The Family of Amos and Iva Heiss Spracklin….

Amos Earl Spracklin was a son of Reed and Julia Siler Spracklin.  He was born on the 28th of August, 1899 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Amos Spracklin in 1919

Amos Spracklin in 1919

He died on the 12th of December, 1983 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana. He is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City Montana.

Amos & Iva's Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery in Miles City

Amos & Iva’s Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery in Miles City

Amos married Iva Myrtle Heiss on the 26th of July, 1924 in Miles City, Montana.

Kafroth & Mary C. Heiss

Kafroth & Mary C. Heiss

Iva was born in Baldwin, Burleigh Co., North Dakota. She was the daughter of Kafroth Rodney Heiss, Jr. who was born 31 May, 1858 in Erie, Erie Co., Pennsylvania and died 6 December, 1928 in Warms Springs, Deer Lodge, Montana.  Her mother was Mary Katherine Unzen born 14 February, 1879 in Minnesota and died 20 June, 1973 in Miles City, Montana. She was the daughter of Joseph Unzen and Elizabeth Morris.

Joseph Unzen and Elizabeth are buried in the Saint Leo Cemetery in Yellow Medicine Co., Minnesota. Find A Grave has a photo of their tombstones and a memorial with links.  It is possible from the Find A Grave information that Joseph’s father was Nicholas Unzen born 2 August, 1788 in Germany and died 18 February, 1872 in Le Sueur Co., Minnesota.

Mary K. Heiss is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City with her son Rodney. Find A Grave has a tombstone photo and memorial for both.  There are other Heiss buried there but the relationships are not clarified.

Kafroth’s father was Kafroth Rodney Heiss Sr. who died 12 August, 1858 in Fairview (probably a township), Erie Co., Pennsylvania. The mother was Mary Ann Long born in Fairview, Erie Co., Pennsylvania.  There is a memorial at Find A Grave for a Kafroth Heiss with no information and no tombstone.  There are other Heiss buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

We find the family of Kafroth and Mary Heiss living in Wason Flats, Garfield County, Montana in the 1920 U.S. Census. The name is under Kafront R. Heiss. He is 71 years of age in this census. Wason Flats is east of Cohagen in Garfield County, Montana.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Wason Flats, Garfield Co., Montana, School Dist#33, SD#2, ED#123, Sht #5B, enumerated on 21 February, 1920 by J. Budd Kaus. 

Line 76, Farm, 114, 114, Heis, Kafront R., Head, 1, 0, F, M, W, 71, M, all able to read and write, several in school, born Pennsylvania, parents born in Pennsylvania, yes, farmer, general farm, 110.

Heiss, Mary wife, F, 2, 41, M, born Minnesota, parents born in West Prussia

Heiss, Rose, daughter, F, W, 18, S, born Washington

Heiss, Arthur, son, M, W, 15, S, born Minnesota, maid, housework

Heiss, Iva, daughter, F, W, 13, S, born North Dakota, 

Heiss, Elizabeth daughter, F, W, 11, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Roddy son, M, W, 9, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Joseph son, M, W, 5, S, born North Dakota

Heis, Deloris, daughter, F, W, 2, S, born Montana

According to my information Kafroth and Mary had about nine children, including Iva:  Bob, Joe, Art, Rose, Delores, Ann, Rodney died 1961, Iva Myrtle and Elizabeth Susanna 1908 to 2001 who married Harley Grover Spracklin.

So I went back to 1910 and find Kafroth and Mary K. Heiss living in North Dakota.

Source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Menoken Twp., Burleigh, North Dakota, SD#2, ED#35, Sht#1A, enumerated on 18 April, 1910 by Ole Sather.

Line 1, 1, 1, Heiss, K. Head, M, W, 53, Married 12 years, born in PA, parents born in PA, English, Farmer

Heiss, Mary K. wife, F, W, 31, Married 12 years, 5 born 5 living, born Minnesota, parents born Germany, English, house farm

Heiss, Annie Mary, daughter, F, W, 10, S, born Washington

Hessi, Rosy Elmirel, daughter, F, W, 8, S, born Washington

Heiss, Arthur Floyd, Son, M,W, 5, S, born Minnesota

Heiss, Iva Mary, daughter, F, W, 3, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Elizabeth Susanna, daughter, F, W, 1, S, born North Dakota

We have added a couple more children for Kafroth and Mary K. Heiss to the family group.  I am not finding them in the 1900 U.S. Census but it looks like they were in Washington State at that time.

Here are is another photo of Amos and Iva’s homestead, which is now owned by a daughter.

Amos' Homestead near Jordan, 2003. It is probably torn down by now it was going to ruin

Amos’ Homestead near Jordan, 2003. It is probably torn down by now it was going to ruin ad was dangerous.

In 1930 Amos is living near his father Reed and mother Julia.

Amos and Iva Spracklin and one of their girls, probably Margaret

Amos and Iva Spracklin and one of their girls, probably Margaret

Source:  Reed Spracklin Family and Amos Spracklin Families, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Sheldon Twp., Garfield Co., Montana, School Distr #41., Garfield Co., Montana SD2, ED 122, Sh#5a, Mar 22, 1930, #T625-971.

