A Tragedy Occurs, the Loss of a Daughter…

Amarilla was no stranger to tragedy.  She had lost her mother when she was a little baby. Her son George Alexander died from an overdose of medicine at about 18 months old.  Her full brother Henry, the only other child that survived from the first family of Daniel Spracklin, was killed in a tragic accident in 1893 in Davenport, Iowa. Her half-brother Alfred died in 1899.  George Angus Barclay, her husband, was shot and murdered in their hotel in October of 1898.

These were all terrible and must have taken their toll on great-grandmother, but the death of her daughter Grace must have been the worst.

Amarilla lost her only daughter and child on December 25, 1911. Grace died at the hospital in International Falls.  She had given birth to a premature baby they named Grace Elizabeth and then succumbed to pneumonia. She is buried in the McDonald family plot in the St. Thomas Cemetery along with Archibald and Mary McDonell, the parents of Ronald, Grave’s husband. Grace is the writers grandmother.

Grace Barclay McDonald

Grace Barclay McDonald

Card of thanks from R.S. and Amarilla regarding Grace's death

Card of thanks from R.S. and Amarilla regarding Grace’s death, Pine River Journal

Grace’s story is featured in the blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes, see right side panel for link.

Alexander Barclay’s Estate and Final Settlement, A Summary!

Alexander Barclay died on 9 December, 1905 in Olmsted Co., Minnesota and his body was laid to rest in Farmington at the Corinthian Cemetery in Dakota County. Alexander’s tombstone is featured at Find A Grave.

 Alexander Barclay's Tombstone, Me and Storm

Alexander Barclay’s Tombstone, Me and A Storm

In recent past posts I have written about the heirs of Alexander.  These siblings, nieces and nephews were found as a result of his death and the information found in his estate papers from Dakota County, Minnesota.

Here is summary of the posts written about Alexander’s heirs.  You can find these posts by using the archive box on the right side of this blog, or the search box.

  1. The Death of George’s Brother Alexander Barclay!, November 24, 2014
  2. Grace Barclay McDonald as Administrator of Alexander’s estate, December 1, 2014.
  3. Alexander Barclay’s Final Resting Place, December 8, 2014
  4. Alexander Barclay’s Heirs in 1906, December 15, 2014
  5. George and Alexander Barclay’s older brother John Barclay, December 26, 2014
  6. What happened to the Oldest Brother John Barclay? January 2, 2015
  7. Heirs of Alexander Barclay:  John Avery Barclay, January 18, 2015
  8. Heirs of Alexander Barclay:  Helen (Sarah Ellen) Barclay Sears, January 23, 2015
  9. Minerva Parks Barclay Remarries, January 20, 2015
  10. Heirs of Alexander Barclay: James Barclay, a brother, February 6, 2015
  11. Heirs of Alexander Barclay:  Sarah Agnes Barclay Blinn, February 13, 2015
  12. The Heirs of Alexander Barclay:  Mary Jane Barclay Ford, February 21, 2015
  13. Mary J. Barclay Ford and Jerome’s deaths…, February 27, 2015
  14. Final Resting Place of Mary and Jerome Ford, Forestville, March 6, 2015
  15. Probate of Mary J. Ford, 1917, Mach 13, 2015
  16. Alexander Barclay’s Heirs: Martha M. Barclay Ford, March 20, 2015
  17. Alexander Barclay’s Heirs, the 2nd Family: Charles Barclay, March 27, 2015
  18. Alexander Barclay’s Heirs, the 2nd Family:  William Barclay 1863-1937, April 3, 2015
  19. Alexander Barclay’s Heirs – the 2nd family:  Mary E. Barclay Clark, April 11, 2015
  20. Alexander Barclay’s Heirs – the 2nd family:  Anna Elizabeth Barclay Carter, April 17, 2015
  21. Alexander Barclay’s Estate and Final Settlement, A Summary, April 24, 2015

A Summary of Alexander’s Estate

Alexander Barclay’s probate took from December 1906 to April of 1907.

