Iowa to Jordan Montana – Reed and Julia Spracklin’s migration

Daniel D. Spracklin passed away on the 9th of March, 1915.  I have written about the end of Daniel’s life in past posts on this blog.  So I won’t review that here.

Sometime around or after Daniel’s death Reed and Julia headed to Montana.  In 1915 Reed was 47 years old.  Julia was about 37 years old.  They were not young and they had several children with them.

It must have been an epic journey. Dayton Twp., Iowa County, is on the eastern side of Iowa.

Map of the States - Iowa to Montana

Map of the States – Iowa to Montana

According to his granddaughter, Reed took the cattle and other items to Montana by train. Now it was probably a mix of driving the cattle and then getting on a train, exactly how he did it would have been a very interesting story.  If you look at the RR map below you see that he probably had to go east and then northwest and through North Dakota if he did the train.  It would stop above Jordan and then he would go south.  This is all speculation of course, the actual story of how they migrated to Montana is shrouded in time.

Deep River, Poweshiek Co., Iowa to Jordan, Montana is 1000+ miles

Deep River, Poweshiek Co., Iowa to Jordan, Montana is 1000+ miles

The Great Northern RR in 1920.

The Great Northern RR in 1920. How did he take all the animals to Montana?

My understanding is that they lived in a tent the first winter in the Jordan, Montana area, brrrrrr…..!  I do have to admit Spracklins are a hardy bunch.

Near Jordan Montana, 2010

Near Jordan Montana, 2010.  It even looks cold in August.

Montana is a beautiful state, I have traveled across it twice. The first time in September of 2003 and then again in late August of 2010.  It takes 5 hours to drive from Seattle to Spokane.  Traveling through Idaho is very quick because I-90 travels through the neck area of that state.  The western part of Montana is very mountainous and there is one very big pass among several that you travel through to get to Missoula, Butte then Billings.  From Billings it takes about 2 hours to get to Miles City.  From Miles City it is another 2 hours to drive to Jordan, Montana which is northwest of Miles City. I could have flown to Billings and then driven to Miles City but by driving the state I was able to get the feel of Montana and, of course, follow the Yellowstone River and explore Lewis & Clark’s route west.

It would take 13 hrs and 46 minutes if you drove straight through from Seattle to Miles City and 962 miles.  On my first trip we went south to Wyoming stopping at the Battle of Little Big Horn park (it is haunted) and down to Sheridan (Spracklins lived here) and up through the Big Horn Mountains and if you are a Longmire TV show fan it is about the area where the story takes place on the western side of the Big Horns as you exit the mountains, beautiful country and area.  Our goal was Yellowstone, my traveling companion was bored crossing Wyoming till we got to Cody where a wonderful museum is located.  I almost lost her there.

This PDF Titled How the West was Settled is very good:

Distinctly Montana has a great article about homesteading in Montana.  The 160 acres was not enough in that state.  Reed had challenges and you will note that one individual quoted mentions stock farm.  Eastern Montana is cattle country.

Seattle to Miles City, MT

Seattle to Miles City, MT

Yellowstone River west of Billings

Yellowstone River west of Billings and along the way are places to stop and explore Lewis & Clark’s route.

Reed’s land in Montana.

BML Summary of Land of R.A. Spracklin

BML Summary of Land of R.A. Spracklin

Reed A. Spracklin Patent 24 September 1919 Garfield Co., Montana Land Office.

Land Office: Miles City, MT. #039055, AS#708105, 320.33 acres.
SW, 2/, 18-N, 35-E, No., Montana PM, MT, Garfield
W1/2SE, 2/, 18-N, 35-E, No, Montana PM, MT, Garfield
SWNE 2/ 18-N, 35-E, No, Montana PM, MT, Garfield
2, 2/, 18-N, 35-E, No, Montana PM, MT, Garfield

Reed's Land Patent

Reed’s Land Patent


Reed's Land in Montana, northwest of Jordan maybe 30 minutes or less to the land from Jordan

Reed’s Land in Montana, northwest of Jordan maybe 30 minutes or less to the land from Jordan:  Twp 18-N, Range 35-E


Reed and Julia Spracklin's Home near Jordan, MT.

Reed and Julia Spracklin’s Home near Jordan, MT.

What is left, back in 2003, of Reed and Julia's home.

What is left, back in 2003, of Reed and Julia’s home, now owned by another family.

Reed's Barn, built of rock and wood

Reed’s Barn, built of rock and wood, a special tour by the granddaughter.


We find them in Montana in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census:

Source: Reed Spracklin Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census School Distr #41, Garfield Co., Montana SD2, ED 122, Sh#5a, enumerated by Joseph Jarrett, Mar 22-24, 1930, #T625-971. Reed was under the name “Bud” when I searched for this census.

FM 145, 145, Spracklin Reed head 1 O.M. M, W, age 51, M, ues. yes, born in Iowa, father born in Ohio, mother born in Indiana, farmer, general farm. Julia A. wife, F, W, age 41, M, yes, yes, born in Nebraska, father born in Indiana and mother born in Iowa.  Amos son, M, W, age 20, S, born Iowa. Harley G., son, M, W, age 13, S, born Iowa. Clifford R. son, M, W, age 8, S. born Iowa. Leroy son, M, W, age 6, S, born Iowa. Forest J. son, M, W, age 29/12, S, born Montana. Clara E. daughter, F, W, 9/12, S, born Montana. 

In 1930 they are still residing in Montana. There is a mystery because the name Everett is written below and I think it is really Clifford Ray who was born in 1911. I cannot find anything about this Everett that makes sense.

Source:  Reed A. Spracklin and Amos Spracklin Families, 1930 U.S. Census for Montana, School Dist. 41, Sheldon, Garfield Co., Montana T626-1256, ED 38, 12/30/02, sht 1A, enumerated on 9 April, 1930 by George H. [         ].

Line 3, 2, 2, Spracklin, Amos E. Head, yes, M, W, 30, M, 24, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Nebraska, farm laborer, farm, no, 2. Spracklin, Iva, M, Wife-H, F, W, 23, M, 17, No, Yes, born North Dakota, father born Iowa, mother born Minnesota. Spracklin, Margaret R, daughter, F, W, 3, S, born Montana. Spracklin, Alice M, daughter, F, W, 1, S, born Montana. 

Line 7, 3, 3, Spracklin, Reed A. Head, yes, M, W, 61, M, 29, no, yes, Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana, farmer, farm, no, 3. 

Spracklin, Julia A. Wife-H, F, W, 51, M, 29, no, yes, Nebraska, father born Indiana, mother born Iowa. 

Spracklin Roy, son, M, W, 16, S, yes, yes, Iowa

Spracklin, Everett R (Ab), son, M, W, 19, S, no, yes, Iowa, born in Iowa. (probably Clifford Ray Spracklin). 

Spracklin Forrest E., son, M, W, 12, S, yes, yes, Montana

Spracklin, Clara L, daughter, F, W, 10, S, yes, yes, Montana

Reed died on 18 July, 1938.  He was buried  in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan.

Reed's Obituary 1938

Reed’s Obituary 1938

Obituary – Spracklin Rites Held in Jordan
Jordan – July 21 – (Special to the Star) – Reed A. Spracklin died Monday evening at the Good Samaritan hospital in Jordan. Mr. Spracklin was born Aug. 24, 1868. His early life was spent in his native state where in 1896 he married Miss Julia Siler. In 1915 with his family he moved to Garfield County settling on a homestead seventeen miles west of Jordan where he continued to make his home until failing health compelled him to move to Jordan. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Spracklin. Six survive all of whom were with him when the end came. Amos E., Harley, Clifford, Forrest and Mrs. Clara Derenberger, all of Jordan and LeRoy with the U.S. Navy. Funeral services were held in the Presbyterian church on Wednesday at 2:30p.m. the Rev. William G. Johnson officiating. Burial took place in the Pioneer Cemetery. Mr. Spracklin died on the evening of July 18, exactly three years from the time his son, Oliver, was killed at Fort Peck. Source:  Miles City Daily Start, Thursday, July 21, 1938, pg. 10.

Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, MT.

Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, MT.

Julia followed in 1942 and she is also buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan.

Julia Spracklin's Death 1942

Julia Spracklin’s Death 1942

Obituary – Mrs. Julia Spracklin of Jordan Community Dies here Thursday – Mrs. Julia Spracklin, widely known matron of the Jordan community passed away in Miles City at a local hospital on Thursday evening following a brief illness. Mrs. Spracklin was born in Nebraska on Sept. 30, 1878, where she grew into young girlhood. She had been a resident of the Garfield Co. region since 1914. Surviving in the immediate family circle are the children, Amos, Harley and Clifford Spracklin of Jordan, LeRoy now in the U.S. Navy, Forest Spracklin of Spokane, Wash., Mrs. Clara Derenberger of Jordan and the following brothers and sisters: Henry Siler and Alfred Siler of Snohomish, WA, Albert Siler of Colfax, Wis., Mrs. Ida Grover of Maumee, Ohio, Mrs. Olive Reid of Moracco, Ind. and Mrs. Eva Amundson of Colfax, Wis. The final rites for the late Mrs. Spracklin will be held in Jordan on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16, where interment in the Pioneer Cemetery will also take place. The remains will be taken on Sunday morning to Jordan by the local Graves Funeral Home. 

Source:  Miles City Daily Star, Friday, August 14, 1942, pg. 8.

Reed and Julia's gravesite in Jordan, Pioneer Cemetery

Reed and Julia’s gravesite in Jordan, Pioneer Cemetery

Reed and Julia’s burial is also listed on Find A Grave.  I am their sponsor.  I see I need to get more children connected to them.

I have a special place in my heart for Reed.  He has helped me in so many ways to learn about my great-grandmother Amarilla’s full and half families, and to learn more about the father and mother Daniel and Sarah Spracklin.

I dedicate these pages to his granddaughter Bertha, who welcomed me into her home and took me under her wing.

Daniel and Sarah Spracklin’s Children: Reed A. Spracklin and Julia Ann Siler!

Reed Spracklin

Reed A. Spracklin

Reed was born on 24 August, 1868 in Benton Co., Iowa.  He was living with his parents, Daniel and Sarah, up until the 1885 Iowa State Census but after that he left home and went to live with his sister Lydia in Calhoun Co., Iowa.

In August of 1894, Reed got into a little bit of trouble. He was accused of rioting?

Three toughs names Ed Stacy, Riley Metcalf and Reed A. Spracklin are under bonds to appear before the Calhoun County grand jury at its next setting, to answer complaints made by Bonheur Bros., for attempted riot. These fellows had laid a plan to throw eggs at the tent of the Bonheur Bros, after their entertainment at Muddy, and purchased three dozen eggs at Rice’s store for the purpose. No reason was manifest for the action of the roughs except the failure of a talking machine to work, and as this was a very unimportant feature of the show, the respectable portion of the audience expressed indignation, just after the races closed in Webster.

Source: News from Over Iowa: Three toughs named Ed. Stacey, Riley Metcalf and Reed A. Spracklin are under bonds, Pocahontas County Sun, Laurens, Iowa, Front page news, 1st column, No. 10. 

Maybe Reed started behaving himself because he got married in 1897 to Julia Ann Siler.

Source:  Marriage of Reed Spracklin to Julia Annie Siler, Iowa Marriage Records 1880-1937.  Reed Anamin Spracklin born about 1867, age 30. Marriage date 29 December 1897, Calhoun, Iowa. Father David D. Spracklin and mother Sarah Blaesher.  LH Siler gave approval 1/277. 

Note:  There are several things to notice in this marriage record, the middle name of Reed. I have no idea what the recorder was thinking. His father is Daniel instead of David and his mother’s last name should be Blacketer not Blaesher?

Julia was born 30 September, 1878 in Nebraska to William Henry Siler and Anna B. Kibbee.

Her father, William Henry, was born 6 July, 1851. He died 2 February, 1939. He is buried in the Cedar Township Cemetery in Calhoun Co., Iowa.

The funeral of Julia's father Wm. H. Siler

The funeral of Julia’s father Wm. H. Siler

SOURCE:  Cemeteries of Calhoun Co., Iowa, Cedar Township Cemetery, page 20, Published by the Iowa Genealogical Society, Des Moines, Iowa.

Row 4, Siler, Anne B. Died Dec 3, 1896 39 yr 8 mo. 29 days

Alta M. Died Aug. 31, 1898 11 mo. 8 da

William 1851 to 1939

W.M. Edward s/o W.H. & A. Died Dec. 24, 1891 l yr 1 mo 14 day

Alta M. No Dates

William Henry Siler married Anna B. Kibbee on 2 May, 1875 in Linn, Washington Co., Kansas.

Source: Kansas Marriages 1840-1835, Marriage of Wm. Henry Siler born 1852 in Linn Co. age 23, to Ann Kibbee born 1857 in Linn Co. age 18. Date of marriage 6 May, 1875, Linn Co., Kansas. 

William’s father was Henry Siler (b. 1824 in Ohio) and his mother was Romanza Garrett (b. 1828, Kentucky).

Source: Henry Siler Family, 1875 Kansas State Census, Potosi Twp., Linn Co., Kansas, PO Pleasanton, by John Edwards. 

Line 35, 1, 6, Henry Siler, 51, M, Farmer, $1000, $554, Born Ohio, came from Indiana. 

Siler, Romanza, 47, F, Farmer, born Kentucky

Siler, Thomas E., 16, M, Farmer, born Indiana

Siler, Ledia E., 12, F, born Indiana

Siler, Eliza A., 2, F, born Indiana

page 17: Siler, Wm. H., 23, M, W, Farmer, born Indiana, from Indiana

Siler, Ann, 18, F, W, born Iowa, from Iowa

Anna B. Kibbee was born 5 March, 1857 in Tama Co. Iowa and died 3 December, 1896 in Webster Co., Iowa. See above Cemetery information.

Her parents were Lucius Kibbe born about 1812 in Indiana and died 7 November, 1880. He married Letitia (Lettie) Boucher about 1846 probably in Delaware Co., Iowa.  Lettie was born 4 March, 1825 and died 11 May, 1860 in Traer, Tama Co., Iowa.

Find A Grave has Lucius Kibbee at the Morsett Cemetery in Royal, Antelope, Nebraska. Another Find A Grave memorial has Lettie buried in the Bakers Grove Cemetery in Traer, Tama Co., Iowa.

Source: 1856 Iowa State Census, Lucius Kibbe Family, Howard, Tama Co., Iowa, page 188/487

71, 1 Lucius Kibbe, 40, M, 1, 20, [Ind], Letta Kibbe, 30 F, 1, 9, Ill, Randolph B, Kibbe, 9, M, 9, Iowa. Alonzo B. Kibbe, 8, M, 8, Iowa, Enos B. Kibbe, 5, M, 5, Iowa, Jane B. Kibbe, 3, F, 3, Iowa, Margrett B, Kibbe, F, Iowa.

Here they are again in the 1860 census.

