J.G. Dawes Builds Amarilla a House 1904!

Among my father, Keith’s possessions, was a postcard picture of a house with some writing on the backside.

Amarillia's House in 1911

Amarillia’s House in 1911


The writing on the backside of the postcard reads:

“Dear Papa:  I hope you are well. We are all well. Will you please send me or bring me my Rubber Raincoat, Lovingly Vivian.  Addressed to M. R.S. McDonald International Falls, Minn.”

It was about this time in Pine River, in 1904, that J.G. Dawes had the house built.  Now I cannot verify that he was responsible for actively building the house but he seemed to think so years later when he commented about it in an affidavit for another attempt of Amarilla to secure George’s Civil War pension.

This house still stands in Pine River and is lovingly cared for by a local family.


Amarilla welcomes her grandson in May 1904…

He was formally named Ronald Gordon McDonald which gets him confused with his father Ronald Sandfield McDonald. He was known as Gordon and affectionately as “Uncle Gordy.” Grace gave birth on 3 May 1904. The place of Gordon’s birth has been stated as Grand Rapids, Minnesota but I am not totally convinced.

You will find more information and pictures about the life of Gordon McDonald at my other blog “The Man Who Lived Airplanes,” here is one particular post about him: 


In the search box of the other blog mentioned above try, searching on “Gordon,” or “Ronald Gordon.”  We will meet up again with Gordon when he comes to visit his grandmother Amarilla in 1939.

Gordon as a little baby

Gordon as a little baby

This photo below is one of my favorites of my uncle.  It was taken in International Falls probably about 1909 or 1910?




Amarilla gives to the Methodist Episcopal Church

Amarilla and J.G. gave lots 21 and 22 in Block 12 to the Methodist Episcopal Church of Pine River for $1.00 in September of 1902.  Amarilla was to bequeath a lot more to the town of Pine River.

Mrs. Ammarrila Dawes & husband, to The Methodist Episcopal Church of Pine River, filed 10 October 1902 at 9 am. This indenture made this 11th day of September, 1902 between Mrs. Ammarilla Dawes & J.G. Dawes of the County of Cass and State of Minnesota parties of the first part and The Methodist Episcopal Church of Pine River of the County of Cass and State of Minnesota party of the 2nd part Witnesseth that the said parties of the first part in consideration of the sume of one dollar to them in hand paid by the parties of the 2nd part….Lots numbered twenty one (21) and twenty two (22) in Block twelve (12) in the Village of Pine River, according to the original plat on file with the Register of Deeds in and for said county and state….signed by Ammarilla Dawes and J.G. Dawes and witnessed by Hans P. Hanson and Wyman H. Davis the notary public witnessed their free act and deed.

Source:  Cass County Register of Deeds, Cass County Courthouse, Walker, Minnesota, Book W, pg. 407, 11 September, 1901.

Apparently, Amarilla and J.G., were involved in the founding of this church for there appears an Article of Incorporation which was filed for record September 23, 1902.  Although they are not listed as trustees it is evident that they assisted with the process by the giving of the lots of land to the church.

Article of Incorporation Methodist Episcopal Church

Article of Incorporation Methodist Episcopal Church

Know all men by these presents, that we, Robert Forbes, the presiding officer, and Samuel J. Parish, the Secretary, of a Quarterly Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was duly called, held and conducted on Monday September 1, 1902, in the school house of Pine River, County of Cass, State of Minnesota, according to the discipline and usage of the Methodist Episcopal Church and statues in such case and provided, do hereby certify that at the said Quarterly Conference the following named persons to wit: Stephen Jarvis, Frank L. White, Cramer H. Mitchell, Manly T. White and Heber S. Gilbert were duly elected trustees of The Methodist Episcopal Church of Pine River in the County of Cass, State of Minnesota, a religious Corporation said corporation to be known as The Methodist Episcopal Church of Pine River which corporate name was then and there assumed by said Trustees.  Given under our hands and seals this 1st day of September, 1902.  In the Presence of George O. Parrish and S.P. Hanson.  Signed by Robert Forbes, President and Samuel L. Parish, Secretary. Signed by S. P. Hansen, Justice of the Peace Cass County, MN

The above was found in the clerk books after the deed for $1.00 mentioned above.

The instrument continues with an affidavit of the two men doing this of their own free act and deed followed with an affidavit certifying that Mrs. Amarilla Dawes was the same person as Mrs. G.A. Barclay, dated the 8th day of September 1902.

J. G. Dawes and Amarilla Barclay Wed – September 1902!

Two years had passed since the death of her husband George A. Barclay so it was probably inevitable that Amarilla would consider remarrying.  She was about 43 years old.  She was wealthy and still looking good.  She was a major land owner which gave her some clout in the town of Pine River.

Here is the other photo I promised that was given to me by a Spracklin cousin one of Amarilla’s half siblings descendant.  It is another view of the one that is featured in the Logsleds to Snowmobiles book about Pine River’s history and featured in a past post.

