Daniel Spracklin’s Children: Virda Huston Spracklin – 1866 to 1927

Virda Huston Spracklin

Virda Huston Spracklin

Virda Huston Spracklin was born 11 June, 1866 in Benton Co., Iowa to Daniel and Sarah Spracklin.

Virda has been featured in the census, on this blog, and with his parents Daniel and Sarah starting with the 1870 U.S. Federal where he is referred to as Birdie H. 4 yrs old, male, born in Iowa. The family is in Leroy Twp., Benton Co., Iowa at this time. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census he is appears as: Spracklin, Virdia, white, male, age 13, son, at school, born in Iowa. Daniel has migrated to Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa by this time.

Virda is not in the 1885 Iowa Census with his parents nor is he with them in 1895. So this means he left home between 1880 and 1885.  I cannot find him in the 1885 Iowa Census so he may have been on the move at this time.

Verd Spracklin appears in the Index for the 1895 Iowa State Census as 28 years old and born in Benton Co., Iowa, page 182, residence is Cedar, Calhoun Co. Lillie is listed in the index for this census as 27 yrs old born in Dubuque, Iowa. Dair Spracklin is also listed age 4, and Sola Spracklin age 2. I am assuming that Sola is really Lola.

Note:  FamilySearch has the actual card records of the South Dakota state census online.  You have to sign in to see them which means you need a free online account with the Family History Library. They also have films to study. Easy to do. Ancestry has only an index for the South Dakota census.

South Dakota County Map

South Dakota County Map

Virda H. Spracklin appears in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census in, Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.  His brother Reed is above him on the page.

Source: 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.

Line 63, 32, 33, Spracklin, Virda H., Head, W, M, June 1866 age 33, M, 10, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother Indiana, Farmer, yes, yes, yes, O, M, F, 31. Spracklin, Lilly A., wife, W, F, Mar. 1867, 33, M, 10, 4 born, 4 living, born Iowa, father born Indiana, mother Ohio. Spracklin Dair D., son, W, M, Sept 1890, 9, S, born Iowa, at school, yes, yes, yes. Spracklin, Lola I, daughter, W, F, Dec 1893, 6, S, born Iowa, yes, yes, no, O, M, F, 30. Spracklin, Mabel S, daughter, W, F, Sep 1896 3, S, born Iowa. Spracklin, Solomon, son, W, M, Jan 1898 1, S, born Iowa. 

Virda and family are in the 1905 Iowa State Census in South Dakota.  This is only an index and not the original pages of the census. So sometime around 1903 Virda migrated to South Dakota taking the family there.

VH Spracklin, Male, White, Married, age 39, born 1866, Iowa, years in State 2, 1903, South Dakota, parents born in Ohio. Lilly May, born 1867 in Iowa, parents born in Ohio. Daniel D, Lola, Mable G, Solomon, Bearl and Alford are in South Dakota too. 

Virda and Lille appear in the 1910 U.S. Census in South Dakota:

Source: Virda H. Spracklin Family, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Franklin, Jerauld, South Dakota, Roll #T624_1482, Page 19A, ED 249, Image 632.

Virda H. Spracklin, age 44, born about 1866 in Iowa, father born in Ohio, mother in Indiana, married, white. Lilly M. Spracklin, age 43, Daniel D. Spracklin age 19, Lilly J. Spracklin age 17, Mabel S. Spracklin age 14, Solomon Spracklin age 12, Beryl J. Spracklin age 9, Alford Spracklin age 7, Beulah Spracklin age 4, Gerald H. Spracklin 1 4/12.

In 1915 they are still in South Dakota per the census. This is an index not the actual pages:

VH Spracklin, age 49, born 1866 male, white, born Iowa, married, marriage year 1890, in state 1904, Free Methodist, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana. Sht #47. Lillie M. age 49, born 1866, in Iowa, married etc.

In 1920 they are still in Franklin, Jerauld, South Dakota, they have Opal with them, brother Daniel’s daughter. This is the last census for Lilly,

Source:  V.H. Spracklin [Spradlin], 1920 U.S. Federal, Franklin, Jerauld, South Dakota, Roll T625-1721, Page 7A, ED 115, Image 681.

V.H. Spracklin, age 53 years, born about 1867 in Iowa, Spouses Name May, Father born US, Mother US married, white male, own home, able to read and write Image 681. May Spracklin age 52, Alfred Spracklin age 19, Baulah Spracklin age 13, Gerald Spracklin age 11, Opal Spracklin age 11.

Virda or Verda Spracklin appears in the 1925 Iowa State Census.  Again this is an index only listing.

