Of late, my commute home from Mount Olivet Cemetery to the Rosedale/Villa Estates neighborhood on the northwest side of Frederick has been as quiet as can be. Hey, I’m not complaining, and never have, since I have been so very fortunate to both work and reside here in Frederick for the last 30 years. I know darn well that I am one of the lucky ones having grown up seeing both of my parents commute to Bethesda each work day throughout my childhood.
I can usually get to and from work in about ten minutes, and without the aid of major roads or a highway. In fact, I primarily use back streets and alleys, the names of a few may not even register with some readers. And on my way, I only have four turns to make once I leave the cemetery. So join me for my commute home, and I'll give you an impromptu, local-history tour/lesson along the way. Don't worry, we'll be properly "socially distanced," and I'm guessing that most of you have plenty of time to kill while in self-quarantine lockdown.
To begin, for those unfamiliar with the Rosedale/Villa Estates which I call home, it sits just north of Rosemont Avenue, sandwiched between US15 and Fort Detrick. Homes were primarily built here between 1930-1950, providing housing for many newcomers to Frederick employed at "Camp Detrick" during, and after, World War II. These included doctors and scientists from around the country and world, completely changing the cultural fabric of "small-town" Frederick which had been in existence for nearly 200 years up to that point.
The neighborhood does have a nice park area and serves home to Frederick's current mayor—so we have that going for us! Fittingly, as you will soon see with this week’s story’s central theme, my neighborhood is best known today for its vehicular “cut-through” streets (linking Rosemont Avenue to West Seventh Street) probably more than anything else.
Most of these roadways are named for leading historical figures: Schley Avenue (Admiral Winfield Scott Schley—Frederick boy turned naval commander and hero of the Spanish American War), Taney Avenue (Roger Brooke Taney--Frederick lawyer turned controversial Supreme Court justice), Grant Place (Ulysses S. Grant--Union general during the American Civil War and our 18th US president), Wilson Avenue (Woodrow Wilson--our 28th US president who served during WWI and the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic), and Lee Place (Robert E. Lee--Confederate general during American Civil War). Military Road (self-explanatory) runs along the northwestern perimeter of the Villa Estates and neighboring Fort Detrick and there is one more named Biggs Avenue, but that one seems to be a head scratcher. We'll pick that one up later.
Speaking of streets, those belonging to the City of Frederick are far from bustling at the time of this writing (mid-April, 2020). This has been the case for multiple weeks now, thanks to the mandated state quarantine urging people to stay at home in an effort to curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease/Covid-19.
If you are lucky enough to escape your house for a glimpse of life on the outside, you may spot a person or an occasional couple walking along the sidewalk--but I can’t even remember the last time I saw more than ten people gathered together in one place, let alone five. I smile in thinking that just two months earlier I found myself irate and stranded for ten minutes (no lie) trying to make a simple right turn while downtown. I had been doing some history research at C. Burr Artz Library and parked in the adjacent garage late that Saturday morning. I exited the garage okay but ignorantly decided to exit onto S. Market Street (by Wags restaurant). My error was forgetting that it was Downtown Frederick’s First Saturday, and not just any First Saturday, but February’s “Fire & Ice” First Saturday. The city was mobbed with people by the time I had left the library that afternoon!
As I said a minute ago, these days, one sees but a few people out along the streets in late afternoon/early evening. They are usually engaged in a brief evening stroll or picking up carry-out from the multitude of busy restaurants and eateries offering "curb-side service." Some folks out walking are donning sneakers and shorts, while others have covered themselves from head to toe while wearing latex gloves and face masks. What puzzles me most is seeing other motorists with face-coverings, and they are the only ones in the car? How are they going to catch, or transmit any viruses while driving? "To each their own," I guess, especially during these anxious and curious times.
Driving While “Stoned”
I knew this sub- title would grab your attention, but it’s not what you think! When I was driving home one day last week, I contemplated upcoming topics for this blog. At the same time, I found myself taking extra notice of the thoroughfare names I utilize each and every workday. More so, I took specific interest in the names behind these streets traveled. It quickly dawned on me that this was somewhat like the “Stories in Stone” blog format itself, in which I research the names on gravestones and make connections to other elements of the community through people's life stories. I figured I could effectively “kill two birds with one stone” so to speak, and figure out for whom these streets are named, and then attempt to find these individuals in Mount Olivet, if they so happen to be buried here. So let's go!
LEG 2 — "Frederick's Other City"
Here’s an interesting piece of trivia to “wow” your friends and family with: Did you know that Mount Olivet Cemetery contains over eight miles of paved roadways? In addition to serving as a great place to work, visit, learn history and spend eternity, the cemetery is also a fabulous safe-haven for reverent recreationalists in the form of walkers, runners and cyclists.
From my office, located within our administration office and mausoleum complex in the south end of the 100-acre burying ground, it’s a 1.3 mile-drive to the Key monument and cemetery's main/front gate positioned off S. Market Street. Call me a rebel, but I refuse to attempt a left turn in afternoon rush hour onto Market Street—doing so would double, or perhaps triple, my entire commute time! .....so says the idiot who wanted to drive on Market Street during "Fire & Ice First Saturday." I choose instead to use our side gate located off Fox’s Alley and Broadway Street. Those who use Stadium Drive each day to accomplish this daring feat (turning left onto S. Market) know exactly what I’m talking about.
Interestingly, before I exit Mount Olivet, I've passed by the gravesites of at least four of the street namesakes involved in my commute. In addition, I passed another who isn't a true street namesake, but simply shares a moniker. I also passed a few more stones that have other connections to why things were named the way they are today. Now that I've likely either piqued your interest, or totally confused the heck out of you, let's pick up the second leg/part of my journey as I depart the "City of the Departed."
LEG 2 —"On Broadway”
Albeit brief, I will include Fox's Alley in my story. I’m usually only on this for 1.7 seconds as I cross over to Broadway Street. Many commuters use this quiet lane (Fox's Alley) on their way home to bypass the stoplight at S. Market and Madison streets. This is a much better, and safer, alternative than those who insist on cutting through the cemetery, especially considering the safety and solitude of our visitors and recreationalists. Yes, we've had some near misses with people speeding on through which has prompted management to close this side gate now in late afternoon.
Fox's Alley takes its name from John S. Fox, former proprietor of Fox’s Sport and Bait shop at 501 S. Market. This business just left us last year, but since around 1959 was an ideal place for one-stop-shopping, especially if your wife asked you to stop and pick-up a 6-pack of beer and pound of nightcrawlers on your way home.
Mr. Fox (1911-1989) sold the establishment a few years before his death to Bill Offutt, son of local attorney Jerome Offutt. Mr. Offutt was assisted by daughter Lauralea over the years as it kept the Fox’s name for a little bit but changed to Offutt’s Sport and Bait. Recently this property was sold and received a true business makeover, opening as the Stanley Salon. Oh, if Mr. Fox could see it now!
When I brought his name up to Superintendent Ron Pearcey, he immediately smiled. Ron knew Mr. Fox quite well and frequented his store regularly over the years, particularly for ice cream and purchasing miniatures for his boss, former cemetery superintendent Robert Kline. This practice, however, came to a halt once Mrs. Kline discovered the ruse of Mr. Kline having Ron make the secret purchases on his behalf.
Ron hurriedly left my office for a second, saying, "Hold on Chris, I want to check on something." He returned a minute later and belted out, “February 26, 1964.” I asked, “What about it?” He said that this was the day Mr. Fox bought his burial lots and then proceeded to tell me his funniest remembrance of Mr. Fox, told to him by the previously mentioned, Mr. Kline.
Ron said that Mr. Fox approached his old boss (Bob Kline) about buying a gravesite back in the mid 1960s, with the distinct caveat that the location must have a good view of Sugarloaf Mountain. Apparently, Mr. Fox had a decent view of the monadnock from his home on Ball Road south of town. Mr. Kline brought Fox to Area GG/Lot 28 and said, “Will this lot suit you?” At this point, Mr. Fox immediately proceeded to lie down on the ground, and from that vantage point looked to the southeast towards Sugarloaf Mountain. After about a minute, Fox sprang back to up his feet and said to Kline, “That’ll do, I’ll take it!”
Mr. Fox’s wife passed in 1967 and was laid to rest here. Mr. Fox wouldn't join her here until August of 1989.
Once on Broadway Street, I usually think about the famed thoroughfare in New York City which becomes the country’s epicenter every December 31st. I sometimes also get a tune instantly playing in my head—the song “On Broadway” of course, performed first by the Drifters in the 1960s, and later covered by George Benson a decade later. I will honestly say that I have never heard the song (“On Broadway”) while actually driving on Broadway Street, but that doesn’t mean that I will continue to suppress the urge sometime to do so in the near future!
I wanted to see what Broadway looked like back on the 1873 Titus Atlas Map which I often reference with my "Stories in Stone" blog articles. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it, well at least all of it.
As you can see in the image above, Mount Olivet appears with the cemetery superintendent's house shaded black, as well as a little gap depicting our front gate off S. Market Street. The side gate would be located above the "C" in cemetery at about the second black line (above) as you can see the alley that constitutes Fox's Alley coming off S. Market.
As I drive north, Broadway Street crosses over Madison Street (named for James Madison, our fourth US president) and continues on until it joins a much older portion of road near the intersection with today’s Getzendanner’s Alley (on the east). This was formerly known as Mantz Street in 1873, and this road came off S. Market Street in a westerly fashion and turned north to connect with W. South Street (see Titus Atlas inset below left).
Broadway Street, itself, was not named for anyone in Frederick history, however, we do have a couple buried in Mount Olivet’s Area KK (Lots 51 and 52) by the name of Asia Cooper Broadway (1927-2010) and wife Hazel (Wells) Broadway. Even though Broadway Street does not honor Asia Broadway, I find it quite uncanny that Mr. Broadway was quite successful as a contractor in the paving and blacktop industry. This because of the sheer fact that streets and roadways are at the root, or should I say "route," of our conversation.
LEG 3 —Ice Cold Beer
Now, back to my ride home, and again, the title is alluding to nothing that I am doing behind the wheel on this ride home. As I depart Broadway, I cross over South Street (self-explanatory as this was once Frederick’s southernmost major thoroughfare) onto the coolest street in town--Ice Street. I learned that this narrow lane was originally called Tanner's Alley in an early newspaper article dating to 1832. It was so named for some tanneries located a few blocks north on Carroll Creek. Around the year 1840, an ice house was built by George J. Fischer (1809-1866) as he leased a lot from Elizabeth Hauer, a relative of Barbara Fritchie. The Hauers and Fritchie's were in the glove-making field which certainly was related to tanning. Fischer built his structure on the east side of Tanner's Alley, halfway between W. All Saints Street to the north and W. South Street to the south.
Fischer sold his property, known as “Ice House Lot” in 1855, and has continued to be called called Ice Street ever since, although some old deeds still say Tanner's Alley and others say Brewer's Alley. Marilyn found a 1905 deed that refers to the corridor as both: “Ice Street or Brewers Alley.” As we know, the former name would primarily stick to the stretch from W. South to W. All Saints, and Brewer's Alley would adorn the road up until its intersection with W. Patrick Street for most of the 19th century and into the 20th (before becoming Court).
To backtrack, W. All Saints Street is so named for All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church, originally located adjacent E. All Saints Street. The church and graveyard stood atop a hill that was bounded on its north side by Carroll Creek. The Protestant Episcopal congregation moved to a new location closer to the Frederick Court House around 1814, and a new congregation of whites and blacks worshipped together and took over the former location and built what was known as Old Hill Church. This would morph into Asbury Methodist Episcopal and would remain here until about 1921, when it opened a new church structure on the southwest corner of W. All Saints and present-day Court Street. (Note: Today, the original site of the All Saints and original Asbury church locations is the home of a luxury condo development known as Maxwell Place on Carroll Creek. )
LEG 4 —The Public's Street
I now cross over Frederick’s busiest, and oldest, roadway, Patrick Street, a part of the famed National Road which stretches from Baltimore to Vandalia, Illinois. This is said to have been named by Frederick’s founder, Daniel Dulany, after his cousin named Patrick Dulany (1686-1768), a noted theologian and clergyman of Dublin, Ireland noted as “an eloquent preacher, a man of wit and learning.”
Court Street continues for another few blocks but was originally known as Public(k) Street/Alley as it dates back to the time of the erection of Frederick County’s first courthouse, today’s Frederick City Hall. This occurred after Frederick became a county in 1748. Founder Daniel Dulany donated the lots for this purpose, and gladly, since his planned development of Frederick-Town would serve as county seat.
Travelers on the National Road, and court business called for a profusion of inns and taverns here dating back to the 18th century. Hotels could be found on or near the east side corners of old Public Alley at intersections with W. Patrick and W. Church streets. I recently wrote about Mrs. Catherine Kimball who operated “The Golden Lamb” Tavern on the northeast corner of today’s Court and W. Patrick which eventually morphed into The City Hotel, and later the Francis Scott Key Hotel in 1922—now luxury apartments.
Time out for a sidebar....Remember when I told you that the All Saints Protestant Episcopal congregation decided to abandon their former church structure down on E. All Saints Street to move closer to the courthouse? Well, here is where they went (on the left). This structure was used until the present church, fronting on W. Church Street and around the corner, was built in the 1855.
