17 November, 1939 – Founder of Pine River Celebrates her Birthday

A group of Amarilla’s friends put together a birthday celebration for her on her 81st Birthday.  The picture below was in the possession of her grandson Keith B. MacDonald and also appeared in the newspaper article which was on the front page of the local paper.

Amarilla a little older

Amarilla in older years…

Mrs. Amarilla Urton Founder of Pine R., Celebrates Birthday 

A birthday has been arranged honoring Mrs. Amarilla Urton, founder of Pine River, on her eighty-first birthday to be held at her home Friday afternoon (today). A group of friends and old time acquaintances will gather on the memorable occasion and partake of a turkey dinner, which is being prepared by Mrs. Frank Shepard and Mrs. Katie Silk. The group will also present her with a purse of sliver in memory of her anniversary. As a fitting gesture to such a distinguished old lady, a short history of her colorful years during the early days of Pine River are related in the following paragraphs. The dates and facts were obtained by the editor thru the courtesy of a number of her friends.

Mrs. Amarilla Urton was born in Iowa County, Iowa on November 17, 1858, coming to Brainerd in 1877, where she was engaged as a seamstress. Here she met and married George Barclay on July 27, 1878. The young couple drove as far as Gull by team the first night and continued their trip the following day by tote-team to the territory now known as Pine River, where Mr. Barclay operated a trading-post on the river, here the property now used as a cemetery. The trading-post was built by Mr. Barclay and McNany in 1877. The following year, the store was moved to the site now occupied by the Round residence, this was really the first business place in the territory. In those days it was known as the trading-post as this was where the Indians brought their furs and exchanged them for supplies, this being the only business conducted at this time as the lumber-jacks had not yet arrived. Mr. Barclay then purchased three 40’s from the federal government, the deed of which was signed by the President, received three years later which will give you some idea of the rapidity in which land deals were made in those days. Additional land was purchased by Mr. Barclay in this vicinity a short time later.

During all this time Mrs. Urton was the only white woman in the territory. For fourteen years the closest white people were at Gull Lake, which was a considerable distance in those days. One can well imagine the pioneering courage needed by a young woman to carry on in the face of all these obstacles. She spent many lonely years up here in the north, planning with her husband, the future of a town, never complaining and always doing her part in the struggle.

The second white woman to make her home here was Mrs. John Leef who arrived in 1895. Shortly after this time several pioneering settlers arrived and lumbering and timber work was in full swing. The railroad came through here in 1892, and was known as the “Brainerd Northern” running from Brainerd as far north as Hackensack which was then known as Laporte. Their main source of revenue being in hauling lumber.

The first post office was built previous to the advent of the railroad, by Mr. Barclay. Mail was delivered twice a week by stages, which traveled from Brained to the Leech Lake Agency. Four days were necessary to make one roundtrip.

The first shingled building in Pine River was the Barclay Hotel, operated by Mrs. Urton and her husband. The hotel was located on the lot across the street from the Farmers Supply store and was destroyed by fire several years ago. It was while engaged in this business that Mr. Barclay was killed while sitting in the lobby of the hotel in 1898. This was the first death recorded in the records of Cass county. Mrs. Urton later married the late George Urton.

Mrs. Urton took an active part in the building of the village donating the property now occupied by the railroad right-of-way, the Pine Ridge Cemetery, power-house site, two parks, the Lutheran and Methodist church sites and ten lots for the first school which was built in 1897. The first school teacher was Mrs. Peck. Abe White has the distinction of being the second station-agent in Pine River, coming here in 1900, and continuing in that capacity until two years ago when he retired.

The Urton residence was built in 1905 by Mr. Zigmund, father of Harris and Arthur Zigmund.

All in All, this grand old lady has had a colorful life, one that few have the privilege of experiencing. She has spent 61 years of her life here and is well past her allotted three score and ten, still has a keen mind and enjoys keeping posted on world affairs and the progress of Pine River, to which she gave the best years of her life.

It is only fitting and proper that the citizens of this community salute her as the founder and pioneer of this modern city which has developed far beyond her fondest dreams.

Friday, November 17, 1939, will no doubt be one of the most memorable days in her life as her friends gather to honor her on her 81st anniversary, bringing her the well-wishes of everyone, and the making a happy event by her already eventful life.

Source: The Pine River Journal, Pine River, Minnesota, Friday, Nov. 7, 1939, page 1 col. 4, with Picture.

The article is by far one of the best and pretty accurate regarding the life of Amarilla. It is my belief that she was probably born in Benton County, Iowa near Blairstown because that is where her father Daniel had his land at that time.  He would move to Iowa County but that was not till after 1870.

I think it is very interesting that no mention is made of her children George Alexander Barclay and Grace Amarilla Barclay McDonald. Both children had died well before 1939, but there were descendants still living.  They also don’t mention Jefferson Dawes her 2nd husband, nor much about George Urton.  I am sure they didn’t have the room to really cover all the history.

It is too bad great-grandmother never wrote down her life story or her memories, it would have been wonderful to know her life in her own words.

George Urton Passes in March of 1939!

George Urton was 77 years old in 1939.  He had been sick for a while and he finally succumbed on the 13 of March, 1939. George Urton was laid to rest in the Pine Ridge Cemetery per his death certificate.  I have yet to find out if this is where he is buried. I walked the cemetery but did not find his tombstone.  Find A Grave does not have a memorial for him at this time.

March 17, 1939 Announcement of George's Death

March 17, 1939 Announcement of George’s Death

Pine River Journal Mar 17, 1939
George Urton Passes Monday, Services Saturday.
George Urton passed away at his house here late Monday night, following a lingering illness. Mr. Urton was 76 years of age at the time of his death. Funeral services will be conducted from the Chapel of the Northlund Funeral Home, Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Meade officiating. The internment will be made in the Pine Ridge Cemetery. A complete obituary will be published next week.

Card of Thanks

Card of Thanks

Card of Thanks Friday, March 24, 1939, Pine River Journal Newspaper, Pine River, MN

Card of Thanks – We wish to express our sincere thanks to the many friends and neighbors who assisted us during the illness and death of Mr. Urton. We especially which to thank the Olson Brothers for their inspiring songs, Rev. Mead for his comforting words, those who brought the message by song and to those who sent floral offerings. Signed Mrs. George Urton and Grandchildren.