Verda Spracklin, age 59, male, white, born 1866, in Iowa, Scotch, widowed, not naturalized, Free Methodist, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana.

Virda married Lillie Mae Amsden on 12 November, 1889 in Rockwell City, Calhoun Co., Iowa. Lillie was the daughter of Joel Amsden and Isabella Kirkpatrick.  She was born 3 March, 1867, Dubuque Co., Iowa.  The marriage record was obtained and shared by P. Stoudt.

Source: Marriage Record No. 2: Virda H. Spracklin to Lillie May Amsden, 12 November 1889, Rockwell City, Calhoun Co., Iowa pg. 344, No. 352

On 12 November 1889 testimony of F.M. Leachiss, License for the marriage of Virda H. Spracklin and Lillie May Amsden, Rockwell City, 12 November 1889, F.C. Gregg, Clerk, joined in marriage.  Groom: Virda H. Spracklin, resided Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa, Farmer, age 24, color white, born Benton Co., Iowa, Father Daniel Spracklin, mother Sarah Blacketer, first marriage. Bride Lillie May Amsden, residing Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa, age 23, white, born Dubuque, Iowa farther Joel Amsden, mother Isabel Kirkpatrick, first marriage, married at Rockwell City on 12 November 1889. Signed by them.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census a Joel Amsden age 52 is living in Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa with an Isbabel.  There is a May Amsden age 13 listed living with them.  It lists Joel 52, Isabel 45, Eva 26, Charles L. 23, Laura 20, Fannie 16, May 13, Frank 10, Wlater 6 and Howard 4.

There is no writing on this photo to indicate who the children are, I would guess that the little girl on the left standing is Lola, the boy standing in the back is Daniel, the little girl on the right in the white dress is Mabel and the child in the chair is Saul.  These children are so precious.

Virda and Lillie's Children

Virda and Lillie’s Children

Find A Grave has a picture of Virda and Lilly’s tombstone in the Eventide Cemetery in Woonsocket, South Dakota.

Lilly May died 29 July 1924 in Davison Co., South Dakota. Virda died 15 November, 1927 in Woonsocket, Sanborn Co., South Dakota. The photo below is from a cousin.

Virda H. Spracklin and Lily Mae's Tombstone in Eventide Cemetery

Virda H. Spracklin and Lily May’s Tombstone in Eventide Cemetery, courtesy of P. Stoudt.

Virda was listed on the heirs-at-law form in the Estate for his father Daniel D. Spracklin in 1915. There are several posts about Daniel’s Estate that you can review on this blog. Virda and Lillie signed a deed selling his father’s land.

Source:  Deed Record, Lands, Iowa County Grantors, Book 73, pg. 87, V.H. & Mae, E.G. & wife, P.G. & wife, C.E. et al, O.R. Spracklin to Thomas Stapleton.

KNOW BY ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: That we, V.H. Spracklin and Mae Spracklin, his wife of the County of Sanborn, State of South Dakota, for and in consideration of the sum of One Dollar, do hereby sell, convey and forever Quit Claim unto Thomas Stapleton of Iowa County, State of Iowa, to-wit; – the north-east quarter of Section Nineteen (19) in Township Seventy-eight (78) North of Range Twelve West of the Fifth Principal Meridian. And I Mae Spracklin, wife of the said V.H. Spracklin, for the above consideration do hereby relinquish all right of dower in and to the above described premises. Signed this 23 day of January A.D. 1917 – Signed V.H. Spracklin and Mae Spracklin

State of South Dakota, County of Sanborn, ss. Be it remembered that on this 23 day of January A.D. 1917, before the undersigned Notary Public within and for said County personally came V.H. Spracklin and Mae Spracklin, to me personally known to be the identical persons named in and who subscribed the above instrument as grantors and acknowledged the execution thereof to be their voluntary act and deed.

Witness my hand and Notarial Seal the day and year last above written. (seal). My commission expires Dec. 17th 1917, N. Noble Notary Public in and for Sanborn County, South Dakota.

I have done a search of the Bureau of Land Management to see if Virda came up, but he did not. A Clem Spracklin appears in their listings for 10/4/1935 in the Black Hills to be used for stock grazing.  I think he is the son of John W. Spracklin out of Wyoming and the grandson of Peter Spracklin brother to Daniel D. Spracklin father of Virda.  I think it would be interesting to do a deed search on Virda to see when he bought his land and then an estate search to see what happened to it.

