Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Law & Order: Reisterstown

[WARNING:  Some of the contents of this blog post are NOT appropriate for children!]

We're trying something a little different for this month's blog.  Rather than focus on a particular family, this post is going to focus on a book.  Specifically, a recent find by our researchers at the Reisterstown Library's history room:  an old magistrate's ledger kept by Justice of the Peace Nimrod Cromwell Logsdon between 1880 and 1897.

It's an interesting reflection of the times, covering everything from mundane debts to more appalling  crimes.  We tend to view the past through rose-colored glasses, so some of the events in the ledger could come as a bit of a surprise to some.  Certainly, Nimrod Logsdon and his constables and deputies were kept busy over the years.

By far, most of the 573 cases documented in Logsdon's book were debts.  Keep in mind that there was no bank in Reisterstown until 1901, and so residents turned to each other for loans.  As a sample, here are three typical cases from a ledger page in 1883.  The amounts involved may seem small now, but $40 in the 1880s would be about $900 today.

(Also remember, spelling was somewhat creative back then, too.)

Debt warrent issued April 5th 1883 to Geo. W. Stocksdale constable, returnable April 14th 1883, no return, April 28th 1883 returned, summons continued to May 12th 1883, trial judgement non oras, plaintiff to pay cost one dollar and ninety-five cts

Debt warrent issued April 10th 1883 to Geo. W. Stocksdale, returnable April 21st 1883, returned summons continued to May 5th 1883, judgement by default of plaintiff for fourty one dollars debt and two dollars and five cents cost with intrest untill paid, settled September 25th 1883

Debt summons issued to Sameul P. Storm dept. May 12th 1883, returnable May 19th 1883, returned summons continued to May 26th 1883, continued to June 2d 1883, trial judgement for plaintiff for thirty one dollars and fifteen cents debt two dollars fifteen cents cost with intrest untill paid

However, the ledger's entries contain quite a few crimes of a much more serious nature that were committed in Reisterstown.

No. 210
State warrent issued to George W. Stocksdale constable June 7th AD 1886, charged with assault and starking Miss Susan Hall with a stone, returned June 10th cipi, committed to the House of Correction for three months

No. 233
State warrent for assault with attempt to kill issued to Charles J. Beckley Depty February 7th AD 1887, returned cipi February 8th AD 1887, trial fined one dollar and cost, cost three dollars and eighy eigth cents and bound over to keep the peace

No. 484
State warrent to George W. Stocksdale constable June 29 AD 1896 on oath of Jennie Young with assaulting and throughing her down and threating to strike her with hoe, returned cipi July 1st AD 1896, plea of guilty to common assault, fine of one dollar and cost, cost two dollars and ninety five cents and gave security for one hundred dollars Charles Mitchel George McFatridge for six months

No. 340
Warrent for assault with attempt to commit rape issued to Charles J. Beckley, returned cipi August 29 AD 1888, held for futher hearing September 8th AD 1888, September 4 AD 1888 case dismissed for want of proscution, letter filed of proscutrix and her father, cost paid

No. 439
States warrent for assault with attempt to commit rape, summons issued to George W. Stocksdale December 27 AD 1889, returned, case settled as per order of partes

No. 214
Case of bastardy examination taken this 13th day of July AD 1886, papers sent to Carroll County

No. 336
Case of bastardy warrent issued to Charles J. Beckley constable August 14th AD 1888, parties appeared, settled by defendent paying Mary E. Bowen sixty dollars and cost of one dollar + seventy cents

No. 78
State warrent issued third August to D.L. Wagner dept. for stealing chickens, returned cipi August 1883, committed for the action of grand jury

No. 56
State warrent issued to Geo. W. Stocksdale January 27th 1883, charged with takeing horse from J.J. Umpries, returned cipi, trial held for the action of the grand jury

No. 334
Arrested by George W. Stocksdale constable for the larceny of mare buggy and harness, committed to Towson jail July 27th AD 1888 for the action of Pennsylvania authorities

No. 48
State vs. unknown

Warrent on suspicion of being implicated in the murder of Wm. A. Russell, warrent issued to D.L. Wagner special constable December 1st 1882

This last entry was a year after Reisterstown's great murder mystery.  For more information on William Russell, see our November 2013 blog post.