There was another interesting hotel on the SE corner of the former Public and W. Church streets which once stood on the parking lot of today’s M&T Bank. I pull into this parking lot on occasion to use the ATM on my way home. Some residents may recall this as Frederick’s earlier YMCA location, up until the building’s destruction by fire in 1974. Before that, you have to go back to the year 1907, at which time stood the Park Hotel—the final moniker for a very popular lodging location that dated back to the 1700s. We are fortunate to have a beautiful old photograph dating from between 1903-1905, showing the hotel and adjacent area.
The building would be demolished in 1907 to make room for the Young Men’s Christian Association which opened the following year. Preceding the Park Hotel, the structure took the name of the Carlin House, whose story will be told in a future article in context to proprietor Frank B. Carlin.
The roots for inns and taverns run deep at this location, a funny thing to say considering that "The Temple," a Paul Mitchell Partner School for hair design, is located next door these days. The first apparent petition to the county court for a license to operate a tavern in Frederick was made by Cleburn Simms, who presented the following petition in March, 1749:
"That your petitioner, having provided himself with accommodations fit for travelers and others, humbly prays that Your Worships would be pleased to grant him a license for ordinary keeping, he complying with the Act of Assembly in that case provided and he as in duty bound will pray."
The petition was accepted by the county court justices, and the site of the Simm's tavern was built right here at this location of the M&T Bank and Temple parking lot. When Mr. Simms died, his widow Mary became the first female to hold an innkeeper's license.
It is thought that this same location came into the ownership of a gentlemen named Samuel Swearingen who hosted the grand celebration dinner following the mock funeral of the 1765 Stamp Act in late November, 1765. The county court justices were all for taverns as we can see, but had little use for stamped paper from Great Britain.
One way or another, the existing inn at this location became operated by a man named John Dill and would later become known most commonly as “The Dill House." John Dill (1762-1741) is thought to be a Frederick native and operated the Cross Keys Tavern dating back to 1807, and turned hotel management over to Mathias Bartgis in 1826. From reading old newspapers, Dill’s Tavern seemed to be the premiere site for sheriff’s auctions, entertainment events, and organization meetings ranging from bank boards to the county’s Republican Committee to the Frederick Agricultural Club who put on the first cattle shows and fairs. This was even a site of special mayor & alderman meetings, as well as serving as a municipal election precinct.
John Dill married Philipina Krieger, daughter of another tavern owner in town (George Krieger/Creager, Sr. (1752-1815). The couple would have four known children: Joshua (b. 1792), Ezra (b. 1795), James (b. 1799) and Elizabeth (1800-1866). The latter marrying a man named Levin Thomas.
John Dill was civic-minded and served as a roads and street commissioner of town. He continued to own the tavern property throughout his lifetime, but leased it out to others to run. Upon his death in 1841, his will would convey the popular hostelry to his son, Joshua.
Mr. Dill was originally buried in the Evangelical Lutheran burying ground behind the church within two blocks to the east of his tavern. His descendants would move his remains to Mount Olivet on September 20th, 1870. He was buried in Area H/Lot 327. His wife, Philipina, would be reburied here as well on the same day.
At 49 years of age, Joshua Dill had been involved in the hostelry business for a good part of his life. In fact, in addition to gaining experience from his father’s success in the trade, his father-in-law was also a prominent tavern keeper in town. This is a perfect segue to get back on Court Street and continue my ride home.
As I drive over W. Second Street, the street sign says that I’m still on Court Street. The road bed actually widens enough to allow for parking on both sides as I enter this new through-way. Up until the 1930's, this used to be called Kleinhart's Alley, a unique name that has a direct link with the fore-mentioned Dill family.
You see, Joshua Dill (son of the previously mentioned innkeeper John) was married to Mary Kleinhart, the daughter of a Hessian mercenary soldier who was fighting under the British flag during the American Revolution. Johann Franz Kleinhart (born in 1751 in Hesse-Kassel) was likely captured in New Jersey at the Battle of Trenton. This small, but pivotol, battle took place on the morning of December 26th, 1776 in Trenton, New Jersey. After Gen. George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton the previous night, the iconic hero led the main body of the Continental army against Hessian auxiliaries garrisoned here. After a brief battle, almost two-thirds of the Hessian force (800-900) were captured, with only negligible losses to the Americans. The battle significantly boosted the Continental army's waning morale, and inspired re-enlistments.
Kleinhart and other German soldiers were imprisoned at various sites. In his case, Franz Kleinhart would be brought to the Frederick-Town Barracks, a military installation located atop Cannon Hill, today’s site of the Maryland School for the Deaf. The concentration of these German mercenary soldiers led to it receiving the lasting nickname of Hessian Barracks. Kleinhart may have even been involved in constructing the barracks which seems fitting as I have seen a few references to him perhaps possessing talent as a stone mason.
Like several other Hessians in captivity here during the war, Franz, or Francis (as his name would become Anglicized) decided to stay in Frederick once released at the end of the war in 1783. There were plenty of pretty German girls around and Kleinhart married a woman named Maria Salome Weltzheimer. The couple had a son named John Frederick in 1787, and two daughters: Mary Matilda in 1794 and another named Wilhemina in 1799.
Herr Kleinhart operated a tavern on the southside of E. Second Street near the town's early gaol (jail) and later another on W. Third Street. In Rev. Frederick Weiser’s book Frederick Maryland Lutheran Marriages & Burials 1743-1811, I found references to a number of marriages performed at Kleinhart’s Tavern between 1803 and 1805.
In 1827, Maryland newspapers carried the story of a terrible fire at Mr. Kleinhart’s residence in early June, 1826. Reported as the worst fire in Frederick Town up until that time, the blaze started mysteriously in Francis Kleinhart’s stables located along the alley between W. Second and W. Third streets. The fire spread to consume a number of nearby dwellings including that of Klinehart who was sharing his home with daughter Mary and her husband Joshua Dill. Kleinhart's brother-in-law, Dr. Lewis Weltzheimer, lived next door and his apothecary business fell prey to the flames as well.
News of the fire made newspapers all over Maryland including Baltimore and Easton. Frederick’s Jacob Engelbrecht wrote of the “dreadful fire” in his famous diary in an entry on June 1st, 1826. He would have known Mr. Kleinhart quite well as his own father, Conradt Engelbrecht, was also a Hessian soldier held captive at the Frederick Barracks during the Revolutionary War. I was, however, surprised to see the following written on June 3rd, 1826 by the man who seemingly had his finger on the pulse of Frederick:
“Frederick Kleinert, son of Mr. Francis Kleinert was this day brought before the Mayor George Kolb & M. E. Bartgis & George Rohr Esquires on suspicion of being the incendiary of the fire of the 1st instant and after an investigation of 2 or 3 hours was committed to prison to stand his trial at the next County Court. It appeared in evidence that he had threatened to consume the whole fabric owing to some difference between himself and his father bye the bye Fred, is a very bad boy.
PS. Clip & clear not indicted
I don’t know what became of Frederick Kleinhart, but assume that he eventually moved away from the area as I haven’t located a grave or obituary. He married Catherine Wiegle in 1813, and all I have been able to find relating to him is a marriage record and (Engelbrecht) diary notation for his daughter Susan Kleinhart (Faubel). He last appears here locally in the 1840 US Census, apparently living in Frederick.
Francis Kleinhart, alley namesake, died the following year on September 14th, 1827 and was buried in or next to Frederick’s first Presbyterian Church cemetery. This sacred ground was once located by the congregation's meeting house on the southeast corner of N. Bentz and W. Fourth streets. Jacob Engelbrecht made note of his death and added that “he was buried in a vault made by himself for that purpose in his lot adjoining the English Presbyterian graveyard without a ceremony.”
Frederick's original English Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1780 and built of brick and boasted "high backed pews, a lofty pulpit, and a brick floor." A new house of worship was completed in 1825 on W. Second Street, but the original graveyard remained active until 1885, at which time the trustees decided to discontinue use. The old structure was utilized afterwards as part of an old factory until being sold, along with the cemetery ground, to the Salvation Army for $400 in 1887.
Most of the bodies here were removed on May 10th, 1887 and transferred to Mount Olivet. These were originally placed in Area Q, but later moved to Area NN on December 12th, 1907. Among these was the old Hessian Kleinhart, who is said to rest in Lot 131/Grave 11. He doesn’t have a stone, as it likely disappeared along the way, not uncommon as broken or worn stones were seen as unsightly elements here in Frederick’s “Garden Cemetery” back in the day.
Mary Kleinhart Dill and her husband, Joshua, repaired/rebuilt their home and lived on West Third Street until their respective deaths—the house still stands today at 102 W. Third Street. We are lucky to have a bit more info on Joshua thanks to a publication that the cemetery undertook in 2014 with the bicentennial of the War of 1812, entitled Frederick’s Other City: War of 1812 Veterans:
Sergeant Joshua Dill served under Capt. George W. Ent, 3rd Regiment, Maryland Militia, from August 24 to September 30, 1814. Joshua Dill was born September 13, 1792 in Frederick to John (of “Dill House”) and Philippina “Phoebe” (Krieger) Dill. He was married to Mary M. Kleinhart on April 12, 1817 in Frederick. Joshua died July 24, 1868 at the age of 75. He was laid to rest in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Area H/Lot 327. Mary was born March 24, 1794, and died May 14, 1873 at the age of 79. She too was buried in the same lot as her husband.
Joshua held the following positions within Frederick City: A constable in December 1820, May 1825, and June 1833; Deputy Sheriff in October 1821; Lutheran Church warden in January 1824 and an Elder in January 1833, January 1841 and January 1844; a councilman for Ward #6 in February 1834, February 1862 and February 1863. He was the owner of the Cross Keys Hotel, which became known as the Dill House, located southeast of the Courthouse.
Joshua and Mary Dill had six known children. First was John Francis Dill (1819-1891), Lewis Henry Dill (1821-1894), George Theodore Dill (1823-1888), Henrietta Dill Wisong (1826-1872), Dill (1828-1829) and Mary M. Dill Schultz (1830-1861). Here are census records showing Joshua and Mary Kleinhart Dill's family living on W. Third Street:
Joshua Dill parted with his father’s tavern enterprise in the late 1850s, selling it to a Michael Zimmerman who renamed it "Dill House" in honor of the Dill family and their long ownership and earlier operation. The gracious deed seemed to make many in town happy.
The Dills, primarily Joshua, did a great deal of buying and selling of land in and around Frederick City. He had ample opportunity during his terms as sheriff, as people regularly were put in the position of hastily unloading their holdings to pay outstanding debts. The lion’s share of these auctions occurred at the Dill House to boot. Joshua Dill and his children benefited greatly. In his later years, the former sheriff and innkeeper put his efforts toward farming, as he had plenty of parcels to care for.
Joshua Dill died on July 24th, 1868 and wife Mary, daughter of the old Hessian, passed on May 14th, 1873. A notation in our cemetery records says the following:
"REMOVAL from the Dill's Cemetery where he was originally buried on July 25, 1868."
I haven't been able to find a reference to a "Dill's Cemetery" but have a theory that it could be a reference to a plot within or adjacent the Old Presbyterian graveyard where his father-in-law (Francis Kleinhart) was buried. Regardless, Joshua Dill was removed to Mount Olivet and reburied in the Dill family lot on November 24th, 1869. His parents would join him here a year later as previously stated.
Unlike the hotel, the other "Dill House," the home of Joshua and Mary Dill, stayed among the family and descendants until 1979. I found an ad offering the dwelling for by son George and son-in-law Theodore Schultz. Cooler heads must have prevailed, or a relative stepped up with the cash to purchase.
As I pass the old Kleinhart/Dill residence on my right, I cross over W. Third Street and find myself in a "tried and true" portion of virtually unaltered Klineharts Alley.
I can’t travel the alley to its terminus at W. Sixth Street because I’m soon forced to take my first turn of the commute trip home—a left onto W. Fourth Street. In researching for a Frederick-based, Black history documentary project nearly 25 years ago, I learned that many African-American/Black residents lived along Klineharts Alley between W. Fourth and W. Seventh streets. A derogatory moniker of sorts once used as the name for a cluster of dilapidated shanties and shacks that once stood along the alley was Santa Domingo. I don't know if the Blacks here were actually of Haitian origin or not.
The narrow roadway was usually in terrible shape and often flooded, prompting a former mayor's ire and municipal help. I could judge this from an article found in the Frederick News from 1914.
LEG 4 —"Dilly, Dilly"
Once on W. Fourth Street, I soon come to a stoplight at the next cross-street of N. Bentz Street. I won’t get into the name Bentz at this time, but here was another family with deep German roots in town and a namesake mill located at the southern portion of this intersecting roadway at Carroll Creek. A glance to my left toward the southwest corner of the intersection shows me a row of townhouses where the original English Presbyterian Meeting House once stood. Of course this was before the site became home for a number of years to the Salvation Army.
The property sold again and was developed into townhomes on both corners. Francis Kleinhart, and perhaps son-in-law Joshua were once buried in the adjacent church graveyard as I remarked earlier. It all seems to come full circle as I cross Bentz Street and find myself heading west on Dill Avenue. Now where in the world did that name come from? You can guess by now...or you sure as heck better be able to!
The 1873 Titus Atlas clearly shows land parcels owned by Dill. It wouldn’t be until August, 1901 when Frederick alderman John Baumgardner suggested the name of Dill Avenue to replace the W. Fourth Street Extended moniker. It was duly accepted, and the rest is history. As for Lewis Henry Dill, he made his living as a farmer and large landholder thanks to previous generations of “Dill”igent business persons. He’s buried in Mount Olivet's Area G/Lot 32.