Obituary George Urton 1939

Obituary George Urton 1939

From the Cass County Independent Newspaper, March 24, 1939

George W. Urton was born in Birmington, Ohio, on May 5, 1862, and spent his early life in that state. He came to Pine River about 24 years ago, having spent a few years previous to that in Mora, Minn. On June 24, 1919, he was married to Mrs. Amarilla Dawes, pioneer resident of Pine River. With the exception of the winter of 1934, which they spent in Florida because of Mr. Urton’s health, he has made his home continuously in Pine River since coming here. Mr. Urton passed away Monday night, March 13, after a short illness at his home. His health had been frail since a long illness a year ago last fall. Funeral services were conducted Saturday afternoon at the Northland Funeral chapel with the Rev. Robert Mead officiating. Burial was made in Pine Ridge cemetery.  Note:  There is no Birmington in Ohio, but there are three Birmingham, Ohios in several counties.

I step back in time and revisit George’s first marriage.  I found an obituary for his wife Serepta and it gives more information about their lives.  I am not clear on the children from this marriage.  They mention a daughter in the article below but I did find a marriage for a George Urton born about 1894 to a Mary Pederson in 1915 in Walker at the court house.  I assumed it was a son.

Death of Mrs. Urton – Wife of George Urton Died of Apoplexy at Home, 1709 Oak Street, Wednesday Morning.  The Brainerd Dispatch, Wed. January 13, 1915.

Mrs. Serepta Urton, aged 50, wife of George Urton, died of apoplexy Wednesday morning at her home, 1709 Oak street. She leaves a husband and a daughter, Mrs. B.L. Yount, of 1601 Oak Street.  Mr. and Mrs. Urton have made their home in Brainerd since March of last year. Previous to that they lived in St. Paul and Mora, coming originally from Wilmington, Ohio. She has a brother, Chauncey Littleton, living on a farm near Tadmore, Ohio, a brother, Clark Littleton, at Moran, Illinois. Three sisters, Mrs. Clara Moran, Mrs. Ossa Moran and Miss Alice Littleton, reside in Wilmington, Ohio. Mrs. Urton was member of the Methodist church. The funeral will be held at 2 o’clock Friday afternoon from the residence. The sympathy of the community is extended to the family in its bereavement.

I really don’t know much about Amarilla and George’s relationship but I think that this third marriage worked out for her. It appears they both were not of good health in the later part of the 1930’s. In November of 1939 her friends and the town would celebrate her life with a birthday party, hopefully, that was a bright spot in a sad time for her, she was not unfamiliar with tragedy in her life.

One last and final try for George Barclay’s Civil War Pension – 1939

Money for Amarilla must have been tight, she was having trouble paying her taxes on her land. Based on gossip from the local paper both her and George Urton did not seem to be in good health. Amarilla apparently suffered a slight heart attack in 1936 and in the same article George was not doing to well either.  In 1937 Amarilla got into trouble with some wood.

Meets with Unfortunate Accident New Years:  Mrs. George Urton had the misfortune of having a pile of wood fall on her on New Years Day. While in the basement gathering wood before building a fire, a stack of wood which had been piled to the ceiling fell on her, seriously cutting the back of her head and blacking her eye. A physician was called immediately to dress her wounds. She is recovering nicely.  Pine River Journal January 7, 1937.

Gordon MacDonald, grandson of Mrs. Urton, arrived Saturday from St. Paul, to be with Msr. Urton who suffered a stroke last week and is still quite ill. He returned to St. Paul, Monday. Mrs. Urton is being cared for by Mrs. Frank Shepard.  Pine River Journal 21, April, 1939.

She tried again for George Barclay’s Civil War pension and this time her grandson Gordon McDonald tried to help her. I actually think her friends rallied and made the attempt to get this pension for her.

Remarried Pension form for Civil War 1939 a portion

Remarried Pension form for Civil War 1939 a portion

She had to fill out a Declaration for Remarried Widow’s Pension form again. The form was completed on 17 April, 1939.  She was required to restate information about her marriage in 1878 to George Barclay, and write about her marriage to Jefferson S. Dawes in 1902 and their divorce in 1909.  Lastly, she had to revisited her marriage to George Urton in 1919 and who died March 13, 1939 in Pine River. The form was signed by Ammarilla Urton and witnesses were Mrs. Frank Sheppard of Pine River and R.G. McDonald (Gordon) 1809 Marshall Ave. St. Paul, Min.  She must have been very sick because she signed with an X.

A letter on State of Minnesota Adjutant General’s Office letterhead for St. Paul dated April 19, 1939 was sent to E. L. Bailey the Director, Dependant’s Claims Service, Veterans Administration, Washington D.C.

Dear Sir: Herewith enclosed “Power of Attorney” given this office by Ammarilla Urton, Pine River, Minnesota, claimant in the above entitled claim fro Civil War widow’s pension.

Mrs. Urton is eighty years of age and very sick and if her claim can be expedited in any way it will help her to take care of expenses. Also enclosed the following additional evidence 1) application for Remarried Civil War widow’s pension, 2) Coroner’s Inquest in the death of George Barclay 3) certified copy of public record of the marriage of Ammarilla Urton to the veteran, George A. Barclay July 27, 1878. Very truly yours E.A. Walsh, The Adjutant General. 

They did not waste any time and Amarilla’s claim was denied the reason given:  “forfeiture under act of August 7. 1882.”

I spent some time trying to find a copy of this Legal act that they refer to and here it is.

