Another visit to Montana 2010 – A visit with Cousins! Part I

In 2010 my husband’s niece was getting married in Bozeman.  She had been living there training to be a doctor. She met a nice young man who was a policeman for the city.  They had planned their wedding at the Woodlands which was southwest of the town.

We decided to fly to Billings, rent a car and drive to Miles City and visit with Bertha again. This time my husband would get to meet her and see the ranch near Jordan.

From Billings we head east to Pompey’s Pillar National Monument. When you are in Montana you have to stop at the Lewis and Clark historical sites along the way.

http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/lewisandclark/pom.htm

Wm Clark signing at Pompey's Pillar, MT

Wm Clark signing at Pompey’s Pillar, MT

Pompey's Pillar, MT

Pompey’s Pillar, MT

A little bit about our visit to this historic site from my 2010 travel journal:

We watched the little movie they had in the center and then walked around looking at the displays and getting a lesson on Lewis and Clark’s trip to the Pacific Ocean. Wm. Clark had stopped at Pompey’s Pillar on his way back and he carved his name in the rock.  It is now preserved as the only real physical evidence that he had passed this way.  In the Visitor Center were maps and little bios of the two men and what they each brought to the project.  I have seen the History or Discovery TV channel presentations on this journey and there is very little evidence of the trip.  Apparently Clark named the rock Pompey’s Pillar after Sacajawea’s Son.  It was his pet name for the child.

We walked up to the signature by way of wooden stairs and a walkway and then to the top of the rock to see the view.  It was steep but I was glad I did it.  The Yellowstone River meandered to the north of us but it was shrouded in trees.  

The walkway around Pompey's Pillar

The walkway around Pompey’s Pillar – look closely and find the person standing and go to the right.

My hubby wanted to check out a bridge that looked like a train bridge with no tracks.  So we went down the road a bit. I could see that there was no real highway but I spotted what looked like the best entrance and got lucky.  It was gravel road with a fishing access to the river.  The bridge was blocked off and went nowhere.  Apparently the old metal bridge was abandoned.  A highway was built next to it that was relatively new with a new bridge. 

Iron Bridge & Yellowstone River

Iron Bridge & Yellowstone River

Back out on the highway we continued on H-94 to Miles City.  The road was pretty straight and not too challenging. The scenery was ever-changing as we drove along, with buttes and mounds. Some fields were plowed and cultivated.  I tried taking photos out the window of the car as we speed along so I apologize for any fuzziness. 

Montana Roadside views

Montana Roadside views

Montana roadside

Montana roadside

Montana countryside

Montana countryside

The Yellowstone River again

The Yellowstone River again

We arrived in Miles City about 5 pm.

My cousin was not home so I called her cell phone and she was about 10 minutes way.  The air was pleasant so we waited. The grasshoppers were jumping around as we walked in the grass by her house.  The home was further north in the city than I remembered. She soon drove up in a large van that was dusty and dirty, typical of Montana.  She climbed out and we greeted each other warmly with a hug.  Her hair was no longer curly but looked pulled back.   I introduced her to my hubby. She introduced her little dog “Lady,” of four years.  Apparently Bear had died.  It made me sad.  I liked that little dog. 

The next day we headed up to Jordan and the ranch.  We were going to meet up with Bertha’s niece Gloria who was in the area fossil hunting.  I wanted them to get together.  This time I sat next to Bertha on the passenger side as she drove so I could hear her talk about the history of the area.

As we drove along to Jordan my cousin told us about the people who had lived there. The first ranch was the Moore family 5 miles out who moved into an old school-house at first.  There were the Rooney’s by Rock Springs. She mentioned McDonald’s. They lived there Sept-Nov over two years on the Belinkey Ranch and worked for Giddon Bickel brother to her brother-in-law. 

A view from the ranch

A view from the ranch

She called the different land formations “buttes” and mentioned that there were lots of snakes in them.  One was specifically called Snake Butte. She mentioned the creek’s along the way Upper and Lower Sand Creek, Dry Creek. Deadman’s Road where several dead men had been found, but it was not known what happened to them and how they died.  As we sped past the little towns she would mention the Post office.  Angela was not very big and had two buildings but it was considered a town.  There is Cohagen another town.  She pointed out the Sheepherder monument that had been put on top of one butte. 

On the way to Jordan

On the way to Jordan as the car is moving….

Clouds threatening

Clouds threatening

On the way to Jordan, a little reflection off the car windows.

On the way to Jordan, a little reflection off the car windows.

The land changed every five miles or more into something different.  As you leave Miles City you climb up a hill over the Yellowstone River bridge.  It travels passed the airport which is on the top of the hill over to the left as you go north to Jordan. Garfield county was carved out of several counties of which Dawson is the main one.  She told us that Garfield County was the biggest in the state and the least populated. 

She pointed out the community centers in the towns and the schools that were now all abandoned. She had walked five miles to school, to and from, in all kinds of weather as a child.  Rock Springs is were she held her wedding dance in one of the halls.

The highway signs counted down the miles to Jordan which made it easy to get a feel for our travel time.  I only saw one antelope by a fence that morning. There were lots of cattle out on the land, lots of fields that you could see where wheat was being cultivated and lots of different bales of hay and some were straw. My cousin explained that you could mix hay with straw to feed the cattle. Cattle can dig in the snow about six inches but any more than that and they have to be fed.  She mentioned that land could only handle some cattle or it would be overgrazed and it did affect the value of the land.  If the land was left alone it would come back in a year. 

While we waited to caught up with my cousin’s niece, we had a little tour of Jordan. Our goal was the Hilltop Cafe in Jordan for lunch and visiting.

The Courthouse in Jordan

The Courthouse in Jordan

We toured the town of Jordan. The courthouse was in red brick. Apparently there was a fire in 1997 and it almost took the records but a great many were stored off site so that helped a lot.  

We met up with the son who was at a table in the Hilltop Cafe. He was dressed in a T-shirt, flannel shirt, cowboy hat and seated.  He was a bit soiled in his clothing. I immediately went over and gave him a hug and greeted him.  He had claimed a big table and it would prove to be a good move on his part.  We all ordered coffee and I explained to waitress that we were expecting others so we would wait a while before we ordered. The son was trying to do the haying on the ranch but the rain was causing a slow down. 

Just as we started to order, the others arrived at the Hilltop and I was able recognize my cousin by her smile from a photo she had sent me.  Their trailer as having trouble so her husband was going to have to get that fixed.  We all went around and introduced each other and I hugged Gloria.  Note:  The Hilltop Cafe is on Facebook.

They were in Jordan searching for fossils.  They talked about the fossil hunting and what they were finding. I guess they removed them from the rock and then prepare them for sale?  They are trying to find a complete animal like a T-Rex.  They have found many bones – teeth, frog fossils etc.  

