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James A. Helman's ~ 1906

History of Emmitsburg, Md.


Pages 21 - 30

There are many poor, families and widows at Emmitsburg. This may in general be attributed to the misfortune of the times, for it seems to be as a general thing. We cannot complain of disorder. The taverns are very quiet; the remarkable days, namely, election, Washington's birthday, Review day, St. Patrick's and Christmas and New Year's day pass off very quietly and soberly, especially Christmas and New Year's Day. I have been told many times, with an honorable complacency: satisfied, that not one person had been found intoxicated; this may be an exaggeration, but the case is generally true; there is an evidence of regularity of union and mutual cordiality which has been remarked from abroad. 

There is a great deal of religious opposition, and of interest amongst individuals; also frequent law suits, warrants and sales, going to court, but it seems to me that these meetings are mutually attended and justice rendered, without ill feeling occasioned by poverty, debts, rents, etc. The stings of pride, indiscreet words and unfavorable reports exist often enough, but probably they are less violent and more easily rendered than in many other places. It may be said of the poor Protestants, that in the midst of their errors there is a fund of religion and principle at Emmitsburg. There are some saw mills and grist mills, also tanneries. Some hatters, which all constitute the trade; there is a paper mill, Mr. Obermyer. Mr. Waters kept the principle tavern in 1821.

Early Manufacturers

In 1784 John Frederick Amelung came from Bremen with a colony of 400, settling on Bennett's creek near Monocacy, now Urbana District, Frederick County; here he erected a factory for making glass. It is said to be the first works established in America for the manufacture of hollow glassware. President Washington in a letter to Jefferson, referring to these works, says: "A factory of glass is established upon a large scale on Monocacy river near Frederick, in Maryland. I am informed it will produce this year glass of various kinds to the amount of ten thousand pounds.

Amelung manufactured and presented in person to Washington two capacious goblets made of flint glass, exhibiting the Generalís coat of arms. The story goes, that Amelung armed with these goblets and armed in full court costume, proceeded to Mount Vernon. Crossing the lawn, he accosted a man in his shirt sleeves mounted on a ladder fixing the grape vines, and was greatly astonished to find that the person addressed was the great Washington himself. A large number of pieces of glassware made by Amelung are still in possession of the Masonic lodge at Alexandria, of which Washington was a member and its first master.

The old Masonic lodge (Holland) of New York also possesses a number decanters, punch and wine glasses made by this factory. These works were removed to Baltimore in 1789 and occupy site of the present glass works of Chas. J. Baker & Sons, south side Basin under Federal Hill. Amelung colonists established a Masonic lodge of which Abram Few, one of the Maryland delegates to the convention that framed the Constitution of the United States; a lodge was organized in Frederick in 1799 -- Hirani lodge.

Lutheran Church

The Elias Lutheran was organized at Tom's creek in the year 1757. Quoting from a letter of Rev. John George Young, of Hagerstown, Md., written in 1757, gives us the earliest account, tradition may serve where only secular motives are concerned, but not here. The letter was addressed to Rev. D. Helmuth, a Lutheran divine, who seems to have projected a history of the ministerium of Pennsylvania. The original is now on file in the archives of the Lutheran Historical Society of Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. It was translated into English by Rev. Henry E Jacob, D. D., of Mt. Airy Theological Seminary, and published in the Lutheran of April 19th, 1894.

[Historical Correction - Contrary to the statement above, this letter below was not written in 1757, but sometime after 1797, as the letter itself refers to events in 1797 ...]

Thomas Creek Hundred, twenty-three miles from Frederick and thirty miles from Hagerstown, foundation laid in that year for an Evangelical Lutheran church, by the purchase of an acre of land, and by a few families, and the erection thereon of a church according to their circumstances. Pastor Bager served them first for two years, then the congregation was vacant for about the same period, them it was served by Rev. Ludwig Beek, who remained for six years, until his death; after this the Congregation was vacant again for two years, until Rev. Mr. Wildburn served them for thirteen years. After Wildburn's departure, the Lutherans united with the Reformed in the same neighborhood, and built a new church on the old location, and also a school house. Since his time I have made three or four visits in the summer, and administered the sacraments. The congregation consists on our part of from thirty-two to thirty-four families; support uncertain.

Central Monocacy Hundred, sixteen miles from Frederick and twenty-two from Hagerstown. Union church built by Lutheran and Reformed, and consecrated by Rev. Wildbohn and Rev. Hehop from Frederick. The former served eight years after a vacancy of a year. They invited me and I accepted, serving them ever since from Easter to December, every eight weeks. In the beginning the congregation was composed of twelve or thirteen families, now there are forty on the Lutheran side. They have a school house, but no permanent school, support indefinite.