7 August 1882 c. 438 22 Stat. 345

CHAP. 438.- An act to amend section forty-seven hundred and two, title fifty-seven, Revised Statutes of the United States, and for other purposes.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section forty-seven hundred and two, title fifty-seven, of the Revised Statutes of the United States is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

“Sec. 4702. If any person embraced within the provisions of sections forty-six hundred and ninety-two and forty-six hundred and ninety-three has died since the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or hereafter dies, by reason of any wound, injury, or disease which under the conditions and limitations of such sections would have entitled him to an invalid pension had he been disabled, his widow or if there be no widow, or in case of her death without payment to her of any part of the pension hereinafter mentioned, his child or children under sixteen years of age, shall be entitled to receive the same pension as the husband or father would have been entitled to had he been totally disabled, to commence from the death of the husband or father, to continue to the widow during her widowhood, and to his child or children until they severally attain the age of sixteen years, and no longer; and if the widow remarry, the child or children shall be entitled from the date of remarriage, except when such widow has continued to draw the pension-money after her remarriage, in contravention of law, and such child or children have resided with and been supported by her, their pension will commence at the date to which the widow was last paid.”

SEC. 2. That marriages, except such as are mentioned in section forty-seven hundred and five of the Revised Statutes shall be proven in pension cases to be legal marriages according to the law of the place where the parties resided at the time of marriage or at the time when the right to pension accrued; and the open and notorious adulterous cohabitation of a widow who is a pensioner shall operate to terminate her pension from the commencement of such cohabitation.

APPROVED, August 7, 1882.

It is the Sec. 2 part that was the reason they denied Amarilla the pension.  The Claims Service signed the denial on May 5, 1939. Mrs. Bertha Robideau and Mrs. Alice Leef gave their affidavits but apparently that didn’t help. Amarilla was told she could repeal the decision after a year.

George A. Barclay’s Civil War pension would not be awarded ever; however, the file would become very thick and has provided a great deal of information about George and Amarilla my great grandparents so I am happy. I am sad for her however.

1933: Jefferson G. Dawes succumbs…

J.G. Dawes 1900 to 1902

J.G. Dawes in about 1900 – 1902

Jefferson G. Dawes came to Pine River about 1899 for business reasons. He was a flour salesman. He ended up staying in Pine River and helping Amarilla manage her store and other businesses. He also got involved with the murder investigation for George A. Barclay’s death by testifying at the grand jury trial. Apparently J.G. made a move to try to get Pine River made the county seat in 1901. We know that George Barclay was not happy with Walker being selected. An article appeared in the Saint Paul Globe:

New County, Maybe. Cass Lake to be the prospective Seat of Government

Cass Lake, Minn, April 9, 1901, First Edition, page 3 – During the past week, the plans of a number of the residents of the southern portion of Cass county to move the county seat from Walker to Pine River, the southern residents in return to assist in creating a new county with Cass Lake as the county seat, have been made public. J.G. Dawes, a resident of Pine River, was here for several days and broached the subject to a number of prominent citizens. 

He appears with Amarilla in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as store clerk. In 1902 and they married in Minneapolis. He became mayor of Pine River and he and Amarilla platted the city of Pine River.  He built the house in 1904 for Amarilla which still exists. He ventured out to Longville, about this time, and platted that town and built a hotel there.

Source: Jefferson was listed with Amarilla in the 1905 Minnesota State Census, in Pine River, Walden Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota, enumerated 1-2 June, 1905 by Daniel Kline, Line 11, Dawes Jefferson G, Pine River, Male, 56, W, born New York, parents born in England, 29, 1, 9, 4, Retired. Dawes, Ammarilla, Pine River, F, 46, W, born Iowa, parents born Ohio, 28, 3, 28, 3, Retired.

After 1905, I have not been able to show that Amarilla or J.G. were together. So what happened to J.G. Dawes from about 1905 to 1919 when I pick up his trail again. Well J.G. Dawes, being the salesman he was, got a long just fine. Here are some articles about J.G. from the newspapers that I found very interesting.

The Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, March 20, 1908, page 3, J.G. Dawes Back From Mexico, J.G. Dawes, of Pine River, in Brainerd on His Way Home from a Two Month’s Visit in Southwest. J.G. Dawes, for many years a prominent business man of Pine River, is in Brainerd on his way home from a two months’ visit to New Mexico. He also visited Mexico while there…He also visited Texas…

The Brainerd Dispatch on Tuesday, May 19, 1914, page 5 J.G. Dawes impresses visitors from Duluth, B.J. Madden and J.D. Campbell, large stockholders in the Cuyuna-Mille Lacs mine – In the city they met J.G. Dawes former mayor of Pine River, who now makes his headquarters in Brainerd and who is selling agricultural lands and stirring up immigration for Crow Wing county. He has some of the best kind of land for stock raising. 

The Brainerd Dispatch on Friday, May 14, 1915 page 23 had an advertisement for the Dawes Farm Land Company, J.G. Dawes, Manager.

J.G. Dawes Company in Brainerd, the AD

J.G. Dawes Company in Brainerd, the AD

The Brainerd Dispatch on Monday Nov. 6, 1916, page 5 – Value of Farms Lands Increase, J.G. Dawes of the Dawes Farm Land Agency, Gives Reasons Why an Advance is Due. Now is the Best time to Buy, Prices for Farm Products are the Highest Since the Civil War, Land at Bottom Price.  This is a long article with J.G. giving his opinion about agricultural lands and it is quite interesting, here is a little bit: “In an interview accorded the Dispatch, J.G. Dawes, head of the Dawes Farm Land Agency, stated that now was the time to buy land, as in his opinion the bottom had been reached in prices, etc…But now the fear of war has vanished, and the political campaign will be over in a few days. With the prices of farm products still at such a high notch and stocks of all kinds of farm products so far below normal it will take at least three good average crops to replace our stocks to a normal condition….He goes on to encourage people to buy. 

The Brainerd Dispatch presents another article on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 1919, page 5  with J.G. Dawes’ Plan Selling Farms, In These Days of Over Inflation of Land Values, Mr. Dawes has the Sanest Selling Plan. No Options are Allowed, Substantial First Payments are required on Land, Owner Continues Tenancy for Period….J.G. Dawes of the Dawes Land Co. of Brainerd has a plan which is conservative and just alike to buyer and seller, protecting especially the farmer wishing to sell his land.”  The article is very detailed and went on about how the plan works.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports on in another very detailed article on Tuesday, August 25, 1925, page 1 that J.G. interacts with Chicago Big Capitalists. These men were taking options at Rocky Point on Gull Lake with an additional 400 acres adjacent. “As stated by J.G. Dawes, the difficulty of securing the options was negotiated by Wrigley’s agent hinges on acquiring additional land so as to get an acreage of 800 acres. The eventual price, it is claimed is between $50,000 and $60,000. Cottages are to be built for fifty Chicago millionaires, says Mr. Dawes…”

So we see from the above that J.G. Dawes was making his way in the world and doing well.