My grandmother Grace A. McDonald petitioned the court to start the process of the probate but she was unable to continue because she was pregnant at the time. A Dr. Rogers was assigned to be administrator of Alexander’s estate process. There was no will so the estate had to be probated.  I refer you to the 2nd post in the list above for a review.

Here is a brief listing of the process in Alexander Barclay’s probate process:

1.  Petition for Administration of the estate and submitting of the heirs-at-law document.

Petition for Administration

Petition for Administration

2.  Setting of a Bond and granting of Administration to H.N. Rogers.

3.  Warrant to Appraisers and oath of the Appraisers.

4. Taking Inventory of the Estate which includes the personal possessions, land and other financials like stocks.

5.  Petition for License to Sell Real Estate.

Selling of Real Estate

Selling of Real Estate

6.  Publication of announcements in the local paper for the Creditors and hearing for claims against the estate and payment of those debts.  Printer’s Affidavit.

For Creditors

For Creditors

7.  In this case, affidavits from the children of the older brother John Barclay who was believed to be deceased were obtained, along with affidavits from other family members.

8.  Distribution of the stocks and transferring title to heirs.

9.  Final accounting and Petition for Settlement of the Estate.

Final Account

Final Account

10.  Order discharging the Representative and releasing of the surety bond.

H. N. Rogers put an ad in the local newspaper in order to sell Alexander’s farm titled:

“Farm for Sale Cheap”

The Sale of Alexander's Farm

The Sale of Alexander’s Farm

In the final account for Alexander Barclay’s estate eleven Receipt forms were filled out for each of the 11 heirs and signed by each one, so this means they had to be mailed, signed and returned. The siblings received approximately $548 plus 1/10 interest in the mining stocks.  Grace Barclay McDonald also received the larger sum.  For John Avery Barclay and Sarah Ellen Barclay they received about $273 plus 1/20 interest in the mining stocks.

Grace's Receipt - Estate of Alexander Barclay

Grace’s Receipt – Estate of Alexander Barclay

The probate of Alexander Barclay has been extremely helpful in identifying the two families of John Barclay.  Unfortunately, it has not provided information about the origins of the Barclay family nor the mother Margaret of the first 7 children.

Studying the siblings has created more questions and an uncertainty of the actual ages of the children and their birth order.  John Barclay states he came to the United States in 1833 per his naturalization. After having studied the children of this man and learning of their viewpoints about the origins of the family, I think that a new approach is in order in searching for John Barclay’s origins.

This brings to a close the postings on Alexander Barclay’s estate. It is not the close of research which will continue.

In my opinion Alexander left a lasting legacy to his family.  I do know that George Barclay, his brother and my great grandfather, along with Grace, his niece and my grandmother, held him in esteem.

Alexander Barclay’s Heirs in 1906…

Sometimes when someone does not marry, they really help in the research of a family because they give their estate usually to their siblings, nephews and nieces.  Alexander did just that however, he did not have a will so the estate went into probate because he had money and land.

Alexander's estate

Alexander’s estate

In the above note written by my Aunt Miriam she was correct in stating there were eleven heirs to Alexander’s estate.

In the post “John Barclay’s Two Families” dated April 3, 2010 on this blog, I listed the children both from the 1st and 2nd family of John Barclay the father. I gave a little information about each sibling but didn’t go into each in-depth.

The probate packet of Alexander A. Barclay’s estate consisted of 35 documents. The probate process began sometime in December 1905 and ended April 23, 1907. The total value of the estate was $5500.00. There were two pieces of real estate one in Lakeville, a farm and one in Farmington which consisted of lots. These were sold since no one was interested in the property. There were mining stocks that were distributed and transferred to the heirs.

I found this add for the sale of A.A. Barclay’s lands in the local newspaper.

The Sale Ad of Alexander Barclay's Land in Farmington

The Sale Ad of Alexander Barclay’s Land in Farmington

It reads:  Farm for Sale Cheap: I offer for sale, subject to the approval of the Judge of Probate for Dakota County, Minnesota, 105 acres of farming lands in section 34 township 114, range 20 in Dakota County, State of Minnesota, at $40.00 per acre.  Also the building on the corner of Third and Elma Streets, belonging to the estate of A.A. Barclay – Deceased. Inquir of H.N. Rogers, administrator, Farmington, Minn.  11-45. 

