The Children of Virda H. and Lillie Spracklin…

Virda H. Spracklin was the son of Daniel and Sarah Spracklin.  In the last post I wrote about Virda and Lillie Spracklin and their life.  In this post I am sharing what I know of their children:

1.  Joella Edith Spracklin was born 25 May, 1887 and died 7 March, 1890 in Calhoun Co., Iowa. She is buried in the Cedar Township Cemetery in Calhoun Co., Iowa. This cemetery is near Rinard.

Source:  Calhoun County Iowa Cemeteries, pg. 3, 19, Cedar Twp. Cemetery, Published by the Iowa Genealogical Society, Des Moines, Iowa. Row 13, Spracklin, Joelle E. Died Mar. 7, 1890 2 yr 9 mo 11 days a daughter of Virda Spracklin. 

Note:  Find A Grave has a picture of the tombstone and it seems to verify the dates.  My Legacy date calculator, and using the age given, says that she was born in 1887.

Iowa Counties

Iowa Counties

2. Daniel Dair Spracklin was born 14 September, 1890 in Calhoun Co., Iowa. He died 3 November, 1975 in South Dakota.  He married Minnie May Schlund on 11 March, 1914 in Sanborn, South Dakota.

Daniel Dair and Minnie Spracklin

Daniel Dair and Minnie Spracklin

Source:  South Dakota Marriages, 1905-2013, Daniel D. Spracklin, Male, age 23, born about 1891 residing in Woonsocket, Sanborn, married 11 March, 1914 in Sanborn #41272, Spouse Minnie May Schlund.

In 1920 Daniel and Minnie are living in Alpena Twp., Jerauld Co., South Dakota:



Source: Dais D. Spracklin Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Alpena Twp., Jerauld, South Dakota, SD 1, ED 110, Sht 9A,T625-1721, Image 17.

Dais D. Spracklin, age 29, born in Iowa, parents born in Iowa. General Farmer. Under him is Minne M., wife who is 25 years old, born in So. Dakota, parents born Iowa and Ohio.

Sadly Minnie died on 7 October, 1929 in Sanborn Co., per the South Dakota Death Index.

In 1930 Daniel is living on his own as a lodger with a Burt Swenson. It is interesting that it does not give a first name.

Source:  1930 U.S. Federal Census, Daniel D. Spracklin, Franklin Twp., Jerauld Co., South Dakota, Town of Lane, ED#37-11, SD#5, Sht#2B, enumerated April 19, 1930, by S.H. May. 

Line 79, Leland Street, Spracklin, boarder, M, W, 39, Widowed. No, yes, born Iowa, parents born Iowa, yes, Manager, Standard Oil Co., 8989 W, yes, no.  

On July 5, 1930 he remarried to Adah Kanger.

Source: A second marriage for Daniel Dair Spracklin is listed in the South Dakota Marriages 1905-2013, male, age 39, born about 1891 residence Lane, Jerauld, marriage 5 July 1930 in Beadle, South Dakota #138787, Reg#5702, Spouse Adah Kanger. 

Daniel and Adah are living in Woonsocket, Sanborn, South Dakota in the 1940 U.S. Census.

Source:  1940 U.S. Federal Census, Woonsocket City, Sanborn, South Dakota, Ward 2, Block 12-13-15-19-20-21, SD#5, ED#56-18, Sht#8A, enumerated April 1940, by Birdie T. Kogel. 

Line 27, 185, 9, 1000, 5th Ave., Spracklin, Dair D. Head, M, W, 49, M, No, 8, 8, born Iowa, Same place. no yes, truck driver, road construction, GW, 33, 514, yes. Spracklin, Adah B, wife, F, W, 50 M, No. 8, 8, So. Dakota, same house, no, no, no, no, H, 0, 0, no. 

It looks like Daniel did not have any children with either wife.

Find A Grave has a picture of his tombstone that includes his two wives. It is in the Eventide Cemetery in Woonsocket, South Dakota.

