In 1998, The Crow Wing County Genealogical Society Newsletter in Brainerd, Minnesota published an article about George Angus Barclay. This article appeared in their Heir Mail newsletter. The editor kindly sent me a copy and I thought it was well done considering he was not her ancestor.
- CIVIL WAR VETERAN MEETS UNTIMELY END
- George A. Barclay
- 1844 to 1898
- Wagner, Company, I, 9th MN Infantry
- Enlisted 15 Aug. 1862,
- Discharged 24 Aug, 1865
- Resident about 25 years.
George Barclay operated a hotel and store in Pine River for a number of years. He was also engaged in lumber operations in the areas.
The following quotation is taken from Down the Mississippi written by Captain Glazier in 1881. Capt. Glazier describes his trip to Pine River and his pleasant surprise in finding George Barclay’s place. “Sometimes in the road and sometimes out of it; now driving along the shore of a lake and again over huge logs and boulders, it was voted that our ride to Pine River was unlike anything we had ever else where experienced. The ranch of George Barclay, the only white habitation between Gull and Leech Lakes, was reached at five o’clock in the evening. Here we were most agreeably surprised to find very good accommodations for both man and beast. Barclay is a decided favorite with the Indians, and his prosperity in this isolated corner of Minnesota is largely due to his friendly relations with them. He is always supplied with guns, knives, beads, tobacco and such other goods as are in demand by his dusky neighbors, for which he received in exchange furs, game, snake-root, and such other products of the forest as find a ready market at Brainerd or St. Paul.”
Later Brainerd historian, Sarah Thorp Herald added, “In 1894 Barclay’s establishment had lost all resemblance to a trading-post and had become a lumberman’s hotel of some pretensions. It was a two-storied structure with the inevitable “false front” of frontier towns, and stood in a grove of jack pines near the newly-laid Brainerd and Northern Railroad tracks.
Newspaper accounts of 3 Nov. 1898 describe Mr. Barclay’s death: “Mr. Barclay was shot about seven-thirty on Sat. evening. When the fatal shot was fired, he was sitting in a chair, smoking a cigar, and talking to four or five men, about five feet away from a window in the barroom of the hotel. The assassin fired through the glass, the ball passing through Mr. Barclay’s neck from side to side, probably cutting the carotid artery of the jugular vein.”
After authorities were notified the remains were brought to Brainerd for burial. The Pap Thomas Post of the BAR handled the arrangements. The funeral services were conducted from the Episcopal Church with Rev. C.F. Kite officiating. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetery (Current records do not list his burial.) (Note: There is not death certificate for George only the Coroners records.) He was survived by his wife and a married daughter, Mrs. R.A. McDonald. (Note: Should be R.S.)
From what I’ve been able to determine from my research, no one was ever convicted of shooting George Barclay. Those on the scene saw no one, the killer apparently was able to escape into the darkness of the nearby forest and escape being brought to justice. Her Mail, Fall. 1998. (Note: There are several posts on this blog describing the murder, coroner’s report, grand jury and trial regarding the murder of George A. Barclay.)
I have visited the Crow Wing Genealogical Society in Brainerd located in the Family History Center near the Church. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mncrowwi/gs/ Researching George Barclay and Amarilla required extending my search beyond Cass County. I thank them for this nicely done article on my great-grandfather.
I wrote a post on this blog about George’s service as a Wagoner in the Civil War. It is really difficult to find information about men who served in the support part of the Civil War. The focus is the battles and the officers. It has turned out to be one of the most popular posts on this blog. A quick Google search reveals a little more information about this valuable service to the war effort now appearing online.