Here is a review of those who were identified as heirs of Alexander’s estate.

Part of the Heirs at Law form for Alexander Barclay's Estate

Part of the Heirs list, Petition for Administration, by Grace McDonald, for Alexander Barclay’s Estate

The first family of John Barclay and Margaret:

1.  John Avery Barclay born about 1836. He was presumed dead according to an affidavit of the sister Sarah Agnes Blinn.  So his portion of the estate would go to his two children:

“John A. Barclay, aged 70 years, not heard from by relatives during the past 30 years, supposed to be dead, who is a brother. In his place John Avery Barclay, son and Sarah Ellen Barclay Sears were awarded a share each as the only surviving children of the first son.”

1) John Avery Barclay born 1867.

2) Sarah Ellen Barclay Sears born 1869.

2.  James A. Barclay born about 1838 died in 1906 during the probate of Alexander’s estate.

“James A. Barclay, aged 68 years, residing at 1444 Stratford Ave., Bridgeport, Conn. who is a brother.”

3.  Sarah Agnes Barclay Blinn born about 1840.

“Sarah Agnes Blinn, aged 66 years residing at 1375 [New] Dalles Ave, Alamirda, Cal., who is a sister. Note: I think they mean Alameda, California.”

4.  Mary J. Barclay Ford born about 1841.

“Mary J. Ford, aged 65 years, residing at Bristol., Conn., who is a sister.”

5.  Alexander Barclay the deceased, would fit here in the ages of the children.

6.  Martha M. Barclay Ford born about 1843.

“Martha M. Ford, aged 65 years residing at Fruitvale, Cal., who is a sister.”

7.  George Angus Barclay born 1844 died 1898. Grace his daughter would be the one to inherit from Alexander.  Grace started out as the Administrator of the estate but because she was pregnant with Miriam at the time she could not attend to the legal process and another person was appointed.

“Grace A. McDonald of the Village of International Falls, in the County of Itasca and the State of Minnesota, respectfully shows that Alexander A. Barclay was a resident of the Village of Farmington in the County of Dakota and State of Minnesota, died on the 9 December, A.D. 1905 at the City of Rochester in the County of Olmsted, State of Minnesota, leaving estate therein and without leaving any last Will and Testament to the knowledge, information or belief of your petitioner. That the name relationship, ages and residences of the heirs of said deceased, as far as known to your petitioner, are as follows….”  

“Grace A. McDonald, aged 28 years, residing at International Falls, Itasca Co., Minn who is a niece (daughter of Geo. A. Barclay brother of deceased).”  Note: Grace was born 1882 so she would be 23 years old.

Here we list the half-siblings from John Barclay’s second marriage to Ellen:

8. Charles Barclay born 1860.

“Charles Barclay, aged 45 years, residing at Shakopee, Minn., who is a half-brother.”

9. William Barclay born 1863

“William Barclay, aged 43 years, residing at Pony, Madison Co., Montana, who is a half-brother.”

10.  Mary E. Barclay Clark born about 1864.

“Mary Clark aged 42 years, residing at Bridger, Carbon Co., Montana, age 42 years, who is a half-sister.”

11. Anna Elizabeth Barclay Carter  born 1870.

“Annie E. Carter, aged 36 years, residing at 2050 11 St. Marinette, Wis, who is a half-sister.”

It cost me a small fortune to obtain the probate file of Alexander Barclay but it was worth it.  I have always known that Alexander would be of great help to me.

In the next posts I will share some of the highlights of Alexander’s probate and discuss in more detail the heirs of his estate and what I know about each of them. I have already shared what I know about Alexander in this blog, so I won’t repeat his story.  Remember these individuals are also George A. Barclay’s siblings and half-siblings.  Did George communicate with his siblings and half-siblings? I have no knowledge of how close to them he was.  I do know about his relationship with Alexander.  Did Amarilla know them, I don’t know. Grace seemed to be aware of her aunts and uncles so maybe there was some communication.

