Sunday, September 1, 2013

Elias & Magdalena Bollinger

September 10th marks 104 years since the death of Elias Bollinger.

His toils are past
his work is done
He fought the fight
the victory won
Elias Bollinger was born on October 3, 1835 near Pleasant Hill, Pennsylvania, the son of John and Harrietta Bollinger.  John Bollinger was listed as a distiller in the 1850 census, and as a master millwright in 1860.  The Bollingers - and their many children - lived in York County, Pennsylvania before moving down to Carroll County, Maryland in the early 1860s.
Magdalena Brauning was born on July 7, 1844 in Germany, the daughter of George Friederich Brauning and Magdeline Schleicher.  She sailed from Bremen to the U.S. with her parents and brothers on the Blucher, arriving in Baltimore on June 8, 1855.
By the 1860 census, the Brauning family had settled in the Freedom District of Carroll County.  Magdalena's father George and brother Charles were both working as millers.
Elias Bollinger and Magdalena Brauning were married on December 22, 1871 in Carroll County.  In the 1880 census, the new family had moved to Baltimore County.  Elias was a farm overseer and Magdalena was keeping house.  The couple had two young sons, Charles, age 6, who was attending school, and John, age 3.  Also living in the household were Elias' widowed mother, and two of his nephews, who were farm laborers.
In February of 1883, Magdalena purchased land along the north branch of the Patapsco River from her parents George and Magdaline Brauning for $2,500.  The land deed included, "all those parts of tracts of Land situate lying and being in Carroll County in the State of Maryland, to wit: Parts of Wilmots Wilderness, Williams Defence, Adams Garden, Basemans Discovery Corrected, Conways Venture Improved, Bowers Chance +c".  An 1877 map of the Carroll County's Freedom District shows the approximate location of George Brauning's property, near present-day Finksburg.
Magdalena's parents passed away just a few years later, her mother Magdaline in 1884, and her father George in 1886.  Both were interred in the Reisterstown Cemetery.
Remember Friend as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so you will be
Prepare for death and follow me
she sleeps in Jesus and is Blessed
how sweet her slumbers are
from suffering and from sin
Released and free from every care
By the 1900 census, the Bollingers were back in Freedom in Carroll County, where Elias continued to work as a farmer.  Their two sons still lived with them;  Charles was a farmer, and John was a miller.  Charles was now married, and had a 3-year-old son, Jessie.
Elias passed away at the age of 73 on September 10, 1909.  He left a very simple will, leaving everything to his wife:
"I, Elias Bollinger of Carroll County, Maryland, do hereby will devise and bequeath unto my dear wife Magdalena Bollinger, all of property and estate, and hereby direct her to pay all my just debts, funeral charges and cost of appropriate tombstones out of my said estate, and I hereby appoint my said wife my executrix."
The following month, Magdalena sold the land she had purchased from her parents to her younger son John for $4,500.  The 1910 census finds Magdalena living on her own, next door to John and his family.
Magdalena Bollinger passed away at the age of 74 from bronchitis on January 9, 1919.
Many years later, Elias' grand-nephew Aaron Bollinger wrote about his memories of the family:
"Bollinger's Mill, built by my great uncle Elias was in operation near Sykesville, Carroll Co., Md., in the 1920 & 1930s.  We had cattle feed, cider made etc.  There was also a saw mill for sawing lumber, all run by water power.  During seasons of drough a gasoline engine sumplimated power in later years.

Uncle Elias was a farmer also;  My dad, George and I helped make hay in field beyond mill.  His cellar was always well stocked with cider for anyone who seemed thirsty.  He built mill himself, mostly of wood and about 1910 installed a steel water-wheel from Ohio, to be more efficient.  I remember that my dad and some uncles helped to install the new wheel.

There were real mechanics in those days who made what they needed because supplies where scarse and money even more so.  Hard work and long hours was his lot, from daylight till way after dark.  He became quite well off, bought a farm for their eldest son Charlie when he married and son John got home and mill property which he and his family operated until Baltimore City bought property in that area along north branch of the Patapsco River about 1950. This area is now flooded, covering many old landmarks I knew."
Photo courtesy of debndalebrauning
The flooding, of course, was caused by the creation of the Liberty Reservoir.

Elias & Magdalena's two sons were:
  • Charles Frederick Bollinger, 1873-1950, a farmer, husband of Margaret E. Jordan
  • John Lewis Bollinger, 1876-1950, a miller, husband of Mary Anna Wiese

Sources: (map, census & immigration records; Brauning-Duble Family Tree)
  • National Archives and Records Administration; Records of the US Customs Service, RG36; Series: M255; Roll: 11.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: Manheim, York, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1201; Page: 537.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: Freedom, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M653_471; Page: 468-469.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 3, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 549B-550C.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Freedom, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: 620; Page: 10A. 
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Freedom, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: T624_562; Page: 19B. (marriage record & will)

Maryland Archives (land records)

Cemetery Photos © AgateGS

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