August 1942: The Death of Amarilla…pioneer of Pine River

Amarilla Grace Spracklin Barclay Dawes Urton passed away on 10 August, 1942, in Pine River, Minnesota. She was 84 years old. She arrived in Pine River in 1878 and she made Pine River her home for 64 years.  I will be adding notations in the sources below.

Here is a summary of her death record:

Amarilla Urton died on August 10, 1942 in Pine River. Her husband’s name was George Urton (Note: 3rd husband). She was widowed. She was born on Nov. 17, 1858. She died at 83 yrs 8 months 23 days. Her occupation at death was “housewife.” Her father’s name was Daniel Spracklin who was born in the U.S. (Note: born in Ohio) and her mother’s name was Mary Keller (Note: Her name was Elizabeth and her mother was Mary) also born in the U.S. (Note: born in Ohio). The death certificate was signed by Miriam McDonald of Yakima, WA. The funeral home was Northlund Funeral Home in Pine River, MN. signed on August 18, 1942.  (Note: Miriam noted in her family notes that it was Elizabeth and not Mary for the mother of Amarilla.)

Source:  Certificate of Death for Ammarilla Urton, #02159, Pine River, Cass County, Minnesota, Minnesota State Department of Health, Minnesota

Amarilla Urton

Amarilla Urton

First White Woman In Pine River Territory Buried This Week

at Age of Eighty Four

Cass County lost one of the most colorful figures in its history when death came to Mrs. Ammarilla Urton of Pine River, on Monday, August 19th (10th). The first white woman in Pine River and for approximately twenty years, the only white woman north of Gull Lake. (Note:  I spell her name Amarilla while a lot of times it has two “m’s.”)

Mrs. Urton helped plan the town of Pine River and donated much land to the village, including that which was used for the railway right of way (Note: actually George Barclay and Amarilla did this together), Pine Ridge Cemetery, the power house site, two parks–one the Brookside park and the other the land on which stands the Armory. The sites where the Methodist and Lutheran churches are located and ten lots for the first real school house were also donated by Mrs. Urton.

Mrs. Ammarilla Urton was born on November 17, 1858, in Blairstown, Iowa. She came to Brainerd in 1877. (Note: should read 1878.) On July 27 of the same year she married her first husband, George Barkley, resident of Brainerd, but who at that time was running a trading post at what is now Pine River. After their marriage they started for the territory which was to be her future home, driving by team the first day as far as Gull Lake. From there they took Tote teams to Pine River.

The Trading Post was located on the banks of the river near what is now Pine Ridge Cemetery. (Note: Not true). This post and been built by Barkley and McNannie in 1877. (Note: it was built much earlier.) The following year the store was moved to the site now occupied by the Urton residence. This store was the very first business place in this territory. Here the Indians brought in their furs and traded for supplies. The life was a lonely one, in complete isolation from her own sex, though this pioneer woman was never afraid. Although there were Indians all about them, they never caused any trouble. (Note: I don’t think it really bothered her being out their alone, she was raised on a farm in Iowa and used to isolation.) 

Mr. & Mrs. Barkley built the first frame building as well as the first building with shingles about 1880 (Note: more like 1895). This was the Barkley Hotel, a pretentious building for its time painted white. It was while, sitting in the lobby of that hotel that Mr. Barkley was shot in 1898. (Note: Too bad no building plans exist we could see its internal structure and then figure really where he was sitting.  Reports are varied about the actual death scene.)

Also built was the big store where the Fraser building now is. In 1900 (1902) Mrs. Barkley married J.G. Dawes. Mr. Dawes was a helper in plating the village of Pine River. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dawes used vision in plating the two wide streets and parks which all these years have been an asset of Pine River. Continued for many years was store business in the small building at the end of Fraser block.

In 1921 (Note: They married in 1919.) Mrs. Dawes married George Urton, later retiring from the store business.