Line 3, 2, 2, Spracklin, Amos. E, Head, yes, M, W, 30, m, 24, No, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother, born Nebraska, yes, Farm, laborer, Farm, 2. 
Spracklin, Iva, M, Wife – H, F, W, 30, M, 24, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa and mother Minnesota. 
Spracklin, Margaret R, daughter, F, W, 3, S, no, born Montana
Spracklin, Alice, M, daughter, F, W, 1, S, no, born Montana

Line 7, 3, 3, Spracklin, Reed, A. Head, yes, M,W,, 61, M, 39, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana, Farmer, farm, 3.
Spracklin, Julia A, wife-H, F, W, 51, M, 29, No, yes, born Nebraska, father Indiana, mother Iowa
Spracklin, Roy, Son, M,W, 16 S, yes, yes, born Iowa
Spracklin, Everett, R, son, M, W, 19, S, no, yes, born Iowa
Spracklin, Forest, E, son, M, W. 12, S, yes, yes, born Montana
Spracklin, Clara L., daughter, F, W, 10 S, yes, yes, born Montana

Amos and Iva are residing in the Sawtell area of Garfield Co., Montana in 1940.

Source: Amos E. Spracklin Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Sawtell (School District), Garfield Co., Montana, SD #3, ED 17-25, Sht# 1A, Enumerated April 24, 1940 by Donald M. Zimmerman. 

Line 6, 2, R, 4, yes, Spracklin, Amos L., Head, M, W, 40 , M, No, 44, born Iowa, all same house, farmer,, farm.
Spracklin, Iva, wife, F, W, 34, M, No 8, North Dakota. Spracklin, Margaret, daughter, F, W, 13, S, yes, 6, Montana, Spracklin, Alice, daughter, F, W, 11, S, yes, 5, Montana, Spracklin, Betty, daughter, F,W, 9, S, yes, 4, Montana, Spracklin, Bertha, daughter, F, W, 7, S, yes, 2, Montana, Spracklin, Dorothy, daughter, F, W, S, Montana, Spracklin, Helen, daughter, F, W, S, Montana.  

Amos and Iva in 1967 at Thanksgiving

Amos and Iva in 1967 at Thanksgiving

Iva Heiss Spracklin passed away on November 24, 1969.

Mrs. Iva Myrtle Spracklin, 63, wife of Amos E. Spracklin, former Jordan area rancher, died Monday, November 24 at her home in Hamilton. Funeral services for Mrs. Iva Spracklin were held, Friday afternoon in the Chapel of Stevenson, Miles City Funeral Home with the Rev. Leland Rubesh of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. Music was under the direction of Mrs. Marian Pinkham. Mrs. Spracklin was born in Baldwin, N.D. on October 16, 1906, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. K. Heiss. As a young girl she moved with her family to the Cohagen area where they homesteaded. She received her schooling in Miles City. She was married to Amos E. Spracklin on July 26, 1924 at Miles City and following their marriage they moved to the Jordan area where they farmed and ranched. They retired from the ranch in 1964 when they moved to Hamilton and have made their home there since. Surviving are her husband of Hamilton and six daughters. Mrs. M. Roberts of Hamilton, Mrs. F. Bickel of Rock Springs, Mrs. D. Cole of Miles City, Mrs. B. Roufley of Jordan and Mrs. D. Euell of Bozeman and Mrs. Fishell of White Sulphur Springs. Also surviving are her mother Mrs. Mary K. Heiss of Miles City, and three brothers, Bob Heiss of Garden Grove, Calif., Joe Heiss serving in the U.S. Army and Art Heiss of Miles City; four sisters, Rose Pembrook of Lewiston, Idaho, Delores Rogers of Roundup, Ann Larson of Lewiston, Idaho, and Elizabeth Spracklin of Miles City; 25 grandchildren and seven great grand children. She was preceded in death by one brother, Rodney Heiss in 1962 and one daughter, Mary Ann Spracklin in 1923 near Jordan. Pall bearers were: Martin Derenburgen, Donald Weeding, James Rogers, Waldo Bentley, George Spracklin, Roy Spracklin, Thomas Billings, Pete Ronning and Bob Phipps. Burial was in the family plot in the Sunset Memorial Gardens in Miles City.”  Note: There were issues with the water table at Sunset and so the casket was moved to the Custer County Cemetery next to her husband Amos in Miles City, MT.

Amos lived fourteen more years beyond his wife and passed away on 12 December, 1983 at the age of 84 years old.

Obituary for Amos Earl Sprackin
“Amos Earl Spracklin, 84, longtime rancher of the Jordan area, died Monday at the Garfield County Hospital in Jordan of a long illness. He was born Aug. 28, 1899 in Calhoun Co., Iowa the son of Reed Spracklin and Julia Siler. Mr. Spracklin came to Montana with his parents in 1915 when he was a young man. They homesteaded on Lone Tree Creek, 19 miles west of Jordan. On July 26, 1924, he married Iva Myrtle Heiss at Miles City. They continued to ranch west of Jordan until 1964 when they moved to Hamilton. In 1974 he moved to Mill Iron where he lived until 1978 when he entered the rest home at Jordan where he lived until his death. Survivors included six daughters, Mrs. Clint (Margaret) Vial of Portland, Oregon; Mrs. James Roufley of Brusett, Mrs. Ferdinand  Bickel of Mill Iron, Mrs. Delbert ole of Alzada, Mrs. Jesse Euell of Bozeman and Mrs. Jacob Fowler of Hamilton; three brothers Clifford of Hamilton, LeRoy of Roundup, and Forest of Washington; one sister, Clara Monger of Lewistown; 27 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Iva on Nov. 24, 1969 at Hamilton. Funeral services will be held Friday, 2 p.m., in the chapel of Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home. Rev. Leslie Payne of the First Christian Church will officiate. Burial will be in the family lot of the Custer County Cemetery.”  source unknown, probably Miles City newspaper. 

