Daniel Spracklin’s Estate: Heirs-at-Law

In Daniel D. Spracklin’s probate/estate file there was an Heirs-at-law form filled in with the names, and addresses of the heirs.  I was thrilled to get this document, not all probate/estate files have them.  I would just love to have one from John A. Spracklin’s estate packet, Daniel’s father, that would be great but so far I have not been so lucky.

The most important part is that it shows that Amarilla is Daniel’s daughter, and that the others are her siblings, nieces and nephews. I have yet to find a bible or church record showing the births of the children of Daniel and Elizabeth, as well as Daniel and Sarah.

Heirs-at-law Daniel Spracklin

Heirs-at-law Daniel Spracklin

It reads as follows – all of full age

Mrs. Lydia M. Ross, daughter, Somers, IA,

Description N.E.1/4, Section and Lot 19 78, Range 12.

V.H. Spracklin, son, Woonsocket, S.D.

R.A. Spracklin, son, Deep River IA

D.G. Spracklin, son, Deep River, IA

P.G. Spracklin, son, Estherville, IA

C. E. Spracklin, son, Pine River, MN

Mrs. Amarilla Dawes, daughter, Pine River MN

Children and heirs-at-law of Henry Spracklin deceased, son of said deceased:

Maggie Parks (Parke) – (Margaret Evalina), Davenport, IA

E. F. Spracklin (Elroy Franklin), Davenport, IA

H.L. Spracklin (Harry Leroy), Davenport, IA

E.G. Spracklin (Elmer George), Portsmouth, IA

J.D. Spracklin (John Daniel) _________, CA

O.R. Spracklin (This is probably Raymond Otha?), Woonsocket, SD

Bessie Burford (Elizabeth Ann), La Gloria, Cuba

Wilbur Spracklin, unknown location

Ed. Spracklin (Edward Oliver), unknown location

State of Iowa, signed by R.A. Spracklin Adm. of the Estate of D.D. Spracklin

2nd of April, 1915 R.W. McKnight Clerk D.C., by R.E. McBride Deputy Cleark

Source: Estate packet #5964, 6-525, Iowa County Courthouse, Marengo, Iowa of Daniel D. Spracklin, Iowa County, Iowa March 9, 1915 – Heirs At Law affidavit. 

Based on the above form you can see why it was so difficult to find information out about Daniel’s children, they had all scattered to different locations of Iowa and even other states.

In past posts on this blog, I have written about Henry Spracklin’s death and end of life and have given a brief amount of information about his children. See the post dated August 24, 2012, Henry and Elizabeth Spracklin’s Family.

Traveling to Iowa in 2003 in Search of Spracklins…

Over Iowa 2003

Over Iowa 2003

Back in 2003, my research on my family was pretty new, I had been to Washington D.C and Minnesota but I was still searching for family.  I decided to travel to Iowa because I had been in contact with a Spracklin cousin who emailed me.  Jerry is a descendant of Henry Spracklin, Amarilla’s older brother from the first marriage of their father Daniel. He lives in Iowa.

Over the years, I have learned that my genealogical research trips are just as important as putting together the research and scrolling through sources.  I learned this from Paul H. Goss who did research on the Goss family.  He didn’t journal his research visits to cousins to learn about the Goss family history back in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.  If you read his manuscripts you will see that he hints at these visits but he doesn’t elaborate on them.  Paul’s visits to cousins or Goss descendants was very important and needed to be reported and sourced.  I have a lot of respect for my cousin Paul Goss.  It would have been nice to know where he obtained some of his information.

In reviewing my journal from my trip to Iowa, it brought back the whole trip and reminded me of my time in Iowa.

Here is a summary of that trip that opened the door on my research of the Daniel D. Spracklin families which included Amarilla my great-grandmother and her origins.

My trip to Iowa started on Friday, April 25, 2003 and ended on Wednesday, May 7, 2003.  I flew into the Cedar Rapids Airport (Eastern Iowa Airport). I flew first to Chicago and then walked that airport from one end to the other to get to my connection to Iowa. Always check out an airport’s website they have great information to help plan your trip.