In 1932 several of the Pine River clubs, Eradelphian, Men’s Business Club, Fancy Work Club and other groups of Pine River, paid honor to this grand old lady–who had the privilege of living a colorful life, vouched safe to few–in celebration of her 74th birthday. The event was held in the Lake Region Hotel in the form of a beautiful dinner party. Mrs. Urton told tales of many interesting happenings during her days sent in the wilderness. (Note: I wish they had recorded this or the stories.)

In 1939 a large group of friends sponsored by Mrs. Kate Silk and Mrs. Frank Shepherd again celebrated Mrs. Urton’s birthday. Mrs. Urton had one son (Note: George Alexander) and one daughter (Note: Grace A. Barclay McDonald), the son died at the age of 18 months and was buried in Brainerd.

Her daughter proceeded her in death several years ago (Note: Grace died December 23, 1911). Surviving are five grand children, Miss Marian McDonald, Yakima, Wash,; Mrs. H. M. McKanna, Green Acres, Wash,; Mrs. R.R. Davies, Boise, Idaho,; Gordon McDonald, Seattle, Wash,; Keith McDonald in the armed services (worked in Seattle).  (NOTE Edna McDonald another granddaughter was missed.)

Death came to this pioneer woman at the age of 84. Ailing for three years, the past several weeks she had experienced many sick spells. On Monday, the day of her death, however, she dressed and walked about with the aid of her companion Katie Silk.

At two o’clock in the afternoon they had tea and she was stricken with a heart attack about three passing away within a half hour. With her when she died were Katie Silk and Mrs. Smith, a tenant of the Urton apartments. Services will be held in the M.E. church on Monday at two p.m.”  Source: Walker Pilot Newspaper, August 14, 1942

Another obituary appeared in the Pine River Journal:

Pine River Jrl

Pine River Jrl

Mrs. Amarilla Urton, Founder of Pine River Passes Suddenly, 

“Mrs. Amarilla Urton Founder of Pine River Passes Suddenly – Mrs. Amarilla Urton, resident of Pine River for 64 years, passed away at her home Monday, following a short illness. She was 83 years of age at the time of her death. Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 p.m from the Methodist Church with Rev. Fish in charge. Interment will be made in the Brainerd cemetery beside her first husband.

Mrs. Urton was born in Iowa County, Iowa, November 17, 1858 (Note: She was born in Benton County where her father lived till he moved to Iowa County about 1872), coming to Brainerd in 1877, where she was engaged as a seamstress. Here she met and married George Barclay on July 27, 1878. The young couple drove as far as Gull Lake by team the first night and continued their trip the following day by tote-team to the territory known as Pine River, near the location now occupied by the cemetery.

The Trading-Post was built by Mr. Barclay and McNany (Note: McNannie) in 1877 (Note: too late much earlier). The following year the store was moved to the site now occupied by the Urton residence. This was the first business establishment in the territory in those days it was known as the Trading Post where the Indians brought their furs and exchanged them for supplies which was the only form of business conducted at that time as the lumber-jacks had not yet arrived. Mr. Barclay then purchased three forties from the federal government, the deed of which was signed by the President, received three years later which will give some idea of the rapidity of land deals in early days.

During all this time, Mrs. Urton was the only white woman in the territory. For the next fourteen years, the closest white people where at Gull Lake some distance away especially in those days. One can well imagine the pioneering courage needed by a young woman to carry on in the face of all these hardships. She spent many lonely years up there in the north country, planning with her husband, the future of a town, never complaining and always doing her part in the struggle.