3. Lola Isabelle Spracklin was born 29 December, 1892 in Calhoun Co., Iowa and died 29 December, 1975. She married Guy Randerson on 22 December, 1915 in Woonsocket, South Dakota. They had four children: Ruby M., Orval A., Opal A. and Fay A.

Guy and Lola Randerson

Guy and Lola Randerson

Source: South Dakota Marriages, 1905-2013, Lola L. Spracklin to Guy Randerson, #50478.  Lola L female age 22, born about 1893, residence Woomay D, Sanborn, marriage 22 December 1915, Sanborn, SD to Guy Randerson. 

Lola and Guy Randerson

Lola and Guy Randerson

Guy and Lola appear in Warren Twp. in the 1920 U.S. Census:

Source:  Guy Randerson Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Warren Twp., Sanborn Co., South Dakota, SD#312, ED220, Sht#2, enumerated 27-28 January 1920, by ____Ray.

Line 59, ____29, 30, Randerson Guy, Head, O, M, M, W, 30, M, yes, yes, born South Dakota, father born Ohio, mother born Missouri, farm, general farm, ___, 30. Randerson, Lola I., wife, F, W, 27, M, yes, yes, born Iowa. Randerson, Ruby, M. daughter, F, W, 2 6/12, S, born South Dakota. Randerson, Orreal A., Son, M, W, 1 2/12, S, born South Dakota. 

Ruby daughter of Lola and Guy Randerson

Ruby daughter of Lola and Guy Randerson


Lola Spracklin Randerson

Lola Spracklin Randerson

In 1930 they are still living in Warren Twp.

Source:  Guy Randerson Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Warren Twp., Sanborn Co., South Dakota, ED#56-17, SD#5, Sht#2A, enumerated 5 April, 1930, by Edwin R. Newcomb.

Line 24, Far 7, 31, 32, Randerson, Guy, Head, O, yes, M, W, 40, M, 26, no, yes, South Dakota, Father Ohio, mother Missouri, Farmer, general, O, yes, no, 30. Randerson, Lola I, wife-H, F, W, 37, M, 22, no, yes, born Iowa, parents born Iowa. Randerson, Ruby M, daughter, F, W, 12, S, yes, yes, born South Dakota. Randerson, Orval A, son, M, W, 11, S, yes, yes, born South Dakota. Randerson, Opal A., daughter, F, W, 9, S, yes, …., born South Dakota. Randerson, Fay A, son, M, W, 6, S. 

Lola and Guy Randerson with their children: Opal and Fay

Lola and Guy Randerson with their children: Ruby and Orval


Lola and Guy's children

Lola and Guy’s children: Opal, Orval, Fay and Ruby


Lola and Guy's family

Lola and Guy’s family

4.  Mabel Sarah Spracklin was born 16 September, 1895 in Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa. She married Peter Henry Lund 4 July, 1914 in Sanborn, Jerauld Co., South Dakota. They had one child.

Source:  South Dakota Marriages, 1905-2013, Mabel Spracklin to Peter Henry Lund #42760, Mabel female, age 18, born about 1896, residence Alpena, Jerauld, marriage date 4 July 1914, in Sanborn, SD.  

Henry and Mabel appear in Story Co., Iowa in the 1920 U.S. Census:

Source:  Henry Lund Family, Lafayette Twp., Story Co., Iowa, SD#7, ED#194, Sht#18G., enumerated on the 5th and 9th of January 1920 by Lew Johnson. 

Line 48, Fm, 36, 37, Lund, Henry,  Head, R, M, W, 30, M, yes, yes, born Iowa, parents born Norway, yes, farmer, general farm, Emp., 36. Lund, Mabel, Wife, F, W, 23, M, yes, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Missouri, yes, none.

Something happened to the marriage to Henry for in the 1930 U.S. Census Mabel is now Mabel Frye with a daughter named Fern Lund.  They have migrated to Nebraska.


