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.

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,  

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.

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:

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:

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.

Daniel & Elizabeth’s Letter to Home!

My Aunt Miriam had a letter in her possession which was in rather rough condition.  As I read this letter I realized that it was written by my great great grandmother Elizabeth (Keller) Spracklin.  I then turned it over and to my surprise there was another letter written by Daniel D. Spracklin to home.  

I do not know if this letter was ever sent and how it got into my Aunt’s possession?  I have very few personal items from my family so this was amazing to hold in my hands.

Please note that for safe keeping the letter was separated gently. It was actually 2 pages connected together. There are two letters and they filled up both sides of the paper.  On one side was a letter from Daniel and then on the other side was a letter from Elizabeth. 

I share these letters here because they are so precious and need to be seen by others who are members of the Spracklin and Keller families.

Someone put tape in the center to hold it together.  This is a very bad thing to do.  Cellophane tape is corrosive.  This has obscured and made it difficult to figure out what was written where the tape covers.  Several cousins have tried to help interpret the letters.    

In transcribing the letter I tried to follow their use of English and their spelling.  The following is the best effort of myself and several cousins’ who I sent the letter to.  Scroll below for a copy of the actual letters.

First is Elizabeth’s letter:

January the 7: Dear Sister I take my pen in hand won (se) more tu let you now that we are all well tu day and du hope these few lines may find you tugging the same blaessing you would then that I was well if you guest seen what I had dun tu day I have washed and chicend and I scronbd and backed I hav good helth this winter we had a vary pleasnt winter her we have (covered by tape and cannot read) ___________________________of Caroline getting married yet I hope She has got a compain that they can liv hapy I wish them good luck and mutch happiness now Ammarila burrow for the bard I wonder in my giserd if you are ajonta futufabar and cum out tu Iowa or will you bee like the rest Can’t beeve many yet or will you squatt down on daddy back plase I am a bout tu think that you are all agon to stay there tu get har and I would like tu be thare wih you and hav a good visit witch snow I could if I was thre I would like tu curn home with my little Henrey and Mary and see you all and cum back home again tu Iowa I would mutch rnther liv in Iowa then in Ohio but I would like tu hav you all cum out here and live I know that you could make alivin easer then you can thare Mary can run and play out adores with Henry they hav grate times She can say mama and build and pah a good many things Pare & Son _____she looks like vina little girl (tape has stained the page and can’t read the works) ______________________________bin inviting I hav knit mine lace of ____for tu Sell igot a half a dolar a pare I have got dun purty nice a knity and then ma I peese ____ quiltg if I can I must beve sum came for ___tu rite sum I wish you would rite oftener and tell mother tu rite and Caroline I Should like tu here a word from hur giv my lov tu all my brotherss and Sisters and pap and mother and Susn your self tell Peter that I an see him ___ but not ___ He could not have sent me eny thing that I like tu see so well E.S A E.

Daniel’s letter:

January 18, 1858: Good morning it is a rany morning We are all well and I hope that you are all well Well paw I reckon that you are most redy to sell out and leave them Clay nobs and Come whare land is rich and easy tended it and more than a bout half the work to tend a crot here that it is their and more sure Just come out here and see for your self and not always set to home and study about it times is dull here at present evry thind is low that the farmer has to sel for their not mutch money ___ it been failed last year (tape has been added and it has made it difficult to read the lines) __________________________________________________________________then to help it on money went down so that it makes money maters purty Clost but times is a mending a liddle we have had the best winter weather that I ever saw – turn over to the other side.

Well Peter ireckon you have a good crop this year and are a getting ritch so fast that you hurt me to think of land or my th___ a but coming to see us ______ the and com on iron hos.

 This winter it has bin dry and stil and cumfer table for a bout a six weeks Well Peter you talk a bout going to Mishigan well if I nowed what I new now and had a farm in Mishigan or any other timber and had to go and blear it up or had my Chois to go to a (pracr) cuntry with out eny thing I would to the prar cuntry and I firmley be lieve that I would have an improved farm in the firesir first noro that is just good sens and you would think (tape has been put on this letter and it has obscured the writing) ___ if you ______but ______ well _______________________get___________________tell Caroline ___with her and ________nan match say and give my love to all the folks and tell them to come out and se us no more room goodbye. D.D. Spracklin.

 (There are some fancy swirls and marks indicating something was attached and on the left is written)

 This is some of lury f hare Henery says he don’t wont’ enough tu send his ha___ of

 (On the right side of the letter is written)

 This is sum of Mary 3en hare


The photocopy of the actual letter is in two parts.  If you laid them out on a table they would be side-by-side and writing would have been on both sides.  Click on the image and it will open into another window.  To get back to this post click your back button. 

Elizabeth's Letter 1858


Elizabeth continues 1858


Daniel Writes 1858

Daniel's Letter 1858

Daniel's continues 1858



Source:  Letter by Elizabeth and Daniel Spracklin dated January 1858.  This letter was in the possession of their great grand-daughter Miriam McDonald but is now in the possession, as of 2008, of their great great grand-daughter and compiler of this blog.

Some comments: 

Elizabeth wishes her sister Caroline happiness.  Caroline married Joseph Van Houten in 1857.  I visited the Van Houten graves in Ohio in August of 2011.  I knew that they had migrated to Hardin County, Ohio so I made it a point to seek out their place of burial.  They are buried in the Dunkirk Cemetery north of Kenton, Hardin County, Ohio.   The Ammarilla mentioned in the letter is another of Elizabeth’s sisters.   

Daniel refers to a Peter.  I believe it is his older brother he is addressing and not his grandfather Peter who died in 1845? 

If you are wondering where the locks of hair of the two children are, well, they were not attached to the letter and nowhere to be found in the papers that were given to me back in 2008 by a family member.

Amarilla’s Connection to Ohio!

Amarilla’s father Daniel D. Spracklin migrated to Iowa about 1855 from Ohio and settled first in Benton County and later moved to Iowa County, Iowa.  Daniel’s first wife, Elizabeth Keller, traveled with him and their babies to Iowa where she died and is buried in the Titler Cemetery.  I have posted about Daniel and Elizabeth in past posts. 

The marriage of Daniel and Elizabeth is recorded in the Morrow County, Ohio records in 1853.  He lived in Knox County with his parents John Andrews Spracklin and Lydia Goss Spracklin till he migrated to Iowa. 

I will be traveling to Ohio this August and visiting the counties of Hardin, Morrow, Knox, Franklin, Portage,  and more in search of the Goss, Spracklin, Keller and Delano history.  My trip starts next week.  Come join me for highlights of this trip at the blog:

Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio! 

I will be taking a break from this blog so I can devote my time and energy to my pending trip.  I will return in the Fall!