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.

Amarilla is blessed with a second grandson in 1910!

In the year 1910, Amarilla Dawes was doing well, on her own, and gifted with another grandson by the name of Keith.

Keith Barclay John McDonald was born 13 March, 1910 in International Falls, Minnesota to Ronald S. McDonald and Grace A. Barclay McDonald.  His grandparents were George Barclay and Amarilla Spracklin, so that was his middle name.  The “John” was his baptismal name.

You will find more information about Keith at the blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes, where I share about his ancestors and their origins. See the link on the right side of this blog under BJ’s Family History blogs.

Keith B. McDonald about 1911

Keith B. McDonald about 1911. I think he wants the camera…

He would graduate from Gonzaga High School in 1929 in Spokane and enter the military during the 1930’s.  He would attend airplane mechanics school at Chanute Field in Illinois and later became an inspector of airplanes for the U.S. Air Force at Boeing in Seattle.  He knew how to repair airplane engines, automobiles engines, and boat engines. He was an expert engine mechanic.  He was also an inventor. He built several campers of his own design which were like forerunners of the tent trailers only he used aluminum.  He built his own boat and put hydroplanes on it.  He obtained a patent for his fishing oar design.  He was very curious and loved anything that had an airplane engine in it including hydroplane racing boats.  He married in 1941 to Marjorie Boardman and they have descendants living today, including the writer of this blog.

Grace gives Amarilla another granddaughter: Edna Lorraine in 1907

Amarilla was not involved with Alexander’s estate but she was kept busy with grandchildren. During Alexander’s probate process Grace gave birth to Miriam in January of 1906 and the following year she gave birth to another granddaughter.

The new baby was Edna Lorraine McDonald born on the 28th day of March, 1907. Grace and Ronald were living in International Falls at the time.

Edna was better known to all as Eddie. I do not have any baby pictures of Eddie.  This is the earliest photo that I have.

Eddie as a little girl

Eddie as a little girl

Eddie about 1926

Eddie about 1926

You can find out more about Eddie by going to the blog: The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  You will find the link on the right side of this blog. There are a lot of fun items shared from Eddie’s “Collection of Junk,” scrapbook on that blog.

Eddie was destined to become a nurse.  She graduated in 1928 from Sacred Heart School of Nursing in Spokane. She worked her whole life as a nurse.  Eddie loved the water so she headed to Seattle after 1930 and settled there on what is called Alki Beach and it would be her home for the remainder of her life.

She liked bright colors and prints so it is too bad we don’t know the colors of her dress in the picture below.  She might have made the dress herself.  Here she is preparing our Christmas Eve dinner a tradition in the family.

Eddie on Xmas Eve preparing our dinner in her tiny kitchen

Eddie on Christmas Eve preparing our dinner in her tiny kitchen

Heirs of Alexander Barclay: Sarah Agnes Barclay Blinn

Sarah Agnes Barclay has also given me trouble.  I thought I had her in Connecticut married to a Porter Blinn but discovered, when I was in Connecticut in 2011, that it was a Sarah Grissom who married Porter Blinn. This is an example of checking other records like marriages and not just relying on census. The Sarah Agnes Barclay Blinn I wanted married a James Blinn.  As you read the information below you will see that Sarah is still giving me trouble.

In Salt Lake City, in October 2014, I found a birth record for an unnamed baby. The parents were Jas. B. Blinn and Sarah A. Barclay Blinn. The baby was born 29, June 1868 in Hartford, Hartford Co., Connecticut. FHL#1313829.

Birth Record child of Sarah and James.

Birth Record child of Sarah and James.

June 29, ____ Blinn, Male, Jas, B. & Sarah A. Barclay Blinn, father 41, mother 22, 121 Park Street, Occupation of the father [M/Woulder] W. H. Tremaine, physician. Mother’s occupation Bonnet Maker.

Update 6/10/2016 – I just recently found them in the 1870 Census.  They are living in Bridgeport, Connecticut:

line 27, They are under house 1708 of a Dolph, Edwin L.  2531, Blinn, James B, 40, M, W, Iron Moulder, $150, born Connecticut, his parents are of foreign birth

Blinn, Sarah, A, 28, F, W, domestic _____, born Conn. parents of foreign birth. 

Blinn, Anna E, 8/12 F, W. 

Source:  1870 U.S. Federal Census, James Blinn Family, page 312, Bridgeport, County of Fairfield, Connecticut, enumerated the 26th day of July, 1870 by a Philo L. Bainerd. 

The 1880 Connecticut Census has a James with a Sarah A. which might be them but the ages do not match the birth record above?

Line 28, 1751/2, 19, 30 Blinn, James B. W, M, 52, Iron Maulder, born Connecticut, parents born Ireland.

Blinn, Sarah A. W, F, 33, Wife, Hair worker, born Connecticut, father born England, mother born Scotland. 

Blinn, Rex E., W, M, 8, son, at school, born Connecticut, parents born Connecticut.

Blinn, Olive May, W, F, 3, daughter, at school, born Connecticut, parents born Connecticut. 

 Source: James Blinn Family, Hartford, Hartford Co., Connecticut, page 3, SD#2, ED#4, enumerated 1 of June 1880, by J. McConville. 

Sarah Agnes Blinn witnesses a deed between Grace and Amarilla in 1899 in August.  I have featured this deed in a previous post on this blog regarding George A. Barclay’s estate, in Pine River. See the post dated March 24, 2014 titled: “Final Decree Aug. 15, 1899 – George’s Legacy.”  I am glad Grace got to meet more of her father’s siblings.  I think of all the lost stories of this family, sigh!

Update 6/10/2016 – I no longer feel that this is Sarah it just doesn’t work.  In the 1900 Census we find Sarah with a daughter in California.

