Monday, September 1, 2014

Bernard & Addie Gore

September 13th marks 94 years since the death of Adeline "Addie" F. (Hobbs) Gore.
Addie was born on March 6, 1866 in Maryland, the daughter of Lawrence W. Hobbs and Emeline J. Selby.  She and her many siblings grew up in Howard County, where her father worked as a farmer, and later, served two terms as a judge of the Orphans' Court.  In the 1870 census, Addie was only three years old, but by 1880, she was old enough to be attending school.
Harry Bernard Gore was born on October 29, 1855 in Baltimore County, Maryland, the son of John H. Gore and Ruth Gore.  Unlike Addie with her large family, Bernard had just one sister, Isabel Elizabeth.  His father was also a farmer, owning $10,000 worth of real estate in the 1870 census.
In September of 1886, a tournament was held in Reisterstown, complete with tilting, knights, a queen, maids-of-honor, heralds, and prizes.  John Gore served as one of the event's judges, with his son Bernard as one of the assistants.  Caleb Hobbs, Addie's older brother, was a marshal, and gave the coronation address.

Addie and Bernard were married the following year, on November 23, 1887 at St. James Methodist Church in Howard County.
It seems as though Addie may have suffered from depression, though over a century later, it is impossible to know for certain the details of her personal life.  Whatever the reason, on October 14, 1898, Addie attempted to commit suicide by shooting herself in the head.  Miraculously, she survived.  She was found alone in her room by her mother-in-law Ruth, who immediately summoned Bernard, the neighbors, Dr. James Gore of Reisterstown, and Dr. H. H. Campbell of Owings Mills.  Addie remained in critical condition for a few days, but had recovered enough by the following week that the doctors no longer feared for her life.

In the 1900 census, Bernard, now 45 years old, was working as a farmer.  Living with the couple was a servant, 13-year-old Samuel Tucker.
In Reisterstown, the tournament became a regular event held in either August or September - much as the Reisterstown Festival today is our traditional end-of-summer event.  The tradition continued into the new century, and the Gores were regular attendees, with Bernard frequently serving as either the assistant marshal or as a judge.
Bernard and Addie never had any children, so over the years, their household changed little in the census records.  On September 13, 1920, Addie passed away at the age of 54.
After Addie's death, Bernard went to live with a cousin.  Bernard passed away ten years later, on December 13, 1930, at the age of 75.

Sources: (census records)
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 1.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: Reisterstown, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 278B.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: District 4, Howard, Maryland; Roll: M593_589; Page: 404A.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 574C.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 3, Howard, Maryland; Roll: 511; Page: 381C.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 606; Page: 24A.
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T624_550; Page: 22B.
  • Year: 1920; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T625_654; Page: 16A.
  • Year: 1930; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 846; Page: 5A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Items from Reisterstown." Date: 22 September 1886; Page: 6.
  • "Wedding in Howard County." Date: 26 November 1887; Page: 6.
  • "Baltimore County." Date: 17 September 1890; Page: 4.
  • "Like Knights of Old." Date: 26 August 1897; Page: 8.
  • "Mrs. Addie Gore Found Wounded." Date: 15 October 1898; Page: 7.
  • "Mrs. Gore Improving." Date: 18 October 1898; Page: 7. 
  • "Miscellany." Date: 21 October 1898; Page: 7.
  • "Miscellany." Date: 9 January 1899; Page: 7.
  • "Tilting at Reisterstown." Date: 25 August 1899; Page: 7.
  • "It Was a Merry Tilt." Date: 27 September 1901; Page: 6.
  • "Valor to Beauty." Date: 22 August 1902; Page: 7.
  • "Miss Sadie Hobbs the Queen." Date: 17 August 1906; Page: 7.
  • "Mrs. H. Bernard Gore." Date: 14 September 1920; Page: 9. 
Cemetery Photos © AgateGS

Friday, August 1, 2014

George Kephart

August 26th marks 126 years since the death of George Kephart.
George Kephart was born on February 7, 1811, the fifth child of David Andrew Kephart Jr. and Margaret Reister.  On his mother's side, George was a great-grandson of town founder John Reister, and an uncle of William Russell, from last November's blog post.  George and his siblings grew up near Taneytown - then Frederick County, now Carroll County.