Heading northwest out of town, Dill Avenue suddenly becomes Rosemont Avenue once you pass Hood College. The name Rosemont comes from a poultry farm, and later subdivision, of the same name. The neighborhood was laid out in 1913 by Eugene Sponseller and Harry Tritapoe, the latter being the poultry farmer.
Two gentlemen of particular interest in the Rosemont story are Elbridge F. Biggs and John M. Culler, who jointly bought eight building lots here in 1913. Their purchase constituted the entire 1st block of Fairview Avenue, north of the newly named Rosemont Avenue which came with the development.
John McCleary Culler (b.1880), was a grocery store proprietor, and Elbridge F. Biggs, Jr., the switchboard manager for Chesapeake & Potomac (C&P) Telephone Company. In addition to being successful businessmen and civic leaders, this tandem were brothers-in-law as Mr. Culler was married to Mary Ada Biggs, Elbridge’s sister. The Cullers lived on Elm Street and the Biggs took up residence on Fairview Avenue which was the principal street of the Rosemont development, which didn't go any further to the west.
As far as Rosemont avenue, the road had been unofficially called the Montevue Turnpike, a crude translation to French of “Mountain View,” leading to the county almshouse of the same name as mentioned earlier. Rosemont Avenue became the new name as it ran past the new development. The transition between Dill and rosemont avenues occurs at a major bend in the roadway, exactly in front of Hood College's main gate. From a timeline perspective, the college campus here opened in 1913, moving from downtown's Winchester Hall.
The cross streets here along Dill and Rosemont are mostly named for college connections (ie: College Avenue, College Terrace, College Parkway, Hood Alley), scenic vistas like the fore-mentioned Fairview, and trees/plants (ie: Elm Street, Ferndale, Magnolia Ave). A few more exist like Lindbergh and Grove. Lindbergh was named for the heroic aviator, but I don’t know if Grove paid homage to trees, or the local family of the same name. Scottish Alley is a story unto itself as well, and I will leave it alone for now.
However, there is one additional street name that irks me more than any other--Dulaney Street. This is the only tribute we have to the founder of Frederick Town/City and Frederick County. It's more or less an alley, and should be spelled Dulany as this was the way the man spelled his name. The pathetic lane connects Dill Avenue to W. Second Street, running two measly blocks. For God's sake, I've done far less for Frederick over my lifetime, but have a prominent thoroughfare named for me in Christopher's Crossing.
LEG 4 —"Bigg Deal"
As I slowly approach the terminus of W. 2nd Street as it ends in front of Frederick’s oldest home, Schifferstadt, I quickly pass Culler Avenue to my right. I was particularly interested in this street name because my mother lived on this street for a decade back in the 1990s.
I assumed Culler Avenue was named for Lloyd Culler, former mayor. I was mistaken as I have since learned (from my assistant Marilyn) that it was named in honor of John M. Culler, the grocery store owner/Rosemont lot buyer who lived on Elm Street. Sadly, Mr. Culler would die in a car accident in 1935 on MD 26 near Mount Pleasant while returning home from taking his son back to school at Western Maryland College.
The street would be soon named in honor of the former businessman on a 1937 plat for a new subdivision called Rosedale, planned to encompass the Jacob A. Kidwiler property stretching from Fairview Avenue and the Rosemont subdivision, westward to existing Wilson Avenue in Villa Estates which had come about around 1930.
The Rosedale property had been bought in 1931 from Henry Krantz, son of Edward Krantz who owned this property prior. You may remember Edward from another “Story in Stone” written just a few weeks back and entitles "A Statue of Hope". At the time, the purchase (Jacob A. Kidwiler) actually lived on the property where Frederick High School is now located before selling that to the Board of Education in 1938.
Anyway, there was no US15 bypass as yet as this would come in the early 1950s. As I pass by Schifferstadt Architectural Museum and go under the US15 overpass, I soon make an immediate turn right off Rosemont Avenue onto Biggs Avenue. I failed to mention Biggs earlier in my dazzling overview of the roadways of Villa Estates/Rosedale. To tell the truth, I was very interested to learn who the famed namesake was myself. I ride this road nearly every day, and my boys had their elementary school bus stop here.
Well, with help from Marilyn, I learned that Biggs Avenue was named for the other major Rosemont development investor, John M. Culler’s brother-in-law, Elbridge F. Biggs, Jr. It's certainly a further stretch than Mr. Culler by having his name remembered in the form of a street, but no big deal I guess. Or should I say, "No Bigg Dill" instead? As you can see, this commute, albeit short, has made me quite punchy!
Although Mr. Biggs is entombed within the mausoleum at Clustered Spires Cemetery atop Linden Hills, John M. Culler and wife Ada Biggs Culler are buried in Mount Olivet’s Area AA/Lot 2.
We also have buried here Mr. Kidwiler, "the former king of Rosedale" and a Spanish-American War veteran as well. His gravesite is in Area AA/Lot 84, not that far from that of Mr. Culler. I will write a more in-depth piece on him one day, but I learned that his name is the proper one for my neighborhood park as somewhere along the line it had wrongfully been changed to Rosedale Park.
I know this sounds anticlimactic, but my third turn is a left onto Blue Ridge Avenue. It’s a short thoroughfare of two blocks with few speaking points. However, to the left, at the intersection with Schley Avenue, one can gaze at the childhood home of Frederick’s current mayor, Michael O’ Connor. This property (on the southeastern corner of the intersection of Schley and Blue Ridge) was sold out of the family a few years back, after Michael’s dad passed away. Saying this, I’m assuming we won’t see any museum or "mayoral library" placed here in the near future.
I cross Schley and proceed to the next sleepy intersection, where I make my fourth, and final, turn-- a right, onto my home street of Taney Avenue. I won’t get into the story behind that guy, but those who may have read my September 19, 2019 "Stories in Stone" article, know that Roger’s wife, Anne, and three daughters are buried in Mount Olivet. Anne Taney's brother, Francis, also has a nice burial site, complete with an impressive monument up by our front gate.
I hope this story was worth the read, as it surely took far longer to do so than it takes me to drive my daily commute home. Thanks for the company, take care and stay safe!
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Well, April Fools’ Day 2020 has come and gone, and I would surmise that this particular one held the least impact or interest in recent memory. Some sources even reported that it had actually been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately the predicament we have found ourselves in atpresent is the furthest thing from a joke.
I had intended to publish something light and less serious for this week, attempting to make a connection between this unofficial holiday of mischief/”Tom Foolery” and someone buried here at Mount Olivet. I went back in the Frederick newspapers of yore and found mentions of April Fools’ Day (with appropriate exercises) going back to the early decades of the 19th century. After a few hours, I hadn’t found any good matches and decided to “cut bait” and move on to another topic. I had to laugh as I fondly recalled last year’s April Fools’ Day of 2019 in which I helped instigate a creative, and fitting, space-related prank relating to Mount Olivet. I know what you are probably thinking: pranks and cemeteries should never go hand-in-hand for so many reasons. I couldn’t agree more, but my idea was to involve more a play on words than anything else.
I have a co-worker named Meghan who runs our administrative office operation and conducts cemetery sales with customers. In addition to doing a fine job for the cemetery, she prides herself on organization and neatness. Meghan is equally quite particular about the overall care and appearance of her beloved vehicle. I had concocted the perfect April Fools’ scheme with her in mind and even would employ our boss to help me carry it through to fruition. I was going to Francis Scott “Key” my co-worker’s car!
On March 31st, 2019, I meticulously cut out about a dozen small pictures of Francis Scott Key’s head from outdated copies of our self-guided cemetery tour brochure. I put in an envelope and through these in my work bag. The next morning I pulled into our parking lot and alongside my co-workers’ vehicle. I quickly put my devious plan into motion by lightly adhering the cut-outs (each with a small piece of double-sided tape) in a row on the passenger side of her car.
I quickly completed by “decorating” task and went into our office building, undetected. I dropped off my stuff at my desk and then went to see Meghan to deliver the bad news that I had noticed upon pulling in that her vehicle had been “keyed” on its passenger side. Of course, she didn’t believe me when I gently broke the news to her. She sat there determined not to let me rattle her with news of this sort, thinking it a joke. So I quickly invited the superintendent (J. Ronald Pearcey) to go out for a look, and report his findings to Meghan. He obliged, and, upon return to her office, reported the honest truth that her sparkling white car had indeed been “keyed.” She sprang from her desk in an instant, making her way to the parking lot to see with her own eyes the dastardly deed done to her precious car.
Of course, the anxiety and extreme panic quickly subsided when she saw the ridiculous, temporary graffiti in the form of “Star-Spangled” micro-heads of our most cemetery’s most famous resident. The three of us got a good laugh out of that one, and I made amends by gladly buying that day’s lunch for both my prank accomplice (Ron) and most of all, hapless victim (Meghan).
It was nice to think back this week, as this years’ April Fools’ Day seemed as surreal as these last few weeks. I quickly tried to spin my mind with the hope of normalcy returning far in advance of next April 1st (2021), and started scheming on how I could top Francis Scott "Key-ing” a car? Perhaps I can somehow incorporate novelty itching powder and Barbara Fritchie to create the dreaded Fritch Itch--“Scratch if you must this irritable itch, but spare your country’s flag.” Just kidding of course, as I don’t think any of us will be in the mood for pranks anytime soon after we finally get through this pandemic.
“This Too Shall Pass”
The following story may well strike a sensitive nerve with some readers, but my intent is not to scare, sensationalize or depress. We have enough anxiety and bad news to sort through these days as we find ourselves in a situation no one could have predicted a year ago, or even just a few short months ago when we were enjoying the Christmas holiday season.
We are a few weeks into self-quarantining and the practice of “social distancing,” a term that has quickly entered into our vernacular, almost overnight. I have seen articles that the proper term should be “spatial distancing,” because with smartphone and computer technology still readily at our disposal despite Covid-19, we continue to have the means to easily communicate with friends, families, co-workers and complete strangers (for that matter) with the touch of a button. Familiar voices can be heard, and faces seen, no matter the geographic distance apart, whether its 6 feet, or 600 miles.
It’s along these lines that I write this particular story as a “compare and contrast” exercise. It can be fully illustrated by local and national history with the over-arching message of: “This too will pass.” The familiar adage (“This too will pass”) comes originally from Persia—that Western Asia country we know better today by the name Iran. The quote has been translated and used in multiple languages and reflects on the temporary nature, or ephemerality, of the human condition. The general sentiment has often been expressed in wisdom literature throughout history and across cultures, although the specific phrase seems to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian poets.
I found that “This too shall pass” is known in the Western world primarily due to a 19th-century retelling of a Persian fable called “Solomon’s Seal” by the English poet Edward FitzGerald. In it, a sultan requests of King Solomon a sentence that would always be true in good times or bad; Solomon responds, "This too will pass away.”
The expression was popularized here in the United States over a century-and-a-half ago when featured in a speech by Abraham Lincoln in September, 1859 and before he became the sixteenth President of the United States. Honest Abe could have obtained the adage from an early English citation of "this too shall pass" which appeared in an article titled "The Revolutions in Europe", and featured in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, in May, 1848:
When an Eastern sage was desired by his sultan to inscribe on a ring the sentiment which, amidst the perpetual change of human affairs, was most descriptive of their real tendency, he engraved on it the words : — "And this, too, shall pass away." It is impossible to imagine a thought more truly and universally applicable to human affairs than that expressed in these memorable words, or more descriptive of that perpetual oscillation from good to evil, and from evil to good, which from the beginning of the world has been the invariable characteristic of the annals of man, and so evidently flows from the strange mixture of noble and generous with base and selfish inclinations, which is constantly found in the children of Adam.
I don’t mean to wax poetic, but surely will do so while I have you kept captive, likely in the confines of your own home at the present time of my writing. Here are three poignant quotes, or aphorisms, to reflect upon in the restless days, weeks and possibly months ahead:
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
-George Santayana (1863-1952)
“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
-Maya Angelou (1928-1914)
“What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past.”
-Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
This last passage has particularly resonated with me for a number of years as I even use it on the home page of my side ”history for hire” business entitled History Shark Productions. I had the rare opportunity to stay in his Paris residence of Place des Vosges back in 2003, and also visit his burial crypt within The Pantheon (Paris). Victor Hugo is one of the greatest French writers to have lived, and gave us such notable works as his novels Les Miserables (1862) and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831). This gentlemen was at the forefront of the Romantic era, an intellectual movement characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature.
As this is a highly emotional, nervous and troubling time we live in at the moment, we need to heed the echoes of the past. This is something that seems to consume me each and every week in writing “Stories in Stone,” and I can honestly say that there has nothing that has been so self-gratifying and rewarding in my thirty-year professional career. I feel as if I have had the chance to personally meet my subjects, the majority of which dwell beneath the grounds surface with a memorial periscope in the form of a tombstone. With that knowledge, I’m able to see my surrounding hometown as a form of continual reflex from these past residents, just as the Hugo quote shared illustrates.
Back in the fall of 2018, I busily published articles, presented talks and gave walking tours based on research I was conducting on the nearly 600 World War I veterans buried here in Mount Olivet. One of the most enlightening experiences for me was studying the deaths of five servicemen who died as a result of the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918.
Frederick, and her past residents, experienced the uncertainties associated with several wars ranging from world conflicts to the American Civil War, when fighting and massive casualties actually came to their doorsteps. All the while, terrible diseases and illnesses such as cholera, typhoid and smallpox were commonplace due to unsanitary conditions and lack of advanced healthcare methods.
The 1918 Spanish Flu was the perfect combination of both war and disease. It was a global pandemic during a global war. While the enemy was somewhat visible to the American doughboys fighting in the trenches of France, the invisible flu waged war “over there,” and quickly made its way “over here” to the chagrin of all. Today, we are experiencing a similar war against the virus, luckily not man at the same time.
In recent weeks we have had to socially distance our cemetery staff from visitors and customers alike for the safety of staff. This is so very hard for members of a profession that is built upon having the utmost compassion for those needing our services and visiting our grounds—all made possible by the greatest unwelcome visitor of all, the coronavirus. We don’t have to look far to find answers from the past. Less than 102 years ago, our newspapers read like that of our tv, laptop and smartphone screens of today.
The earlier “unwelcome visitor” understandably had then cemetery superintendent, Albert Routzahn, unnerved, along with his faithful staff. As far as Mount Olivet Cemetery is concerned, the first documented civilian fatality of the Spanish Flu was Mrs. Bessie G. Jones, a 33-year-old housewife from Buckeystown, MD. Mrs. Jones passed on September 28th, 1918.
The next day, George Jacob Cronise of Mount Pleasant would die as his in-laws were suffering from flu symptoms. A day later, a broom-maker named John H. F. Bender would be claimed as a victim and buried in Mount Olivet. Bender, age 60, was also from Buckeystown. Yet another resident from the same town of Buckeystown would help usher in funerals during the horrific month of October, 1918. Thirty-year-old Sallie Elizabeth Barber expired on October 2nd.
The other day, I decided to read over our death ledgers and interment registers from the fall of 1918. I became interested in Frederick City’s first victim of the flu, and buried in Mount Olivet. This individual was named Marshall Howard Zepp, Jr., a 21-year-old electrician who worked for the Hagerstown & Frederick Railway. Young Mr. Zepp died on the fourth of October.
Marshall Howard Zepp’s mortal remains were buried two days later in Area T/Lot 130 in the middle of the cemetery—dare I say, the “dead center?” I can say this with surety, because Area T, was virtually a dead center as 40 people were interred here as a result of the Spanish Flu. Meanwhile, cemetery superintendent Ron Pearcey decided to carefully inspect the Spanish Flu victims buried here by studying the interment cards themselves. As is the case today, many people with underlying health conditions were more susceptible to not only contracting the Spanish Influenza, but becoming a fatality because of it. Ron also studied the severity of pneumonia in olden days, pandemic or not. With physicians seeing this malady for the first time, pneumonia was given as cause of death because of like symptoms.
I wrote a story focusing on World War I soldiers as victims of the crippling pandemic of 1918. This occurred in early October of 2018 and was entitled “No Ordinary Flu Season.” In that piece, I counted 93 Spanish Influenza-related victims buried here in Mount Olivet from late September (1918) through January(1919). Superintendent Ron came up with 98 victims, and we were able to prove two more cases should be added to our total. I will tell you about it here shortly. Regardless, that brings our tally up to 100 Spanish Flu victims buried in Mount Olivet.
Ron and I also predict that the number of Spanish Influenza deaths/burials will rise if we closely research the other interments that took place here during that period. We can do this by looking at medical complications, listed as causes of death in our records, and consider the “cause and effect “relationship to the Spanish Flu. In addition, pneumonia presents a complicated “sticky-wicket.” Ron researched deaths by pneumonia over the previous year’ late September through January timespan of the pandemic and found a grand total of nine deaths related to the respiratory illness—one that is usually brought on by cold or flu. Regardless, the number gave us a benchmark.
One Lonely Cart Row
Cart rows are useful cemetery thoroughfares—for both workers and visitors alike. These lanes represent linear “no bury zones” and extend through cemetery sections as a means for employees to bring necessary digging and lifting equipment to individual gravesites. This is particularly useful over time when an area fills up so to speak, and obstacles in the form of granite and marble monuments create challenges to reach a specific lot. Just imagine trying to get a mechanized digging apparatus like a backhoe into the center of a section crowded with grave monuments. Even in the early days of Mount Olivet, monument vendors utilized horse and wagon to carry gravestones to be placed on burial sites. The cart rows were invaluable to them in giving needed access.
From the visitor perspective, I myself can get easily lost when seeking a specific grave, even with coordinates and a trusty cemetery map in hand. I always advise visitors and family historians seeking a specific site to take note of the cart rows on the maps, and use these as a helpful guide in finding their desired destinations.
Looking at Ron Pearcey’s research numbers, Area T boasted 40 Spanish Flu related interments—40% of the cemetery’s total. Along the particular cart row in question, one can find 25 Spanish Flu victims (25% of Mount Olivet’s total). There are 30 individual (“ten-grave”) family lots laid out along the grassy transportation corridor. Of these, 19 include one or more flu interments from the fall/winter of 1918-1919.
The chart below shows the incredible spike in burials here at Mount Olivet in late 1918. A monthly average of 21(burials for the first 9 months of the year) skyrocketed to 77 in October.
The Year 1918 and Burials in Mount Olivet Cemetery
Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
18 14 23 19 14 35 17 19 25 77 27 40
By the 8th of October, 1918, flu cases had become so prevalent that the state health board ordered county health officer Dr. T.C. Routson to immediately close all schools, churches, theaters, pool halls and other places where the public may gather. This again was 11 days after the first reported death on September 27th.
Between September 27th and October 31st, related deaths attributed to the influenza included five servicemen and 51 civilians, making a grand total of 56 individuals laid to rest in Mount Olivet over the period. Using the typical average of 21 burials/month, this was the equivalent of two-and-a half to nearly three additional months of burials that the cemetery was burdened with in October, 1918. Keep in mind that this was a time where graves were still primarily dug by hand.
Ron relayed to me a story about that particular October told to him by a former South Market Street resident by the name of Melvin Engle. He vividly remembered the cemetery bell atop the superintendent’s house tolling almost non-stop. Of course, the bell was used to toll for the deceased and signified the funeral cortege’s entrance into the cemetery back in the day. You may remember the old expression: “For whom the bell tolls?”
In my former story, I included a list of the first 20 Spanish Influenza victims buried here in Mount Olivet Cemetery, along with their respective hometowns, ages and occupations. Here is a list of the 25 individuals that can be found along the “lonely cart row” on the south end of Area T:
9/29/1918 George Jacob Cronise 23 Farmer Mount Pleasant Area T/123
9/30/1918 John H. F. Bender 60 Broommaker Buckeystown Area T/124
9/30/1918 George Grover Sanders, Jr. 25 WW I Soldier Frederick Area T/126
10/4/1918 Marshall Howard Zepp, Jr. 21 Electrician Frederick Area T/130
10/6/1918 Franklin Luther Staley 26 WW I Soldier Shookstown Area T/131
10/8/1918 John Ridenour, Jr. 28 Baker Virginia Area T/131
10/10/1918 Anna E. Metz 5 N/A Frederick Area T/133
10/11/1918 Mary G. Metz 25 Housewife Frederick Area T/133
10/10/1918 Harry N. Garrett 26 Munition Plant Baltimore Area T/132
10/13/1918 Della Irene Angleberger 37 Housewife Mt Pleasant Area T/123
10/13/1918 George Frederick Strailman 27 Blacksmith Frederick Area T/122
10/14/1918 Marguerite E. Redmond 6 N/A Frederick Area T/120
10/15/1918 Pauline Virginia Woerner 12 N/A Frederick Area T/133
10/18/1918 Helena G. Delaughter 4 N/A Frederick Area T/134
10/18/1918 Leslie F. Selby 27 WW I Soldier Frederick Area T/141
10/20/1918 William Denis Covell 42 Day Laborer Baltimore Area T/142
10/24/1918 Cora Leona Oden 6 mos N/A Frederick Area T/130
10/26/1918 John William Poole 39 Park Manager Braddock Hghts Area T/140
10/27/1918 Edgar John Mossburg 25 Laborer Buckeystown AreaT/124
10/27/1918 Niona Gearinger 22 City Hospital Frederick AreaT/145
11/7/1918 Carrollton L Zimmerman 8 mos N/A Frederick Area T/147
12/4/1918 Bessie Wittler 41 Housewife Frederick AreaT/129
12/20/1918 Madora Adams 2 mos N/A Pittsburgh Area T/144
1/10/1919 Arthur S Basford 20 Machinist Alexandria VA Area T/134
1/14/1919 Emma May Shaw 23 Housewife Frederick Area T/136
Local industries such as Frederick Iron & Steel, the Ox-Fibre Brush Company and the Union Knitting Mills were hit hard with many employees having to go out on sick leave. Several store-keepers wisely kept their doors closed as well. Controlling the spread of this epidemic was a difficult task, but social distancing and self-quarantine efforts back then “flattened the curve” as they say.
Interestingly, senior citizens fared much better against the Spanish Influenza than those 20-40 years of age. Using the 25% sample of those listed in the above chart, one can see that there is only one individual above 42 years of age (John H. F. Bender-age 60). Conversely, the majority of victims here, 17 in number, are between ages 20-42. This is the complete opposite of today’s Covid-19 pandemic.
I recall my former research on the 1918 flu and being fascinated with the cancellation of the annual Great Frederick Fair (formerly held in mid-October) in an effort to curb the spread of the disease, and save lives. In the last month, we, ourselves, have seen all sporting events, concerts, and special events follow suit the same way.
During the remainder of the October, 1918, 48 other souls had gone to early graves in Mount Olivet thanks to the Spanish Influenza outbreak. The high-water mark having been reached by mid-month, cases waned by month’s end. Health Officer Routson even placed a temporary ban on church funeral services. Most interesting of all, then Frederick Mayor Lewis H. Fraley and the Frederick Board of Alderman reinstated a ban on public spitting, referred to formally as “expectorating.” Violators would be fined $1.00 for each instance. Apparently, this just wasn’t restricted to spitting on city streets, as there had been a running problem with riders doing this on the floors of the local trolleys. The earlier mentioned Marshall Zepp was an electrician working for the electric railway. Could he have been felled by a careless placement of saliva?
Speaking of Frederick’s trolley system, there is a unique “roundabout” connection to one of Area T’s Spanish Influenza victims that I just learned about this past week by pure coincidence. It relates to a gentleman name John William Poole.
John William Lorenzo Poole
Earlier this week, I received a phone call from a member of our “Friends of Mount Olivet” preservation and social group named Betty DeColigny. I’ve known Betty for over a decade now, first meeting her through by involvement with the Francis Scott Key Memorial Foundation. Betty is a direct descendant of the national anthem author, and one-time “car graffitist” through her mother, Elizabeth Poole Remsburg, a former Middletown native, schoolteacher and local history lover. Betty is recently widowed and spending her days in a senior community in the Randallstown area of northwest Baltimore County.
Anyway, she called to say that she had some local genealogy resources that she found going through some boxes while in quarantine, and asked if she could send them along to me for use. We got to talking, and I brought up the fact that I had recently seen an old newspaper article involving her mother at Braddock Heights in one of my research jaunts. This led to Betty telling me that her mother had grown up at Braddock, solely because her parents were one-time managers of the former amusement park once located atop Catoctin Mountain.
For those not familiar with the story of the Braddock Heights settlement, here’s a brief backstory. In 1896, a local man named George William Smith helped organize the Frederick & Middletown Street Railway in an effort to aid farmers to get their products such as milk, wheat, produce, etc. to the county seat of Frederick and further destinations via train if necessary. The trolley could also deliver supplies, groceries, furniture outward from the county’s largest commercial center and rail depot of Frederick.
Another use of the trolley was passenger transport and this became a boon to the ensuing era of suburbanization that was also aided by the innovation of the automobile. Commuters began to travel between Frederick and Middletown with relative ease. Mr. Smith quickly realized the potential in Braddock Heights, with its wondrous views of the surrounding countryside.
The trolley was run by electricity, a modern marvel that brought so many changes to life at the turn of the 19th century. The electricity from the rail line could be used at the Braddock Heights location for an amusement park and other attractions such as a casino, swimming pool, observation tower and playhouse. A surrounding colony of cottages and the sizeable Braddock Hotel soon made Braddock a premiere summer destination for affluent Frederick residents and tourists alike. The trolley company expanded to Hagerstown and eventually took the name of the Potomac Edison Company.
In her book Braddock Heights: A Glance Backward, author Anne B. Hooper describes the job duties of the position which included a residence on the park grounds:
“Up a little and back from the casino building was the park manager’s home. These men and women who worked to make the park thrive over the years became familiar figures to visitors and local residents. In the spring it was their responsibility to clear the park of leaves, fix the gravel roadways and paint the benches, swings, and buildings. During the season they cleaned up the litter left by picnickers and generally saw that things operated smoothly. In the fall they prepared the property for winter. Cap Stine, the first manager, was succeeded by John W. Poole.”
Sadly, John William Lorenzo Poole was a victim of the Spanish Flu in late October, 1918. Death records also show that he had meningitis at the time of his passing.
In his absence, Mr. Poole’s wife, Elizabeth “Bessie” Mae (Feaga) Poole took over her late husband’s park duties. She was assisted by her son Charles, daughter Elizabeth and nephew, Ed Poole. The Pooles would continue in this role until 1934, at which time, Ed Poole stayed on as park manager until 1946.