Amarilla and J.G. Dawes courtesy of a cousin

Amarilla and J.G. Dawes
courtesy of a cousin

So on 2nd September 1902 Amarilla and Jefferson G. Dawes married in Hennepin County, Minnesota. They married in a ceremony at Grace Episcopal Church in Minneapolis.  The article below says it was St. Paul?

Application for Marriage License page 411, by Jefferson G. Dawes to Amminlla Barclay, State of Minnesota, County of Hennepin. Jefferson G. Dawes being dully sworn…has attained the full age of twenty-one years (50) and upwards; the lady he intends to marry is of lawful age to contract marriage (43). He being duly single and she being a widow. Signed by Jefferson G. Dawes on 2 September 1902, W. Evans Deputy Clerk.

The Pine River Blaze of 1902 under local news:

“Mayor J.G. Dawes and Mrs. G.A. Barclay, both of Pine River, were married last week at St. Paul. They returned last Saturday in the evening and were tendered a rousing charivari by a large crowd of men, women and boys. The genial mayor soon put a quietus to the boys by “seting” em up” freely all evening but the women continued to clamor for recognition till Mrs. Dawes finally appeared and promised them a free dance and supper for this evening at the Barclay hall. There is no fault to find with that kind of hospitality by newly married people and Pine River people will certainly enjoy themselves this evening as they also did last Saturday. The Blaze extends congratulations and hopes they will not only enjoy a long and happy life but live to see the day when Pine River will be platted and built up from White Fish Lake to Bungo.”

She, Amarilla, would now be known as Mrs. Dawes.  J.G. would call her “Rilla.”

Amarilla takes on a new role: Grandmother, the birth of Leola Vivian 1902

Amarilla’s daughter Grace gave birth to Leola Vivian on the 12th of May 1902 in the county of Itasca.  It was later decided that she was born in Grand Rapids but I am not totally convinced that it was Grand Rapids.  The delayed birth certificate of my Aunt Leola Vivian was done in 1956 and even though her Uncle Alex, brother to Ronald her father, gave testimony, I am still not sure they lived in Grand Rapids back then.

Vivian born 1902 First daughter of Ronald & Grace

Vivian born 1902 First daughter of Ronald & Grace

Leola Vivian was her formal name but she usually went by Vivian or Vivi.  I wrote about her on my other blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  That blog is about her baby brother Keith and the paternal side of the family on their father’s side. Starting with the post dated June 5, 2010, Darling Vivian you will find more details and more pictures of Vivian as she was growing up.  Later I post about her school activities, teaching and marriage and maybe a little bit more about her life in future posts.

Vivian was a beautiful little girl. Here is one of the photos featured on the blog mentioned above.

An Oval of Vivian

An Oval with Vivian

Grace, her mother filled out a Baby Book.  I featured that in the post dated “Vivian’s Baby Book!” June 16, 2010. As far as I know it is the only baby book she did for her children. Amarilla is mentioned as being a witness to Vivian’s baby firsts.  She is noted as giving her gifts.

Here is the link to The Man Who Lived Airplanes: http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/

Pine River Gossip June 1901 to March 1902!

The local newspaper in Pine River had some interesting tidbits of news about J.G., Amarilla and other activities:

Mrs. Barclay left for Minneapolis on Monday.

Mr. Dawes seems to think that nothing is too good for a livery barn in Pine River. Mr. Swenson has been putting the finishing touches on it and you can hardly tell it now from a bank and it isn’t completed yet.

Barclay Co and a European Spa?

Barclay Co and a European Spa?

J.G. Dawes as purchased some street lamps for Pine River and soon our streets will loom up on a dark night like a city built among the stars. Who says Mr. Dawes isn’t doing anything for the town. 

Apparently J.G. opened another room for rent establishment.  The Leef Bros. were managing the Barclay Hotel so this had to be a separate entity?

DANCE:  There will be a dance at the Barclay Hall on Saturday evening October 26th. under the auspices of C.J. [Leef] and family.  Lunch will be served at the hotel.  Good music…”Come everybody.” 

Barclay Hotel Ad 1902

Barclay Hotel Ad 1902

Apparently as some point Amarilla turned the management of the Barclay hotel over to her friends the Leef’s. Below this ad was another:

Mrs. G.A. Barclay & Co.

Mrs. G.A. Barclay & Co.

This appears in the Nov. 15, 1901 pg 1 of the local paper

The Barclay Co. of Pine River has purchased 60,000 feet of logs and 10,000 feet of lumber in Bungo.  Going to be some building carried on in this vicinity just watch. 

The Barclay Mercantile and Lumber Co.

The Barclay Mercantile and Lumber Co.

Christmas Time ad for Barclay:

Christmas Ad - Barclay

Christmas Ad – Barclay

That following March 14, 1902 pg. 3 of the Pine Tree Blaze reads

G.A. Wagner of Lake Preston, S.D. has purchased the blacksmith shop and residence of Mrs. Barclay and will take possession April 1st. Mr. Wagner is known by a number around here as a first class blacksmith and we are pleased to have him make this his home. He left Tuesday and will return in a few weeks with his family.