George is involved in another round of politics in 1897 regarding the organization of Cass County. Of course George A. Barclay wanted Pine River to be the county seat. He was too late in organizing the convention to vote on that subject. This notice for a convention to choose a county seat for Cass appeared in the Cass County Pioneer newspaper in July of 1897 somewhat hidden in back pages.
Notice: Pursuant to notice duly given calling a non-partisan convention for the county of Cass for the purpose of selecting a location for a county seat to be voted on at a coming special election. Said convention was called to order by Wm. H. Hallett, who was elected chairman. A. J. Collins was elected clerk. After seating the delegates the chairman was authorized to retain an able attorney to look after an direct the petitioners who wish to change the county seat. One hundred dollars was raised for current expenses, Geo. Barclay of Pine River giving his check for $50. Owing to the inclemency of the weather, but twenty of the sixty delegates attended. Those present, wishing to give every part of the county a chance to vote on this important question. The convention was adjourned until the 21st of June 1897 to meet at the Ellis post office school house on section 7 town 135, range 31, at 2 o’clock p.m. On said date the delegates present will proceed to select a site for a new county seat. All precincts are requested to have their delegates attend said adjourned convention. Dated at County convention this the day of June, 1897 A Collins, Sec. Wm. H. Hallet, Chm.
Source: Notice, Cass County Pioneer Newspaper, Walker, MN, Film June 17, 1897, #1/2/1897 to 6/2/1898, Thursday, July 15, 1897 edition, Minnesota Historical Society newspaper collection.
I return to the Logsleds to Snowmobiles book about the history of Pine River on page 110 lower part of the first column:
“The governor appointments as Cass County Commissioners those who “will organize the county and decide the county seat” consisted of men all friendly to the timber interests.
It soon became obvious to George Barclay and others that “timber forces” were in control of the politics of the county, at least temporarily, for on May 14, 1897, the boom town of Walker which had been in existence for only a little over a year was “named” by the new commissioners the county seat of Cass County.
Barclay, together with W.H. Hallett immediately called a “non-partisan convention” at the Collins House precinct south of Barclay’s Ranch for the purpose of “selecting a location for the county’s seat.” Barclay had high hopes that the “convention” would select his settlement in place of Walker, and, therefore, he readily contributed $50 to defray part of the $100 convention expense. Apparently, he hoped that in an election resulting from the conflict over two alternative county seats that the more populated southern portions of the county would outvote the northern region. Barclay was to be disappointed for the hastily called convention could not agree on any single policy and broke up without taking positive stand on an alternative county seat.” From the Brainerd Dispatch June 18, 1897, pg. 4, Logsleds bibliography notes pg, 516.
According to the Cass County Historical Society the reason Walker was named the county seat was because it was incorporated in 1896 having 100 male voters. Pine River had not yet incorporated and that would not happen till 1901.
UPDATE July 11, 2013: Apparently I have written this post 2 times. I apologize for that confusion. I wrote about the County Seat of Cass on March 21, 2013. So I am adding the last part of that post to this one and then deleting the March post.
Once Walker was chosen as the county seat of Cass County, Minnesota the next step was to incorporate Pine River. It took a few years for that to happen.
The Logsleds Book Continues on page 111:
“It is not known when George Barclay first conceived of the idea of incorporating his settlement into a village, but is certain that by the time of the official organization of Cass County in 1897, he had definite plans on his mind.”