The following profiles of “prominent men” in Montgomery County’s early history are copied from:
Boyd, T. H. S. (compiler), This History of Montgomery County, Maryland, from its Earliest Settlement in 1650 to 1879 (Baltimore: W. K. Boyle & Son, 1879)
The following names of citizens and families of the County are worthy of record, and of being handed down to posterity and honorable recollection, William Darne, Dr. S. N. C. White, William Pool, Abraham S. Hayes, William Bennett, Brook Jones, Joseph I. Johnson, Nathan Hempston, Jacob Nicholls, Horatio Trundle, Hezekiah Trundle, Richard Harding, William Trail, Thos. C. Lannan, Rev. Thos. W. Green, Dr. Horatio Wilson, Rev. Basil Barry, the Fletchers, Dawsons, Platers, Whites, Waters, Darbys, Gittings, Gotts, Glaizes, Kings, Purdums, Gaithers, Gues, Browns, Bensons, Brewers, Gassaways, Pooles, Neills, Huttons, Riggs, Owens, Gartrells, Perrys, Bealls, Dorseys. (p. 103)
The different State Inspectors of Tobacco, appointed from Montgomery County, were Richard H. Griffith, Philemon Griffith, John W. Darby, Francis Valdemar, Perry Etchison, Greenberry S. Etchison, and the present popular Inspector, Robert S. Hilton. (p. 93)
The principal manufacturing establishment in the County was Triadelphia Cotton Factory, founded in 1809, by three brothers-in-law, ISAAC RIGGS, THOMAS MOORE and CALEB BENTLY.
A Woolen Factory was established in the neighborhood about the same time by DAVID NEWLIN—all members of the Society of Friends. (p. 93)
JOHN S. BELT, a Justice of the Peace, of Clarksburg, married a grand-daughter of Dr. Waters. Mr. Belt is a young and efficient Magistrate, and takes a lively interest in the improvement of the social, intellectual and agricultural advancement of the County. He is Treasurer of the Clarksburg Literary Association, of which he is an active and efficient member. He is also extensively engaged in the fertilizing business, and his farm gives ample evidence of the benefits derived from skillful cultivation. He has recently planted an extensive orchard, containing choice varieties of fruit. (p. 102)
COL. JOHN BERRY, who participated in the defence of Fort McHenry when bombarded by the British in 1814, and whose well directed guns caused the British lion to weight anchor and drop down the river, out of the reach of the artillery of the Fort. For his gallantry on this occasion he attracted the attention of Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott—by an offer of promotion and transfer to another important military post. He preferred, after successfully defending his adopted City, to return to private life, and devoted himself to the development of the patent fire brick with his brother, Mr. Thos. L. Berry, in the south-east part of the City, which proved eminently successful and profitable. He accumulated a large fortune, leaving as his representatives, Gen. John Summerfield Berry, and John Hurst, the successful dry goods merchant and president of the National Exchange Bank. (p. 84)
MR. FRANCIS P. BLAIR … who so beautifully and elegantly established himself at his well known seat of Silver Springs, was attracted to the spot under singular circumstances. He had purchased a very fine saddle horse, Selim, of the late Gen. Wm. Lingan Gaither, another of Montgomery’s representative men, who had repeatedly served his native County with credit and ability in both branches of the State Legislature. In taking a ride with his daughter, beyond the limits of the District of Columbia and in the lower part of Montgomery County, Selim became frightened, threw his rider, and ran down among the thick growth of pines in the valley to the west of the road. Mr. Blair followed and found the horse fast to a bush, which had caught the dangling reins of the bridle. Near the spot he spied a bold fountain bubbling up, the beautiful white sand sparkling n the water like specks of silver. Mr. Blair became so charmed with the spot and the spring, that he resolved at once if possible to possess it. He sought its owner, and soon a bargain was made at what then was considered a good price by the seller; but in the eyes of Mr. Blair as very cheap. This led to the proprietorship of the far-famed and classic seat of Silver Springs; where its venerable and distinguished owner spent in elegant retirement the last twenty-five years of his long and eventful life, and died peacefully, full of years and full of honors, at the advanced period of eighty-five. (p. 92)
The REV. REUBEN T. BOYD, of this County, father of Col. T. H. S. Boyd, the publisher of this history, born July 3rd, 1794, on the old estate of the Boyd’s, known as “Boyd’s Delay,” on Rock Creek, three miles east of Rockville. He studied for the ministry, and was authorized to preach the Gospel in the Baltimore District of the Methodist Episcopal Church, November 26th, 1825. His certificate being signed by Rev. Joseph Frye, President, James R. Williams, Secretary; renewed December 30th, 1826, signed Joseph Frye, President, and J. S. Reese, Secretary. For several years preceding and during this time a great reform was being agitated in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the object of which was a change in the form of government, so as to admit of the representatives of Lay members in the councils of the church.