The railroad came through here in 1892 and was known as the Brainerd Northern running from Brainerd as far north as Hackensack, then known as Laporte. The first post office was built previous to the advent of the railroad by Mr. Barclay (Note: George Barclay was post master for a time). Mail was delivered twice each week by stage, traveling from Brainerd to the Leech Lake Agency. Four days were necessary to make the round trip. The first shingled building in Pine River was the Barclay Hotel, operated by Mrs. Urton and her husband, the hotel was located on the lot across the street from the Farmers Supply Store and was destroyed by fire several years ago (Note: 1915). It was while engaged in this business that Mr. Barclay was killed while sitting in the lobby of the hotel in 1898. This was the first death recorded in Cass County. (Note:  There is no actual death certificate for George A. Barclay it is all noted in the Coroner’s Inquest file).

Mrs. Urton then married Mr. Dawes, and later Mr. George Urton, who both preceded her in death. Mr. and Mrs. Urton (Note: She did not marry or meet George till 1915 so it was J.G. Dawes that was involved with the following) took an active part in the building of the village, donating property now occupied by the railroad right-of-way (Note: George A. Barclay and her together), the Pine Ridge Cemetery, two parks, the power house site, the Lutheran and Methodist church properties and ten lots for the first school which was built in 1900. All in all this grand old lady had a colorful life, one that few have the privilege of experiencing.  

She spent 64 years of her life in Pine River and was well passed her allotted threescore and ten years when she passed away. It is only fitting and proper that the citizens of Pine River pay tribute to her as the founder and pioneer of this modern little city which developed far beyond her fondest dreams.” Source: Pine River Journal, Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota, Friday, August 14, 1942.

Miriam McDonald, as far as I can tell, was the only family member who attended the funeral of grandmother Amarilla Urton in Pine River. The funeral took place on 12 August, 1942 at the Methodist Church with a Rev. Gerald Fish officiating. Interment would be in the plot in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd next to her first husband George A. Barclay and their son George Alexander Barclay.

17 November, 1939 – Founder of Pine River Celebrates her Birthday

A group of Amarilla’s friends put together a birthday celebration for her on her 81st Birthday.  The picture below was in the possession of her grandson Keith B. MacDonald and also appeared in the newspaper article which was on the front page of the local paper.

Amarilla a little older

Amarilla in older years…

Mrs. Amarilla Urton Founder of Pine R., Celebrates Birthday 

A birthday has been arranged honoring Mrs. Amarilla Urton, founder of Pine River, on her eighty-first birthday to be held at her home Friday afternoon (today). A group of friends and old time acquaintances will gather on the memorable occasion and partake of a turkey dinner, which is being prepared by Mrs. Frank Shepard and Mrs. Katie Silk. The group will also present her with a purse of sliver in memory of her anniversary. As a fitting gesture to such a distinguished old lady, a short history of her colorful years during the early days of Pine River are related in the following paragraphs. The dates and facts were obtained by the editor thru the courtesy of a number of her friends.

Mrs. Amarilla Urton was born in Iowa County, Iowa on November 17, 1858, coming to Brainerd in 1877, where she was engaged as a seamstress. Here she met and married George Barclay on July 27, 1878. The young couple drove as far as Gull by team the first night and continued their trip the following day by tote-team to the territory now known as Pine River, where Mr. Barclay operated a trading-post on the river, here the property now used as a cemetery. The trading-post was built by Mr. Barclay and McNany in 1877. The following year, the store was moved to the site now occupied by the Round residence, this was really the first business place in the territory. In those days it was known as the trading-post as this was where the Indians brought their furs and exchanged them for supplies, this being the only business conducted at this time as the lumber-jacks had not yet arrived. Mr. Barclay then purchased three 40’s from the federal government, the deed of which was signed by the President, received three years later which will give you some idea of the rapidity in which land deals were made in those days. Additional land was purchased by Mr. Barclay in this vicinity a short time later.

During all this time Mrs. Urton was the only white woman in the territory. For fourteen years the closest white people were at Gull Lake, which was a considerable distance in those days. One can well imagine the pioneering courage needed by a young woman to carry on in the face of all these obstacles. She spent many lonely years up here in the north, planning with her husband, the future of a town, never complaining and always doing her part in the struggle.