Source: 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Lucius Kibbe Family, Carroll, Tama Co., Iowa, PO Toledo, page 114, enumerated on 24th day of July 1860 by Chas W. Irish. 

Line 1, 888, 817, L. Kibbe, 45, M, farmer, $3200 $800, Ind.
R.B. Kibbe, 12, M, All born Iowa
A.B. Kibbe, 11, M
E.B. Kibbe, 9, M
J.B. Kibbe, 7, F
M. B. Kibbe, 5, F
A.B. Kibbe, 3, F
L.B. Kibbe 1, M
M.B. Kibbe 4/12 F
A Hawley age 38, F, born NY

The Kibbe children are: Randolph 1847-1922, Alonzo 1848-1935, Enos 1851-1930, Jane 1853-1883, Marietta 1855-1892, Anna B., Lucius 1858-1954, Mariah 1860-1951.  This is a very large family with more details than what I can share here.

Find A Grave has a memorial and tombstone picture for Lucius Kibbe at the Morsett Cemetery in Royal, Antelope Co., Nebraska.  Letitia Boucher Kibbe is buried in the Bakers Grove Cemetery in Traer, Tama Co., Iowa.

Lettie’s parents were John Boucher 1790-1854 and Margaret Shook. Margaret (Rachel) was born about 1791 in Hardy Co., Virginia. She died 4 October, 1866 in Monticello, Jones, Iowa. They had the following children: John Vincent, Letitia, Flora B., Mariah Jane, Margaret Ann, and Thomas.

John and Margaret (Rachel) Boucher are buried in the Bowens Prairie Cemetery in Jones Co., Iowa.  There are memorials at Find A Grave.

Margaret’s father was Solomon Shook born about 1763 in Frederic Co., Maryland and died before 1830 in Monroe Co., Illinois. The Shook family was very large with about ten children. The mother is not known. Their children are: Solomon, Samuel, Mary Polly, Catherine, Michael, Amos, Lucretia, Rhoda, William, Margaret (Rachel).

Find A Grave has a memorial and tombstone to Solomon Shook at the Miles Cemetery in Monroe Co., Illinois.

Solomon’s father was Lawrence Shook born 1733 and died before 11 November, 1822 in St. Clair Co., Illinois.

Julia had several siblings:  Lucius Henry 1876-1954, Ida Jane 1880-1974, Eva Belle 1882-1959, Alfred Sherman 1885-1969, Albert Sherman 1885-1968, Olive May 1888-1973, W.M. Edward  1890-1891 and Alta Mariah 1892-1893. The last two are buried in the Ceder Township Cemetery in Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Olive Siler, Julia's sister

Olive Siler, Julia’s sister

When I visited Montana a second time, I made an effort to get two cousins together who are descendants of this family.  I was successful.  One of the cousins brought a along a genealogy book about the Kibbe Family.

Book:  Kibbe genealogical notes on some descendants of Edward Kibbe and his wife Mary (Partridge) Kibbe, by Hanna, Dorren Potter, 1899, published 1972.

There is also a website at Rootsweb titled: The Davis Family of Stafford, Connecticut where you might find more about Julia’s side of the family.

Julia Annie Siler Spracklin is a member of a very interesting and old family.  I feel I have just touched the tip of the iceberg on her rich family history. There are others who probably know more about her lineage than me. My focus has been on Spracklin/lens, concentrating on Reed’s side of the family, which is no less colorful.

Reed continued to live in Calhoun Co., Iowa and we find him near his brother Virda in 1900.  I have already posted about this connection in my post about Virda and Lilly. I present Reed’s part here in which Reed gets the birth location of his parents mixed up.

Source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Reed A. Spracklin Family and Virda H. Spracklin Family, 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa, SD#10, ED#30, Sht#2, enumerated 6 June, 1900 by Ira E. Babcock.

Line 56, 30, 31 Spracklin, Reed A. Head, Aug. 1868, 31, M, 2, born Iowa, father born Indiana, mother born Ohio, farmer, yes, yes, yes, R, F, 27. Spracklin, Julia A. Wife, F, Sept 1858, 21, m, 2, 2 born, 1 living, born Nebraska, father born Indiana, mother born Kansas, yes, yes, yes. Spracklin Amos, E., son, W, M, Aug, 1899 9/12 S. born Iowa.

Something event must have happened about this time.  The parents, Daniel and Sarah were aging. Daniel was 70 in 1900 and Sarah was 64 years old.  In the 1900 census, brothers Daniel and  Charles were living at home with Daniel and Sarah in Iowa County.

Apparently it was decided that Reed would move in and take over caring for the parents. It would have been very interesting to know the story about how Reed came to be the caretaker of his parents and what the discussion was between him and his siblings.

In 1905 we see that Reed took his family from Calhoun County east to Iowa County to help run the farm until his mother and father passed.  Reed was to become the Administrator of his parent’s estate.  They had an agreement. Reed would get 2/3’s of the farm and estate and the other 1/3 would be divided up with the remaining family.  In 1905 C.E. Spracklin was probably brother Charles Edward.

Source:  1905 Iowa State Census, D.D. Spracklin Family, 1905 Iowa State Census,Dayton Twp., Iowa County, Iowa, Lines 424 to 430, #1026383, Iowa County Genealogical Society, Marengo, Iowa. 

  • R. A. Spracklin, PO Deep River.
    Julia Spracklin, Deep River,
  • Amos Spracklin, Deep River
    Oliver Spracklin, Deep River
    D.D. Spracklin, Deep River
    C. E. Spracklin, Deep River
    Sarah Spracklin, Deep River

The agreement between Reed and Daniel has been featured in a past post written on November 11, 2014, on this blog.  You can find it by using the archive box on the right of this blog.

Amarilla’s Father Daniel and half-brother Reed form a partnership.” 

It was only two years later that Sarah Jane Blacketer Allgood Spracklin, Reed’s mother passed away.  She died 22 April, 1907.  Sarah’s death has also been featured in a past post on this blog.  Sarah had not been feeling well for over a year. The funeral was held in Deep River at the M.E. Church of which she was a member.

Reed is listed as R.A. in this 1910 Census and he is also the head of the family and Daniel is now 80 years old.

Source:  Spracklin Family, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa V#23, F#23 ED 39, Pg. #3, Lines 18-21.

Line 16, 23/23, Spracklin, Reed. A., Head, male, white, 41 years old, married, 12 years married, born in Iowa, father born in Ohio and mother born in Iowa. He speaks English, is a farmer and has a general farm, owns it and is able to read and write, has a farm-house and the farm is #23 on the schedule.

Julia A. Spracklin: Wife, female, white, 31 years old, married, 12 years married, born in Nebraska, father was born in Indiana, mother in Iowa, she speaks English, no occupation, can read and write.

Amos E., son, male, white 10 years old, single, born in Iowa, parents see above, can speak English, no trade, going to school and can read and write.

Oliver M., son, male, white 7 years old, single, born in Iowa, parents see above, speaks English, no trade and he is going to school.

Harley G., son, male, white, 4 years old, single, born in Iowa, parents see above, no trade and is not yet in school.

Spracklin, Daniel D., father, male, white, 80 years old, widow, born in Ohio, father born in England and mother born in Ohio, he has his own income and can read and write.

Iowa has State Census and the 1915 is a series of individual cards, so it is very important to make sure you get the whole family.

Source: 1915 Iowa State Census, Spracklin family, 

Amos Spracklin, card [57], male, white, public school, 15 years in Iowa, age 15, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Dayton, born Iowa, Father born Iowa, mother Nebraska. 