Mr. Boyd took an active and zealous stand in behalf of the projected reform, and was a constant contributor to the columns of a pamphlet published by William Stockton, father of the late Rev. Thos. H. Stockton, one of the most eminent pulpit orators of his day, and Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives. This pamphlet was published in the interest of the reformers, and soon brought down on their devoted heads, the violent denunciation and abuse of the Bishops and Elders of the Church, which finally resulted in the expulsion of eleven Ministers for advocating the rights of the Laity. Reuben T. Boyd was the youngest of the eleven, and many amusing anecdotes are related of the Radicals, as they were called by their former associates. The controversy waxed warm, and shook the government of Methodism to its foundation. But the original eleven were not to be crushed; imbued with the fire and spirit that animated their forefathers, they soon gathered around them a strong following, and banded themselves together under the name of the Associated Methodist Churches, and at the Maryland Annual Conference of Ordained Ministers and Lay Delegates, held in Baltimore, April 5th, 1829, he was ordained for the office of Deacon, and authorized by the said Conference to administer the ordinance of Baptism; to assist the Elder in the administration of the Lord’s Supper, to celebrate Marriage, and to preach and expound the Holy Scriptures, so long as his life and doctrine accord with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Chris. Signed by Rev. Nicholas Snethen, President, and Luther J. Cox, Secretary.
Their organization rapidly increased, when they gave it the name of the Methodist Protestant Church, and at their Maryland Annual Conference of Ministers and Delegates, held in the City of Georgetown, District of Columbia, April the 8th, 1832, he was ordained for the office of Elder in the Methodist Protestant Church, and authorized by said Conference, so long as his life and doctrine accord with the Holy Scriptures, to administer the Lord’s Supper, to Baptize, to celebrate Matrimony, and to feed the flock of God, taking oversight, not as a Lord over God’s heritage, but being an example to the flock.
Signed by order and in behalf of the Maryland Annual Conference, Rev. Eli Henkle, President, James Hanson, Secretary. Mr. Henkle was the father of the present member of Congress from the Fifth Maryland District.
Their Church membership rapidly spread, and new Conferences formed especially in the South and West. Feeling that his sphere of usefulness would be enlarged by removing to the West, he was transferred to the Illinois Conference in 1838, and from there to the Ohio Conference in 1840, where he remained nine years.
The following certificate recorded in the Court of Common Pleas for Hamilton County, State of Ohio, and signed by General Harrison, Clerk of the Court, and afterwards President of the United States, will be of interest, showing as it does that General Harrison, at the time of his election to the Presidency, was Clerk of the Court of Hamilton County, Ohio.
“STATE OF OHIO, HAMILTON COUNTY, 88.:
“Be it known, that on the 28th day of November, in the term of November, A.D. eighteen hundred and forty, of the Court of Common Pleas, within and for said County, Reuben T. Boyd produced to said Court satisfactory evidence and credentials of his being a regular ordained Minister of the Methodist Protestant Church, in the Ohio Annual Conference, and now officiating as such on the Cincinnati Circuit. Whereupon the Court grant unto said Reuben T. Boyd, a License, authorizing him to solemnize Marriages throughout said State, agreeably to the requisitions of the Statute of said State, in such case made and provided, so long as he shall continue a regular Minister in said society or congregation.
“By order of Court.
“In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affied the seal of said County at Cincinnati, this is the 28th day of November, A.D. 1840.
“Wm. H. Harrison, Clk.
“J. J. Snider, Dep.”
Endorsed on the back:
“Recorded in the Marriage Records of Logan County, Ohio, on the 4th day of April, 1844.
N. L. McColloch, Clerk.
“Entered on the Records in the Clerk’s office, Champaign County, March 28th, 1844.
Samuel H. Robbinson, Clerk.
“Entered on the Records in the Clerk’s office, Union County, April 24th, 1844.
John Cassil, Clerk.”