The second white woman to make her home here was Mrs. John Leef who arrived in 1895. Shortly after this time several pioneering settlers arrived and lumbering and timber work was in full swing. The railroad came through here in 1892, and was known as the “Brainerd Northern” running from Brainerd as far north as Hackensack which was then known as Laporte. Their main source of revenue being in hauling lumber.

The first post office was built previous to the advent of the railroad, by Mr. Barclay. Mail was delivered twice a week by stages, which traveled from Brained to the Leech Lake Agency. Four days were necessary to make one roundtrip.

The first shingled building in Pine River was the Barclay Hotel, operated by Mrs. Urton and her husband. The hotel was located on the lot across the street from the Farmers Supply store and was destroyed by fire several years ago. It was while engaged in this business that Mr. Barclay was killed while sitting in the lobby of the hotel in 1898. This was the first death recorded in the records of Cass county. Mrs. Urton later married the late George Urton.

Mrs. Urton took an active part in the building of the village donating the property now occupied by the railroad right-of-way, the Pine Ridge Cemetery, power-house site, two parks, the Lutheran and Methodist church sites and ten lots for the first school which was built in 1897. The first school teacher was Mrs. Peck. Abe White has the distinction of being the second station-agent in Pine River, coming here in 1900, and continuing in that capacity until two years ago when he retired.

The Urton residence was built in 1905 by Mr. Zigmund, father of Harris and Arthur Zigmund.

All in All, this grand old lady has had a colorful life, one that few have the privilege of experiencing. She has spent 61 years of her life here and is well past her allotted three score and ten, still has a keen mind and enjoys keeping posted on world affairs and the progress of Pine River, to which she gave the best years of her life.

It is only fitting and proper that the citizens of this community salute her as the founder and pioneer of this modern city which has developed far beyond her fondest dreams.

Friday, November 17, 1939, will no doubt be one of the most memorable days in her life as her friends gather to honor her on her 81st anniversary, bringing her the well-wishes of everyone, and the making a happy event by her already eventful life.

Source: The Pine River Journal, Pine River, Minnesota, Friday, Nov. 7, 1939, page 1 col. 4, with Picture.

The article is by far one of the best and pretty accurate regarding the life of Amarilla. It is my belief that she was probably born in Benton County, Iowa near Blairstown because that is where her father Daniel had his land at that time.  He would move to Iowa County but that was not till after 1870.

I think it is very interesting that no mention is made of her children George Alexander Barclay and Grace Amarilla Barclay McDonald. Both children had died well before 1939, but there were descendants still living.  They also don’t mention Jefferson Dawes her 2nd husband, nor much about George Urton.  I am sure they didn’t have the room to really cover all the history.

It is too bad great-grandmother never wrote down her life story or her memories, it would have been wonderful to know her life in her own words.

One last and final try for George Barclay’s Civil War Pension – 1939

Money for Amarilla must have been tight, she was having trouble paying her taxes on her land. Based on gossip from the local paper both her and George Urton did not seem to be in good health. Amarilla apparently suffered a slight heart attack in 1936 and in the same article George was not doing to well either.  In 1937 Amarilla got into trouble with some wood.

Meets with Unfortunate Accident New Years:  Mrs. George Urton had the misfortune of having a pile of wood fall on her on New Years Day. While in the basement gathering wood before building a fire, a stack of wood which had been piled to the ceiling fell on her, seriously cutting the back of her head and blacking her eye. A physician was called immediately to dress her wounds. She is recovering nicely.  Pine River Journal January 7, 1937.

Gordon MacDonald, grandson of Mrs. Urton, arrived Saturday from St. Paul, to be with Msr. Urton who suffered a stroke last week and is still quite ill. He returned to St. Paul, Monday. Mrs. Urton is being cared for by Mrs. Frank Shepard.  Pine River Journal 21, April, 1939.