Source: Frank Frye Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census,  Perry Precinct, Emerson, Thurston, Nebraska, ED#87-13, SD#3, Sht#1B, enumerated on 2 April, 1930 by Stanley [Piebitt].

Line 51, 11, 11, Frye, Frank, head, R, 10.00 Vo, M, W, 31, M, 23, No, yes, born Nebraska, father born England, mother Nebraska, yes, laborer, steam railroad, yes, yes. Frye, Mabel, wife-H, V, F, W, 34, m, 19, No, yes, born Iowa, parents born Iowa. Lund, Fern, step-daughter, V, F, W, 13, S, yes, yes, born South Dakota. 

Here is Mabel’s marriage record to Frank Frye.

Source:  Record of Marriage, Frye to Lund, July 26, 1922, #88389, Reg#30, Mabel Lund, Residing Woonsocket, S.D., age 26 divorced, married Frank Frye, residing in Alpena, SD, age 24, W.R. Hinds, Justice of the Peace. South Dakota Division of Vital Statistics. 

Find a Grave has memorials for Mabel Frye and Frank Frye in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Emerson, Dixon Co., Nebraska. Ferne Lund Combs also has memorials and tombstone pictures in the Evergreen Cemetery in Superior, Knuckles Co., Nebraska with pictures, obituaries and links to other family.

5. Solomon (Saul) McKinley Spracklin born 7 January, 1898 in Somers, Calhoun Co., Iowa and died 20 August, 1974 in Omaha, Nebraska.  He married Helen Bronson on 11 March, 1919 in Jerauld, South Dakota. They had seven children.

Source:  South Dakota Marriages 1905-2013, Saul Spracklin to Helen May Bronson, #67207, Reg#130. Saul male, age 21, born 1898, residence Woonsocket, Sanborn, marriage date 11 March 1919, Jerauld, SD to Helen May Bronson age 17. 

Saul was refusing to be found in the 1920 census so I moved ahead to the 1930 and found him with Helen in Omaha, Nebraska.

Source:  1930 Census, Saul Spracklin Family, Dunee Precint, Douglas Co., Nebraska, ED#28-144, SD#7, Sht#7B, enumerated April 17, 1930, by Mrs. J.M, Stafford. Omaha City is crossed off.

Line 99, Alamada, 6309, 876, 190, Spracklin, Saul, Head, O, 3500, R, No., M, W, 32, M, 21, No, yes, born Iowa, parents born Iowa, yes, painter, motor, 2922, W, yes, no. Spracklin, Helen M, Wife-H, F,W, 29, M, 16, No, yes, born Iowa, father born Norway, mother born Nebraska, none. 

Next page: Spracklin, Eleanor A., daughter, No, F, W, 10, S, yes, yes born South Dakota. Spracklin, Eugene G, son, M, W, 8, S, yes, born South Dakota. Spracklin, Helen B, daughter, F, W, 5, S, yes, born Nebraska. Spracklin, Darla M, daughter, F, W, 2, S, no, born Nebraska. Spracklin, Donald, son, M, W, 1/12 S, no, born Nebraska. 

Saul and Helen are in the 1940 Census in West Benson, Douglas, Nebraska with their family.

In searching for the burial for Saul, I stumbled on newspaper articles about his death.  He was killed in a parking lot in Omaha by some young kids in July 1974 and died on 20 August 1974 of the wounds from what I can make out. More information is available if you contact me by leaving a comment.

6. Beryl Edna Spracklin was born 4 April, 1901 in Calhoun Co., Iowa. She married Bertyl Andrew Lillehaug on 2 July, 1919 in Jerauld, So. Dakota.  Bertyl was born 24 January, 1897 in Lane, Jerauld, South Dakota. They died in Pierce County, Washington. Bertyl and Beryl had five children: Arlene B., Verda Mae, Alvin B., Bonnie R, Betty A.