Daniel G. Spracklin, card 52, male, white, widowed, private 1, read, write, years in Iowa 40, age 44, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Township Dayton, farmer, 4 mos without work, $200, 10 yrs common school, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother Indiana. 

Opal Spracklin, card 55, female, white, public, six years in Iowa, age 6 years, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Township Dayton, born Iowa, parents born Iowa. 

R.A. Spracklin, card 56, male, white, married, read, write, in Iowa 46 years, 46 yrs, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Township Dayton, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana.  

Julie Spracklin, card 57, Married, in Iowa 22 years, age 36, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Township Dayton, born Nebraska, Methodist, father born Indiana, mother born Iowa. 

Daniel Spracklin, card 58, male, white, widowed, read, write, in Iowa 46 years, age 84, County Iowa, PO Deep River, Twp. Dayton, retired farmer, 8 common, born Ohio, incumbrance on farm or home $1600, value of farm $14,000. Father born England, mother Ohio. 

Oliver Spracklin, card 60, male, white, public school 8, read, write, in Iowa 11 years, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Township Dayton, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother Nebraska.

Clifford Spracklin, card 62, male, white, read, write, years in Iowa 4, age 4, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Township Dayton, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother Nebraska. 

Harley Spracklin, card 61, male, white, public school, read, write, in Iowa 8 years, 8 years old, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Township Dayton, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother Nebraska. 

Roy Spracklin, card 65, male, white, 1 year in Iowa age 1, County Iowa, P.O. Deep River, Township Dayton, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother Nebraska.

The 1915 census implies that brother Daniel G. was living with them or nearby. Opal is brother Daniel’s daughter. This is good news. Son, Charles Edward Spracklin had gone to Minnesota by 1915 as we will see in a future post. It is good to know that Reed was not alone in caring for the father. Daniel D. Spracklin, just barely made the 1915 Iowa census. He died in March of 1915.  Once Daniel had passed there would be big changes for Reed and his family.

A mystery solved…A Niece visits Pine River for their Tall Tales Play…1985

When I traveled to Minnesota in 2000 and 2001, I was told that a niece of Amarilla’s had visited when the play “Tales from the Tall Pines…!” had been presented. Knowing what I did about my great-grandmother Amarilla, I was puzzled as to who it was.

So I was told about this play that had been presented in February of 1985.  The play was about the lives of my great grandparents Amarilla and George Barclay.

In early 2014, I was contacted and told that the niece who visited Pine River was Beulah Spracklin Harris, a daughter of Virda and Lillie. She was the guest at the presentation of the play.  I was not aware that Beulah and her family lived in Minnesota, until just recently.

There is a video of the play and it used to be housed at the Pine River Public Library. I visited the library when it was very small.  Since then they have built a new library. I did a search for the video but it is not coming up in their catalog.

Here are some newspaper photos shared by a cousin and I am so very grateful to receive these.  Just click on the photo and it will open in a larger window, then click your back button to return.


Tales from the Tall Pines

Tales from the Tall Pines


Beulah Spracklin Harris, niece to Amarilla and daughter of her 1/2 brother Virda and Lillie Spracklin

Beulah Spracklin Harris, niece to Amarilla and daughter of her 1/2 brother Virda and wife Lillie Spracklin


Tales from the Tall Pines begins with a narrator...

Tales from the Tall Pines begins with a narrator…

Various residents of Pine River participated in the play, taking on the roles of George Barclay, Amarilla and other characters. It was written by Kathy Fraser whom I talked to on the phone from the Visitor Center in Pine River one year.  She was going to share with me some information about the play, but so far it appears that she is still looking for it?  It is okay, by the time I came on the scene it has been awhile since this topic had been revisited. I am content to see these photos from the newspaper.

The character of Amarilla is the one in the dark dress and shawl.  George is the tall man with the stove top hat, which I find rather amusing.  My great grandfather was short, and small in stature. He did have a beard or rather goatee.

Scenes from the play

Tales from the Tall Pines


Apparently a linch party was organized

Apparently a lynch party was organized…

Who knew for sure who was Barclay’s killer…neither of the culprits served time for the murder…so who knows for sure?” – the Narrator…

Once again thanks to my cousin for sharing these wonderful photos of this event and solving my little mystery.

Daniel Spracklin’s Children: Lydia Spracklin Ross and Family of Iowa…

Lydia Marie Spracklin was born 12 July, 1864 in Benton Co., Iowa to Daniel and Sarah Spracklin. She died 27 May 1931 in Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Lydia Spracklin Ross

Lydia Spracklin Ross

Lydia married Thomas Jefferson Ross on 9th September, 1881 in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa. Daniel had to give his permission.

Source: Marriage Record “D,” Iowa County, Iowa, Page 542 “D,” Iowa County Marriage Record.

Lydia and Thomas Ross' Marriage.

Lydia and Thomas Ross’ Marriage.

Marriage Affidavit for Thomas J. Ross and Lydia M. Spracklin: 

I, Daniel Spracklin of Deep River do solemnly swear that I am acquainted with L. Thomas J. Ross and Lydia M. Spracklin in who are the parties for the Marriage of whom a License is applied for; that said Thomas J.Ross is of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, of sound contracting mind, and unmarried; that said Lydia M. Spracklin is of 17 years and upwards, of sound contracting mind, and unmarried; and that there is no legal impediment to said parties entering the marriage state, to the best of my knowledge, information and belief and I hereby give my consent to the marriage of my daughter Lydia M. to the above named Thomas J. Ross. Signed by D.D. Spracklin

Subscribed in my presence by D. Spracklin and by him sworn to before me this 9th day of September 1881, D.E. Evans Clerk Circuit Court.

This is follows by the marriage record:

Certificate of Marriage, Iowa County, Eleventh day of September, 1881, at Bride’s home. Signed by Thomas and Lydia and E. Rouze, Pastor. 

Thomas Jefferson Ross was born 17 January, 1849 in Ohio and died 27 May, 1931 the same day as Lydia.  They were both killed when a train ran into them. See article below for details about their deaths.

Thomas was the son of Joseph Ross born 1814 in Pennsylvania.  Joseph died 19 March, 1900. Thomas’ mother was Mary Jane Barr born 1836 in Ohio. She died 3 September 1898.  I do not know how Mary Jane Barr fits into the Barr family or is related to Amarilla Keller Barr’s family?

Joseph’s father was Robert Ross born 28 July, 1781 in Pennsylvania and died 22 February, 1843 in Tuscarawas Co., Ohio. The mother was Martha who was born 13 December, 1785 in Tuscarawas Co., Ohio  and died 2 March 1843. I am not sure of the Tuscarawas County for her birth, the county was not established till 1808.

Thomas Jefferson Ross had many siblings:

Robert born 1847 in Ohio.

Melinda born 1852 in Iowa. She married a Mr. Constant and had about two children

William born 1859 in Iowa.

George born 1859 in Iowa.  Maybe William and George were twins?

Amanda Elvira Jane born 1862 in Sigourney, Keokuk, Iowa.  Amanda married a Joseph Blackwell on 24 July, 1880 in Sigourney, Keokuk Co., Iowa.  They had the following children: Bertha Bell 1879 to 1952 m. George Walter Worth and had three children, Lillie May Josephine b. 1881, George D. born 1886 and Charlotte Melinda 1888-1978.

Charles A. Ross b. 1871 in Iowa.