She tried again for George Barclay’s Civil War pension and this time her grandson Gordon McDonald tried to help her. I actually think her friends rallied and made the attempt to get this pension for her.

Remarried Pension form for Civil War 1939 a portion

Remarried Pension form for Civil War 1939 a portion

She had to fill out a Declaration for Remarried Widow’s Pension form again. The form was completed on 17 April, 1939.  She was required to restate information about her marriage in 1878 to George Barclay, and write about her marriage to Jefferson S. Dawes in 1902 and their divorce in 1909.  Lastly, she had to revisited her marriage to George Urton in 1919 and who died March 13, 1939 in Pine River. The form was signed by Ammarilla Urton and witnesses were Mrs. Frank Sheppard of Pine River and R.G. McDonald (Gordon) 1809 Marshall Ave. St. Paul, Min.  She must have been very sick because she signed with an X.

A letter on State of Minnesota Adjutant General’s Office letterhead for St. Paul dated April 19, 1939 was sent to E. L. Bailey the Director, Dependant’s Claims Service, Veterans Administration, Washington D.C.

Dear Sir: Herewith enclosed “Power of Attorney” given this office by Ammarilla Urton, Pine River, Minnesota, claimant in the above entitled claim fro Civil War widow’s pension.

Mrs. Urton is eighty years of age and very sick and if her claim can be expedited in any way it will help her to take care of expenses. Also enclosed the following additional evidence 1) application for Remarried Civil War widow’s pension, 2) Coroner’s Inquest in the death of George Barclay 3) certified copy of public record of the marriage of Ammarilla Urton to the veteran, George A. Barclay July 27, 1878. Very truly yours E.A. Walsh, The Adjutant General. 

They did not waste any time and Amarilla’s claim was denied the reason given:  “forfeiture under act of August 7. 1882.”

I spent some time trying to find a copy of this Legal act that they refer to and here it is.

7 August 1882 c. 438 22 Stat. 345

CHAP. 438.- An act to amend section forty-seven hundred and two, title fifty-seven, Revised Statutes of the United States, and for other purposes.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section forty-seven hundred and two, title fifty-seven, of the Revised Statutes of the United States is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

“Sec. 4702. If any person embraced within the provisions of sections forty-six hundred and ninety-two and forty-six hundred and ninety-three has died since the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or hereafter dies, by reason of any wound, injury, or disease which under the conditions and limitations of such sections would have entitled him to an invalid pension had he been disabled, his widow or if there be no widow, or in case of her death without payment to her of any part of the pension hereinafter mentioned, his child or children under sixteen years of age, shall be entitled to receive the same pension as the husband or father would have been entitled to had he been totally disabled, to commence from the death of the husband or father, to continue to the widow during her widowhood, and to his child or children until they severally attain the age of sixteen years, and no longer; and if the widow remarry, the child or children shall be entitled from the date of remarriage, except when such widow has continued to draw the pension-money after her remarriage, in contravention of law, and such child or children have resided with and been supported by her, their pension will commence at the date to which the widow was last paid.”

SEC. 2. That marriages, except such as are mentioned in section forty-seven hundred and five of the Revised Statutes shall be proven in pension cases to be legal marriages according to the law of the place where the parties resided at the time of marriage or at the time when the right to pension accrued; and the open and notorious adulterous cohabitation of a widow who is a pensioner shall operate to terminate her pension from the commencement of such cohabitation.

APPROVED, August 7, 1882.

It is the Sec. 2 part that was the reason they denied Amarilla the pension.  The Claims Service signed the denial on May 5, 1939. Mrs. Bertha Robideau and Mrs. Alice Leef gave their affidavits but apparently that didn’t help. Amarilla was told she could repeal the decision after a year.

George A. Barclay’s Civil War pension would not be awarded ever; however, the file would become very thick and has provided a great deal of information about George and Amarilla my great grandparents so I am happy. I am sad for her however.