David Kephart passed away in 1836.  In his will, he made specific bequests to his wife and two of his children, but his estate was to be equally divided among George and his seven siblings.  George and his older brother Philip were named as executors.

In the 1850 census, George was a farmer living in Carroll County, owning real estate valued at $17,000.  His mother, Margaret, and two sisters, Sarah and Hannah, were living with him.  Also in the household was a laborer, David Yingling.  Three other men lived on the farm:  Nelson Shriver, and David and James Foreman;  no occupation is given for these men, but likely they also worked on the farm.
In 1856, for the price of $40 an acre, George Kephart purchased about 259 acres of land from "Walnut Grove", a tract of land owned by John T. Moale, who was the husband of George's second cousin, Caroline Reister Moale.  John's father Thomas had owned "Walnut Grove" before him, and part of it included sixteen acres of land from John Reister Jr.'s tract originally known as "Brotherly Love", near present-day Glyndon Drive.
Ten years later, not long after the end of the Civil War, the Reisterstown's Lutheran congregation began work on building a new church for their services.  The original log church, which had been located in the northeast corner of the Reisterstown Community Cemetery, had been torn down in the 1850s.  Since then, members had been meeting in each other's homes.  A cornerstone was laid in July of 1866, and work on the church continued until January of 1867, overseen by the building committee, of which George Kephart was a member.
On February 25, 1867, George donated half an acre from "Walnut Grove", along present-day Bond Avenue, to the "coloured Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church ... for a coloured school house and graveyard."  Dating back to the 1830s, the African-American community in Reisterstown had been growing, originally meeting at the Methodist Church on Main Street, then moving around to various private homes as the community expanded.  The new one-room school house, completed in 1872, became part of the Black Public School System of Baltimore County.
In the 1870 census, George, now 59 years old, was living in Reisterstown.  He was still working as a farmer, owning $18,000 worth of real estate.  Living with him were his aunt, Susan Whalen;  his younger sister, Susan Russell, who was keeping house; his nieces, Hannah and Susan Russell;  and a laborer, George Chance.
Another religious community seeking to build a church was the Episcopal Church.  In January of 1879, the Vestry of Reisterstown Parish purchased five acres, and rented five more acres, from George Kephart's "Walnut Grove" property.  The land was immediately east of the African-American community's school house.

About a year after, Reverend Valentine, who led the African-American congregation, approached George Kephart for permission to use part of the cemetery grounds next to the school house for a larger church building.  George agreed, so long as the construction would not interfere with the school.  The new church was completed in 1880 and was named the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of Baltimore County, which later became St. Luke's United Methodist Church.

By the 1880 census, George's household a changed a bit.  His aunt and sister still lived with him, and sister was still keeping house.  Two different nieces lived with him now, Lizzie and Sarah Russell.  Kephart Pfeffer, who would later marry George's grand-niece Hannah Russell, was working on the farm.  George also employed two domestic servants, Ann Madden and Jane Smith.
The Episcopal Church purchased additional land from George Kephart in 1881 and 1883, and a temporary chapel was built at the property's western edge.  In March of 1884, the Vestry of Reisterstown Parish "desired to obtain the sanction of the General Assembly of Maryland to such purchase", which was given.
On August 21, 1888, George Kephart suffered a paralytic stroke, which left him in a coma.  He passed away five days later, on August 26th, at the age of 77.  His obituary in the Baltimore Sun described him as "a bachelor of sociable tastes" and "one of the oldest and wealthiest farmers near Reisterstown".