Source: Probate File of Alexander Barclay, Dakota Co., Minnesota, December 1905. Petition for Letters of Administration, 11 January 1906, Submitted by Grace A. McDonald. 

Back from My Travels…

Well, I am back from my travels.  My second trip to Canada is completed and that happened in September 2014.  Remind me not to travel in the Fall because you have to drive through thick fog, rain, cold and wind storms, brrrr….  Fortunately, I did not have to deal with snow.  It was a great trip and I posted about it in The Man Who Lived Airplanes and the Boardman and Brown blog – see side panel for links.  I did 1964 miles just 49 short of my first trip. It was EPIC!

My week at Salt Lake City went by too quickly.  I enjoyed my class on Scottish research and learned a lot.  The British Institute sponsored by the International Society of British Genealogy and Family History always puts on quality genealogical education. http://www.isbgfh.org/ My teacher was Paul Milner and he was very knowledgeable and patient with us Americans.  You might want to check out his blog he discusses the sources and that could be very helpful.  http://www.milnergenealogy.com/

While in Salt Lake City I was at the Family History Library doing research I did try to seek out John Barclay and his first wife Margaret but was not successful in finding him listed in the indexes that they had, so it will probably require some more digging, fortunately, I have a road map with my class lessons.

Looking west in SLC

Looking west in SLC

Class on Irish Research

Class on Irish Research which I probably should take next?

Family History Library British Isles floor B2

Family History Library British Isles floor B2

Let’s see, I left off with Amarilla and J.G. Dawes in the 1905 Census in Pine River.  I will continue to follow Amarilla through the rest of her life touching on the people who were part of her experience which includes her half-siblings from the 2nd marriage of her father Daniel D. Spracklin: Lydia, Virda, Reed, Daniel, Peter, and Charles Edward. They are all characters just like Amarilla.  Yes, I will discuss her marriage to J.G. Dawes and later to George Urton.

Her “of the blood” siblings have been written about: Henry, Oliver, Mary and from the second marriage Alfred.  I will share some about Henry’s descendants especially Harry his first born.

There will be posts about the end of Daniel and Sarah’s lives and why it is so difficult to find them in the records in Iowa, it is because they left.  I had to go there to Iowa to find them.

There will be more about Amarilla’s grandchildren and daughter Grace.

How all these events and happenings affected Amarilla is difficult to say.  I really have very little personal information about her or memorabilia from her like a diary or letters.  Sigh!

On George’s side, I have some more interesting tidbits and will write about my research on his siblings and half-siblings. According to his brother Alexander’s probate file there were 11 children that were involved in the process, one of which was represented by his children.  Yes, it is a mystery.  So brother Alexander Barclay end of life will be a big topic.

There are two other blogs you should be consulting and that is the Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp. in Ohio where I share about Amarilla’s grandparents on both sides of her lineage.  Elizabeth Keller Spracklin’s parents,  John and Mary Keller, are discussed and this line leads to DAR and Mayflower.  On Daniel’s side I write about John and Lydia Spracklin and their lives in Ohio and will go back further into that lineage.  Lydia Goss Spracklin line also leads to DAR and Mayflower.

If you are interested in Amarilla’s daughter Grace’s life you could read about it in this blog and also in The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  That blog is about her son Keith’s life and the family.  Grace married Ronald S. McDonald in 1898 and had 8 children one of which was Keith, my father.  I will touch upon his siblings briefly in this blog, but for more details go to the Man Who Lived Airplanes.  My dad loved airplanes and worked around them all his life.

1904 Pine River Gossip – More over the fence…

Pine River News

Besides their interests in Longville about this time, life pretty much went on in Pine River. I am always fascinated with their movements and comings and goings.

1.  Mrs. Dawes opens a millinery store and visits her daughter in Grand Rapids, 22 April 1904.

2.  Mrs. Dawes stepped on a nail, September 1904.

3.  Mrs. Dawes and Mrs. McDonald went to Brainerd with the children, September 1904.

4. J.G. Dawes went to the Twin Cities and returned, Nov. 1904.

5. Masked ball at the Barclay Hall, masks are on sale at the Post Office, Dec. 1904.

Anyone for dancing….!!!