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:

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 tries again for George’s Civil War Pension – 1916 to 1919

Every time the laws were changed and passed a new round of submissions for Civil War pensions would follow. In 1916, Amarilla tried again to obtain George Barclay’s Civil War Pension. This meant that she had to fill out the Declaration for Widow’s Pension form to get things started. The Barclay Hotel burned down in 1915 and it appears she had to seek out another set of marriage, divorce and other papers if she could not find them in her home or hotel and resubmit.

I find that interesting because the government had a 2 inch file on George’s Pension which I obtained from the VA not the National Archives.  Of course the Veteran’s Administration really didn’t start till 1921.

The National Civil War Museum Entrance

The National Civil War Museum Entrance in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

This Widow’s form was filed on 24 October, 1916 and submitted.  As far as I can tell the process took till July of 1919 to finally come to an end. The application was being considered for pension a total of three years in process.

Here is a summary of what happened. In these documents her name is spelled Ammarilla and the last name is Barcklay.

Summary of this attempt at obtaining George Angus Barclay’s Civil War Pension 1916 to 1919

October 24, 1916: Declaration for Widow’s Pension signed and forwarded.

March 2, 1917: Overview card for Remarried Widow of George. A. Barclay with summary of the file.

Jacket cover of Pension

Jacket cover of Pension

April 3, 1917: Letter from War Division to D. Elliott Waggeman, Atty, Wash D.C.

They want testimony from two credible witnesses who knew the soldier from the time he attained marriageable age, showing whether he had been previously married with further instructions in order to comply etc… Signed by the Commissioner. 

April 13, 1917: Letter from the Auditor for the War Department to Treasury Department, Wash D.C.

….For use in the above-cited claim for pension, please furnish a tracing of the soldier’s signature, and loan to this Bureau any papers that may have been filed in a claim for arrears of pay or bounty based on his service. Signed by the Commissioner 

May 12, 1917: Letter from Treasury Department to Commissioner of Pensions, Wash D.C. for Bounty:

An application was filed December 17, 1867, in the Paymaster General’s Office, War Department, for bounty under Act of July 28, 1866, by George Barclay, late of Co. I, 9th Minn. Inf. and said application is herewith transmitted with the request that the same be returned to this office at the earliest practicable date. Signed by a J.L. Baity Auditor. (No copy of this bounty claim was in the pension file).

August 25, 1917: General Affidavit

General Affidavit, Minnesota, Cass County, Personally came before me ____Shiller in and aforesaid County and State Ammarilla Dawes age 58 years, residing in Pine River, Cass Co., Minn. who being dully sworn, declares:

That her husband’s full and correct name was George Angus Barclay and he was born in Connecticut. His age at enlistment as nearly as she can compute was between 16 & 18 (he was 18), and his occupation when he enlisted was farmer, and when he enlisted he lived at Shakopee. She further states that his height was 5 feet 6 inches, his complexion dark, color of eyes dark brown, hair dark, and as to marks and scars she states he had none that she knows of.  She further states that her own maiden name was Spracklin and that after the soldier George Angus Barclay died she was remarried to Jefferson G. Dawes from whom she was divorced in the year 1910 on her own application. She further states as to any former marriages of the solider George Angus Barclay that he was never married until he married the affiant and that she states that she was never married before she married George Angus Barclay. Signed Ammarilla Dawes, and F……Shiller, 25 August 1917. Notary Public seal. 

September 10, 1917: General Affidavit.

That her various places and dates of residence since the death of the soldier, Geo. Barclay, have been Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota.

Cover form from Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions card with summary of contents. This is like their cover piece.

September 18, 1917: General Affidavit:

John Leef, age 55 residing in Pine River, Cass Co. and Mrs. J. P. Leef aged 50 years. That they have been personally acquainted with the claimant, Ammarilla Dawes since of the date of the death of the solider, George Barclay and that she has not been married since that time other than to Mr. Dawes who divorced.  