This airport was a small airport so it was not hard to find the car rental desk and my car for the trip. Once I had settled into the new car, I made my way south to the Amana Colonies Holiday Inn east of Williamsburg.  It doesn’t seem to be there anymore and is probably under another name.

My goal was to visit courthouses, societies, libraries and cemeteries in and near Marengo and Blairstown, Iowa in search of the Daniel D. Spracklin families and Amarilla’s origins.

When I prepare for a trip like this, I make an itinerary that is extremely detailed for each day of the trip.  I know exactly what I plan to do that day after studying the websites of different repositories I want to visit. I add the addresses of repositories, their phone numbers, times they are opened and write all that information on the itinerary so I don’t have to search for it if I get lost or there is a problem that occurs, or I have to reschedule. My itinerary is there to guide me and can change.  The journal is what really happened on the trip.

Later I started using Microsoft’s Streets and Trips (now discontinued as of 2014 and support ending 2015) to prepare a road trip itinerary. I like this software because it will break the route down by each day. The map is not always detailed enough so I do use GPS either in the rental car or on my cellphone.  Cellphone GPS when traveling Internationally would be too costly. So I still need maps to help guide me. Before the trip I go to Google Earth or Google Maps to see the road using the satellite version.  Areas of the route I am unclear about I drill down so I know what might happened.  Still there are always surprises. I then make copies of my S&T maps and make sure I have a good state and or county map.

Armed with my itinerary, research goals, research papers, maps, and routing information, I head out on my adventure.

Marengo Public Library

Marengo Public Library

Once settled into the my hotel after the airplane flight, I prepare for my day. My first stop was Marengo, Iowa. I spent time in the Marengo Public Library using its newspapers and going into the basement where the Iowa County Genealogical Society was housed at that time. They were very helpful.  ICGS has moved to North English. Don’t confuse them with the Iowa Genealogical Society which is the state society located in Des Moines. The ICGS volunteer was very kind and kept the society open longer than was posted. She helped me locate cemeteries to view, found books, microfilm and more.  I was very impressed with this society.

The most significant items found where the Atlases for Iowa and Benton County showing Daniel’s land. Most of what we did was eliminate history books and other sources.  Daniel was proving to be difficult to find.

Marengo Courthouse town in distance...

Marengo Courthouse town in distance…

My biggest outing was to the courthouse for Iowa County in Marengo and it was there I obtained copies of the Probate/Estate packet for Daniel D. Spracklin. The county website has a much better picture of the courthouse. County websites are tough to get around in, so just be persist till you find what you are looking for, call and ask.


I waited patiently while the clerk copied the file and had my money ready to pay for the copies. She was not necessarily happy with me. I agreed not to make her copy all of the creditor receipts and instead I look at them and made my choices.  It was well worth the wait to obtain this file and see Amarilla listed as an heir-at-law of Daniel D. Spracklin along with her brothers and sisters.  Oh yes, the floors did creak…

Loy's B&B in the distance

Loy’s B&B in the distance

After a couple of days, I moved from the hotel to Loy’s Bed & Breakfast which was closer to Marengo.  It was really a farm-house where they were renting out the lower floor to visitors like myself.  I wanted to see what it would be like to stay on a farm in Iowa.  The proprietors were very nice. The man who was the owner of the farm, worked for the farm cooperative and was kind to study the estate papers of Daniel’s especially the inventory.  He said that Daniel was a general farmer and had many items that indicated this.  I was grateful, I am city girl.  He was very knowledgeable and told me how the farming was done today.

While staying at the farm B&B there was a storm and the sky got really black and I mean black and hung low to the ground. There were reports of tornadoes to the south. It slowed me down a little and made me a little nervous.  I am a city girl you know.

While in Marengo, I found a lovely cafe to the left of the park where the locals gathered.  The seats were a little worn but the food was good comfort good. It looks like its probably gone now. Sigh!

Oh, I did experience a traffic jam in Marengo.  The train that goes through the town to the south blocked my progress for about 20 minutes, giggle.

Marengo's Park in the town Center

Marengo’s Park in the town Center

I also drove from Marengo up to Blairstown to get a feel for the land and see the area. It is a little more rugged along that road and flattens out when you get to Blairstown. The public library at the time was going through construction so they had a prefab building housing the collection.