It is looking like a search of Jerauld and Sanborn counties would be in order for deeds and other documentation. I am finding it difficult to do research on South Dakota online or at the Family History Library which emphasizes the Native American.  There is so much more on Virda that I would like to do.

In the next post, I will share what I know about the children of Lillie and Virda. I am a bit puzzled as to the spelling of her name, I have seen Lillie or Lily and Mae or May.  It is sort of like trying to figure out how Amarilla spelled her name.

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.

Traveling to Iowa in 2003 in Search of Spracklins…

Over Iowa 2003

Over Iowa 2003

Back in 2003, my research on my family was pretty new, I had been to Washington D.C and Minnesota but I was still searching for family.  I decided to travel to Iowa because I had been in contact with a Spracklin cousin who emailed me.  Jerry is a descendant of Henry Spracklin, Amarilla’s older brother from the first marriage of their father Daniel. He lives in Iowa.

Over the years, I have learned that my genealogical research trips are just as important as putting together the research and scrolling through sources.  I learned this from Paul H. Goss who did research on the Goss family.  He didn’t journal his research visits to cousins to learn about the Goss family history back in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.  If you read his manuscripts you will see that he hints at these visits but he doesn’t elaborate on them.  Paul’s visits to cousins or Goss descendants was very important and needed to be reported and sourced.  I have a lot of respect for my cousin Paul Goss.  It would have been nice to know where he obtained some of his information.

In reviewing my journal from my trip to Iowa, it brought back the whole trip and reminded me of my time in Iowa.

Here is a summary of that trip that opened the door on my research of the Daniel D. Spracklin families which included Amarilla my great-grandmother and her origins.

My trip to Iowa started on Friday, April 25, 2003 and ended on Wednesday, May 7, 2003.  I flew into the Cedar Rapids Airport (Eastern Iowa Airport). I flew first to Chicago and then walked that airport from one end to the other to get to my connection to Iowa. Always check out an airport’s website they have great information to help plan your trip.

This airport was a small airport so it was not hard to find the car rental desk and my car for the trip. Once I had settled into the new car, I made my way south to the Amana Colonies Holiday Inn east of Williamsburg.  It doesn’t seem to be there anymore and is probably under another name.

My goal was to visit courthouses, societies, libraries and cemeteries in and near Marengo and Blairstown, Iowa in search of the Daniel D. Spracklin families and Amarilla’s origins.

When I prepare for a trip like this, I make an itinerary that is extremely detailed for each day of the trip.  I know exactly what I plan to do that day after studying the websites of different repositories I want to visit. I add the addresses of repositories, their phone numbers, times they are opened and write all that information on the itinerary so I don’t have to search for it if I get lost or there is a problem that occurs, or I have to reschedule. My itinerary is there to guide me and can change.  The journal is what really happened on the trip.

Later I started using Microsoft’s Streets and Trips (now discontinued as of 2014 and support ending 2015) to prepare a road trip itinerary. I like this software because it will break the route down by each day. The map is not always detailed enough so I do use GPS either in the rental car or on my cellphone.  Cellphone GPS when traveling Internationally would be too costly. So I still need maps to help guide me. Before the trip I go to Google Earth or Google Maps to see the road using the satellite version.  Areas of the route I am unclear about I drill down so I know what might happened.  Still there are always surprises. I then make copies of my S&T maps and make sure I have a good state and or county map.

Armed with my itinerary, research goals, research papers, maps, and routing information, I head out on my adventure.

Marengo Public Library

Marengo Public Library

Once settled into the my hotel after the airplane flight, I prepare for my day. My first stop was Marengo, Iowa. I spent time in the Marengo Public Library using its newspapers and going into the basement where the Iowa County Genealogical Society was housed at that time. They were very helpful.  ICGS has moved to North English. Don’t confuse them with the Iowa Genealogical Society which is the state society located in Des Moines. The ICGS volunteer was very kind and kept the society open longer than was posted. She helped me locate cemeteries to view, found books, microfilm and more.  I was very impressed with this society.

The most significant items found where the Atlases for Iowa and Benton County showing Daniel’s land. Most of what we did was eliminate history books and other sources.  Daniel was proving to be difficult to find.

Marengo Courthouse town in distance...

Marengo Courthouse town in distance…

My biggest outing was to the courthouse for Iowa County in Marengo and it was there I obtained copies of the Probate/Estate packet for Daniel D. Spracklin. The county website has a much better picture of the courthouse. County websites are tough to get around in, so just be persist till you find what you are looking for, call and ask.


