Mount Olivet is home to a few heroes whose names have appeared in the national history books. We have Francis Scott Key, Barbara Fritchie, Thomas Johnson, Jr. and “Casey” Jones. Now, anyone who knows their local history should have flinched on the last offering in that list—“Casey” Jones. The real “Casey” Jones is actually buried in his hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, but Mount Olivet contains at least two gentlemen known by the same moniker.
First things first, some may not know who “Casey” Jones was/is in the first place. I will say that he wasn’t a baseball player, as some may mistakenly think that this was the mighty player who struck out for the third out in Mudville’s ninth inning. That “Casey” was the star of a poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer.
No sir, we are talking about a real human being who sadly struck out 12 years later in 1900. Born John Luther Jones on March 14th, 1864, in Missouri, “Casey” Jones, an engineer during the heyday of the American railroad, is considered an American folk hero. He is best known for his courage as he sacrificed his life by keeping one hand on the brake to slow the train and one hand on the whistle to warn others who might be near the train, as well as for his tenacity in keeping trains on schedule. He died tragically in the early morning hours of April 30th, 1900 in Vaughan, Mississippi, when he collided with another train.
A ballad written by Wallace Saunders entitled "The Ballad of Casey Jones" made Jones a permanent figure in American folklore. The song became a vaudeville favorite in the early 20th century, inspiring American rock’s legendary band the Grateful Dead to write a song entitled “Casey Jones,” which appeared on their 1970 album Workingman’s Dead in 1970. (NOTE: Cocaine had nothing to do with the 1900 accident, but it is a "notion" that commonly crossed the minds of these latter song artists, of course).
Now I have to come clean in saying that the actual John Luther “Casey” Jones is buried in Mount Cavalry Cemetery in Jackson, Tennessee and not Frederick, Maryland’s Mount Olivet. We do, however, have buried here, two individuals who held the nickname of “Casey” Jones and another who quite possibly could have been professionally acquainted with John Luther Jones.
James C. Clarke
He’s definitely a story for another day, but Frederick resident James C. Clarke could have met or known “Casey” Jones, perhaps just missing a chance to serve as the famed engineer’s big boss earlier in his career. Clarke served as president of several railroads during the late 19th century, including the Illinois-Central from 1883-1887.
In 1888, Clarke went to the Mobile & Ohio Railroad and served as its Vice President and General Manager. Ironically, “Casey” Jones began his railroading career with the Mobile & Ohio, but switched to the Illinois-Central in March, 1888 for the promotional opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming an engineer. This occurred in 1891. One of Clarke’s legacies still evident today is his namesake located a block from Mount Olivet’s front gate—Clarke Place.
Charles Edwin Jones
Charles Edwin “Casey” Jones was born in Middletown in 1871, the son of Charles and Isabelle Clay Jones. Around the year 1910, he got a job with the interurban, electrified trolley system of the old Frederick Railroad Company, an offshoot of the Potomac Edison Company. This endeavor went into business in the late 1890’s and eventually connected Frederick City with Hagerstown and a slew of municipalities and other local spots—primarily Braddock Heights, Middletown and Thurmont. The company would come to be known as the Hagerstown & Frederick Railway.
Mr. Jones served as a motorman, and like the legendary “Casey,” our local resident was known for making up lost time on the rails caused by delays caused with earlier trolley runs. He would eventually take the Thurmont run by 1920, and can be found living on Carroll street extended in the 1920 US Census.
Frederick’s “Casey” Jones retired from the railway in 1943. Shortly thereafter he took on a job as janitor for the C. Burr Artz Library.
A few months back, I stumbled upon two specific newspaper articles which shed light on this man Fredericktonians called “Casey” Jones. I’d like to refer to these articles as “Strike1” and “Strike2” to return back to the baseball theme. Thankfully, our “Casey” never struck out!
Charles Edwin “Casey” Jones passed away on May 24th, 1950 at the age of 79. He was laid to rest in Mount Olivet’s Area OO/lot 132.
G. Arthur Jones
While I was researching information in old newspapers about C. E. Jones, I came upon yet another Casey Jones in Frederick in the person of George Arthur Jones. G. Arthur Jones was born in the city on November 7th, 1895. His father, James Alonza Jones (170-1939) headed Frederick City’s police department from 1901-1910 and was elected Frederick County Sheriff in 1921. He also served as superintendent for the Montevue Home for the Aged before, and after, his term as sheriff.
From what I could glean, George Arthur grew up in a house located at 635 Park Place. Both these houses would be demolished to make room for an expanding Frederick Memorial Hospital. When George grew up, he married Frances Wills and the family lived just a few doors down from his former home at 631 Park Place.
G. Arthur would spend his entire working career at the Ox-Fibre Brush Company, starting in 1911. He began as a machinist, eventually becoming the supervisor of the machine shop. He served as Plant superintendent for 24 years and would retire in 1964. All in all, he spent 53 years with Ox-Fibre. He may not have engineered a train or trolley, but he was as loyal and hard-working to his company as John Luther Jones was to the Illinois-Central Railroad. He deserved the nickname of “Casey” for sure.
George Arthur “Casey” Jones died on April 20th, 1971. He was buried in the cemetery’s OO Area in lot 136. Ironically, both Mount Olivet’s “Casey” Jones are located exactly six yards apart. A pretty amazing circumstance as I could not find any relation between both families.
The “dog days of summer” are upon us—those devastatingly hot ones that cause dogs to lie around and pant. The phrase itself has been used for centuries, however, the apparent original meaning has nothing to do with canines being overheated or experiencing “the warmest season of them all.”
The “dog days” phrase goes back to the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans and their celestial worship of the star Sirius. Sirius is also known as the “dog star” and the usage pertained to its position in the sky. The specific time in question is late July and early August, the period when Sirius appears to rise just before the sun. The ancients also knew these days to be the hottest of the year, a time that could bring fever-related illness and other catastrophes.
“Dog days” was translated from Latin to English about 500 years ago. Since then, it has taken on new meanings such as a time when our four-legged friends “go crazy” from the heat, and the same could be said from our two-legged brethren as well.