Line 84, 426, 55, 103, Blinn/Blum, Sarah, Head, W, F, June 1834, 65 Wd, 2 children born, 2 died. Born in Scotland, Immigrated 1851, 49 years in U.S., no occupation. 

Blum, Louisa, daughter, W, F, Nov. 1853, age 46, S, born California, father born Sweden, mother Scotland, no occupation

Source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Sarah Blum, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California, SD# 1, ED 306, Sht 4, Assembly Dist. No. 45, enumerated on the 4th day of June 1900, by Joseph A. Gendoth. 

If this is Sarah Agnes Barclay Blinn then I find her birth date very interesting and the fact she immigrated in 1851 also very interesting.  Her daughter Louise is very confusing with the age 46 and the birth 1853?

1910 U.S. Census Seattle, King County, Washington we find them under the name Blain. Update 6/10/2016 – The only thing that bothers me is that she is said to be born in PA and I think that is not correct.  So this is where things get tricky.

Line 96, 24th Avenue, 46, 56, Blain, Sarah A., head, F, W, 60 Wd, 5 children born 2 living, born Pennsylvania, Scot – Engl, Eng. English, Income, yes, yes. 

Leola M. daughter, F, W, 33, D, 0 0, Born Pennsylvania, Father born New Jersey, mother born PA, English, Clerk, Abstract Office, W, No. O, yes, yes.

Source:  Sarah Blain Family, 1910 Seattle, King County, Washington 11th Precinct part of, SD#1, ED#93, Ward 3 Part of), Sht#2, enumerated 16 April 1910, by T/F. W. Van Allen. Blain, 

In 1920 Sarah is living in an insane asylum and probably has suffered the same fate as Alexander who was found wandering Farmington before his death and ended up in the Rochester Hospital in Olmsted Co., Minnesota.  It is very interesting that her parents are born in New York?

Line 65, Blinn, Sarah A, F, W, 69, WD, yes, yes, born Connecticut, father born New York, mother born New York, yes,, no occupation. 

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Napa State Hospital, Napa, California, Juarez Precinct, SD#3, ED# 56, Sht.#16, enumerated 14 January 1920, by John K. Harries.

The information provided below may or may not be the correct family, there is a tombstone at Find A Grave in the Sunset View Cemetery in Contra Costa, California, for a Sarah A. Blinn with the appropriate dates. She is listed as the Mother of Leola M. Kellogg but I don’t know or can’t find a Leola Kellogg marriage record:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Blinn&GSfn=Sarah&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=137683492&df=all&

Daughter Leola Mae may have married first an Alexander Buck and lived in Contra Costa but based on the above, I am not sure.

Line 71, 423, 433, Buck, Alexander, Head, M,W, 35 M, yes, yes, born PA, parents born PA. yes, truck_____Contractor. 

Buck, Leola Mae, F, W, 34, M, yes, yes, born Connecticut, parents born Connecticut, none. 

Source:  Alexander Buck Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Contra Costa, California, 7th Township, SD#3, ED#17, Sht.#18, enumerated 31, January 1920, by Claire W. Schmidt. 

By 1930 they have moved to Placer, California.

Line 92, 178, 198, Buck, Alexander, yes, M, W, 45, M, 21, no, yes, born Connecticut, parents born Connecticut, 55, yes, rancher, fruit ranch

Buck, Leola, F, W, 44, M, 21, no, yes, born Connecticut, parents born Connecticut

Buck, Sarah, daughter, F, W, 8, S, yes, yes, born Connecticut, parents born, Connecticut, rancher, fruit ranch. 

Source:  Alexander Buck, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Placer, California, township 14, ED# 31-27, SD4, Sht#7, enumerated on 22, April, 1930 by Matthew W. Coates.

Sarah J. Buck was born 4 January 1922 in Placer and her mother’s maiden name was Blinn.

1940 we find Alexander with a May in Placer.

Line 41, 141, O, 200, No, Buck, Alexander E. Head, M, W, 55, M, No, 8, born PA, Same house, Farmer. Buck, May, Wife, F, W, 56, M, No, 8, born PA, County Clinton, State PA, no occupation.

Source: Alexander Buck Family, Placer County, California, Judicial 10, SD#2, ED#31-21, Sht 7, enumerated on 22 April, 1940, by Eldon R. Martinson. 

It looks like Alexander Buck died on 20 November 1970 in Placer, California and was born 21 December 1884 per the California Death Index.

Update 6/10/2016:  About two weeks ago a lady from MOHAI contacted me with an article about a Leola Mae Blinn who was an attorney in the Seattle, Washington area.  MOHAI is the Museum of History and Industry here in Seattle.  So I started to doublecheck everything and found the 1870 census for James and Sarah A. Blinn.  I am still having trouble verifying the death of James and finding out more about Sarah.

This article from the MOHAI individual had a photo from a city directory for a Leola May Blinn as an attorney.