1917 Beryl mother of Verda Mae.

1917 Beryl mother of Verda Mae courtesy of a cousin.

Source:  South Dakota Marriages 1905-2013, Beryl Spracklin, #68945, Reg #144. Peryl Spracklin female, age 18, born about 1901 resident Woonsocket, marriage date 2 July 1919, Jerauld, SD. to Bertel Lillehaug.  Summary index it is spelled Peryl no Beryl, on the actual card it is correct. 

In 1920 Beryl is living with Bertyl’s brother’s family in Viola Twp., Jerauld Co., South Dakota.

Source:  Sunan Lillehaug Family, Viola Twp., Jerauld Co., South Dakota, SD#312, ED#112, Sht#3-A, enumerated 11-12 March 1920, by A.D. McRay.

Line 15, Fam, 41, 42, Lillehaug, Suiian, Head, R, M, W, 27, M, yes, yes, born South Dakota, parents born Norway, farm, general farm, Em, 38. Lillehaug, Ellen, Wife, F, W, 19, M, yes, yes, born Illinois, parents born Sweden. Lillehaug, Bertel, brother, M,W, 19, M, yes, yes, born Illinois, farm laborer, sam fm, OA. Lillehaug, Beryl, Wife, F, W, 18, M, yes, yes, born Iowa. 

Beryl and Bertyl Lillehaug

Beryl and Bertyl Lillehaug

1930 the Lillehaug family is living in Nebraska.

Source: Bert Lillehaug Family, Omaha City, Douglas, Nebraska, Ward 11, Block#365, ED#28-122, SD7, Sht#77A, enumerated April 18, 1930, by William E. Conkling.

Line 12, 5635, 828, 851, Lillehaug, Bert, Head, R, 25, R, No, M, W, 33, M, 21, no, yes, born South Dakota, parents born Norway, yes, Mechanic, automobile, yes, no. Lillehaug, Beryl, Wife-H, F, W, 29, M, 18, no, yes, born Iowa, father Iowa, mother Ohio, yes, none. Lillehaug, Arline, daughter, F, W, 10, S, yes, yes, born South Dakota, yes, none. Lillehaug, Verda M., daughter, F, W, 6, S, yes, born South Dakota, none. Lillehaug, Alvin, son, M, W, 5, S, yes, born South Dakota, none. Lillehaug, Bonnie R, daughter, F, W, 2 9/12, S, no, born South Dakota, none.

Bert and Beryl Lillehaug are still in Omaha, Nebraska in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. Bertel is working in a Planing mill as an odd jobs worker.  The family consists of Bertel 43, Beryl 39, Verda 16, Alvin 15, Bonnie 12 and Betty Ann 1-year-old. So this means they made their migration to Washington State after 1940.


Find A Grave has a memorial of their tombstone and son Alvin’s at the Haven of Rest Cemetery in Gig Harbor, Pierce Co., Washington.  There are obituaries listed on the index for Bert and Bertyl at the Tacoma Public Library which require a fee to purchase copies.

7. Howard Alfred Spracklin was born 14 September, 1903 in Lane, Jerauld Co., South Dakota and died 19 October, 1977.  He married Pauline Kruse on 9 June, 1928 in Jerald.

Source:  South Dakota Marriages 1905-2013, Alfred Spracklin #124948, Reg#494, Alfred male, age 24, born about 1904, residence Woonsocket, Sanborn, marriage date 9 June 1928 in Jerauld, SD to Pauline Kruse. 

Alfred and Pauline are living in Alpena in the 1930 census.

Source:  Alfred Spracklin Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Alpena Twp., Jerauld Co., South Dakota, ED#37-2, SD#5, Sht #1-A, enumerated 14, April, 1930 by John J. Feish. 

Line 9, 3, 3, Spracklin, Alfred H., Head, yes, M, W, 26, M, 25, no, yes, born South Dakota, parents born Iowa, manager farm, W, yes, no, 3. Spracklin, Pauline E., wife-H, F, W, 18, M, 17, No, yes, born Nebraska, father born Nebraska, mother Illinois, yes, none. Spracklin, Howard A., son, , M, W, 1 5/12, S, no, born South Dakota, none. 

