G.A. Barclay

George Angus Barclay is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, Minnesota. There are several stones in this plot.  The very tall one to the left is George’s monument, the small one on the right is the son’s, George Alexander’s, tombstone and the one in front of the large monument is George’s Civil War stone.  The shiny flat stone in the foreground is Amarilla’s.

George's Tombstones in Evergreen

George’s Tombstones in Evergreen

Close up of George's Tombstone

Close up of George’s Tombstone

Father, George Angus Barclay, Born Aug. 18, 1844, Died Oct. 29, 1898 Aged 54 Yrs, 2 Mos & 11 Days.

A Good Man is Known by His Works. 

George's Civil War stone

George’s Civil War stone very hard to read

George and Amarilla’s first grandchild is also buried in this plot.  R.S. McDonald is listed as the father. There is no stone for this baby but it is noted in the cemetery records.

Evergreen has placed their Directory of the dead online and you can click on the ? mark and go to Find A Grave for this cemetery and there is some very interesting links at Find A Grave.  They are misspellings as well so be careful. 

http://www.brainerd.net/~evergreencem/dotd.html

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GRid=108429087&CRid=82259&  Do a search for Urton, Barclay, Dawes and more.  It is very interesting.

George Alexander the son

George Alexander the son

Warren Huffman had kind words for my great grandfather and stated in his own words in the 1973 Pine River Journal:

The first winter was a hard one for new settlers to get started. George Barclay had the one store in Pine River and without the credit that he extended it would have been impossible to stay. George Barclay had his detractors, but he was a kind-hearted man and generous. He was a small man with a high-pitched voice. I remember him well, and we all felt a genuine sorrow and loss when he was shot by an unknown person as he sat reading in the lobby of the Barclay Hotel.” By Warren Huffman in his own words “As I remember … 1894, Pine River Journal (Newspaper), Cass County, MN. 1973.

Amarilla is also buried there and upon my first visit she did not have a tombstone. There is one there now. More on her death in future posts.

George's Tombstone and his great granddaughter

George’s Tombstone and his great-granddaughter 2001

George A. Barclay, son George Alexander and Bonnie 2001.

George A. Barclay, son George Alexander and Bonnie 2001.

This is probably where the funeral ceremony for George A. Barclay took place.  I can picture Amarilla, Grace, R.S. McDonald and Alexander gathered there by the grave. How did they bring the casket in an open wagon or in a funeral wagon?  Who else was there? Did the G.A.R. perform a military ceremony for this Civil War veteran?  So many questions…