The Benton County Genealogical Society holdings were not there at my visit, they were at another location for safety. Now that the new library has been built they are housed there.  It is really a nice library from the pictures and they have a genealogy room.


Blairstown, Iowa Sign

Blairstown, Iowa Sign

The road to Blairstown

The road to Blairstown

I did not go to Vinton to see the Benton County Historical Society holdings which would be of interest for Spracklin research.


I did make it to Belle Plaine but my search for Peter Spracklin’s grave, a brother of Daniel, failed because there was some confusion about where he was buried.

Blairstown's Water Tower

Blairstown’s Water Tower

I had to reschedule to the next day to go and study that collection which was in a bank in Blairstown.  The librarian was very helpful and kind.  I did do a search of the newspapers in the time frame of 1858-1859.  There were obituaries but I did not find anything about Elizabeth Keller Spracklin’s death or any Spracklins.  I found others with familiar names from the Titler cemetery.  Apparently you had to have money to appear in the newspapers which were mostly about farming and politics at the time.

Titler Cemetery

Titler Cemetery

I visited the Titler Cemetery which is northwest of Marengo on the road to Blairstown.  It is where Elizabeth Keller Spracklin, Olive and Mary are buried.  It was not in good shape and I could not find the graves on that visit.  (See below for the results of another visit.)

Once I was done with my visiting in the Marengo area, I did a little backtracking and headed east to Iowa City. My next goal was the State Archives of Iowa Branch which is located in Iowa City on the campus of the University. I stayed at the Haverkamp Bed and Breakfast up the street from the Archives. It was very convenient to the Archives and I could walk to it.  It looks like they are closed now.  It was a great area of the city where there were a lot of old houses.  My room was up on the 3rd floor and very nice and cozy.

State Archives for Iowa in Iowa City

State Archives for Iowa in Iowa City

I spent a wonderful several days at the Archives getting all kids of information about the Spracklins of Iowa. I searched cemetery records, vital records, and more at this location.

Once all my research at this location was done, I took the car back to the airport and shuttled back to Iowa City to await the arrival of my cousin Jerry who was coming to pick me up.  I would be staying with him and his family in Des Moines. My goal was to visit the Iowa Genealogical Society, and the main branch of the State Archives of Iowa and Historical Society in Des Moines.

Jerry came to Iowa City and we drove back to the Titler Cemetery north of Marengo. He found the stones for the Spracklins piled under a tree.

Piled under a tree

Piled under a tree, sigh…

The cemetery as in bad shape and I didn’t want to leave Elizabeth and the babies there. The stones were not on the graves put piled under trees.  See my BJM Cemeteries blog for a more thorough description of the Titler Cemetery and all my photos of tombstones (not necessarily complete.) Here is the starting post there are many more about this cemetery, so scroll to the cemeteries on the right side and find Titler.


Elizabeth, Mary and Oliver’s post:


Millersburg's sign

Millersburg’s sign

We also stopped at the Community Cemetery was near Millersburg. I usually like to visit a cemetery several times before I leave. We found the graves of Daniel, Sarah and Alfred Spracklin.

Community Cemetery near Millersburg

Community Cemetery near Millersburg


We stopped at more cemeteries for his mother’s side of the family and then headed west to Des Moines. I spent a lovely fives days with Jerry’s family. He was extremely generous and shared his research of Henry Spracklin’s family with me. Henry is Amarilla’s older brother.

We visited the state genealogical society, Iowa Genealogical Society in Des Moines and just as they were closing I found some information about Peter and Solomon Goss Spracklin. There are two publications of the Titler Cemetery and you need both to get a total picture.  I got copies of these publications.

Iowa's state archives and historical society

Iowa’s state archives and historical society

We later went to the main State Archives in Des Moines and that is where I found the obituaries of Daniel and Sara Spracklin and did deed research on Daniel, his brothers Peter and Solomon Goss Spracklin.  I really should have been there for two days not just one.