Amos and Iva had the following children:

Amos and Iva's Girls

Amos and Iva’s Girls

  1.  Mary Anna Spracklin, born 14 August, 1925 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died on the 15th of September 1925.  My understanding is that Mary is buried on the homestead property.
  2. Margaret Rosailie Spracklin was born 18 October, 1926 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died 22 December, 2012, in Jordan. Margaret married about five times 1) Daniel L. Ward on 5 April, 1945 in Miles City. They divorced in 1961. Daniel was born 1911 and died 1963. 2) She married Alexander Kline on 17 November, 1961 in Roundup, Montana and they later divorced.  He was born about 1916. 3) The next was Ira Clayton Lewis on 1 February, 1964 in Vancouver, Washington. 4) Henry C. Roberts on and Margaret married on 20 December, 1967. Henry was born about 1906 and died 1966.  5) She married Clinton F. Vial on 5 April, 1974 in Vancouver. Clinton was born 1907 and died 1983 in Washington.  Margaret had several children from her first marriage. She is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, Montana. Find A Grave has a nice memorial for her but no tombstone photo at this time.
  3. Alice May Spracklin was born on 9 December, 1928 in Brusett, Garfield Co., Montana and she died on the 28th of January, 2015 in Billings, Montana. She is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, Montana. Alice married a Ferdinand Herbert Bickel on 7 October, 1945 in Miles City. He died on 2 January, 1998 in Ekalaka, Carter Co., Montana. He is also buried in the Custer County Cemetery. Find A Grave has tombstone photos a memorial and links for this couple. Ferdinand and Alice had several children and a long married life together. Alice was married briefly before to a C. Yungk but it was annulled.
  4. Betty Jean Spracklin was born 23 October, 1930 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana. Betty died on the 10th of February, 2013 in Miles City from a heart attack. Betty was married twice. She first married to a Henry Francis Stocker on 3 June, 1948 in Miles City and had several children with this man.  They divorced in 1960 and she remarried to a Donald Delbert Cole on 21 March, 1961 in Glendive, Dawson Co., Montana. Donald was born on 18 September, 1925 in Terry, Montana and died 7 April, 2000 in Miles City. Betty is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. Find A Grave has a memorial for her but does not have a tombstone photo at this time.
Betty Spracklin Cole

Betty Spracklin Cole

5.  Bertha Evelyn Spracklin born 27 July, 1932 in Jordan, Montana. Bertha was married on 18 September 1948 in Miles City to James Everetts Roufley.  They had four children together one son and three daughters.

James was born 17 August, 1918 in Stanton, Mercer Co., North Dakota.

James with brother Harold

James with brother Harold

James fought in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge.

James Roufley after basic training Fort Ord.

James Roufley after basic training Fort Ord.

He died on 12 July, 1991 and is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City.

James Roufley's Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery

James Roufley’s Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery

James’ parents were James Franklin Roufley who died 2 February, 1972 and Ethel May Percy born 21 November, 1893 and died 21 September, 1978 in Miles City.  Ethel is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. James had a brother name Roy who died in 9 September, 1981 in Yellowstone Co., Montana.

Bertha and James settled on the land that was formerly Amos and Iva’s homestead.

6.  Dorothy Josephine Spracklin was born 1 January, 1935 in Garfield Co., Montana. She married twice first to a Jesse Bernard Euel on 21 Mary, 1951 and later to a Mr. Tucker.  Dorothy was living in Bozeman at the time of her mother and father’s deaths.

7.  Helen Marlys Spracklin was born on 23 June 1937 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died 6 April, 2014 in Spokane, Washington.

Helen Spracklin Fowler

Helen Spracklin Fowler

Helen married three times.  The first was in April of 1955 she married a Leon W. Seniba. They later divorced in 1961.  Another marriage was to a Mr. Fishel.  She later married a Jacob E. Fowler born 8 March, 1934 and died 3 July 1981 in Miles City. Jacob and Helen had about seven children together.

Both Helen and her husband are buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana. Jacob has a tombstone picture and memorial at Find A Grave.

If you would like more information about any of these individuals, just leave a comment and I will be happy to contact you.  As always please double check the information presented above.

Traveling to Montana to meet Amos Spracklin’s family, a son of Reed and Julia Spracklin – 2003

About 2002, I received an email from a cousin and this individual suggested that I talk to another cousin who had done quite a bit of research on the Spracklin family back in the early and mid 1980’s. This cousin was my half cousin.  She was a descendant of the second family of Daniel D. Spracklin and his wife Sarah.  She lived in Miles City, Montana and I decided to go and visit her.

