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.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37482142

“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.

Final Decree Aug. 15, 1899 – George’s Legacy

Amarilla was appointed the Administrator of her husband George A. Barclay’s estate back in December 1898.  George did not have a will and Amarilla and Grace were his only heirs.  The estate is on file at the Minnesota Historical Society under Cass County Government. As you can see, Amarilla’s name was spelled as “Ammarilla and even spelled “Ammerilla.”

1.  #1065 – Order to Examine Accounts at Walker on August 15, 1899 at 10 a.m. in the Probate office, Cass County, Minnesota.

2. #1065 – Final Decree August 15, 1899 document.

The final decree included Amarilla Barclay and Grace McDonald to receive the land and general merchandise of great grandfather’s estate.

That the said deceased died intestate, and the residue of said estate consists of the following described Real and Personal estate, to-wit:

A ______of general merchandise at Pine River, Mnn. fixtures, furniture and household goods. Notices?, mortgages, open accounts and cash on deposit at First National Bank of Brainerd $655.15 and other miscellaneous articles and personal property.

The NE4 & NW 4; NW 4 NE 4; SE 4 NW 4 and SE 4 SE 4 all in Sec 6, T 137 R 29; the ____SE, Sec 28, T 138 R. 29; Lot 6 Sec 8 F 137, R 29; Lot 7 & SE 4 SW 4 Sec 31, T 138 R 29; NW4 & NW 4 Sec 12 T. 137 R. 30, All in Cass County; and SW 4 NW4, NW, SW__Sec 10, T. 137 R 29 in County of Crow Wing in said state…

that the following named persons are entitled to said estate by law Ammarilla Barclay and Grace A. McDonald. …That said Ammarilla Barclay 1/3 there of an to said Grace A. McDonald 2/3 thereof; and all and irregular of the Real estate and the same in hereby assigned and vested in the said Ammerilla Barclay and Grace McDonald…

the following to-wit: N2 NW 1/4 Sec 6 – 137 -29, the Homestead, to said Ammarilla Barclay during the time of her natural life remainder to Grace McDonald in fee simple, all other land to Ammarilla Barclay an undivided 1/3 interest in fee simple and to Grace A. McDonald an undivided 2/3 interest in fee simple. …McGary Judge of Probate

Seven days later on 22 August, 1899 a deed was registered with the Cass County Register of Deeds, Cass County Courthouse, where  Grace sold back to Amarilla some land  for $1.00.

This indenture made this 22 August 1899 between Grace A. McDonald and Ronald S. McDonald her husband, parties of the first part to Ammarilla Barclay of the county and State of Minnesota, for one dollar to them in hand…page 98, Deed K. 1899. 

The north half of the northwest quarter (N1/2 of NW 4) and the southeast quarter of the Northwest quarter (NE4 and NW4) of Section Six (6) township 137, range twenty nine (29), also lot seven (7) and the southeast quarter of the southwest quaret (SE 4 of SW $) of Section thirty one (31) township one hundred and thirty-eight (138) Range twenty nine (29) togher with all the personal property of whatever nature the land may be now situated and being of said piece or parcels of land for any of said pieces or parcels. Signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald in the presence of A. Picket and Sarah A. Blinn.

County of Cass, 22nd day of August 1897 before me Notary Public – Grace A. McDonald formerly Grace A. Barclay and R.S. McDonald, husb. – free act and deed. J.G. Dawis, Notary Public. Signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald.  Witnesses by a A. Picket and Sarah A. Blinn. 

Very interesting that a J.G. Dawis signs as a notary public, could this be J.G. Dawes?

Another deed appears on the 26th of November, 1899 were Grace and Ronald McDonald sell more land back to Amarilla, Page. 414, Deed P for $2000 dollars.

Grace to Amarilla November 1899 Land

Portion of deed – Grace to Amarilla November 1899 Land

The North half of the North West quarter (N1/2 NW1/4) and the South East quarter of the North West quarter (SE1/4 NW1/4) of section Six (6) Township one hundred and thirty (137) Range Twenty nine (29).  Also Lot seven (7) and the South East quarter of the  South West quarter (SE1/4 SW1/4), of Section Thirty one (31) Township one hundred and thirty eight (1380 Range Twenty nine (29.). This was signed by Grace A. McDonald and R.S. McDonald and witnesses also by A. Pickett and Sarah A. Blinn. 

Grace and Amarilla were now in control of George’s estate and with the Final Decree it was now all in their hands to manage as they pleased.  In about a year to two Grace and Ronald would leave Pine River for Grand Rapids, Minnesota and by 1905 they would be in International Falls, Minnesota. Amarilla could have gone with them but she chose to stay in Pine River and she would continue to do so till her death in 1942. Grace and Amarilla kept in touch over the years for Amarilla was to become a grandmother 6 times over.

A Change takes place – Amarilla is now in control!