I am referring to the State Historical Archives housed as part of the State Historical Society of Iowa.  http://www.iowahistory.org/archives/

On May 7th a Wednesday, Jerry took me to the airport in Des Moines and said goodbye to me and it was sort of sad but we have kept in touch over the years and I have shared my findings with him.  I helped him find Elizabeth Downey Spracklin, Henry’s wife.  We now what happened to her after his tragic death.  I have written about his death on this blog.

As you can see my trip to Iowa focused on Iowa City, Marengo, Blairstown and Des Moines.  There was not enough time to visit other areas of Iowa. So maybe another trip is in order.  We will see.

I am very glad I did visit Iowa in 2003 because I learned that the reason I could not find the Spracklins was because they all left Iowa County by the time Daniel died in 1915 and had scattered to other parts of Iowa and other states mainly going north to Minnesota and west to the Dakotas. So by 2003 you had to dig for information. Once I knew where they all went, that opened the door to more research.

Dedication:  I dedicate this post to the memory of Netha Meyer’s whom I met on my trip there, she was very helpful and enthusiastic and even offered to look up more obituaries and go to the courthouse with me. See her memorial on the Iowa County IA Genweb page.

Amarilla’s Father Daniel and half-brother Reed Form a Partnership!

Amarilla, as I have written, came from a rather large family.  Her father Daniel married twice, first to Elizabeth Keller who was Amarilla’s mother.  The first marriage produced four children:  Henry, Oliver, Mary and Amarilla.  Henry was killed in an accident in Davenport, Iowa in 1893.  Oliver and Mary died young.

After Elizabeth’s death in 1859 he remarried to Sarah Blacketer Allgood in Iowa in 1863 in Iowa.

Sarah, Daniel’s second wife, brought to the marriage one daughter Emily.  There had been four born to Sarah and Charles Edward Allgood but they did not survive.  The other children were: John G., James H., and Phoebe.

From Sarah and Daniel’s marriage Amarilla gained seven other siblings:

1. Lydia Marie Spracklin

2. Virda Huston Spracklin

3.  Reed Andrews Spracklin

4. Daniel Goss Spracklin

5.  Peter George Spracklin

6.  Charles Edward Spracklin

7. Alfred Spracklin who died young and is buried with his parents in Iowa.

I have written about the first 4 children from the first marriage, some about Daniel and his migration from Ohio to Iowa on this blog.  I have posted about his marriage to Elizabeth Keller and her heritage on my other blog Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp., in Ohio.  See sidebar for a link.

In every family there always seems to be the one person that handles the family business.  In the second family of Daniel and Sarah that was the third child and second son Reed Andrews Spracklin.

Reed Spracklin

Reed Spracklin

About 1905 Reed and Daniel made an agreement that Reed would help out on the farm in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa.  So Reed moved in with his parents bringing his family with him. Daniel was 75 years old in 1900 and Sarah was 69 years old. The parents were definitely aged.

Reed had made Calhoun County, Iowa his home  and it is where he married and started raising his family.  His sister Lydia and brothers Virda and Daniel also had ties to Calhoun County, Iowa. Brother Peter was living up in Emmett Co., Iowa.

We do see that in 1905 Charles Edward was living with the parents and Reed.

This Special Iowa State Census for 1905 reads:

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

This state census is only a list of people with no other information provided. This does place Reed and his family with D.D. around 1905.

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

Reed and his family would stay with his parents until Daniel died and inherit 2/3’s of the family farm and estate of his father.  The remaining 1/3 would be divided among the rest of the siblings including Amarilla.  So Reed would take on the role of the Administrator of his father’s estate in 1915. Daniel did not have a will.

There will be more about the Daniel’s second family in future posts.

Back from My Travels…

Well, I am back from my travels.  My second trip to Canada is completed and that happened in September 2014.  Remind me not to travel in the Fall because you have to drive through thick fog, rain, cold and wind storms, brrrr….  Fortunately, I did not have to deal with snow.  It was a great trip and I posted about it in The Man Who Lived Airplanes and the Boardman and Brown blog – see side panel for links.  I did 1964 miles just 49 short of my first trip. It was EPIC!