Leola May Blinn

Leola May Blinn

The article was from the Urbana Daily Courier Tuesday December 12, 1916 – Woman Motorists Drive off Wolves, Their Only Weapons Were Firebrands and Hatchet — An All-night Battle.  Seattle, Wash. Forced to use firebrands, their only weapon aside from a hatchet, to drive away the timber wolves and coyotes that surrounded their machine at night, three Seattle women fund excitement aplenty on the last leg of an 8000 automobile journey across the continent. The women, Miss Leola May Blinn, her mother, Mrs. Sarah Blinn, aged 70, and Mrs. Charles S. Davis, traveled alone, without even a gun to protect themselves. They slept ou in the open. Miss Blinn’s automobile being converted at night into a sleeping car. “It was when we got stuck in eastern Washington that we suffered out most harrowing experience,” said Miss Blinn, describing the events of the journey. “We had just been ferried across the river at Walla Walla to Wallula when we ran into poor roads. From there to North Yakima we had a terrible time. We managed the difficult sand piles that served for roads until we were making a forced detour around the ‘Old Horn,’ a bend in the Columbia River. Then we got stuck in the sand.  “We were miles from nowhere. Night came on. We had trouble with our battery and could not switch on the electric lights We could not go ahead nor could we go back. While we sat their the coyotes and timber wolves came. We had no gun. There was nothing but a hatchet. “We had built a fire, however, with the safe brush that was near, and with the firebrands were able to keep them off. The Coyotes were afflicted with rabies, the weather having been very hot, and the wolves came right up to the machine and almost put their noses inside. We stayed up all night. Early the next morning I started out for assistance. While I was away Mrs. Davis had to use firebrands again to keep off the coyotes who had reappeared. Then she became anxious for my safety, not knowing whether I would be able to find assistance or not. I was able, however, to arouse two white men in a tent a mile away and with their help we got out of the North Yakima flats.”

I know that Sarah Agnes Blinn was in Seattle in 1906 helping her niece and nephew with affidavits about their father’s disappearance in Alexander’s estate papers.  So this is very interesting.

I did manage to find an obituary about a Leola M. Kellogg but I don’t know what paper it is from only that it was done sometime in 1959:

Mrs. Leola B. Kellogg, Criminal Lawyer, Dies – Mrs. Leola Buck Kellogg, 82, a criminal lawyer for 40 years, died, Monday at Harbor General Hospital, where she was taken after being stricken at her Redondo Beach home. She lived at 1927 Gates Ave. North Redondo Beach.  Mrs. Kellogg was born in Hartford, Conn. She was graduated from law school at George Washington University, Washington D.C., and later attended the New York School of Dramatic Art. After a brief career as an actress in the Boston stock company and at the Knickerbocker Theater, New York, she went to Seattle where she was admitted to the bar in 1912.  Mrs. Kellogg was admitted to the California bar in 1919 and had specialized in criminal law in Los Angeles since then, acting as defense counsel in 18 murder trials in this area. She maintained offices at 122 S. Pacific Ave. Redondo Beach, and appeared in Redondo Beach Municipal Court as recently as March 3. Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Niland Mortuary Chapel, 535 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach and interment will be at Pacific Crest Cemetery. Mrs. Kellogg leaves a daughter, Mrs. Sarah Jane von Dyl of Encino, and five grandchildren. 

This obituary about Leola May Kellogg explains the notate on the tombstone that I found for Sarah A. Blinn, see above link to Find A Grave.  It also explains why I was finding articles about Leola in the Seattle newspapers which stopped about 1920.  I am going to summarize these articles here:

The Seattle Sunday Times, Oct. 27, 1912 – Miss Blinn Active in Republican Campaign – Feminine Lawyer Who Made Great Race for State Office, Heads Women’s auxiliary. With Photo. Miss Leola May Blinn, who ran third in the race for commissioner of public lands and who was the only woman admitted to the practice of law at the last state bar examination has been made chairman of the King County Republican committee’s women’s auxiliary. Miss Blinn is in charge of the women’s headquarters in the Seattle Hotel. Miss Blinn made a remarkable race for land commissioner, spending most of her time at her desk in the county clerk’s office while the campaign was in progress and devoting odd moments to her own canvas. As she is a good automobile driver she was able, in spare time, to make quick runs to nearby points and covered a great deal of the state in short trip expeditions. She introduced into politics an innovation — the woman campaign manager — who accompanied her on all her trips. Immediately after the close of the campaign, Miss Blinn appeared before the bar examining board and passed one of the most rigid bar examinations ever submitted to students. It is her ambition to devote herself to law practice in probate and realty matters, having had seven years’ experience in abstract work and having become familiar with probate business through her experience in the county clerk’s office. Miss Blinn is a member of the Women’s Relief Corps and several other organizations. She was born in Hartford, Conn. and now resides with her mother, at 1833 Twenty-fourth Avenue. 

The Seattle Republican Friday Jan. 17, 1913 – Leola May Blinn ….first woman to be admitted to practice in the U.S. court in this district. 

The Seattle Star, Wed, May 21, 1912 First Edition – Women Attorneys are Opposed in Man’s Trial. About a burglary case in which Miss Blinn and Miss Reah Whitehead argued the case.

The Labor Journal (Everett, WA) Fri, Feb 7, 1913 – First Edition – Women Form State Body. She held several positions in the creation of the organization.

The Labor Journal (Everett, WA) Fri Aug 14, 1914 – First Edition page 3 with photo – Woman Lawyer to Aid Paroled Prisoner. 

The Newport Miner (Newport, WA) Thu, Aug 8, 1912 – First Edition page 6, Woman Candidate Files – Her move to run for land commissioner is filed.

The Oregon Daily Journal (Portland, OR) Tue, Aug 24, 1915 – page 13 – Woman Lawyer at Joint Meeting. Miss Leola May Blinn of Seattle is the only woman lawyer from Washington attending the joint meeting of the Washington Oregon and Bar Association….sort of a quick bio of her.  

The Seattle Sunday Times, Nov. 11, 1917 She appears with a photo, About her Relief Corp work.

There is a Find A Grave memorial, with no gravestone at this time, to Leola. They use the name Leola Buck Kellogg, born Aug. 29, 1876 and died May 11, 1956.  She is buried in the Pacific Crest Cemetery in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles Co., California. Plot 4 563 5.  Billion Graves has a tombstone photo for her that reads: Beloved Mother, Leola B. Kellogg 1876 to 1959.  There are other Kelloggs buried in the Pacific Crest:  Daisy Evans, Emmer Edward and Michael.  I did not find her husband.

