1898 – Amarilla Handles a few land Transactions!

Meanwhile, back in Pine River in 1898, Amarilla was involved in some land transactions.

May 3, 1898 she is involved with a deed where she is buying land from an Erik Thunell.  George witnessed this deed for her.

Instrument No. 3928, Erick Thunell of the county of ___ (cut off), State of Minnesota to Ammarilla Barclay of the County of Cass State of Minnesota consideration of one hundred and sixty ($160.00) to him paid…the East 1/2 one half of the southwest quarter (E SW) (32) township one hundred thirty-eight (138) Range ______(cut off). Signed by Erick Thun___ (cut off). Witnessed by G.A. Barclay and Wm. Fuller. 

Written on the side: Affidavit See K of Misc. pg. 519. 

Source:  Erik Thunell to Ammarilla Barclay, Deed Book P, pg. 164, 3 May, 1898, Instrument #3928, Cass Co., Register of Deeds, Minnesota.  This deed was a form and some of the writing was cut off on the side of the page.

A couple of months later on August 23, 1898 at 4 pm Amarilla buys land from a E.W. Davis.  This time George is not a witness.  The amount of the transaction is $950.00, was this money George gave Amarilla or was it her own?  These are lots in Brainerd.

Deed between E. W. Davis and Amarilla

Portion of a Deed between E. W. Davis and Amarilla

E. W. Davis to Ammarilla Barclay. This Indenture made this 16th Day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight between E. W. Davis, and Nellie G. Davis his wife of the County of Pipestone and State of Minnesota, parties of the first part and Ammarilla Barclay of the County of Cass and State of Minnesota, party of the second part. Witnessth that the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of nine hundred and fifty and no/100 dollars _____in hand part by the said party of the second part. The receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged do by these presents grants bargains sell [revise], release and convey unto the said party of the second part and her heirs in and assigns forever all the following described lot, piece or parcel of land situate in the County of Crow Wing and the State of Minnesota, and known as follows to wit: lots numbered nineteen (19 and Twenty (20) of block numbered one hundred (100) of the original Town (now city) of Brainerd of the recorded plat there of an filed in the office of the register of deeds for the County of Crow Wing in the State of Minnesota – To Have and to Hold the same together with all the hereditments and appurtenances thereunto belonging ______________unto the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns forever, and the said E. W. Davis and Nellie G. Davis, parties of the first part for and of themselves their heirs executors and administrators do covenent with the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns that they _____ not made, done ____________ or suffered any act of thing whatsoever, whereby the above described premises or any part thereof ____or at any time hereafter shall or may be ______________charges or encumbered in any manner whatsoever. and the _______ granted premises against all ______lawfully claiming the same _____through or under the said E. W. Davis the said party of the first part will forever warrant and defend. In testimoney whereof the said party of the first part have hereunto their hands and seals this day and year first above written. Signed, Sealed and delivered in the presence of Marion Hanna and S.E. Wharton. Signed by E. W. Davis and Nellie G. Davis.

State of Minnesota County of Pipestone
On this 16th day of August AD 1898 before me a Notary Public within the foresaid County personally appeared E. W. Davis and Nellie G. Davis husband and wife. ____known to be the Persons described in and who executed the foregoing and ____instrument, and acknowledged that they executed the same as their free act and deed. S.E. Wharton, Notary Public in and for Pipestone Co., Minnesota.

Source:  E. W. Davis to Ammarilla Barclay, Special Warranty Deed, Filed August 23, 1898 4 pm #10691, Vol. 9, pg. 129-130, Crown Wing Co., Minnesota.  This deed was a challenge to read and you can see I did not get quite a lot of the words. Sometimes I have to read a deed several times before I get all the words.  I think we can figure out what is happening.

So Amarilla is buying lots in Brainerd.  I wonder why?  Were George and Amarilla planning on retiring in Brainerd?  He was 54 years old and she was just about 40.  They had been working the land and businesses in Pine River for 25 years.  Oh there could be so many reasons, I guess I will never know.