George never married or had children, so in his will, he left to his sister Susan Russell the use of his farm and personal property for one year, after which it would be sold, and she would receive $5,000.  To his widowed sister-in-law Susan Kephart, he left $1,000.  The remainder of George's estate was to be equally divided among his nieces and nephews:
  • Elizabeth Russell, 1837-1909, unmarried
  • Susan Russell Wightman, 1851-1938, wife of James S. Wightman
  • Reister Russell, 1842-1922, husband of Julia C. Ducker
  • Susan Keller Russell, 1842-1940, wife of George Russell
  • Abbie Ann Thomas Russell, 1842-1926, wife of William A. Russell

In the early 1900s, the Lutheran church on Main Street was torn down and replaced with a new sanctuary, now known as Trinity Lutheran.  All Saints' Episcopal Church was built on East Chatsworth Avenue, but the cemetery remains at their original location on Bond Avenue.  Next door, the old school house was torn down in the 1990s, but St. Luke's Methodist Church still stands, with its small cemetery.

All Saints' Episcopal Church (census records)
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 2, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M432_289; Page: 379A.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 271A.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 556C.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Deaths and Burials." Date: 28 August 1888; Page: 6. (will)

German Marylanders

Maryland Archives (land records, legislative records, will & Historic Sites Inventory Survey)

Reisterstown Library

  • Reister's Desire by Lillian Bayly Marks, 1975.
  • School House & Church Photos
St. Luke's United Methodist Church

Trinity Lutheran Church

Cemetery Photos © AgateGS

Sunday, July 27, 2014

250 Years!

Thank you to everyone who came out and celebrated the dedication of the new gates with us yesterday!  Below are a few photos from the event.

The new gates at the north entrance.
The morning started off cloudy, but soon cleared up.
View from of the cemetery through the eastern gates.
Presenting cemetery "residents" Julia Ducker, John Reister, Dr. Isaac Dickson, and Bertha Harryman.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz touring the cemetery with Chris Larkins, president of the cemetery trustees, and Glenn Barnes, president of the Reisterstown Improvement Association.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Adam & Alice Zimmerman

July 4th marks 114 years since the death of Rev. Adam H. Zimmerman.
Father, into thy hands
I commend my spirit.
Adam was born on August 17, 1840 in Manchester, Maryland, the eldest son of Henry and Leah Zimmerman.  In the 1850 census, the family was living in Carroll County, with his father Henry listed as a farmer, owning real estate valued at $2,500.  Adam had five younger siblings, but only he and his sister Barbara were old enough to attend school.
As a young man, Adam was a devout Christian.  After graduating from the Drew Theological Seminary in New Jersey, he spent a few years on Maryland's eastern shore as a missionary for the Maryland Sunday School Union.  In 1872, he was licensed as a lay preacher in Salisbury. As part of his ministry, he was frequently required to travel on foot.  After one such journey through the region's wetlands, he fell victim to rheumatism, which left him unable to get around for almost a year afterward.  Adam underwent surgery to attempt to correct the condition, but instead, the procedure left him lame.

Alice Ireland was born circa 1839 in Maryland, the daughter of Edward Ireland and Deborah Owings Moale.  Her father was born Edward Hollingsworth, but legally changed his last name by an act of the Maryland Legislature in honor of his grandfather, Edward Ireland.  In 1850, the Irelands were living in Carroll County, with Edward claiming to own $50,000 worth of real estate, working as a farmer.
Adam Zimmerman and Alice Ireland were married on December 26, 1876 at St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church in Baltimore City by Rev. Dr. Grammer.  In the 1880 census, the couple and their two-year-old daughter Ada were living with Alice's mother, sister, and niece at 232 North Howard Street in Baltimore.  A domestic servant, Charity Barnes, also lived in the household.  Though no occupation is listed for Adam, he had been working as a teacher for some time.
In late 1889, Alice fell ill with influenza, from which she never fully recovered.  Over the next few months, her condition worsened.  Alice passed away from consumption in Westminster, Maryland on May 22, 1890, at the age of 51.
A devoted wife,
a fond mother,
a true Christian.
Not dead, but gone before.
After his wife's death, Adam retired from teaching.  He continued to be active in the church, however, joining the Baltimore Local Preachers' Association a few years later.  In early 1900, he was elected as a delegate for the National Association of Local Preachers for the annual conference in Sheffield, England.  In preparation for his upcoming trip, Adam applied for a passport on March 27, 1900, stating that he planned to be out of the U.S. for three or four months.  He was described as being six feet tall, with brown eyes, dark hair, and a fair complexion. 
Adam departed for England on May 24th.  Afterward, it was Adam's intention to travel around Europe.  However, he contracted a stomach illness shortly after his arrival, and passed away in Bremen, Germany on July 4, 1900, about a month shy of his 60th birthday.  His body was returned to the U.S. on July 27th, and the funeral was held at the Methodist Church in Reisterstown on July 30th.
In his will, Adam left his books, shares of stock in the National Enameling and Stamping Company, and all the income from his ground rents to his brother Leander, who was named as his executor.  To his sisters Lydia, Carrie, and Barbara, he also left shares of stock and mortgage incomes from specific properties.  His remaining properties were left to his daughter Ada.

Adam and Alice Zimmerman had one daughter:
  • Ada Moale Zimmerman, 1877-19??, wife of (1) William Clarence Curley and (2) John W. Evers

Sources: (census records, school records & passport application)
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 6, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M432_289; Page: 357A.
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 5, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M432_289; Page: 216A.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: Ward 11, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 501; Page: 393A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Married." Date: 29 December 1876; Page: 2.
  • "Death of a Preacher's Wife." Date: 23 May 1890; Page: 4.
  • "Rev. A. H. Zimmerman Dies." Date: 5 July 1900; Page: 12.
  • "Rev. A. H. Zimmerman's Body Arrives." Date: 28 July 1900; Page: 12.
  • "Rev. A. H. Zimmerman." Date: 31 July 1900; Page: 7.
Christian Advocate, 4 October 1900. (marriage records & will)

Cemetery Photos © AgateGS

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Herod & Priscilla Choate

June 13th marks 137 years since the death of Herod Choate.
Herod was born on October 25, 1796 in Baltimore County, Maryland, the sixth of Richard Choate and Jane Lowe's eleven children.  His father Richard died in 1813, about a month after Herod's seventeenth birthday.

During the War of 1812, with the British attacking Maryland and Washington, DC, Herod volunteered as a substitute for his uncle David Lowe in August of 1814.  He served in a company of cavalry under Captain Christopher Carnan.  His duties included carrying dispatches between Major General Samuel Smith and Fort McHenry during the fort's bombardment by the British navy on September 13, 1814 (the battle which gave us our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner").  In Carnan's Company, he also took part in "covering the retreat of the infantry who had advanced to attack the British troops led by Genl. Ross at North Point."  Herod was discharged from service on November 1, 1814 at Towson.

After the war, Herod moved to Simpson County, Kentucky with his mother and several siblings.  In the 1820 census, Herod, now about 24 years old, was listed as head-of-household, living with seven others.
Herod returned briefly to Baltimore County to marry Priscilla Harryman on November 2, 1824.  Priscilla, born on November 18, 1804, was the daughter of Samuel Harryman and Elizabeth Wheeler, and the aunt of Amos Harryman, from last December's blog post.  Priscilla traveled to Kentucky with her new husband, and their first child, Jesse Columbus Choate, was born there the following August.  They stayed in Kentucky for a few more years, but were living in Reisterstown again by May 20, 1827, when Herod was appointed as Postmaster.