Stepping back in time a little we review that on 18 August, 1909 Amarilla was granted a divorce from J.G. Dawes. J.G. didn’t contest it even though he felt it was unfair.  The terms of the divorce was divorce by cruel and inhuman manner which is a catch-all for just about any reason to get a divorce back then. In today’s world we have some form of no fault divorce. 

I could not find J.G. in the 1910 census but he is tracked down by the Special Examiner for Civil War Pensions. This man found J.G. Dawes living in Brainerd in 1919 which is confirmed by the above articles from the newspaper. This places J.G. Dawes in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census there and he has not remarried.

Source: Jefferson G. Dawes, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, City of Brainerd, Crow Wing. Co., Minnesota, Vol. 15, ED 122, Sheet 18, Line 93, M1569, Roll #31, D200.

Jefferson G. Dawes, white, age 71, divorced, birth place New York, living on 6th street, in-house 2215, living alone, father born in Ohio, mother in England. Occupation: Sales, [real estate].

J.G. Dawes is still in Brainerd in 1930 but he is now 83 years old.

Source:  J.G. Dawes, 1930 U.S. Census, Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota, ED#18-1, SD#5, Sht#5A, enumerated on April 4, 1930 by a Mrs. Margaret I. Henderson.

Line 35, 30, 62, Dawes, Jefferson G, Head, R, 5, No, M, W, 83, S, No, Yes, born New York, father born Ohio, mother Canada English, yes, no occupation. 

Jefferson G. Dawes died on October 4, 1933 in Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota. He was 86 years old.

Source: Jefferson G. Dawes (Daws), Certificate of Death, #3082 – Oct 4, 1933, FHL#2242330.

Died in Brainerd, Crow Co., Minnesota. Residence 404 4th Ave NE., died on Oct. 4, 1933. Male, white, single. Born Mar 7, 1847 (1874 crossed out), 86 yrs, 6 mos. 27 days, occupation laborer, born in New York, father was James Daws and mother was Mary Ann Sooderhaus (spelling unclear). Birthplaces of both parents unknown. Information was a Mrs. M. Hall B…….Place of burial Brainerd on Oct. 6, 1933, signed by undertaker D.E. Whitney, filed 10/10/1933. He died of Cardiac Insufficiency and other complications.

A brief obituary appeared in the Crow Wing County Review about J.G. Dawes:

Aged Resident of City Succumbs, October 6, 1933, page 1.  

J. G. Dawes, aged resident of Pine River and Brainerd died after a long illness Tuesday evening at the Brainerd City home. Funeral services were not announced yesterday. Mr. Dawes was well known resident of the area, having lived in Pine River for many years since, in fact, the early lumber days in this vicinity, and was involved in some of the early events of the community. He had been residing for some time in Brainerd, and for several years had made his home in the municipal home in Northeast Brainerd.

Another brief article appears in the Brainerd Dispatch on 4 Oct. 1933 pg. 8, c.3

Funeral arrangements were being completed today for Jefferson G. Dawes, 86, who died in the city home early today. The deceased was born in New York, March 7, 1847.

Brainerd Journal Press, front page 1.

On October 6, 1933 this appears:  Jefferson Dawes Dead, Jefferson Dawes, 86 year old, a familiar figure in Brainerd for the past few years, formerly being in the real estate business here, passed away Wednesday and the funeral was held today. Mr. Dawes was born in New York, March 7, 1847.

After searching, I was unable to locate a probate or estate record in the Crow Wing Court records for J.G. Dawes, which I find as odd. I now feel that I would like to do deed search on J.G. Dawes to see where it lead him.  I was focusing on the Barclay’s so I had not really sought out J.G. Dawes.

On one of my trips to Minnesota, I visited the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd and sought out J.G. Dawes’ burial location and tombstone. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a tombstone for J.G. but he is buried there.  The picture below is the approximate location of his grave.  This cemetery is well-kept but even with the best care a stone can disappear.  Whether he had one originally it is hard to say.

There is a Find A Grave memorial for Jefferson Dawes with some links.

He is in Sec NWC L17 B31 – Evergreens Directory of the Dead:  http://www.brainerd.net/~evergreencem/dotdnames_d.html

J.G. Dawes, Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, MN.

J.G. Dawes, Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, MN.

A PAGE at the top of this blog had a table of contents of the posts written about Amarilla and J.G. Dawes is listed as well. You will have to scroll down to find his section but remember you might need to read about Amarilla from about 1898 on so that you can understand how J.G. fits into the events of the town of Pine River.

I wish I could have learned more about his background, parents and family.  I suspect that he had a sister in living in Brainerd, maybe that is the Mrs. Hall in the death certificate?  If his parents came from England this means he is a newer line of the Dawes Family.

Amarilla and George Urton and the 1930’s…

In 1930 Amarilla and George Urton are together and living in Pine River. She states in the census that her father was born in England but I think she is confusing him with her grandfather John A. Spracklin. Daniel D. Spracklin and her mother Elizabeth Keller Spracklin were born in Ohio.

Second Street, Line 73, 20/20 Urton, George, Head, own, no, male, white, 66 yrs, married, married at 56, no, yes, born in Ohio, both parents born in Ohio, trader of horses/cattle, yes, no, 2. Line 74. Urton, Ammarilla, white -H, V, female, white, age 71, married, married at 60 yrs., no, yes, born in Iowa, father born in England, mother born in Ohio, merchant, groceries, drygoods, yes.

Source:  George Urton Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Pine River Twp., Cass Co., Minnesota, ED 11-39, SD 2, Sht. 1 B, April 2, 1930. 

Her neighbors this time are a Maude M. Martin, John Kaler, Harry Hill, a Martin Milberg, Rose Elliott, Theodore LaVoie, Everett Evans,  and Thomas Nash. The Urtons are on Second and Lake Street.