November 27, 1917: A note asking for more information about the marriage to Dawes.

January 17, 1918: State of Minnesota, District Court, Co. of Hennepin – the Marriage License of Jefferson and Ammarilla Barclay 2 September 1902 was submitted to the Commissioner.

February 5, 1918: Additional Evidence General Affidavit.

That her husband, Jefferson G. Dawes, did not render any military or naval service to the United States in any capacity. 

July 9, 1918:  This was a note/letter talking about rules about pensions and the marriage of Jefferson G. Dawes and the name and service of George Barclay etc.

July 22, 1918: Returning of documents by Auditor of the War Department, and their divorce papers are submitted by Cass Courthouse County, Minnesota.

March 3, 1919:  Miscellaneous papers contained in the pension file. April 22, 1919 and on April 25, 1919 a formal letter to the Postmaster…. a H.M. Vandervort requesting more information about the situation – ret’d to Chief _______to call on Postmaster at Pine River, Minn. and determine whether she has remarried and what her standing and reputation in the community since February 1, 1910.

The report back is not good something about her living with a man by the name of George Urton and it is not known if they are married. Her reputation is mixed.

May 18, 1919: A letter was sent to the Chief and Special Examination Division requesting a special investigation to 1) to determine whether she has remarried more than once and after her divorce from Dawes which would jeopardize the pension.  2) They then wanted to know her involvement in George’s death.  3) a Mr. Young was assigned the task of investigating Amarilla Barclay Dawes.

June 7, 1919:  A letter telling the Postmaster that they want to personally interview Amarilla and J.G. Dawes, Mr. and Mrs. Leef, please supply information about where they were living, Signed by E. W. Young, Special Examiner.

June 20th, 1919: Letter to Mr. E.W. Young signed by A.K. McPherson, Clerk of the Court, Walker, Minn. He states he finds no evidence in the proceedings of the Coroners inquest that show that any suspicion was lodged against the Widow of the deceased G. A. Barclay.

June 18, 1919 Brainerd – Jefferson G. Dawes personally appears before me E.W. Young…

June 21, 1919 – letter to the Commissioner of Pensions. He is submitting his report with documents on the Claim for George’s pension and E.W. Young’s investigation.  I have moved this ahead of the depositions of J.G. and Amarilla of E.W. Young:

He took the deposition in Brainerd from J.G. Dawes. While husband of the claimant he was also mayor of Pine River and that he was regarded as something of a four-flusher which was reference to his business transactions and he says he observed this behavior in J.G. The special examiner believed J.G.’s testimony about Amarilla. He then went to Pine River and didn’t tell Amarilla about his interview with J.G. prior to visiting her. She is now engaged to George Urton who lives with her. Then the special examiners remembers George that this soldier was a storekeeper, saloonist, postmaster, logger and big in the area, also a hotel keeper and his death and the gossip. The case appears for final action. 

Deposition of J.G. Dawes, June 18, 1919 in Brainerd, Minn. This is a summary not a full transcription.

My age is 70 years last March, my residence and address are Brainerd, MN in real estate business. I got married to Rilla Barcklay in Minneapolis date do not remember, but some 15 or 16 years ago. I did not know her husband in his lifetime. Became acquainted with her at Pine River when I was there on a matter of business. She was in the logging and store business there and wanted me to manage it for her, offering me half. I took it and turned over to her probably as much as $10,000.  He then makes comments about Grace and Ronald which are not good…She and I always lived together after our marriage, until the separation in Pine River, where I built her home she now has….I did not get a divorce from her. She got it from me. I let her get it. He comments about the divorce are not good.  Then Mr. Young asked about her reputation and her conduct during the marriage. J.G. proceeds to give details about her behavior which are not good…He states he has no interest in her pension claim and nothing against it.  

Deposition of Amarilla Dawes, June 19, 1919 in Pine River, MN. This is a summary and not a full transcription.