In 1836 and 1837, Herod purchased tracts of land from William and Rebecca Frush near Soldiers Delight Road (present-day Nicodemus Road), comprised of pieces of "Bachelors Fancy", "Clarks Park", "Soldiers Delight", and "Stevensons Plains Resurveyed".  According to Choate family history:
"[The family] moved to a place with a substantial stone and brick house about a mile southwest of Cherry Hill, on Delight Road ... The house stood at the head of a valley or glen that gradually spread between two low ridges covered with pine trees.  It was built into a bank, so that it appeared two stories and an attic from the front but three stories from the back.  Originally it was two rooms on each floor with a chimney at each end.  The two bottom rooms had dirt floors and huge open brick fireplaces where the cooking, baking and preserving were done.  Later, additional rooms and a chimney were added to the east end, providing a root cellar for the basement and two bedrooms above.  The timbers of the ceiling in the basement were hand-hewed solid logs."
Around this time, Herod also began operating a chromium mine in Soldiers Delight.  With the support of businessman and geologist Isaac Tyson Jr., Baltimore County became one of the world's leading sources of chrome in the mid-1800s, used in Europe to make a pigment for a popular yellow paint.  One of the Choate mines can still be found today in the Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, just a short hike from Deer Park Road.
In 1842, Herod was again appointed as Postmaster, this time for Owings Mills.

On November 26, 1846, the Choates' eldest son Jesse enlisted in the 1st Virginia Volunteers under Captain Fletcher H. Archer.  His service during the Mexican-American War took him to Matamoras in Mexico, where he died of illness on April 5, 1847, at the age of 21.
In 1850, Herod was working as a farmer, owning real estate valued at $2,000.  The family had five children:  Georgianna, age 19;  Mary, age 14;  Elizabeth, age 12;  David, age 9;  and Ellen, age 6.  The three middle children - Mary, Elizabeth, and David - were attending school.  Two laborers were also living in the household, Samuel Fisher and Jacob Tilman.
By the 1860 census, the value of Herod's real estate had increased to $5,000, and he was again listed as a farmer.  The couple's eldest daughter Georgianna had married and moved away, but the younger four children were still living at home, with David working on the farm.  The family also employed a servant, Fanny Little.
In 1870, only two of the Choates' children remained at home, David and Elinor, now 27 and 25 years old, respectively.  A six-year-old granddaughter, Alice O'Dell, who was in school, had come to live with the family.  Herod, now 73 years old, was still farming along with his son David, and Priscilla was keeping house.
In 1871, Herod applied for a pension based on his service during the War of 1812.  However, his application was rejected "by reason of insufficient service" on March 9, 1872;  proof could not be found that he had served the required time, despite his having been granted 160 acres of bounty land in 1857 for the same service.

Priscilla Choate passed away on February 23, 1876 at the age of 71.
On June 5, 1877, Herod Choate's dairy was one of three in the Reisterstown area raided by thieves.  Herod died the following week, on June 13, 1877, at the age of 80.

Herod and Priscilla's children were:
  • Jesse Columbus Choate, 1825-1847
  • Edward S. Choate, 1828-1829
  • Georgianna Choate, 1831-1911, wife of Samuel Kirk Crosby
  • Vilmina E. Choate, 1834-1834
  • Mary Jane Choate, 1836-1894, wife of Evan Peddicord
  • Elizabeth Harryman Choate, 1838-1867, wife of William Chapman O'Dell
  • David Lowe Choate, 1840-1882
  • Elinor "Ellen" Gill Choate, 1843-1881

Sources: (census records)
  • Year: 1810; Census Place: Soldiers Delight Hundred, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 13; Page: 568.
  • Year: 1820; Census Place: Franklin, Simpson, Kentucky; Roll: M33_28; Page: 17.
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 231A.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 25.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 258B.
Baltimore Sun (marriage records)


Harald B. "Johnny" Johnsson

Maryland Archives (land records)

Reisterstown Library

  • Choate Family of Baltimore County, Maryland by Jesse Choate Phillips, 1979.
Cemetery photos © AgateGS