Such, dear doctor, are the congregation I have heretofore served with fear and weakness and trembling, may God graciously grant his blessing upon my weak planting and watering. How humbled I often am, as often I cannot see the hoped for fruit, and tares instead of the true grain appear. The Lord have mercy upon his vineyard, especially upon this portion of it in our America, in order that the wild boar may not do greater damage. Following the foregoing early situation at Tom's creek during the years intervening between 1768 and 1797 (When the two congregations concluded to move to town and erect a union church); in 1794 and 1795 Rev. Wingent was the visiting pastor; two years the pulpit is vacant and the new church is built in Emmitsburg.

Church Lots And Cemeteries

There is no record at Frederick nor in any of the church books of a deed for lot at Toms' creek. The Rev. John George Young in 1757 tells of the purchase of one acre of land at Tom's creek to build a church. The first church was built at the west corner of the cemetery in 1768, when the Lutherans and Reforms united they built a log church, where it has stood until 1904, when the Methodist raised to the ground. They bought it in 1797 from the Lutheran and Reformed congregations, although there is no record anywhere of the sale. On the 17th of August, 1795, Thomas Maxell purchased of William Emmit the lot the Lutheran church stands on, and deeded the same to the Lutheran and Reformed congregation, in 1802.

The lot adjoining, now the new part of cemetery was bought of Jacob Winter 1 1/8 acres December 12th, 1828 for the sum of $167.80.

Tradition says the first bell was a much smaller one, very fine in tone. It cracked, was sent away to be recast; when it came the bell was an excuse compared to the former one, the silver had been robbed from it; they rejected it and purchased the present one.

At the time, 1797, the church was built in town. The German language was spoken principally by these people, therefore the service was in German. Later the German and English were alternately used. 1797, Rev. John Rutherford is the accredited pastor. 18022, Rev. John G. Grobt of Taneytown supplied this congregation with a ser- vice once a month, remaining till 1828, with Rev. John Hoffman as assistant from 1826. Under his ministration he favored the introduction of the English language in the service. In 1828 Mr. Hoffman was installed as regular pastor, remaining until 1833, when he accepted a call to Chambersburg, Pa. 1834, Rev. Samuel D. Finkle entered his official duties as pastor of this church, remaining three years, when in 1837 Rev. Ezra Keller was called to fill the pulpit, remaining four years. 1841, Rev. Solomon Sentman was called to fill the vacancy, remaining eleven years. Then, 1852, the Rev. John Welty two years. 1854, Rev. George Collins a short time. 1855, Rev. Henry Bishop served the congregation seven years. 1863, Rev. W. V. Gotwold three years. 1866, Rev. E. S. Johnston twenty-two years. 1889, Rev. Luther DeYoe two year, 1892, Rev. Oscar G. Klinger from June 12th to August 28th. 1892, Rev. Chas. Rinewold.

This congregation has had an influence in this community all these years. Since 1757 its marked increase from the small number named by Rev. Mr. Young to its present large congregation, speaks loudly for its health giving tones that have been uttered from the pulpit. 'The shaping of a morality in a community depends upon the respect these outsiders have for the Christian people. This is manifest here; the influence of the churches curbs this open and scandalous violations of the law in our town. Rev. John George Bager, the first pastor of the Lutheran church at Tom's creek, 1757, changed the spelling of his name from Bager to Baugher. From him came all the Baughers known here The German pronunciation gave it the same accent the additional uh did. Some called him Badger, others Bagger, others pronounced it correctly. To rid himself of so many ways of pronouncing his name he added the uh, thereby all could call him by the same name.

The clock on Lutheran church was made by John Hughs of Taneytown in 1814 when the steeple was built. It was kept in repair until after 1860. Still remains in the steeple out of repair.

The Lutheran Cemetery in town holds embosomed many of the early settlers and children to the fifth generation. Around these tombs cluster memories of so many families, like our neighbor the Roman Catholic. Many who die elsewhere wish their bodies to return to dust amongst relatives, and are returned for interment in this sacred spot. Many graves of the very early settlers are not marked by an epitaph, yet they sleep on, undisturbed, hisitors of an immortality bequeathed to all the sons of Adam:

Mathias Martin, 1748, 1815; Peter Troxell, 1768, 1856; John Martin, 1771, 1860; George Smith, 1780, 1817; Peter Krise, 1762, 1831; Jacob Winter, 1771, 1846; Frederick Troxell, 1779, 1853; George Winter, 1783, 1850; George Sheets, 1773, 1853; Lewis Motter, 1779, 1837; Isaac Hahn, 1766, 1844; Jacob Troxell, 1786, 1833; Philip Nuniemaker, 1763, 1824; John Troxell, 1746, 1830; Frederick Gelwicks, 1774, 1851; Jacob Danner, 1763, 1841; Samuel Valentine, 1798, 1872; George Smith, 1748, 1823; Joseph Martin,1800, 1860; D. J. W. Eichelberger, 1804, 1895; John Sheets, 1803,1891; Eli Smith, 1802,1878; Joshua MOtter, 1801, 187 5; Joseph Moritz, 1813, 1853; Jacob Row, 1781, 1864; George L. Smith, 1817, 1901; Michael Helman, 1799, 1865; Andrew Eyster, 1800, 1872; Henry Winter, 1808, 1884; Michael Sponseler; George Winter, 1805, 1894; George Boner; Rev. William Runkle, 1748, 1832; Michael Oyster; John Trenkle; Jacob Oyster; John Young; Henry Dishour; John Huston; Samuel Noble; William C. Seabrook, 1821, 1875; Jacob Trenkle; G. W. Row, 1817, 1901; Lewis Weaver; Jacob Troxell, hatter, 1767, 1852; John Zimmerman, 1788, 1861; Joseph Row, 1789, 1861; George Troxell, 1773, 1832; Joseph Row, 1814, 1888; Samuel Duphan, 1798, 1883; Detrich Zeck, 1814, 1891; Daniel Sheets, 1815, 1900, Isaac Hyder, 1819, 1887; James Hosplehorn, 1810, 1887; George Krise, 1802, 1893; John Grable; Adam Hoffman, 1751, 1825; his wife, 1747, 1817; Frederick Beard, 1759, 1842; his wife, 1763, 1849. Adam Hoffman was the first hatter; Frederick Beard, the first carpenter.

Here the associations of life cease; here the polished marble tells the undying respect the living retain for the dead; here buried ambition ceases to excite the body's rest; here the earth to earth sentence is fulfilled, but there lingers around the spot a fascination unlike that of any other, and we seek the quiet of the place and read the epitaphs we know so well, with increased interest, knowing ere long, our bodies will sleep beside those fathers and mothers.

The steeple was not erected until 1814. Peter Troxell was the architect and George Smith the builder. At various times improvements have been made. In 1868 the vestibule was built and internal improvements made. In 1897, when the centennial of the erection of the church was celebrated, amongst the valuable gifts to the church is the elegant and artistic pulpit, given as a memorial of her parents, John and Savilla Sheets, by Mrs. Edgar D. Miller, of Baltimore, Md. The beautiful memorial window contributed by the congregation to the fourteen pastors, who all stand endeared for deeds of personal friendship, then the window to commemorate devotion, by the children and friends. To Mrs. Nathaniel Row by his daughter, Miss Helen Row; to Mrs. Eugene L. Row by her husband; to Dr. J. W. Fichelberger and his wife by their children; to Samuel Maxell and wife by their children; to Mrs. Sarah Troxell by her son Frederick, of Baltimore; to Mrs. Samuel G. Obler by her husband; two windows donated by Daniel and Barbara Sheets; one to the Zeck family, the gift of Miss Julia Zeek.

In 1905 the former study of the pastor was torn down, An avenue was opened through the lot to the church, paved with concrete to the church door, adding beauty to convenience, and an improvement to the town. its no longer the dreary way to tread the lonely path in darkness to the temple door, but a highway illuminated all the way, and smooth to the entrance gate.

Reformed Church

Its history from the union formed with the Lutheran congregation at Toms' creek in 1768 is an analogous one, along parallel lines they walked, each having too much good will to offer any unkind act or word to mar the peace.

The first regular pastor was Rev. Jacob Weymer, 1784; 1788, Rev. Valentine Nichodumus, till 1794; 1794, Lebrecht L. Hinsch, 1804; 1793, Jonathan Rahauser, 1808; 1808, Rev. Frederick Rabauser, 1816; 1816, Rev. William Runkle, 1821; 1821, Rev. David Boslet, 1832; 1833, Rev. Elias Heiner, 1835; 1836, Rev. Samuel Fisher, 1839; 1840, Rev. A. P. Freeze, 1842; 1843, Rev. Wm. Philips, 1846; Rev. Geo. W. Aughenbaugh, 1856; 1858, Rev. E. E. Higbee, May till August, 1858; 1858, Rev. Walter E. Krebs, 1863, 1863, Rev. John M. Titzel, 1873; 1873, Rev. Abner R. Kramer, 1881; 1881, Rev. M. A. Gring, 1882; 1882, Rev. Geo. B. Resser, 1884; 1886, Rev. U. H. Heilman, 1892; 1893, Rev. A. M. Schaffner, 1895; 1896, Rev. W. C. B. Shutenberger, 1903; 1903, Rev. A. M. Gluck.