Then there are the cases which, nowadays, just seem humorous.

No. 63
State warrent issued March 31st 1883 to Geo. W. Stocksdale constable for curseing and sweareing and fighting on the public highwaye in Riesterstown, returned cipi March 31st 1883, trial commited in default of ten dollars fine and eight dollars and sixty cents cost

No. 200
State warrent issued for assault and curseing and swearing to George W. Stocksdale constable April 22nd AD 1885, returned cipi May 1st AD 1886, trial not guilty of asault, guilty of curseing and swareing on the public highway, fined one dollar + cost two dollars and forty cents, paid

No. 86
State warrent issued November 4th 1883 to D.L. Wagner const., charge swering on Rieserstown, trial fine five dollars one dollar and sixty five cents cost, commited to jail in default of fine and cost

No. 81
State warrent issued August 12th 1883 to Geo. W. Stocksdale constable, charge gambling at Asbury Grove Camp, returned cipi, fined five dollars and one dollar and ninty cents cost

Oddly, despite his length of service to the town, Nimrod Lodgsdon isn't even buried here.  After his death in 1911, he was interred at the Stone Chapel Cemetery in Pikesville.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Nicholas & Anna Pohlman

February 17th marks 144 years since the death of Nicholas Pohlman.
Not much is known about Nicholas, as he appears in very few records.  The birthplace on is gravestone is all but illegible, but reads in part "---reich Koening"According to census records, he and his wife Apolonia "Anna" both were born in Bavaria, though it is unknown if they immigrated together, or arrived separately and met in the U.S.  The 1900 census record shows that Anna immigrated in 1850, and Nicholas became a naturalized citizen in Baltimore City on October 31, 1856.
The Pohlmans are missing from the 1860 census, but by 1870, their family was living in Reisterstown.  Their last name was spelled Bolman by the census taker, and for some reason, Nicholas was listed as "George".  All of their children were born in Maryland, from 15-year-old George to 4-month-old William.  Anna was keeping house with the four younger children, while George and his sister Rachel were attending school.  Nicholas was working as cooper (barrel maker), and owned real estate valued as $550.
In November of 1868, Nicholas and Anna had purchased a tract of land in Baltimore County, "together with the buildings and improvements thereupon", from Ignatius and Janette Gravel for $550Nicholas took out a mortgage on the property from the Bank Street Building Association in Baltimore City.
Three years later, in April of 1871, the Bank Street Building Association released the mortgage, stating that "Nicholas Pohlman hath paid ... all the sums of money and interest and hath performed all the covenants and agreements mentioned in the said indenture of mortgage."  However, on the same day, Nicholas again mortgaged the property, this time to Lewis A. Dehoff, to whom Nicholas apparently owed $350.
Sadly, Nicholas passed away less than a year later, on February 17, 1872, at about 50 years of age.

Afterward, there was some dispute over the Pohlmans' property, but in 1879, Anna took out a mortgage from the Franklin Permanent Building Association to purchase the land for $330 from Nicholas Herder, who had been named as trustee by the Orphans' Court.  In describing the property, all the prior land records had mentioned a "bounded chestnut tree" as one of the land marks, but for the first time, this deed noted that the lot was located on Nicodemus Road.
In the 1880 census, Anna was listed as a farmeress, living with four of her children.  Her son John, age 17, and daughter Maggie, age 15, were working in a paper mill.
The year 1891 was a rough one for the Pohlman family.  Two daughters passed away in AprilAnna Pauline, age 23, who had married Jefferson Pate in 1887, died on the 8th, followed thirteen days later by her sister, 19-year-old Ella Vina.  In October, Anna Pauline's young son Emmett also died.