I waited patiently while the clerk copied the file and had my money ready to pay for the copies. She was not necessarily happy with me. I agreed not to make her copy all of the creditor receipts and instead I look at them and made my choices.  It was well worth the wait to obtain this file and see Amarilla listed as an heir-at-law of Daniel D. Spracklin along with her brothers and sisters.  Oh yes, the floors did creak…

Loy's B&B in the distance

Loy’s B&B in the distance

After a couple of days, I moved from the hotel to Loy’s Bed & Breakfast which was closer to Marengo.  It was really a farm-house where they were renting out the lower floor to visitors like myself.  I wanted to see what it would be like to stay on a farm in Iowa.  The proprietors were very nice. The man who was the owner of the farm, worked for the farm cooperative and was kind to study the estate papers of Daniel’s especially the inventory.  He said that Daniel was a general farmer and had many items that indicated this.  I was grateful, I am city girl.  He was very knowledgeable and told me how the farming was done today.

While staying at the farm B&B there was a storm and the sky got really black and I mean black and hung low to the ground. There were reports of tornadoes to the south. It slowed me down a little and made me a little nervous.  I am a city girl you know.

While in Marengo, I found a lovely cafe to the left of the park where the locals gathered.  The seats were a little worn but the food was good comfort good. It looks like its probably gone now. Sigh!

Oh, I did experience a traffic jam in Marengo.  The train that goes through the town to the south blocked my progress for about 20 minutes, giggle.

Marengo's Park in the town Center

Marengo’s Park in the town Center

I also drove from Marengo up to Blairstown to get a feel for the land and see the area. It is a little more rugged along that road and flattens out when you get to Blairstown. The public library at the time was going through construction so they had a prefab building housing the collection.

The Benton County Genealogical Society holdings were not there at my visit, they were at another location for safety. Now that the new library has been built they are housed there.  It is really a nice library from the pictures and they have a genealogy room.


Blairstown, Iowa Sign

Blairstown, Iowa Sign

The road to Blairstown

The road to Blairstown

I did not go to Vinton to see the Benton County Historical Society holdings which would be of interest for Spracklin research.


I did make it to Belle Plaine but my search for Peter Spracklin’s grave, a brother of Daniel, failed because there was some confusion about where he was buried.

Blairstown's Water Tower

Blairstown’s Water Tower

I had to reschedule to the next day to go and study that collection which was in a bank in Blairstown.  The librarian was very helpful and kind.  I did do a search of the newspapers in the time frame of 1858-1859.  There were obituaries but I did not find anything about Elizabeth Keller Spracklin’s death or any Spracklins.  I found others with familiar names from the Titler cemetery.  Apparently you had to have money to appear in the newspapers which were mostly about farming and politics at the time.

Titler Cemetery

Titler Cemetery

I visited the Titler Cemetery which is northwest of Marengo on the road to Blairstown.  It is where Elizabeth Keller Spracklin, Olive and Mary are buried.  It was not in good shape and I could not find the graves on that visit.  (See below for the results of another visit.)

Once I was done with my visiting in the Marengo area, I did a little backtracking and headed east to Iowa City. My next goal was the State Archives of Iowa Branch which is located in Iowa City on the campus of the University. I stayed at the Haverkamp Bed and Breakfast up the street from the Archives. It was very convenient to the Archives and I could walk to it.  It looks like they are closed now.  It was a great area of the city where there were a lot of old houses.  My room was up on the 3rd floor and very nice and cozy.

State Archives for Iowa in Iowa City

State Archives for Iowa in Iowa City

I spent a wonderful several days at the Archives getting all kids of information about the Spracklins of Iowa. I searched cemetery records, vital records, and more at this location.

Once all my research at this location was done, I took the car back to the airport and shuttled back to Iowa City to await the arrival of my cousin Jerry who was coming to pick me up.  I would be staying with him and his family in Des Moines. My goal was to visit the Iowa Genealogical Society, and the main branch of the State Archives of Iowa and Historical Society in Des Moines.

Jerry came to Iowa City and we drove back to the Titler Cemetery north of Marengo. He found the stones for the Spracklins piled under a tree.

Piled under a tree

Piled under a tree, sigh…

The cemetery as in bad shape and I didn’t want to leave Elizabeth and the babies there. The stones were not on the graves put piled under trees.  See my BJM Cemeteries blog for a more thorough description of the Titler Cemetery and all my photos of tombstones (not necessarily complete.) Here is the starting post there are many more about this cemetery, so scroll to the cemeteries on the right side and find Titler.