Alfred was attacked, according to newspaper reports, by two men who stormed into his apartment, stole from him and hurt him in October of 1974.  More information will be shared by leaving a comment and I will get in touch with you.

8.  Beulah Elsie Spracklin was born 1 May, 1906 in Lane, Jerauld Co., South Dakota. She married 27 September, 1927 to Elmer Ernest Harris. They had  five children.

Source: South Dakota Marriages 1905-2013, Beulah Spracklin #119950, Reg#471, Beulah, female, age 21 born about 1906, residing Lane, Jerauld, marriage date 26 Spt. 1927 in Jerauld, SD to Elmer E. Harris. 

Beulah and Elmer are in Rose Hill Township in South Dakota in the 1930 census.

Source:  Elmer E. Harris Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Rose Hill Twp., Hand Co., South Dakota, ED#30-39, SD#4, Sht#2A, enumerated April 29, 1930, by George Welch. 

Line 7, 24, 24, Harris, Elmer, E. Head, R, yes, M, W, 26, M 23, No, yes, South Dakota, father born US, mother Ohio. yes, labor, farm, yes, yes, ___. Harris, Beuleh E, Wife, F, W, 23, M, 21, no, yes, South Dakota, parents born Iowa, yes, none. Harris, Daryl JM, adopted son, M, W, 5, S, yes, no, South Dakota, yes, none. 

In 1940 they are living in Bay Lake, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota. Elmer is 36, Beulah E. is 24 and children. Elmer is working as an operator on a farm.

Beulah Spracklin Harris was the mystery niece that attended the Pine River, Minnesota presentation of the play “Tales from the Tall Pines…” in 1985. When I visited Pine River on my three trips there, I was informed of a niece who came to this event. I finally know which of Amarilla’s nieces was involved. Sadly I did not realize that she actually had lived in Minnesota or I would have learned more.  See the next post for more about Beulah and this event in Pine River.

There is an Elmer E. Harris at Find A Grave with a memorial and tombstone photo. He was born 1904 and died July 15, 1977 in Crow Wing Co., Minnesota and is buried at the Lakewood Cemetery in Crosby. Beulah was living in Bay Lake in 1985 and that is east of Brainerd, Minnesota.  It might be her husband but so far I have no burial for her.

9.  Gerald Huston Spracklin was born 20 December, 1908 in Lane, Jerauld Co., South Dakota. He married Helen Wilson in 1930 in Moody Lake, South Dakota. They both died within months of each other in 1998.

Source:  South Dakota Marriages 1905-2013, Gerald H. Spracklin #141484, Reg#258, Gerald male, age 21 born about 1909, residence Madison, Lake, marriage date 18 Nov 1930, marriage place Moody, SD. to Helen Wilson. 

Gerald was apparently a man of clever industry as this newspaper photo shows:

Gerald Spracklin Tin Can Man

Gerald Spracklin Tin Can Man

Jerry and Helen Spraklin (note spelling) are living in Madison, Lake, South Dakota in the 1940 census with [Nihla J.) daughter.

Find A Grave has a memorial and tombstone photo for both Gerald and Helen at the Graceland Cemetery in Madison, Lake Co., South Dakota.


FamilySearch has school census for the Spracklin family in South Dakota and it looks like most of the children attended either in Alpena or Woonsocket from 1911 to …South Dakota School Records 1879-19700.  They have the actual census pages which could me of value to a descendant.

There is more to do and share about this family. I am not up on Nebraska or for that matter South Dakota genealogy but I do wish to caution you about the names of the locations and to verify them.  As always please check the other information found above and make sure it is correct.  I am more familiar and knowledgeable about Iowa, Washington State and Minnesota genealogy.

I have documents and more collected by cousins that I am happy to share. If you would like to know more about these families, just leave me a comment and I will get in touch with you.

My thanks to all those cousins who have helped with me with this family and for the wonderful photos.

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.

