Alexander Barclay’s Final Resting Place…

Alexander Barclay was buried in the Corinthians Cemetery in Farmington, Dakota County, Minnesota.  Corinthian Cemetery shares the area with another cemetery St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery.

Corinthian Cemetery is not on the main street of Farmington.

Corinthian Cemetery is not on the main street of Farmington.

Alexander’s tombstone is under my maintenance at Find A Grave after the original poster kindly transferred it to me.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Barclay&GSiman=1&GScid=82122&GRid=84263195&

Here I am with the tombstone of my great great uncle Alexander Barclay.  You can see the storm clouds forming in the background and I look very cold.  We could not dally because the sky opened up.

Me, Alexander Barclay and a storm

Me, Alexander Barclay and a storm

I am amazed at the size of the monument for Alexander but dismayed that there was no flag or indication of Alexander’s service in the Civil War.  Something I will have to attend to.  Any help would be appreciated just leave a comment.

Corinthian Cemetery, Farmington, Minnesota.

Corinthian Cemetery, Farmington, Minnesota.

Alexander died 9 December 1905 but he was buried 17 December 1905. Something must have happened regarding the burial of Alexander’s body that required an affidavit to be prepared and signed by the heirs protesting the removal of Alexander’s body from Farmington?  There were no other documents in the probate packet but there might be documents in the court clerk books at the courthouse?  Yes, we have a mystery.

Protestion of Removal of Body

Protesting of the Removal of the Body

The Death of George’s Brother Alexander Barclay!

About a month before the birth of Miriam to Grace and Ronald McDonald of International Falls, Alexander Barclay passed away.  He was a brother of George Barclay.

I have featured Alexander on this blog many times.  He has been very important to the research on the Barclays. In some posts I just mention Alexander as way to link him to the other family members.  Here is a list of posts about Alexander Barclay:  You can use the Archives box or just put his name into the search engine box on the right.

  • Alexander Barclay Attends his brother George’s Funeral, January 27, 2014
  • 1890: Alexander Barclay, Awarded Civil War Pension! April 7, 2012
  • Catching up with Alexander Barclay: Dakota County, MN, March 22, 2012
  • A Son is born: George Alexander Barclay 1880!, March 3, 2011
  • Brother Alexander Barclay’s Civil War Service…July 11, 2010
  • Evergreen Cemetery Final Resting Place for G.A. Barclay, February 3, 2014
  • The Murder Investigation regarding the Death of George A. Barclay? Dec 16, 2013.
  • After the Death of John Barclay his wife Ellen lives another 10 years! August 8, 2013.
  • John Barclay December 1897, George’s Father succumbs! July 11, 2013.
  • 1895 State Census – The Barclays, February 7, 2013.
  • The 1890 Census and Veteran’s Schedules – John Barclay, Feb. 25, 2012
  • George Barclay On His Own: A Trading Post! September 21, 2010.
  • John Barclay’s Land! September 11, 2010.
  • The Naturalizaton of John Barclay, August 26, 2010.
  • After the Civil War – George and Alexander Try Farming? August 19, 2010
  • John Barclay Joins the Fight! August 7, 2010.
  • The 2nd Family of John Barclay, May 23, 2010
  • John Barclay’s Two Families, April 3, 2010

According to my records, Alexander died on the 9th of December 1905.  He was buried in the Corinthian Cemetery in Farmington, Dakota Co., Minnesota. I visited this cemetery in 2007.

I had all sorts of trouble finding Alexander’s death date because he was not appearing in Dakota County, Minnesota. It turns out his death was not easy and he died in the Hospital for the Insane in Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota.

AlexBarclayDeathCert445

Rochester Patient Registers: #7127, 80, Alexander Barclay, Admitted Nov. 5, 1905, from Dakota Co., 63 years, single, religion: none, ____ , born in Conn. Hartford, ill health, unknown, sen. dem., no. of attackes 1, no. of admittances 1, age 62, 9 mos., 9 mos. 24 days, time in hospital 24 days, Died Dec 5, 1905, ex. sen. dem. #114.6.1.5B Box 1 Vol. A & B., pg. 179. 