On the City of Brainerd website there are maps and they have a 1892 Sanborn Map that features the blocks and lots for Brainerd. The one that Amarilla is focusing on is page #3.  Block 100 is between E. Ivy and E. Juniper and N. Broadway and N. 9th St.  Click on the image and scroll to the bottom.  Unfortunately I cannot find this block on a current map online.  Cities are known for changing street names over the years.  If anyone knows where this is located please let me know.

Sanborn 1892 Brainerd

Sanborn 1892 Brainerd

UPDATE:  Thanks too two very nice persons who commented on this post (see comments), the other map titled Turner 1871 also shows the 100 block in Brainerd (Lots 19 and 20).  According to this map the land is not to far from the Courthouse in with the Barclay’s did a lot of business and the Episcopal Church, well if it is St. Paul’s then they have their marriage record.  I did seek out St. Paul’s church when I visited but can’t seem to find my picture.  I was so close.

 http://www.ci.brainerd.mn.us/docs/maps/historic/Turner1871.pdf  Be patient it does open but slowly.

July 1897: Walker vs Pine River – A County Seat Decision

George is involved in another round of politics in 1897 regarding the organization of Cass County. Of course George A. Barclay wanted Pine River to be the county seat.  He was too late in organizing the convention to vote on that subject. This notice for a convention to choose a county seat for Cass appeared in the  Cass County Pioneer newspaper in July of 1897 somewhat hidden in back pages.

A convention for choosing a county seat in Cass Co., MN

A convention for choosing a county seat in Cass Co., MN

Notice:  Pursuant to notice duly given calling a non-partisan convention for the county of Cass for the purpose of selecting a location for a county seat to be voted on at a coming special election.  Said convention was called to order by Wm. H. Hallett, who was elected chairman.  A. J. Collins was elected clerk.  After seating the delegates the chairman was authorized to retain an able attorney to look after an direct the petitioners who wish to change the county seat.  One hundred dollars was raised for current expenses, Geo. Barclay of Pine River giving his check for $50.  Owing to the inclemency of the weather, but twenty of the sixty delegates attended. Those present, wishing to give every part of  the county a chance to vote on this important question.  The convention was adjourned until the 21st of June 1897 to meet at the Ellis post office school house on section 7 town 135, range 31, at 2 o’clock p.m.  On said date the delegates present will proceed to select a site for a new county seat.  All precincts are requested to have their delegates attend said adjourned convention.  Dated at County convention this the day of June, 1897 A Collins, Sec.  Wm. H. Hallet, Chm.

Source:  Notice, Cass County Pioneer Newspaper, Walker, MN, Film June 17, 1897, #1/2/1897 to 6/2/1898, Thursday, July 15, 1897 edition, Minnesota Historical Society newspaper collection.

I return to the Logsleds to Snowmobiles book about the history of Pine River on page 110 lower part of the first column:

“The governor appointments as Cass County Commissioners those who “will organize the county and decide the county seat” consisted of men all friendly to the timber interests.

It soon became obvious to George Barclay and others that “timber forces” were in control of the politics of the county, at least temporarily, for on May 14, 1897, the boom town of Walker which had been in existence for only a little over a year was “named” by the new commissioners the county seat of Cass County. 

Barclay, together with W.H. Hallett immediately called a “non-partisan convention” at the Collins House precinct south of Barclay’s Ranch for the purpose of “selecting a location for the county’s seat.”  Barclay had high hopes that the “convention” would select his settlement in place of Walker, and, therefore, he readily contributed $50 to defray part of the $100 convention expense.  Apparently, he hoped that in an election resulting from the conflict over two alternative county seats that the more populated southern portions of the county would outvote the northern region.  Barclay was to be disappointed for the hastily called convention could not agree on any single policy and broke up without taking positive stand on an alternative county seat.”  From the Brainerd Dispatch June 18, 1897, pg. 4, Logsleds bibliography notes pg, 516. 

According to the Cass County Historical Society the reason Walker was named the county seat was because it was incorporated in 1896 having 100 male voters.  Pine River had not yet incorporated and that would not happen till 1901.

UPDATE July 11, 2013:  Apparently I have written this post 2 times.  I apologize for that confusion.  I wrote about the County Seat of Cass on March 21, 2013.  So I am adding the last part of that post to this one and then deleting the March post.