The SSDI Applications and Claims Index has a Sarah Jane Vondyl (Sarah Jane Von Dyl) who was born 4 Jan 1922 in Auburn Place, CA and she died 16 Dec. 2006. Her father is listed as Alexander E. Buck and her mother is Leola M. Blinn.  So this means that Leola M. Blinn did marry to Alexander Buck.

I found a marriage in Skagit County, Washington on 5th September, 1917 in Mt. Vernon by a Baptist Minister. Alexander E. buck of King and Leola May Blinn of King.  Witnesses were Edna M. Behrens and Mrs. J.E. Noflsinger. Rev. Noflsinger was the officiating minister. Pastor of the Davis Memorial Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon.  So by 1920 they were in California.

According to the SSDI He, Alexander Buck, was born 21 December, 1884 and died Nov. 1970 in California in Contra Costa.  This means they must have divorced because he died 11 years after Leola died and she was Kellogg by that time.

I found two references to court cases one took place 6 December 1940.  Where a Leola M. Kellogg applied for Habeas Corpus.  The petitioner, who is the wife of William V. Kellogg, was charged with grand theft accomplished by means of drawing and cashing six checks upon the alleged joint tenancy account of herself and her husband at the Bank of America in Sacramento and by appropriating the money to her own use contrary to her trust. etc.  This case goes on for 10 pages. Justia – US Law, Case Law, California Case Law Cal App 2d Volume 41 in reg Kellogg.

Collison v. Thomas, Docket No. L.A. 25793, 55 Cal 2d 490 (1961) – This litigation involves the estates of William P. O’Brien his wife Masie O’Brien..Edna M. Collison, as administratrix of Masie’s estate…Leola Buck Kellogg was administratrix of William’s estate to quiet title on land in Torrance, CA.  Unfortunately Leola died during the trial etc.  The entire trail of this action took less than one day. It commenced at 11:05 a.m. on May 11, 1959, Mrs. Kellogg, the administratrix of William’s estate died at 11:20 a.m. on the day of the trial.  This brief was 4 pages long. 

An article appeared titled “Woman Charges Husband Ruined Law Business, Los Angeles, Sep. 17, UP Mrs. Leola M. Kellogg, former Sacramento attorney, today filed suit asking $15,250 damages from her husband, William V. Kellogg of Sacramento, charging that he ruined her law business by causing her prosecution on grand theft charges. Mrs. Kellogg said her husband swore to a complaint Sept 12, 1940, which caused her arrest and trial in Sacramento. She said she was acquitted in a jury trial but that her practice was destroyed. Her husband, she said, was “malicious” in his action, which was described as the outgrowth of a dispute over funds in a joint bank account. 

I have not found a marriage record for Leola to William V. Kellogg at this time.  I cannot get a fix on him although he may have died in Denver, CO.

End of update 6/10/2016  – Well if this is Sarah’s daughter Leola must have been someone to know.  Maybe some day I will figure this out. It looks very much like it could be Sarah’s family.

======================================

I find that the Barclay’s were very inconsistent with their census information.  I am using census again without other documents like vital records to verify, so the information above is all very uncertain till I get time to dig more.

There is certainly more to do with Sarah Agnes and her family like finding her marriage record and when did James pass. How many children did she actually have?  Did I find the correct Sarah in the census or am mistaken.  I need to look at vital records and more to see if I cannot get a clearer picture of Sarah Agnes Barclay Blinn.

Heirs of Alexander Barclay: Helen (Sarah Ellen) Barclay Sears

Sarah Ellen, a daughter of Minerva Parks and John Barclay, became an heir of uncle Alexander Barclay after the affidavits about the status of her father, John Barclay, were submitted to the Probate Court of Dakota County.

Again the following is a mix of my research and my cousin’s.

Sarah Ellen Barclay was born the 29 March, 1869 in Sibley Co., Minnesota. She died on 16 August 1957 in Seattle, King Co., Washington as Helen Westerholme. She started using the name “Helen” by 1910.  At the time of Alexander Barclay’s probate process in 1906, she was known as Sarah Ellen Sears.

We find Helen Sears with Lewis Sears in the 1910 Census.

Line 93, 1756, 190, 196, Sears, Lewis, Head, M, W, 47, M2, 5, born California, father New York, mother born Ohio, English, manufacturer, wrapping paper, yes, yes, 0, __, H

Sears, Helen, wife, F, W, 40, M2, 5, 1 Child born, 1 living, born Minnesota, Father born Minnesota, mother born Minnesota, English, none, yes, yes.

 Source: Sears, Lewis Family, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, SD#1, ED#216, Sheet # 7, Ward of city #14, enumerated 19 April, 1910, by Alonzo Wardell. 

Unfortunately, tragedy struck and Lewis died 2 July 1913 in Seattle and is buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on Queen Anne Hill next to her brother John A. Barclay’s grave.  I have not found an obituary notice at this time for Lewis Sears but I did find a picture of a man who could be him but I cannot post here so below is the location of the article.

Source:  Newspapers.com, The Seattle Republican, Seattle, WA, Friday December 25,  1903 First Edition. He was very handsome. What follows is the caption under the picture. 

Lewis Sears – Paper of this edition was supplied through Lewis Sears, who is the coats agent for the McClellan Paper Company, Minneapolis, Minn. manufacturers of all grades of fine book, cover, writing, ledger, bond and other class of papers. Office 214 and 216 James Street, Seattle.