The Pine River State Bank has a wonderful picture dated 1924 and a little history about the bank at this link.

https://www.pineriverstatebank.com/history

Black Tuesday

Things would get tough for everyone in the 1930’s after the stock market crash. On October 29, 1929 Black Tuesday hit Wall Street and billions of dollars were lost wiping out thousands of investors. The Great Depression settled on the country.

Amarilla and George Urton appear in the records for Pine River having delinquent taxes, from 1924 to 1933 their total tax bill was $280.54 in 1935 from the County Assessors of Cass County for Lot 1 and 2 Urton 1st Addition.

Amarilla’s beautiful house was partitioned off into apartments at some point and I suspect it was in the 1930’s.  This gossip from the local paper is for 1941 but I have seen evidence of this coming and going from the Urton residence going on all through the 1930’s.

In September of 1941

In September of 1941, Pine River Journal

 

 

Harry’s Estate: Harry and Frieda Spracklin’s Children

What follows is more information on the children of Harry and Frieda Spracklin.  I am sharing just the highlights of this family because I think it is an example of triumph over some hard times.

At the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I sought out the estate of Harry Spracklin but found instead a huge guardianship, which involved the care of George, Bertha, Florence, Harold and Alice. This guardianship lasted from about 1927 through to 1943 when Alice got married, a total of about 15 years. During that 15 year time frame there were three guardians to administer the account of which two who died during the process. The guardianship was funded by Harry’s Spanish War Pension.  This guardianship is very involved with many pages and took a long time to photograph from the film.

Source:  Harry Spracklin Probate Packet #1543779, 1928, 2nd Series #12989-13048, 1928-1938 FHL#1493218, Probate Index 1834-1958 Nebstedt-Zwickey FHL#1479397 Item 1, Scott County, Probate Court, Iowa. 

Dorothy had married and Leroy was old enough so they did not get involved with the guardianship.

No. 1 – Dorothy Elizabeth Spracklin, born 15, May, 1909 in Davenport, Scott Co., Iowa. She married on 3 July, 1926 in Davenport to Donald Lee Sievert born about 1901 in Iowa. They had Delores E. Sievert born about 1936 and William Donald Sievert who died 9 December, 1927 in Davenport and was buried on the 11th of December, 1927.

Source: “Sievert Spracklin Wedding,” Davenport Democrat & Leader, July 6, 1926, pg. 14, 2nd column, Microfilm (7/1/1926-8/31/1926), State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. 

Sievert-Spracklin Wedding – The wedding of Miss Dorothy Elizabeth Spracklin, daugther of Mr. and Mrs. Harry L. Spracklin of 321 Gaines Street, Davenport to Donald Sievert of 121 Brown Street son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward McCarthy, took place Saturday, July 3. The young people were married by John J. McSwiggen, assistant county attorney in his office in the early afternoon. The bride’s mother and father witnessed the ceremony. Mr. Sievert is an automobile salesman.

Something happened and Dorothy remarried on 21 June, 1943 in Davenport to Andy Patrick Heffernen who was born 17 October, 1917 in Buchanan Co., Iowa to Patrick Heffernen and Margaret Carr. Dorothy and Andy had about 4 children together: Patrick, Kathleen, Thomas and James.

Dorothy died on 6 May, 2007 in Jessup, Buchanan Co., Iowa and is buried in the Saint Athanasius Cemetery there. Her husband Andy died in 1990. Find A Grave has a memorial with links and good information on this family.

I found Dorothy with Donald in the 1940 census living in Cedar Rapids, Linn Co., Iowa.

Line 76, 1433, 18, R, 6, 76, Sievert, Donald Lee, Head, M, W, 39, M, no, 4, 30, Iowa, Same home, yes, 48, Auto Salesman, Wabuck Auto, PW, 298, 69, 1 , 52, 1200, no. Sievert, Dorothy E., wife, Fe, W, 30, M, No, 4, 9, Iowa. Sievert, Doleris E. daughter, F, W, 4, S, No, 0, born Iowa.

Source: Donald Lee Sievert Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Cedar Rapids, Linn, Iowa, Roll T627_1176, Page 1B, ED 57-58.  

2.  Leroy Herman Spracklin, was born 22 May, 1911 in Davenport. Leroy and his brother George got into trouble regarding petty thievery per an article in the Davenport Democrat and Leader of August 12, 1925. He must have turned this around because in April of 1929 the local paper states that he was one of three accepted for service in the Navy. They passed an examination at Des Moines and will proceed to San Diego for two months for preliminary training.  From what I have seen Leroy made the Navy his career for 19 years.

In June of 1949 Leroy filled out an Application for State of Iowa Military Pension form #162073 for about $500.00.

Summary of form: Name: Leroy Herman Spracklin,  Residence: Interlachen, Putnam Co., Florida, born May 22, 1911 Davenport, Iowa. Entered the Navy April 4, 1929 and separated December 1, 1948. WWII: U.S.S. Aaron Ward, Leary, Upshur, Ingraham, O’Bannon, Radford. Foreign Service: June 30, 1940 to November 1, 1947. 

So Leroy served during World War II and was on a series of ships during that time.  Leroy married on 15, December, 1943 in Solano, California to an Elaine Audree Clifford.

3. Herbert Spracklin was born 15 July 1912 in Davenport, and died in a tragic accident on 8 February, 1920 in Davenport. See the last post for more information about the death of little Herbert.

4. George Wilbert Spracklin was born 20 August, 1914 in Davenport. George got in trouble along with Leroy regarding petty theft in 1925.  George’s was part of the guardianship from 1927 to about 1935 when he was given his final payment.

Here are some highlights from the guardianship which was many pages long:

In 1927 George W. was living with his mother Frieda according to the guardianship. The Second Report given to the court by Mr. Schroder was dated between Jan 1, 1933 to Feb 25, 1934 and it states that George W. was shifting for himself in Davenport, Iowa and he has been asking for money for room and board and had subsequently disappeared.