After lunch which we all went our various ways.  I went with my cousins in the van. We piled into the van with Lady and off we went to the ranch.  It is 20 miles from Jordan. As you come to the ranch you can see it and the road comes up past the corrals.  It was very muddy from the rain and there were big potholes filled with water that made the van slide around a little.  

My two cousins chatted away as we drove up the road. They talked about the schools, where there had been family picnics.  I talked about my research and trying to find out more about the Spracklin family in England.  Both cousins are into genealogy and the niece was working on the other side of the family lines that married into the Spracklins like the Heiss, Kibbee and more.  She had a book about the Kibbee family with her and shared that with us.  It was called the Kibbe Genealogical Note.

The ranch was as I remembered it minus a few buildings that had been burned down.  Amos’s homestead we toured but it is not safe and it will have to be destroyed.  It was a hard thing to do but necessary for it was falling down and not safe.  It was built in the late 1800’s and Amos had added the kitchen, porch and later the living room.  

On the Way to Jordan

The view from the Ranch

Our visit to the ranch was short and we returned to Miles City that evening.  This gave us time to do a little exploring of our own and I wanted to go back to the Range Rider Museum and take a good look.

The Range Rider Museum was opening at 10 am so about 10:30 we head out.  It was getting a little dark and raining some. We started in the gun collection and I studied the Winchester rifle and a Colt 45 which were supposedly the guns that might have killed my great-grandfather George A. Barclay.  So I tried some more photos but the glare from the overhead lights was too much.

Colt pistol

Colt pistol

 I returned to the main room and wandered about.  I went into the hallway and studied the faces in the great hall which are the inductees who are along the wall.  I took some pictures. 

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

Black and White photo boards of the Indians

Black and White photo boards of the Indians

I then went into the other part where I saw the Indian photos all in b&w of the Indian squaws, along with the Indian Chiefs and others. There was information about Fort Keogh, the rancher photos in the way back area, a whole area about brands of the ranchers, tools, a town scene of Mill Town and other dioramas. I went through the flip boards in the middle island that I missed the last time and there is a lot on bronco riding and rodeo in them as well as in the museum, articles about the Range Rider museum history. There was a saddles display and other cowboy items on display.  They did have book on the History of Custer County on the case.

We headed outside and saw the inside of another building with a wall devoted to the nurses of Holy Rosary up to about 1960. Hats and boots of various people, some ethnic families, ads of a saddle making shop. The last building housed old carriages and large pieces of equipment and furniture. 

Outbuildings at the Range Rider Museum

Outbuildings at the Range Rider Museum

I talked with Bob Bartholmess the director and asked a few questions. He said that the brands are assigned and you pay $100 then renewed every 10 years.  If a person dies their brand is only continued if the descendants renew it.  If not then it is reassigned. 

I told you there are different Barb wire configurations

I told you there are different Barb wire configurations

Brands

Brands

To become a member of the Hall in the back you need to be deceased, have family write a biography which is then reveal at an induction ceremony in June.  I am told you pay $300 in addition.  You have to be born before 1915 to get into it. I asked him how someone could get the information about the inductees and he said that they call him and he will give it a try.  It might take a while but they might be able to find something.  So it does take some time to dig into their files.  All inductees are in a book in the corner of the great hall.  http://www.rangeridersmuseum.com/

I wanted to get a tour of Miles City so we headed out to drive around and see the area.

Custer County Courthouse

Custer County Courthouse

The Park

The Park

The Olive Hotel

The Olive Hotel

We parked the car and tried walking in the downtown area of Miles City but the storm cloud was brewing and it started to rain as we headed for the Olive Hotel.  We went into the lobby and looked around. We asked if there was any rooms we could view but were told no. We then walked down to the Montana Bar and it was very beautiful inside with a dark wooden bar and booths.  The sky opened up at that time and just poured.  So we hung around hopefully waiting till it gave up but it was persistent, this cut short my tour.  The Montana Bar is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/montanabarmcmt/

I had not realized that the Yellowstone River passed through Miles City, so we went in search of it.  My hubby really liked the Art Center in Miles City so we went to see that as well.

Miles City's version of the Yellowstone River

Miles City’s version of the Yellowstone River

We decided to try for the sandbar further up on the other side of the bridge that crossed the Yellowstone. There was a narrow dirt road with ruts that we eased the car onto and we managed to get down onto the rocky sandbar and I was relieved for you can get suck.  There were others with their cars parked on the sandbar.  It had a lot of rocks in it.  We walked over to the Yellowstone River and enjoyed the view.  The water was warm to the touch but it was shallow there at the shoreline.

The Art Center and how it looked when we were there.  http://wtrworks.org/  Apparently they have fixed it up from the photo that is on the website.  It was very nice inside so don’t let this photo discourage you.

WaterWorks Art Museum in Miles City

WaterWorks Art Museum in Miles City

The time had come to say goodbye to my cousin and we did that after breakfast. It was time to head west to Bozeman for the wedding.  It had been good to see my cousin again and as usual visiting with her is an adventure.

The Yellowstone River:  It does start in the Absaroka Range (Longmire fans note the reference). When I travel I like to follow the rivers.   http://www.britannica.com/place/Yellowstone-River

A map of the rivers of Montana – http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/states/montana/montana-river-map.html

NOTE:  Well I messed up and published part II before part I.  So if you get a little confused just look for the Roman numerals and read in order I and then II and it will make sense.

The Family of Amos and Iva Heiss Spracklin….

Amos Earl Spracklin was a son of Reed and Julia Siler Spracklin.  He was born on the 28th of August, 1899 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Amos Spracklin in 1919

Amos Spracklin in 1919

He died on the 12th of December, 1983 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana. He is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City Montana.

Amos & Iva's Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery in Miles City

Amos & Iva’s Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery in Miles City

Amos married Iva Myrtle Heiss on the 26th of July, 1924 in Miles City, Montana.

Kafroth & Mary C. Heiss

Kafroth & Mary C. Heiss

Iva was born in Baldwin, Burleigh Co., North Dakota. She was the daughter of Kafroth Rodney Heiss, Jr. who was born 31 May, 1858 in Erie, Erie Co., Pennsylvania and died 6 December, 1928 in Warms Springs, Deer Lodge, Montana.  Her mother was Mary Katherine Unzen born 14 February, 1879 in Minnesota and died 20 June, 1973 in Miles City, Montana. She was the daughter of Joseph Unzen and Elizabeth Morris.

Joseph Unzen and Elizabeth are buried in the Saint Leo Cemetery in Yellow Medicine Co., Minnesota. Find A Grave has a photo of their tombstones and a memorial with links.  It is possible from the Find A Grave information that Joseph’s father was Nicholas Unzen born 2 August, 1788 in Germany and died 18 February, 1872 in Le Sueur Co., Minnesota.