Years pasted and Helen, as she was calling herself now, remarried to Alex W. Westerholm on the 13th day of February, 1918, in Seattle, King Co., Washington. He may have been Axel rather than Alex.

Source: #57932/62544, State of Washington, County of King, John B. Wright by authority of license bearing the 13th of February, 1918, Lawful Wedlock Alex. W. Westerholm and Helen Sears witnesses were S.W. Biggs and a Leola May Blinn. 

They are together in the 1920 U.S. Census.

Line 82, Arrowsmith Ave., 9767, 175, 189, Westerholm, Axel W. Head, O, M, M, W, 42, M, 1899, Na, yes, yes, born Sweden, Swedish, parents Swedish, yes, Sea Captain, Alaska Steamship Co. W. 

Westerholm Helen Sears, wife, F, W, 48, M, yes, yes, born Minnesota, farther born Scotland, mother Massachusetts, yes, Manager President, Lewis Sears Paper Co., EM

Source: A. Westerholm Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, SD#1, ED#317, Sht. 7, enumerated 13 January 1920, by Martha F. Steele. 

An interesting development, John Barclay is living with his sister in Seattle in 1930.

Line 5, 14 Ave S., 1710, 258, 258, Westerholm, Capt. W, Head, O, $6000.00, M, W, 50, M, 38, no, yes, born Sweden, his parents born Sweden, 1893 Na, yes, Captain, Alaska Boat, 

Westerholm, Helen S. H., wife, H., M. W, 52, S., no, yes, born Minnesota, father born Scotland, mother born Illinois, yes, no occupation, 

Barclay, J.V., brother-in-law, M,W, 52, S, no, yes, born Minnesota, father born Scotland, mother born Illinois, yes, laborer, Lumber Mill. 

Source: Capt. Westerholm Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, block 5133, ED #17-173, SD #2, Sheet #30A, enumerated 14, April, 1930 by Rebecca E. M. Crauley. 

Much to my delight John is still living with them in 1940.

Line 22, 14 Ave So., 1710, 264, 0, 9000, Westerholm, Capt. Axel, Head, M, W, 62, M, No. 6, born Sweden, NA, Same house, No, yes, Captain Ship, Alaska Steam Co., pw, 130 etc. 

Westerholm, Helen, wife, F, W, 65, M, No, 6, born Minnesota, Same house, no, no, no, no, no, H, no occupation. 

Barclay John A., brother-in-law, M, W, 67, S, No, 6, born Minnesota, Same house, no, no, no, no, no, U, no occupation. 

Source:  Capt. Westerholm Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, block 61-62-63, SD#1, ED#40-278, Sht #13, enumerated on April 13, 1940 by Elizabeth Glemley. 

Neither Helen (Sarah Ellen) nor John seemed to escape tragedy in their lives. Helen’s husband Axel was a Captain and his ship blew up.  An article about this accident at sea appeared in the Seattle Times Monday 24 April 1944 on page 7, column 2, 3 and more. The article also had pictures of the Capt and Mrs. Westerholm but I cannot share them here. What follows is only a portion of the article.

Families of Missing Straub People Still Hope for Return

Families of the seafaring men lost in the sinking of the Liberty ship John Straub last Wednesday today clung desperately to the hope that their men had reached shore safely or boarded ships nearby in Alaskan waters. Notified yesterday of the disaster, the wives and mothers telephoned each other and sought information additional to the meager accounts of survivors and Coast Guard officials.

Mrs. Axel W. Westerholm, 1718 14th Ave. S., wife of the 66 year old captain who has been going to sea with the Alaska Steamship Company since 1918, could not believe the veteran skipper could meet with a serious accident. “He was determined to keep going as long as vital cargoes were needed in distant parts,” she said.” He could have retired some years ago.”

First Trip on Straub:

Captain Westerholm, one of the Seattle’s oldest mariners in point of service, was in the vicinity of Dutch Harbor when the Japanese made their first raid at the outpost early in the summer of 1942. Although it was believed it was his first trip on the John Straub, he had been master of other Liberty ships and had served on passenger ships, freighters and cargo ships of all types…

The articles goes on to describe other men involved in the accident. There are other articles on the same page discussing the Liberty Ships and why they were in the waters in that location.

Helen Westerholm buried her brother John Avery Barclay at Mount Pleasant near her first husband Lewis Sears on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, Washington in 1951.  She herself passed on 16 August 1957.

Her death is recorded in the Washington State Digital Archives:

Image #1135, Doc#15366, Helen S. Westerholm, 16 Aug 1957, 86 Female, father John Bartlay, mother Minerva Parks, in Seattle, King Co., Washington. 

A funeral and obituary notice appeared in the Seattle Times on Sunday, August 18, 1957 for Helen:

Funeral: Westerholm – Helen S. 641 East 72nd, Mother of Raymond Steadman, Seattle. Private services Monday 11 a.m. Green Lake Funeral Home, Interment Evergreen. page 48, column 4. 

Obituary: Mrs. Alex W. Westerholm. Private funeral services for Mrs. Helen Sears Westerholm, 86, will be held tomorrow in the Green Lake Funeral Home. Burial will be in Evergreen. Mrs. Westerholm died Friday in a nursing home after a long illness. Mrs. Westerholm was born in Minnesota. She came to Seattle from California in 1912. She was a member of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Westerholm was the widow of Capt. Alex W. Westerholm master of the Liberty ship John Straub. He was killed when the ship exploded in Alaskan waters April 19, 1944. 

Mrs. Westerholm is survived by a son, Raymond A. Steadman, Seattle. 