He returned to the Maryland Conference in 1849, where he continued an active and efficient Minister, until 1859, when health failing him, he was placed on the superannuated roll of the Conference. After an active and continuous life of thirty-four years in the Ministry, he was compelled to seek rest, and where should he look for this haven but in his native County, where the scenes of early childhood would recall the happy memories of his youth. He bought property in Clarksburg, and removed his family in 1859, where he lived to enjoy the remaining days of his life in the happy enjoyment of a consciousness of a bright future beyond the grave. He died seated in his easy chair, surrounded by his books and papers, on the 15th of February, 1865, in his seventy-second year. At peace with God and mankind, honored and respected by all, he left behind a record worthy of example. During his life he was a constant and voluminous writer, his publications in the Methodist Protestant and Western Recorder attracting universal attention. (pp. 85-88)
ROGER BROOKE, an immediate descendant of one of the first settlers of the colony of Maryland, was noted for wit and humor, and though a Quaker, he had, like Washington, a great fondness for his hounds and the fox chase; and was one of the best, most active, and successful farmers of the County. Mr. Francis P. Blair, in an agricultural address, characterized him as a second Franklin. (p. 92)
JOHN C. CLARK, the well known Merchant and Banker, was born in Clarksburg, and in early youth removed to Baltimore, and engaged in business with more than ordinary success. He was very unfortunate in the death of his children; of a family of nine, all of whom, with one exception, attained adult age, and several married—he had buried all several years before his own death, which occurred in 1867, at the age of seventy-four. After providing well for his grandchildren, all of whom are now living in Baltimore, or its vicinity—and making other bequests, he bequeathed property to the value of half a million of dollars to a Beneficiary Society, which, at his instance, had been incorporated in connection with Saint John’s Methodist Protestant Church in Liberty street, Baltimore, which is to occupy a magnificent site on Madison avenue, near the Park. (p. 88)
FRANCIS CASSOTT CLOPPER was born in Baltimore, July 26th, 1786; began life in Philadelphia, and when only eighteen years of age was sent by his employers to New Orleans, to collect moneys due them there, and at intermediate points. The trip was made on horseback, through a wild frontier country, alone or with such chance companions as he might meet upon the road. His mission was successful, and he brought back the money quilted in his vest; after which he made many more trips like it.
On the 8th of July, 1811, he was married to Ann Jane Byrne, of Philadelphia, and in the following year he purchased the farm in Montgomery County, upon which he resided until his death,—the family having removed there in the same year,—making a continuous residence of fifty-seven years.
The original grants of the tracts of lands, comprised in the purchase, date back to 1748, to the times of the Lords Proprietary, and formed part of their Manor of Conococheague, or, as one of them has it, of “Calverton.” The lands are described as laying upon “Sinicar” Creek, near the ford known as the “Indian Ford;” and it is said that the old Indian road from Washington to Frederick crossed Seneca a few yards above the present County road crossing.
The land at one time belonged to the Benson family, but about 1804 was sold to Zachariah McCubbin, from whom Mr. Clopper purchased it. Other tracts were bought from other parties at a later date. The original foundation of the mill is not known. One was standing in 1812 upon the site of the present saw-mill.
His public spirit was a prominent feature of Mr. Clopper’s character,—always interested in some project for the advancement of the County.
The last twenty years of his life were expended, almost entirely, in efforts to procure the construction of a railroad through the County. At one time in the organization of the original Metropolitan Railroad Company, and when that failed in the business depression of 1857, he called the attention of the President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to the advantages of the route to his company, and procured a reconoissance to be made, and a report, which later were followed up by the construction of the road.
Mrs. Clopper died in 1865, after a married life of fifty-four years, and Mr. Clopper in 1868,—the desire of his life, to see the Metropolitan Railroad completed, unsatisfied. (pp. 99-100)
Among other names worthy of being mentioned is that of WILLIAM DARNE, of Mountain View, at the foot of the Sugar Loaf Mountain, who afterwards removed to Darnestown, where he died.
Mr. Darne was distinguished for his hospitality and urbanity of manners. He left a family of daughters equally distinguished for beauty, culture, ease and elegance of manner. One of whom married Capt. Smoot of the Navy; another, Capt. Lacy of the Army; another, Dr. Bell, a practising physician of the County. Mr. Darne several times represented the County in the State Legislature and as a director in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. He also left one son, Mr. Alexander, Darne of the County. (pp. 89-90)
Among the many improved estates in the County, is Greenwood, the residence of HON. ALLEN BOWIE DAVIS. This place was purchased in 1755, by Ephraim Davis, the grandfather of the present owner, and by him transmitted to his son Thomas Davis, who during President Washington’s administration, raised a company and marched to Pennsylvania in 1794, to suppress the “Whiskey Insurrection.” He was elected to the State Legislature while thus engaged, and frequently thereafter filled the same position, he was also elector of the Senate under the old Constitution, and occupied numerous positions in the County, from Magistrate, Surveyor and Conveyancer to Judge of the County Court. He died in 1833, honored and regretted by a large circle of friends.