A Story about Lydia and Thomas Ross, unknown author

Thomas was born January 17, 1849 in either Illinois or Ohio. He hired on with Daniel Dare Spracklin in 1873. According to Lydia’s granddaughter, Doris Moeller, Thomas married Lydia Marie Spracklin at her father’s residence on September 11, 1881, by Pastor E. Rouze. Sometime after their marriage the couple moved to Ft. Dodge, acquired some land along the Des Moines River. Then they moved back east for a time, possibly to either Ohio or Illinois. However, not wanting to lose the Iowa property, they returned to Iowa. They sold this original property on November 25, 1887, they purchased part of the property they lived on until their untimely deaths in 1930. For their first home, Thomas built what was probably a sod home, unfortunately their first winter proved to be a severe one. It is told that Thomas apparently hadn’t sealed or insulated the walls enough near the top on the north side of the house, so it didn’t keep the cold out. To keep their infant from freezing to death, Lydia had to keep the child bundled on her bed. She had also tried placing pieces of packing boxes in the cracks to help keep out the cold. However, come next Spring, Lydia insisted that the walls be what she called “Back Plastered” so that she and her family never had to be that cold again. Over the years, the couple added to their property and during their married life together they had nine children, two daughters died in infancy and were buried in the Cedar Cemetery, Calhoun Co., Iowa.

1885 Iowa State Census Lydia and Thomas are living in Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Source:  T.J. Ross Family, 1885 Iowa State Census, Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Thos J. Ross, age 36, farmer, born in Ohio, Lydia M. Ross, age 20, keeping house, born in Iowa, Bertha L. Ross, born in Keokuk Co., Iowa, All living in Twp 88, Range 31, Section 36.

1895 Iowa State Census Lydia and Thomas are still living in Calhoun County and Lydia’s brother Reed is living with them.

Source:  T.J. Ross Family, 1895 Iowa State Census, Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., IA Roll #14, Dwelling #113, House 108, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Thomas J. Ross, age 41, born in Ohio, farmer, Carmolite Religion, Lydia M., age 30 born in Benton Co., IA, Keeping House, Lillie, age 12 born in Keokuk Co., IA, Ray, age 7 born in Calhoun Co., IA, May, age 4, born in Calhoun Co., IA, Ivan, age 3, born in Iowa Co., IA, Reed A. Spracklin age 26, born in Benton Co., IA

1900 Lydia and Thomas Ross where continue living in Calhoun County, Iowa in Greenfield Twp.  This township is on the east side in the slightly darker area of the atlas, one row down.  This first atlas page of the county of Calhoun has towns and cities which may help to identify where people were living.

Calhoun Co., Iowa

Calhoun Co., Iowa

Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.

NOTE: Thomas’s land was in the lower right, southeast corner of Greenfield Twp.

Source:  1900 U.S. Federal Census, Calhoun Co, Greenfield Twp., SD#10, ED #25, Sht #4. 

Line 1, 43, 44, Ross, Thomas J., Head, W, M, June 1849, 31, M, 19 yrs, born Ohio, father born PA, mother born Ohio, farmer, O, yes, yes, no, O, M, F, 15. 

Ross, Lydia M, Wife, W, F, July 1864, 35, M, 19 yrs,  7 born, 5 living. born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana, yes, yes, yes. 

Ross, Bertie L., daughter, W, F, Oct. 1882, 17, all Children are single, born Iowa,

Ross, Ray, B., son, W, M, April 1887, 13, born Iowa

Ross, May E., daughter, W, F, June 1890, 9, born Iowa

Ross, Irvin T., Son, W, M, June 1892, 7, born Iowa

Ross, Grace I., daughter, W, F, August 1896, 3, born Iowa

1910 the family was still in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Calhoun Co., Greenfield Twp., Iowa, SD#10, ED#30, Sht 8, enumerated 4th May 1910, by ______. 

Line 13, 128, 129, Ross, Thomas, Head, M, W, 61, M1, 29, born Ohio, father PA, mother Ohio, farmer, general farm. 

Ross, Lydia M, Wife, F, W, 45, M1, 29, nine born, 7 living, born Iowa, father Ohio, mother Indiana

Line 15, 129, 130, Ross, Ray B., Head, M, W, 23, S, born Iowa, farm, general farm

Line 16, 129, 129, Ross, Iven T, son, M, W, 18, S, born Iowa

Ross, Grace I, daughter, F, W, 13, S, born Iowa

Ross, Elsie P, daughter, F, W, 7, S, born Iowa

Ross, Earl, E. D., son, M, W, 4, S, born Iowa

Things were changing and by 1920 and the family was getting smaller as the children grew up.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Calhoun Co., Greenfield Twp., Iowa, SD#10, ED#36, Sheet 6B, enumerated Feb. 7 and 9th, 1920, by Carl E. Djoif. 

Line 43, Fm, 133, 120, Ross, Thomas J., Head, O, M, M, W, 70, M, born Ohio, father PA, mother Ohio. 

Ross, Liddie M, wife, F, W, 55, M, born Iowa, father Ohio, mother Indiana

Ross, Iven T, son, M, W, 26, S, born Iowa

Ross, Earl E., son, M, W, 13, S, born Iowa

1925 Iowa State Census included the nativity of the person.

Source:  T.J. Ross Family, 1925 Iowa State Census, Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa Roll 53AA, lines 6-9, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

T.J. Ross, Head, 76 years old, value of home $2,850.00, mortgage $1200, insured on home $2500. Lydia Ross, wife, 60 yrs. Ivan Ross, son, 31 yrs., single. Earl Ross, son, 19 yrs., single. All were born in Iowa. T. J.’s father was Joseph Ross born in PA, his mother was Millie Barr, born in Ohio. Lydia’s father was Dan Sprecklin born in Ohio, mother was Sarah Blacketer born in Indiana. Religion: None for all of them.

In 1930 Iven is nearby his parents who are aging.

Source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Calhoun Co., Iowa, Greenfield Twp., ED#13-16, SD#5, Sht #1A, enumerated on April 2, 1930, by Myra P. Black. 

Line 1, 1, 1, Ross, Iven, Head, R, R, Yes, M, W, 37, M, 36, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Iowa, farmer, general farm

Ross, Alice, Wife-h, X, F, W, 37, M, 36, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Indiana. 

Line 3, 2, 2, Ross, Thomas J, Head, O, yes, M, W, 81, M, 33, No, Yes, Ohio, father born PA, mother Ohio.

Ross, Lydia M, Wife-H, X, F, W, 65, M, 17, No. Yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana.

Thomas and Lydia had nine children of which two died young.  I have received the information about the family from various sources and each cousin has their own version of the members of Lydia and Thomas’ family.  All of the information and research below, needs to be verified with more census, marriage, death and other records.

Iowa County Map

Iowa County Map

1.  Bertha Lillie Ross was born 1 October, 1882 in Keokuk Co., Iowa and she died 21 November, 1964 at Fort Dodge, Iowa. She married on 10 November, 1904 to William A. Davis (Divis). She died September of 1964.  William was born 28 January, 1880 in Fort Dodge and died there on 21 July, 1945.

They appear in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census in Fort Dodge, Webster, Iowa under the name William A. Davis. Webster County is northwest of Des Moines.

Source: William A. Davis Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Iowa, Webster Co., Fort Dodge City, Precinct 1, SD#10, ED#238, Sht. #10, enumerated on the 24th of January 1920 by Mrs. Lora V. Buckles. 

Line 39, Avenue G, 239,  204, 219, Davis, William A., Head, O, M, M, W, 38, M, yes, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born PA. Laborer, Oatmeal Mill, w. Davis, Lillie, wife, F, W, 37, M, yes, yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Iowa. Davis, Herlin, son, M, W, 13, S, yes, yes, yes, born Iowa. Davis, Paulia, daughter, F, W, 12, S, yes, yes, yes. Davis, Kyle, son, M,W, 8, S, yes, born Iowa. Davis, Icel, son, M,W, 9/12 S, born Iowa. 