UPDATE 2/21/2015:  Based on the information about Helen’s interment, I visited the Evergreen Washelli Cemetery and found her gravesite: 

Helen Westerholm Tombstone in Evergreen, Seattle, WA

Helen Westerholm Tombstone in Evergreen, Seattle, WA

Here we finally see that Raymond Steadman was Helen’s son.  He has appeared in the census with Minerva mother of Helen as a boarder and grandson.  Who the father is unclear at this time and does this mean that Helen (Sarah Ellen) was married a 3rd time?

Raymond Steadman was born about 1889 in California and died on 24 January 1967 in Seattle, King Co., Washington in the Seattle Times Newspaper. Unfortunately it does not tell us about his parentage.

Obituary:  Raymond A. Steadman – Funeral services for Raymond A. Steadman 78, of 7018 Fifth Av. N.E. will be at 10:30 o’clock tomorrow in the Acacia Chapel, with burial in Acacia. He died yesterday in a hospital after a brief illness. Mr. Steadman came here from his native San Francisco 20 years ago. He owned and operated the Lake City Motel nine years, and also was an apartment house owner. His wife Lucille A. Steadman survives.

Update 2/21/2015:  Acacia Cemetery is very near so I visited it and found the gravesite for Raymond and Lucille.  

Lucille Steadman's stone is to the right of Raymond's.

Lucille Steadman’s stone is to the right of Raymond’s.

Raymond Steadmans Tombstone, Acacia, Seattle, WA.

Raymond Steadmans Tombstone, Acacia, Seattle, WA.

In the next post I will write about Minerva Parks Barclay Buchwald and what happened to her, the mother of John Avery and Helen (Sarah Ellen) Barclay.

Heirs of Alexander Barclay: John Avery Barclay

John Avery Barclay, a son of John Barclay and Minerva Parks and nephew to George and Alexander Barclay, submitted an affidavit to the Probate Court of Dakota County, Minnesota.  His sister and aunt also did the same. As a result John Avery Barclay became an heir to Alexander Barclay’s estate because his father John Barclay had disappeared years ago and was presumed dead.

What follows is a mix of my research and my cousins, a descendant of this man. I thank her for sharing.

John Avery Barclay was born 23 July 1867 in Sibley Co., Minnesota per my information. His death certificate has 3 June, 1866 as his birth date signed by the hospital where he passed. He died on 8 March 1951 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.

In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census John is with his father and mother in Sibley Co., Minnesota.  Please note the spelling of the name as Barkley.

Line 12, 11, Barkley, John, 35, M, W, Farmer, $1500, $500, Scotland, parents of foreign birth, male citizen. Barkley, Norva, 21, F, W, keeping house, born PA. Barkley, Abraham, 4, M. W, born Minnesota father of foreign birth, Barkley, Ellen, 2, F, W, born Minnesota, father of foreign birth, Allis, 2/12, M, W., father of foreign birth, Apr. 

Source: John Barkley Family, 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Sibley Co., Minnesota, page 2, 17 June 1870. 

Note:  Why they used the name Abraham I do not know? This census gives his age as 4 years old. This means he was born 1866?

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census has John with his mother and sister in Sonoma Co., California and there is no mention of John Barclay the father.

Source:  Lulu Barkley Family 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Sonoma, Sonoma County, California, pg. 27, Dist. No. 3rd, ED #120, 16th of June, 1880, A. Drahnis, #14

Line 20 ___,186 Barkley, Lulu W, F, 31, married, house keepr, born New York, parents born Penn. Barkley, John W, M, 13, son, at home, born Wisconsin, father born Scotland, mother born New York. Barkley, Ella, W, F, 11, daughter, born Wisconsin, father born Scotland, mother born New York.

Note: Here they state the children, John and Ella,were born in Wisconsin. This has his birth year as 1867.  Minerva (Lulu) is not born in New York, not Pennsylvania.

On 27 July 1889 John Avery Barclay married Harriette Louise Arcan in Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co., California.

Source:  Marriage of John A. Bartley & Hattie Arcan, 27 July 1889, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co., California,

The Marriage of John Bartley native of Minnesota, aged 22 years, resident of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, State of California and Hattie Arcan native of California, age 20 years, resident of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, State of California. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Seal of the Superior Court of said County, this 27th day of July, 1889. Ed Martin County Clerk of Superior Court of Santa Cruz by C. H. Ward Deputy Clerk.

I hereby certify that I believe the facts stated in the above License to be true and that upon due inquiry there appears to be no legal impediment of the Marriage of said John Bartley and Hattie Arcan, that said parties were joined in Marriage by me, on the twenty seventh day of July A.D. 1889 in Santa Cruz, said County and State and that Chas. F. Buchwald a resident of Santa Cruz, and county of Santa Cruz State of Calif. and Minivrina Buchwald a resident of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, State of California were present as witnesses of said Ceremony.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty seventh day of July A.D. 1889 – H. Brueck Pastor of the German M.E. Church of Santa Cruz.

Filed for Record at request of H. Brueck this 29 day of July A.D. 1889 at 40 minutes past 9 o’clock am and recorded August 24, 1889. Ed. Martin.

Note:  Minerva Barclay, the mother, remarried to a Charles Buchwald on 19 June 1886 in Los Angeles, California.

Harriette was the daughter of Charles Edward Arcan who was born before 1849. She was born 22 December 1871 in Santa Cruz.  She died there on 21 December 1951.

Harriette Barclay, Member of Pioneer Local Family, Dies, Dec. 21, 1951.

