Saturday, February 1, 2014

Daniel & Catharine Armacost

February 10th marks 111 years since the death of Catharine (Leister) Armacost.

Rest in peace
Catharine was born on January 12, 1823 near Finksburg in present-day Carroll County (at the time, Baltimore County), the youngest daughter of Abraham & Catherine Leister.  In the spring of 1846, Catharine was given a decorated Easter Egg by Daniel Armacost.  The two were later married in October of that same year, and Catharine treasured the Easter Egg as one of her prized possessions for the rest of her life.

Daniel Armacost was born on August 31, 1812, and worked as a farmer.  After their marriage, he and Catharine continued to live in Carroll County.  Per census records, Daniel owned real estate valued at about $2,000.  Judging from the censuses in 1850, 1860, and 1870, their household changed little over the years.

Though the 1870 census still shows that Daniel and Catharine were living in Carroll County at the time, the year prior, in 1869, Catharine had purchased a tract of land in Reisterstown called "Spring Garden" from Isaac and Mary Dickson for $1,371.  Interestingly, the land deed gives only Catharine's name as the grantee;  Daniel's name does not appear at all on the record.
In 1871, the couple moved to the new property in Reisterstown.  By the 1880 census, Daniel, now 68 years old, seems to have retired, as he is now listed as having no occupation.
A map of Reisterstown from 1898 shows the location of Daniel and Catharine's home, near present-day 63 Main Street.

In the 1900 census, the pair were still living on their own, with Daniel's occupation given as landlord.
Catharine passed away a few years later on February 10, 1903 at the age of 80 from kidney disease.  Her obituary in the Baltimore Sun focuses on one unique aspect of her life.
The trolleys began running from Baltimore City into Reisterstown in the late 1800s, and service was eventually extended all the way through to Emory Grove in Glyndon.  The tracks followed Main Street, as shown in the photo below, and would indeed have gone right past the Armacosts' house.  The trolleys continued to run through town into the early 1930s.  Over a period of several months in 1932, Reisterstown Road was widened and paved, and in early 1933, buses took the place of trolleys between Pikesville and Glyndon.
A few days after Catharine's funeral, Daniel decided to move back to Carroll County to stay with family there.  It was then that he took his first-ever railway journey.
In April of 1903, Daniel sold the property on Main Street to Isaac, Annie, and Blanche Dickson, the grown children of the couple from whom Catharine had purchased the land 34 years prior.

Daniel Armacost died the following year in Westminster, just two months shy of his 92nd birthday.
Daniel and Catharine had no children of their own.  In his will, Daniel left $200 to Rev. George H. Beckley and the Lutheran Church in Reisterstown.  The remainder of his estate was left to his and Catharine's nieces and nephews:
  • Daniel N. Armacost, 1852-1941, husband of Mary McCord
  • John D. Armacost, 1869-1949, husband of Lillian Constantine
  • Virginia Hering Armacost, 1843-1936, wife of George W. Armacost
  • William L. Armacost, 1842-1933, husband of Ida Webster
  • Amelia F. Black, 1838-1912, wife of William Black
  • Catherine Armacost Hering, 1844-1927, wife of Dr. Joshua W. Hering
  • Annie Crawford Lisle, 1844-1913, wife of John D. Lisle

Sources: (census records, marriage record & map)

  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 4, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M432_289; Page: 193A.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: Woolerys, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M653_471; Page: 748.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: District 4, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M593_582; Page: 402B.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 568C.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 606; Page: 7A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Never Rode On A Trolley Car." Date: 12 February 1903; Page: 6.
  • "His First Railroad Trip." Date: 14 February 1903; Page: 6.
  • "Died Aged 92 Years." Date: 5 July 1904; Page: 11.
  • "Will Finish New Road Tomorrow." Date: 6 January 1933; Page: 5. (will)

Maryland Archives (death & land records)

Reisterstown Library
  • Main Street Photo
  • Reisterstown by Carol Pollack, 1986
Cemetery photos © AgateGS

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