So in 2003, my sister and I, drove to Miles City in my 1995 Aerostar Van to visit our cousin. Neither one of us had met her before so it would be a great adventure.  We would stop at motels or hotels as we got close to the end of the day and use the coupons you get in those newspaper booklets they distribute at rest stops. Usually I book my motels and lodging in advance because I don’t want to mess with it while driving around.

As usual my genealogy research trips are very complicated and involve many facets.  On this trip it would be researching Spracklins, Mc/MacDonald’s, meeting family and visiting museums and various sites along the way.

We left Seattle about 11 am on Tuesday September 2nd and made it to Rathdrum, Idaho.  It takes about five hours to get to Spokane if you don’t stop at all the rest stops for coffee and cookies.

The view from Twin Lakes in Idaho.

The view from the cabin on Twin Lakes in Idaho.

We were going to meet up with a childhood family friend.  Mickey had lived with our Aunt Vivian, our father’s sister, when he was a boy. He was her nephew on her husband’s side and a member of the McKanna family.  He had a cabin near a lake just across the border from the Spokane area in Idaho and we were stopping there for the night.  We knew him when we were kids and he is part of my Mac/McDonald family memory and I wanted to see him and have him tell me more stories. I had reconnected with him several years earlier.  He had kindly loaned me a photo book that was formerly my Aunt Vivian’s, I had scanned all the photos and have used many of them in my posts on my blog: The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  McKanna’s actually came to Miles City and Mickey asked me to see if I could find out anything more about them.

The next day we headed further east and stopped at Wallace.  I was hoping to find out something about my great Uncle Angus McDonald so we stopped at the museum. I was trying to place him in the area but it was not going to happen.  Angus was my grandfather’s older brother.  http://wallace-id.com/  The Wallace District Mining Museum had city directories and there were McDonald’s listed but it was hard to tell if they were my McD’s.  http://wallaceminingmuseum.org/

We arrived in Missoula, Montana where we stopped for lunch.  We asked about the forest fires and decided to go a different route to stay as far away from them as possible.  We could see and smell the smoke.

Here is a little excerpt from an online paper about those fires.

By most measures, the fire season of 2003 was historic for Northwest Montana. Not since 1910 had there been such an array of wildfire in the region, not to mention the rest of the northern Rockies.

By mid-September there were 16 large fires in Northwest Montana that ended up covering more than 300,000 acres.

Individual fire acreages were impressive: the Robert Fire covered 57,570 acres, Wedge Canyon 53,325 acres, Little Salmon Complex 88,000 acres, Rampage Complex 24,488 acres, Blackfoot Lake Complex 29,836 acres and Middle Fork Complex 11,851 acres.

Combined, the 2003 fires accounted for roughly half the acreage burned on the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park over the previous 20 years.

“The year 2003 will go down as a very historic fire year,” declared Steve Barrett, a fire ecologist who has studied long-term fire histories across Northwest Montana. – By Jim Mann Daily InterLake, December 27, 2009. http://www.dailyinterlake.com/members/a-monster-year-for-fires/article_e529a93c-f2a6-11de-8498-001cc4c03286.html

We left Bozeman around 8:30 am on Wednesday September 3rd.  We headed for the Lewis & Clark Cavern’s which was a very amazing experience.  This is what I wrote in my travel journal in 2003:  http://www.visitmt.com/listings/general/state-park/lewis-and-clark-caverns-state-park.html

Once inside the park we traveled a wiggly waggly road for about 4 miles before reaching the parking lot for the caverns.  We paid for our tickets and checked out the little gift shop at the café.  After a wait of about 30 minutes we started up the trail to the caverns.  It was hot and so the trail up was warm but pretty easy except for the steepness of the grade.  The vista was beautiful of the Jefferson River in the valley below.  We waited about 15 minutes at the cavern entrance before the guide came and started with guidelines to the caverns.  He was a young man who reminded me of friend but a bit shorter.  He was very nice and friendly and cracked silly jokes. I was not prepared for the caverns at all but was truly amazed at what we found.  It was a wonderous place and a world all its own. The stairs were tight to walk down in the dim light but I managed well.  There were stalagmites and stalactites and strange formations that only a cave can create from the action of the water dripping down.  Each area that we stopped in was unique and had its own eerie beauty.  Several of the areas were large caverns with these incredible formations that had taken millions of years to make.  Unfortunately damage had been done by guests of earlier years and you could see the ragged edges of the broken pieces that were left behind.  The cave was supposed to have bats but there were not very many at this time of the year.  It took the 2 hours that they said it would to view the caverns but it was well worth it especially the part that we had to get down on our butts and slide down a section of the trail.  There was a lot of ducking of the head and I banged mine several times.  The walk was mostly down and the steps took us to this cavern they called the Cavern of the Gods and it was like descending a long beautiful twisting spiral staircase. All great things come to an end and this little adventure found its own conclusion down a very long tunnel with two doors.  The doors were there to prevent a wind tunnel effect that would rush the air in and cause the caverns to dry out.  In 2010 I visited these caverns with my hubby.  He is tall so it was a challenge for him. 