Once Walker was chosen as the county seat of Cass County, Minnesota the next step was to incorporate Pine River.  It took a few years for that to happen.

The Logsleds Book Continues on page 111:

“It is not known when George Barclay first conceived of the idea of incorporating his settlement into a village, but is certain that by the time of the official organization of Cass County in 1897, he had definite plans on his mind.”

George Applies Again for his Civil War Pension

George tried again in April of 1897 for his Civil War Pension.  I refer you to the post I wrote on July 15, 2012 titled “George Barclay Seeks His Civil War Pension.”  In that post I did a list of the documents in the pension file that covered the time period of 1891 to 1895.  George’s first attempt at securing his Civil War pension.

1, On April 5, 1897 he again filled out the “Declaration for Invalid Pension” form

Soldier’s Application, George Barclay, I 9 Minn Inf. Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn.  Filed by H.D. Phillips Law Offices, (Stamped several times April 10, 1897, and April 20, 1897.)  Minnesota, Crow Wing, 5 April 1897 in the Dist. Court a record for George Barclay aged 52, resides at Pine River, County of Crow Wing, State of Minnesota, identical person who enrolled on the 15 Day of August 1862 in 1st Lt. M. Greenleaf’s Company I 9th Regiment, Minnesota, Infantry, as Wagoner in the war of the Rebellion and served at least ninety days and was honorably discharged at Fort Snelling Minn on the 24th of August 1865.  

That he is unable to earn a support by reason of Disease of Spine, partial Deafness, kidney trouble and weakness of lower limbs. Pension Application 1066560.  Signed in Pine River, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota by George Barclay and Attested by Louis [Zachering] and John F. [Frakes].  Louis [Doche] residing in Brainerd and John F. [Frater] also residing in Brainerd both knew claimant 14 years.  Signed by these men on 5th April 1897.  Prosecution of this claim by a Sam’l Parker, Clerk Dist. Crt, Crown Wing Co., Minn. 

2. On April 10, 1897 at the bottom another document has a big “ABANDONED” written across it.

NOTE:  Next in the file was the Timber Contract that I shared in the May 16, 2013 post, “Right of Way Brainerd & Northern RR October 1895 and the Timber Contract with NPRR in July 1897.” Why this Timber Contract was in the pension file I do not know.

3. A year later on April 28, 1898 a Department of Interior document was in the file.  Two of the same type of document.

1st form:  Western Div. Inv. Orig. No. 1066560 I 9 Reg’t Minn. Inf. April 28, 1898, Surgeons: 1st National Bank Block Sixth Str., Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minn. 10 o’clock am, every 1st and 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Signed by [H. Clay Evans] Commissioner.  Claimant:  George Barclay, Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn. Examined by [J.S. Camps], [Wemer Hemstead] and [A.F. Graves] 18 May 1898, signed by [Wemer Hemstead]. 

2nd form reads:  April 28, 1898 Mr. George Barclay, late a Wagoner Co. I, 9 Regt, Minn. Inf. Original #1066560, disease of spine, partial deafness, kidney troubles and weakness of lower limbs or any other disability.  Sign by W. Hemstead, Brainerd, Crown Wing Co. Minn. Claimant’s Post office:  Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn. 

George's Civil War Pension 2nd try 1897-98

George’s Civil War Pension 2nd try 1897-98

4. Followed by another larger document from the Department of the Interior asking questions of George.

Western Div. Inv Orig #1066560, George Barclay Co. I, 9th Reg’t. Minn Inf. Dated April 28, 1898. Mr. George Barclay, Pine River, MNN.  Signed by H. Clay Evans.  Are you a married man.  Answer: Amarilla Spracklen.  When, Where and by whom were you married:  Herbert Root. What record of marriage exists: married cerifect.  Were you previously married:  none.  Have you any children living:  Gracie A. Barclay Aprile 10, 1 o’clock 1882., Date of reply Af 6, 1898, signed by George Barclay.  

NOTE:  I featured this documents when I posted about Grace and her birth on May 23, 2011, “A daughter is born: Grace Amarilla 1882.” Since I do not have a birth record for Grace, my grandmother, this document serves as the acknowledgement that Amarilla was his wife and Grace (Gracie) was his daughter.  The document was in George’s handwriting  and signed by him.