Mr. Davis, the present proprietor of Greenwood, began a long career of public duties and usefulness very early in life, succeeding his father in the Board of Trustees of the Brookeville Academy, at the age of twenty-four. In 1840, he was elected a member of the Board of Public Works of the State, in which he exercised his influence in favor of the representation of the minority, and the abolition of political agencies in the management of public trusts. In 1850, he was elected to the State Constitutional Convention, and was made on of the first trustees of the State Agricultural College, and subsequently President of the Board. At the same time, he was elected President of the Montgomery Manufacturing Company, of Triadelphia. He was also President of the Montgomery County Agricultural Association.
In 1849, he obtained the charter for the Brookeville and Washington Turnpike Company, was elected President, served sixteen years, completed the road and retired from the Company. In 1863, he was elected to the State Legislature, and in 1869 was elected President of the Maryland State Agricultural Society. In addition, he has taken an active interest in the works of internal improvement, of social and agricultural advancement, of national polity and other matters pertaining to the prosperity of the people of the County and State. (pp. 96-97)
The two DRS. DUVALL, father and son, were prominent and active in their professions, as politicians and representatives of the County in the State Legislature. (p. 93)
GEORGE R. GAITHER, recently deceased, one of Baltimore’s most opulent citizens, left a fortune of one million three hundred thousand dollars, consisting of large and handsome stores and warehouses, on Baltimore, Hanover, German, Howard and Charles streets, and handsome dwelling houses on Cathedral street. (p. 88)
ISRAEL H. B., and A. and R. R. GRIFFITH, for many years flourished as successful Merchants of Baltimore. Upon the death of the first named, investments in stocks and bonds to the amount of four hundred and forty-fie thousand dollars were found in a trunk under his bed. (pp. 88-89)
Prominent among those whose deeds have added lustre to the name and fame of the Friends’ Society of Sandy Springs, and of Montgomery County, is that of BENJAMIN HALLOWELL, Philosopher, Philanthropist, Orator, Farmer and Teacher; gifted with an extraordinary variety of knowledge, prominent in the many fields of investigation, in which he exerted his powerful energies, and prosecuting his researches with one ultimate aim, the happiness of his fellow-creatures. He was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, on the 17th of August, 1799, and came to Montgomery County, Maryland, in 1819, as Mathematical teacher at the Boarding School at Fair Hill, which was established in that year. In 1824, he established a school at Alexandria, Virginia and received among his pupils, from all sections of the country, many who have since attained position and honor. The Rev. Mrs. R. T. Boyd, relict of the late Rev. R. T. Boyd, of this County, and mother of the publisher, attended his courses of lectures in Alexandria, in the years 1834 and ’35. Mr. Hallowell came to live upon his farm “Rockland,” near Sandy Springs, in the summer of 1842, this was a poor tract of land, but by judicious draining, fertilizing and grass seeding, it was completely reclaimed, and with the buildings of the Rockland Seminary, which he established, now under the control of his son, HENRY C. HALLOWELL, presents a beautiful and attractive appearance. In 1859, he was elected First President of the Maryland State Agricultural College. He was prominent in organizing the Farmers’ Club of Sandy Springs, the first meeting of which was held at the residence of Richard T. Bently. He was a frequent lecturer before various associations on scientific and agricultural subjects. He was Professor of Chemistry in the Medical Department of Columbia College, Washington; a member of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and one of the foremost in the Baltimore Yearly Meeting, to adopt plans for the improvement of the condition of the Indians on the Western borders. He died in 1877, in the 78th year of his age, regretted and beloved by all that knew him. (pp. 95-96)
Worthy of mention among the self-made men of the County is the Hon. GEORGE W. HILTON, born in Laytonsville, October the 2d, 1823, and educated in Georgetown, District of Columbia. Soon after completing his education he commenced the teaching of school in the old mountain school house, in the third district, afterwards he taught school in Clarksburg and Cracklin Districts. In 1847, he was appointed Deputy Sheriff and Collector, which position he occupied until he engaged in merchandising in Damascus, in 1852, where he successfully continued for seven years, when he purchased property in Clarksburg and removed there in 1859. By energy and enterprise, combined with strict business integrity, he succeeded in establishing a large and profitable business, which he conducted until 1872, when he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. Having purchased four tracts of land adjacent to the village of Clarksburg, he set about renovating and improving them, by a liberal and judicious expenditure in lime and fertilizers, including grasses, he has succeeded in bringing them up to a degree of fertility that is amply repaying him for his expenditure.