Andy Hayford Released November 1899

About December of 1899 Andy Hayford was released from custody regarding the murder of George A. Barclay. There is not much information about Andy Hayford, who he was and where he was from.  The 1900 U.S. Census has an Andy Hayford living in Crow Wing Co. who is married with two children born about 1866 in Wisconsin. Whether, this is the same Hayford is unclear, but it is interesting.

Here is a photo of St. Paul about 1908 which is a little later than our subject but it gives you an idea of what the city was like.

St. Paul, Minnesota, Ramsey County about 1908

St. Paul, Minnesota, Ramsey County about 1908

Here is a summary of:  In the Matter of the State of Minnesota vs. Andrew Hayford, Indicted for Murder in the 1st Degree.

That we Andy Hayford as principal and Con O’Brien and J.W. Koop as sureties of the County of Crow Wing – $1000 dollars.  The Condition of the Above Obligation is Such, that is the above bounden Andy Hayford shall personally be and appear before the District Court of the County of Cass 1st day of the term at the Court House in Walker on the 7th of May [1900] to answer to the indictment of the Grand Jury on 9th of May, 1899 etc. Witness Our hands this 29th day of November 1899 and signed by Andy Hayford and others. 

What follows is  from the 15th Judicial District Court, State of Minnesota, County of Cass.

State of Minnesota, Plaintiff vs. Andrew Hayford, defendant

Application having been made to this Court, for an order admitting the defendant Andrew Hayford, alias Andy Hayford, to bail and fixing the amount of bail bond, for defendant’s appearance at the next general terms of District Court to be held at the Village of Walker, Cass County, Minnesota.  Messrs. Jones and Peterson appearing for defendant in support of said application, and after due consideration, an order was made, dated November 25th, 1899, whereby said defendant was admitted to bail on approval of his bond by this Court, said bond for his said appearance being fixed at the sum of One Thousand dollars, with two sureties; and a bond as prescribed by said order having this day been duly approved by this Court and filed with the Clerk of District Court of said Cass County.  IT IS ORDERED, that said defendant, Andrew Hayford alias Andy Hayford be discharged from your custody.  Dated December 1st, 1899. By the Court. [    Holland] Judge. To the Sheriff of Ramsey County, St. Paul, Minn. 

The Sheriff of Ramsey County writes:

State of Minnesota, County of Ramsey, I hereby Certify and return that by Virture of the hereto attached order of the Honorable G. W. Holland Judge of the District Court in and for the County of Cass in the State of Minnesota, I have this day released from Custody Andrew Hayford Alias Andy Hayford.  [J. Noll, Agent] Sheriff of Ramsey County, Minnesota.  Dated at St. Paul this 5th day of December 1899.  

There are no other court documents except these since May 1899 when the Grand Jury convened that explain what happened and why Hayford was released.

I am also puzzled as to why the defendants were in the jail in Ramsey County.  I suppose that Pine River was too small to have a jail and Walker was recently designated the County seat of Cass and maybe had not built a proper jail.  Brainerd probably did have a jail but according to this website from the Crow Wing County Historical Society it was pretty small.  To find the 2nd jail information and a picture you will have to scroll a long time or use your “Find” and the term “City Jail.”

Photo from

Reward Offered $1000 for Information November 12, 1898

$1000 reward for information.

Gov. Glough has offered a reward of $1,000 for the apprehension of the murderer of Geo. A. Barclay who was shot through a window and killed in his hotel at Pine River on the night of Oct. 29.  Every effort has been made to detect the perpetrator of the deed, but not the slightest clue has yet been found.”

From the Brainerd Tribune, Nov. 12, 1898

This $1000 is a substantial award for 1898 in terms of dollars and would be worth $27,777.78 in today’s dollars.

I was curious about Governor Clough and found this at Wikipedia where they have a portrait of the man.  How does one get a governor to offer such a reward and why? and still another link

The Minnesota Historical Society has an Inventory of his Gubernatorial Records but unfortunately the description does not include anything like offering rewards for information.  It does mention several cases that took place but not G. A. Barclay.