Mary K. Heiss is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City with her son Rodney. Find A Grave has a tombstone photo and memorial for both.  There are other Heiss buried there but the relationships are not clarified.

Kafroth’s father was Kafroth Rodney Heiss Sr. who died 12 August, 1858 in Fairview (probably a township), Erie Co., Pennsylvania. The mother was Mary Ann Long born in Fairview, Erie Co., Pennsylvania.  There is a memorial at Find A Grave for a Kafroth Heiss with no information and no tombstone.  There are other Heiss buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

We find the family of Kafroth and Mary Heiss living in Wason Flats, Garfield County, Montana in the 1920 U.S. Census. The name is under Kafront R. Heiss. He is 71 years of age in this census. Wason Flats is east of Cohagen in Garfield County, Montana.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Wason Flats, Garfield Co., Montana, School Dist#33, SD#2, ED#123, Sht #5B, enumerated on 21 February, 1920 by J. Budd Kaus. 

Line 76, Farm, 114, 114, Heis, Kafront R., Head, 1, 0, F, M, W, 71, M, all able to read and write, several in school, born Pennsylvania, parents born in Pennsylvania, yes, farmer, general farm, 110.

Heiss, Mary wife, F, 2, 41, M, born Minnesota, parents born in West Prussia

Heiss, Rose, daughter, F, W, 18, S, born Washington

Heiss, Arthur, son, M, W, 15, S, born Minnesota, maid, housework

Heiss, Iva, daughter, F, W, 13, S, born North Dakota, 

Heiss, Elizabeth daughter, F, W, 11, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Roddy son, M, W, 9, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Joseph son, M, W, 5, S, born North Dakota

Heis, Deloris, daughter, F, W, 2, S, born Montana

According to my information Kafroth and Mary had about nine children, including Iva:  Bob, Joe, Art, Rose, Delores, Ann, Rodney died 1961, Iva Myrtle and Elizabeth Susanna 1908 to 2001 who married Harley Grover Spracklin.

So I went back to 1910 and find Kafroth and Mary K. Heiss living in North Dakota.

Source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Menoken Twp., Burleigh, North Dakota, SD#2, ED#35, Sht#1A, enumerated on 18 April, 1910 by Ole Sather.

Line 1, 1, 1, Heiss, K. Head, M, W, 53, Married 12 years, born in PA, parents born in PA, English, Farmer

Heiss, Mary K. wife, F, W, 31, Married 12 years, 5 born 5 living, born Minnesota, parents born Germany, English, house farm

Heiss, Annie Mary, daughter, F, W, 10, S, born Washington

Hessi, Rosy Elmirel, daughter, F, W, 8, S, born Washington

Heiss, Arthur Floyd, Son, M,W, 5, S, born Minnesota

Heiss, Iva Mary, daughter, F, W, 3, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Elizabeth Susanna, daughter, F, W, 1, S, born North Dakota

We have added a couple more children for Kafroth and Mary K. Heiss to the family group.  I am not finding them in the 1900 U.S. Census but it looks like they were in Washington State at that time.

Here are is another photo of Amos and Iva’s homestead, which is now owned by a daughter.

Amos' Homestead near Jordan, 2003. It is probably torn down by now it was going to ruin

Amos’ Homestead near Jordan, 2003. It is probably torn down by now it was going to ruin ad was dangerous.

In 1930 Amos is living near his father Reed and mother Julia.

Amos and Iva Spracklin and one of their girls, probably Margaret

Amos and Iva Spracklin and one of their girls, probably Margaret

Source:  Reed Spracklin Family and Amos Spracklin Families, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Sheldon Twp., Garfield Co., Montana, School Distr #41., Garfield Co., Montana SD2, ED 122, Sh#5a, Mar 22, 1930, #T625-971.

Line 3, 2, 2, Spracklin, Amos. E, Head, yes, M, W, 30, m, 24, No, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother, born Nebraska, yes, Farm, laborer, Farm, 2. 
Spracklin, Iva, M, Wife – H, F, W, 30, M, 24, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa and mother Minnesota. 
Spracklin, Margaret R, daughter, F, W, 3, S, no, born Montana
Spracklin, Alice, M, daughter, F, W, 1, S, no, born Montana

Line 7, 3, 3, Spracklin, Reed, A. Head, yes, M,W,, 61, M, 39, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana, Farmer, farm, 3.
Spracklin, Julia A, wife-H, F, W, 51, M, 29, No, yes, born Nebraska, father Indiana, mother Iowa
Spracklin, Roy, Son, M,W, 16 S, yes, yes, born Iowa
Spracklin, Everett, R, son, M, W, 19, S, no, yes, born Iowa
Spracklin, Forest, E, son, M, W. 12, S, yes, yes, born Montana
Spracklin, Clara L., daughter, F, W, 10 S, yes, yes, born Montana

Amos and Iva are residing in the Sawtell area of Garfield Co., Montana in 1940.

Source: Amos E. Spracklin Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Sawtell (School District), Garfield Co., Montana, SD #3, ED 17-25, Sht# 1A, Enumerated April 24, 1940 by Donald M. Zimmerman. 

Line 6, 2, R, 4, yes, Spracklin, Amos L., Head, M, W, 40 , M, No, 44, born Iowa, all same house, farmer,, farm.
Spracklin, Iva, wife, F, W, 34, M, No 8, North Dakota. Spracklin, Margaret, daughter, F, W, 13, S, yes, 6, Montana, Spracklin, Alice, daughter, F, W, 11, S, yes, 5, Montana, Spracklin, Betty, daughter, F,W, 9, S, yes, 4, Montana, Spracklin, Bertha, daughter, F, W, 7, S, yes, 2, Montana, Spracklin, Dorothy, daughter, F, W, S, Montana, Spracklin, Helen, daughter, F, W, S, Montana.  

Amos and Iva in 1967 at Thanksgiving

Amos and Iva in 1967 at Thanksgiving

Iva Heiss Spracklin passed away on November 24, 1969.