George Barclay Murder Trial – 7 May 1900

Scales of Justice

George Angus Barclay was shot and killed on October 29, 1898 and the trial regarding the murder did not happen until a year and half later, taking place on May 7 and going through till the 16th of 1900!

There aren’t any documents between the release of Andy Hayford in December 1899 until the 4th of May 1900 when Bebo requests that he be granted counsel for the charge of Murder in the 1st degree.  He had no money and had been incarcerated for quite some time.  A. H. Hall was assigned his defense attorney by the court.

Hall filed a three page  brief in it where he complains that the Sheriff created 2 jury panels and interviewed people.  The clerk was supposed to create the juries.  He said that the handwriting was not the clerk’s.  He went on to say that the Sheriff would erase a name if he didn’t like what the potential juror said.  Hall stated that at the beginning of the year a jury pool is created and there are plenty of people, therefore the Sheriff didn’t need to get a jury together.

As far as I can tell there are no documents or maybe one or two that survived from the trial.  There is a Director Examination of  J. Deperrold and a testimony of Ed Mahon but I cannot be sure they are from the trial.  It does read on Mahon’s papers called as witness on the part of the State, being duly sworn…no dates are on these documents.   These documents are done in a question and answer style which makes me think they are part of the trial.  There is a handwritten document about various testimonies which is extremely hard to read but it may be another of Hall’s writings.  There is a platte map of Pine River that was used probably in the inquest, grand jury proceedings and trial.  It has historical significance for Pine River because it shows where the buildings were.  It was used to show how long it would take to get from one building to another.

I think that the newspaper pretty much sums up the trial and what happened.  Can you imagine sitting in the courtroom and watching this event unfold.

Murder Trial Events 1900

Murder Trial Events 1900

The Cass County Paper, Front Page, Vol. 7, No. 18.

Murder Trial – Bebo Found Not Guilty

“When the trial of Louis Bebo for the murder of Geo. A. Barclay was called on Monday the 7th day of May speculation as to the outcome ran high.  To accommodate the crowd, the court was held in the Opera House and that was crowded in spite of the intense heat.  The case was opened by the State’s Attorney Hon. B.F. Hartshorn abely assisted by Hon. C.C. McCarthy, of Grand Rapids, while the defense was conducted by G. W. Hall, of Minneapolis.  The evidence adduced against the accused was very pointed and abely presented  but was met in a masterly manner by overwhelming evidence.  The jury was drawn with great care, over 150 men being called before twelve men could be found suitable to act.  The case went to the jury on Tuesday, the 15th day of May at five o’clock p.m. and  the jury remained out all night and until 11:30 a.m. of the following day when they bought in a verdict of not guilty.  

There is a pathetic side to this case that is very touching and sounds like a dime novel yarn.  When Geo. A. Barclay was shot down by some dastardly coward a year ago last fall Bebo was suspected of the crime and close watch was placed on him which resulted later in his arrest and a hearing before Justice Sundberg where he as acquitted for lack of evidence.  Later on more evidence was found that seemed to prove his guilt and he was indicted by the grand jury a year ago.  Since that time he has been in close confinement in the county jail of Hennepin county and during this time two of his children have died and he was kept in total ignorance of the fact until he was brought here and placed on trial for his life.  A brother of Bebo was here to attend the trial and had manfully supported the prisoner broke down and wept like a child when the words “Not Guilty” fell from the lips of the judge.  

He was taken in toe by his attorney, shaved, wined and dined and started south the next morning in company with his wife and brother.  A great mistake has been made and no one realizes this more than do the officers of the law who were led by the combination of circumstances to believe in the guilt of the accused.  In fact we have heard Sheriff Hardy remark that as badly has he deplored the error, such had been the circumstances surrounding the case that if ever he was again placed in the same position he would be compelled to act just as he done on in this case.  The county attorney has been hard-worked during the past three weeks but has met half way every emergency. One, instance of his untiring zeal in behalf of the state was made manifest last Tuesday when he represented the state in the case against Geo. Franklin before Justice of Peace A.A. Oliver.  This case was called in the evening and lasted several hours, being a jury trial, yes we owe Hon. B.F. Hartshorn a vote of thanks.”