My week at Salt Lake City went by too quickly.  I enjoyed my class on Scottish research and learned a lot.  The British Institute sponsored by the International Society of British Genealogy and Family History always puts on quality genealogical education. http://www.isbgfh.org/ My teacher was Paul Milner and he was very knowledgeable and patient with us Americans.  You might want to check out his blog he discusses the sources and that could be very helpful.  http://www.milnergenealogy.com/

While in Salt Lake City I was at the Family History Library doing research I did try to seek out John Barclay and his first wife Margaret but was not successful in finding him listed in the indexes that they had, so it will probably require some more digging, fortunately, I have a road map with my class lessons.

Looking west in SLC

Looking west in SLC

Class on Irish Research

Class on Irish Research which I probably should take next?

Family History Library British Isles floor B2

Family History Library British Isles floor B2

Let’s see, I left off with Amarilla and J.G. Dawes in the 1905 Census in Pine River.  I will continue to follow Amarilla through the rest of her life touching on the people who were part of her experience which includes her half-siblings from the 2nd marriage of her father Daniel D. Spracklin: Lydia, Virda, Reed, Daniel, Peter, and Charles Edward. They are all characters just like Amarilla.  Yes, I will discuss her marriage to J.G. Dawes and later to George Urton.

Her “of the blood” siblings have been written about: Henry, Oliver, Mary and from the second marriage Alfred.  I will share some about Henry’s descendants especially Harry his first born.

There will be posts about the end of Daniel and Sarah’s lives and why it is so difficult to find them in the records in Iowa, it is because they left.  I had to go there to Iowa to find them.

There will be more about Amarilla’s grandchildren and daughter Grace.

How all these events and happenings affected Amarilla is difficult to say.  I really have very little personal information about her or memorabilia from her like a diary or letters.  Sigh!

On George’s side, I have some more interesting tidbits and will write about my research on his siblings and half-siblings. According to his brother Alexander’s probate file there were 11 children that were involved in the process, one of which was represented by his children.  Yes, it is a mystery.  So brother Alexander Barclay end of life will be a big topic.

There are two other blogs you should be consulting and that is the Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp. in Ohio where I share about Amarilla’s grandparents on both sides of her lineage.  Elizabeth Keller Spracklin’s parents,  John and Mary Keller, are discussed and this line leads to DAR and Mayflower.  On Daniel’s side I write about John and Lydia Spracklin and their lives in Ohio and will go back further into that lineage.  Lydia Goss Spracklin line also leads to DAR and Mayflower.

If you are interested in Amarilla’s daughter Grace’s life you could read about it in this blog and also in The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  That blog is about her son Keith’s life and the family.  Grace married Ronald S. McDonald in 1898 and had 8 children one of which was Keith, my father.  I will touch upon his siblings briefly in this blog, but for more details go to the Man Who Lived Airplanes.  My dad loved airplanes and worked around them all his life.

Henry Spracklin’s Estate 1894

Henry died on 22 June 1893.  I wrote about it in the post dated August 10, 2012: “A Terrible Accident: Henry Spracklin is Killed, 1893!” Here is a hint:  Go to the Archive area on the right sidebar of this blog and find the month of August 2012, just above Categories.

The State Capital Building in Des Moines, Iowa

The next step was to search for an estate file.   I did find a probate for Henry that was dismissed because there wasn’t any “real” property and no money in his estate.  Henry did not have a will.

The probate did not appear in the records till 1894, more than a year later? I believe it is because, Elizabeth his surviving wife, received $300 for his death from Weyerhauser-Denkmann.  It would be worth researching court records for this civil suit regarding Henry’s death in the Scott County records.  I have not yet taken the time to do so.  I wonder if it would list the children?

Henry is buried in St. Marguerite’s cemetery on Highway 6th and Kimberly Road next to the Genesis Hospital in Davenport, Iowa. It is actually the Mt. Calvary Cemetery OLD (1 – 65) because St. Marguerite’s closed in 1944.  Henry does not have a tombstone according to my cousin.  I did not have time on my trip to Iowa in 2003 to visit Davenport to verify this so I go with my cousin’s story.

Find A Grave has a listing for this cemetery but Henry does not appear: 

Here is a breakdown of Henry F. Spracklin’s Probate/Estate File:  District Court, Scott Co., Iowa, Probate Packet #3751, 2nd Series No. 3726-3797, 1894-1901 FHL#1543779, Probate Index 1834-1958, FHL#1479397, Item 1.