5. The next month on May 18, 1898 he once again had a medical examination and the information was written on the Surgeon’s Certificate.

Surgeon’s Certificate, I, 9th Reg’t., Minn. Inf. Applicant for Original #1066560, Date of Examination May 18, 1898 Signed by J.S. Camp, Pres., Wemer Hemstead, Sec., A. G. Groves, Treas. (Board), PO:  Brainerd, County: Crow Wing, State Minnesota.

Original #1066560, George Barclay, Wagoner, Co. I, 9th Reg’t, Minn. Inf., Brainerd, Minn, Pine River, Minn. May 18th, 1898.  Disability:  Disease of Spine, Deafness, Kidney trouble, and weakness of lower limbs.  

Here is my partial summary of what was written on the Surgeon’s Certificate:  height 5 feet 4 1/2 inches; weight 130 pounds, age 54 years.  

a.  Disease of spine, no objective symptoms, no disability

b.  Deafness: can hear with both ears ordinary conversation at six feet, no disability

c.  Kidney trouble, no objective symptoms, no disability

d.  Weakness of lower limbs:  exaggerated knee reflex, no difference in measurement of legs, walks with difficulty and stiffness Rate 6/18.

f.  Disease of Urinary organs and other body parts:  he was given a rate of 4/18 and 6/18 respectively.  He had some problems that I am not going to share here.

g.  No evidence of vicious habits. 

Signatures of the 3 physicians at the bottom. 

There are no more documents regarding this attempt to obtain the pension by George himself  till November 21, 1898 and that one is under Amarilla’s name and called a Power of Attorney.

There will be more posts on this Civil War pension process from November 1898 to 1939.  All Amarilla’s attempt at securing her husband’s pension.

George Barclay & McNanny’s Estate Sept & Nov 1897

Sometime in the middle of 1897 Dennis McNanny/ie, George’s partner in the early years of the settlement of the Pine River area, died.

Crow Wing Courthouse

Crow Wing Courthouse – National Reg Historic Places

George petitioned the court filing a claim against McNanny’s estate.  He did this on 10 September 1897 and was awarded land on the 27th of November 1897.

Source:  Suit against McNanny estate, (Lis Pendens) September 10, 1897, Crown Wing Co., Minnesota, Vol. Misc. E, pages 121-122.  This suit was very difficult to read, I did my best and hopefully you get the idea:

Notice of Lis Pendens, George A. Barclay plaintiff vs. Heirs of Dennis McNanny – State of Minnesota, County of Crow Wing, In district court, 15th Judicial District

George A. Barclay, plaintiff vs.
Unknown Heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased and all other parties, unknown, claiming nay rights, title, _____, lein or _____ in the real estate described in the complaint herein, defendant

Notice is hereby given, that an action has been commenced in the Court by the above named Plaintiff against the above named Defendants, and the object of said action is _______a judgement and decree of said Court declaring and adjudging the ad___ claim of said unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased and ______ other persons or parties unknown in ______Land hereinafter described ____ void, ____that the said unknown heirs of said Dennis McNanny deceased and all other person or parties unknown and _____ who right Title, Inherit or _______ in claim ____said Land or any ____thereof, that the Plaintiff ______and adjudges ____fee simple absolute of said land ______ whole thereof. and for such other and further relief as ____ Court seems just and proper.

The premises affected by said action an situate in the County of Crow Wing and State of Minnesota ______described as follows to wit:

Lot #6 in the South East quarter of the North East quarter (SE 1/ 4 NE 1/4) of Section numbered Eight (8). The South West Quarter of the North west quarter (SW 1/4 NW 1/4) and the North West quarter of the South west quarter (NW 1/4 SW 1/4) of Section numbered Ten (10) all in the Township numbered one hundred and thirty-seven (137) Range numbered Twenty nine (29) Dated August 31st, 1897.

S.A. Alderman, Plaintiffs Attorney, Brainerd, Minnesota.