Evergreen Cemetery Final Resting Place for G.A. Barclay

George Angus Barclay is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, Minnesota. There are several stones in this plot.  The very tall one to the left is George’s monument, the small one on the right is the son’s, George Alexander’s, tombstone and the one in front of the large monument is George’s Civil War stone.  The shiny flat stone in the foreground is Amarilla’s.

George's Tombstones in Evergreen

George’s Tombstones in Evergreen

Close up of George's Tombstone

Close up of George’s Tombstone

Father, George Angus Barclay, Born Aug. 18, 1844, Died Oct. 29, 1898 Aged 54 Yrs, 2 Mos & 11 Days.

A Good Man is Known by His Works. 

George's Civil War stone

George’s Civil War stone very hard to read

George and Amarilla’s first grandchild is also buried in this plot.  R.S. McDonald is listed as the father. There is no stone for this baby but it is noted in the cemetery records.

Evergreen has placed their Directory of the dead online and you can click on the ? mark and go to Find A Grave for this cemetery and there is some very interesting links at Find A Grave.  They are misspellings as well so be careful.  Do a search for Urton, Barclay, Dawes and more.  It is very interesting.

George Alexander the son

George Alexander the son

Warren Huffman had kind words for my great grandfather and stated in his own words in the 1973 Pine River Journal:

The first winter was a hard one for new settlers to get started. George Barclay had the one store in Pine River and without the credit that he extended it would have been impossible to stay. George Barclay had his detractors, but he was a kind-hearted man and generous. He was a small man with a high-pitched voice. I remember him well, and we all felt a genuine sorrow and loss when he was shot by an unknown person as he sat reading in the lobby of the Barclay Hotel.” By Warren Huffman in his own words “As I remember … 1894, Pine River Journal (Newspaper), Cass County, MN. 1973.

Amarilla is also buried there and upon my first visit she did not have a tombstone. There is one there now. More on her death in future posts.

George's Tombstone and his great granddaughter

George’s Tombstone and his great-granddaughter 2001

George A. Barclay, son George Alexander and Bonnie 2001.

George A. Barclay, son George Alexander and Bonnie 2001.

This is probably where the funeral ceremony for George A. Barclay took place.  I can picture Amarilla, Grace, R.S. McDonald and Alexander gathered there by the grave. How did they bring the casket in an open wagon or in a funeral wagon?  Who else was there? Did the G.A.R. perform a military ceremony for this Civil War veteran?  So many questions…

Cold Blooded Murder and a Cowardly Crime – November 1898

Below are some newspaper accounts of the murder of George A. Barclay.  They were published several days after the event.

img153 - Copy

November 3, 1898 – Cold Blooded Murder, George A. Barclay, A Wealthy Lumberman of Pine River, Killed by the Hand of an Unknown Assassin.”  Published in the Brainerd Journal. This is five days after the murder.  They have R.S. McDonald as R.A. McDonald.  I have broken up the very long paragraph to make it easier to read.

“Last Saturday night, while seated in the waiting room of his hotel at Pine River, Geo. A. Barclay was mysteriously murdered by some culprit who remains as yet undiscovered.  Whether the deed of a madman or an enemy no one is certain.

About 7:30 o’clock he was seated in his hotel close by a window when suddenly from the outside a shot was fired whether from rifle or revolver is not known and crashing through the window it entered and passed thru his head near the back of the neck and embedded itself in a post not far distant.

A telegram was immediately sent to General Manager Hoar, 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.  

A coroner’s jury yesterday was summoned and returned as their verdict, “that George A. Barclay came to his death by a gun shot from the hands of some person unknown to this jury.”

The remains were brought to this city today and were met at the train by friends and Pap Thomas Post No. 30, G.A.R. under who auspices the services were conducted, the murdered man being an old soldier and member of this post.  

The funeral services were conducted at the Episcopal church, Rev. C. F Kite officiating. The remains were enterred in Evergreen Cemetery.  The deceased leaves a widow and one married daughter to mourn his death.  