Lewis & Clark Caverns

Lewis & Clark Caverns

The trail to the Caverns

The trail to the Caverns

The Caverns

The Caverns

Further along our trip we took in the The Western Heritage Center in Billings, Montana which had a wonderful exhibit about the history of Montana and provided me with a basic history of the area when Reed Spracklin migrated there.  We visited an old pioneer cemetery on Boot Hill and drove to the Pictograph Caves which are southeast of Billings. http://stateparks.mt.gov/pictograph-cave/.

Miles City Water Towers

Miles City Water Towers

Miles City is about two hours from Billings. We arrived in Miles City on Friday about 5 p.m. to be warmly greeted by Bertha at her trailer.  We spent the evening chatting and settling in.  We made cheese sandwiches to fill ourselves up.  I gave the research copies of research from my trip to Iowa and more to her and she spent some time reviewing them.  I spent a lot of the time at her kitchen table that week studying her research and learning about the Spracklin family and getting to know my cousin. She had done a lot of work and had gathered a lot of information by writing letters to family members and research archives seeking information about the family.  She was very generous with her research and shared all that I wanted.

Miles City

Miles City

During our stay we visited the Custer County Community Cemetery where various family members are buried including Amos and Iva Spracklin, Bertha’s parents.  This cemetery is in Miles City and Find A Grave has a listing for most of the cemetery.

Custer County Cemetery in Miles City

Custer County Cemetery in Miles City

We also visited the Range Rider Museum which is amazing.  They have newspapers in flip displays, display cabinets filled with artifacts, black and white photos of the Indians that are outstanding, photographs of the ranchers in the area who are placed on their wall of fame. http://www.rangeridersmuseum.com/.  The buildings outside house wagons, automobiles and more.

Wall of Fame Range Rider Museum

Wall of Fame Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

Unfortunately, Miles City’s genealogy society did not survive so you have to visit historical societies or go to museums like the Range Rider. We did visit the Miles City library where we did some obituary research. I did not go to the courthouse in Miles City another stop if you have ancestors there.  It was a busy visit so I had to pick and choose and my focus was the research that my cousin had done.

The Library in Miles City

The Library in Miles City

Several days later Bertha took us to her ranch, west of Jordan, Montana.  It was a two-hour drive from Miles City to Jordan and then about thirty minutes to the ranch.  As we drove along I realized that Bertha was the rancher. She was raised in Montana and became her father’s right hand man. Amos and Iva’s children were all were girls. Amos of course, had wanted a son to help him with the ranch but it didn’t happen.  So Bertha took on that role. She knew everything about the ranches along the highway and chatted away telling us the history of the area and story of the families that lived there.  She knew about barbed wire and what each type was for and she could recognize individual cattle something her father had trouble with.

Jordan, Montana in the rain

Jordan, Montana in the rain

We arrived in Jordan the county seat of Garfield County.  They have a the Garfield County Museum which we visited briefly.

The ranch is not too far from Jordan.  You go west for about 20-30 minutes…

The Ranch near Jordan

The Ranch near Jordan

We approached a fork in the road and she mentioned the 1996 FBI standoff with the Montana Freemen that was located 20 miles up the road from the fork.  The left fork in the road was the road to Bertha’s ranch.  She said that we needed to go over several cattle guards before we got there and I think she said it was about 5 miles from the fork in the road.  As we drove along she pointed out where her land was describing it to us and telling us she had 4850 acres all paid for.  The road had become gravel a while back. 

We passed a big pile of wood on the right and on the left were metal buildings that were the barn and corral.  The house was up on a slight hill.  Cars, trucks and other buildings were scattered about the land.  We climbed out of the van.  Bear, Bertha’s small white poodle, jumped out and was running around checking out the area and leaving his calling card.  There was a beautiful Border Collie named Hey who was on a chain and he turned out to be a very friendly and a gentle dog.  He was the black and white typical of that breed but his eyes were like a wolf’s.  We entered the ranch house by way of the basement door.  Ahead of us was a wooden staircase that lead up to the main floor of the double wide mobile home that Bertha had installed on a cement foundation.  I later noticed the metal strip and the bolts along the lower part of the mobile home.   The other thing that I first saw was the head of an antelope on the basement wall. 

We headed for the stairs to the main floor of the house.  We turned a corner and found the son in the kitchen preparing dinner.  He was standing over a large pan of sliced potatoes.  I found myself wandering out to the deck area that had a vista of the land around the ranch.  I wasn’t sure of the deck area but it seemed sturdy. The view took in the barn area and the land that stretched out before me.  The wind was hot on my face and was blowing bits of dirt about.  There were buttes in the distance and cattle out on the land grazing.  There was much talk about wayward buffalo coming onto the land.  

Dinner was served and the barbecued ribs just melted off their bones.  They were delicious.  The potatoes were also good and I ate two helpings.  Everyone was gathered around the two tables in the kitchen area. Everyone ate heartily.  