George Barclay returned in November 1897 for the final decision.  Again, I had trouble reading the deed:

Dennis McNanncy et all Rgr Court – Geo. A. Barclay
State of Minnesota, County of Crow Wing, District Court, 15th Judicial District

George A. Barclay vs. the unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny, deceasd and all other persons and parties unknown claiming any right, title, estate, lien or interest in the said real estate described herein. Defendants.

This course having been duly brought _______heard before the Judge of said Court at Chambers and it appearing satisfactory to the Court that this Summons herein have been duly served on the defendants herein, that more than twenty days have elapsed since the ______of said Summons and that no ____________ ____________or copy of either has been served upon the Plaintiff’s attorney and that no appearance has been made herein by the Defendants, the unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased or any other defendant and _____ proof having been made after the matter and things alleged in the ___________and the Court having duly counsel ____the same and having made and filed its findings, affacts and ____________________ ____on Motion of A.F. Alderman, attorney for the Plaintiff herein it is adjudged and decreed that the _____claim defendant, the unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased and of all persons or parties claim ____through _________otherwise and the Land herein ______particularly described is void and that the said Defendants the unknown heirs of Dennis McNanny deceased and all persons and parties claiming through or under them or otherwise ____________________title, inherit or estate in or claim ____said Land ______part thereof – and it is further adjudged and decreed that the Plaintiff George A. Barclay the owner in fee simple of the following described land situate int he county of Crow Wing, State of Minnesota to wit:

Lot number six (6) in the south west quarter of the Northeast quarter (SE 1/4 NE 1/4) of section number Eight (8). The Southwest quarter of the northwest quarter (SW 1/4 NW 1/4) and the Northwest quarter of the Southwest quarter (NW 1/4 SW 1/4) of Section numbered Ten (10) all in Township number one hundred thirty seven (137) Range numbered Twenty-nine (29) said land being the same described in the ______account here in _____the findings of said Court. Dated at Brainerd, Minnesota this 27th day of November AD 1897. Samu’l H. Parker, Clerk of the District Court Crow Wing County, Minnesota, By N.A.M. Johnston, Deputy.

Source:  Dennis McNanny et. all vs. George A. Barclay, Suit against McNanny’s estate filed December 6, 1897, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota, Book Misc. E, pages 147-148. 

There is so much more research I could do in court records and deeds regarding my great-grandfather George Barclay.  I wonder if these deeds have something to do with the lawsuit that George was involved in earlier in the year per the gossip column of the newspaper, or is it something entirely separate?  For McNanny a search of court records might be very interesting for any court proceedings involved with his estate and deed research.

George & Amarilla Barclay sell land in May 1897

Right in the middle of the Cass County organization we find that there is a deed in the Crow Wing County Deed books where George and Amarilla are selling land to a Dennis [Sixton].  This is a form deed that was filled out and is the county clerk’s version of the deed.

George Barclay & wife to Dennis Sixton

George Barclay & wife to Dennis Sixton

This indenture made this 3rd day of May in the year of our Lord 1897, between George A. Barclay and Amarilla Barclay his wife at Crow Wing County, Minnesota part of his of the first part and Dennis Sixton of said County, part of the second part…..

the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter (SE 4 NE 4) of Section Eight (8) in Township one hundred and thirty-seven (137) of Range Twenty-nine (29) and containing forty (40) acres more or less according to government survey thereof.

In the presence of S.F. Alderman, and L.E. [Slerus] signed by George A. Barclay and Ammarilla Barclay.

I, S. F. Alderman…..3rd day of May 1897 personally came before me George A. Barclay & Ammarilla Barclay his wife to me well known as the same persons described in and who executed the deed…they acknowledged that he executed the same freely and voluntarily as his free act and deed. S. F. Alderman, Notary Public, Crow Wing Co., Minn. 

Source:  Deed Book Y, pg. 112 Instrument No. #9727, filed for record 3rd of May 1897 at 3 pm. [A. Mahlum] Register of Deeds, Crown Wing Co., MN. 

When I use the brackets [   ] it means I am making my best guess on the spelling of that word or name.  The other interesting piece of information is that in this deed Amarilla is spelling her name with two “m’s,” and may have signed it that way in the original.

January & February 1895: George writes letters to the Editor!

About 1895 to 1897 in Cass County the subject of organization of the county of Cass came up.  It was a political hot potato and my great-grandfather. George, joined the fight!

Cass County had gone through a great many changes over the years and now the real fight was taking place.

Photograph on the wall of the Pine River Visitor Center in Pine River, MN

Photograph on the wall of the Pine River Visitor Center in Pine River, MN

The photograph above is of George A. Barclay.  It was given to the Pine River Visitor Center by the Silbaugh’s who own a store there and I bought some T-Shirts and a hoodie.  It is also featured in the Logsleds to Snowmobile book written by Pine River that has given me a starting point for my research.  The picture was taken sometime in the mid 1890’s.

This particular photo of the picture hanging on the wall of the visitor center, was taken by me his great-granddaughter when visiting in 2001.  The visitor center was not open the first trip to Minnesota in 2000.  If you get a chance stop by the Pine River Visitor Center which is out on the highway #371 and take quick tour inside there are lots of treasures there and this photo on the wall. Say “Hello” to John, the man at the counter.  He is a good friend.  If the Train Depot museum is open stop in and look for the plaque I prepared as a tribute to George and Amarilla and their descendants.

Meanwhile, back in 1895 George wrote two letters to the Weekly Journal in Brainerd, MN.  They were featured on the front page of the newspaper.

Jan 24, 1895, Weekly Journal, Front Page, column 3, Brainerd, MN

“Cass County Organization” “A number of people in Cass county are again agitating the question of organization that counts in George A. Barclay one of the oldest residents and largest property owners of that county, is not in favor of organization which would benefit only a few office holders and other beneficiaries. He writes to the Journal as follows:

Pine River, Mnn. Jan 21, 1895
Editor of the Journal
“I notice there is a sober agitation over the question. “Shall Cass County Organize!” and I would like to venture a few remarks. “Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire.” I say “No Cass needs no organization.” We have all the liberty and protection guaranteed to us by the Constitution of the United States. What more do we need, unless it be for show? I have lived in Cass county since 18___ (big black mark covers the date) and my experience proves that we are far better off today than when the county was organized, as it was at one time. My tax receipts show that taxes were at least ten times as high proportionally when we were organized as they are today. Have we any guarantee that organization will not restore the same rates formerly? It is true we are greatly in need of a poor fund, but do we have to organize the county to get it? Do we have to buy all the luxuries of modern life in order that we may get the necessaries? If so, I fear the poor fund will suffer while we are spending our money for a court house and jail, and paying a horde of officers to look after our business, and when we get through there will be nothing left for the poor. We get just as fair assessments as when the county was organized. I have property in both Crow Wing and Cass, and my taxes are only a very small fraction higher than in organized Cass, and in one instance, when the assessor was from the southwestern part of the county they were even higher here than in Crow Wing. What would they be if we should organize? If the western portion of the county wants organization, we will readily grant it, but we will struggle just as hard to join ourselves to Crow Wing as they do to organize Cass. As I said before, we have all the government we need. Our commissioners have always treated one in a gentlemanly manner when I have had business before them. In what way will we be better by organization. We have not the population to maintain a separate organization, even if we do have plenty of pride and manly independence to induce us to do so. There would a court house and jail to build, and a multitude of officers to pay, and the result would be enormous taxation and a heavy bonded indebtedness at a high rate of interest, and we would have no better government than we have now. The men holding office would be benefited, and property in the immediate vicinity of the county seat would be enhanced in value, but all the rest of the county would suffer for it. What we want is a thrifty population , a development of our agricultural resources, and more wealth to support a county government, and we may be assured that organization will naturally follow. Let us not fly until we have few feathers on our wings. We should not jump out of the nest for a hundred foot fall, as we did a few years ago. Respectfully, G.A. Barclay.”