Elizabeth, Mary and Oliver’s post:


Millersburg's sign

Millersburg’s sign

We also stopped at the Community Cemetery was near Millersburg. I usually like to visit a cemetery several times before I leave. We found the graves of Daniel, Sarah and Alfred Spracklin.

Community Cemetery near Millersburg

Community Cemetery near Millersburg


We stopped at more cemeteries for his mother’s side of the family and then headed west to Des Moines. I spent a lovely fives days with Jerry’s family. He was extremely generous and shared his research of Henry Spracklin’s family with me. Henry is Amarilla’s older brother.

We visited the state genealogical society, Iowa Genealogical Society in Des Moines and just as they were closing I found some information about Peter and Solomon Goss Spracklin. There are two publications of the Titler Cemetery and you need both to get a total picture.  I got copies of these publications.

Iowa's state archives and historical society

Iowa’s state archives and historical society

We later went to the main State Archives in Des Moines and that is where I found the obituaries of Daniel and Sara Spracklin and did deed research on Daniel, his brothers Peter and Solomon Goss Spracklin.  I really should have been there for two days not just one.

I am referring to the State Historical Archives housed as part of the State Historical Society of Iowa.  http://www.iowahistory.org/archives/

On May 7th a Wednesday, Jerry took me to the airport in Des Moines and said goodbye to me and it was sort of sad but we have kept in touch over the years and I have shared my findings with him.  I helped him find Elizabeth Downey Spracklin, Henry’s wife.  We now what happened to her after his tragic death.  I have written about his death on this blog.

As you can see my trip to Iowa focused on Iowa City, Marengo, Blairstown and Des Moines.  There was not enough time to visit other areas of Iowa. So maybe another trip is in order.  We will see.

I am very glad I did visit Iowa in 2003 because I learned that the reason I could not find the Spracklins was because they all left Iowa County by the time Daniel died in 1915 and had scattered to other parts of Iowa and other states mainly going north to Minnesota and west to the Dakotas. So by 2003 you had to dig for information. Once I knew where they all went, that opened the door to more research.

Dedication:  I dedicate this post to the memory of Netha Meyer’s whom I met on my trip there, she was very helpful and enthusiastic and even offered to look up more obituaries and go to the courthouse with me. See her memorial on the Iowa County IA Genweb page.

Amarilla’s Father Daniel and half-brother Reed Form a Partnership!

Amarilla, as I have written, came from a rather large family.  Her father Daniel married twice, first to Elizabeth Keller who was Amarilla’s mother.  The first marriage produced four children:  Henry, Oliver, Mary and Amarilla.  Henry was killed in an accident in Davenport, Iowa in 1893.  Oliver and Mary died young.

After Elizabeth’s death in 1859 he remarried to Sarah Blacketer Allgood in Iowa in 1863 in Iowa.

Sarah, Daniel’s second wife, brought to the marriage one daughter Emily.  There had been four born to Sarah and Charles Edward Allgood but they did not survive.  The other children were: John G., James H., and Phoebe.

From Sarah and Daniel’s marriage Amarilla gained seven other siblings:

1. Lydia Marie Spracklin

2. Virda Huston Spracklin

3.  Reed Andrews Spracklin

4. Daniel Goss Spracklin

5.  Peter George Spracklin

6.  Charles Edward Spracklin

7. Alfred Spracklin who died young and is buried with his parents in Iowa.

I have written about the first 4 children from the first marriage, some about Daniel and his migration from Ohio to Iowa on this blog.  I have posted about his marriage to Elizabeth Keller and her heritage on my other blog Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp., in Ohio.  See sidebar for a link.

In every family there always seems to be the one person that handles the family business.  In the second family of Daniel and Sarah that was the third child and second son Reed Andrews Spracklin.

Reed Spracklin

Reed Spracklin

About 1905 Reed and Daniel made an agreement that Reed would help out on the farm in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa.  So Reed moved in with his parents bringing his family with him. Daniel was 75 years old in 1900 and Sarah was 69 years old. The parents were definitely aged.

Reed had made Calhoun County, Iowa his home  and it is where he married and started raising his family.  His sister Lydia and brothers Virda and Daniel also had ties to Calhoun County, Iowa. Brother Peter was living up in Emmett Co., Iowa.

We do see that in 1905 Charles Edward was living with the parents and Reed.

This Special Iowa State Census for 1905 reads:

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

This state census is only a list of people with no other information provided. This does place Reed and his family with D.D. around 1905.

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

Reed and his family would stay with his parents until Daniel died and inherit 2/3’s of the family farm and estate of his father.  The remaining 1/3 would be divided among the rest of the siblings including Amarilla.  So Reed would take on the role of the Administrator of his father’s estate in 1915. Daniel did not have a will.