In doing some research a few weeks back, I stumbled upon a forgotten period in Frederick’s history when the town had literally, and figuratively, “gone to the dogs.” Fittingly it was this same hot and humid time of year. I take you back to the turn of the 20th century and am pleased to introduce William Henry Hopwood, better known around town as “Billy” Hopwood.
Saying Billy Hopwood was a colorful character is certainly an understatement! He had plenty of personality, and one of the worst jobs in town. Beloved by some, hated my many, his job was dangerous and depressing—but somebody had to do it.
There have been dogcatchers in the United States since the 18th century, perhaps even earlier. One of their job duties was to pick up dogs that appeared to be rabid or vicious. The public greatly appreciated this service, but it was a difficult and often dangerous profession.
As the 20th century neared, and the United States became more urban, it became less accepted for dogs to have free run of cities and towns alike. Frederick, Maryland was no exception. On July 1st, 1886, a “Dog Law” went into effect for the first time here.
Apparently, the new law was strictly enforced those first few years, however things went south by the end of the decade. Several articles and letters to the editor appeared in the local paper in the early 1890’s challenging (then) Frederick’s Mayor Derr and the Board of Alderman for non-enforcement of the “Dog Law.”
July 1st, 1893 involved a reinvigorated effort by the municipality to tackle its stray pet problem. At this point, a somewhat softer approach (as opposed to outright capture and killing) was employed. Dogcatchers began picking up stray and “non-registered” dogs that were on the loose. These were taken to the local repository (dog pound) where they were euthanized if not picked up within a prescribed number of days. Unfortunately, the first captured animal of the season suffered an accidental death which led to more unwanted media coverage. As more and more pets were picked up and taken to the pound, dogcatchers became less popular.
Economics was surely at play as dogcatchers were poorly paid. This led to some of these men acting in unscrupulous ways, such as taking dogs from the stoops of their own homes. Sometimes they lifted them from open windows. This type of behavior led to the satirical portrayals often played out in cartoons and movies over the last century.
Today, it’s a completely different story. The people who perform this function now have a much more descriptive, and honorable title: Animal Control Officers. These are the fine folks who rescue abandoned, lost, abused, and neglected animals. They work in shelters that provide care, rehabilitate, and find homes for the animals brought in.
When it came to pets being “on the lam,” 1913 was quite eventful here in Frederick, prompting action for the following summer. A new “Dog Law” ordinance went into effect in June, 1914 to help curb a rash of hydrophobia cases—better known as rabies. The action was seem as necessary by some, and controversial by others. Regardless, at 10:30am, on June 19th, 1914, 67 year-old Ephraim Eyler was sworn into duty as Frederick’s first official dog catcher. Prior to this, a myriad of municipal police officers performed the task, along with hired hands.
Mr. Eyler grew up on a Woodsboro farm. He eventually moved to Frederick and took up residence on Carroll Street. In addition to agricultural pursuits, he had formerly worked at the bottling company of J. C. Lipps on W. Patrick Street. It was here in 1894, that Eyler was severely injured by a bolt of lightning that apparently struck outside the workplace and reached the washing trough through open windows. He rebounded from that injury with no problems.
The year 1912, however, would bring Ephraim some major challenges. In August, he was almost crushed by falling milk cans at his job at the White Cross Milk Company. A month later, he received a “severe thrashing” from a crook trying to break into his house. In October, Ephraim sued for divorce from first wife, Mattie.
After surviving all that, why not take on the job of Frederick’s dogcatcher, right? How could life get any worse? Well...it did. Talk about a comedy of errors, the next three months would be agonizing for Mr. Eyler to say the least. Newspaper articles paint a colorful picture of what Frederick’s new dogcatcher encountered.
It’s no surprise that Ephraim Eyler quit his post in late September, 1914. He made it past the traditional 90-day probationary period, but not with flying colors. Ephraim went back to his old profession at a bottling plant, a much safer choice even if you have to occasionally dodge kegs or suffer the "after effects" from lightning strikes.
Eyler's right hand man was City Hall janitor William Henry “Billy” Hopwood, who resided in Market Place, located directly behind the old municipal headquarters. Mayor Lewis Fraley quickly awarded Hopwood the job.
Billy Hopwood was “tailor-made” for the local papers, even better than Ephraim Eyler. The father of five was born in Frederick on May 19th, 1870, the son of James Warner Hopwood and Christiana Baltzey. Before landing his janitorial job at City Hall, Billy did odd jobs around town. One such included distributing pharmaceutical samples to local businesses back in 1903.
In December, 1913, lost his wife Maggie (Long) to heart disease. Her obituary states that husband Billy was a former desk sergeant for Frederick City police. This was a temporary position held in late summer of that year, but one that must have left a favorable impression with Frederick's town fathers of the time.
Billy Hopwood had to provide for his family. He relished his new position as dogcatcher and local pet owners and their beasts were soon put on notice. He could be viewed as a maverick of sorts, at least in the "pet-wrangling" arena. Cats presented a new challenge.
Hopwood was perfect fodder for the local papers. The dog catcher stereotype, combined with Ephraim Eyler’s former performance, set Billy up for immediate ridicule. He seemed to take it in stride however, and rolled with any and all hard knocks encountered. Like a true, "love/hate" relationship, Hopwood usually took heat from the mayor.
Billy waged war on stray cats and built a homemade dog pound adjacent the town’s light/power facility, then located on East Street. Best of all, Billy Hopwood seemed to bask in the limelight, he had fast become a local celebrity of sorts. I marveled at the countless stories found in local newspapers of the day.
Every Dog has its Day
Billy Hopwood’s reign of terror lasted for nearly a decade. He was briefly fired in 1917 after appearing for work drunk and bleeding profusely from his face after a fall down the steps. All this while he refused to leave the scene of a public meeting of the mayor and Board of Alderman. City Hall Janitor Charles J. Riddlemoser was apparently given the dog catcher job, but didn’t last long. Hopwood would eventually be re-instated.
Everything seemed to be going well for Billy, business was good. The roaring twenties seemed to go smoothly, and Billy now had better equipment to work with, the support of his bosses and an improved new pound facility. A local chapter of the Society for Protection Against Cruelty to Animals was established. This group was responsible for creating clean water receptacles for pets at different point in the city. They now took charge of the animals captured by Billy Hopwood at a shelter located on E. Patrick Street extended. Best of all, the prevalence of rabid or stray dogs severely decreased. Life was relatively good for our friend, Mr. Hopwood. That is until the morning of April 5th, 1928. It would not be a good one for the city dogcatcher. Chalk one up for man’s best friend.