You can see Mr. Hartshorn’s tombstone and a brief biography of him at Find A Grave.  He is buried in the Motley Public Cemetery in Todd County, Minnesota.


“Verdict of Not Guilty, Given in the Case of Louise Bebo at Walker,”

St. Paul. May 16, a special from Walker, Minn. says; The Trial of Louise Bebo for the murder of George A. Barclay at Pine River on Oct. 29, 1898, is ended after occupying the time of the court for over eight days.  The jury was out all night and until 11:25 this morning, when they returned a verdict of not guilty, and Bebo was given his liberty.  Bebo was arrested about 18 months ago on the same charge and discharged at the preliminary hearing before Justice E. R, Sundberg in this village for lack of evidence.  The matter was taken up again by the grand jury a year ago and an indictment brought in against him.  Since that time he has been in jail.  During his confinement two of his children have died and his homestead at Pine River has been taken possession of by another party.  Bebo is generally believed to be innocent and will return to Pine River and endeavor to regain possession of his homestead. 

Thursday, May 17, 1900, Minneapolis Journal, pg. 10.  Minnesota:

“Walker – The jury returned a verdict finding Bebo not guilty of murdering G.A. Barclay at Pine River, October 29, 1898.  The case was on trial over eight days.

Friday, May 18, 1900, The Brainerd Dispatch.  This was almost the same article from the Duluth newspaper with a little more detail in this account.

“Bebo Acquitted, The Verdict of Not Guilty is in Accord with Public Sentiment,”

“A dispatch from Walker on Wednesday says that the trial of Louis Bebo for the murder of George A. Barclay at Pine River on Oct. 29, 1898, is ended after occupying the time of the court for over eight days.  The jury was sent out at 6:20 on Tuesday evening and remained out all night and until 11:25 Wednesday morning, when they returned with a verdict of not guilty, and Bebo was given his liberty.  Bebo was arrested about eighteen months ago on the same charge and discharged at the preliminary hearing before Justice E.R. Sundberg for lack of evidence.  The matter was taken up again by the grand jury a year ago and indictment brought in against him.  Since that time until the opening of court three weeks ago he has been confined in the Hennepin county jail.  During his confinement there two of his children have died and his homestead at Pine River has been taken possession of by another party.  Bebo is generally believed to be innocent and is receiving congratulations on his acquittal from nearly every one in the village.  He will return to Pine River and endeavor to regain possession of his home.”

The news was featured in several other papers Cass Co. Independent Cass Lake Times May 17, 1900 and  the Thursday, May 17, 1900, Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, MN) pg. 2 issue.

I wonder what my grandmother Grace thought about all this?  She may have been grieving not only for the loss of her father George A. Barclay but for the loss of her first-born child who did not survive.  This would have been George’s grandchild.  It was born and died on the 29th of August 1899 and is buried in an unmarked grave at the Evergreen Cemetery with its grandfather George and its baby uncle George A. Barclay.  There would be more children to come.

What happened to Bebo, well life didn’t treat him to well according to an article in the Cass County Pioneer, Feb. 28, 1902, he was judged insane by the Probate Court at Walker and taken to the asylum in Fergus Falls and later transferred to Hastings Hospital were he spent the rest of his life till 1945 and was buried in Osseo, Minnesota.

This murder took place 114 years ago.  The choices that were made that night of October 29, 1898 are now well beyond any resolution or placement of blame even though murder cases always remain open.  All the individuals there that night or those that may have been involved with the murder are all gone now, they all passed on so re-interviewing them would be impossible.  The Barclay Hotel where the crime took place went up in smoke in 1915. The buildings there are gone and it is a totally different town today. The case file is not complete in my estimation so any review or attempt to try to solve this crime would be pretty difficult.  Still, many questions, many theories of what happened but…

The trial was over, the verdict was brought in and Pine River moved into the new century and as they say life went on.