Journal Entries: 1. Probate Index 1834-1958 Nebstedt-Zwickey FHL#1479397 Item 1, Probate Packet for Henry Spracklin #3751, died June 22, 1893, Vol. 6, pg. 301.

2. Public Notice of Probate, dated 10, Oct. 1894 – Appointment of Administrator T. A. Murphy.

3. Petition for Letters of Administration Oct. 9, 1894 by Elizabeth Spracklin FHL#1477259 pg. 564.

4. Order Appointing Administrator, Oct. 10, 1894 – T. A. Murphy is appointed.

5. Letters Issued, Oct. 10, 1894 pg. 565.

6. First Report and Application for Order to Compromise a Claim for Personal Injuries and Order, Oct. 11, 1894, pg. 567 to 569.

Probate Packet 2nd Series #3751 FHL#1543779:

1. Page 1 Probate Case #3751, Spracklin, Henry, Estate, Intestate.

2. Cover page – #3751 Probate Estate Henry Spracklin Dec’d – T.A. Murphy.

3. Petition – Date of death June 22, 1892, no real property except for a possible personal injury claim against Weyehaueser-Denkman for injuries that caused the deceased death. Signed by Elizabeth Spracklin widow of the deceased and the administrator T. A. Murphy, Oct. 9, 1894.

4. Administrator’s Notice – Exhibit A. – Signed receipt by Elizabeth Spracklin that she had received the $300.00.  (In today’s world $300 would be $7320 to $320,000.)

5. Petition for Letters of Administration Estate of Henry Spracklin cover page.

6. Administrator’s Notice – Public Notice on 10 Oct. 1894 by T.A. Murphy, Administrator.

7. Cover page of the Final Report Jan. 10, 1896.

8. Proof of Posting Notice – that a L.G. Susemihl had posted notice of the Estate at various locations.

9, 10, 11 – Final Report and Application for Order to Compromise a Claim for Personal Injuries, Oct. 11, 1894 – 3 pages – T. A. Murphy was appointed Administrator, filed a bond of $600. Decedent left no real or personal property and that all debts were paid and the decedent left a widow and 10 minor children; that the death was caused by the effects of the accident while in the employ of Weyehauser-Denkmann. They claim no liability but offer $300 to the survivors and that the Administrator believes that accepting the $300 will be in the best interests of the estate. Administrator is excused from filing an inventory and is ordered to pay over the sum of $300 to Elizabeth Spracklin for the support of her minor children.

12. Final Report of Administrator Oct. 12, 1894 – Discharging the Administrator and releasing of Bond and closing the probate.

Unfortunately no place in this probate was there a list of the surviving children.  Usually there is a “heirs-at-law” page for a probate that has no will.  Not in this case, because there was no money.

Maybe on a longshot, the court papers that cover the civil suit might show a list; however, was there a civil suit? 

In the last post, I presented a list of Henry and Elizabeth’s children of which my cousin and I had 11 listed.  So with the death of Sophie at an early age we arrive 10 living children.  

How this death affected my great grandmother Amarilla is unknown to me.  Henry was her full brother.  They both left home about 1875 and went off in different directions with Amarilla heading north to Minnesota and Henry going south in Iowa and then east to Scott County. 

In any event it was a tragic end to my great uncle’s life.  It scattered his children and broke down the family bonds well into the present day.

What Happened to Elizabeth Downey Spracklin?

My cousin wanted to know what happened to the children of Henry and Elizabeth’s after his death.  They were very poor.  Elizabeth did received $300 from Weyerhaeuser-Denkmann as compensation for the death of her husband.  The other mystery was what happened to Elizabeth?  She disappeared from the records after 1898?

We turn to the 1895 Iowa State Census to see what life was like for Elizabeth after Henry’s death:

1895 Iowa State Census

Source:  Elizabeth Spracklin Family, 1895 Iowa State Census, Davenport Twp., Scott Co., Iowa Microfilm #99, 4th Ward in Davenport, Line 23, Dwelling 6, Hse 6, State Historical Society, Des Moines, IA.