On Friday, October 25th, 1929, Billy Hopwood was in his daily act of walking to work from his home located at 109 W. South Street. As the dogcatcher crossed S. Market Street at the aptly named Francis Scott Key Bridge over Carroll Creek, he, himself was struck by a speeding motorist named Harry V. Ripperger.
Mr. Ripperger was visiting Frederick from his home in Michigan, possibly scoping out opening one of his popular chain of Regal Sandwich Shoppes, made famous in western Ohio. I guess one could call that day "Black Friday" as it was within the terrible week of the Great stock market crash of 1929 which began on October 24th ("Black Thursday") and commenced on October 29th ("Black Tuesday"). The tragic story was even picked up by the Baltimore Sun.
William “Billy” Hopwood was buried the next day (October 26th) in Mount Olivet’s Area L/Lot 237.
Today, dogs, tagged and on leashes, pass within feet of Billy Hopwood’s grave each and every day. in Mount Olivet also features a special burial-ground section known as the Faithful Friends Pet Cemetery. This was opened in 2015 and is located in the rear of the cemetery, behind the mausoleum complex.
An interesting connection, and aside, relating to Mount Olivet can be made to Hopwood’s predecessor, Ephraim Eyler. After his tumultuous tenure as dog catcher, Eyler went to work for a local beer bottling plant but returned to work for the City of Frederick in the official capacity of "City Street Sweeper." In August, 1918, Eyler was hit by a car…perhaps hexed by local canine. He, however, received only minor injuries from the accident. Ephraim Eyler died in late May, 1932 at Frederick’s Montevue Home for the Aged. He was buried in the potter’s field adjacent the long-gone facility.
Eyler’s ex-wife, Mattie Mae Wiles (1874-1956), remarried a gentleman named George E. Buesing and is buried here at Mount Olivet, along with the couple’s daughter Mary Ellen Eyler (1891-1973). Mattie married Mr. Buesing in March, 1916. Within two months, she had been widowed as her new husband committed suicide by cutting his throat while in the act of shaving. Mattie's gravesite is located in Area X /Lot 118.
From Dogs to Doughboys
Also of interest, one can find the final resting spot of Ephraim and Mattie’s son Benjamin Franklin Eyler (b. 7/17/1896) here in Mount Olivet. Benjamin joined the Maryland National Guard and would take part in World War I. He was promoted to the rank of corporal and shipped overseas to Europe in June, 1918 as part of the famed Company A of the 115th Infantry Regiment.
While on the front in France’s Center Sector, Benjamin F. Eyler contracted pneumonia in the horrid conditions associated with trench warfare. He would be hospitalized on October 3rd and languished for two weeks before succumbing to the disease on October 18th, 1918. Eyler was originally buried overseas, but was brought back home and re-interred in Mount Olivet Area Q/Lot 266 on June 19th, 1921.
To learn more about the nearly 500 World War I veterans buried in Mount Olivet, go to our companion website: www.MountOlivetVets.com
Apples have been with us all our lives, and have always held a scholarly and "bookish" air about them. As a matter of fact, many of us learned about an affiliation with apples in the most famous "books" of all, one that goes back to ancient times—I’ll have you recall a guy named Adam and a gal named Eve. The unnamed fruit of Eden eventually became thought of as an apple. Perhaps this was influenced by the story from Greek mythology of the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides. Whatever the case, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, and the fall of man and sin.
Rather than the latter associations mentioned here, I’d like to dwell on the positive connotations of apples, like the objects adorning the desks of beloved teachers, or an orchard-derived “Kryptonite” to thwart having to see doctors. While we are at it, we can also call attention to the modern-day technology company that has been revolutionizing the computing world for over four decades now. Oh, and who can forget apple dumplings, a country culinary delight for all ages.
Here in Frederick, the surname of Apple has certainly upheld the connection to knowledge and learning. Dr. Joseph Henry Apple, Jr. (1865-1948) came to Frederick from his native Pennsylvania and became the first president of the Woman’s College of Frederick. His outstanding leadership talents grew the school in countless ways. It eventually became known as Hood College, and moved its campus from Winchester Hall in downtown Frederick to its present site on Rosemont Avenue.
Dr. Apple arrived here in town in the summer of 1893, with his wife, Mary Evans (Rankin) Apple. The couple had wed just months before in December of 1892, and it has been said that it was Mary who influenced her husband to make the move to Frederick. Mary grew up in Clarion, PA in the western part of the state and enjoyed the distinction of being the first Clarion pupil to graduate from the Pennsylvania State Normal School, in the class of 1889. Soon afterward Mary’s ambition to become a teacher led her to continue her studies at the Cook County Normal, Chicago, IL., from which she graduated in 1890. For one year after graduation she taught for a public school in suburban Chicago with marked success Mary then came home to become a faculty member of the Clarion State Normal School.
As Dr. Apple held the title of President and Principal, Mary would serve as Vice President and taught classes. Their first school year commenced that fall of 1893. By the time of the Christmas holidays to celebrate, Mary was pregnant with the couple’s first child. The baby would arrive a few weeks before Christmas on December 12th, 1893. She would be named Miriam Rankin Apple.
As Dr. Apple held the title of President and Principal, Mary would serve as Vice President and taught classes. Their first school year commenced that fall of 1893. By the time of the Christmas holidays to celebrate, Mary was pregnant with the couple’s first child. The baby would arrive a few weeks before Christmas on December 12th, 1893. She would be named Miriam Rankin Apple.
Miriam was given a sister named Charlotte in August of 1895. The girls would spend their childhoods within the confines of Winchester Hall, home of the Frederick Woman's College.
Unfortunately, Miriam’s mother was not blessed with perfect health throughout her young life. Shortly after Charlotte’s birth, or possibly as a result, evidence of tubercular trouble starting showing itself in autumn of 1895. She was forced to abandon her duties with the Woman’s College at the advice of her physician who recommended a change of climate. Accompanied by her sister, Mrs. Apple spent the winter of 1896 in North Carolina and returned north in the spring to spend the remainder of her days with her parents and friends in Clarion and at her home in Frederick.
Thanksgiving of 1896 was celebrated at the college in Frederick. At this time, Miriam’s mother was enduring intense suffering. Mary Apple would succumb to her illness just ten days before Miriam’s third birthday on December 2nd, 1896. Her obituary states:
“The hope that some instrumentality would be blessed to her recovery, for the sake of her two little daughters, Miriam and Charlotte, remained strong in her till within ten days of her death.”
The article also sheds light on the impression she left on the Woman’s College of Frederick over such a short time:
"At this institution of learning, Mrs. Apple at once made herself a necessary part. Her loving advice to and sympathy for the young ladies of the College made her loved by all, and no doubt her influence for good will be felt during the lives of many. She was ever a loving devoted wife to her husband encouraging and helping him in all his undertakings and rejoicing in his success."
Mrs. Apple’s body would not be laid to rest here in Mount Olivet, rather it was returned to her family plot in Clarion, Pennsylvania, placed in proximity to her parents and a host of relatives and friends.
Miriam, her sister, and Dr. Apple had been dealt a hard blow. The girls leaned on their father, who likely worked through his grief by his extraordinary commitment to growing the college. He would marry again by the end of the century, giving Miriam and Charlotte a step-mother in the person of Gertrude Harner, an instructor at the college hailing from Ohio.
While the new union would bring three step-siblings over the first decade o the 1900s, Miriam would be dealt another major loss with the death of Charlotte in December, 1902 shortly after the sixth anniversary of her mother’s passing and days before Miriam’s ninth birthday.
Dr. Apple’s surviving daughter would take her studies seriously, as would be expected from the child of educators. She also inherited her mother’s talent as a musician. Several early newspaper articles make mention of Miss Miriam Apple entertaining audiences and guests to the college through her gift as an instrumentalist and also as a singer. She would attend the college herself, and graduated in 1914. She was also an athlete, participating in the College's annual inter-squad field hockey game.
The Hood College website notes Miriam’s attributes of grace, charm and friendliness inherent at a young age. Miriam was active in church, civic and club life as well as in the affairs of the college, not surprising due to the fact that her father would serve here as president for 41 years. Upon graduation, she became librarian of the newly named Hood College, carrying on her father’s great interest in library work. A library had been formed on the third floor of Alumnae Hall, a structure that would grace the new campus after its construction in 1914.
In an effort to enhance her knowledge of library work, Miriam would take courses at Simmons College in Boston in 1917-1918 school year. This was the equivalent of graduate studies and Miriam excelled in the program taken abroad.
Miriam and her counterparts returned to the United States in July, 1919. The experience further grew Miriam, now 25 years-old. Notoriety of her experiences, combined with extreme competency and above-average drive opened other doors upon her return to Frederick.
With the exception of her two leaves of absence to gain graduate training at Simmons and serve in the US Army’s Quartermaster Corps at Gen. Pershing’s headquarters, Miriam R. Apple would hold the position as Hood’s librarian for nearly 36 years. All the while, she continued to gain recognition throughout the east for her efforts on behalf of libraries and their staff workers. A new library was opened in 1941, named in honor of her father who had retired in 1934.
Miriam continued serving the college and greater community through the 1940’s. She again answered the call of patriotism with service in the Civilian Defense Corps where she was a fire warden, and within the American Women’s Volunteer Services which provided support services to help the nation during the war such as message delivery, ambulance driving, selling war bonds, emergency kitchens, cycle corps drivers, dog-sled teamsters, aircraft spotters, navigation, aerial photography, fighting fires, truck driving, and canteen workers.
Dr. Apple died in January, 1948 and was buried in Mount Olivet. Miriam continued to serve her students, fellow faculty and college administration (along with community and country) until her untimely death at the age of 57. She died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage in the early morning hours of July 15th, 1950. Miriam Rankin Apple's wonderful achievements would be lauded throughout impressive funeral ceremonies at her beloved Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Mount Olivet Cemetery. She was laid to rest in the Apple family plot on Area CC (Lot 27), next to her sister Charlotte who predeceased her nearly half a century earlier and a few yards from her dutiful father.
Today on the Hood campus, one can find lasting reminders of the Apple family and their enduring legacy. The Joseph Henry Apple library gave way to the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center. in 1991. Here in the main lobby of the facility, a beautiful color portrait of the school's legendary librarian adorns the wall. Miriam R. Apple's legacy of sharing resources and knowledge with others will continue on through this storied institution. what a father-daughter duo--giving proof that the apple certainly didn't fall far from the tree.
Extra special thanks goes out to Hood College Collection Services Development Manager and Archivist Mary Atwell who provided the author with so many fascinating images from the college's vast archival collection.
When you think of past wars, be it the American Revolution, Civil War, or World War II, the last thing you may think of is a wedding. Armed conflicts just don’t provide the romantic backdrop young “brides to be” dream of as little girls. As for guys, they may have “played war” as children, or in today’s age, war-inspired video games such as Call of Duty, but I would wager that marriage is seldom pondered while engaged in these pursuits.
For history wonks like me, one of the best features of the Frederick News-Post is the Yesterday feature which recollects happenings here in Frederick, Maryland as they were covered in the local paper “on this date” at the intervals of 100, 50 and 20 years ago.
Some of you may have seen an entry under the 100 Years Ago heading for July 16th, 1918 which chronicled an exchange of marriage vows between a local couple separated by the Atlantic Ocean. At this time, a young US Army serviceman was tying the knot with a young lady from his hometown of Thurmont (MD).
Trans-global communication is commonplace today, and has been for decades. Anybody with a smart phone device can “video-chat” (using computer software such as Skype) with a friend anywhere on the planet, as long as there is cell signal. Many first saw this as a future possibility on the Hanna-Barbera Jetsons cartoon from the early 1960’s. Our marriage in question, however, took place in 1918.
Just think of the telegraph and telephone service of the day, requiring an intricate set of lines and operators who physically made, or recorded all the connections and communications by hand. This was the situation involved here as an elaborate choreography of communication over cables was necessary. Actual telegrams were sent via underwater cable between the two continents. These were known as cablegrams.
The Wedding Participants
Nineteen year-old Guy Vincent Lewis of Thurmont was serving in the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I. He had enlisted in the Regular Army on December 13th, 1917 and was sent to the 2nd Training Brigade at Kelly Field, Texas. He was then assigned to the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron at Camp Arthur, Texas. On February 4th (1918), Private Lewis became part of the 839th Aero Squadron, and was duly shipped overseas on April 16th, landing in England.
The lovely bride was named Goldie Anita Black, born January 20th, 1899, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William G. Black of Thurmont. The Blacks owned a farm on Apples Church Road and were proud members of Thurmont’s Methodist congregation.
On the big day, July 15th, 1918, Private Lewis married Miss Black—with the wedding taking place in two separate locations. Guy Lewis was currently stationed at an air base in Toul, France, while Goldie was in the confines of her home in Thurmont—3,000 miles across the sea from her groom. Both parties were in the company of clergymen at the hour of 8:00PM (Maryland Time), 2:00AM in France.
Rev. E.O. Pritchett, pastor of Thurmont’s Methodist Episcopal Church, administered the marriage vows on the bride’s “stateside” behalf. In France, Lewis’ religious proxy was an Army chaplain known only as Lt. Warred.
Guests of the wedding gathered at the Black family home and included the fore-mentioned bride’s parents, along with those of groom. Private Lewis’ father was J. Hooker Lewis, a renowned former resident of the area and purveyor of a successful orchard business on the eastern slope of Catoctin Mountain. You may recall the name of Charles Lewis, Guy’s older brother, who got himself in a heap of trouble during the infamous Blue Blazes (moonshine) Still Raid of 1929. Guilty or not, Charles Lewis “took the rap” for the killing of Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy, Clyde L. Hauver, Sr. on the evening of July, 31st, 1929. Charles Lewis may have been on hand at this special occasion, but would spend much of his adult life behind bars after the bloody raid a decade later, serving out his sentence for first-degree murder in the penitentiary from 1930-1950. (See earlier Story in Stone from July 29, 2017 "The Victim of Blue Blazes")
The Lewis-Black marriage was successfully conducted "without a hitch" that mid-summer night, and it made perfect fodder for the press, especially as a rare “feel-good story” amidst the backdrop of such a terrible and lonely war. The story first appeared in the Frederick paper the following day. Soon it was picked up by papers across the nation, and printed. Spending just a few minutes in search, I found the Lewis nuptials covered in papers ranging from Massachusetts, Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa and California. Private and Mrs. Lewis were now pseudo celebrities, perhaps in the same vain as earlier Frederick County “marriage exhibitionists,” Ella N. Graser and Jacob M. Kanode who starred in a public wedding at the Great Frederick Fair in October of 1890.
The Rest of the Story
I was delighted to find that Guy V. Lewis was buried in Mount Olivet, giving me a pass to pen this story for “Stories in Stone.” I was amazed that I hadn’t been alerted to the fascinating tale having spent years producing a comprehensive history documentary about Thurmont and its rich heritage. The name of the film (completed in 2014) is “Almost Blue Mountain City: the History of Thurmont, MD. The Lewis’ marriage story would have fit in perfectly with a portion of the project that explored local involvement in World War I. We talked about the boys who served and those lost in “the Great War,” prompting townspeople to create Thurmont’s Memorial Park on a plot of ground on East Main Street. A bronze plaque lists 119 local boys who served in the conflict, 11 of whom made the supreme sacrifice. Scarlet oak trees were planted in memory of each of those killed.
Looking at our cemetery records, I noticed both a glaring omission, and a strange addition. First the omission—there was no sign of wife Goldie A. (Black) Lewis. Well, this simply could have been due to a burial elsewhere, perhaps back home in Thurmont in the Black family lot at Wellers Methodist Church Cemetery. Now that’s where Goldie’s parents reside, but she’s not in the plot. However, I did find her at the adjacent Blue Ridge Cemetery. She was buried alone, but wore a new surname—Goldie A. Cook.
“Oh no, I thought!” What a shame, as the “marriage over cable” story was so romantic and newsworthy, even more so during a war. I quickly checked our cemetery records and saw that Guy, unlike his former wife, was indeed buried here at Mount Olivet but with a second wife, Lottie Maude Mainhart (Lewis). I scoured old newspapers and found a brief article relating to Guy’s return from war in December 1918. Sadly, a year later in January, 1920, I found another article announcing Goldie filing for divorce from Guy in 1920. When I began looking for the couple in census records, I noticed the presence of a daughter named Ruth Lewis. More interesting was the fact that Ruth was born on August 15th, 1918—exactly one month after the wedding “heard ‘round the world.” So I guess the irony here is that the “romantic, long-distance” wedding was definitely military-related, being a classic “shotgun-wedding.”
Well at least I am comforted in knowing that both young lovers found love again, even though their own did not last. Guy Lewis was living back home in Thurmont with his parents in the 1920 US Census. His fortunes would change five years later as he married Lottie M. Mainhart on the 1st of January, 1925. The nuptials took place in Washington, DC, however I couldn't find out if it was a traditional church ceremony, a "justice of the peace" simple deal, or something unique like he did six-and-a-half years earlier. He moved to Lottie's family farm located in Beallsville, between Poolesville and Darnestown, where he would reside up to his death in 1957. I found that Guy and Lottie were responsible for planting fruit trees on the Mainhart's farm which had been founded in 1888. Not only did Guy understand the orchard business, having grown up on one in Thurmont, he was one of the first people in the area with a flatbed truck. His key job consisted of hauling the family’s fruit, mainly peaches, to local canneries. The operation would eventually become the wildly successful Lewis Orchards operation that continues today, located at the intersection of MD28 and Peach Tree Road.
Goldie Anita (Black) Lewis lived in Thurmont over the next two decades and raised daughter Ruth into adulthood. She remarried a gentleman named Roger A. Cook (1892-1957), sometime after 1940, and took up residence in downtown Frederick at 129 W. Fourth Street. I would discover an article announcing a proposed suit of divorce in April, 1942, but the couple apparently made amends sometime after. Roger would enlist in the US Army six months later, participating in World War II. Maybe there was a “re-connection” while both were separated by the Atlantic Ocean, who knows? Roger went on to become the Superintendent of Frederick City’s Street system, and at the time of his death in May, 1957, was the municipality’s oldest working employee. Goldie remained in Frederick, dying in 1991.
As for the Lewis’ child, baby Ruth grew up fine and would one day marry Claude S. Humerick. Ruth spent her life in Thurmont, working at the Claire Frock Company and later Thurmont High School before passing in 2004. She had four children (although two died young) and our grandchildren. She is buried in Blue Ridge Cemetery, the same as her mother.
I looked again at our cemetery records and found a gravesite of one, Guy V. Lewis, Jr. (1925-2003). Guy, Jr. was a product of his father’s second marriage and one of six children. I noticed a message on this tombstone, along with his obituary) recognizing him as a beloved “Pop-Pop” to his four grandchildren. In total, Guy Sr. had 12 grandkids via his remarriage. So regardless of the divorce of Guy V. Lewis and Goldie A. Black, the relationship, and subsequent ones, continued to bear fruit as future generations were positively affected and impacted. I’m sure there is much more to the story (and pictures of the participants out there as well), but what a nice takeaway, proving that everything happens or a reason.
And one more thing. Goldie Black Lewis Cook had a brother named Willis Glen Black (1896-1937). Willis’ sons (and Goldie’s nephew) Elmer “Lee”(1923-2015) and Harry (1921-1998) would enter into the fruit industry as well. In 1950, Elmer “Lee” Black bought J. Hooker Lewis’ (Guy V. Lewis’ father) Strawberry Field and started Blacks Hilltop Orchard. Four years prior (or should I say Pryor as Pryor’s Orchard was opened by a son-in-law of J. Hooker Lewis), Harry Black was responsible for starting an orchard business in 1946 with the help of his wife Helen. This venture, located along US15, just north of Thurmont, is still in operation today. It’s being run by Harry’s children Bob and Pat, and a slew of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I guess it’s fair to say that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“Captured again -Our old City of Frederick was captured by the Rebel forces under General Jubal Early on Saturday, July 9th forenoon or rather morning. They first entered about 6’oclock am from the west. We had no army to protect us except 2 or 3000 while the Rebels had from 10-15,000 men. General Early levied a contribution on Frederick of $200,000 which I am told was paid on Saturday. The money was got from the banks and the Corporation became responsible. About 8 o'clock AM on Saturday their wagon train commenced passing through town and it lasted 4 or 5 hours. 4 or 500 wagons must have passed. Down at the Monocacy Junction they had a battle and a goodly number were killed and wounded on both sides.”
July 9th is the anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy, also known as “The Battle that Saved Washington, DC.” For many years now, this date continues to be commemorated at the NPS unit located a few short miles southeast of Mount Olivet Cemetery and the City of Frederick.
Much of the Monocacy battlefield remained in private hands for over 100 years after the Civil War. In the decades after the battle, veterans’ organizations placed monuments and markers to specific units on the battlefield, including the 14th New Jersey (dedicated in 1907), the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, and Vermont markers. Other monuments have been added.
In 1928, Glenn H. Worthington, the owner of a large portion of the northern segment of the battlefield, petitioned Congress to create a National Military Park at Monocacy. Though the bill passed in 1934, the battlefield languished for nearly 50 years before Congress appropriated funds for land acquisition. Once funds were secured, 1,587 acres of the battlefield were acquired in the late 1970s and turned over to the National Park Service for maintenance and interpretation. The historic Thomas Farm, scene of some of the most intense fighting, was acquired by the National Park Service in 2001. Preservationists lost fights in the 1960s and 1980s when Interstate 270 was constructed and later widened, bisecting a portion of the battlefield.
One-hundred and fifty-four years ago, a very eventful week was kicked off on July 5th, 1864, when Union Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace arrived at Frederick Junction, also known as Monocacy Junction from Baltimore. The future author of Ben Hur would personally take command of the force concentrated at the railroad junction adjacent the intersection of the Old Georgetown Pike (MD 355) and the Monocacy River. By July 7th, the Union Army that had converged on Frederick totaled about 3,200 men. Wallace and his men were about to square off against Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early and a Rebel force of around 14,000.
Wallace found himself commanding the only army protecting Baltimore and Washington from the Confederates. He was facing an opponent of unknown strength and intention. The Confederate Army’s presence came as a major surprise to war weary Frederick County. They had seen these men a year before in July, 1863 with the Battle of Gettysburg. Nine months earlier, Gen. Robert E. Lee had brought his Army of Northern Virginia for the Maryland Campaign and occupied Frederick for nearly a week. Soon after, the first major battles on northern soil would be fought at South Mountain (Sept. 14, 1862) and Antietam (Sept. 17th, 1862).
On July 8th, Gen. Early levied his infamous ransom of $200,000 on Frederick, with the perceived threat of burning the city. Frederick’s mayor and other leaders hastily raised the money from the towns’ banks. Meanwhile, Wallace had doubled his number of union defenders to nearly 6,000 troops. The next day, July 9th, Early’s advance southward toward the nation’s capital was delayed at the Monocacy River below Frederick by the Union contingent under Maj. Gen. Wallace. Wallace knew he had very little chance of defeating Early’s veterans, but hoped to stall the Confederates in order for reinforcements to refortify Washington.
In the vicinity of Monocacy Junction, a handful of families would soon find their idyllic properties turned into killing fields. A series of farms is usually talked about as encompassing what is now the Battle of Monocacy. These include the Best Farm, the Worthington Farm, the Thomas Farm, and the Gambrill Mill and Farm. All are named according to current owner (or in one case tenant) during the battle.
The Confederate approach came primarily from the north via South Market Street as it doubled as the Old Georgetown Pike (MD Route 355). Many soldiers passed by Mount Olivet on their way to battle. Some of these, perhaps, would find their way back inside the cemetery’s gates as a casualty of war. The Union men were lying in wait on the south side of the Monocacy River. There would soon be an engagement at the Best Farm, the former headquarters site of generals Lee, Jackson and Longstreet during the earlier 1862 campaign. The fiercest fighting north of the river occurred to the immediate east of the Best Farm around the railroad junction area and where a covered bridge aided the Georgetown Pike in crossing the river.