Rochester State Hospital Adm. & Discharge: #243 Alexander Barclay, Residence: Farmington, Dakota Co., Admitted Nov. 15, 1905, Died Dec. 9, 1905 114.B.9.7B Box 1 1879-1955.  

Obituary Record – Rochester State Hospital – Line 9, 1905, Dec. 9, Alexander Barclay, Male, age 63 Single, Farmer, born Conn., Came from Dakota Co., Disease is unreadable. No. of attacks 1, No. of admissions 1, Case #7140. Admitted 1905 Dec. 8. In residence 7 days, total duration of disease 1 year 7 days. Cause of Death Ex in Sen Dem. Remains removed.

Minnesota Death Certificates – Died 1905, Dec 9, Rochester, Olmsted Co., Minn. Exhaustion in Senile Dementia, Alexander Barclay, not stated, MWS, Farmer, Conn. R.M. Phelps M.D., A.S. Adams H.O.

I discovered the end of his life by accident.  I was working diligently at the Minnesota Historical Society on their newspaper collection and in the pages of the Dakota County Newspaper I found entries in the published town finances for Farmington under County Finances, Dakota County Disbursements.  There were two entries in this listing of the county finances regarding Alexander.  There was also an article about court proceedings which committed Alexander to the hospital in Rochester.

City Expenses:  pg. 2, 4 col. Insane Expense, #1581, W. H. Brownell # 50 o Court #1582.

City Expenses: Dr. J. C. Fitch $7.50 Dr. H. N. Rogers examination $7.50 for A. Barclay, $8.49. 

Adjudged Insane: Alexander Barclay; of Farmington, was adjudged insane by Judge T.P. Moran on Tuesday evening, and committed to the hospital at Rochester. He was formerly a resident of Lakeville, and is sixty-three years of age. He was taken there by Deputy A.C. Nesbitt and W.W. Carmon Wednesday.  

Back then any sickness including old age was turned over to the state hospital and it was not till about 1950 and beyond that we started to see these different symptoms of aging in a different light such as dementia. Since Alexander was single and there was no family to care for him nearby the town and county took action.  Unfortunately, this condition is part of my family medical history.

Fortunately, several obituary notices were found with the help of the Dakota County Historical Society, which give a little more information about his life.

Obituary notice in the Hastings Gazette, Saturday 23 December 1905.

“Alexander Barclay, a former well known resident of Lakeville, died at the Rochester hospital on the 9th inst., aged sixty-four years. He was a bachelor and a veteran of the civil war, and was committed from Farmington Nov. 15th. Internment at Corinthian Cemetery, Farmington, on Sunday under the auspices of Canby Post.”

Hastings Obit for Alexander

Hastings Obit for Alexander

Obituary notice in the Dakota County Tribune, Friday 22 December 1905.

“Death of Alex Barclay, Alex Barclay formally of Farmington died on Dec 9th at Rochester. His body was brought to Farmington where he was buried Sunday Dec 17th.

Mr. Barclay was an old soldier having enlisted in Co. C 4th Minnesota Sept 25th 1861, which was stationed at Fort Ripley where they did duty among the Chippewa Indians until April 1862. From there they went south to St Louis where they received the necessary equipments and then joined General Grants army at Pittsburg Landing. He participated in all their engagements up to and including the siege of Vicksburg Miss, where he joined Sherman’s army which he accompanied to Chattanooga, and was in all their engagements from Chattanooga to Atlanta. He continued with Sherman’s army thru Georgia and the Carolina’s and was with them at the surrender of Johnson near Rolin NC. He then went to Washington and was in the grand reunion in May 1865. From Washington he was transferred to Kentucky where he was discharged Aug. 9th, 1865. Mr. Barclay leaves two brothers in California, a half brother in Shakopee, a sister in the east and a niece who lives near the Canadian line. He was a member of Canby Post GAR No 47 of Farmington and was 63 years old at the time of his death.”

The last obituary is very well done except for the description of Alexander’s family. There were eleven (11)  heirs two of which were children of his oldest brother John Avery Barclay.

The family of Alexander, rallied and had his body shipped back to Farmington where he had made his home since 1870.

Alexander does appear in the records of the Canby Post GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) No. 47. The only regret I have is there is no picture of Alexander.