Final Report from the guardian for George W. Spracklin came on 21 August 1935 states George was confined to the Iowa State Penitentiary at Fort Madison for stealing an automobile. On 9th of March, 1936 – 4th Annual Report from the guardian and it released the guardian from George W. Spracklin in duty and liability.

Go back in time a little we find in 1930 that George is the census and he is in the Iowa Training School for Boys, in Eldora City, Hardin Co., Iowa.  Line 69, Spracklin, George W, Inmate, M, W, 15, S, yes, yes, born Iowa, parents born Iowa, 65, Engineer, no, yes. George W. Spracklin, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Eldora, Hardin Co., Iowa, Iowa Training School for Boys, ED#42-10, SD#6, Sht#5b, enumerated April 5, 1930, Mrs. Helen Hayes. 

In the 1940 Census we find George in the State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

Line 56, Spracklin, George #17072, W, 24, S, H-4, born Iowa, Iowa State Penitentiary, Fort Madison, County of Lee, Iowa SD#1, ED#56-23, Sht#5B, enumerated 20 April, 1940 by Oscar Stephen Neal. 

Things were not going well for George but events turned around when he entered the military during World War II and served. He married a Lily M. and had a family. He died on 24 March, 1985 in Hiawatha, Linn Co., Iowa.

George W. Spracklin

George W. Spracklin

In 1949 he applied for his pension: George W. Spracklin, Application for WWII Service Compensation, May 16, 1949

George W. Spracklin, 606 C. Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, Linn, Iowa, 1433 Mt. Vernon Ave. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, DofBirth Aug 20, 1914 Davenport, Iowa, #37 039 151, Date of entry Feb. 20, 1941, Date of Separation March 18, 1944, 56 months, $500.00 due. Army, Discharge, honorable yes, no military discipline, Co. C 9th BN Camp Gordon, Georgia, Notary Ralph W. Mock, Linn Iowa.
Date of entry to active duty, Feb 20, 1941
Place of entry Ft. Crook, Nebraska
Discharge July 15, 1945
Dated 3, May 1949 Ralph W. Mock Notary

What was happening with the other children of Harry and Frieda:

In the 1930 Census we find something very interesting happening, three of the children are living in the Iowa Soldier’s Orphan Home in Davenport:

Line 9, Spracklin, Bertha, Inmate, No, F, W, 13, S, yes, yes, born Iowa, parents born in Iowa, 65, yes, none.
Spracklin, Florence, Inmate, No, F, W, 11, S, yes, born Missouri, parents born in Iowa, 66, yes, none.
Spracklin, Harold, Inmate, No, Ma, W, 7, S, yes, born Iowa, parents born in Iowa, 65, none.

Source: Harry Spracklin Children: Bertha, Florence, Harold Spracklin, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Iowa Soldiers Orphan Home, Davenport, Scott Co., Iowa, Ward #5, Block 2700 to 2800, ED#82-43, SD#11, Sht# 7A, enumerated April 7, 1930, Walter A. Swanson.

Why did Frieda give up her children. Well I would have to study court records to determine what was the true cause of the break up of the family. I think it may have had something to do with alcohol or the behavior of her two sons. Before Harry’s death an article appeared in the Davenport Democrat and Leader:

GOT JOYFUL ON WEDDING DATE: Haled to Court, March 30, 1925, page 16.  In the article Harry and Frieda got drunk celebrating the 18th wedding anniversary.  They weren’t arrested.

After Harry’s death Frieda got in trouble on her own: MOTHER OF SIX CAUGHT IN RAID, January 15, 1928, page 15.

Mrs. Freda Spracklin, who gave her address to police as — Jackson avenue, mother of six children, was arraigned in police court Saturday morning and fined $1 and cost and given a ten day suspended jail sentence when she was found guilty of being an inmate of a disorderly house. She was arrested…Friday night by Officer Fisher and Police woman Inger Estes. A drinking party was in progress, officer testified…Police found more than 50 bottles of beer at the house. Probation Officer Byron Ramsey said in police court that complaints made against Mrs. Spracklin were to be made to a judge in juvenile court.

5.  Bertha Sophia Spracklin was born on 6 April, 1916 in Davenport. She testified in the rape case in 1923 that I have mentioned in the last post.  The man was sentenced to prison so she didn’t have to suffer fear of his finding and hurting her but it was still a traumatic event in her very young life.

In 1930 we have seen that she was one of three of her siblings at the Iowa Soldiers Orphan Home n Davenport.  She also was part of the guardianship that was established after her father Harry’s death.

Bertha Sophie Spracklin was involved with the guardianship from 1927 to about 1939. She was adopted in about 1932 by a family named Hall in Marion, Iowa but they returned her to the home in 1933.

Here are some highlights from the guardianship:

Good news came from Iowa Soldier’s Orphans’ Home dated May 22, 1935 about Bertha Spracklin and recommending that she be adopted by her Aunt who lives in New York City at 525 West 169th St. The Aunt is a widow and her name is (Bertha M.) Hoyt. The Superintendent of the Orphan’s home feels that Bertha has been at the home for most of her life and the chance for her to have a good life with her Aunt is greater than with them. He recommends the move for Bertha and it is approved by the Bureau of Child Welfare in Des Moines.

In October of 1936 Bertha S. Spracklin was at Beech, Iowa working for a family by the name of C.H. Knox having been placed there by the Superintendent of the Soldier’s Orphans Home apparently the adoption by her Aunt was not going well.

Sept. 21, 1936 – Order from the guardian is seeking to have funds released and bonds sold so that Bertha Spracklin can be sent to her Aunt in New York. The 1st Successor Guardian Report of April 19, 1937 says that Bertha Sophia is making her home with her aunt in New York and has reached the age of 21 and all monies are released to her in 1937.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to track Bertha and find out what happened to her.  There is a possibility that she married a man named Florence.

6.  Florence Margaret Spracklin was born the 6th of October, 1918 and it is said she was born in Montana. We do know that Harry had land there as stated in the last post.  Florence was also involved in the rape case.

In 1930 she was with her other siblings at the Home in Davenport.  Here are some highlights from her part in the guardianship.