By 1900, Anna was living in Baltimore City in the household of her daughter Maggie, who had married John Wheeler, a boiler maker.
Anna Pohlman passed away on June 8, 1905 from Bright's Disease, at the age of 72.
Nicholas and Anna's children were:
  • George Pohlman, c1855-1915, husband of (1) Alvina Dorsey and (2) Elizabeth Pate
  • Rachel Pohlman, 1860-19??, wife of John T. Mooney
  • John M. Pohlman, 1862-1925, husband of Arnola Ida Yingling
  • Margaret "Maggie" Pohlman, 1865-1948, wife of John B. Wheeler
  • Anna Pauline Pohlman, c1868-1891, wife of Jefferson D. Pate
  • William Pohlman, 1871-1960, husband of Annie Marie Ludwig
  • Ella Vina Pohlman, c1872-1891

Ancestry.com (census & naturalization records)

  • Year: 1870; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 263A.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 575B.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 8, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 611; Page: 12A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Died." Date: 10 April 1891; Page: 2.
  • "Died." Date: 12 October 1891; Page: 2.
Maryland Archives (marriage, death & land records)

Cemetery photos © AgateGS

Friday, January 1, 2016

William Shugars

January 8th marks 135 years since the death of William Shugars.
Requiscat in pace
Erected by his Children
William was born on January 5, 1828 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, the son of Daniel Shugars and Mary Lynch, and elder brother of George Shugars from the December 2014 blog post.  The family moved across the border to Maryland shortly before George's birth in 1840.  In the 1850 census, Daniel was working as a farmer in Baltimore County, owning real estate valued at $1,250.  William was working as a blacksmith, while siblings George and Margaret were attending school.
On September 14, 1854, William married Louisa Wilson at the Swan Hotel in Baltimore City.  Louisa was born in Carroll County, Maryland on June 3, 1836, the daughter of Amon Wilson and Susanna Gillis.

In the 1860 census, the couple were living near Finksburg in the Woolerys District of Carroll County.  William continued working as a blacksmith, along with Thomas Leatherwood.  He owned no real estate, but William's personal estate was valued at $200.
In the midst of the Civil War, William Shugars was drafted as a Private in the 8th Maryland Infantry Regiment on December 5, 1862 for a term of nine months.  He was described as having dark hair and a dark complexion, with hazel eyes, standing at a height of five feet, nine inches tall.  Though his muster roll cards are somewhat contradictory, there was a note that he had deserted in February 1863. He had returned to duty by March 18th, when he was transferred to Company B at Harpers Ferry.  In June and July, he served as company cook, before being discharged at the end of his nine-month term on August 23, 1863 at Rappahannock Station.
William and Louisa were living in Reisterstown and had three children by the 1870 census:  nine-year-old Maggie, seven-year-old William, and five-year-old Susan.  William was again listed as without any real estate, and he was now working simply as a laborer, not a blacksmith.  Louisa was keeping house, while the two elder children were attending school.
It is impossible now to know what happened, but by the 1880 census, William and Louisa had separated.  William was living with his sister Isabella's family in Baltimore County.  He was listed as "at home", without an occupation, and, most worryingly, was marked as being "insane".
Louisa, on the other hand, was living in Baltimore City in 1880 with the three children.  She was keeping house with her two daughters, and had taken on three boarders, while her son worked as a drayman.  Curiously, she claimed to be a widow.
William passed away the following year, on January 8, 1881, three days past his 53rd birthday.

In 1893, Louisa Shugars applied for a widow's pension based on William's service during the Civil War.  No mention was made of any marital discord between the two - but then, any such admission would certainly not have been to her advantage.  Louisa claimed that "her husband left no property + that she [had] no estate or income whatsoever;  and [was] not able to do much work, but [did] what she [could] to help to earn a livelihood;  that were it not for the kindness of her children and friends she would not be able to get along."
William's siblings George and Isabella both gave statements on Louisa's behalf, and she was granted a pension of $8 per month beginning on January 8, 1894, the thirteenth anniversary of William's death.

Louisa lived in Baltimore City until her death on September 28, 1910, at the age of 74.  She was interred at Loudon Park Cemetery.
William and Louisa's children were:
  • Margaret F. Shugars, 1860-1929, wife of Thomas F. Barron, Jr.
  • William Daniel Shugars, 1861-1920, husband of Maggie Hawks
  • Susan Shugars, c1865-????

Ancestry.com (census records)

  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 239B.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: Woolerys, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M653_471; Pages: 749-750.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: Reisterstown, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 282B.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 8, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 496; Pages: 120C-120D.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 500; Page: 309B.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 17, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 615; Page: 16A.
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 17, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 11A
Fold3 (Civil War records)

Maryland Archives (death & marriage records)

National Archives (pension file)

Cemetery photos © AgateGS