Here is a link to a timeline for the Civil War.  If you scroll down you will see pictures of the Grand Review Parade at the end of the war:   https://civilwarinvirginia.wordpress.com/page/8/

Amarilla tries for George’s Civil War Pension 1898…

Widows Application 1898

Widows Application 1898 portion of…

On November 21, 1898 Amarilla tried again for George’s Civil War pension remember that George tried at least twice to get this money but failed.  She filed the Declaration for Widow’s Pension in the county of Crow Wing with the help of Henry D. Philips Law Offices of Washington D.C.

Something happened because the claim had the word ABANDONED stamped a on December 9, 1898 document and several others.

Apparently on 21 November 1900, J.G. Dawes appears on another Declaration of Widow’s Pension with Amarilla.   J.G. Dawes was the notary public at the bottom of the form.  So J.G. tried to help her out.

Several other documents followed from friends and a physician.  They are very interesting and I wonder what stories these people would have told about George and Amarilla.

General Affidavit of Bertha Mickelson, 25 February 1901.

That she was well acquainted with George Barclay deceased for a period of 4 years before his death.  That in the evening of October 29, 1898 about half pass seven o’clock said George Barclay was shot and killed by a person unknown at the time he was sitting in a chair in his own house.  I heard the report of the gun saw him fall and he expired on the floor where he fell.  The ball passed through his neck.  The shot was fired from outside of building and was fired through a window. 

The Physician’s Affidavit was signed by T. F. [Rodwell] M.D. on the 7th of August 1901.

That he is a practicing physician and that he has been acquainted with the said soldier two years, and that he was a man then whose general appearance would not admit I should judge of unusual labor.  I met George Barclay September 1896 and occasionally until his death Oct. 1898.  Where I was called to testify as to cause of death which was from a bullet fired by some unknown person while said Barclay was seated in his house at Pine River passing through his neck thereby causing instant death. 

General Affidavit of John Bubar, age 53 years  Henry Shalding, age 46 years citizens of Brainerd, 28 January 1902.

That they knew personally and were well acquainted with the soldier, George A. Barclay, for a period of 28 years commencing in the year 1867 and continuing up to the  time of his death in the year 1898; that they are acquainted with and have known personally Ammarilla Barclay, widow of George A. Barclay, soldier, for a period of 20 years commencing in the year 1882 and continuing up to the present time; that they personally know said George A. Barclay and Ammarilla Barclay were married and lived together as husband and wife; that they verily believe that said George A. Barclay and Ammarilla Barclay or either of them, was never married prior to their said marriage; that the contents of this affidavit are known to affiants by personal knowledge, observation and acquaintance for a time as aforesaid. 

Something happened and the lawyers were still trying to get a resolution in 1905 and 1906 but it doesn’t appear anything came of it.  You notice that the time frame it really stretched out which means that it was difficult to get resolution.  Every time the law was updated there would be a flood of these widows declarations. Every time Amarilla applied she would have to resubmit documentation.

The Coroner’s Inquest Verdict regarding the Death of G. A. Barclay!

The Coroner’s Inquest regarding the murder of George A. Barclay took two days.  On the second day a verdict was issued and it was recorded in the Register of the Coroner, Cass County, Minnesota.  It appeared in the newspaper the next day.

Register of Coroner's Inquest

Register of Coroner’s Inquest

Source: The Register of Coroner’s Inquests, County of Cass, State of Minnesota, in the Matter of the Inquest held upon the body of George A. Barclay, by E.R. Sundberg, acting Coroner of said County.

Nov. 2, 1899: Oct 31, the following jury was impaneled J.B. Spencer, B. O’Connor, Peter Dennis, John A. Wilson. Jury sworn and examination opened.  Verdict of Jury: That the said George A. Barclay came to his death on Oct 29, 1898 between 7 & 8 P.M. O’clock while sitting in his Hotel office by a bullet passing through his neck from a gun or revolver in the hands of some person on the outside of the building and to this jury unknown.  In testimony whereof the said coroner and jurors of this inquest have hereunto set their hands the 2nd day of Nov. 1898.   John King, Foreman, R.D. Holden, P. Dennis, John A Wilson, J.B. Spencer, B. O’Connor.  E.R. Sundberg, Justice of the Peace, & Acting Coroner. 