The Rebels were successful in fording the river at multiple spots. Throughout the day there would be fighting between the Worthington and Thomas farms. The Union retreated back towards the Gambrill Farm, a place that had earlier received some of the first artillery shots because its proximity to the river.
Fittingly, the battle concluded back on the Best Farm and resulted in the only Confederate victory in a major battle on Maryland soil. It basically took an entire day—an important day of travel that was lost to Gen. Early and the Confederates. The Rebel victors camped in this vicinity for the night, while the Federal soldiers retreated back toward Baltimore.
While Early was free to march on Washington, the delay at Monocacy bought the needed time for the Union to bolster its defenses around the nation’s capital. Days later, Gen. Early would be thwarted at Fort Stevens (near present-day Silver Spring, Maryland).
They now Rest in Peace
We hear so much about the military officers of war, and the soldiers who did the bulk of the fighting, and dying. In most cases, these individuals made the choice to do so. As for the civilians of a place, be them in Frederick or elsewhere, the war came to them. This was not a choice that they had a say in. Battles happened with little, or no warning. In most cases, property owners lost their livelihoods, and farms that had been in the same familial hands for generations could be demolished in a day.
I did a little searching around Mount Olivet to find connections to the Battle of Monocacy. Of course we have here plenty of the soldiers who participated in the battle, including those who “they here gave the last full measure of devotion” on our battleground south of town. I specifically looked for the familiar civilians linked to the farms on which the battle was fought. Monocacy Battlefield’s website, https://www.nps.gov/mono/index.htm was a huge help in garnering background on these folks.
The Best Farm comprises the southern 274 acres of what was originally a 748-acre plantation known as L'Hermitage, and was home to the French expatriates known as the Vincendière family. The Vincendieres sold the farm in 1827, and after several transfers of ownership it was acquired by Charles E. Trail in 1852. This was the same year that Mr. Trail and other leading citizens were in the process of establishing the Mount Olivet Cemetery Company. Trail was on the cemetery’s first Board of Directors, and was influential in getting the cemetery created in the first place.
Back to the Best Farm, the Trails never occupied the farm and instead operated it as a tenant farm until it was acquired by the National Park Service in 1993. For many years during Trail's ownership, members of the Best family leased the farm, beginning with David Best and wife Anna Mary (Lantz) Best and their four children. Because of its proximity to the Georgetown Pike and Monocacy Junction, portions of both the Union and Confederate armies camped at the Best Farm throughout the Civil War.
The property included 375 acres at the time with 50 acres of wooded/unimproved land. This portion was known as “Best Grove.” This is where Gen. Lee had his camp in September, 1862. On September 13th, 1862, during the Maryland Campaign, Lee's lost order No. 191 (which outlined his army's movements) was found near the Best Farm by soldiers from the 27th Indiana. Passed up through the chain of command, the captured order gave Union Gen. George B. McClellan advance notice of his enemy's movements.
In 1864, John Thomas Best (and wife Margaret J. (Dorsey) Best) took over operation of the farm from his father David. The first year of farming on his own looked promising, but soon proved disastrous. During the Battle of Monocacy, Confederate artillery set up on his farm and sharpshooters took positions in the barn. They fired at Union troops guarding the covered bridge over the Monocacy River on the Georgetown Pike.
The Union returned fire, however, setting the Best's barn ablaze and destroying the grain, hay, tools, and farming implements kept there. Confederate infantry, using the farm as a staging area, soon destroyed any crops left standing in the fields. The covered bridge over the Monocacy would be destroyed as well.
Undaunted by this disastrous first year, John Best continued to successfully operate the farm for many years following the Civil War. John T. and Joanna Best can be found in Area H/lot 331, adjoining that of his parents.
John Thomas Worthington was born in 1826 into an extended Frederick County family of “prominent” farmers. John married Mary Ruth Delilah Simmons in 1856 and the couple eventually had four children, three of whom survived childhood. In 1862, Worthington purchased “Clifton Farm” adjacent to the Monocacy River, renamed it “Riverside Farm,” and settled his family into their new home.
The morning of July 9th, 1864 was spent preparing for the impending battle. Hoping to minimize his loss of property, Worthington instructed the family’s slaves to gather wheat from the field, and then to take the horses to nearby Sugar Loaf Mountain and hide them in the “darkest and loneliest place you can find.” However, Confederate soldiers discovered and confiscated all nine horses, at a substantial cost to John Worthington. After the horses were hidden, the slaves busied themselves placing tubs of water in the cellar and boarding up the windows.
During the Battle of Monocacy, Confederate troops crossed the Monocacy River onto the Worthington Farm, initiating three attacks from the farm fields. Worthington and his family took refuge in the cellar, and through the boarded-up windows, six-year-old Glenn Worthington watched intently as the fighting raged in front of the house. In his memoir Fighting For Time, Glenn Worthington recalls that, “Glimpses of blue could be seen as they passed windows. More than one received his death wound close to the house and fell there to die, in Worthington yard.”
After the battle, John Worthington and his family assisted with the care of the wounded soldiers. Glenn and his seven-year-old brother Harry were sent into the nearby fields to gather sheaves of wheat for use as a bed for a wounded Confederate soldier.
While the wounded were being cared for, other Confederate soldiers gathered the muskets that had been thrown away by the retreating Union soldiers. The muskets were placed in a pile in Worthington’s back yard and set on fire, leaving only the gun barrels and bayonets. Glenn desired one of these bayonets as a souvenir. He procured a stick and began to drag the bayonet from the embers, and as he stooped to retrieve his prize, an ember touched a discarded paper cartridge which exploded in his face. A Confederate soldier carried him, blinded and yelling, into the house. Luckily Glenn’s eyesight was not damaged by the explosion and he made a full recovery.
After the Civil War, John Worthington continued to be a successful farmer, managing to acquire an additional farm as well as improve “Riverside Farm.” The Worthingtons also maintained a townhouse in Frederick until the 1890s, which John inherited from his father, James W. Worthington. John and Mary Worthington remained at “Riverside Farm” until their deaths in 1902 (Mary) and 1905 (John). The farm passed to Glenn and his brother Clark, and although neither lived there, it remained in the Worthington family until 1953.