They are living in Wahkonsa Twp., Webster Co., Iowa in January 1925.

Source: Wm. Davis Family, 1925 Iowa State Census, Line 30, 239, Davis, Wm. A. Head, M, W, 45, M, O, M, 2700, 1200, 1600, 45, 45. Davis, Lilian, Wife, F, W, 42, M. Davis, Herlin A, Son, M, W, 19, S. Davis, Paulia L., Daughter, F, W, 17, S. Davis, Kyle A, Son, MW, 13, S. Davis, Icel, R, Son, M, W, 5, S. 

They are in Elkhorn Twp. in Webster Co., Iowa in 1930.

Source:  William Davis Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Elkhorn Twp., Webster Co., Iowa, ED#94-12, SD#2, Sht #3A, enumerated April 14, 1930, by Mrs. Amelia G. Churchill. 

Line 15, 45, 45, Davis, William A. Head, R, yes, M, W, 48, M, 23, No, Yes, born Iowa, parents born Ohio, yes, Laborer, brickyard, W, yes, No. Davis, Lillian, Wife-H, O, F, W, 46, M, 22, No, yes, born Iowa, Father born Ohio, Mother born Iowa, yes, Manager, gen farm, _yes, VVVV, 45. Davis, Paulia, Daughter, F, W, 22, S, No, yes, born Iowa. Davis, Icel, Son, M, W, 10, S, Yes, Yes, born Iowa.

They had the following children based on cousin research and the census, although the spelling of each name is not clear.

1. Harlan/Herlan A. Davis was born 28 February, 1906 at Fort Dodge, Webster, Iowa.

2. Paula L. Davis was born 12 October, 1907 in Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa.

3. Kyle L. Davis was born 15 September, 1911.

4. Gale R. Davis was born 15 April, 1915. Note: I am not sure about this child.

5.  Icel Ross Davis born 15 April, 1919, died 31 August, 2000.

2.  Sarah Ross was born 27 July 1885 and died the same day in Calhoun Co., Iowa. Birth and cemetery records verify her life.  She is buried in the Cedar Township Cemetery in Calhoun Co., Iowa.

3.  Ray Virda Ross born 23 April 1888, in Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa and died 23 December 1957.  He married Barbara and they had Ralph Ross and Hazel Ross.

I found Ray and Barbara in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census living in Richland, Dickinson Co., Iowa.

Source:  Ray Ross Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Richland Twp., Dickinson, Iowa,  ED#30-16, SD#1, Sht#2A, enumerated 5 April, 1930 by Elmina J. Liddle. 

Line 31, 30, 31 Ross, Ray, Head, O, R, Yes, M,W, 41, M, 28, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother Iowa, farmer, gen. farming, VVVV, yes, no, 28. Ross, Barbara, wife, F, W, 31, M, 17, No, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Iowa. Ross, Hazel G. Daughter, F, W, 11, S, yes, yes, born Iowa. Ross, Ralph, Son, M,W, 10, S, Yes, yes, born Iowa. Johnson, Russel, nephew, M,W, 24, S, No, yes, born North Dakota, parents born Iowa. Laborer, farm, V1VV, W, Yes, No. 

4.  Mae Ermmavilla Ross was born 6 June, 1890 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa. She died 3 September, 1971 in Gilmore City, Humboldt Co., Iowa.

Mae married Robert Judson McVay on 10 December, 1913 in Fort Dodge, Webster Co., Iowa.

Source:  Certification By Marriage Record, McVay-Ross (Abstract) December 10, 1913, Record No. 14, pg. 433, Fort Dodge, Webster Co., IA 

Robert Judson McVay
age 24 at next birthday
Residing in Farnhamville, IA
Born in Farnhamville, IA

Mae E. Ross, 24 at next birthday
Residing in Somers, IA, born in Somers, IA

Date of Marriage: Dec 10, 1913, at Fort Dodge, IA
Marriage record in the office of the Webster County Clerk in Fort Dodge, IA
Marriage record No. 14 on pg. 433, Date Verified Sept. 5, 1973
Signed by Margaret Saiferlick?, Clerk

Robert McVay was born 23 February, 1890 in Farnhamville, Calhoun Co., Iowa and died 12 November, 1937 in Los Angeles, California. He is supposedly buried in the Reading Township Cemetery in Calhoun Co., Iowa. Robert is the son of George Washington McVay and Mary Louise Smith.

Robert and Mae appear in the 1920 U.S. Census in Union, Calhoun Co. Iowa.

Source: Robert McVey family, Lohrville Town, Union Twp., Calhoun, Iowa, SD#10, ED#46, Sht, 5B, enumerated on 28 January, 1920 by C. V. Hulse. 

Line 88, Elm Street, 129, 130, McVay, Robert J. Head, R, M, W, 29, M, yes, yes, all born in Iowa, parents born Iowa, Garage, town SM. McVay, May E. wife, F, W., 29, M, yes, yes, father born Illinois, mother Iowa. McVay, Max Ray, son, M, W. 1 7/12, S, born Iowa. Hall, Robert, roomer, M, W., 26, S, born Iowa, helper, elevator, W. 

On May 19, 1922 they divorced.

Mae McVay vs. R.J. McVay, Jacob Mccaulley Attorney

R.J. McVay, White 32 yrs old, American
Mae McVay, white, age 31, American
Date of Marriage Dec. 10, 1913
Cause of Divorce: Cruel and inhuman treatment
Date of Divorce – May 19, 1922, Iowa.
Divorce granted to Mae McVay

Filed May 19, 1922
A.J. Hunter, Clerk

They had the following children:

  1. Robert McVay born about 1913.
  2. Max Rae McVay was born 14 June, 1918 in Lohrville, Calhoun Co., Iowa, and baptized 12 August, 1932 in Gilmore City, Humbolt Co., Iowa. He died 11 January, 1996 in Los Angeles, California. He married June Anglia Hacket on 7 August, 1943 in Fairborn, Green Co., Ohio.  She was born 1 June, 1922 in Cedarville and died 12 September, 1971 in San Bernadino, California.  They had several children.
    • Max was a member of Mayflower till his death in 1996. A copy of his application is in the possession of the writer. Some of the information for the McVay family came from the application. Max also corresponded with Bertha Roufley in the 1980’s about the family history, that is how I recognized who he was. Mayflower General Number #050245, State No. 4559. Max went into Mayflower on the Goss lineage. I obtained a copy of his application when I visited the Mayflower Society in Plymouth, MA back in 2003.
  3. Iona Pearl McVay born 20 March, 1920 in Lohrville. She married a Ernest J. Lindquist on 1 September, 1950 in Gilmore City, Iowa.

Mae remarried to a Ralph McLean Roberts on 25 January, 1924 in Gilmore City, Humboldt Co., Iowa. Ralph was born 13 November, 1894 in Gilmore City.  Ralph was married before and had two children:  Melvin Ralph Roberts (1916-1934) and Clarence Thornton Roberts (1918-1943 buried at sea).  Ralph McLean Roberts is the son of William Harris Roberts and Eva Jane Spalding.

Source:  Authenticated Record of Marriage, Roberts-McVay, January 25, 1924, Gilmore City, Humboldt Co., Iowa I Betty L. Vonderaar Smith am not the clerk of the District Court in Iowa she signs the form at the bottom. Full Groom Ralph W. Roberts, Gilmore City, Iowa, Farmer, 30 years, born Gilmore City, Father W. H. Roberts mother Eva J. Spalding, second marriage. Bride: May E. McVay, main name May E. Ross, resides Gilmore City, Iowa, 34 years, born Somers, father T.J. Ross, mother Lydia Spracklin, second marriage. Married Jan. 25, 1924 in Gilmore City, Iowa, Witness Mrs. A.J. Esperson, Lyman Beers, Certified by A. J. Esperson, Pastor, First Baptist Church, 11, day of October, 1982. 