There will be more about the Daniel’s second family in future posts.

Sarah Blacketer Allgood before Daniel!

In review, Amarilla had three full siblings from the first marriage of Daniel’s.  Amarilla and Henry survived to adulthood in this family till he was killed in 1892.  Add the seven half-siblings from the 2nd marriage, minus the youngest who died.

There was more.  Her step-mother Sarah Blacketer  was married before she married Daniel D. Spracklin  in 1863 in Iowa.  Her first husband was Charles Edward Allgood.

Charles or perhaps he was referred to as Edward, was born on 9 June 1829 in Kentucky and it looks like he died sometime around March of 1861? I have not been able to verify it.  I did locate Sarah and Edward in the 1860 census for Iowa.  They were living in Mahaska County, Iowa.

Source:  1860 U.S. Federal Census for Edward Allgood, Mahaska County, Iowa, pg. 239, Oak Township, August 7, 1860, 1627/1709, Edward Allgood, 31 years, farmer, 310, born Kentucky, Sarah 23, housewife, born Indiana, Emily Allgood, 3 born in Indiana, Phebe D. Allgood under a year, born in Iowa

I descend from the Elizabeth (Keller) Spracklin and Daniel D. Spracklin line.  The first family.  So I really have not taken the time to study Sarah and her family origins.  There are several living descendants of Sarah and Daniel, cousins, that know a lot more and have more on this side of the family.

What little I do know is that Sarah’s parents were James Houston Blacketer and Phoebe?

James was born on 6 April 1801 in Virginia and died 16 May 1852 while Phoebe lived from 1801 to 1861.  He married Phoebe on 3 January 1824 in Mercer Co., Kentucky.  James may have married three times to Susanna Hamilton,  Sarah Hammer and Phoebe Romaine/Romine?  Please verify this information for I am not real comfortable with it.   I am questioning the Sarah Hammer part?

Source:  Kentucky Marriages to 1850, Spouse: Blacketer, James married 03 Jan. 1824, to Romine, Phebe.  Blacketer, James married on 18 Nov. 1820 to, Hamilton, Sarah, Ancestry.com.  

Please note:  Ancestry compiles the information from various sources and then makes a database.  It is wise to check the details of their databases.  You can access Ancestry at your local public library free with a library card. 

I did meet a fellow researcher at the Iowa County Genealogical Society when I was in Marengo, Iowa several years back in 2003 and unfortunately I do not remember her name I was overwhelmed that day.  She was more up on the Blacketers/Blacketeers/Blackaters than I was.  It might be worth it to check with this society and see what they have in their surname files, pioneer files and obituaries and more on this family.  I was there in 2003 and my focus was the Spracklins.  They have moved their office and library from the Marengo Public Library. There is a link on the right side of this blog to this county genealogical society.  Do not confuse it with the state society which is in Des Moines and titled the Iowa Genealogical Society.

Edward and Sarah married on 25 December 1852 in Rockville, Parke Co., Indiana.

Source:  Marriages, 1851 to 1860, Parke County, Indiana, Compiled by Mrs. R. E. Bess Ott Swope Chairman of Genealogical records Committee, Estabrook Chaper to the DAR. Edward Allgood to Sarah Blacketer, Marriage Date:  25 Dec. 1852.  Ancestry.com.

They had 4 maybe 5 children of which only one survived.

1.  John G. Allgood 27 March 1854 to 25 September 1855.

2.  James H. Allgood 3 Mar 1856 to 13 Mar 1856

3.  Emily Jane Allgood born 3 May 1857 in Rosehill, Mahaska Co., Iowa and died 29 October 1925 in Mahaska Co., Iowa.  She married a William M. Gilchrist 28 October 1875 in Marengo, Iowa Co., Iowa and they had 11 children.  Emily was at the funeral of her mother in 1907.  Daniel had to give his approval of Emily’s marriage.  If you see the Gilchrist name it is probably Emily.  More on this family in a later post.   Emily and William had (11) eleven children that I know of.

4.  Phoebe Delilah Allgood was born 18 Jan 1860 and died March 1861.

There might be a possibility of another child:  There is a baby buried in the Titler Cemetery, northwest of Marengo, Iowa.  The tombstone reads:  Daug. of E & S. Allgood, Died May 18, 1862, aged 2 yrs. 4 mos.