Born in 1818, Christian Keefer Thomas was a Frederick County native. For a large part of his professional life, however, he resided in Baltimore, where he was a partner in the wholesale dry goods firm of Devries, Stevens, and Thomas. In 1839, Thomas married Evelina Virginia Buckey, and within a few years their son Samuel was born. Around 1860, Thomas sold his interest in the dry goods business, and purchased the Araby Farm that same year for $17,823.75. Thomas returned to his native Frederick County to retire, hoping to avoid the impending violence and unrest of the Civil War.
The Thomas family had hardly settled in before the Civil War came to them. Because of its strategic bridges, roads, and railways, both Union and Confederate forces were active in the Monocacy area throughout the period of conflict, particularly during the Antietam (1862) and Gettysburg campaigns (1863).
Although he owned slaves and is generally thought to have been sympathetic to the Southern Cause, C. K. Thomas had extensive interactions with the Union army. During the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863, Union Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock headquartered in the Thomas House. Thomas was also friendly with several soldiers from the 14th New Jersey Regiment, who camped nearby at Monocacy Junction during the winter of 1862 and 1863.
During the Battle of Monocacy, the Thomas family hid in the cellar while heavy fighting raged around them. Battle accounts record that the fighting "swarmed" around the Thomas House and outbuildings. The house changed hands several times over the course of the day, and Union sharpshooters occupied the upper floors before being flushed out by Confederate artillery.
Unfortunately, C. K. Thomas' son Samuel and two friends had come to visit for the weekend. They were captured by the Union Army and impressed into service. These young men were eventually released and managed to escape to neighbor James Gambrill's mill where they hid for the rest of the battle. They were eventually reunited with their families back at the Thomas farm.
Barely a month after the battle, a Union soldier named John Rodgers Miegs passed by the farm and in a letter to his mother, he gave the following description:
“I stand at the house of Mister Thomas the other day where our headquarters were camped on the Monocacy battlefield. I have rarely seen a house more scarred by battle than was his. His daughter, Miss Alice, a lovely and accomplished girl was driven for safety with her mother and the rest of the family to the cellar. She declares that she did not feel very badly frightened though the muskets were popping out of the windows and the balls were rattling against the house until a shell crashed through the wall of the dining room and burst just over their heads with only a thin flooring between. Seven shells struck the house and I counted the marks of twenty-six musket balls on one side of the house and discovered many more afterwards. Her father, she thinks, caused them a great deal of unnecessary anxiety by continually going upstairs to see how the fight came on. Our men and the rebels fought hand to hand around the house and the marks of the bloody contest were everywhere visible.”
While the Thomas family survived the battle unharmed, the farm continued to be a focal point of military activity—in August 1864, Union generals Grant, Hunter, Ricketts, Crook, and Sheridan used the Thomas House to plan the Shenandoah Valley campaign.
After the Civil War ended, the Thomas family began the process of rebuilding. By 1868, the farm had recovered sufficiently to serve as the setting for 21-year-old Alice Thomas's wedding. In the 1870s, C. K. Thomas became active in local politics, serving as president of both the Frederick Agricultural Society and the local school board. C. K. Thomas died in 1889, after a prolonged respiratory illness. His obituary described him as a "gentleman of pleasant manners" and remarked that "his beautiful home was noted for its hospitality and delightful social entertainments." The family plot is on Area C, (lot 171). One will find daughter Alice and son Samuel buried here with their parents.
The farm remained in the Thomas family until 1910. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 2001.
In 1855, James H. Gambrill purchased the Araby Mills complex from his former employer and mentor, a miller named George W. Delaplane. Gambrill was born in Howard County, Maryland in 1830 into an extended family that comprised a virtual "milling dynasty" in the Baltimore area. James Gambrill married Antoinette Staley in 1860 and the couple eventually had ten children, nine of whom survived childhood.
By 1872, Gambrill had achieved a level of prosperity that allowed him to construct a lavish Second Empire-style mansion, one of the largest single-family residences ever built in Frederick County, and one its very few full-scale Empire-style houses. Known as Edgewood, it featured an elegant double parlor, intimate library, wine cellar, and spacious dining room, as well as a third-floor ballroom with a built-in stage. The commodious rooms were accented by imported Italian marble fireplaces, elaborate plaster ceiling medallions, elegant wallpaper, and large crystal chandeliers. The house was richly furnished throughout; in 1876, the Gambrill's furniture was valued at $1,200. John Worthington, owner of the nearby Worthington Farm, owned furniture valued at just $350.
James Gambrill's success as a miller and businessman continued through the 1870s and 1880s. Described as "a characteristic American merchant, active, thorough, and full of energy and vim," Gambrill took over a large steam-powered flour mill in downtown Frederick in 1878. In 1882, Gambrill installed roller milling machinery in his Frederick City mill, thus becoming an early participant in the "roller revolution" which transformed the American milling industry. Araby Mill was not converted to rollers, but still produced as many as 12,000 barrels of flour per year at its peak.
By the close of the nineteenth century, Gambrill's milling business had failed, primarily as a result of competition with the large-scale milling operations of the Upper Midwest. In 1897, Gambrill sold his house and mill, and while the house continued to be occupied by a succession of owners over the years, the mill never resumed operation. In spite of the ultimate failure of Gambrill's milling operation, when he died in 1932 at the age of 102, his obituary described him as a "pioneer miller."
James Gambrill and wife Antoinette are buried in the shadow of a stately obelisk monument on Area C/Lot 24.
Mayor William G. Cole
William George Cole was born near York, Pennsylvania on June 12, 1815. He came to Frederick, Maryland with his brother Charles Edward around 1835. He was mayor of Frederick, Maryland, from 1859 to 1865, two three year terms. He was mayor in 1864 when during the Civil War General Jubal Early assessed a ransom of the City of Frederick of 200 thousand dollars which was not paid off until 1951.
The 1860 Federal Census lists William as Mayor of the City of Frederick. Listed also are wife, Julia, and sons Lewis, Thaddeus and William. After his terms as mayor, Cole would go on to serve as Superintendent of the Frederick Water Works. He died on July 25th, 1877 and was laid to rest in Area P/Lot 39.
Mount Olivet is final resting place to countless others who experienced the American Civil War firsthand. We certainly will present more interesting connections through “Stories in Stone” into the future.