Mr. Hilton’s ability soon attracted the attention of the people, and he was called to the Legislature in 1869, and served the people in the session of 1867 so faithfully, that he was re-elected for a second term in 1872, serving on the committees of corporations and printing with marked ability. With a keen perception for the details of measures that affected the interests of the County, he was ever foremost in perfecting and pressing them to a favorable conclusion. He was also appointed by Gov. Carroll, in 1977, on the Board of Control and Review that had the revising of the tax assessments. Mr. Hilton finds ample opportunity for the display of his spirit of enterprise in the improvement and beautifying of his lands and tenements, having erected several handsome dwellings in Clarksburg, that have added materially in promoting the attractions of the village.
“Mountain View,” the old home of William Darne, is a farm, containing about 150 acres of land, watered by Little Monocacy on the north-east, and bounded on the south and south-west by the County roads leading from Barnesville to Maj. Hempston’s Old Brick Mill. The lands of the Gotts and Plummers lie adjacent at the south, those of Abraham S. Hayes and Z. G. Harris on the east and south-east, and those of Colmore Offutt and Hanson Hays on the north. The proprietorship of some of these lands is now no doubt different. Patrick McDade’s old mill was located on Little Monocacy, about half a mile north of Mountain View. (pp. 94-95)
Mr. JAMES HOLLAND, grandfather of the present Thomas J. and Clagett Holland, was said strongly to resemble General Washington in his personal appearance. As an auctioneer, he was known far and near. A peculiarity of his habit was always to give ample notice to both seller and buyer. “Going, going, going, the last chance, owners and bidders look out.” (p. 93)
The Hon. THOMAS LANDSDALE was born in the County in 1808. He was extensively engaged in mechanical operations for a number of years, and invented the first wood planing machine, and the metallic yoke for swing bells. In 1842, he became interested in the Triadelphia Mills, remaining five years, when he took charge of the Granite Factory at Ellicott’s Mills, where he remained ten years. He was the first to introduce steam into a factory for heating purposes. In 1856, he returned to Triadephia, and by his enterprise and energy succeeded in making it a thriving village containing four hundred inhabitants, with a large three story stone Cotton Factory, Saw, Plaster, Bone and Grist Mills, Stone and Mechanical Shops. He was a member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1864, and was elected to the Senate 1865. He died in 1878, universally respected by the large circle of operatives, business men and politicians, with whom he was associated, while he lived in the confidence and esteem of his friends and neighbors. (p. 101)
REV. THOMAS McCORMICK was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, in 1792, but came to Montgomery at the age of six to live with his uncle, Thomas Moore. In 1806 he went to Baltimore and learned the trade of house carpenter, and fifteen years afterwards built the house now owned by E.J. Hall, Esq., at Longwood, near Brookeville, which he afterwards purchased, and where he resided for fifteen years in enjoyment of the pleasant surroundings. He is now nearly eighty-eight years of age. (p. 90)
The late THOMAS MOORE lived in Brookeville, and was the inventor of the first refrigerator every made, in which Thomas McCormick carried the first butter to market. It was patented in 1803, and at first was of small size, made for the purpose of carrying butter to market on horseback, as most of the marketing was carried in those days. The refrigerator consisted of a cedar tub of oval form, and about eighteen or twenty inches deep, in this was placed a tin box, with the corners square, which would contain twenty-two prints [sic] of butter of one pound each, leaving space on each side, between the tin and wood, for ice in small lumps. The outside of the wooden box was covered with rabbit skin wit the fur on, and over that was a covering of coarse woolen cloth. In this refrigerator the butter was carried on horseback to the market at Georgetown, a distance of twenty miles, in warm weather, hard and firm, and with ice enough left to give each purchaser a small lump. This butter commanded a much higher price than any other.
Thomas Moore was a remarkable man. His father, Thomas Moore, an Irish Quaker, came to this country early in the last century, settled first in Pennsylvania, where he married, and afterwards removed to Loudoun County, Virginia, where he built a residence and called the place Waterford, after his native home. Here the son Thomas for a time carried on the business of a cabinet-maker, which he had learned. He then engaged in milling and merchandising in connection with his brother-in-law, James McCormick. About the year 1794 he removed to Maryland, having married Mary Brooke, daughter of Roger Brooke, of Brooke Grove, in Montgomery County. Here he commenced farming on the estate of his wife, and soon distinguished himself as a practical farmer.
The State of Maryland is greatly indebted to him for many improvements in agriculture. Although the land was poor when he took possession of it, he soon had the model farm of the County and State. This farm is now owned by E.J. Hall, Esq., former President of the Montgomery County Agricultural Society, who married a niece of Mary Moore. Persons came from long distances to see his farm and witness the deep plowing with the mammoth plow of his own invention, his fine stock of cattle in fields of red clover, his meadows of timothy, fine fields of corn, the ground yellow with pumpkins, and the large pen of small bone hogs, fattened on pumpkins, corn and slop, boiled in a wooden box.
One of the distinguished visitors was Charles Carroll, son of Carroll of Carrollton, who came on purpose to see the farm and improvement. The proprietor being absent on that occasion, it devolved upon the twelve-year-old nephew to show the visitor around, which service was rewarded by the first silver dollar the farmer boy ever called his own.
Thomas Moore, about this time, wrote a treatise on agriculture, and another on ice-houses and refrigerators, which proved of signal benefit to the State of his adoption. In the year 1805, he was employed by the Corporation of Georgetown to construct the causeway from Mason’s Island to the Virginia shore, for which he received twenty-four thousand dollars, and completed the work in less than one year. After this he was employed by the United States Government to lay out the great National Road to the West. During the war with Great Britain, from 1812 to 1816, he took charge of the Union Manufacturing Works, near Ellicotts’ Mills, as chief manager.
About this time he, in connection with his two brothers-in-law, Caleb Bently and Isaac Biggs, purchased the site and erected the cotton mills known as Triadelphia, Montgomery County, Md. This was not a profitable investment, the war closing soon after the factory went into operation. He was next called upon by the Board of Public Works of the State of Virginia to accept the position of Chief Engineer of the James River Canal. He also served in the same capacity in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, where, after making considerable progress, he contracted a fever so fatal to many on the Potomac, and came home to end his life with his family. From the year 1818 until his death he occupied, with much honor to himself and with great benefit to the public, and with the entire approbation of those to whom he was responsible, the office of principal Civil Engineer of the State of Virginia. On the 3rd of October, after a sickness of twelve days, aged 63 years, he quietly departed this life like one falling into a quiet slumber. (pp. 90-92)
Major GEORGE PETER was a member of Congress for this District, and during life a prominent and active politician. He served in the Legislature of the State. He commanded an artillery company in the war of 1812, and had among his soldiers George Peabody, who subsequently became the great banker and philanthropist, and the late George R. Gaither of Baltimore, who then, with Mr. Peabody, resided in Georgetown, D.C. (p. 93)
ROBERT POTTINGER and DR. WILLIAM BOWIE MAGRUDER, father of the late most excellent and valuable citizen and physician, DR. WM. B. MAGRUDER, of Brookeville, were leading and prominent citizens of the County, in their day and generation. (pp. 92-92)
MRS. ANN POULTNEY, relict of the late Charles Poultney and sister of Philip E. Thomas, remarkable for her culture, piety and refinement, also as a prominent member and speaker of the Society of Friends. (p. 85)
THOMAS L. REESE, the father, and grandfather of the well known grocery firm, now doing business in Baltimore, was for a number of years a highly esteemed citizen of old Montgomery.
In early life he was a clerk with the celebrated Johns Hopkins, in the counting-room of their uncle Gerard T. Hopkins, and often has the great capitalist been heard to say, that when he came to Baltimore he had but five dollars in the world, but he had resolved to become a rich man.
When about twenty-five years of age he married Mary, daughter of Thomas Moore—and lived for six or eight years in Brookeville, engaged in mercantile life, filling several offices of honor and trust, everywhere esteemed as a conscientious and upright man.
From there he returned to Baltimore, and became a partner in the wholesale grocery firm of Gerard T. Hopkins & Co.
In 1833 he opened a retail store on Pratt street, desiring to educate his sons in all the details of the business, where he remained until 1844 when he retired from active life, but still by his daily counsel and advice, aiding his sons, who succeeded him, in building up the large business they are now doing.—In early life he was often heard to say that he never desired to become a rich man, and although actively engaged for more than thirty years in mercantile life, during which he reared and educated a large family, he died in moderate circumstances, but leaving to posterity a legacy more valuable than any amount of earthly riches, —a good name. (p. 89)
ELISHA RIGGS, for many years the head of the well-known firm of Riggs, Peabody & Co., on Baltimore Street, near Hanover; afterwards Peabody, Riggs & Co., German street. The elder partner removed to New York, after aiding and establishing the well-known firm of Corcoran & Riggs, of Washington. He died, leaving a fortune of a million and a half of dollars. Mr. George Peabody, at one time his clerk, afterwards his partner, had in the meantime removed to London, where, in his successful efforts to maintain and uphold the credit of Maryland, he laid the foundation of his own colossal fortune, a part of which, in his life-time, he devoted to the development of art and instruction for the benefit of the City of Baltimore, by the establishment of the magnificent institute, “The Peabody Institute,” on Mount Vernon Place, which bears and will hand down his name to generations yet unborn. (pp. 84-85)
SAMUEL RIGGS the junior member of the firm died in early life, leaving a fortune of $300,000 dollars. (p. 85)
Mr. W. T. R. SAFFELL, was born September 18th, 1818, two miles south of Barnesville, on a farm called Knott’s Place, where his father Lameck Saffell resided. He was baptised by Rev. Mr. Green, and first heard the Gospel preached by Rev. Basil Barry. His great uncle was Charles Saffell, a revolutionary soldier and pensioner, who lived on a farm five miles north of Rockville, near Gaithersburg, and died in 1837, at the age of ninety. At the beginning of the revolution, he lived with his father, a French musician, in Prince George’s County. From that County he marched to Annapolis and joined the Regiment of the Maryland Flying Camp, under the command of General Rezin Beall, and sailing to the head of Elk River, he marched north to New York in the company commanded by John Hawkins Lowe. Charles was a drummer, fifer and bugler at the battles of Long Island, Fort Washington, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. In his latter days he was an Auctioneer, and in that capacity visited all parts of the County. As a violinist, he amused himself in his feeble old age, and often reproduced the melodies of the Revolution in a peculiar style, now forever lost. (pp. 98-99)
ROBERT SELLMAN, of Montgomery County, was, before the repeal of the law, appointed State Flour Inspector. He so actively and faithfully discharged the duties of the office, that after the repeal of the law, he was, and still is continued as private inspector at the request of the merchants of Baltimore. (p. 93)
One of the oldest settlers now living in the County is EDWARD STABLER, who is eighty-five years of age. He has been Postmaster of Sandy Springs for fifty years, and is the oldest Postmaster in the United States. He was the originator of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of Montgomery County, which was organized in 1848; he was elected President, and still holds the office, enjoying the entire confidence of the Company and community.
The Hon. Allen Bowie Davis, in a speech at a meeting of the State Agricultural Society in 1876, said of this family, “That the farm—a part of which Mr. Asa Stabler occupies, was purchased about thirty years ago, by Caleb Stabler, father of Mr. Stabler, Jr.,—at $2.05 per acre, or $820 for 400 acres. It was then without house or fencing. Mr. S. not having a plethoric purse, built a comfortable two story log house, with other necessary outhouses of the same material, and called it Drayton. To Drayton he removed with his family, consisting of a wife, one daughter and four sons. He inclosed a garden, and planted a small orchard. His first crop of wheal was five bushels sown, from which he reaped two and a half bushels,—the first reward of his labor. Acting upon the maxim of an old Quaker progenitor—“if thee is kind to the land, it never will give thee an ungrateful return,”—he persevered, and did obtain a grateful and bounteous reward.
“Accepting an invitation to spend a night at Drayton, some years ago, I found the venerable patriarch and his no less venerable wife along, and by them I was received with all the cordial but unostentatious and simple hospitality which it was possible for a host and hostess to lavish upon the most honored and distinguished guest. I soon learned from them that their daughter was married, and all of the sons grown up and settled out for themselves. After tea, a rap at the door announced a visitor, and one by one the four sons and the son-in-law came in to inquire after the health of father and mother, and to pay their respects to their guest. I learned also, that the 400 acres had been divided into six parts, and that each of the sons and son-in-law had built and was settled on his portion—the old folks retaining the homestead—and that each was near enough, after the labor of the day and after tea, to walk over to Drayton, to inquire after the well-being of their parents. I thought I never saw a brighter or happier family, or witnessed a more interesting or so instructive a scene.