Harriette Louise Barclay, a native of Santa Cruz and a member of the one of the early pioneer families died in San Francisco yesterday. Services are to be conducted tomorrow at 11:30 am from the mortuary of W.C. Lasswell and company, San Francisco, and interment is to take place at Mount Olivet Memorial Park. Mrs. Barclay’s grandfather was John B. Arcan, who was born in Versailles, France and lived in Montreal, Canada, before coming to the United States. He lived for a time in New York, then in 1849 came across country with a party organized in Chicago, taking the southern route, across Death Valley. They made their home in Santa Cruz, owning the corner where the Bank of American now stands. There they put up a building with a second floor room which was used for dances. Charles Edward Arcan, Mrs. Barclays father, was a baby when the party crossed Death Valley. Later he became prominent in Santa Cruz and was well known as an athlete and baseball player. Surviving Mrs. Barclay are her children, Charles, Ella Barclay and Mrs. Violet H. Stark, her grandchildren, Harry and Edward Stark and Edward Barclay and five great grandchildren.

Source:  Santa Cruz Newspaper (name not given), Harriette Barclay, Member of Pioneer Local Family, Dies, Dec. 21, 1951.

John and Harriett had the following children:

1.  Violet Harriette Barclay, born 10 January 1890 in Santa Cruz and died on 14 September 1982 in California.  She married Edward Stark about 1909 and had two children. I have her in the 1900 and 1920 U.S. Census.

2.  Ella May Barclay born 7 January 1892 in San Francisco, California and died 1 March 1956 in California. She married a Becker after 1910 in California. She is featured in the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Census.

3.  Charles John Barclay was born 7 May 1894 in San Francisco and died on 31 May 1975 in Hollister, San Benito, California.  He is found in the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 census.

4. Edward Avery Barclay born 11 November 1896 in San Francisco, and died 24 July 1937 in California.  He married an Elsa MacPherson born 31 May 1905 in Butte, Montana and died 11 May 1978 in San Mateo, California. They had one son Edward Avery Barclay.  Edward married Alma E. Hardy and they had four children.  It is this family that my cousin is from and there are living descendants of this family who live on the West Coast.

Edward Avery Barclay

Edward Avery Barclay

Elsa MacPherson

Elsa MacPherson

Edward A Barclay

Edward Avery Barclay Jr.

1900 U.S. Federal Census has John in San Francisco Co. California

Church St, line 65, 1729? 111, 136, Barclay, John A., head, W, M, July 1868, 31, M, 11 yrs., born Minn, father born Scotland, mother Minnesota, Restaurant waiter, 0, yes, yes, yes, R, H. Barclay, Harriet, Wife, W, F, Dec, 1871, 29, M, 11, 4 born, 4 living, born Calif, father Illinois, mother Louisiana, yes, yes, yes. Barclay, Violet, daughter, W, F, June 1881, 10, S, born Calif, father Minnesota, mother California, at school, 9, yes, yes, yes. Barclay, Ella, daughter, W, F, June 1892, 8, S, born Calif, father Minnesota, mother Calif., at school, 9. Barclay, Charles, son, W, M, May 1894, 6, S, born Calif, father Minnesota, mother Calif. Barclay, Edward, son, W, M, Nov. 1896, 4, S, born Calif, father Minnesota, mother Calif.

Source:  John Barclay Family, 1900 U.S. Federal Census, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, ED 1, SD 139, Sheet 6? 6, June, 1900 William C. Irwin?

Meanwhile the Charles and Minerva Buchwald family are living in San Francisco, California in 1900.

Line 83, 227, 191, 196, Buchwald, Charles, Head, W, M, March 1857, 43, M, 14, born Ohio, parents Germany.

Buchwald, [Mary], wife, W, F, April 1850, 50, M, 14, 5, 2, born PA,

Steadman Raymond, grandson, W, M, May 1884, 16, S, born California.

Parks, Louisa, mother in law, W, F, July 1826, 72, W, 1, 1, born PA

Buchwald, Mabel, daughter, W, F, ____1893, 7, S, born California

Line 88, 27, 192, 197, Buchwald, Maggie, Head, W, F, June 1890, 20, S, born Ohio

193, 198 Buchwald, Godfrey, Brother, W, M, Oct, 1891 19, S, born Ohio

Source: Charles Buchwald Family, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California, SD#1, ED#141, Sheet #[10], 36th assembly district, enumerated 8 June 1900, by Henry D. [Faumey].

1910 U.S. Federal Census has John Barclay in San Francisco and this time he is divorced and living with his mother’s family.

Flood St.- Line 95, 324, 158, 170, Buchwald, Chaley F. Head, M, W, 56, M1, 24, born Ohio, father born Germany, mother born Germany, English, Cook, Restaurant, W, No, O, yes, yes, yes, O, Ti, H.  Buckwald, Lulu, wife, F, W, 62, M2, 24, 5, 2, born PA, parents born PA, English, None, yes, yes, no. 

Buckwald, Mable, daughter, F, W, 17, S, born California, Father Ohio, Mother PA, English, none. 

Buckwald, Violet, Daughter, F, W, 9, born California, father born Ohio, mother PA, English, none.

Barclay, John A. Boarder, M, W, 42, D, born Minnesota, father Scotland, mother PA, English, Carpenter, House, W, no, 5, yes, yes, no. 

Steadman, Raymond, Boarder, M, W, 25, S, born California, father born Germany, mother Minnesota, English, carpenter, House, W, no, 0, yes, yes, no. 

Source: Chaley Buckwald Family, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California, 33 District, SD#4, ED# 71, Sht#7, enumerated on 30 April 1910 by C.A. Parker. 

Note:  Based on this information it is looking like Charles and Minerva had Maggie, Godfrey and Mabel.  Of course this will need to be verified.

After their divorce Harriette Barclay is listed separately with her children in the 1910 U.S. Census.

