Amarilla and J.G. Dawes go their Separate Ways! 1910

About the time of George A. Barclay’s murder in 1898, J.G. Dawes entered into Amarilla’s life. He became her second husband.  He join her in business activities.  He became mayor of the town of Pine River and helped to plat the town.  J.G. Dawes also built her a house in Pine River.  About 1905 he started building a hotel in Longville and expanding his business interests.

Part of the Divorce Decree of Amarilla and J.G. Dawes

Part of the Divorce Decree of Amarilla and J.G. Dawes

After 1905, J.G. Dawes and Amarilla started to go their separate ways.  I do not know exactly when J.G. made the break and left Pine River for good.

In 1909 Amarilla filed for divorce. There were three documents.  The divorce was not friendly and both made unkind statements towards the other. Here is a summary of the contents and I have chosen not to include some of the language. You will note that her name is spelled in the documents with the two “m’s.”

J.G. called her “Rilla.”

The first is a Serving of the Complaint to Jefferson G. Dawes by the Sheriff of Hennepin Co., Minnesota, Otto S. Langum on 10 December 1909.

The next is a two page document called a Complaint between the two parties, stating that Ammarilla is 51 years old and J.G. is 57 years old. That they were married on the 2nd day of September in 1902 in the city of Minneapolis, MN. That the plaintiff, Ammarilla, has been living in the state of Minnesota for more than one year. That the plaintiff was treated in a cruel and inhuman manner….. There are no children issued from this marriage. That the plaintiff has real and personal property valued at $7000. That the plaintiff demands Judgment to dissolve the marriage between the two parties.

On the second page of the document, Ammarilla is sworn to truth and the document is notarized on the 8th day of December 1909. Below is a summons to J.G. Dawes to answer the complaint and if he does not do so in 30 days, judgment will be rendered.

The third and final document is the Divorce Decree itself. Apparently J.G. Dawes did not appear or contest the divorce and it was granted to Ammarilla on 1 February, 1910 in Cass County, Minnesota.

The Court, by virtue of the power and authority therein vested and in pursuance of the Statute in such cases made and provided, does order, adjudge and decree the marriage between the said plaintiff Mrs. Ammarilla Dawes and the Defendant Jefferson G. Dawes be dissolved and the same he hereby dissolved according, and the said parties are and each of them is freed and absolutely released from the Bonds of matrimony and all the obligations.”

I don’t know why this makes me sad. I like J.G. Dawes even though he may have been a big talker and told a good tale. He was still a very interesting person and I wish I knew more about him and where he came from so I could judge his character.  Some articles that appeared in the newspaper about him, that I have posted in past posts on this blog,  suggest he was a little arrogant.

The story of what happened to Jefferson G. Dawes is not yet over and he will appear in future posts.  His time with Amarilla had ended and they both moved on.  Amarilla would be on her own for nine years before she decided to remarry for the third time.

The 1905 Minnesota Census – Amarilla and J.G.

Pine River was changing and growing up, so to speak.  The 1905 Minnesota State Census for Pine River includes both Jefferson G. Dawes and Amarilla on lines 11 and 12.  They are on page 1 of this census for the Village of Pine River.  They are enumerated after the Wideman family and after them come the Tardies, Phillip and Anna.  Mr. Tardy is listed for his occupation Saloon.  Amarilla and J.G. are listed as “retired.”  The Wideman’s are merchants.

1905 Minnesota State Census, Pine River, Twp. of Waldon, ED 9, County of Cass, State of Minnesota, enumerated on June 1 and 2, 1905, by Daniel Kline.



A piece of good news:

The Pine River Journal with a date span of 1935 to 1946 is on display at the Minnesota Digital Library,

Minnesota Reflections

This is much later than my time period at the moment but still good news.  You might want to check out their website.  When I was researching I used the actual newspapers at the Pine River Journal office in Pine River, and the Minnesota Historical Society newspaper collection in St. Paul.  I noticed that some of the Pine River newspapers were not microfilmed and in the MHS collection so I am glad to see this run of the Pine River Journal online.

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….!!!