Bessie died in 1962 and Charles in 2005. The Pooles are buried in Area T’s Lot 140, originally purchased by Mr. R. Paul Smith, Superintendent of the Hagerstown and Frederick Railway Company. Betty’s mother Elizabeth lived to be 101, dying in 2007.
The Red Cross was mobilized throughout the land. In Frederick, they took over the entire fourth floor of the county’s Montevue Hospital for the sole purpose of caring for patients suffering from the malady that came from “Over There.” The local newspaper did its part with informing readers on how to best recognize and deal with flu symptoms. I also found a small article showing that Montevue's most famous physician was no stranger to the Spanish Influenza.
I was curious to learn about another flu victim buried within ten yards of the fore-mentioned John Poole. This was 22 year-old Niona Gearinger. Niona’s death certificate states that she died the day after Poole on October 27th, 1918 and was a resident of 220 East Sixth Street in Frederick City. The daughter of Jacob Russell and Bertha (Legore) Gearinger interested me due to her occupation at the time of death was that of an employee of Frederick City Hospital.
I’d like to think that Niona was among the brave workers who willingly put their own health and lives in harm’s way while caring for their fellow man at the hospital. Here, she would have been surrounded by other residents ailing from the Spanish Influenza. Unfortunately, I cannot prove that postulate. All I could really find on Niona was that she was born on August 15th, 1896 in Pennsylvania, likely Dauphin County as her mother was from Middletown, (PA.) Her father was also a Pennsylvania native and performed odd jobs. In 1900, the family can be found living in Sharpsburg but moved to Creagerstown sometime before 1910. Niona was the oldest of six children.
I did learn from newspapers that Niona suffered from the grippe (flu) in 1911, but fully recovered. They did a hatchet job on her first name, however it was worthy enough to make the publication, it must have been somewhat serious. Perhaps this was a contributing factor to her death seven years later (compromised immune system)?
The Gearingers were soon residing in Frederick. In 1912, her father suffered a work injury when a piece of steel entered his eye. Local efforts could not remove the foreign object and all feared that he would lose his eye and vision. He was sent to a hospital in Baltimore that employed a large magnet to successfully pull the piece of metal out of Mr. Gearinger’s eye.
A few years later, Niona’s father was in the papers again. This time, the content involved a court case in early 1917 in which Jacob R. Gearinger was the plaintiff in a mugging case in which he was struck from behind by his assailant and robbed of 50 cents. He won the assault and battery case and was awarded $500. He joined his daughter in Mount Olivet’s Area T/Lot 145 just over a decade later upon his death in 1929.
Things slowly got back to normal in November, 1918 but the battle against the influenza was not over yet. Twenty-two more residents would die of the flu in November and December, 1918. Another 13 people would succumb in January of 1919, before the influenza pandemic finally dissipated in our area. It was something that had never been seen before, and thought not to be seen again.
All in all, there would be roughly 2,000 cases of the deadly Spanish Influenza in Frederick County in 1918-1919. Of these, 200 were fatal. This translates to Mount Olivet being the final resting place to half of the county’s victims. Diligence, patience and perseverance were practiced by local officials, business owners and the citizens themselves to keep this number from being far worse. Proof is all around in Mount Olivet as thousands residing in our cemetery today that lived during that troubling time have a death date other than 1918 or 1919 carved upon their gravestone.
Unfortunately, we as residents of Frederick are living through another pandemic of magnificent proportion. We need to learn from history and those former generations buried in Mount Olivet who, if they could, would surely tell us to use caution, be vigilant, stay optimistic and don't leave the cart row…….. as “This too shall pass.”
Here are a few more of the grave monuments honoring victims of the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic who are in proximity to "the lonely cart row" mentioned in the story.
A picturesque scene can be found in Mount Olivet’s Area G. Standing high above all surrounding others is the funerary monument of Edward C. and Mary Catherine Krantz. The towering gravestone was erected in the waning years of the Victorian Era (1832-1903) and displays the high ornamentation that characterized that time period. The era was an eclectic period in the decorative arts with several styles—Gothic, Tudor, Neoclassical—vying for dominance. This was true in architecture, furniture, and, of greatest interest here, the funerary arts. In cemeteries, gravestones became taller, embellished and sentimental.
This particular grave monument on Lot 156 features a shrouded woman with arms folded across her chest, gazing upwards toward the heavens in what appears to be prayer and contemplation. The white marble statue sits atop a polished, granite base. Altogether, the work stands roughly 10 feet in height.
The monument itself is a paean to Victorian design—possessing an air of triumph, symbolism and sentimentality. Upon closer inspection, one will notice that the woman has a chain draped around her neck which extends down and across her chest to an upright anchor at her side. One of the anchor’s spades is partially concealed under the rear of her robe. Look carefully and you will see that the chain is actually depicted as being broken at the point it reaches the eye-hole atop the anchor.
Anchors abound on tombstones throughout Mount Olivet. In some cases, they denote the sailing profession of the deceased as is the case with that of Captain Herman Ordeman (1812-1884) of whom I published an earlier story back in late summer of 2017. More so than not, it is the religious/Christian symbolism of the anchor that comes into play with these grave markers as we have a large amount featured throughout the grounds. The gravestone of the father of the earlier mentioned Edward C. Krantz actually utilizes the anchor-cross motif in an adjoining lot (Area G/Lot 158).
As a religious symbol, anchors were used in antiquity as secret crosses and denoted hope, and still do today. Within the books of the New Testament, the passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews 6 states:
“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.”
A translation elaborates on this passage attributed to St. Paul, saying:
“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”
The three theological Virtues (human forms that represent core Christian values) include Faith, Hope and Charity, and the figure of Hope almost always has an anchor with her. Therein lies the allegorical statuary category that this gravestone can be classified within--the Statue of Hope. These were commonly erected in the Victorian era and believed to be popularized by the Statue of Liberty's dedication in 1886.
A female, typically shown wearing Roman Stola and Palla garments, stands with one arm resting on, or holding, an anchor. Often, the opposite arm is raised with the index finger of the hand pointing towards the sky, symbolizing the pathway to heaven. Holding one’s hand over the heart symbolizes faith and devotion. In the case of the Krantz monument, the woman has her hands folded in a show of complete devotion and subservience.
Statues of Hope generally feature elements of a broken chain attached to the anchor, or sometimes hanging from the neck symbolizing the cessation of life. Many statues feature the maiden donning a “Crown of Immortality” made of flowers or stars. The flower or star on the top of the forehead, usually on a crown or diadem, and represents the immortal soul. Prior to this, other images such as Saint Philomena (patron saint of infants, babies and youth) whose authorization of devotion began in 1837 and Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen's Goddess of Hope statue sculpted in 1817, displayed similar characteristics.
One of the earliest signed Statue of Hope memorials was carved by Odoardo Fantacchiotti in 1863 for the grave of Samuel Reginald Routh of England in the Protestant Cemetery of Florence, Italy. Another variation was completed earlier in 1791 with the Custom House, Dublin Ireland in which a 16-foot tall statue of a female resting on an anchor is atop the building’s iconic dome. This statue has been called both the Statue of Hope and the Statue of Commerce.
The Krantz Family
So just who were these “hopeful” people that left us with such a beautiful lasting legacy in the form of a statuary monument atop their gravesite? Thanks to a number of sources, I had a relatively easy time of learning their vital statistics, life stories, and causes of death. An extra bonus came with accessibility to images of the couple courtesy of polished embellishments to both an Ancestry.Com Family Tree and Find-a-Grave pages by family historian Patrick Aaron Steward. (Thanks Patrick!)
The History of Frederick County by T.J.C. Williams and Folger McKinsey includes an elaborate biography on Edward Cornelius Krantz. Mr. Krantz was born on July 3rd, 1852 on a small farm and grist mill located along Linganore Creek in the New Market District. He was the son of Frederick J. and Catherine E. (Stup) Krantz. Edward’s grandfather (John Dietrich Krantz 1820-1890) had come to this country from Germany in his youth and worked as a shoemaker. Son Frederick took up the occupation of miller and worked at various locations around Frederick.
In 1869, Edward’s father (the above-mentioned Frederick) purchased a fine farm of 142 acres, located two and a half miles northeast of Frederick City on the Shookstown Pike. Here’s where we find our subject living in the 1870 census as he spent his childhood learning his life’s profession of farming. After his father’s retirement, he and brother William managed the home farm for three years.
Edward would go on to rent another farm that their father had acquired in 1879 on the Buckeystown Pike and located a few miles south of Frederick. The young man would purchase and make this his home until 1901.
Edward's brother, William, and sisters farmed the old family homestead bisected by Shookstown Road (between Willowdale and Waverly drives). The remaining structures were recently demolished to make way for the Gambrill View housing subdivision. When the farm sold out of the Krantz family in 2001 (to a developer from Leesburg (VA)), it was one of the last remaining large farms operating with the Frederick City limits.
Edward C. Krantz married Mary Catherine Biser, born October 28th, 1855 in Middletown. She, like her husband, had been raised on the family farm belonging to her parents, Henry and Sophia Routzahn Biser. They married in 1885 and had three children: Frederick Biser Krantz (b. 1886), Catherine Elizabeth Krantz (b. 1887) and Henry Cornelius Krantz (b.1895). Of wife Mary Catherine, Williams’ reads: “She was a devoted helpmate in his (Edward’s) labors.”
The family attended the Evangelical Reformed Church of Frederick and made their domicile into what Williams’ states as “an elegant farm of 140 acres.” The author stated Mr. Krantz to be “one of the highly successful agriculturalists of the Frederick District. "The property is west of the Buckeystown Pike (today's MD route 85), north and east of Crestwood Blvd, surrounding Westview Drive.
Fortunately, the Krantz farm stayed pretty much intact, with the exception of some road right-of-ways, from before 1859 through 1986. I know this takes us a bit off subject, but I was fascinated to see the ownership of this property over history before and after the Krantz family. This info comes courtesy of my awesome research assistant, Marilyn Veek, and includes other residents of Mount Olivet who I have bolded (names) for your reading pleasure. These include: Abraham Adams, Valentine Adams (1799-1860 in Area H/326) Abraham's son, John Henry Nelson (1820- 1870 in Area H/326) Valentine's son-in-law, Richard and Caroline Kemp Lamar (1815-1879 in Area D/53), Robert Guy Lamar (1848- 1885 in Area Q/45) son of Caroline.
Here are a couple of descriptions of the farm as it existed in the 1860s, from chancery court records:
It had a 2-story brick house, barn, stable, carriage house, wagon shed, smoke house and other out buildings including a large quarter for servants detached from the house. It had two pumps of water, one near the house and the other near the barn. The soil is limestone, quality unsurpassed; improvements consist of a 2-story brick house of 9 rooms and kitchen, barn, stabling, shedding, corn house, ice house, a first-class farm. There is also a tenant house which has recently been repaired at great expense. Farm lately used as a dairy farm for at least 30 cows; has fine water, milk house, fine orchard of various fruit.
1873 Titus Atlas map showing Evergreen Point area below Frederick. The Krantz Farm on Buckeystown Pike can be denoted in the vicinity of G Graham shown on mapto the immediate west of Hermitage Farm. Of special interest is the fact that the author feels that the farm was tenanted by George Graham (b. 1819), an African-American who appears with his family in the 1850 and 1860 census records. He could have interesting tiies to the Vincindiere family who began Hermitage Farm or to the Grahams of Rose Hill Manor (daughter and son in law of Thomas Johnson, Jr.)
Everything seemed to be going well for the Krantz family until late 1901 when bitter misfortune would rear its ugly head.
In my curiosity, I became determined to learn more about this malady that killed many in the time before modern medicine and a known vaccine. Typhoid fever, also known simply as typhoid, is a bacterial infection due to a specific type of Salmonella that causes symptoms that may vary from mild to severe, and usually begin 6 to 30 days after exposure. It likely starts from ingesting contaminated food or water. Often there is a gradual onset of a high fever over several days. A critical added danger of Typhoid is its spread to others by way of eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Family members were prime targets. The best they could do was wash hands meticulously—certainly more difficult to accomplish in the days before running water.
In the desperate nursing of the newly turned 14 year-old daughter, a hopeful and devoted mother would fall prey herself to the dreaded illness.
Edward had lost his teenage daughter and 46 year-old wife within that fateful month of November 1901. He would erect the Statue of Hope memorial to these two exceptional women of his life.
The monumental losses suffered could have prompted him to move back to his earlier home area north of Frederick. He purchased a 185-acre farm on the old Montevue Pike (today’s Rosemont Ave), and erected a two-story dwelling, a bank barn and other buildings, at the same time improving an existing house on the land. The existing house was none other than Schifferstadt, one of Frederick's earliest dwellings. The property consisted of land stretching westward to Baughmans Lane, eastward to West 7th Street, and to Fort Detrick. My home in the Villa Estates neighborhood (between US15 and Military Road) was even part of the Krantz farm.
Edward married again two years later in late 1903. His second wife, Mamie E. Schaeffer was the daughter of Frederick druggist David L. Schaeffer and wife Elizabeth.
Edward Krantz would continue overseeing his farm properties and stayed active in town and religious affairs. He died on March 21st, 1926 and was buried beside his beloved daughter and exceptional helpmate—one who, like many other devoted women, sacrificed her own life in the unselfish care of an ailing child. Saint Philomena surely interceded on her behalf then, and in the form of a statue of Hope that has kept vigilant watch over the women's mortal remains ever since.
As for the farms of Edward C. Krantz, the Buckeystown Pike farm was conveyed to his sisters when he re-located north of Frederick City (after the deaths of his wife and daughter). The Krantz sisters sold it to Henry Krantz, Edward's son. Henry sold it to Gerrit and Elizabeth Lewis Peters (1898-1989 in Area E/Lot 89). The Peters sold it to Tyler Gatewood Kent, who sold it to Martha Prior. She sold it to her son Howard Anderson Prior (1905-1985 in Area FF/252), who eventually sold it to the trustees of Princeton University in 1984. They sold it to Westview Associates Ltd Partnership in 1986.
And here is the former Edward C. Krantz farm today:
Since its Women’s History Month, I decided to seek out a leading businesswoman in Frederick’s distant past. There are plenty out there to choose from, but unfortunately most have not graced the pages of Frederick’s history annals. Information is scarce. One such that did, Mrs. Catharine Kimball (1745-1831), has held my interest for quite some time as a prominent tavern-keeper dating back to the Colonial era. Another woman (in the mid-late 19th century) seemed to jump off the pages of old newspapers at me with countless advertisements boasting her popular millinery business located in downtown Frederick. Her name was Elizabeth Jane Eldridge (1815-1895).
Frederick has been a popular hospitality center since its inception in 1745, welcoming travelers and visitors as an important crossroads town and commercial center. Few taverns have been praised more in the history books than that of Mrs. Catharine Kimball, who operated “the sign of the Golden Lamb.” Kimball served as her inn’s proprietor for over thirty years.
Catharine Kimball was born Catharina Margaretha Grosh in Mainz, Germany on September 10th, 1745. She was the daughter of Johann Conrad Grosch and Maria Sophia Gutenberger. Interestingly, Kimball’s birthdate is the accepted birthdate for Frederick Town as well.
The family, including Catharine’s brother and sister, arrived in America in 1748. It appears that she married William Kimball, a saddler by profession, in the early 1760s but this gentleman seems to vanish from the record by mid-decade. The couple had at least one child, Maria Barbara, born May, 1763.
Three of Catharine’s brothers took part in the American Revolution. Her sister Mary (Grosch) Beatty would become the mother-in-law of Maj. Nathaniel Rochester (1752-1831), when the latter married Catharine’s niece Sophia Beatty. The namesake of Rochester, New York and his wife would give one of their daughters the moniker of Catharine Kimball Rochester (1799-1835).
Mrs. Kimball’s father had started the location as a tavern and Catharine took charge at the time of his death in 1793. Here, many a famous guest, including Thomas Jefferson, had lodged. The hostelry also had a reputation for hosting many of the town’s important social events. According to Frederick legend, a young Barbara (Hauer) Fritchie is said to have served George Washington tea from a favorite, family china set.
Catharine Kimball’s tavern would be sold in the late 1820s to Joseph Talbott who changed the name eventually to the City Hotel. Nearly a century later, in the early 20th century, the Francis Scott Key Hotel would sit on this site. Today, the former home of Mrs. Kimball’s fabled establishment boasts luxury apartments.
I wrongly assumed to find Mrs. Kimball here in Mount Olivet. I mistook her to be an Episcopalian, which she clearly was not. I soon recalled her maiden name and realized her father, Conrad Grosch, was one of the earliest, and most influential, settlers of town and served as a prime force in building a new home and place of Lutheran worship in the early 1760s.
Catherine is buried behind Evangelical Lutheran Church on East Church Street. So, not a Mount Olivet “Story in Stone,” since she’s not here, but at least I gave her an important “shout-out” during this special month honoring women.
Unlike Mrs. Kimball, I found Elizabeth Jane Eldridge in our cemetery’s Area C/Lot 91. However, I had a much easier time discovering info on Kimball’s early life and vital info compared to that of Mrs. Eldridge. Here was a lady whose advertisements filled local papers for nearly 40 years. It has frustrated the heck out of me as all I’ve only really been able to learn about her past from a few things gleaned from the 1850 census. This constitutes an “epic fail” as the kids say these days.
Elizabeth Jane Eldridge was born in Virginia in 1815. I’m guessing she met her husband in Loudoun County, VA as he was employed on the Potomac River, but I really have no idea. I haven’t been able to narrow down her exact birthdate, birth location, maiden name or any family members on her respective familial side (parents, siblings). This info is not in our cemetery records, or any that I have searched through otherwise. Elizabeth likely met her husband, William “Clarke” Eldridge, in the nearby area/region because of a clue taken from that very same census of 1850. The Eldridges are found living in Medleys, Maryland, better known to us today as the vicinity of Poolesville in northwestern Montgomery County. Clarke Eldridge was born in Vermont in, or about, 1807. His profession is listed as that of “canaller.”
When I say canaller, I’m referring to the operator of a canal boat, one that would have traveled specifically on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal which stretched from Georgetown in the District of Columbia to Cumberland, Maryland—184.5 miles in length. The commerce marvel was begun in 1828 (at Georgetown) and reached Frederick in the early 1830s. Apparently, Mr. Eldridge would serve as a contractor for canal section 126 (between Edwards Ferry and Berlin (Brunswick)) in the summer of 1832.
Clarke Eldridge would also serve as an assistant superintendent of this stretch as I found repair reports written in his hand in 1843. In the US census of 1840, Clarke is shown as a resident of Petersville District of Frederick County, living with what appears to be a young son and wife. This correlates well with another newspaper advertisement in the Baltimore Sun in 1843 in which Clarke is inquiring of the public about information about a missing horse that was stolen from his horse stable.
From an advertisement, found in an 1845 newspaper from Alexandria (VA), it appears that two of Mr. Eldridge’s prime shipments were tobacco and livestock from northwestern Montgomery County at the location of the Monocacy Aqueduct’s eastern approach at mile marker 42.2. The aqueduct, itself, is the largest of 11 featured along the old transportation system and has been called an icon of American civil engineering. In my research, I was fortunate to have found another online source that chronicled deliveries on the canal in the waning years of the 1840s. Clarke Eldridge was transporting a wide variety of goods ranging from lumber, anthracite coal and plaster to groceries, corn, salt and dry goods such as boots and shoes.
I stumbled upon a copy of Thomson’s Mercantile and Professional Directory of 1851 which listed our subject, Mrs. Eldridge, in the profession of a “milliner.”
Sometime before 1856, the Eldridges moved to Frederick. Frederick diarist Catherine Susannah Thomas Markell penned a short passage in April of 1856 that she was attending Mrs. Eldridge’s store opening. The two women were neighbors and seem to have become good friends as well. In 1860, the Eldridges are found living in Frederick on West Patrick Street on the southside of the famed “bend” in the street.
For long-time Fredericktonians, the house would have been located at the west end of the count courthouse and the former parking area of Delphey’s Sporting Goods, and the lane that went back to other commercial units and the McClellan Veterinary Clinic. Today, this area is best illustrated as the driveway between the courthouse and the West Patrick Street Parking Garage.
In the 1860 census, Clarke Eldridge is listed as a merchant, and Elizabeth as a milliner. The previous two years (1859) featured newspaper advertisements for both of their respective businesses. Clarks was on the northwest corner of Bentz and West Patrick streets. Mrs Eldridge ran her business out of her home at No. 60 (today this would be No. 122), geographically situated at the bend in West Patrick. Clarke partnered with a gentleman named Jacob Henry Grove (1793-1878) and ran a grocery and hardware store. Elizabeth was a milliner, a term many are unfamiliar with in this day and age. It was a fancy term for a seller of stylish women’s hats. Of course, today, we seldom see women wearing headgear, and outside uniform accoutrements and baseball hats, men don’t don them like we use to.
The Eldridges had two known children per the census: William Clark (b. 1840) and Emory Olin (b. 1852). The 1860 census also showed that other tenants living with the Eldridges included three young ladies employed as milliners, an random 11 year-old girl, and a 14 year-old black servant named Fannie Holland. I checked the background on the 11-year old and other milliners hoping that I may get a clue to Elizabeth’s background with one of these being kinfolk. I got absolutely nowhere after several hours of work. I did learn that Elizabeth was one of the Sunday school managers of the town’s Methodist Episcopal Church congregation.
Since info is so slim on Elizabeth, perhaps I should explain the origin of the word “milliner.”
Here’s what I found on the internet (Wikipedia):
A probable origin of millinery as an occupation is suggested by the etymology of the word "milliner." The Oxford English Dictionary states as the primary definition, "a native or inhabitant of Milan (Spain)." In reference to the occupation the second definition, denoted as obsolete, is "a vendor of ’fancy' wares and other articles of apparel, such as were originally of Milan manufacture, e.g. ’Milan bonnets,’ ribbons, gloves, cutlery."
In A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson derived "milliner" from "Milaner, an inhabitant of Milan," and defined the subject as "one who sells ribands and dresses for women." Thus, the products of Milan seem to have been related closely to the activities of early milliners. Purveyors of like products in England in the 1600s and 1700s became known by this name and it carried forward to those of the profession in the colonies.
It was interesting to learn that Mrs. Eldridge was not the only milliner in town. In fact she faced competition from a gentleman named Henry Goldenberg, and three other women: Miss Sarah J. Vermillion, Miss A. J. Stevens and Mrs. Catherine Elizabeth Tucker.
I don’t really care about telling you about Mr. Goldenberg because its Women’s History Month and all, but I promise to tell you his interesting (and tragic) story another day. As for Miss Vermillion, she was born in 1812 and lived in the first block of East Church Street. She would pass in June, 1876 in Baltimore and is buried in Mount Olivet’s Area E/Lot 71 within a plot owned by the Keturah Hayes family with whom she lived while here in Frederick.
Miss Anna Jane Stevens appears to have come to Frederick by way of Baltimore where her mother was a seamstress. Born around 1830, she may have wanted to test the waters out in Frederick and set up shop on North Market Street in the early 1860s. Perhaps it seemed a safer choice as her hometown of Baltimore was under martial law at the time with the guns of Federal Hill pointing down on the city.
While here in Frederick, she met her future husband George W. Mark, who worked as a fireman for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Mr. Mark’s parents are buried here in Mount Olivet. It seems Miss Stevens abruptly left Frederick around 1868/69 and reemerged in early 1871. I found an announcement of her wedding in November, 1870 to Mr. Mark. However in the 1870 census, she is living with her mother in Baltimore, and Mr. Mark was a boarder in a hotel. Of great interest is the fact that living with George Mark is a one-year-old baby named Viola. The birth predates the wedding, so I’m curious if Miss Stevens ducked out of Frederick and took up residence because of the stigma attached at the time to having a child out of wedlock?
Mrs. Stevens-Mark would eventually move with her new husband to West Virginia as he continued his work with the railroad. They would eventually take up residence in Philadelphia where her husband would die in 1908. Anna would live until 1923, however the census records don’t reveal whether she ever picked up professional millinery work again after she got married. She is buried in Philadelphia’s Mount Moriah Cemetery.
Mrs. Catherine (Kephart) Tucker was born in Frederick around 1819. She married husband William J. Tucker in 1840. Mr. Tucker was a master carpenter and native of Frederick. Mrs Tucker was the mother of four children and is listed as a milliner in the 1860 census. She was aided in her business by sister Caroline Kephart. However, it seems that they were out of business by the middle of the decade.
By 1870, it appears that Clarke Eldridge changed professions, albeit briefly. He is listed as a contractor for the railroad, the chief competitor against his old C&O Canal profession. I’ve struggled to find out more about this railroad venture, but this is certainly fitting since he had a like contracting job with the canal a few decades earlier.
Two major events affected the Eldridge family and business. It likely had an impact on Mrs. Eldridge’s previously mentioned competitors as well. The first was the American Civil War. At war’s end, the family appear to have moved the business location out of their home and back up Patrick Street to No. 34 West Patrick which was a former building that stood on the southeast corner of the intersection of Brewers Alley (today’s South Court Street) and West Patrick. Today, you will find the Patrick Center, home to several financial-oriented firms, which overlooks the County Courthouse. Ironically, the Eldridge Store faced the City Hotel, former tavern of Mrs. Catharine Kimball.
In February 1866, court records show that Elizabeth bought out the business venture of her son (William C.) and took over the entirety of the store including its contents. She seems to have enlarged her dry goods business with a focus on women’s clothing. Son William was working for her as a clerk.
A second event of note came in late July 1868 as a terrible flood hit Frederick, doing its worst damage to the commercial entities and private homes between Brewers Alley and the iron bridge going over Carroll Creek. The famed Barbara Fritchie house was so damaged that it would be condemned and later demolished. The Eldridge home had to have taken in much damage. Diarist Jacob Engelbrecht says the family had lost a new wall constructed to the rear of their home and I am guessing this was perhaps for an addition being built as their back yard stretched all the way to Carroll Creek.
Whatever the extent of the damage done by this flood, Mrs. Eldridge entered into a business partnership with a gentleman named John Marshall Landis (1837-1920) by century’s end. Landis was a retired grocer turned boot and shoe salesman. Advertisements now proclaimed the business as Eldridge & Landis.
By 1870, Elizabeth was still operating her own business at this time. Her younger son, Emery O. Eldridge was attending Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and then would head to New Jersey’s Drew Theological Seminary in 1872-73. Rev. E. O. Eldridge was ordained in 1875 as a Methodist Episcopal Church minister. He would preach throughout the country. In the early 1880s, he was in nearby Emmitsburg and would have stints in Winchester (VA), Baltimore and ended his career in churches located in Medford and Portland, Oregon.