1936
Florence M. Spracklin is in the Girl’s Training School at Mitchellville, Iowa having been sent their by the District Court of Polk Co. She ran away from the Orphan’s home.
1937
Florence M. Spracklin has been released from the Girls’ Training School of Mitchellville, Iowa and placed on parole to Mrs. Luther Porter, Mitchellville, Iowa and is now attending the Mitchellville High School.

Harold and Florence are over the age of 14 and they approve Nic LeGrand. Nic LeGrand is officially guardian as of Oct. 7, 1937.

Order July 12, 1937 – Florence has graduated from the Mitchellville High School and is being allowed to attend the Capital City Commercial College in Des Moines to take a 1 year course. The guardian is asking to supply Florence with monthly funds for necessities, some entertainment and spiritual needs. The court approves the action in order to assist Florence in obtaining an education and earning her own living.

About 1939 her guardianship was ended.

On 7 August, 1944 Florence got married to a James B. Oliver in Cedar Rapids, Linn Co., Iowa. James was born 30 January, 1913 in Vinton, Iowa. They had several children. He died May 1980 in Cedar Rapids. Florence lived a long time and passed on 14 August, 2002 in Cedar Rapids. She and James are buried in the Cedar Memorial Park in Cedar Rapids.  Find A Grave has memorials with links but no tombstone photos at this time.

7.  Hanna Spracklin born 1919 in Montana. No further information.

8.  Harold Leslie Spracklin was born 22 December, 1922 in Davenport.

In 1925 Harold got hit by a car, dashing into the street.  CHILD DASHES INTO STREET; HIT BY AUTO, June 30, 1925, Page 15 Davenport Democrat & Leader.

Harold Spracklin, 3-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Spracklin, 324 Gaines street, was injured at 11:05 this morning when he was struck by an auto driven by Julius Geertz, 637 Clark street.

He was rendered unconscious by the blow and suffered cuts and bruises about the head and face. He was taken to Mercy hospital by Geertz. His injuries are not considered serious.

Mr. Geertz, in his report to police, said he was driving west on Fourth street at a speed of from 15 to 20 miles an hour. The child had been playing in the playground on Fourth street between Brown and Gaines street and suddenly ran from the curb into the street and directly in front of the car.

Harold was involved in the guardianship and his part covers about 1927 to about 1943.

1936:  Harold L. Spracklin is still at the Orphans Home and Alice H. Spracklin has been adopted by the Hall family who live in Marion, Iowa. He was also in the home in the 1930 Census with his siblings. 

1937: Harold Lester Spracklin is still at the Iowa Soldier’s Orphans’ Home in Davenport, Iowa.  

Harold and Florence are over the age of 14 and they approve Nic LeGrand. Nic LeGrand is officially guardian as of Oct. 7, 1937.

Application for Authority to Pay for Tuition etc for Harold L. Spracklin at Columbia College in Dubuque, Iowa.

Second Report of Successor Guardian – Harold L. Spracklin – financial statement since last report and problems with the ward being caught with two other boys from the Orphan’s Home robbing several schools in Davenport. He was brought before the Juvenile Court and the guardian obtained his parole while the others were sent to Eldors. The guardian spent 3 days with the Judge of the District Court, Probation Officer and Superintendent of the Orphan’s home and contacting the Board of Control to get permission to place Harold in Loras College (Same college just new name) in Dubuque, IA. 

January 24, 1942 – Order to Sell Remaining Assets for Schooling for Harold L. Spracklin. Dec. 18, 1942

Final Report for Harold L. Spracklin – Guardian states that minor has now joined the Navy..Monies have been expended to pay for tuition at the Loras College. Asking for authorization to turn all the assets for Harold over to him and terminate the guardianship. Harold signs his receipt Harold Spracklin and someone writes the name “Leslie” in between.

Jan 18, 1943 – Guardian states that Harold is now 18 years old and no more income is forthcoming. Receipt is signed by Harold Spracklin stating he received $40.10 from Mr. LeGrand.

In August of 1949 Harold applies for his military service pension. Harold Leslie Spracklin, 228 3 W 29, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1133 Glass Road NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, born Dec. 22, 1922 Davenport, Iowa, Entered Dec. 15, 1942 separated Dec. 15, 1945, 2 months, six days. $402.50, 38, 380.00 9 months etc. #217424, Warrant #143879

Harold married a Catherine Mae Kirkendal. Catherine was born 5 November,1928. Harold died on 21 February, 2013 in Beggs, Okmulgee Co., Oklahoma. Catherine had passed on 29 December, 2009. Both are buried in the Beggs Cemetery in Komulgee Co., Oklahoma. Find A Grave has a memorial for Catherine but no tombstone photo.  Harold is listed under Spraklin for his memorial at Beggs per Find A Grave.

9.  Alice Margaret Spracklin, was born 17 May, 1925 in Davenport, Scott Co, Iowa. In the 1930 census she is in Marion Co., with the Hall family. So the reason she was not listed in the 1930 census with the other siblings was because she was adopted.  The people who adopted Alice also took in Bernice but it apparently didn’t work out.

Alice was also involved with the guardianship.  She was adopted and her name was changed to Bernice Helen Hall.

1927-1933
Florence Margaret, Harold Lester and Alice S. are still at the Iowa Soldier’s Orphans Home in Davenport, Iowa.
1933
Alice M. has been adopted out (no name given).
1936
Alice Martha was adopted by the Halls and lives in Marion, IA.

In 1930 we find Bernice living with the Hall family.

Line 38, 440, 206, 216, Hall, Gilbert Lawrence, Head, 0, $5000, R, No, N, W, 41, M, 29, No, Yes, born Iowa, parents born Pennsylvania, yes, Manager, Billiard Hall
Hall, Libbie, Wife, H, F, W, 60, M, 16, No, Yes, born Iowa, parents born New York,
Hall, Bernice, adopted daughter, F, W, 4, S, yes, yes, born Iowa, parents born USA,
Line 41, Talor, Clyde, Head, R, 30, No, M, W< 45, M, 29, No, Yes born Iowa, born Virginia, Canada English, Express messenger railway
Taylor, Leona, Wife, H, F, W, 49, M, 32, No, Yes, born Wisconsin, born Germany
Taylor, Jack, Son, M, W, 11, S, yes, yes, born Iowa, born Iowa and Wisconsin

Source: Gilbert L. Hall Family, Bernice Helen Hall, (formerly Alice M. Spracklin), 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Marion, Linn, Iowa, Ward 1, ED#57-23, SD#10, Sht#8A, enumerated April 8, 1930, Mrs. John A. Clay

Bernice is with them still in 1940.