Line 6, 3174, 137, 214, Barclay, Harriett, L. Head, F, W, 39, D, 4 born, 4 living, California, Illinois, Louisiana, all speak English, own income, yes, yes. Barclay, Ella, daughter, F, W, 18, S, California, Minnesota, California, cashier, Theater, W, yes, 12, yes, yes, no. Barclay, Charles, son, M, W, 15 S, California, Minnesota, California, errand boy,warehouse, W, no, 50, yes, yes, no. Barclay, Edward, Son, M, W, 13, S, California, Minnesota, California, none, yes, yes, yes.

Source:  Harriette Barclay, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, for San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California, Dist 32 part of 13 Precinct, part of San Francisco City, 19 April 1910, Edward J. Preve, SD# ?, ED 75th?  It looks like Violet stayed with her grandmother Minerva. 

1920 U.S. Federal Census has John Barclay still living in San Francisco, California

Line 12 Flood Ave., 324, 4, 4, Buchwald, Charles, Head, O, M, M, W, 62, M, yes, yes, born Ohio, born Germany, parents born Germany, speaks German, yes, cook, restaurant, W 954. Buchwald, Mervia, wife, F, W, 68, M, yes, yes, New York, parents born New York, none. Buchwald, Violet, 18, S, yes, yes, California, father born Ohio, mother New York, sales lady, store, W, 791. Barclay, John, boarder, M, W., 51, D, yes, yes, Minnesota, father born Scotland, mother New York, carpenter, house, w, 148.

Line 16, 318, 5, 5, Steadman, Raymond, Head, O, M, M, W, 35 M, yes, yes, California, parents born US, boiler maker, shipyards, W, 140. Steadman, Lucille, wife, F, W, 27, M, yes, yes, California, parents born Ireland, none.

Source:  Charles Buchwald Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California, Distr. 24, Precinct 42, SD #4, ED #323, Sht#12A, 8 January 1920, Grace E.Cahill. 

Harriette is present in the 1920 U.S. Census with some of her children.

Rolhle St., 124, 187, 188, Barclay, Harriette, Head, O, F, F, W, 50, D, yes, yes, Calif., Illinois, Louisiana, yes, none. Barclay, Charles, son, M, W, 25, S, yes, yes, Calif., Minn., Calif, machinist, Fd Motor, Co., O A 362; Barclay, Edward A, Son, M,W, 23, S, yes, yes, Calif., Minn, Calif, machinist, Fd, Motor, Co. OA. Becker, Ella, daughter, F, W, 29, Dr. yes, yes, Calif., Minn, Calif, none.

Source:  Harriette Barclay Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California, 123 Assembly Dist. SD #4, ED #140, Sht# 8A, 40 Prec. 10 and 12th of January, 1920, Davis, Mrs. Mary.

Harriet L. Barclay appears in the 1930 census. Charles is still with her and so is Ella as Ella Becker.  John Avery Barclay the father has gone to Seattle and is living with his sister, see the next post about Sarah Ellen/Helen Barclay Sears Westerholm.

Line 11, 124, 73, 76, Barclay, Harriet L, Head, O, $5000, R, No, F. W, 60, Mt/Wd, no, yes, born Calif, father Chicago, Illinois, mother Louisiana, yes, none. Barclay, Charles, J. Son, M, 35 S, no, yes, born Calif, Minnesota, Calif., yes, mechanic, automobile, 7623, W, No, 9, No. Becker, Ella M. Daughter, F, 38, D, no, yes, California, Minnesota, Calif., none.

Source:  Harriet L. Barclay, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California, ED 38-70, SD 7, Sht 5A, AD 25, Block 726, April 5, 1930, Mrs. Sophis Louder.

On 8 March 1851 John Avery Barclay, son of John Barclay and Minerva Parks Barclay Buckwald, passed in Seattle, King Co., Washington, he was 84 years old

His death certificate is available on-line at the Washington Digital Archives:

POD: King County, State of Washington
City of Seattle, L of Stay 9 days,
King County Hospital
1215 East 64th Street
Name: John A. Barclay
Died 3/8/51
Male
White
Widowed
DOB 6/30 66 age 84
Occupation: Waiter
BP: San Francisco, Califo. US Citizen
Informant King Co. Hospital
Disease Cerbral arterioscleorsis
No Autopsy
Attended 2/27/51 to 3/8/51
Alive on 3/8/1951 death at 9:45 pm.
Signature Ralph John….
King County Hospital 3/9/51
Burial, 3/13/51 Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Seattle, WA
Recorded 3/12/1951
Funeral directors: Butterworth & Sons.

Obituary and Funeral Notice

Obituary Mar 10, 1951 pg. 10, John W. Barclay – John W. Barclay, 84, of 1215 E. 64th St. died Thursday. Mr. Barclay a carpenter, had lived in Seattle 20 years. He was born in Minnesota. Surviving is a sister, Mrs. Helen Westerholme, Seattle. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Butterworth Chapel.

Funeral Notice Mar 11, 1951 – Barclay John Avery of 1215 East 64th St. Brother of Mrs. Helen Westerholme, Seattle. Services Butterworth’s Drawing Room Chapel 1 p.m. Tuesday. Burial Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Source:  Obituary Sat. Mar. 10, 1951 for John W. Barclay and Funeral Notice Mar 11, 1951 for John Avery Barclay, Seattle Post Intelligencer. 

John is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Queen Anne hill in Seattle, Washington.  He is next to the tombstone of Lewis Sears, a husband of his sister. These tombstones are in the section just left of the office building.

John A. Barclay's tombstone in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Seattle, WA

John A. Barclay’s tombstone in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Seattle, WA 1867 to 1951

Of course, there is always more research that can be done on a family and I could look for more census, divorces, funeral home records and other documents.  At this time, I will move on and share about John’s sister Helen (Sarah Ellen) Barclay Sears Westerholme.