Ralph and Mae appear in the 1940 U.S. Census:

Source:  1940 U.S. Census, Weaver Twp., Humboldt, Iowa, SD#8, ED#46-27, Sht #21, enumerated on April 9, 1940 by Mae J. McLaughlin. 

Line 19, 23, R, Roberts, Ralph M, Head, O, M, W, 46, M, No, H1, 9, Iowa 65, Same house, yes, yes, 1, 70, Farm Operator, farming, OA, 3, 52, No, 20. Roberts, Mae E, wife, 1, F, W, 49, M, No, H1, 9, Iowa, 65, no, no, no, no, H, 5, O, O, No. McVay, Iona, daughter, 2, F, W, 20, S, No, 1, 40, Iowa 65, yes, 1, 40, Stenographer, Life Ins. Co, PW, 24, 250, No. Hatting, John, laborer, X, M, W, 21, S, No, H2 10, Iowa, 65, R, Palo, Alto, Iowa, yes, 1, 70, laborer, farm, Pw, 52, 20, no. 

5. Iven Thomas Ross was born 21 January, 1892 in Calhoun Co., Iowa and he died 20 February, 1981 in Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa. Iven married Alice Mae Allbec on 7 September, 1929 in Iowa Falls, Hardin Co., Iowa. They had two daughters Doris and Carol. Alice was born 24 January, 1892 in Muscatine, Iowa and died 15 November, 1962 in Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Iven and Alice are in Calhoun Co., in the 1930 Census:

Source: Iven Ross Family, 1930 U.S. Census, Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa, ED#13-16, SD#5, Sht#1A, enumerated on April 2, 1930 by Myra P. Black. 

Line 1, 1, 1, Ross, Iven, Head, R, R, yes, M, W, 37, M, 36, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born in Ohio, mother in Iowa. Farmer, general farm, VVVV, yes, No. 1. Ross, Alice, Wife-H, X, F, W, 37, M, 36, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother Indiana. 

Alice and Iven are still in Calhoun Co., Iowa in 1940.  It appears that he may have taken over his parent’s farm.

Source:  Iven Ross Family, Greenfield, Calhoun Co., Iowa, SD#8, ED#13-16, Sht# 6B, enumerated April 1940, by Vigor Larson.

Line 77, 123, O, 1200, yes, Ross, Iven, T, head, M, W, 48, M, No. H1, born Iowa, Same h, Calhoun, Iowa, yes, 60, operator, Farm, OA, 52, 0, T, 113. Ross, Alice M, wife, F, W, 48, M, No, C3, born Iowa, no, no, no, no, H, O, O, No. Ross, Doris M, daughter, F, W, 7, S, yes, 2, born Iowa. Ross, Carrol J., daughter, F, W, 6, S, yes, 1, 1, Iowa

6. Deanie Ellen Ross was born 27 July, 1895 and died 7 March, 1897 in Calhoun Co., Iowa. She is buried in the Cedar Township Cemetery in Calhoun County per birth and burial records.

7. Grace Irene Ross was born 24 August 1896 in Cedar Twp.. She married a Walter R. Parker on 19 December, 1914 in Estherville, Emmett, Iowa (Iowa Select Marriages Index). Walter’s parents  were William Parker and Frances F. Smith.  She may have married a second time.

A Walter and Grace Parker are living in Lake City, Lake, Calhoun Co., Iowa in the 1920 Census,

Source:  Walter Parker Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Lake, Calhoun Co., Iowa, SD#10, ED#37, Ward 3, Sht#8B, enumerated 7 January 1920 by Mattie Sibley.

Line 85, 221, 226, Parker, Walter, Head, R, M, W, 36, M, yes, yes, born Illinois, father born Indiana, mother born Illinois, propt, restaurant, OA. Parker, Grace, wife, F, W, 23, M, yes, yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Iowa. 

8. Elsie Pearl Ross was born 10 July, 1902 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa. She married a man named Booth and had several children. She is said to have married another time to an Earl Powell who died about 1982.

Elsie Pearl Ross, daughter of Lydia and Thomas Ross.

Elsie Pearl Ross, daughter of Lydia and Thomas Ross.

There is an Elcie Booth age 17 born in Iowa living with the family of William Booth in Lake, Calhoun Co., Iowa. She is listed as a daughter-in-law and above her is an Ezra Booth age 23, both are married.  The mother of Ezra is Sarah.  I think this might be Elsie but more research needs to be done to verify it.

Elsie is living in Twin Lakes, Calhoun Co., Iowa and is a housekeeper for a private family.  She is divorced.

Source:  Elsie Booth, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Twin Lakes, Calhoun Co., Iowa, ED#13-28, SD#5, Sht #6A, enumerated April 14, 1930 by Mary Laird. 

Line 30, 1, 1, Powell, Earl, head, R, R, yes, M, W, 29, S, No, yes, born Iowa, father born Canada, mother born US. yes, Farmer, general farm, VVVV, O, yes, No, 81. Booth, Elsie, housekeeper, F, W, 27, Div., No, No, born Iowa, housekeeper, private family, 6V96, W, yes. Booth, Pearl, M, daughter, F, W, 9, S, Yes, Iowa. Booth, Darlene, daughter, F, W, 7, yes, Iowa. 

9. Earl Edward D. M. Ross was born 27 January 1906 in Cedar Twp., and died 11 January 1996 in Lake City, Calhoun Co., Iowa. He married to Pearl Mary Swettenham in 1932. She was born 4 July, 1889 in St. Louis, Missouri and she died 18 May, 1974 in Santa Anna, Orange Co., California.  She was the daughter of William T. Swettenham and Francie Clayson. He may have married a second time to a Louella M. Mills who died 26 April, 1981 in Santa Anna, California.

Earl appears with a Pearl in the 1940 Census in California.

Source:  Earl Ross Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Twp. 3, Kern Co., California, SD#10, ED#15-47, Sht#14B, enumerated April 16, 1940, by Andrew Boue. 

Line 77, 2715, 314, 0, 2500, No, Ross, Earl, Head, M, W, 39, M, No, O, born Iowa, Riverside, Calif., yes, Salesman, Retail Appliances, Pw, 298, 68, 1, 52, 1500, No. Ross, Pearl, wife, F, W, 51, M, No, 5, 5, born Mo., No, No, No., H, 0, 0, No. 

Unfortunately, Lydia and Thomas Ross were killed by a train on the 27th of May, 1930:


Somers Couple Killed by Train

T. J. Ross and Wife Victims of Accident – Great Western Passenger Train Hits Car on Somers Crossing – Special to the Messenger:

Somers – May 28 – Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Ross, pioneer residents living on a farm near Somers, were killed late Tuesday afternoon when a Chicago Great Western passenger train struck their automobile at the intersection of Main street and the Great Western Tracks here. Mrs. Ross, 65, was killed instantly. Mr. Ross, 51, died half an hour later in a doctor’s office where he was rushed for first aid. They were returning to their farm home northeast of Somers following an afternoon of shopping here. The couple was struck by the Omaha bound passenger train, No. 13 a short distance east of the depot at 4:45 p.m. Ross drove his light sedan onto the tracks from the north.