We then went on a tour of the ranch again, from my travel journal in 2003:

The Ranch

The Ranch from the house

Bertha and son took us on a tour of the ranch showing the house that she grew up in.  It was in a sad state of deterioration.  It was also filled with farm things.  The floor was rotting out and the ceiling was coming down. There were old torn and tattered pieces of furniture scattered and piled about.  There was a stove or two.  There were even jackets still hanging on hooks by the door.  The house had only three rooms in the beginning but was later expanded to include the kitchen area.  Amos and Iva slept in the bedroom on the first floor while kids slept upstairs.  Behind the old farmhouse was the shed that was used for several tasks.  The right end was for the chickens and the left end was used for the milking cows.  The backside was used as the granary.  It was showing its age and they were planning to tear it down.  There were at least three round tower like structures now used for grain.  They were better and easier to use.  We then made our way down to the barn area and we walked around there.  Bertha talked about repairs and rotted posts and what needed to be done to fix things up.  They explained how the gates worked and walked us through the barn, pointing out their saddles and showing us the initials on the stalls for the horses.  You had to walk carefully because there were cow piles all about and even a carcass of an antelope left to rot.  I may not know much about ranching but it seemed to me to be a never-ending task. 

Amos, his homestead

Amos, his homestead, now owned my Bertha

The Lights of Jordan — I mean Jordan in Montana from my 2003 travel journal:

The evening was not yet over and the major event of the night was about to take place.  Bertha wanted us to see the lights of Jordan from a bluff on her land.  So just before dusk we all piled into her son’s big black truck.  I had to climb up and in.  We started out the gate of the ranch past the barn area and onto the gravel road crossing it towards the south.  We picked up speed and so far things seems pretty okay and I would say he went about 4 miles then he make a sharp turn to the left off the road and we were as it is called “bushwhacking.”  We bumped along over sagebrush with bunnies hopping frantically out-of-the-way.  Bertha and her son discussed the route up the hill in their usual feisty way.  He reminded her he knew the way as good as she did.  I probably will never know how he knew the way in the dark but they both seemed to know exactly where they were and where every bump and creek bed was.  I actually did pretty good although I was tossed around quite a bit. Just when I thought he was going to go over a big cliff and he stopped the truck and turned off the motor and pointed to the lights of Jordan in the distance.  Then Bertha pointed to the house lights of the ranch. The son remembered and said that he used to come up to this hill with his Dad (Jim) and sit and look out for fires till 2 a.m. in the morning.  Lighting was playing out its game to the right of us and sending strikes out but so far no rain.  Within about 10 minutes or a little more he started the engine and proceeded to go straight ahead. The cliff that loomed before us was not as bad as I had thought but we did go pretty straight down for a bit.  The drive back to the gravel road was a little less wild and bumpy and we actually seemed to get back to the road faster. As we drove along Bertha was pointing out deer and we couldn’t see anything. So the truck abruptly stopped by a big piece of farm equipment and out came a spotlight.  They held up the spotlight and we then started to see lots of animals.  First you see their eyes flashing in the dark and then you can make out there form. We were told that you can tell the type of animal by the color of their eyes.  We saw lots of deer, the most I have ever seen in my life.  It was great. We made it back to the house in one piece and I headed for bed.  It was very hot. 

On the way back from the ranch, the next day, we stopped at the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan where Reed and Julia Spracklin are buried along with other family members.

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery Overview, Jordan, MT

Pioneer Cemetery Overview, Jordan, MT

We stayed in Miles City for about a week and then headed out.  Our goal was to visit Yellowstone but we were going to do that in a little different way by viewing the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Park and then driving to Sheridan and across the Bighorn Mountains to Cody and from Cody to Yellowstone.

Big Horn Battlefield, tombstone

Big Horn Battlefield, tombstone

The Lecture by the Ranger at the Big Horn Battlefield

The Lecture by the Ranger at the Big Horn Battlefield

I drove to the battlefield.  It was raining and the wind was blowing so the weather was not really great. We almost missed the battlefield because we got on the wrong road.  We found the Crow Wing Agency sign and we doubled back and headed to the East until we caught up with the main road and it was just a little farther to go. 

The wind was really cold at the Little Bighorn Battlefield.  We arrived at around 3 pm.  It took a lot longer than I anticipated to get there. We were able to attend a lecture by the ranger about the battle even though the wind was cold and the big nasty rain cloud threatened above.  I was listening to the ranger talk but became quiet fascinated with the mud on his boots which was caking up and then falling off as he worked his way closer to the shelter as the rain came down on him.  http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm

Custer’s last stand was definitely a broader and larger military maneuver than I had imagined. The events took place over a very big area stretching to the Wolf Mountains to the south.  Custer’s part of the battle took place in a small area close to the visitor’s center.  To see the rest of the battlefield we had to drive a road for about 3-5 miles.  The formal cemetery was near the visitor center. They said that the Indian village stretched two miles in the valley below.  That must have been a site to see.  The Little Bighorn River Valley was beautiful to look down on from the hills where most of the fighting took place.  Apparently this is the only battlefield that has tombstone markers scattered about the fields.  The men were buried where they fell. 

After our visit to the park, we headed to Sheridan in Wyoming.  There were very ominous clouds in the distance but we made it before they dumped on us. We started up the highway to the Bighorns but decided it was getting too dark and we better find a place to stay.  Sheridan was not far and found this wonderful old style hotel with creaky floors and a big steep staircase.  The hotel room was lovely and old-fashioned making you think of bygone days. Spracklins lived in Sheridan, they are the descendants of Peter Spracklin a brother to our second great-grandfather Daniel D. Spracklin.  So it was good to see the town.  I didn’t have time to do any research there.  If you want to know more about Peter and his family go to the blog Solomon Goss in Fearing Twp. for information.

After breakfast we made our way to the highway that takes you over the Bighorn Mountains.  I am a big fan of Longmire having read the novels and watched the TV show. So when the show came on I was remembering the area. Absaroka County does not exist, but it is in the area on the west side of the Bighorns.  The show is actually filmed in Arizona.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1836037/

Burgess Station Big Horn Mountains

Burgess Station Big Horn Mountains

Free Range Cattle

Free Range Cattle

Leaving the Bighorns

Leaving the Big Horn Mountains

The next morning after breakfast and gas for the car, we set out for the Bighorn Mountains. What an experience.  The road winded up the side of the foothills going steeper and twisting around the sides of the hills.  You could look ahead and see the road winding up the side of the mountain and could look back and see the valley below and get an incredible vista.  The height of the passes in the Bighorns were 9000+ feet and we climbed and climbed up to a wonderland of trees and ground lightly laced with snow. The road itself was clear but the hills were snowy.  Cattle are allowed to roam freely so we came upon some migrating down to better pastures.  I will never forget the one white cattle that came at the car with such determination and with its power.  I have never been in direct line of  a large animal so it was cool to see it move toward us.  They moved off the road toward the trees in order to avoid the car. There were about 20 coming down the road.  They may have been domesticated animals but they were a site to see in this high mountain area.  We came upon more of them along the road and had to stop, I believe one more times. 

Arriving at the visitor center and we got out of the car.  It was cool and crisp. The quiet and the stillness were almost soft.  It was beautiful. We spent some time in the visitor center reading the exhibits.  http://www.bighornmountains.com/  I bought a Smokey Bear doll as a memento he was very special to me when I was a kid. 

As you get to the western side of the road you start going down and the scenery gets more barren and rocky. We chose to go the Shell Canyon route and that took us through some real magnificent geological formations of rock that had pushed up from the earth’s core.  They looked like someone had laid then on their side.

We came off the Bighorn Mountains onto the Bighorn Plateau where the road took us to Cody, Wyoming.  It took about 50-60 miles to traverse this big fertile plain which was rather flat, barren and straight.  After awhile my sister, who was driving, became restless and wanted a curve in the road.  As we approached the foothills to the Rockies we started to see more step formations.  Cody lies at the base of these foothills before you head to Yellowstone. 

We stopped in Cody and had some dinner and found a place to stay.

The Buffalo Bill Museum

The Buffalo Bill Museum

Apparently Buffalo Bill Cody founded the town of Cody and lived near it.  The Buffalo Bill Museum is actually 4-5 museums.  We spent time in the Plains Indian’s Exhibit.  I took quick tours of the other exhibits and almost lost my sister in the first. http://centerofthewest.org/explore/buffalo-bill/

We had rented a cabin in Yellowstone near the main lodge so we needed to get there by Sunday night.

I had not been to Yellowstone since the mid 1950’s when we went their with our parents.  I didn’t remember much except Old Faithful and the bears.  There was one that my dad named Professor. He was a little black bear who was able to walk around the rim of the garbage cans.  My mother and I sat in the car, our food was up in the tree on a rope. This type of behavior in bears is now discouraged for their safety as well as the visitors. I was about seven years old at that time.  We also drove down to the Grand Tetons and I do remember them.

One of many signs for the Continental Divide

One of many signs for the Continental Divide

The Yellowstone Sign on the eastern side of the park, Hwy 14 west of Cody

The Yellowstone Sign on the eastern side of the park, Hwy 14 west of Cody

We found our cabin behind the main lodge and settled in.  I called my hubby to check in and a coyote ran by as I was talking to him.  http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Yellowstone Lodge

Yellowstone Lodge

While we were at Yellowstone we participated in several Buffalo Jams. A Buffalo Jam is where the buffalo get on the highway and you have to stop and wait.

A Buffalo Jam

A Buffalo Jam one of several…

It  was rutting season so the males were being distracted and butting heads. They made this guttural puffing sound.

Bison fighting

Bison fighting

We saw a coyote eating a wolf kill.  He was very cautious because the wolves would kill him if they found him.

A Coyote at a Wolf Kill

A Coyote at a Wolf Kill

There was elk and one male was herding his females across the river.

Male Elk herding his females

Male Elk herding his females

I did remember the lake for it was big:

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone has abundant geysers and we explored.  Unfortunately I did not keep careful records of where we went, so I have pretty geyser pictures but I am not sure what geyser areas we were at.  You can walk out over some of the areas to get close up on these board walks.

There are boardwalks you can travel on to get closer

There are board walks you can travel on to get closer

One of many geisers

One of many geysers

There is a lot of texture in the geysers, steam, heat and the smell of sulfur.

Lots of Texture at the geisers...and steam

Lots of Texture, steam and heat.

The pools are many and beautiful…

The many pools with steam are beautiful...

The many pools with steam are beautiful…some a very blue

I did remember the mud pots because I thought they were funny back when I was a kid. The sound was gulp gulp. Trying to get a picture of them erupting is very difficult, this took a bit of time.

Mudpots...