This same 1870 census shows two employees of the business living with the family in Elizabeth Sencil and Ella Stevens. Stevens may have had a connection to rival milliner Miss A. J. Stevens mentioned earlier. She would marry a gentleman named Isaac Shipley in 1871 and move to Baltimore. Miss Sencil would become the bride of William C. Eldridge.
The 1880 census shows the Eldridge family still living on West Patrick, operating their business with Clarke back at the helm, at least on paper. Son William is living with them, along with his wife. Three other boarders are also shown here, all employees of the store as well. One such, Cecilia Peters, had been with the Eldridges working as a milliner for over twenty years. I again have an outside hunch she could have a familial connection, but have come up with nothing.
Clarke Eldridge died in August, 1887 after reported to have been in poor health for several years. It’s not known when he stepped away from the business, but an advertisement in Frederick newspapers of 1885 still attributes Mrs. E. J. Eldridge as the sole proprietor.
Mr. Eldridge was buried in Mount Olivet’s Area C/Lot 91. The service was presided over by son Rev. Emory Olin Eldridge. The family plot had been purchased four years earlier for the burial of an infant grandson. Its easy to say that this site would see many a mourning bonnet over the next decade, most likely made by the talented hands of Mrs. Eldridge, herself.
Mrs. Eldridge would operate her business until 1893, at which time she is found selling off dry goods and liquidating her personal assets. Son William C. Eldridge would run the dry goods/millinery business that his mother had faithfully established at a new location, No. 14 West Patrick. Today this is the site of the Verbena Salon & Spa.
Elizabeth Jane Eldridge would live out her final days in Frederick, passing at the age of 80 on April 30th, 1895.
Again, Rev. Eldridge would come back to town and help officiate the burial of a parent. The local newspaper took the opportunity to ask him his thoughts about Frederick while here.
I’m sure the Eldridge plot held additional significance to the clergyman because it held the graves of his mother-in-law, Anna M. (Ireland) Yoe (1828-1906) who died at her residence in Washington, DC. Rev. Eldridge’s infant sons William Yoe Eldridge (d. 1883) and Robert Clark “Robbie” Eldridge (d. 1890) and an un-named baby (d. 1891) are also resting here.
William Clark Eldridge died in 1896, and his widow Elizabeth Sencil Eldridge lived until 1919. Rev. Emery Olin Eldridge died the following year (1920) in Oregon and is buried there. One remaining individual here in the Mount Olivet plot is Ann Cecelia Peters, the longtime millinery assistant who lived with the family from 1850 until her death in 1892.
This is part-two of a story chronicling some of the local places frequented, and people met, by Col. Robert Gould Shaw of the American Civil War. If the name seems eerily familiar, you may recall being introduced to Shaw as the fearless leader of the 54th Infantry Regiment of Colored Troops who stormed Fort Wagner in the motion picture Glory.
Shaw was formerly with the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment as a 2nd lieutenant, and spent the winter of 1861-1862 encamped just east of the Monocacy River and Frederick City at a place called Camp Hicks. In part 1, I shared a letter written home (by Shaw) to his sister, Effie, in which he talked warmly of spending a day with two of the daughters of Col. Edward Shriver, a lawyer, politician, officer and all-around, key Union man here in town. This correspondence was found in a work called Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. The work was edited by Russell Duncan and published Avon Books in 1992.
My fascination, in respect to “Stories in Stone,” lies in the fact that the above-mentioned Col. Shriver and a daughter, Mary, are buried here in Mount Olivet. To think, each had a brush with greatness. I often have wondered how the colonel and his daughters reacted upon hearing news of Shaw’s untimely death on July 18th, 1863 in South Carolina while recalling their fond encounter(s) with the dashing young, soldier the previous year?
More Letters Home
The next few correspondences written by Lt. Shaw were atypical of the time of year. It was December, and more importantly, Christmastime. In letters written on the 14th and 25th, Shaw laments the fact of being away from family and the pleasures of home during this special time of year. Apparently, we soon learn that Shaw had received a special gift from his sister mid-month—42 pairs of mittens. With the holidays behind him, Shaw in his first letter of the new year recounts some of the non-glamorous experiences of his military duty.
Jany 15 1862
My dear Effie,
I have, I believe three letters from you unanswered, the last received day before yesterday in which you relate your encounter with, and defeat by the invidious fog. I hope he relented at last and that you have got away.
I proceeded immediately after receipt of yours to inspect my checks and I don’t think you w’d find them much less flabby than formerly. Indeed, Mother’s account of my corpulency must have been a little exaggerated for I don’t perceive much increase my-self.
I returned yesterday noon from the Monocacy bridge, between here and Frederick where I was on guard for 24 hours, and where I should have had a very pleasant time if it hadn’t been for three brats who tormented me. I stayed in a house near the bridge, and thought at first that the landlady was a very pretty & pleasant woman, but the bad behavior of the above-mentioned children soon brought out some little characteristics which were, to say the least, not ladylike. She got very much enraged and said to the nurse: “Hang you, you black imp, I’ll knock your black head off”—and to the children “Get out of this or “I’ll smack your jaws!” and made use of many other expressions.
At night instead of putting the children to bed, the plan was, to get them asleep downstairs & then carry them up. Of course, this was a tedious process & involved much screaming, swearing, bawling & blubbering. Three times it was tried & three times they waked up on the way upstairs. After the third failure the noise was something terrible—all the three children screamed at the top of their lungs. Mrs. waters cussed & swore at the black girl. The black girl cried and actually said it wasn’t her fault. Mr. Waters consoled himself & vainly tried to amuse the 2 children by vigorously playing upon the most infernal old fiddle that ever was manufactured and beating time very hard with his cowhide boots. I sat with a smile on my face, but despair in my heart trying to concentrate my ideas sufficiently to understand "Halleck’s Elements of Military Art & Science.” May I be preserved in the future from such scenes at these! I didn’t bargain for anything of the kind when I joined the regiment.
I originally read this particular letter for the first time about 15 years ago and pondered the location of this residence of the Waters family. I knew it was in the vicinity of the old Jug Bridge’s eastern approach, today’s MD144 over near Bartonsville and Spring Ridge, and not far from the site of Camp Hicks off of Linganore Road.
Jug Bridge itself was a marvel in engineering for its time, having been built in 1808-1809 as part of the Baltimore-Frederick Turnpike. It was a true asset in the transport of travelers, pioneers, and natural resources and farm products from western Maryland to eastern manufactories and the port of Baltimore. It was equally important in the American Civil War for moving troops. It behooved the Union Army to protect this important gateway from being sabotaged by the Confederates--hence Shaw’s guard duty assignment.
So the next question is this: "Who was this family whose house Shaw and other soldiers took refuge in during the war?" I looked at two old Frederick maps: the Isaac Bond Map of Frederick County (1858) and the Titus Atlas Map of 1873. I could not find a Waters family name associated with any houses in the immediate area on either map. The US census records of 1860 and 1870 were of no help as well because I didn't find any Waters in this specific location.
I started to deduce “Waters” families by looking at those buried here in Mount Olivet, because otherwise they wouldn’t be relevant to me for my story’s sake (as this is a blog about folks buried in Mount Olivet.) The exercise limited me down to three gentlemen who seemed to match up age-wise to being of “young father age” in the year 1862. Two, of the three men, had little kids in 1862, and only one had three at this time. This latter suspect perfectly fit the bill of siring the “brats” that tormented the man who would lead the legendary “54th Mass” later this same year.
My person of interest was Richard Linthicum Waters. I would soon find that his wife, Ann Virginia (Hobbs) Waters, had family in the immediate area—father Rezin Hobbs (1810-1891) and wife Margaret Galezio (1810-1881). The neighborhood was known more commonly by the name of Pearl, nearly a century-and-a-half before the name Spring Ridge would come around.
I still didn’t know where this house was, but asked my research assistant, Marilyn Veek, to search real estate records for a clue. I shared with her my “non-findings” on the maps earlier mentioned, not to mention census records. I had found Richard L. Waters living in Carroll County in 1860 within the Freedom District at the hamlet of Freedom. This is the approximate location of Centennial High School today, just northwest of Eldersburg in southern Carroll County. He was listed as a farmer, and I found other supposed relatives of his father-in-law (Rezin Hobbs) in the area.
In 1870, the Waters family was living in Frederick City and Richard was listed as a green-grocer and living on East Patrick Street.
Richard Linthicum Waters was born February 11th, 1834, the son of Ignatius and Susan R. (Linthicum) Waters. In 1850, the Waters lived in the Howard District of Anne Arundel County, and Ignatius was listed as a Methodist minister. This area would become Howard County in 1851. Family history pointed towards the family being slaveholders.
Richard married wife Anna Virginia Hobbs on October 7th, 1856. As far as I could ascertain, the Waters had the following children:
Sarah Margaret “Maggie” Waters (1857-1887)
Charles Monroe Waters (1859-1909)
Amelia Waters (1860-1863)
Minnie Waters (1862-1865)
Ida Kate Waters (1866-1869)
So this proved my postulate of Richard and Ann Waters having three children with the potentyial for extreme "brattiness" in January, 1862 at which time Lt. Shaw would have stayed in their home in between guard duty shifts atop the old Jug Bridge. However, where was the Waters’ home in 1862, as I could not prove that the family was living here in the Bartonsville/Pearl area on the east side of the Monocacy River, and along the National Pike? That’s when the “smoking gun” was discovered by my trusted assistant.
In August 1860, Richard L. Waters obtained the property named “Snug Farm” from Frederick W. and Malinda Bremerman. Ann Waters father (Rezin) and husband (Richard) would enter into an agreement to mortgage the parcel for $4,500. It can be found on the 1858 Isaac Bond map and labeled under the name of F. W. Bremerman. The property is the first dwelling found on the east side of the Monocacy along the Frederick-Baltimore turnpike, on the southside of the road.
While the Bremermans were losing children in the late 1850s, the Waters were gaining them. Perhaps, family help was needed from Ann Waters’ family ( the Hobbs) who lived here in this vicinity. This would have been a comfort for the young mother in childbirth, along with relatives to look after her other small children. Besides, if we can trust Lt. Shaw’s judgment, those Waters' kids were a handful to say the least!
The Waters owned slaves in the 1860 census and possessed a domestic servant in 1870. So it is not far- fetched that the family had at least one slave in January, 1862, whom Mrs. Waters verbally attacked in front of Robert Gould Shaw. Interestingly, this would be one of the first images of slavery and oppression witnessed by the wealthy New Englander who would help mold the most famous Black fighting regiment in US history (the 54th). An interesting paradox, found all to often in Frederick’s history as “a border county within a border state,” is that Mr. Waters was a die-hard Union Man. He even hosted a Union rally on his property back in the summer of 1861.
One of the speakers at this event was Col. Edward Shriver. The Shriver family, one of the town’s most loyal and patriotic, (of whom I mentioned in part I of this article) also owned slaves, as did Frederick’s greatest Union supporter of all-time—Barbara Fritchie. So don’t let anybody tell you that the American Civil War was solely an act to end slavery as there were many factors at play, and motivations for men to fight on both sides (states rights, nationalism, patriotism, economics and capitalism, abolition of slavery, humeris, etc).
Now back to the family of Richard L. Waters, host to Robert Gould Shaw in December, 1861. The couple would have other children born later in the decade so I’m sure the sleepless nights didn’t end for several years to come. As much as I feel sorry for Mr. and Mrs Waters, I, of course, feel more sorry for the slaves and servants that had to dote on the brats with little say in matter.
So what happened to the Waters family? Well, it appears Richard declared bankruptcy in spring of 1868. This led to the Waters family losing the fore-mentioned property and likely precipitated the move into Frederick.
I found a few ads beginning in 1866 where Richard is advertising his business wares as a green grocer.
By 1880, the Waters had moved again—this time to Baltimore. In the 1880 census, Richard is listed as a salesman, and the family was living on Lombard Street. Two more children blessed the family in the forms of Richard Vincent Waters (1870-1926) and Rachel N. Waters (German) (1873-1947). Sadly, the Waters had endured the deaths of three children in the 1860s, perhaps leading to financial woes and the original move from “Snug Farm” to Frederick. Daughter Amelia, the youngest of the “three brats,” died in February, 1863. Two other daughters, Minnie and Ida Kate would die in 1865 and 1869 respectively.
Richard L. Waters was duly buried in the Hobbs family plot in Mount Olivet’s Area H/Lot 139, alongside his three previously deceased daughters. The “sharp-tongued” Ann Waters would live until 1913, dying in Berwyn, MD.
Brat number two, Charles Monroe Waters, grew up and eventually worked as a foreman for the American Can company in Baltimore. In 1880, he married an Irish immigrant named Catherine and had two daughters and two sons. When Charles died in January of 1909, he was living in Brentwood, MD in Prince Georges County. His body was brought to Frederick to be buried beside his father and sisters.
Sarah Margaret Waters, “Maggie,” married Thomas Edward Denoe in 1887. Interestingly, Mr. Denoe was a grocer in Baltimore and had a successful career, primarily running his store on West Baltimore Street. The couple never had any children. Maggie died in 1923 and is buried in historic Loudoun Park Cemetery in west Baltimore.
Unfortunately, I could not come across a visual of the old Waters house that Lt. Shaw visited. The former house no longer exists as it was torn down long ago to make way for the new alignment of the National Pike/MD144. As many know, the original Jug Bridge collapsed on March 4th, 1942, when heavy rains and high winds caused a 65-foot span of the bridge to collapse. A few years later the stone arch bridge was demolished and little remains of it. The replacement bridge was in operation for decades until a new crossing over the river was built to the immediate south of the old bridge.