J.G. Dawes – Longville Days

Around 1904 or 1905 J.G. Dawes decided to expand his business interests and headed to the Longville, Minnesota area.

Hotel Dawes, Longville 1905

The book “The History of Longville, MN 1906-2006″ shares this information about J.G. Dawes and Amarilla’s involvement in the growth of Longville.

“The hustling new town was laid out on the banks of Girl Lake by J.G. Dawes of Pine River in 1904.  In the fall, he had the hotel and store building constructed by George Oleson and A.D. Fuller. He rented the hotel to Tom Nash and Frank Wetherell…In May of 1905, Wideman and Company rented Mayor Dawes new building at Longville and opened a general store.” page 17. 

On Dec. 22, 1905 a copy of the town of Longville’s first council meeting minutes was published in the Pine River Sentinel, Dec. 22, 1905.  “Mr. Dawes, in his remarks, said he could hardly realize that it was scarce three years since he purchased the property on which the village stands and which, at this time, contained only one small log hut.” page 18.

Mr. Dawes stated that he had given and option on his town site at Longville (Dec. 3, 1909). page 20. 

In July 1916, the big general store occupied by Bert Fuller was totally destroyed by fire, together with contents…This big store building was erected by J.G. Dawes in 1905.  The building was a total loss. page 20. 

J.G. Dawes received promises of an appropriation to build a road from Mule Lake to Longville, this making a completion of the mail route between Pine River and Longville. Also an appropriation for the extension of the road from Longville to Thunder Lake, bridging the narrows of Inguadona Lake. He also secured an appropriation to comment work on the road between Pine River and Pillager, with the understanding that whatever amounts were paid out from time to time, it would be divided equally at each end of the road, until it was completed…. From the Pine River Sentinel Feb. 17, 1905), page 24.

Postal service to the community of Longville was instigated in 1904 by James A. Long. Jefferson G. Dawes was confirmed as Longville’s first postmaster on April 11, 1904 [to about October 5, 1905], page 173.

J.D. Dawes hired Albert Daniel Fuller, James Bert Fuller, and George Oleson to build the Hotel Dawes in 1904 on Lots 19, 20 and 21 in Block 5.  It was a two-story building with a large kitchen and dining room and eight sleeping rooms upstairs, page 213.  It looks like about 1908 Dawes must have sold the hotel. 

The land for the Longville School was purchased from Amarilla and J.G. Dawes for $1.00 in September 1905. , pg. 387.”

Apparently J.G. saw opportunity in the Longville area and built his hotel which required postal service but I think by about 1908 he had moved on.  When I did my research I was concentrating on Amarilla and George’s land transactions, it might be interesting to see how many deeds J.G. was involved with.

J.G. Dawes Builds Amarilla a House 1904!

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

Amarillia's House in 1911

Amarillia’s House in 1911


The writing on the backside of the postcard reads:

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

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

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


J.G. Dawes and gossip in 1904!

Things must have started to go a little sour for J.G. about 1904 or perhaps earlier.  Several news clips appeared in the town newspaper, somebody was not happy with him. Unfortunately, both of these tidbits were on the front page.

J.G. Is in the news in Pine River 1904

J.G. Is in the news in Pine River 1904

Pine Tree Blaze, April 22, 1904.

Father Dawes claims to be the “making” of everybody in Pine River who has been successful. While as a matter of fact he couldn’t make a wheel barrow race a success.  Every time he has undertaken anything, whether it is a logging job or the running of a business he has either had dreadful hard sledding or made a complete failure of it.  If anything did not fail that he has been connected with it was because someone has stood over him and kept him in line.  If Dawes was given an estate of thirty or fifty thousand dollars to handle it would only take him a few months to go through it.  If he had his way about it.  Yes Father Dawes you are a wonderful man in your own estimation.  

April of 1904, Pine Tree Blaze, April 29, 1904.

Ex-emperor Dawes is busy nowadays ranting about the town going to the dogs because he isn’t mayor any more, but he never says a thing about the franchise grab he made while he was in office–an absolute 30-year electric light franchise with no limit in which the plant is to be erected nor a single concession to the village, yes even refuses to pay for publishing the franchise.  More yet.

I never did find the next article.