“Within a few days past I have again passed through the same original farm, now cut up and divided, as already stated. The venerable sire and his consort still survive; each of the sons and son-in-law are in genteel and comfortable houses, surrounded with well kept gardens and orchards, flowers, shrubs and ornamental trees and farm,—as Mr. Stabler can testify—yielding 26 to 32 bushels of wheat per acre, with corresponding crops of corn, hay and straw, supplemented by all varieties of fruit, from the early strawberry to October peach and hard russet apple.” (pp. 97-98)
JOHN THOMAS, who sixty years ago lived about six miles from Triadelphia, near Green’s Bridge over the Patuxent, established an interesting industry for the collection of pine sap from the pine trees in the adjacent forests. This was done by removing a small chip from the foot of the tree, near the root, the opening thus made would receive the falling sap, which was gathered in the morning, taken to Mr. Thomas, who paid ten cents an ounce for it; the revenue derived from this source was not sufficient to meet the expectations of the projector, and it was abandoned; and the ancient Sap Tappers of the Patuxent is a tradition of the past. (p. 101)
PHILIP E. THOMAS, founder, and for many years the President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad—the first commercial railroad undertaken in the United States. (p. 85)
Dr. RICHARD WATERS, of revolutionary fame, was born about 1760, and served as a Surgeon in the war for independence, and was noted for his skill as a surgeon as well as a practising physician. After the close of the War, he purchased a large estate called “Spring Garden,” on the road leading from Goshen to Gaithersburg, and the road from Mechanicsville to Clarksburg. Dr. Waters was born in Prince George’s County, where he married Miss Margaret Smith, by whom he had several children. His son Richard was a prominent man in the County, and held the office of Sheriff, while his brother Somerset was a prominent Commission Merchant of Baltimore, and served a long time as Tobacco Inspector. (pp. 101-102)
HON. RICHARD WATERS, son of Dr. Richard Waters, of revolutionary fame, was born December 19th, 1794, on the old homestead, “Spring Garden,” and at an early age took an active interest in the politics of the County. In his canvass for the legislative assembly, he found a great many young men who could neither read nor write, and, on investigation, he discovered that the money appropriated by the State for paying the tuition of those whose parents were unable to pay for the schooling of their children, was often used by the board of trustees, as they were called, in paying for children whose parents were able to pay, but their political influence was such as to enable them to divert the moneys intended for the instruction of the poor, to the payment of the education of their own children.
This led Mr. Waters to make a spirited canvass of the County, and he was elected to the Legislature by an overwhelming majority. One of his first efforts in the legislative assembly was for a change in the old system of school education, and he succeeded in having a bill passed for Public School Education in the State of Maryland, that resulted in the abolishment of the old system and inaugurated a new era in the education of the people. It was the initial movement, which has, by improvement, resulted in the present School System.
He was re-elected for a second term, and filled the position with honor, both to himself and his constituents. He is still living, and is about eighty-five years old. He has four sons and one daughter living.
His son Lemuel is an eminent divine in the Missouri Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
William is the Agent of the Adams Express Company, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Somerset is a Physician of large practice in Carroll County, and has served in the Legislature several terms from that County,
George still resides in the County, near the old ancestral acres, and has occupied several public offices of trust in the County.
Rebecca, the daughter, married Jesse T. Higgins, of this County, formerly a prominent merchant of Poolesville, and now a merchant of Baltimore. (pp. 102-103)
WILLIAM WILSON was born on the tract of land known as “Wilson’s Inheritance,” near the division line between Montgomery and Frederick Counties, on the left of the present road from Hyattstown to Barnesville. The tract is now owned by the Hershey family, John Sellman, and others. Jonathan Wilson, the grandfather of William, became the owner of this tract over one hundred years ago, was a member of the State Legislature when the County was formed. He was a man of powerful constitution and lived to be ninety-eight years old; his death, at that age, resulting from accident.
He was a man of much intelligence, energy of character, and influence. His only son, John, inherited the estate, and lived in the house now occupied by C. R. Hershey. He also lived to an advanced age, ninety-three.
John had four sons, and a daughter who married Dr. Magruder, near Brookeville, and of other children—then in all—whose descendants are numerous and widely scattered.
The eldest, John, lived and died on the paternal acres, a highly esteemed gentleman of the olden times, and a bachelor. He died in 1849, aged eight-nine.
The second son, Thomas P., settled in Rockville, was for many years a prominent merchant there, and died at that place about the year 1832. His descendants are now living in Frederick City and County.
The fourth son, Charles, lived for many years in Medley’s District, first as a merchant at Poolesville, then on a farm which he purchased, not far from the mouth of the Monocacy—the farm is now owned by the White family—and finally removed to the southern part of Kentucky, where he died. His descendants are to be found in Tennessee, Virginia, and Baltimore County of this State.
The third, William, very early in life, engaged in merchandising in Clarksburg, and continued the business uninterruptedly at the same stand for about forty-five years—dying in 1859, at the age of eighty-three. He married the eldest daughter of John Clark, one of the oldest residents of the village, (which was named after him,) and to his business, on his death, he succeeded.
Mr. LEONIDAS WILSON, his son, is still living, and resides in Clarksburg, and has accumulated a considerable fortune. (pp. 100-101)
THOS. F. W. VINSON, well and favorably known to the citizens of Montgomery County, was a fine specimen of the gentlemen of the olden times. His pleasing manners at once put his friends, as well as strangers, at perfect ease in his presence. He was for many years Sheriff of the County, and one of the Judges of the Orphans’ Court. (p. 93)