From this aerial shot of MD144 on the eastern approach to Jug Bridge over the Monocacy, the Waters homestead was located at the site of the blue swimming pool pictured above (very fitting-Waters). Below features a view from the intersection of Linganore Road and MD144 looking southwest toward the former location of the R. L. Waters residence.
"Prospecting" in Frederick
In early December, 1861, Frederick diarist Jacob Engelbrecht estimated more than 16,000 Union soldiers had recently come to town and were encamped around it. They were under the command of Gen. Nathanial Prentiss Banks who set up his headquarters at the southeast corner of N. Court and W. Second streets, a few doors north of Col. Edward Shriver’s home and courthouse square.
Regiments, here at that time, were not just from Massachusetts, but hailed from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. The streets were packed with “boys in blue” as Frederick had never been so populated ever before. Unfortunately, liquor and libations got the best of many of these soldiers, far from home with time to kill. In one of his letters, Robert Gould Shaw talks about a “sobering” experience while attending a great party here in town in early January, held at a landmark structure that still stands today.
The party in question was held on Friday, January 10th (1862) at Prospect Hall, former site of St. Johns Literary Institution later known as St. John's Catholic Prep (College Preparatory School). The owner in 1862 was local lawyer William Pinkney Maulsby, Sr., born July 15th, 1815 near Bel Air in Harford County. Maulsby had been commissioned a colonel during the war and was the first commander of the 1st Potomac Home Brigade, organized at Frederick, Maryland, beginning August of 1861. It was mustered into the Union Army under Gen. Banks on December 13th, 1861.
As a young man, Maulsby studied law in Baltimore under the tutelage of John Nelson (who would later go on to serve as the US Attorney General). In 1835, William married John Nelson’s daughter, Emily, and embarked on a legal and political career. You may recall a story I published a few years back about William and Emily Maulsby’s daughter Betty Harrison Maulsby (Ritchie) who was was the driving force in organizing Frederick’s first DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) chapter in 1892. Betty’s daughter, Emily Nelson Ritchie McLean would serve as President General of the national organization from 1905-1909.
Upon the creation of Carroll County in 1837, Col. Maulsby represented the county first as a state senator, then as a state’s attorney. By 1850, he had moved his family to Baltimore before again moving to Frederick for business and political reasons. In 1856, Maulsby purchased “Prospect Hall,” a large Greek Revival style mansion just south of the city.
Prospect Hall would serve home to the Maulsby family from 1856-1864 and the location did more than host the future hero of Glory, as this would be the site where Gen. George Meade assumed command of the Army of the Potomac in late June, 1863.
Col. Maulsby headed his regiment (Potomac Home Brigade) for three years, leading his men at Harper’s Ferry, Gettysburg, Monocacy, and countless smaller skirmishes. After leaving the US Army, he sold Prospect Hall and moved to downtown Frederick and a home on East Second Street. Despite his service to the Union, William P. Maulsby earned the wrath of many Republicans in the post-war years due to his affiliation with the Democratic party and his leniency towards the defeated secessionists.
In 1866, he ran an unsuccessful bid for congress. Maulsby continued his career as a judge and eventually moved to Westminster where he died October 3rd, 1894. He is buried under a large cross monument in Mount Olivet’s Area G/Lot191.
A Very Queer Old Party
Lt. Shaw talked of a “party” of another kind in a letter sent to sister Effie in February, 1862. His hosts were prominent mill-owners in Buckeystown who had a son whose later printed creation would “shower good news” down on Frederick County for well-over a century. I also owe this same man homage as his direct descendants gave me my first real job, and the opportunity to work professionally in public history.
My dear Effie,
I have received two letters from you since I last wrote and I admire your constancy in writing so regularly.
Susie is in Washington & I have just telegraphed to Cousin John to know if he can’t go home this way and make us a short visit. I can’t possibly go away, so if they don’t come to Frederick I shan’t see Susie at all. That would be too bad when we are so near together. Today, for the first time, I think, for five weeks the weather is fine—but it looks as if it were going to cloud over again in a little while.
I have very pleasant lodgings here in a family consisting of a very queer old party, named Delaplane, and his wife. The latter has a most wonderful appetite and an extraordinary love of good dinners, the result of which is, that we live remarkably well. Capt Savage & Dr. Stone of the 2 Mass. Live here too, but will soon be going back to the regt. I am afraid I shall be rather lonely then. We have two rooms adjoining each other, one of which has a large open fire-place, which is very comfortable & cozy. I go round to the Court-Martial around 10 o’cl. A. M. and we usually get through at 2 P. M. so that I have a good deal of time to myself. I find though, that camp is the best place for me. I am always in good spirits out there—probably because it is such a wholesome life. As soon as I get a horse, I shall have a much pleasanter time here, for I have much difficulty in getting about now—especially out to camp where I want to go quite often.
Robert Gould Shaw was living with Theodore Crist Delaplaine and wife Hannah (Wilcoxen) Delaplaine, proprietors of the Monocacy Flour Mill located southeast of Buckeystown along the Monocacy River. This property still exists today off of Michaels Mill Road.
Mr. Delaplaine was born in Georgetown on November 2nd, 1810. Two weeks after his birth, his mother died. At this point he was taken to Frederick to live. In T.J.C. Williams’ History of Frederick County (published 1910), shares the following anecdote about young Theodore:
“On the way from Georgetown to Frederick the stage coach broke down but the little fellow was passed through a window, and was quite unharmed.”
I don't know whether that means if he was thrown out of the vehicle, or simply handed out, but it piques curiousity. Young Theodore's childhood was spent on a farm near Ladiesburg and he was educated in the country schools. He got his first job at Greenfield Mills in southern Frederick County and then added to his “milling” experience and education by working at like operations in Halltown (WV), Bladensburg (MD), Georgetown (DC), Alexandria (VA), Highland and Germantown (OH), and Missouri. Delaplaine returned to Maryland and owned/operated various mills in Frederick County along with getting further instruction as an employee of the famed Ellicott Mills in Ellicott City (Howard County).
In 1851, Theodore Delaplaine acquired the Monocacy Mills outside Buckeystown which he would operate successfully for the next 24 years. Williams’ History goes on to say:
“During the Civil War his output reached one hundred barrels a day. The quality of his flour was excellent and much of it was sold wholesale to South America."
In 1862, General Lee’s Confederate troops made a raid on Delaplaine’s mill and took seven hundred barrels of flour. The general is said to have offered to pay in Confederate money as far as he was able but, knowing that it was practically useless, Mr. Delaplaine refused the money. This story illustrates the importance of Union protection for the mill, not unlike the old Jug Bridge, as it was a prime target of the Rebels. It's no wonder the Delaplaines were so willing to provide soldiers accommodations in their humble abode.
Theodore Crist Delaplaine was married in 1848 to widow Hannah A. Wilcoxen (b. April 21st, 1818), daughter of Capt. Eden Edmonston and Lucretia Waters. And yes, Mrs. Delaplaine, through her mother's family, was a distant cousin of the fore-mentioned Richard Waters. The couple had three children: Rosanna Delaplaine (Dutrow) (1849-1883), Theodosia Waters Delaplaine (1854-1944), and William Theodore Delaplaine (1860-1895). From all accounts, these children seemed a little better behaved than those of Richard L. and Annie Waters mentioned earlier.
To some of you, the Delaplaine’s youngest child’s name may seem familiar because William T. Delaplaine started the Frederick News in 1883. He would die young of pneumonia at the age of 35, leaving his four young sons to carry on the family business which was handed off to future generations. I had the great pleasure of working for, and under the tutelage of, Theodore Crist Delaplaine’s great-grandson, George B. Delaplaine, Jr. and great-granddaughter, Frances Delaplaine Randall while at Frederick Cablevision and GS Communications for 12+ years. If it wasn't for them, I likely wouldn't be writing this article for you today.
Hannah Delaplaine died on April 2nd, 1885 and was buried in Mount Olivet’s Area Q/Lot 257. The old miller, Theodore, would join his wife here five years later, dying on April 13th, 1900 at the age of 90. Theodosia is buried in this plot with her parents, and William T. in an adjoining lot. Sister Fannie (Delaplaine) Dutrow is buried in Urbana’s Zion Cemetery.
A final letter was written from Frederick by Robert Gould Shaw to his mother on February 16th, 1862. In this, he talks of calling on the prettiest girl on town, but her name is omitted in the publication. Unfortunate, as I bet she’s here in Mount Olivet, whoever she was. Shaw also speaks of attending a church service at All Saints Episcopal Church on West Church Street (Frederick) and finding himself, along with the church sexton, the only men in the building full of ladies.
Sadly, Shaw ends the letter on a sour note in respect to Frederick, but one that would likely to have subconsciously fed his drive for the job ahead that he was destined for:
“How do you feel about the good news from the South and West? All I want or wish for this week is to hear that Fort Donelson and Savannah are taken. Next week I should like to have Burnside take Norfolk. I am very much afraid, though, that we shan’t have such a run of luck as that. Some of the Secession people here were enraged at the news. I heard one girl say to another, when I was standing near them in the street, 'I like a nigger better than a Massachusetts soldier!' This same young person turns up her nose, and makes faces, whenever she meets us riding or walking. Most of the Secession ladies, though, have good enough manners to refrain from any such demonstrations.
Love to Father, Anna, and Nellie.
Ever your loving son,
Robert G. Shaw
All of Shaw's wishes would come to fruition: Fort Donelson and Savannah were captured within days, and Gen. Ambrose Burnside would have full control over Norfolk within weeks after the March 8th ironclad showdown in the Battle of Hampton Roads in which the Union's USS Monitor defeated the Confederate CSS Virginia (aka the Merrimack). This fully opened the area to serve as a base of operations for Gen. Burnside to launch an expedition on North Carolina's coast.
Outside of these letters, the only proof of Shaw’s presence in town is within a small article that appears in the Frederick Examiner newspaper on February 19th, 1862. The lieutenant’s name is mentioned with others who made up a court-martial tribunal that was meeting in the newspaper’s office. Today this exact location is better known to Fredericktonians as The Orchard restaurant on the southwest corner of North Market and West Church Streets.
On February 22nd, 1862, George Washington’s birthday was celebrated in fine form here in Frederick, complete with a grand review of the Union Army on Market Street. We are lucky to have a few photographs of that momentous occasion in the archives of Heritage Frederick (the former Historical Society of Frederick County). One was taken just outside the previously mentioned Examiner Building. The grand marshal was Col. Edward Shriver with whom Shaw had spent time while here. Could Robert Gould Shaw be pictured among the Union men captured in the photographs on Market Street? We’ll never know.
On Sunday, February 22nd (1862), resident Jacob Engelbrecht penned in his diary the following passage:
“Today Washington’s birthday was celebrated by the people of Frederick by the ringing of bells & firing of cannon by the military. Two flags were presented by the ladies of Frederick to the First Maryland Regiment under Colonel William P. Maulsby. The presentation was made by James T. Smith & received by William P. Maulsby. Addresses made by both. The different regiments in our neighborhood were present on the occasion numbering 4 or 5,000 who paraded through the streets. The presentation was made at the veranda of the Junior Hall where nearly all the staff officers were. Major General N. P. Banks, Colonel Geary, General Abercrombie, &c were present. After the presentation the “Star Spangled Banner” was sung—led by William D. Reese. And Mrs. General Banks sung in style. Among the singers your humble servant was among the singers and I would remark that I sang the same old “Star Spangled Banner” a few weeks after it was composed say about October 1814.”
The next day, Lt. Shaw and his regiment were given orders to be ready in one hour’s notice, with three day’s cooked rations, and cartridge boxes filled. A fellow soldier from Massachusetts, named Henry Newton Comey, wrote in a letter:
”The wagons started off immediately as did the artillery and pontoons. We expected to leave about that time as well, but alas we did not. We later heard that the pontoons, floated by canal from Washington, were too wide for the canal locks at Harpers Ferry, and could not get into the river. Our departure came on February 27th, when we abandoned Camp Hicks after breakfast. At 4:00am, the 2nd, Rgt. Slogged through the wet boggy ground which laid between the camp and the road, and marched into Frederick. From there we took railway cars southwest to Sandy Hook.”
At this point the regiment crossed the Potomac and spent the night in the empty houses on Shenandoah Street (Harpers Ferry). Over the next seven months, Shaw fought with his fellow Massachusetts soldiers in the first Battle of Winchester, the Battle of Cedar Mountain and at the bloody battle of Antietam. Robert Gould Shaw served both as a line officer in the field and as a staff officer for Gen. George H Gordon. Twice wounded, by the fall of 1862 he was promoted to the rank of captain.
It’s fascinating to think that Shaw walked the streets of Frederick. He would have traveled by Mount Olivet regularly, and I’d bet money that he strolled through Mount Olivet at least once. If anything else, we have several folks interred here that shared conversation, libations, meals and social interaction with this brave young soldier, destined for "Glory." If you've never seen the movie of the same name (Glory), please make a point to watch as you will witness Shaw's promotion to the rank of colonel and the rest of his amazing story--one shared with the brave men of the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
Ironically, Col. Robert Gould Shaw doesn't have a marked gravesite. He was buried in a mass grave at Fort Wagner, South Carolina along with his fallen troops. He is remembered in his hometown with the famous bronze-relief sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and located at the edge of Boston Common. Shaw also is honored with a cenotaph in nearby Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.