Portion of George A. Barclay's first letter on Cass Co. organization

Portion of George A. Barclay’s first letter on Cass Co. organization

On February 5, 1895 the Cass County Pioneer has an article refuting George’s first letter, pg. 108 2nd column Logsleds to Snowmobiles:

“An article in the Brainerd Journal signed by Mr. Barclay of Pine River would lead one to think that Cass County had not improved any since the time of that “premature organization.” And Mr. Barclay also seems to think that if a county is organized it naturally follows she must follow in the footsteps of Crow Wing County and bond herself for four times what she is worth to build elaborate buildings for which they have but little use.  Now we have a great deal of respect for Mr. Barclay and consider him one of the shrewdest businessmen within our borders, one whose farsightedness has gained for himself much wealth as well as much notoriety whose attendance to business is akin to self-slavery and a lumberman.  This last is sufficient to explain why he desired Cass County to remain unorganized.  It is to his business interests to oppose any such measure and we do not doubt but what he will be a formidable foe to the movement.” 

George’s Letter No. #2

Thursday, March 7, 1895, A Letter from Geo. A. Barclay, PINE RIVER, Minn., Feb 28, 1805

Editor of Journal:  We notice our organization friends are still having their say, one of them intimating that I do not believe what I say, but am simply trying to deceive others.  I suspect it is the deceiver that is throwing stones, but don’t intend to enter into a personal wrangle, and will leave it to the people to decide who is trying to mislead them.

Of course, I am working for my “business interests,” and I believe for the business interests of every man in the county who does not seek office, or expect to live at the county seat.  Increased taxation means increased burdens on the people, and very man should ask himself the questions, “How much will I and my family be benefitted by organization.  What are you going to give me for the increase in my expenses.”  Will it make my farm more fertile, or the rain more sure, or me more economical.  My prosperity depends on these.”

Of course there is good argument in favor of organization.  A home market is a great advantage to farmers.  Judges, lawyers and county officials are proverbial eaters. If we should organize, the judge, half a dozen lawyers and a few county officers with one editor would require an enormous quantity of food, probably as much as 13 cabbages and a bushel of potatoes every day more than are used at present.  Just think of it! 4.745 cabbages every year, one more on leap years, or one for every person in the county!  Farmers near Brainerd and other markets would not be benefitted, however, because very few of them are foolish enough to walk twenty-five miles with a cabbage when they could step out of their doors and sell it for a better price.

And those cheap(?) county buildings?  Every one knows it costs something to build a court house and jail, even if it is a log shack, as our friends propose.  Add to this the little (*) more that our officials would cost thousand costs to have our business done in Brainerd, and the $12,000 that Cass already owes, and then  the on that “sinking fund” and it would sink Cass so deep that it would be several generations before the neighboring counties could inspect our worthy editor’s tombstone.

What the people of the county want is not to bond themselves for these luxuries, but to be a little patient, and our natural advantages are such that we will have neighbors to help share the expense and build something that we can be proud of without having to tag ourselves with a sinking fund. 

In conclusion, let the people watch the way one of our fellow citizens striketh right and left at other editors and county officials, and ceaselessly hunteth for county advertising, and they will call to mind a warning from Scriptures, “The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

G.A. Barclay. 

The book about the history of Pine River gives quite an account of this process of the organization of Cass County starting on about page 108 and going through to page 110.  On page 109 this paragraph appears:

“Under this act, in the fall of 1895, petitions were circulated in the lower half of Cass County for the annexation to Crow Wing County of the 16 townships west of Crow Wing County.  The Brainerd Dispatch reported that “the idea originated with citizens of Cass County.  Fully two-thirds of the actual bona fide citizens have already (by October 1) signed the petition.” 

George Barclay apparently at first was not actively involved in the petition movement as he was opposed to any form of organization of Cass County. ”  

On page 110:

Meanwhile on February 23, 1897, Cass County was officially organized and in the organization the disputed portion annexed to Crow Wing County was, by design, included as part of Cass County.  The lumber interests as well as George Barclay by this time were concerned over the possibility that the 1895 annexation law might be employed to divide up Cass County altogether (Hubbard County already had annexed part of Cass County).  Pat McGarry, an anti-lumbering “progressive” who was just beginning what was to be a long and colorful political career, lead the fight against the organization plan calling it “A trick of the Walker-Pillsbury forces.”  

This fight was carried to the state legislature and was finally resolved. A person could spend a great deal of time learning about the organization of Cass County, Minnesota but I really don’t have time and there are those who are more informed than myself.

However, the next fight was where would the county seat be?