The following appeared in the Cass County Pioneer on November 3, 1898

“The Coroner’s jury sitting over the remains of Geo. Barclay after a two day session brought a verdict as follows:  We find that deceased came to his death by a gun shot wound inflicted by some party unknown to the jury.” Particulars next week.”

The next week issue for November 10th was missing on the film at the Minnesota Historical Society.

There is no official death certificate for George A. Barclay at the Cass County Courthouse per my personal investigation. After George’s death,  Amarilla tried for his Civil War pension on several occasions and below is an affidavit that described the death of George A. Barclay several years later.

Bertha Michelson on February 25, 1901 made this statement, she knew George about 4 years.  It is interesting to me that she was not among the witnesses at the Coroner’s Inquest?

That she was well acquainted with George Barclay deceased for a period of 4 years before his death.  That in the evening of October 29th, 1898, about half passed seven o’clock said George Barclay was shot and killed by a person unknown at the time he was sitting in a chair in his own house.  I heard the report of the gun saw him fall and he expired on the floor where he fell. The ball passed through his neck.  The shot was fired from outside of building and was fired through a window.” 

It could be assumed that this would be the end of the investigation of George A. Barclay’s death, but it was not.  A Grand Jury would be called in May of 1899 and then in May of 1900 there would be a trial.  There was more events to come in this sad tale.

The Murder Investigation regarding the Death of George A. Barclay?

We must remember that back in 1898 in a local area like Pine River it was not easy to investigate a crime or a death.

The steps are very complicated in murder investigations today.

Here is a much more detailed explanation of a murder investigation, I am sure there are better websites to consult but it will do.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-involved-in-criminal-murder-investigations.htm

A familiar figure of the times!

A familiar figure of the times!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

So if we take and compare the murder of my great-grandfather George A. Barclay to the standards of today’s murder investigations we see that there are a lot of discrepancies. I confess that I am a big crime scene fan (CSI), but drama is not reality.  I am going to jump in and take some of the steps in the above link and share my thoughts below regarding George’s murder based on the documentation that I have found.  If only Sherlock Holmes could help?

1.  The murder is reported by someone who comes across the victim.  That person is asked to remain on site.  

In this murder case there are many people who witnessed the actual event and were nearby who heard the gunshot.

The news of the crime occurred when the railroad office was contacted requesting medical help for George Barclay.  This was described in the “Cold Blooded Murder,” article which I featured in my post dated November 28, 2013 titled:  Cold Blood Murder and Cowardly Crime, November 1898.   I will be referring to those two articles a great deal so you might want to go and read them.

“A telegram was immediately sent to General Manager Hear, of the B.& N. M. for a special train with  medical assistance, but before this could be procured a second message was received saying that he had passed away.”

2.  Verification of death of the victim by paramedics or coroner

Someone apparently knew how to determine if an individual had died.  It was not made apparent who that was in the records.  The nature of the wound and the number of witnesses was probably sufficient. Although each witness had their version of the actual death.  Some indicated that George died quickly and others said he lingered for up to 30 minutes.  The time of death was given as 7:10 pm and I have seen 7:30 pm given.  I have also seen the day mixed up.

I am going for this:  Time of death was given at 7:10 to 7:30 pm, October 29, 1898.

3. The scene is turned over to law enforcement. 

It is not clear that the scene was turned over to law enforcement.  A newspaper tidbit reported that:

On November 3, 1898 in the Cass County Pioneer  (Vol. 5, #42, p. 8, col.)

“B.F. Hartshorn and Geo. Hardy went to Pine River to look into the facts concerning the murder of Mr. Geo. Barclay.

B.F. Hartshorn was the Cass County Attorney and Public Prosecutor  (1897 to 1903 Cass County History).  Geo. Hardy was the sherif at the time (1897 to 1905 Cass County History).  Both of these men will be involved up till the trial.

3.  An officer is put in charge of the investigation

Again this is not made clear in the transcripts as to what law enforcement officer was conducting an investigation. Frank Breese, Deputy-Sheriff was at the Coroner’s inquest to give testimony regarding the bullet that killed George.