Car carried 30 feet – The train’s momentum carried the car thirty feet before the locomotive could be brought to a halt. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were catapulted from the car and into the ditch on the side of the tracks. Both received skull fractures and numerous cuts and bruises. The two were rushed to Dr. W. C. Kennedy’s office here. Kennedy said that Mrs. Ross had probably been killed instantly. Mr. Ross died a little later and the bodies were taken to an undertaking parlor at Calendar and from there to the farm home this morning. Witnesses of the crash report that Ross seemed confused by the proximity of the approaching train and halted the car at the center of the tracks. The engineer whistled repeatedly as soon as he sighted the car but was unable to stop the locomotive in time to avoid the collision. A coal shed on the northeast corner of the intersection may have obstructed Ross’s view of the stretch, it is believed.

7 Children Survive – Mr. and Mrs. Ross had lived in this community for forty-eight years. They are survived by seven of nine children, Ivan, living on the farm home; Roy, Estherville; Earl, Peoria, Ill.; Mrs. W. A. Davis, Fort Dodge; Mrs. Ralph Roberts, Gilmore City; Mrs. Walter Parker of Peoria, Ill, and Mrs. Elsie Booth of Rockwell City. Funeral services will be held at 1 o’clock tomorrow afternoon from the home and at 2:00 o’clock at the Methodist church of Somers, with the Rev. Wallace officiating. Burial will be at Cedar Cemetery.”

 Source:  Wednesday Evening, May 28, 1930, Ft. Dodge, Messinger & Chronicle, film dated May 1, 1930 to June 30, 1930, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Source:  Death Certificate for Lydia Ross, Calhoun Co., Greenfield Twp., Iowa, Mrs. Lydia M. Ross, Female, White, married, Husband Thomas Jefferson Ross, age 65 yrs, 10 mos. 15 days, housewife.  Father Daniel Spracklin, mother Sarah Blacketer, Ivan Ross is the informant. Burial in Cedar Twp. Cemetery. Died May 27, 1931, comma, hit by train no. 15 on the Great northern, accidental, head injury. 

There are memorials at Find A Grave for Thomas and Lydia Ross but no tombstone photos.

Update 10/16/2015:  Here is a photograph of the Ross tombstone, done my a cousin and kindly shared with me.  I was digging around in my records and realized I had this so I add it to this post.  See photo below for a son of Reed and Julia.

Lydia and Thomas Ross

Lydia and Thomas Ross, photos courtesy of P. Stoudt. 

The Calhoun Co., Iowa Cemeteries, book has a listing on pg. 3 not just for Lydia and Thomas but also for several of her brothers Virda and Reed’s children: Cedar Twp. Cemetery, published by the Iowa Genealogical Society, Des Moines, Iowa. This cemetery is located a 1/2 mile east of the town of Rinard.

Row 3, pg. 3 – Ross, Sarah dau of Thomas J. & Lyda M. B&D July 27, 1855
Deanie E. dau of T.J. & L.M., Died Mar 7, 1897 l yr, 11 mo, 19 da.

Row 13, Spracklin, Joelle E. Died Mar. 7, 1890 2 yr 9 mo 11 days a daughter of Virda Spracklin. 

Spracklin, Daniel G. 1870-1927.  This is Daniel Goss Spracklin, Lydia, Reed and Virda’s brother. 

Row 71 cont. page 19
Ross, Ivan T. 1892-1981
Alice M. 1892 – 1962
Ross, Lydia M. 1864 to 1930
Thomas J. 1849 – 1930

Spracklin, Son of R.A. & J.A. Died April 10, 1899 6 mo. 16 day
Willie son of R. & J. 1901-1902.

Son of Reed and Julia Spracklin

Son of Reed and Julia Spracklin

Again there is much more research to do on this family of Lydia and Thomas Ross.  I would not mind studying their land purchases and probate file.  Obituaries, cemetery research, deeds, probates, vital records and much more need to be collected to get a clearer picture of this large family. I did a great deal of the research on this family back in 2003 when I visited Iowa going to the State Archives and Iowa Genealogical Society.  So it has been awhile since I have visited the research on this family. I did not visit the western part of Iowa confining my trip to Iowa City, Marengo, and Des Moines.  I was in search of Daniel D. Spracklin’s life at that time and trying to connect him to his ancestors.

Daniel D. Spracklin’s Estate: The Partition Deeds

There were two very important events that took place regarding Daniel’s estate. The most important document in the probate/estate packet was the Heirs-at-law form that showed the heirs of Daniel.  I have shared that with you in a previous post.

The second was a series of deeds selling the land of Daniel D. Spracklin. These deeds were found in the court clerk books and included most of Daniel’s heirs, including Amarilla. You will note that C.E. Spracklin’s deed includes his wife Arminda and also Amarilla Dawes because they were from Minnesota.

Partial of the deed for C.E., Arminda and Amarilla

Partial of the deed for C.E., Arminda and Amarilla

Here is a list of Grantors: Quit Claim Deeds for Sec 19, Twp. 78, Rng 12 – NE 1/4 Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa:

1. Spracklin, V.H. & wife (Mae) Co. of Sanborn, So. Dakota – 1/23/1917 – $149.50
2. Spracklin, E.S. & wife (Mrs. E.G. Spracklin) Co. of Shelby, IA – 9/23/1916 – $150.50
3. Spracklin, P.S. – Single…his wife, Co. of Iowa, IA. – 1/13/1917 – $150.50
4. Spracklin, C.E. etal (wife is Arminda V. Spracklin & Ammarilla Dawes, single) – 12/22/1916 $152.50
5. Spracklin O.R., single Co. of Sanborn, So. Dakota – 1/18/1917 – $153.50

Grantee: Thomas Stapleton
Date of filing: Jan. 25, 1917 for all of the above quit claim deeds
Time: 4:40 and 4:45 pm.
Date of Instrument: Next to name above

On the following page, after the above deeds, was a Referee Deed that I would not have known about if I had not looked through the court clerk books in person in the Courthouse.  Apparently Reed and Lydia went to court.  I have yet to do further research on this deed which might mean searching court records for more information.

Pg. 89 H.W. Hatter, Referee to Thomas Stapleton – Referee Deed, Jan. 29, 1917. $155.70. Regarding the sale of the land that D.D. Owned and the Plaintiffs are R.A. Spracklin and Lydia M. Ross. Apparently it was sold at $14,444.00 and approved Mar. 1916 by the court to be sold to Thomas Stapleton.

When I post about each of these heirs of Daniel’s in future posts, I will share these deeds in more detail.

Daniel Spracklin’s Estate: Inventory, Petition to Sell Personal Property

When visiting in Iowa in 2003, I stayed at the Loy’s Bed and Breakfast near Marengo.  It was really a farm-house with a basement that they rented out to travelers.  They were very nice people and the proprietor was involved with the farming cooperative in the area and he consented to study Daniel’s estate and give me his opinion of what he found.  I am a city girl and have no knowledge of farming.

Mr. Loy stated that Daniel was what was called a “general farmer” from the description of the items he had in his possession.  It pretty much means that Daniel did just about everything on his farm from raising crops to keeping bees and cattle.

Here is the inventory of Daniel D. Spracklin’s personal property:

11 head cows $47.50 each

4 heifers coming 2 yrs old$35.00 each

6 calves $7.00 each

1 Bull $80.00 each

11 hogs $11.50 each

44 Spring pigs $1.00

400 Bush Corn 60 cents each

300 hens 50 cents each

Total $449.48

On the left side is the notation of 1/3 of…

Other property of D.D. Spracklin:

Personal Property of D.D. Spracklin

Personal Property of D.D. Spracklin


Here is the petition to sell the personal property:

Petition to Sell

Petition to Sell