I found this in the cemetery publications and photographs that I have featured on my BJM’s Cemetery Discoveries blog: http://bjmcemeterydiscoveries.blogspot.com/search/label/Titler%20Cemetery

Charles Edward Allgood has been difficult to trace.  I checked the Iowa WPA Burials and there a many Allgoods in Mahaska County but I did not have enough detail to make a connection, so I do not know who Edward’s parents.  I cannot find probate/estate files in Mahaska Co. in that county.   I did find a James Algood Estate, John H. Allgood Estate and a John E. Allgood estate in the indexes for Mahaska Co., Iowa – Source Probate Records 1844-1899, Indexes 1851-1964, FHL# Probate Indexes #976783, Guardians #976791, Administrators Index 1856-1867 #975994 and Probate Records V. C-D 1860-1865 FHL#976787.  I did not make copies, these are what was in the index only.  No Charles or Edward only was appearing.

My theory is he is buried with other Allgoods in Titler cemetery north of Marengo?  Some illness was sweeping the country in the early 1860’s and Canada, lots of people lost.  Somehow Sarah had to get from Mahaska Co. to Benton Co. by 1863 to marry Daniel.  So if the baby in the Titler is their child and it died in 1862 maybe Edward is there in Titler without a stone?

Titler’s cemetery’s records are not in good shape except for the two publications and my photographs of the cemetery tombstones. (See BJM’s Cemetery Discovery link above.) I was informed that there was no platte map found to help identify all those buried there.  A Henry Blacketer is in the 1856 Iowa census living near Daniel and Elizabeth Spracklin in Benton County, Iowa.

I may or may not have this right but I have the following children for Sarah’s siblings it is looking like these might be all Phoebe’s children based on the marriage record I mentioned above and the Blacketer family history PDF link below:

  1. John Blacketer b. 17 May1827,
  2. Keziah Blacketer b. 22 May 1829,
  3. Mary Blacketer b. 30 December 1831,
  4. James Blacketer b. 1 July 1833,
  5. Sarah our subject,
  6. Delilah Blacketer b. 3 May 1842,
  7. Phoebe Blacketer born 5 May 1844
  8. 1/2 brother (mother Susanna Hamilton?) Henry Baily Blacketer b. 18 Oct 1821 died about Oct. 1866 in Benton Co., Iowa and married a Mary who was born about 1822 in Tennesee.  They had Jarvis James R. Blacketer b. abt. 1842 in Iowa,  Thomas I. Blacketer b. abt. 1844 Iowa and Sarah I. Blacketer b. abt. 1853 in Iowa.

I mentioned the 1856 Iowa State Census and that there were Blacketers near Daniel.  Who is this Henry Blackater?  An older sibling or some other connection to this family like the 8th child listed above?

Source:  1856 Iowa State Census, Benton Co., Iowa

Page. 80 – House dwelling 136, family 142 – D____(Should be Daniel), Spracklin, age 36, male, married, been in Iowa one year, born in Ohio, trade is carpenter. Spracklin, Elizabeth, 25 years old, female, married, one year in Iowa, born in Ohio. Henry Spracklin, 2 years old, male, 1 years in Iowa and born in Ohio.

Page 78 House 136, family 160 – Henry Blackater, 36 yrs old, Male, married, born in Kentucky, 3 yrs in Iowa, farmer, native, may have done military service. Mary Blackater, age 34, female, married, resident in Iowa 3 yrs., born in Tennessee. James R. Blackater, 14 yrs old, male, 3 yrs in Iowa and born in Indiana. Thomas I (J) Blackater 12 years old, 3 yrs. in Iowa and born in Indiana. Sarah Blackater is 3 yrs old, 3 yrs in Iowa and born in Indiana. Susan Woods 14 yrs old living with them and in Iowa 7 yrs., born in Ohio.

Another source is the Ancestor Outline done by Arminda Spracklin, wife of Charles Edward Spracklin, 1/2 sibling to Amarilla. This was given to me by my Aunt Miriam McDonald, sister to my father Keith.

Page 3 Allgoods

I featured the 3 pages on my blog:  Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio at this link:  http://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/ancestor-outline-by-armindo-spracklin/

I did find an estate or rather a guardianship for a Henry Blacketer in Iowa County!  I think this is the older brother.

Henry Blacketer Estate, Iowa Co., Iowa

Henry Blacketer Estate page 2

Sarah and Daniel’s Family, the Second Family!

Daniel and Sarah Spracklin by permission

Daniel D. Spracklin married Sarah Blacketer Allgood on 21 November 1863 in Marengo, Iowa Co., Iowa.