4.  The scene is secured to prevent contamination of the evidence.  

With all the witnesses and people coming and going that night at Barclay’s I doubt that the scene was secured at all.  As for contamination that happened immediately.  In the testimony at the Coroner’s Inquest several people were reported as touching the body.  I am sure in the confusion, chairs were moved around.

5.  The murder scene is observed and documents with photographs taken.

Photography was not like we have today with digital cameras and instant recording of events.  It is not clear to me who observed the crime scene.  I am assuming Mr. Sundberg the Justice of the Peace and Acting Coroner did a walk through along with the jury members, maybe Hartshorn and Hardy were there?

6.  Evidence is collected and bagged and sent to the crime lab. 

In the next post I  In a future post, I will review the evidence that was collected.  In this case we have the body as evidence and the area around it, the bullet, the post where it logged, the scene of the crime, the hole in the window and glass on the floor, the location from where the gun was fired, witness accounts and their guns, and more.

7.  The body is first removed and taken to the coroner’s office for autopsy.  

This was not done until the inquest was over and even then I do not see any evidence of an autopsy performed. George’s body remained where it had crumpled till the Coroner’s inquest was completed. A Mr. E. F. Lynch who resided at Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota was an undertaker for D.M. Clark & Co.  He was called upon to prepare the body of Mr. Barclay for burial.  He testifies in what appears to be the Grand Jury proceedings.

7.  People are interviewed who were involved with the murder or nearby when the murder occurred.  

There are many witnesses that gave testimony at the Coroner’s Inquest.  I cannot tell if anyone else did any interviewing of the witnesses other than at the Coroner’s Inquest.

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

The Cass County Historical Society published a book in 2010 titled:

Murder and Mayhem, True Crime Accounts Cass County 1897-1938

The authors collected documentation from many sources and they feature right at the very beginning the George Barclay Murder in Pine River in 1898, pages 1 to 24.  There are many other names and cases discussed in this book.  A copy may be obtained from the Cass County Historical Society for about $25.00.   http://www.casscountymuseum.org/publications.html

In this book you will find a pretty good coverage of the sources that were generated regarding the murder of George Angus Barclay.  Since they probably had a space issue they were unable to publish all of the information so you have to keep in mind that it is not totally complete.  I have most of what they share in this publication and they have other items I do not have which add to the story.

At the beginning of the section on George Barclay there is in introduction taken from the book Logsleds to Snowmobiles: A Centennial History of Pine River, Minnesota (1873-1973), Pine River Centennial Committee, 1979.  I would like to caution you that there are mistakes in this introduction.  The purpose of this blog was to correct those errors.  They state he was killed in the lobby, well there seems to be other information stating it was the saloon area of the hotel. Since there is no floor plan available it is difficult to be clear. First, George was more likely born in Enfield, CT not New Jersey, although I have not yet proved it.  I have shared in past posts about George’s earlier years and the census places George and his siblings scattered in the Connecticut area around Enfield and Hartford. Alexander and a sister Mary, older siblings, state they were born in Hartford and Enfield respectively.  This sort of  places a damper on being born in Scotland.  His father John Barclay in his Naturalization papers says he came to the United States in 1833.  I have posted about this event. However, George and his brother Alexander did not enlist together in the Civil War.  George waited a full year before he enlisted.  Alexander was older by two years.  I have all of their Civil War Service Records and pensions and I have thoroughly shared them in this blog.  Again, George did not march with Sherman to the sea, his brother Alexander was the one who did. No where in George’s Civil War Service or Pension record which I have shared on this blog does it say that he was with Sherman.  However, Alexander’s Civil War documents do state this fact. I mapped out their company records so you can see from those maps that they were going in separate directions.  Now granted those company records may only cover the main events.  Individual soldiers could be sent where ever they were needed.  I have shared the article from the Northwest Magazine and the mention that George had 840 acres but I am not convinced.  I will tally it someday in the future and see if it matches.   Oh and on page 23 Amarilla married George Urton in 1922 and this is not correct she married him in 1919 but I will get to posting on their marriage later.