Cass County Courthouse

Cass County Courthouse

The loss of her husband must have been a shock to Amarilla.  Their relationship may not have been one that great love stories are made of but they seemed to have had a bond.  They had been married 20 years. During that time they had struggled to build a settlement together.  They had a son and lost him in a terrible accident.  They raised Grace together, who was probably the best part of them.  Would Amarilla have stayed with George to the end if he had not been killed?  Hard to say.  It is suggested that neither were faithful to each other?  Only they really knew what was going on. I think both were independent and determined people and pretty much did what they wanted.  So their relationship was probably very interesting.

In any event, Amarilla was now in control.  She had probably learned a great deal from her husband in how to handle business matters.  Before his death she had been a grantor on several deeds.  She would come to deal with taxes, mortgages, deeds and more over the span of her life.  As the administrator of her husband’s estate she would see to the best interests of herself and her daughter.  She would stay in Pine River and become a very important part of the history of that city.

In 1899 she had to deal with tax issues:

Cass County Courthouse, Pg. 37 Judgement book 1898 to 1902, Mrs. A. Barclay, SE1/4 SE ¼, Sec 6, Twp 137, Range 29, Acres 40, Year 1899, $2.76, $.41, $.27, $3.44, Stamped Bid in for State

In April of 1899, Amarilla and a Curtis Bridgeham entered into a chattel mortgage, Book Misc. E, pg. 373 and 374-5, Cass County Register of Deeds, Walker, MN.  He was indebted to her for $395.00 due in one year with interest of 10%.  There was mention of the Northern Pacific Railway made and some land was involved.

Portion of Chattel Mortgage 1899

Portion of Chattel Mortgage 1899

 “…a conveyance proper deed of the following described lands, situate in the County of Cass, State of Minnesota, to wit: – The northwest quarter of the Southwest quarter (NW1/4 SW 1/4) ____ seven (7) of Section No. Seven (7), township one hundred and thirty-seven (137) range twenty-eight (28); said contract being dated June 30th, 1897 and numbered R.15054. 

A Chattel Mortgage definition is taken from the Free Dictionary:

A transfer of some legal or equitable right in Personal Property as security for the payment of money or performance of some other act. Chattel mortgages have generally been superseded by other types of Secured Transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a body of law adopted by the states that governs commercial transactions.

The rights of the lender who gives a chattel mortgage are valid only against others who know or should know of the lender’s security interest in the property. Since the borrower possesses the property, others cannot realize that a chattel mortgage exists without notice. Each state, therefore, has developed a system for recording instruments showing the existence of chattel mortgages for particular items of property; these records are usually located in the county clerk’s office.

If a recording system is in existence a buyer is presumed to know about a mortgage. Once, therefore, the mortgage is properly recorded, the buyer obtains the debt in addition to the property.

This not all that Amarilla’s name would be on regarding deeds and court documents.  This is only the beginning.

Enter J.G. Dawes!

Jefferson G. Dawes

Jefferson G. Dawes

J.G. Dawes first appeared in Pine River around the end of 1898 or early 1899. He was a flour salesman and had come to Pine River to make a deal with George Barclay.

Jefferson G. Dawes would make a big impact on Pine River.  At the request of Grace, George’s daughter, he was going to be involved in the Grand Jury proceedings for George’s death.  He would be the major of Pine River and he would marry Amarilla.

J.G. was born on 7 March 1847 in New York. Tracking him from that date to 1898 reveals nothing in the Minnesota census nor the U.S. Federal. Single men are hard to trace.  His parents were James Daws and Mary Ann [Sooderhaus].  I will share more about J.G. in a future post.

Looking at his photograph, I think that J.G. must have been the kind of person that you would notice.

Probate of George Barclay’s Estate Begins – End of 1898

The coroner’s inquest and the testimonies of the witness imply that George disinherited Grace, his daughter, but that was not true. He threatened to but never really did.  George was not happy about her marriage.  They did have words but according to Grace they reconciled before his death. It turns out he didn’t have a will.  His estate was “intestate.”

Amarilla was appointed the Administrator of George’s estate. She had not wasted anytime in getting the probate process started.

The beginning stages of the probate process for the estate of George A. Barclay takes place at the end  of 1898 in Cass County, Walker, Minnesota.  

1. Application of petition of the Estate of George A. Barclay by Amarilla on November 1, 1898 . The personal property of said deceased does not exceed $5,000.  She is appointed Special Administrator with a bond of $8,000.

2. Order for Hearing and Notice of Application for Appointment of Administrator – November 7, 1898:  Appearance before the court on 8 Dec 1898 at 10 o’clock at Walker. In addition an order to publish once a week for three weeks in the Walker Pilot is included as required by law.

3. #1065 Order Appointing Administrator – December 8, 1898 – Amarilla is appointed on the petition of E.R. Sundberg. The bond was $15,000.

Amarilla is appointed the Administrator of George's Estate

Amarilla is appointed the Administrator of George’s Estate