It was during the pastorate of Rev. John M. Titzel the Lutheran and Reformed congregation separated, buying the John Nickuni lot for $800 in 1868 they erected the present church, where they have worshiped since. The steeple was blown down in March, 1873, and rebuilt same summer. From their organization in the county, connecting with the Lutherans at Tom's creek in 1768, installing their first pastor in 1784; at no period has the pulpit been vacant for any great length of time, or in the early days when the ministers were few, and they doing mission work. No doubt some of the early settlers worshiped at Monocacy church, near Creagerstown, and saw and heard the great missionary Event to the Monocacy church; Rev. Schlatter, as he was sent from Holland in 1746 to organize congregations in the various localities; we know his journal of April, 1747, says: I undertook a great journey to Monocacy and other places in Maryland. Mr. Schlatter visited Fredericktown in 1783 accompanied by Rev. Theodore Frankenfield, who he installed as the first pastor of the Monocacy congregation; he writes he found the people in good condition, pure minded, &e.

Mountain View cemetery was started by Rev. Abner R. Kramer, buying the field and selling lots in 1881; he sold his interest in the cemetery to a few men who lately sold their interest in said cemetery to Sterling Galt, who has improved it wonderfully.

Amongst the prominent persons buried in this cemetery are Jocob Sheets, 1801, 1895; John L. Motter, 1831, 1900; Abiah Martin, 1809, 1883; Peter Hoke, 1839, 1902; Mrs. Barbara Smith, 1803, 1884; Simon Whitmore, 1807, 1889; Samuel Motter, 1821, 1889; David Rhodes, 1800, 1878; John Troxell, 1814, 1881; Nicholas Moritz, 1785, 1883; Mathias Zacharias, 1758, 1825; David Whitmore, 1802, 1889; Christian Zacharias, 1802, 1875; George T. Martin; Adam Wingard, 1821, 1883; James W. Troxell, 1832, 1904; William G. Blair, 1844, 1900; Rev. E. E. Higbee, 1830, 1889; Charles Smith, 1792, 1847; Rev. Whitmore, 1819, 1884.

Presbyterian Church

The Presbyterians that settled in Adams County, Pa., and Frederick County, Md., came from Scotland and the north of Ireland. They had houses to build, their land to clear and the Susquehanna Indian to contend with. They spread along the valley as far as Shippensburg and Carlisle; afterward advancing west as far as Pittsburgh; the few that remained in southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland after surmounting many difficulties of pioneer life, have left evidences of capability and perseverance. Today's reckoning approves their course. The minutes of the Presbytery of Donegal show that the Rev. Robert MeMordie was appointed to supply at "Monokasy." On the second Sabbath of September, 1760. This is the first notice of preaching within the bounds of either congregation. The precise locality indicated by "Monokasy" is unknown, and hence cannot be determined, whether the services were held in the territorial limits of Emmitsburg or Piney Creek Church; is even without traditional sanction.

The Presbytery being in session at Mr. Duffield's meeting house in Carlisle, Pa., April 27th, 1761, a supplication for supplies was presented from Toms' Creek. June 24th, 1761, Tom's Creek Church again asked for supplies; a similar request was made from Pipe creek. The Presbytery thereupon appointed Rev. John Beard to preach at Pipe creek, fourth Sunday, September; fifth Sunday at Tom's creek, October 1761. Itinerant preachers visited these sturdy men of the faith prior to these requests to the Presbytery for a supply. In November, 1762, Rev. Robert McMordy was appointed to supply at Tom's creek on the second Sabbath of that month and Rev. Robert Smith, supply Toms' creek on the second Sabbath of April, 1763. Rev. Robert Smith was one of the pioneers of Presbyterianism in southern Pennsylvania, and adjacent parts of Maryland. He came from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1730; was pastor of Piqna Church, Pa.

In April, 1763, Tom's Creek and Pipe Creek asked leave to apply to the Presbytery of New Brunswick for a young man to supply them, the answer to this request is not recorded, but the Rev. Samuel Thompson was appointed to preach at Toms' Creek on the third of June, and Rev. Robert Smith in September. Rev. Robert McMordie was at the same time appointed to preach at Pine Creek in April. At this point in the history the name Pipe Creek disappears from the record, that of Pine, then of Piney Creek Hundred is substituted, showing the congregation adopted a new name, if it did not change its place of worship.

Both churches were supplied during the next autumn and winter by W. Edmeston and John Slemons, licentiates of the Donegal Presbytery, also William Magraw from the Presbytery of Philadelphia. Rev. Robert Smith from the summer of 1764. Mr. Sleinons had three appointments at Piney Creek and two at Tom's Creek. Rev. Samuel Thomp son also preaching at Tom's Creek. Mr. Edmeston and Magraw subsequently renounced Presbyterianism and took orders in the Protestant Episcopal Church, Edmeston became rector of St. Thomas' Church, Frederick, Maryland, and Magraw St. Paul's, Philadelphia, October, 1765. During the next five years Tom's Creek and Piney Creek had occasional supplies appointed at stated meetings of the Presbytery, April and October.

Pages 31 - 40


Helmans' History Of Emmitsburg

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