Spracklin, Elisabeth, age 41, Widow, Born in Pennsylvania, Keep House, Catholic, Harry, age 17, Single, born in Scott Co., Cigar Maker, Catholic, Maggie, age 16, Single, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Flora, age 12, Single, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Bessie, age 8, Single, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Elmer, age 6, Single, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Raymond, age 4, born in Scott Co., Catholic, Elroy, age 2, born in Scott Co., Catholic.

In this 1895 State Census for Iowa, we see that 7 of the children are living with Elizabeth.  The missing children are Edward Oliver, Sophia, Wilbur, John Daniel.

I turn to Daniel, their grandfather and Henry’s father and take a look at the his 1895 entry.

Source:  1895 Iowa State census, D. D. Spracklin Family, Film #1929364, Iowa, Iowa Co., Dayton Twp., Iowa Co. Gen. Society.

Hse # 66, family #67, Daniel Spracklin, age 65, married, born in Ohio, father foreign birth, mother native, farmer, under religion “none.” Sarah Spracklin, age 57, married, born in Indiana, both parents natives, keeping house, Protestant. Daniel Spracklin age 24, single, born in Iowa, farmer, no religious affiliation. Edward O. 15 yrs. old. (Alfred M. Spracklin D) age 17. Both Edward and Alfred were born in Iowa. Religious affiliations not indicated.

We see that Daniel is caring for Edward O. and that identifies one of the children missing from Elizabeth’s household.   

Elizabeth disappears by 1898 and doesn’t reappear in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. 

What happened to Elizabeth the wife of Henry?

Let’s take a look at Daniel and see what we find in the 1900 U.S. Census: 

Line 97, Dwelling #103, Family #103, Spracklin, Daniel, Head, White, Male, born Feb 1830, age 70, married, 37 years, born in Ohio, father born in England and mother born in Ohio, occupation farmer, reads and writes, owns land, been there 34 years, there is a farm house. Spracklin, Sarah, wife, white, female, born Aug. 1836, she is 63 years old, married 37 years, 7 children living, 6 out of 7 still living, she was born in Indiana, father was born in Virginia and mother was born in Ohio. She can read and write. Spracklin, Daniel G., son, white, male, born Sept. 1870, age 27 years, single, born in Iowa, farm laborer, he can read and write and did attend school. Spracklin, Charles Ed, son, white, male, Sept. 1874, age 25 years, born in Iowa, farm laborer, can read and write, attended school.

There is no mention of Elizabeth nor any of her children in Daniel’s household in 1900. At this point I turned to the city directories for Davenport, Iowa starting in 1894.  I did this research at the Iowa State Historical Society branch in Iowa City, Iowa. 

1894 Spracklin, Elizabeth Mrs. (widow Henry F) r 317 LeClaire

Spracklin, Harry L, labr 317 LeClaire

Spracklin, Henry F. (died June 22d 93)

No further info under street listing

Source: 1894-1895, 1896-1897 F629.D21 Roll #1

Spracklin, Elizabeth mrs. (wid Henry F) r 943 LePage

Spracklin, Harry L, cigarmkr bds 321 LeClaire

Spracklin, Margaret E. Miss, domestic r 943 LePage

No info on Harry as a cigarmkr in the business section

Under the street listing for LeClaire we find the following name: Mrs. Matilda J. Parke


1898-99 Davenport City Directory

Newton, John S. blacksmith r 943 LePage (Note same address as Elizabeth but the initial is S no D?)

(Mr. Newton is not listed under the businesses)

Under street name LePage

943 is John S. Newton

Source:  1898 Roll #2 F629.D21

Spracklin Edward, r943 LePage

Spracklin, Harry L, r 943 LePage

Spracklin, John, 4 943 LePage

Under the street of LePage we find: Mrs. Annie McElroy and Miss Elizabeth Spracklin

Source:  1900 F629.D21 – nothing under street listings

Spracklin John D. wks Stearns Paint Co., r 943 LePage

Spracklin, Wilbur V. r943 LePage

I gave all this city directory research to my cousin and he did a little poking around but didn’t get very far when we visited the State Historical Society of Iowa in Des Moines.  This John Newton person was suspicious.  He was living at the same address?  Elizabeth disappears. 