Mrs. Iva Myrtle Spracklin, 63, wife of Amos E. Spracklin, former Jordan area rancher, died Monday, November 24 at her home in Hamilton. Funeral services for Mrs. Iva Spracklin were held, Friday afternoon in the Chapel of Stevenson, Miles City Funeral Home with the Rev. Leland Rubesh of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. Music was under the direction of Mrs. Marian Pinkham. Mrs. Spracklin was born in Baldwin, N.D. on October 16, 1906, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. K. Heiss. As a young girl she moved with her family to the Cohagen area where they homesteaded. She received her schooling in Miles City. She was married to Amos E. Spracklin on July 26, 1924 at Miles City and following their marriage they moved to the Jordan area where they farmed and ranched. They retired from the ranch in 1964 when they moved to Hamilton and have made their home there since. Surviving are her husband of Hamilton and six daughters. Mrs. M. Roberts of Hamilton, Mrs. F. Bickel of Rock Springs, Mrs. D. Cole of Miles City, Mrs. B. Roufley of Jordan and Mrs. D. Euell of Bozeman and Mrs. Fishell of White Sulphur Springs. Also surviving are her mother Mrs. Mary K. Heiss of Miles City, and three brothers, Bob Heiss of Garden Grove, Calif., Joe Heiss serving in the U.S. Army and Art Heiss of Miles City; four sisters, Rose Pembrook of Lewiston, Idaho, Delores Rogers of Roundup, Ann Larson of Lewiston, Idaho, and Elizabeth Spracklin of Miles City; 25 grandchildren and seven great grand children. She was preceded in death by one brother, Rodney Heiss in 1962 and one daughter, Mary Ann Spracklin in 1923 near Jordan. Pall bearers were: Martin Derenburgen, Donald Weeding, James Rogers, Waldo Bentley, George Spracklin, Roy Spracklin, Thomas Billings, Pete Ronning and Bob Phipps. Burial was in the family plot in the Sunset Memorial Gardens in Miles City.”  Note: There were issues with the water table at Sunset and so the casket was moved to the Custer County Cemetery next to her husband Amos in Miles City, MT.

Amos lived fourteen more years beyond his wife and passed away on 12 December, 1983 at the age of 84 years old.

Obituary for Amos Earl Sprackin
“Amos Earl Spracklin, 84, longtime rancher of the Jordan area, died Monday at the Garfield County Hospital in Jordan of a long illness. He was born Aug. 28, 1899 in Calhoun Co., Iowa the son of Reed Spracklin and Julia Siler. Mr. Spracklin came to Montana with his parents in 1915 when he was a young man. They homesteaded on Lone Tree Creek, 19 miles west of Jordan. On July 26, 1924, he married Iva Myrtle Heiss at Miles City. They continued to ranch west of Jordan until 1964 when they moved to Hamilton. In 1974 he moved to Mill Iron where he lived until 1978 when he entered the rest home at Jordan where he lived until his death. Survivors included six daughters, Mrs. Clint (Margaret) Vial of Portland, Oregon; Mrs. James Roufley of Brusett, Mrs. Ferdinand  Bickel of Mill Iron, Mrs. Delbert ole of Alzada, Mrs. Jesse Euell of Bozeman and Mrs. Jacob Fowler of Hamilton; three brothers Clifford of Hamilton, LeRoy of Roundup, and Forest of Washington; one sister, Clara Monger of Lewistown; 27 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Iva on Nov. 24, 1969 at Hamilton. Funeral services will be held Friday, 2 p.m., in the chapel of Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home. Rev. Leslie Payne of the First Christian Church will officiate. Burial will be in the family lot of the Custer County Cemetery.”  source unknown, probably Miles City newspaper. 

Amos and Iva had the following children:

Amos and Iva's Girls

Amos and Iva’s Girls

  1.  Mary Anna Spracklin, born 14 August, 1925 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died on the 15th of September 1925.  My understanding is that Mary is buried on the homestead property.
  2. Margaret Rosailie Spracklin was born 18 October, 1926 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died 22 December, 2012, in Jordan. Margaret married about five times 1) Daniel L. Ward on 5 April, 1945 in Miles City. They divorced in 1961. Daniel was born 1911 and died 1963. 2) She married Alexander Kline on 17 November, 1961 in Roundup, Montana and they later divorced.  He was born about 1916. 3) The next was Ira Clayton Lewis on 1 February, 1964 in Vancouver, Washington. 4) Henry C. Roberts on and Margaret married on 20 December, 1967. Henry was born about 1906 and died 1966.  5) She married Clinton F. Vial on 5 April, 1974 in Vancouver. Clinton was born 1907 and died 1983 in Washington.  Margaret had several children from her first marriage. She is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, Montana. Find A Grave has a nice memorial for her but no tombstone photo at this time.
  3. Alice May Spracklin was born on 9 December, 1928 in Brusett, Garfield Co., Montana and she died on the 28th of January, 2015 in Billings, Montana. She is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, Montana. Alice married a Ferdinand Herbert Bickel on 7 October, 1945 in Miles City. He died on 2 January, 1998 in Ekalaka, Carter Co., Montana. He is also buried in the Custer County Cemetery. Find A Grave has tombstone photos a memorial and links for this couple. Ferdinand and Alice had several children and a long married life together. Alice was married briefly before to a C. Yungk but it was annulled.
  4. Betty Jean Spracklin was born 23 October, 1930 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana. Betty died on the 10th of February, 2013 in Miles City from a heart attack. Betty was married twice. She first married to a Henry Francis Stocker on 3 June, 1948 in Miles City and had several children with this man.  They divorced in 1960 and she remarried to a Donald Delbert Cole on 21 March, 1961 in Glendive, Dawson Co., Montana. Donald was born on 18 September, 1925 in Terry, Montana and died 7 April, 2000 in Miles City. Betty is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. Find A Grave has a memorial for her but does not have a tombstone photo at this time.
Betty Spracklin Cole

Betty Spracklin Cole

5.  Bertha Evelyn Spracklin born 27 July, 1932 in Jordan, Montana. Bertha was married on 18 September 1948 in Miles City to James Everetts Roufley.  They had four children together one son and three daughters.

James was born 17 August, 1918 in Stanton, Mercer Co., North Dakota.

James with brother Harold

James with brother Harold

James fought in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge.

James Roufley after basic training Fort Ord.

James Roufley after basic training Fort Ord.

He died on 12 July, 1991 and is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City.

James Roufley's Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery

James Roufley’s Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery

James’ parents were James Franklin Roufley who died 2 February, 1972 and Ethel May Percy born 21 November, 1893 and died 21 September, 1978 in Miles City.  Ethel is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. James had a brother name Roy who died in 9 September, 1981 in Yellowstone Co., Montana.

Bertha and James settled on the land that was formerly Amos and Iva’s homestead.

6.  Dorothy Josephine Spracklin was born 1 January, 1935 in Garfield Co., Montana. She married twice first to a Jesse Bernard Euel on 21 Mary, 1951 and later to a Mr. Tucker.  Dorothy was living in Bozeman at the time of her mother and father’s deaths.

7.  Helen Marlys Spracklin was born on 23 June 1937 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died 6 April, 2014 in Spokane, Washington.

Helen Spracklin Fowler

Helen Spracklin Fowler

Helen married three times.  The first was in April of 1955 she married a Leon W. Seniba. They later divorced in 1961.  Another marriage was to a Mr. Fishel.  She later married a Jacob E. Fowler born 8 March, 1934 and died 3 July 1981 in Miles City. Jacob and Helen had about seven children together.

Both Helen and her husband are buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana. Jacob has a tombstone picture and memorial at Find A Grave.

If you would like more information about any of these individuals, just leave a comment and I will be happy to contact you.  As always please double check the information presented above.

Traveling to Montana to meet Amos Spracklin’s family, a son of Reed and Julia Spracklin – 2003

About 2002, I received an email from a cousin and this individual suggested that I talk to another cousin who had done quite a bit of research on the Spracklin family back in the early and mid 1980’s. This cousin was my half cousin.  She was a descendant of the second family of Daniel D. Spracklin and his wife Sarah.  She lived in Miles City, Montana and I decided to go and visit her.

So in 2003, my sister and I, drove to Miles City in my 1995 Aerostar Van to visit our cousin. Neither one of us had met her before so it would be a great adventure.  We would stop at motels or hotels as we got close to the end of the day and use the coupons you get in those newspaper booklets they distribute at rest stops. Usually I book my motels and lodging in advance because I don’t want to mess with it while driving around.

As usual my genealogy research trips are very complicated and involve many facets.  On this trip it would be researching Spracklins, Mc/MacDonald’s, meeting family and visiting museums and various sites along the way.

We left Seattle about 11 am on Tuesday September 2nd and made it to Rathdrum, Idaho.  It takes about five hours to get to Spokane if you don’t stop at all the rest stops for coffee and cookies.

The view from Twin Lakes in Idaho.

The view from the cabin on Twin Lakes in Idaho.

We were going to meet up with a childhood family friend.  Mickey had lived with our Aunt Vivian, our father’s sister, when he was a boy. He was her nephew on her husband’s side and a member of the McKanna family.  He had a cabin near a lake just across the border from the Spokane area in Idaho and we were stopping there for the night.  We knew him when we were kids and he is part of my Mac/McDonald family memory and I wanted to see him and have him tell me more stories. I had reconnected with him several years earlier.  He had kindly loaned me a photo book that was formerly my Aunt Vivian’s, I had scanned all the photos and have used many of them in my posts on my blog: The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  McKanna’s actually came to Miles City and Mickey asked me to see if I could find out anything more about them.

The next day we headed further east and stopped at Wallace.  I was hoping to find out something about my great Uncle Angus McDonald so we stopped at the museum. I was trying to place him in the area but it was not going to happen.  Angus was my grandfather’s older brother.  http://wallace-id.com/  The Wallace District Mining Museum had city directories and there were McDonald’s listed but it was hard to tell if they were my McD’s.  http://wallaceminingmuseum.org/

We arrived in Missoula, Montana where we stopped for lunch.  We asked about the forest fires and decided to go a different route to stay as far away from them as possible.  We could see and smell the smoke.

Here is a little excerpt from an online paper about those fires.

By most measures, the fire season of 2003 was historic for Northwest Montana. Not since 1910 had there been such an array of wildfire in the region, not to mention the rest of the northern Rockies.

By mid-September there were 16 large fires in Northwest Montana that ended up covering more than 300,000 acres.

Individual fire acreages were impressive: the Robert Fire covered 57,570 acres, Wedge Canyon 53,325 acres, Little Salmon Complex 88,000 acres, Rampage Complex 24,488 acres, Blackfoot Lake Complex 29,836 acres and Middle Fork Complex 11,851 acres.

Combined, the 2003 fires accounted for roughly half the acreage burned on the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park over the previous 20 years.

“The year 2003 will go down as a very historic fire year,” declared Steve Barrett, a fire ecologist who has studied long-term fire histories across Northwest Montana. – By Jim Mann Daily InterLake, December 27, 2009. http://www.dailyinterlake.com/members/a-monster-year-for-fires/article_e529a93c-f2a6-11de-8498-001cc4c03286.html

We left Bozeman around 8:30 am on Wednesday September 3rd.  We headed for the Lewis & Clark Cavern’s which was a very amazing experience.  This is what I wrote in my travel journal in 2003:  http://www.visitmt.com/listings/general/state-park/lewis-and-clark-caverns-state-park.html

Once inside the park we traveled a wiggly waggly road for about 4 miles before reaching the parking lot for the caverns.  We paid for our tickets and checked out the little gift shop at the café.  After a wait of about 30 minutes we started up the trail to the caverns.  It was hot and so the trail up was warm but pretty easy except for the steepness of the grade.  The vista was beautiful of the Jefferson River in the valley below.  We waited about 15 minutes at the cavern entrance before the guide came and started with guidelines to the caverns.  He was a young man who reminded me of friend but a bit shorter.  He was very nice and friendly and cracked silly jokes. I was not prepared for the caverns at all but was truly amazed at what we found.  It was a wonderous place and a world all its own. The stairs were tight to walk down in the dim light but I managed well.  There were stalagmites and stalactites and strange formations that only a cave can create from the action of the water dripping down.  Each area that we stopped in was unique and had its own eerie beauty.  Several of the areas were large caverns with these incredible formations that had taken millions of years to make.  Unfortunately damage had been done by guests of earlier years and you could see the ragged edges of the broken pieces that were left behind.  The cave was supposed to have bats but there were not very many at this time of the year.  It took the 2 hours that they said it would to view the caverns but it was well worth it especially the part that we had to get down on our butts and slide down a section of the trail.  There was a lot of ducking of the head and I banged mine several times.  The walk was mostly down and the steps took us to this cavern they called the Cavern of the Gods and it was like descending a long beautiful twisting spiral staircase. All great things come to an end and this little adventure found its own conclusion down a very long tunnel with two doors.  The doors were there to prevent a wind tunnel effect that would rush the air in and cause the caverns to dry out.  In 2010 I visited these caverns with my hubby.  He is tall so it was a challenge for him. 

Lewis & Clark Caverns

Lewis & Clark Caverns

The trail to the Caverns

The trail to the Caverns

The Caverns

The Caverns

Further along our trip we took in the The Western Heritage Center in Billings, Montana which had a wonderful exhibit about the history of Montana and provided me with a basic history of the area when Reed Spracklin migrated there.  We visited an old pioneer cemetery on Boot Hill and drove to the Pictograph Caves which are southeast of Billings. http://stateparks.mt.gov/pictograph-cave/.

Miles City Water Towers

Miles City Water Towers

Miles City is about two hours from Billings. We arrived in Miles City on Friday about 5 p.m. to be warmly greeted by Bertha at her trailer.  We spent the evening chatting and settling in.  We made cheese sandwiches to fill ourselves up.  I gave the research copies of research from my trip to Iowa and more to her and she spent some time reviewing them.  I spent a lot of the time at her kitchen table that week studying her research and learning about the Spracklin family and getting to know my cousin. She had done a lot of work and had gathered a lot of information by writing letters to family members and research archives seeking information about the family.  She was very generous with her research and shared all that I wanted.

Miles City

Miles City

During our stay we visited the Custer County Community Cemetery where various family members are buried including Amos and Iva Spracklin, Bertha’s parents.  This cemetery is in Miles City and Find A Grave has a listing for most of the cemetery.

Custer County Cemetery in Miles City

Custer County Cemetery in Miles City

We also visited the Range Rider Museum which is amazing.  They have newspapers in flip displays, display cabinets filled with artifacts, black and white photos of the Indians that are outstanding, photographs of the ranchers in the area who are placed on their wall of fame. http://www.rangeridersmuseum.com/.  The buildings outside house wagons, automobiles and more.

Wall of Fame Range Rider Museum

Wall of Fame Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

Unfortunately, Miles City’s genealogy society did not survive so you have to visit historical societies or go to museums like the Range Rider. We did visit the Miles City library where we did some obituary research. I did not go to the courthouse in Miles City another stop if you have ancestors there.  It was a busy visit so I had to pick and choose and my focus was the research that my cousin had done.

The Library in Miles City

The Library in Miles City

Several days later Bertha took us to her ranch, west of Jordan, Montana.  It was a two-hour drive from Miles City to Jordan and then about thirty minutes to the ranch.  As we drove along I realized that Bertha was the rancher. She was raised in Montana and became her father’s right hand man. Amos and Iva’s children were all were girls. Amos of course, had wanted a son to help him with the ranch but it didn’t happen.  So Bertha took on that role. She knew everything about the ranches along the highway and chatted away telling us the history of the area and story of the families that lived there.  She knew about barbed wire and what each type was for and she could recognize individual cattle something her father had trouble with.

Jordan, Montana in the rain

Jordan, Montana in the rain

We arrived in Jordan the county seat of Garfield County.  They have a the Garfield County Museum which we visited briefly.

The ranch is not too far from Jordan.  You go west for about 20-30 minutes…

The Ranch near Jordan

The Ranch near Jordan

We approached a fork in the road and she mentioned the 1996 FBI standoff with the Montana Freemen that was located 20 miles up the road from the fork.  The left fork in the road was the road to Bertha’s ranch.  She said that we needed to go over several cattle guards before we got there and I think she said it was about 5 miles from the fork in the road.  As we drove along she pointed out where her land was describing it to us and telling us she had 4850 acres all paid for.  The road had become gravel a while back. 

We passed a big pile of wood on the right and on the left were metal buildings that were the barn and corral.  The house was up on a slight hill.  Cars, trucks and other buildings were scattered about the land.  We climbed out of the van.  Bear, Bertha’s small white poodle, jumped out and was running around checking out the area and leaving his calling card.  There was a beautiful Border Collie named Hey who was on a chain and he turned out to be a very friendly and a gentle dog.  He was the black and white typical of that breed but his eyes were like a wolf’s.  We entered the ranch house by way of the basement door.  Ahead of us was a wooden staircase that lead up to the main floor of the double wide mobile home that Bertha had installed on a cement foundation.  I later noticed the metal strip and the bolts along the lower part of the mobile home.   The other thing that I first saw was the head of an antelope on the basement wall. 

We headed for the stairs to the main floor of the house.  We turned a corner and found the son in the kitchen preparing dinner.  He was standing over a large pan of sliced potatoes.  I found myself wandering out to the deck area that had a vista of the land around the ranch.  I wasn’t sure of the deck area but it seemed sturdy. The view took in the barn area and the land that stretched out before me.  The wind was hot on my face and was blowing bits of dirt about.  There were buttes in the distance and cattle out on the land grazing.  There was much talk about wayward buffalo coming onto the land.  

Dinner was served and the barbecued ribs just melted off their bones.  They were delicious.  The potatoes were also good and I ate two helpings.  Everyone was gathered around the two tables in the kitchen area. Everyone ate heartily.  

We then went on a tour of the ranch again, from my travel journal in 2003:

The Ranch

The Ranch from the house

Bertha and son took us on a tour of the ranch showing the house that she grew up in.  It was in a sad state of deterioration.  It was also filled with farm things.  The floor was rotting out and the ceiling was coming down. There were old torn and tattered pieces of furniture scattered and piled about.  There was a stove or two.  There were even jackets still hanging on hooks by the door.  The house had only three rooms in the beginning but was later expanded to include the kitchen area.  Amos and Iva slept in the bedroom on the first floor while kids slept upstairs.  Behind the old farmhouse was the shed that was used for several tasks.  The right end was for the chickens and the left end was used for the milking cows.  The backside was used as the granary.  It was showing its age and they were planning to tear it down.  There were at least three round tower like structures now used for grain.  They were better and easier to use.  We then made our way down to the barn area and we walked around there.  Bertha talked about repairs and rotted posts and what needed to be done to fix things up.  They explained how the gates worked and walked us through the barn, pointing out their saddles and showing us the initials on the stalls for the horses.  You had to walk carefully because there were cow piles all about and even a carcass of an antelope left to rot.  I may not know much about ranching but it seemed to me to be a never-ending task. 

Amos, his homestead

Amos, his homestead, now owned my Bertha

The Lights of Jordan — I mean Jordan in Montana from my 2003 travel journal:

The evening was not yet over and the major event of the night was about to take place.  Bertha wanted us to see the lights of Jordan from a bluff on her land.  So just before dusk we all piled into her son’s big black truck.  I had to climb up and in.  We started out the gate of the ranch past the barn area and onto the gravel road crossing it towards the south.  We picked up speed and so far things seems pretty okay and I would say he went about 4 miles then he make a sharp turn to the left off the road and we were as it is called “bushwhacking.”  We bumped along over sagebrush with bunnies hopping frantically out-of-the-way.  Bertha and her son discussed the route up the hill in their usual feisty way.  He reminded her he knew the way as good as she did.  I probably will never know how he knew the way in the dark but they both seemed to know exactly where they were and where every bump and creek bed was.  I actually did pretty good although I was tossed around quite a bit. Just when I thought he was going to go over a big cliff and he stopped the truck and turned off the motor and pointed to the lights of Jordan in the distance.  Then Bertha pointed to the house lights of the ranch. The son remembered and said that he used to come up to this hill with his Dad (Jim) and sit and look out for fires till 2 a.m. in the morning.  Lighting was playing out its game to the right of us and sending strikes out but so far no rain.  Within about 10 minutes or a little more he started the engine and proceeded to go straight ahead. The cliff that loomed before us was not as bad as I had thought but we did go pretty straight down for a bit.  The drive back to the gravel road was a little less wild and bumpy and we actually seemed to get back to the road faster. As we drove along Bertha was pointing out deer and we couldn’t see anything. So the truck abruptly stopped by a big piece of farm equipment and out came a spotlight.  They held up the spotlight and we then started to see lots of animals.  First you see their eyes flashing in the dark and then you can make out there form. We were told that you can tell the type of animal by the color of their eyes.  We saw lots of deer, the most I have ever seen in my life.  It was great. We made it back to the house in one piece and I headed for bed.  It was very hot. 