A Murder in Pine River – October 29, 1898

George's Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

George’s Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

The mist was beginning to form, evening was coming.  It had rained on and off throughout the day. The leaves were falling and a nip was felt in the air.  It was late October 1898.  The train had come in that day.   It always came on Saturdays.  The crowd of passengers it discharged was unusually large that day.  By now, most of them had gone on their way.  Heading home to their farms in the tall pines or out to a logging camp to prepare for the winter logging drive.  The chore boy, McMahon was at the upper barn helping Bebo and his nephew, Deperrold, bed down their horses for the night.  All that remained was to close up the barn and lock the feed box.  A group of hunters had come in that day and were settling in at the station depot.  The smell of dinner coming from Amarilla’s kitchen was on the breeze.  The lights from the Barclay Hotel glowed brightly.  Darkness was settling upon Pine River.

The Barclay Hotel

The Barclay Hotel

George Angus Barclay settled himself in a chair, from this vantage point he could keep an eye on what was happening in his establishment.  He had been tending bar in the saloon while Yllander, the bartender had been on dinner break.  Yllander had returned to his duties.  Good thing, he thought, it would be such a relief to sit down and rest his aching muscles.  He was pleased there was a substantial crowd in the saloon this evening.  The liquor was moving and the profit would be good.  Several of the men were buying drinks for others. Talk filled the air.  He settled back with a good cigar and the smoke from it circled upwards. The evening was going along pretty much like any other Saturday night at the Barclay Ranch.

The Barclay Hotel had three floors.  In addition to the saloon and the kitchen, there was a dining room, a store,  and living quarters for the Barclays.  You could rent a room for the night or as long as you needed.  The gabled roof was black  with shingles – advanced technology for the day. The porch roof extended out and wrapped itself around two sides of the building. The front of the building had a facade with a small portion of gable roof and on each side it protruded out in a straight line creating a wing on both sides.  This gave the building a little more flair otherwise it would have ended up looking like a big huge box.  There was a balcony on the front side and from it hung a big bold sign “Hotel Barclay.”  On the first floor there were two large picture windows in the front flanking a door.  Around the corner and down the side was another door. White sideboards ran all around and it was affectionately called the “White Elephant  This was definitely a big step up from the log cabin George Angus Barclay had built on the South Fork of the Pine River back in 1873.  The Brainerd Dispatch called the structure “as fine a building (as) would be expected in a town of 500 people.”

ColdBloodedMurder - Copy

Clapp was arguing with Barclay about some national political issue and Amarilla, Mrs. Barclay, was in the kitchen going about her dinner chores when the report of the gun echoed out across the night.   Amarilla’s head jerked up from her task and then she heard the commotion in the bar.  Her long dress swished as she swiftly made her way to the saloon where she spotted her husband.  He was crumpled there on the floor.  Something was dreadfully wrong. Someone was yelling “Barclay has been shot!” The men in the bar were running here and there. The tension in the air was sharp.  Pandemonium reigned. Amarilla heard someone screaming and realized it was herself.  Running over to George she knelt down, blood was coming from his neck.

George Angus Barclay tried to raise himself but couldn’t.  The pain was intense, he couldn’t get his breath, consciousness was fading.  He tried to speak “Co…l” came from his lips.  Time had run out for George Angus Barclay.

This man had survived the bloodiest years in United States history – the Civil War.  As a fresh young recruit he an enlisted at Fort Ridgely, Minnesota at the time of the 1862 Dakota Indian uprising. Later he had traveled up and down the Mississippi as a wagoner with the 9th Regiment, Company I of the Minnesota Volunteers.  He had received an honorable discharge and returned to Minnesota to establish a trading post at Pine River.  He farmed with his brother Alexander for a while, but it was not what he dreamed of doing for his life’s work.  He married Amarilla in 1878 in Brainerd. They lost their son George Alexander at 18 months of age in 1881 and the following year 1882, he held his daughter, Grace, in his arms.

Now he lay dying at age 54 and at the top of his life, successful in all he had done since the war.  The Minnesota frontier had only challenged him and pushed him on and he had come to this end on the floor of his hotel on October 29, 1898 at about 7:30 p.m.  Within 30 minutes or less, he was dead.   As he lay dying, Amarilla applied a cold towel to his head, giving him the last few minutes of comfort he would have in his life.

Written by his great-granddaughter, the person writing this blog, in 2005 from court records, newspaper accounts and more.