Line 14, 5, 0, 750, yes, Hall, Lawrence G, Head, M, W, 49, M, No, 8, All born Iowa, all same place, manager, cafe.
Hall, Pansy I, wife, F, w, 44, M, No, H4
Goodenough, Leonard, A, step son, M, W, 20, S, No, H3, farm worker, farm
Goodenough, Norma D, step daughter, F, W, 18, S, No, H3
Hall Bernice, H, daughter, F, W, 14, S, yes, H1, 9

Source: Alice Martha Spracklin (Bernice H. Hall), 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Jackson, Linn Co., Iowa, SD# 2, ED#57-20, Sht#1A, enumerated April 2, 1940 by J. Aura Correll.

Final Report of Guardian March 9, 1945 – Alice M. Spracklin has married to an Allen Bush on 5th Sept. 1943, she is now known as Bernice Helen Hall and lives in Long Beach, California. Because of her marriage she is now considered reaching her majority and all monies from the guardianship are to be paid to her and the guardian released from his responsibilities to her. The adopted parents are named Mr.& Mrs. G. L. Hall.

She is mentioned in 1985 in the obituary above of her brother George and she is living in Pine Valley, Utah.  So she was still in contact with her siblings. What happened to her after that I do not know.

With Alice being released from the guardianship it came to an end.

What Happened to Frieda:

Frieda Hilda Ackermann Spracklin remarried to a Mr. Fred Simons on 6 June, 1928 in Davenport. He was the son of R.T. Simons and Martha Townsend.

Source: Iowa Co. Marriages: Fred Simons, Date of Marriage, 05, June 1928, Scott, Iowa, age 45, born about 1883, father R.T. Simons, Mother Martha Townsend. Spouse Frieda Hilda Spracklin, age 41 born about 1887, father Herman Ackerman mother Anna Waller.

At first Frieda disappeared out of the guardianship papers, but I was determined to find her.  She appears in the 1930 census with Fred living in Chicago. The Martha Fessler listed in the census is Frieda’s sister.

Hanson St.] Line 3, 30, 110, 152, Fessler, John, Head, R, $80, R, No, M, W, 43, M, 37, no, yes, born Illinois, parents born Illinois, 61, yes, laborer, parks, 7893, W, yes, No.
Fessler, Martha, wife, F, M, 53, M, 21, no, yes, born Iowa, parents born Germany Eddelock, 65, 13, 0, yes, none, 829V, 0, yes,
Simons, Fred, brother-in-law, M, W, 46, M, 45, no, yes, born Iowa, parents born Iowa, 65, yes, dump man, construction, 78X1, W, yes, no.
Simons, Freda, sister-in-law, F, W, 42, M, 19, no, yes, born Iowa, parents born Germany – Eddelock, 65, 13, 0, yes, none.
Tallman, Jerome,Lodger, M, W, 47, M, 29, no, yes, born PA, father NY, mother PA, 56, yes, painter, 28X1, W, no, 02, no.
Hudgens, Medrith, Lodger, F, W, 19, M, 18, no, yes, born Indiana, father Indiana, mother Alabama, 60, yes, none.
Vitito, Lois G., Lodger, F, W, 24, M, 16, no, yes, born Indiana, parents born Indiana, 60, yes, none, 60, yes, none.
Tallman, Nellie, Lodger, F, W, 47, M, 28, no, yes, born New York, parents born New York, 56, yes, labeler, factory, 7769, W, yes.
Tallman, Marion, Lodger, F, W, 17, S, no, yes, born New York, father PA, mother NY, 56, yes, Telephone operator, 9979, W, yes.
Tallman, Richard, Lodger, M, W, 7, S, yes, born Illinois, father PA, mother NY, 61, yes, none

Source: John Fessler Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Chicago, Cook County, Chicago, Illinois, Precinct #30, Ward 27th PT, Block#246, ED#16-739, SD#6, Sht#12A, (269/3565) enumerated 24 April, 1930, Marion Forbes.

Frieda and Fred Simons didn’t say in Chicago, they returned to and settled in Cedar Rapids Twp., Linn Co., Iowa by 1940.

Line 3, [Glasses Rd.] 1133, 69, 63, 5, No, Simons, Fred, Head, M, W,56, M, No, 6, born Iowa, all same place, no, no, yes, 32, WPA laborer, clerk at store, 30, 350, no
Simons, Freda H., wife, F, W, 52, M, no, H1, born Iowa, no, no, no, no, no, o, o, no
Sifert, Dorothy, daughter, F, W, 31, M, no, H4, born Iowa, no, no, no, no, no, o, o, no
Sifert, Donald, son-in-law, M, W, 40, M, no, 5, born Iowa, no, yes, 72, salesman, retail automobile, 52, 800, yes.
Sifert, Delores E. granddaughter, F, W, 4, S, no, 0, born Iowa
Spracklin, Charles, stepson, M, W, 17, S, not at school, 8, no, no, no, no, no

Source:  Fred Simon Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Cedar Rapids, Rapids Twps, Linn Co., Iowa, Block#91-92, SD#2, ED57-42B, Sht#4A, enumerated on 18 April 1940 by ________.

This to me is good news because Frieda is back in Iowa and near her children. We see that Dorothy is with her.  The Sieverts are actually enumerated twice in this 1940 census – see above.  However, I still don’t know where she or Fred are buried, I suspect in Cedar Rapids.

In spite of the tragedies and difficulties in this family, the children grew up, rallied and went on to live their lives and it looks like they all did well and kept in touch with each other. Of course, more research could be done on these individuals such as finding there final resting place, studying court records, obituaries and more.  At this time I feel that I have done all I can or should on this family of Harry and Frieda’s.