On the way back from the ranch, the next day, we stopped at the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan where Reed and Julia Spracklin are buried along with other family members.

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery Overview, Jordan, MT

Pioneer Cemetery Overview, Jordan, MT

We stayed in Miles City for about a week and then headed out.  Our goal was to visit Yellowstone but we were going to do that in a little different way by viewing the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Park and then driving to Sheridan and across the Bighorn Mountains to Cody and from Cody to Yellowstone.

Big Horn Battlefield, tombstone

Big Horn Battlefield, tombstone

The Lecture by the Ranger at the Big Horn Battlefield

The Lecture by the Ranger at the Big Horn Battlefield

I drove to the battlefield.  It was raining and the wind was blowing so the weather was not really great. We almost missed the battlefield because we got on the wrong road.  We found the Crow Wing Agency sign and we doubled back and headed to the East until we caught up with the main road and it was just a little farther to go. 

The wind was really cold at the Little Bighorn Battlefield.  We arrived at around 3 pm.  It took a lot longer than I anticipated to get there. We were able to attend a lecture by the ranger about the battle even though the wind was cold and the big nasty rain cloud threatened above.  I was listening to the ranger talk but became quiet fascinated with the mud on his boots which was caking up and then falling off as he worked his way closer to the shelter as the rain came down on him.  http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm

Custer’s last stand was definitely a broader and larger military maneuver than I had imagined. The events took place over a very big area stretching to the Wolf Mountains to the south.  Custer’s part of the battle took place in a small area close to the visitor’s center.  To see the rest of the battlefield we had to drive a road for about 3-5 miles.  The formal cemetery was near the visitor center. They said that the Indian village stretched two miles in the valley below.  That must have been a site to see.  The Little Bighorn River Valley was beautiful to look down on from the hills where most of the fighting took place.  Apparently this is the only battlefield that has tombstone markers scattered about the fields.  The men were buried where they fell. 

After our visit to the park, we headed to Sheridan in Wyoming.  There were very ominous clouds in the distance but we made it before they dumped on us. We started up the highway to the Bighorns but decided it was getting too dark and we better find a place to stay.  Sheridan was not far and found this wonderful old style hotel with creaky floors and a big steep staircase.  The hotel room was lovely and old-fashioned making you think of bygone days. Spracklins lived in Sheridan, they are the descendants of Peter Spracklin a brother to our second great-grandfather Daniel D. Spracklin.  So it was good to see the town.  I didn’t have time to do any research there.  If you want to know more about Peter and his family go to the blog Solomon Goss in Fearing Twp. for information.

After breakfast we made our way to the highway that takes you over the Bighorn Mountains.  I am a big fan of Longmire having read the novels and watched the TV show. So when the show came on I was remembering the area. Absaroka County does not exist, but it is in the area on the west side of the Bighorns.  The show is actually filmed in Arizona.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1836037/

Burgess Station Big Horn Mountains

Burgess Station Big Horn Mountains

Free Range Cattle

Free Range Cattle

Leaving the Bighorns

Leaving the Big Horn Mountains

The next morning after breakfast and gas for the car, we set out for the Bighorn Mountains. What an experience.  The road winded up the side of the foothills going steeper and twisting around the sides of the hills.  You could look ahead and see the road winding up the side of the mountain and could look back and see the valley below and get an incredible vista.  The height of the passes in the Bighorns were 9000+ feet and we climbed and climbed up to a wonderland of trees and ground lightly laced with snow. The road itself was clear but the hills were snowy.  Cattle are allowed to roam freely so we came upon some migrating down to better pastures.  I will never forget the one white cattle that came at the car with such determination and with its power.  I have never been in direct line of  a large animal so it was cool to see it move toward us.  They moved off the road toward the trees in order to avoid the car. There were about 20 coming down the road.  They may have been domesticated animals but they were a site to see in this high mountain area.  We came upon more of them along the road and had to stop, I believe one more times. 

Arriving at the visitor center and we got out of the car.  It was cool and crisp. The quiet and the stillness were almost soft.  It was beautiful. We spent some time in the visitor center reading the exhibits.  http://www.bighornmountains.com/  I bought a Smokey Bear doll as a memento he was very special to me when I was a kid. 

As you get to the western side of the road you start going down and the scenery gets more barren and rocky. We chose to go the Shell Canyon route and that took us through some real magnificent geological formations of rock that had pushed up from the earth’s core.  They looked like someone had laid then on their side.

We came off the Bighorn Mountains onto the Bighorn Plateau where the road took us to Cody, Wyoming.  It took about 50-60 miles to traverse this big fertile plain which was rather flat, barren and straight.  After awhile my sister, who was driving, became restless and wanted a curve in the road.  As we approached the foothills to the Rockies we started to see more step formations.  Cody lies at the base of these foothills before you head to Yellowstone. 

We stopped in Cody and had some dinner and found a place to stay.

The Buffalo Bill Museum

The Buffalo Bill Museum

Apparently Buffalo Bill Cody founded the town of Cody and lived near it.  The Buffalo Bill Museum is actually 4-5 museums.  We spent time in the Plains Indian’s Exhibit.  I took quick tours of the other exhibits and almost lost my sister in the first. http://centerofthewest.org/explore/buffalo-bill/

We had rented a cabin in Yellowstone near the main lodge so we needed to get there by Sunday night.

I had not been to Yellowstone since the mid 1950’s when we went their with our parents.  I didn’t remember much except Old Faithful and the bears.  There was one that my dad named Professor. He was a little black bear who was able to walk around the rim of the garbage cans.  My mother and I sat in the car, our food was up in the tree on a rope. This type of behavior in bears is now discouraged for their safety as well as the visitors. I was about seven years old at that time.  We also drove down to the Grand Tetons and I do remember them.

One of many signs for the Continental Divide

One of many signs for the Continental Divide

The Yellowstone Sign on the eastern side of the park, Hwy 14 west of Cody

The Yellowstone Sign on the eastern side of the park, Hwy 14 west of Cody

We found our cabin behind the main lodge and settled in.  I called my hubby to check in and a coyote ran by as I was talking to him.  http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Yellowstone Lodge

Yellowstone Lodge

While we were at Yellowstone we participated in several Buffalo Jams. A Buffalo Jam is where the buffalo get on the highway and you have to stop and wait.

A Buffalo Jam

A Buffalo Jam one of several…

It  was rutting season so the males were being distracted and butting heads. They made this guttural puffing sound.

Bison fighting

Bison fighting

We saw a coyote eating a wolf kill.  He was very cautious because the wolves would kill him if they found him.

A Coyote at a Wolf Kill

A Coyote at a Wolf Kill

There was elk and one male was herding his females across the river.

Male Elk herding his females

Male Elk herding his females

I did remember the lake for it was big:

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone has abundant geysers and we explored.  Unfortunately I did not keep careful records of where we went, so I have pretty geyser pictures but I am not sure what geyser areas we were at.  You can walk out over some of the areas to get close up on these board walks.

There are boardwalks you can travel on to get closer

There are board walks you can travel on to get closer

One of many geisers

One of many geysers

There is a lot of texture in the geysers, steam, heat and the smell of sulfur.

Lots of Texture at the geisers...and steam

Lots of Texture, steam and heat.

The pools are many and beautiful…

The many pools with steam are beautiful...

The many pools with steam are beautiful…some a very blue

I did remember the mud pots because I thought they were funny back when I was a kid. The sound was gulp gulp. Trying to get a picture of them erupting is very difficult, this took a bit of time.

Mudpots...

Mud pots exploding

Of course you cannot miss old Faithful which I do remember from my childhood visit.  This time I got to sit on the veranda of the lodge with a nice glass of wine to watch the spectacle.

Old Faithful 2003

Old Faithful 2003

MoreOldFaithful

We headed back to Seattle a couple of days later and just made the drive from Yellowstone to home.  It was a good trip. I was pleased. The trip was about 2427 miles with little excursions here and there.  My Aerostar Van did great.  This might be my longest car trip for it beats Ontario.

MAKE A JOURNAL OF YOUR TRAVELS, a little advice…

About 2003 I started to journal my trips, both genealogical and vacation, because I realized that I was forgetting.  A journal of our trip to Yellowstone in the mid 50’s would be amazing to have now.  Some of the trips I had taken required me to backtrack and recreate what happened.  Currently, I journal at night before going to bed each day of the trip.  It is still fresh in my mind.  I learned this from our cousin Paul Goss who did a lot of research on the Goss family in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.  He traveled to many places and met relatives and interviewed them about the Goss family but he didn’t realize that his trips were actually sources and important, especially when he talked to family and got their stories.  Going back to my early years I wish I had journals of those trips, not to mention photographs.  It is difficult for me to remember when and where we went on all the camping trips with my parents.

I would like to encourage you to journal your trips or at least write out an outline of the days events.  You would want to put in your journal the following. Here are a few suggestions and don’t forget to take pictures.

  1.  What you saw that day like a bridge that was really cool, a valley view, a river, what towns you passed through a picture of the sign announcing the town. A town’s water tower. A museum, library or archive you visited. A ferry you took. I wrote in my Ontario journal that I was in Paris, Paris in Ontario.  I also drove across the Thames river several times.  The Thames is a river in Ontario that flows through London, Ontario.  What road were you on, what was the weather like. My trip from London to Strathroy in Ontario it was pouring rain and getting into my hotel was a big experience.  I was driving in western Ontario and there were these amazing windmills coming out of the ground.  The only thing I didn’t do was get a good picture.
  2. When driving you can get lost and that can be an interesting experience.  Or there is a really scary part of the road like the round about in Montreal that I barely made it through.
  3. Where you stayed.  I have had some really interesting experiences at motels.  The one I stayed in Hartford, CT the first time was really bad so the second time through I found a better place south of that city in a lovely B&B. One man had a toupee on and I noticed this as he was checking me in. What was the place like?  I like Bed and Breakfasts and they can be really beautiful or it is a beautiful old hotel.
  4.  What you ate and where you ate it.  Yes, really, so if you go back you can find that same restaurant especially if you liked it.  We did this in Hawaii and I did this in Ontario.
  5. Who you met both family and people you encounter.  At Niagara Falls my waitress at the restaurant overlooking the falls was very knowledgeable and we chatted about the falls.  She told me many interesting things.  I spent a lot of great time visiting with cousins and close cousins and I tried to write out what was talked about.  Now, not all encounters a great and I write about them in my journal.
  6. I have several large binders with my trip itineraries, journals, maps and memorabilia and I frequently refer to them.  My Aunt Miriam went to Russia with my mother. She did a journal but there was no mention of my mom or other people, just the facts.  She did mention me taking them to the airport.  What I would give to get her impressions of the people she interacted with.
  7. Yes, I post my travels online with photos.  I also journal my trip in a Word.doc which allows me to write a more personal version.  They are all saved on my G drive under Genealogy trips Vol. I, Vacation Vol. II in my binders.

What I have written above is a short version of the actual trip to Montana in 2003 and this particular trip I did not post online because I didn’t start blogging till about 2010.

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

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

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

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

Map of the States - Iowa to Montana

Map of the States – Iowa to Montana

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

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

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

The Great Northern RR in 1920.

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

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

Near Jordan Montana, 2010

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

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

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

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

https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2012/winter/homestead.pdf

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

http://www.distinctlymontana.com/montana-history/04/04/2007/frontier-homestead

Seattle to Miles City, MT

Seattle to Miles City, MT

Yellowstone River west of Billings

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

Reed’s land in Montana.

BML Summary of Land of R.A. Spracklin

BML Summary of Land of R.A. Spracklin

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

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

Reed's Land Patent

Reed’s Land Patent

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Reed's Barn, built of rock and wood

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

IMG03

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reed's Obituary 1938

Reed’s Obituary 1938

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

Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, MT.

Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, MT.

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

Julia Spracklin's Death 1942

Julia Spracklin’s Death 1942

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

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

Reed and Julia's gravesite in Jordan, Pioneer Cemetery

Reed and Julia’s gravesite in Jordan, Pioneer Cemetery

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

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

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

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

Reed Spracklin

Reed A. Spracklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William 1851 to 1939

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

Alta M. No Dates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here they are again in the 1860 census.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olive Siler, Julia's sister

Olive Siler, Julia’s sister

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

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

https://archive.org/details/kibbegenealogica72hann

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

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=mollard&id=I11842

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: 1915 Iowa State Census, Spracklin family, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tales from the Tall Pines

Tales from the Tall Pines

 

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

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

 

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

Tales from the Tall Pines begins with a narrator…

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

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

Scenes from the play

Tales from the Tall Pines

BeulahRillyNewsPlay8

Apparently a linch party was organized

Apparently a lynch party was organized…

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

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