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.

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.

1905MinnJ&ADawes

 

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 http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/

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

Image610

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.