Well I sort of spilled the beans when I wrote in the post describing Henry and Elizabeth children:  Do you remember the obituary for Ortha?

Parke – Ortha Raymond Parke, passed away at his home in the Walsh Apartments at 6:40 o’clock this morning, after 18 weeks of illness. He was born in Davenport Feb. 16, 1900, and was educated in the Davenport schools, ad has been employed as an usher at the Fort Armstrong theater. Surviving are the parents, Mr. and Mrs. David E. Parke, one brother, Earl David Parke of Duluth, Minn. and one sister, Miss Viola R. at home. The maternal grandmother, Mrs. J.S. Newton of Fairfield, Fla. also survives. Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock from Runge’s chapel, and interment will be made in Oakdale cemetery. The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Sept. 5, 1924.

I don’t know when my cousin obtained this information, maybe he gave it to me when we sat in his kitchen at his lovely home and I didn’t really catch it till much later.

Several months later, after my trip to Iowa, I decided to just fool around on Ancestry.com and study the census.  I could find no evidence of Elizabeth’s whereabouts in 1900, 1910 and 1920 until I found the Buford Family in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1930.  Guess who was listed with her daughter?  

Elizabeth Downey Spracklin Newton was living

with her daughter Elizabeth Ann Spracklin Buford in Florida. 

1930 US Federal Census, Florida:  West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Co., Precinct #14, ED#50-18, SD#7, Sheet #13 A, pg. 849, Ancestry.com.

Line 27, Iris St. 718/277/360 Burford, Charles R., Head, R, 60, No, male, white, age 55, married, 24, No, Yes, born Missouri, father born Missouri, mother born Iowa, yes, Farmer, track farm, Yes, not a veteran. Line 28 Burford, Bessie, wife-H, female, white, age 42, married, 17, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Pennsylvania, yes, no occupation. Line 29 Burford, Lillian E., daughter, female, white, 14, single, Yes, yes, born Iowa, yes, no occupation. Line 30 Betty A., daughter, female, white 13, single, Yes, Yes, born Cuba (Amer City), yes, no occupation. Line 31, Burford, Richard D., son, male, white, 9, single, yes, born Iowa, no occupation. Line 32 Newton, John S., Father-in-law, male, white 79 yrs, married, 27 yrs. No, yes, born in England, parents both born in England, 1855 Na, yes, no occupation, not a veteran. Line 33 Newton, Elizabeth, mother-in-law, female, white 73, married 18, No, yes, Pennsylvania, both parents born in Pennsylvania, yes, no occupation

I immediately sent an email to my cousin with a copy of the 1930 census.  Maybe a few hours later or a day or two later I received another email from my cousin with the title


The following information was retrieved from The Flagler Tribune newspaper, vol. 33, No., 37 for Thursday, Oct. 11, 1945.  We have a copy on microfilm and have attempted to send you an actual copy of the obit itself, but the quality was so poor we were afraid you wouldn’t be able to read it.  Here is what the newspaper said:

Funeral services were held for Mrs. Elizabeth D. Newton, 92 and a resident of Bunnell for the past 30 years, on Monday at St. Christopher’s Church at Korona.  Burial was at Espanola Cemetery, where her husband is also buried. Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Margaret Parks of Bunnell, Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Buford of Sola, Cuba; three sons, John Daniel Spracklin of Blockwell, Okla., George Spracklin of Portsmouth, VA, Elroy Franklin Spracklin of Detroit, Mich., and a brother, Charles Downey of  Portsmouth, Iowa.

Sometimes you just take your time and study the clues and they will lead you to your goal. It might take a little while but don’t give up.  I was so happy to find the 1930 U.S. Census information and share it with my cousin.  Elizabeth is his great-grandmother. 

Elizabeth is no longer missing! 

We could use a tombstone picture but I am not planning to visit Florida soon, so we turn to Find A Grave and someone has posted the tombstone and information about Elizabeth.

Find A Grave has a picture of Elizabeth’s tombstone and one of her 2nd husband John S. Newton is at Find A Grave along with an obituary notice given by the contributor.

These documents have helped to identify the children who did survive for Henry and Elizabeth.  I am a happy genealogist!