My residence and address are Pine River, Cass Co., Minn, am keeping house, I am claiming pension as the widow of George. A. Barcklay who was a Civil War Soldier. He was not a pensioner. My only claim to pension has been made on account of him. He was in the I, 9 Minn. Inf. I married Jefferson G. Dawes after Barcklay’s death, date do not remember.  Married him at Minneapolis and got divorced from him going to Bemidji to meet the judge, I guess the papers are in Walker….She talks about George Urton and that she is engaged to be married. Mr. Young proceeds to ask her questions about her conduct and she replies refuting J.G.’s comments.  I was never accused of having anything to do with Mr. Barcklay’s death, except by Mr. Dawes. She mentions Louis Bebeau being arrested, tried and acquitted of the murder of her husband. I would rather forgo any pension I might possibility get than to have this read in the presence of witnesses or to have any further inquiry made about it. 

July 8, 1919: Wid. Org. Ammarilla former widow of Geo. A. Barclay…Pension is rejected warranted on the facts show in this claim? 1) Adulterous cohabitation while claimant was the wife of J.C. Dawes is no bar to pension. 2) There is nothing to show adulterous cohabitation after claimant’s divorce from Dawes until Sept/Oct 1918.

July 10, 1919: Another statement, our further consideration of the case and in view of claimant’s statement before the special examiner that she would rather foregoing any pension she might possibly get than to have her deposition read in the presence of witnesses or to have any further inquiry made about it. The claim may be rejected as if now stands on the ground of abandonment of further prosecution of same as declared in her deposition taken by special examiner on June 191, 1919. Signed A.A. Aspenwall, Chief, Board of Review.

On July 22, 1919: C.M. Saltzgaber, Commissioner writes to W. Elliott Waggaman, Atty, Wash D.C. and to Amarilla that the claim is rejected on the ground of the claim’s abandonment of further prosecution of claim etc.

Well, isn’t this a fine pickle. I really am proud of my great-grandmother for abandoning the pension claim. I think both her and J.G. did not have any understanding of what was happening and it appears they were not informed by Mr. Young that he was going to approach them both.  It was unfortunate but not uncommon that this type of investigation occurred.

It seems to me the facts were:  1) Whether George was a soldier and what was his service; 2) that George and Amarilla were married, where and when; 3) when did George die; 4) after George’s death her remarriage to J.G. Dawes, where and when; 5) and that Amarilla divorced Dawes in 1910; 6) she had not remarried but was engaged to George Urton in 1918.  These are the facts to me, anything else is irrelevant, but this apparently was not the case as the quote below presents:

The Commissioner of Pensions refused to issue a certificate to allow pension under the special act on the ground the evidence shows that since the passage of the act of August 7, 1882, and prior to an since the approval of the special act, the claimant has been guilty of open and notorious adulterous cohabitation. Appeal was entered August 14, 1919.  

One of the general provisions of the pension laws is as follows:  the open and notorious adulterous cohabitation of a widow who is a pensioner shall operate to terminate her pension from the commencement of such cohabitation. Act of August 7, 1882, sec. 2, 22 Stat., 345.

Source:  Decisions of the Department of the Interior in Appealed Pension and Bounty Claims, Editors John W. Bixler and Ralph W. Kirkham, Google Books. page 441.

Amarilla would try one more time in 1939 for George’s pension and get a little help from her grandson Gordon.  If you are wondering what the term “four-flusher” used to describe J.G. means it is a reference to the game of poker and how someone presents a certain face to others.  I have posted about J.G. Dawes on this blog and you can review his posts and Amarilla’s just go to the Page at the top of this blog that covers George and Amarilla’s table of contents of posts written.

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.  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.

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.

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.

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.  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.  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.

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.

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:

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



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. 


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.

Rather than backtrack to Billings, we would fly out of the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, which is north of Bozeman. 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.