Mud pots exploding

Of course you cannot miss old Faithful which I do remember from my childhood visit.  This time I got to sit on the veranda of the lodge with a nice glass of wine to watch the spectacle.

Old Faithful 2003

Old Faithful 2003

MoreOldFaithful

We headed back to Seattle a couple of days later and just made the drive from Yellowstone to home.  It was a good trip. I was pleased. The trip was about 2427 miles with little excursions here and there.  My Aerostar Van did great.  This might be my longest car trip for it beats Ontario.

MAKE A JOURNAL OF YOUR TRAVELS, a little advice…

About 2003 I started to journal my trips, both genealogical and vacation, because I realized that I was forgetting.  A journal of our trip to Yellowstone in the mid 50’s would be amazing to have now.  Some of the trips I had taken required me to backtrack and recreate what happened.  Currently, I journal at night before going to bed each day of the trip.  It is still fresh in my mind.  I learned this from our cousin Paul Goss who did a lot of research on the Goss family in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.  He traveled to many places and met relatives and interviewed them about the Goss family but he didn’t realize that his trips were actually sources and important, especially when he talked to family and got their stories.  Going back to my early years I wish I had journals of those trips, not to mention photographs.  It is difficult for me to remember when and where we went on all the camping trips with my parents.

I would like to encourage you to journal your trips or at least write out an outline of the days events.  You would want to put in your journal the following. Here are a few suggestions and don’t forget to take pictures.

  1.  What you saw that day like a bridge that was really cool, a valley view, a river, what towns you passed through a picture of the sign announcing the town. A town’s water tower. A museum, library or archive you visited. A ferry you took. I wrote in my Ontario journal that I was in Paris, Paris in Ontario.  I also drove across the Thames river several times.  The Thames is a river in Ontario that flows through London, Ontario.  What road were you on, what was the weather like. My trip from London to Strathroy in Ontario it was pouring rain and getting into my hotel was a big experience.  I was driving in western Ontario and there were these amazing windmills coming out of the ground.  The only thing I didn’t do was get a good picture.
  2. When driving you can get lost and that can be an interesting experience.  Or there is a really scary part of the road like the round about in Montreal that I barely made it through.
  3. Where you stayed.  I have had some really interesting experiences at motels.  The one I stayed in Hartford, CT the first time was really bad so the second time through I found a better place south of that city in a lovely B&B. One man had a toupee on and I noticed this as he was checking me in. What was the place like?  I like Bed and Breakfasts and they can be really beautiful or it is a beautiful old hotel.
  4.  What you ate and where you ate it.  Yes, really, so if you go back you can find that same restaurant especially if you liked it.  We did this in Hawaii and I did this in Ontario.
  5. Who you met both family and people you encounter.  At Niagara Falls my waitress at the restaurant overlooking the falls was very knowledgeable and we chatted about the falls.  She told me many interesting things.  I spent a lot of great time visiting with cousins and close cousins and I tried to write out what was talked about.  Now, not all encounters a great and I write about them in my journal.
  6. I have several large binders with my trip itineraries, journals, maps and memorabilia and I frequently refer to them.  My Aunt Miriam went to Russia with my mother. She did a journal but there was no mention of my mom or other people, just the facts.  She did mention me taking them to the airport.  What I would give to get her impressions of the people she interacted with.
  7. Yes, I post my travels online with photos.  I also journal my trip in a Word.doc which allows me to write a more personal version.  They are all saved on my G drive under Genealogy trips Vol. I, Vacation Vol. II in my binders.

What I have written above is a short version of the actual trip to Montana in 2003 and this particular trip I did not post online because I didn’t start blogging till about 2010.

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:

SD-county

 

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.

Nebraska-county-map

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.

wa-county-map

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.

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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.

https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1389778

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 is blessed with a second grandson in 1910!

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

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

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

Keith B. McDonald about 1911

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

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

Amarilla learns of the birth of Laurie Jean, a granddaughter in 1908

In 1908, Grace gives birth to another child and names her Laurie Jean. She was best known as Jean.  Laurie Jean was born June 30, 1908 in International Falls.

Jean is featured in posts on the blog “The Man Who Lived Airplanes” especially in her sister “Eddie’s Collection of Junk.” 

Here Jean is a little girl, the earliest photos of her that I have.

Jean as a little girl

Jean as a little girl

Jean would go on to become a sixth grade teacher.  She would meet Roscoe Davis in Idaho and later move to Selah, Washington. Roscoe was a finish carpenter and had a wonderful shop out back of their house. He liked to hunt, fish, go boating and camping so they spent a lot of their time doing these outdoor activities and also visiting their grandchildren.

Roscoe and Jean cooking on an open fire

Roscoe and Jean cooking on an open fire

In the photo below Jean is celebrating a birthday in style out in the woods with a handmade cake from one of her sisters.

Jean celebrating a birthday

Jean celebrating a birthday 1954

 

Grace gives Amarilla another granddaughter: Edna Lorraine in 1907

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

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

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

Eddie as a little girl

Eddie as a little girl

Eddie about 1926

Eddie about 1926

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

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

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

Eddie on Xmas Eve preparing our dinner in her tiny kitchen

Eddie on Christmas Eve preparing our dinner in her tiny kitchen