Marriage of Daniel to Sarah 1863

Source:  Marriage Record of Daniel and Sara Spracklin Vol. C 1863-1874, Microfilm at the Iowa Genealogical Society, Des Moines, Iowa. Marriage Record, November 21, 1863. D.D. Spracklin and Sarah Allgood received marriage license November 21, 1863, State of Iowa, Iowa County. I herby certify that on the 22nd day of November 1863. D.D. Spracklin and Sarah Allgood were by me joined together in marriage. Given under my hand the 22nd date of November 1863, D.W. Chance J.P.

Daniel & Sarah’s Children

Photo:  L to R: Reed A. Spracklin,  Daniel Goss Spracklin, Charles Edward Spracklin, Virda Huston Spracklin, Peter George Spracklin, Lydia Marie Spracklin, Daniel Goss Spracklin Reed Andrews Spracklin.  There seems to be a little disagreement in the family as to which one is Daniel and which one is Reed. Based on other photos I think that the update is correct (11/2014).  I think they look cold.  I would say this was taken about 1908 or maybe 1915???

Daniel and Sarah’s Children:

1.  Lydia Marie Spracklin was born 12 July 1864, Benton County, Iowa and died the 27th of May 1930 in Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa.  She married Thomas Jefferson Ross on 9 Sept. 1881 in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa.  They are both buried in the Cedar Cemetery, Rinard, Calhoun County, Iowa.

2.  Virda Huston Spracklin was born 11 June 1866 in Benton County, Iowa and died 15 November 1927 in Woonsocket, Sanborn County, South Dakota.  He married Lillie Mae Amsden on 12 November 1889 in Rockwell City, Calhoun Co., Iowa.  They ar both buried in the Eventide Cemetery in Woonsocket.  I was very excited to see that FindAGrave has a picture of Virda’s tombstone.  I have tried to figure out how I could visit.

3.  Reed Andrews Spracklin born 24 August 1868, Benton Co., Iowa and died 18 July 1938 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana.  He married Julia Ann Siler on the 29th of December 1897 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.  They are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, Montana.  Reed was the administrator of his father’s estate.  I have visited his granddaughter Bertha Spracklin Roufley on several occasions and learned a great deal about Reed.

4.  Daniel Goss Spracklin was born 21 Sept. 1870 in Benton Co., Iowa and died the 8th of August 1927 in Calhoun Co., Iowa.  He married a Susan Matilda Marrow on the 29th of January 1907 in Iowa Co., Iowa.  I do not yet know where Daniel is buried.

5.  Peter George Spracklin was born the 31st of August 1872 probably Iowa Co.  His father Daniel had moved the family from Benton Co. to Iowa County and 20 miles south and it was about this time that he made that move.  Peter died on the 26th of January 1956 in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania.  He married Etta Mae Hall on 1 January 1896 in Calhoun Co., Iowa but that marriage didn’t last.  Peter has descendants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and I have had the great fortune to meet them while traveling in Ohio in 2011.

6.  Charles Edward Spracklin was born the 19th of September 1874 probably in Iowa County.  He died on the 10th of September  1946, Deerfield Township, Cass County, Minnesota and is buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery, McKinley Township, Cass County, Minnesota.  He married Arminda Victoria Ward sometime in 1915 in Pine River, Cass County, Minnesota.  I have been to the graveside of both Charles and Arminda.

7.  Alfred Marion Spracklin was born 16 July 1876 in Iowa County, Iowa and died Dec. 12 1893 in Iowa County.  He is buried with his parents in the Community Cemeter east of Millersburg.  There is some confusion in the published cemetery records of his exact birth date.  Some say it was 1899 but I believe it was 1893.  More on Alfred in a future post.

Each one of the children of Daniel and Sarah and has a great story to tell.  One of my biggest problems in tracking the descendants of Daniel and Sarah was that most left and lived in other parts of Iowa or headed for the Dakotas, Minnesota, Oregon, California even some went back to Pennsylvania.  By the time of Daniel’s death  in 1915 they had scattered.  Spracklins are a restless bunch and they don’t like to leave records unless you are willing to dig for them.

I pause to give a great deal of credit to my whole and half cousins who have helped me to learn more about each one of these families, the first and the second of Daniel’s.  I am grateful for their passion and willingness to share.   Of course my interest tends to lean toward the first family so forgive me if I error or fail to present all information.

Note:  The two photographs were given to me by my cousin Gloria Spracklin Spinler  Gloria Stocker Spinler a great granddaughter of Reed Spracklin. She gave me permission to share.  Her Aunt Bertha helped to clarify and confirm correctly, who the persons in the photograph were.  Reed was her grandfather.