Mr. Barclay was well know all over this section of the state and had not to any ones knowledge a single enemy.  No definite clue has yet been obtained although several suspects are being watched.  It is to be sincerely hoped that ere long the murder will be avenged and that the murderer will have that justice meted out to him which he so justly and richly deserves.”

November 5, 1898 – Cowardly Crime, Barclay Foully Murdered in Pine River, published in the Brainerd Tribune.   This one is seven days after the crime was committed. (page 8, Col. 4,)   This account gives more information about where the assailant stood and what type of gun may have been used and is nicely detailed.

Geo. Barclay Foully Murdered at Pine River, while sitting in his own house.  The Victim an Old and Well Known Resident.  The people of this city were shocked on Saturday evening last by the news that Geo. Barclay , the well known hotel keeper and trader at Pine River, had been foully murdered by some cowardly assassin while sitting in his house conversing with several acquaintances.  The first news of the tragedy came over the B. & N. M. wires and the particulars were not known until Monday.  

Mr. Barclay was shot and killed about 7:30 Saturday evening.  When the fatal shot was fired he was sitting in a chair, smoking a cigar, and talking to four or five men, about five feet away from the window in the barroom of the hotel.  The assassin fired through the glass, the ball passing through Mr. Barclay’s neck from side to side, probably cutting the carotid artery of the jugular vein, as he bled profusely, and then imbedded itself in a pine post that supported the ceiling in the middle of the room.  He lived only a few minutes.  

The bullet was dug out, taken to Walker and carefully weighed by a jeweler.  Its weight is exactly 210 grains which corresponds with either a 40-60 Winchester (an old model gun) or a Colt’s 44 caliber revolver.  

The slug, which is mushroomed and much distorted, looks more like a 40 than a 44, and careful measurement of that part of the base that remains intact gives color to this theory.  It was imbedded in the pillar to a depth of two inches.  A rifle-ball should have gone somewhat deeper, but, on the other hand, a revolver slug would hardly pierce a heavy window pane and a man’s neck and go to that depth in seasoned wood.

The shot was fired, probably from a position about 15 feet outside the window as the hole in the post is about 10 inches higher than in the pane.  

Although there were several men in the room at the time, the murderer was seen by no one so far as known.  The night was very dark and the assassin no doubt sought the cover of the woods a few rods away and made good his escape.  

There seems to be no doubt that it was a willful, premeditated murder, though there is absolutely no clue whatever to the perpetrator of the cowardly deed.  Mr. Barclay had no trouble with anyone, and so far as known had no enemies who would be capable of committing such a crime.  

Justice E. R. Sundberg, of Walker, in the absence of the coroner impaneled a jury and held an inquest which was not concluded until Wednesday morning.  A searching investigation was made, but no light was thrown upon the mysterious crime, and a verdict was returned to the effect, that deceased had come to his death by shooting at the hands of some person unknown to the jury.

The remains were brought to Brainerd on Thursday morning for interment and the funeral took place at 11 a.m. from St. Paul’s Episcopal church, Rev. C. F. Kite conducting the services.  The members of Pap Thomas Post, G.A.R. and the Women’s Relief Corps, met the funeral cortege at the station and marched with the procession to the church and thence to the cemetery.

Geo. Barclay was about fifty-four years old, and had been a resident of this section for about twenty-five years.  For many years he has kept a hotel and store, and engaged in lumbering operations at Pine River.  He was well known in Northern Minnesota, was generally well liked, and had the reputation of being honest and straight forward in his dealings with his fellow men.  He was a member of the G.A.R., having entered the service as wagoner, in Co. I, Ninth Minnesota, in August, 1862, and serving until his discharge in August, 1865.  He leaves a widow and one child, the latter being the wife of R.A. McDonald.”

The Brainerd Dispatch on 04 November 1898 printed an article on George A. Barclay’s murder.  You can find a transcript at Find A Grave, Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd.