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James A. Helman's ~ 1906

History of Emmitsburg, Md.

Pages 41 - 50

Rev. C. B. Young preached the sermon; in charge, Rev. John L. Potts, Jr., preacher. This church was on the Gettysburg circuit. Rev. William Moreland came from Ireland; he was living in this community in 1786. A linen weaver, he was a pioneer Christian. So deeply impressed by the gospel truth he consecrated himself to the good work of gathering in his neighbors and instructing them in the truth he thus gained for himself the title of local preacher. (Father Dubois, who wrote the letter quoted in this book, says in 1786, "there is a Methodist preacher near about two miles from Toms creek, where there is a little village named after him, Morantown. He holds his meeting--, and classes at his home on Sundays and Wednesdays. I believe there are very few Methodists in town.") Starting with Moreland at 1786, perhaps years before, he could have been the only preacher in this locality until his death, 1833. As the minister of Gettysburg, 'Young dedicated the church and no doubt was the attending minister at his funeral.

The following deed shows the intention of Mr. Moreland, There is on record a deed that indicates Mr. Moreland's intention twenty-six years prior to buying and building the church, he was an early comer. William Shields, agent and attorney for John Shields, executor of William Shields, deceased.

In consideration of twenty-four dollars, made to William Morelalid and Joseph Harvey, managers and trustees for the Methodist Society of Emmitsburg, Maryland, and their successors of the Society aforesaid, a deed for one lot of ground in Shields' addition in Emmitsburg, Md., No. 53, April 1st, 1805.

The ministers on the Gettysburg Circuit supplying the Emmitsburg and Toms Creek church: 1827, Samuel Clark, preacher; George Hildt, assistant. 1828, William 0. Lumsdon, preacher; T. H. W. Moore, assistant. 1829, Samuel Kemper, preacher; John C. Lyon, assistant. 1830, Jonathan Munroe, preacher; Robert Crooks, assistant. 1831, William Butler, preacher; Stephen Smith, assistant. 1832, William Butler, preacher; John L. Pitts, assistant. 1833, Charles B. Young, preacher; J. L. Pitts, assistant. 1834, Charles B. Young, preacher; J. W. Richardson, assistant. 1835, Richard Bond, preacher; Joseph H. Went, assistant. 1836, Richard Bond, preacher; James Brads, assistant. 1837, Amos Smith, preacher; Joseph H. Brown, assistant. 1838, Amos Smith, preacher; John M. Jones, assistant. 1839, Henry Furlong, preacher; John M. Jones, assistant. 1840 and 1841, Josiah Forrest, preacher; Wesley Howe, assistant. 1842, Thomas McKee, preacher; Henry Hoffman, assistant. 1843, Thomas McKee, preacher; Thomas Reese, assistant. 1844, Solomon McMullen, preacher; Thomas Reese, assistant. 1845, Solomon McMullen, preacher; Thomas Switzer, assistant. 1846 and 1847, Thomas Tanyhill, preacher; R. S. McClay, assist- ant. 1848, Horace Holland, preacher; John Thouch, assistant. 1849, Horace Holland, preacher; Beverly Waugh, assistant. 1852, _____ Smith; 1853, Jonathan Monroe, 1854, Harding; 1855, _____ Black; 1856, John Dash and William Earnshaw; 1858, Elias Welty; 1859, L. D. Herron; 1861, R. C. Haslip; 1863, P. B. Reese; 1865, W. H. Keith; 1867, J. D. Moore; 1870, John Montgomery; 1871, J. T. Cross; 1875, George E. Maydwell; 1877, H. P. West; 1880, E. 0. Eldridge; 1882, Daniel Haskel; 1884, Geo. M. Berry; 1885, Osburn Belt; 1888, D. Davis; 1890, J. F. F. Grey; 1892, J. C. Starr; 1893, Henry Mann; 1896, M. H. Courtney; 1901, W. L. Orem; 1903, George W. Harris; 1905, Frank Bailey.

William Moreland was the pioneer, although a local preacher, he established Methodism in Emmitsburg and Toms creek; was a land owner as early as 1805, and identified in the community before 1800, no doubt purchased the Toms Creek Church.

In connection with this Methodist church, the Toms Creek Methodist church has always been connected with this charge. In 1797 the Methodists living in that locality purchased from the Lutheran and Reformed congregations the old log church, with its hallowed memories dating back to 175I. On either side of the church there is a cemetery. On the bill the Lutheran and Reformed churches, where the sad hearts of days long forgotten, laid their friends to rest, no doubt as far back as 1720, some were buried there. Jacob Danner's tomb is the oldest, 1768; it is the oldest in this locality except Mrs. Wm. EIder, 1739, at Clairvoux. Mrs. Jacob Danner, 1782; every evidence there shows it was the earliest burying ground in the northern part of the county; below the church the Methodists have a burying ground. This congregation has kept at the work serving that portion of the community, giving it a religious mould; and without their influence would not be there; their keynote has been:

"As long as the lamp holds out to burn, The Vilest sinner may return."

In 1904 this congregation built a new church on the road leading from the Baltimore road to Maxell's mill, selling the material of the old log church at auction. The ground upon which the new church was built was bought from Elias Valentine.

Toms Creek Lutheran Cemetery

This is the oldest burying ground in this locality. Prior to 1746, when the first patent was recorded, squatters had taken possession of plats of land, centering upon Toms creek location as a central point; hundreds of persons were buried here. The entire acre with little exception is taken up with unmarked graves; as an evidence this was the only burying ground, none of the farms north, east or west have them, whilst the nearest south is the Close farm. George Smith, 1720, 1793; Christian Smith, 1720, 1790; Jacob Danner, 1768; Margaret Danner, 1782; Peter Troxell, 1719, 1799; Mrs. Peter Troxell, 1737, 1806; Maria Troxell, 1771, 1794; Michael Row, 1762, 1831; Mrs. Michael Row; 1763, 1842; Jacob Troxell, 1763, 1807; Capt. Michael Sluss, 1785, 1859; John Sluss, 1809, 1890; Isaac Row, 1797, 1841; Frederick Ohler, 1787, 1869; Joseph Crabbs, 1786, 1850; Barthol Waddle, 1787, 1847; John Hockensmith, 1775, 1855; Barbara, his wife, 1778, 1842; Wm. Hockensmith, 1813, 1864; S. Oyster, 1792, 1794; John Smith, 1782, 1783; James Ohler, 1801, 1873; Daniel Row, 1806, 1851; George Row, 1755, 1845; Anna May, his wife, 1758, 1838; John Row, 1800, 1873; Agness Row, his wife, 1802, 1880; George Ohler, 1788, 1826; John Hoover, 1771, 1832; Jesse Hoover; Sally Hockensmith, 1814, 1894; Betsy Hockensmith, 1802, 1874.

Following are in the Methodist cemetery: Solomon Krise, 1807, 1887; Elizabeth Nickum, 1770, 1853; Jacob Nickum; Abraham Stanbury, 1769, 1855; William Biggs, 1797, 1876; Amy Biggs, 1804, 1848; John Fuss, 1835, 1900; John Smith, 1764, 1825; William Moser, 1811, 1881; Frederick Crabbs, 1774, 1851; David Crabb, 1761, 1827; Elizabeth Hoover, 1744, 18 33; David Morrison, 1802, 1866; Prudence Morrison, his wife; Samuel Smith, 1802, 1830; William Gilson, 1830, 1892; Mr. William Gilson, 1836, 1875; Richard Gilson, 1795, 1874; Mrs. R. Gilson, 1800, 1873; Susan Harbaugh, 1782, 1869; John Munshower and wife.

In the Zimmerman cemetery in Adams County, Pa., three miles north of town, were buried in the colonial days the dead of that locality; many graves are unmarked, from whom the sturdy stock of the present generation descended. Such as it required to build a nation - the Overholtzers, Bikers, Zimmermans, Bakers, Rhodes and Cochrans.

Indian Burial Places

The only Indian burial place accurately known in this locality is on the Gilson farm; about seventy-five years ago the graves were ploughed over. This sacred spot to the red man yielded quite a quantity of skulls and bones. An eye witness who had gone to inspect the war relics and mayhap get a skull, found them in such condition that he procured a few teeth only.

Boyle's Grave

One grave, the body of Boyle, who rests in the upper corner of the lot now owned by John Vance, he died near Frederick. When brought home interment was refused in the Roman Catholic cemetery. Dr. Patterson owned this lot and gave a resting place to Boyle.

Samuel Emmit after laying out the town August 12th, 1785, [Historical Society correction - This statement is not accurate.  Research shows that Samuel Emmit entered into a Letter of Agreement on March 5, 1785 to sell lots in a town. There is no basis for Helman's claim that the town was laid out on August 12.] deeded to his son William, 35 acres of land as follows: Samuel Emmit to his son William, part of Carrollsburg, wherein the lots of a new town of Emmitsburg are laid out. Excepting five lots, to wit: No. 1 to Samuel Emmit's wife; No. 17 to son Josiah; No. 16 to daughter Mary; N0. 4 to son Abraham James, No. 10 to grandchild Wm. Porter.

The following lots were sold to persons named for, price two pounds, ten shillings. Ground rent seven shillings, six pence in gold:

No. 1. Mrs. Samuel Emmit; 2. Michael Row; 3. Samuel Caldwell, 'York County, Pa.; 4. Abraham James Emmit; 5. Jacob Hockensmith; 6. Conrad Hockensmith; 7. Christian Smith; 8. Patrick Reid; 9. John Whitmore; 10. Wm. Porter; 11. James Hughs; 12. Adam Hoffman; 13. John Rogers; 14. ______; 15. Charles Robinson; 16. Mary Emmit; 17. Josiah Emmit; 18. ______ ______; 19. Samuel Carrick; 20. Margaret McDannel; 21. ______; 22. Michael Smith; 23. James Agnew; 24. Daniel Gonden; 25. ______ ______; 26. Michael Hockensmith; 27. Richard Jennings; 28. James Hughs; 29. David Tanner; 30. James Larkins; 3I. Jacob Tanner; 32. ______, 33 ______; 34. John Lock alias Sluss,' 35. ______; 36, Robert Wrench; 37._______; 38. ______; 39. The man that proposed calling the town Emmitsburg; John McGorgan. 46.

The original lay-out of the town was from lot No. 1, the lot upon which Quincy Shoemaker's shop stands, then west to the alley where C. T. Zacharias' house stands, then across to J. A. Helman, then east to John Hosplehorn's house. Samuel Emmit then made a deed to his son William for 35 acres; he continued the extension from the west end to the east line of the land sold to Wm. Shields in Sept., 1787, when it is supposed Emmit added his addition to connect with Shields and the eastern from the lot No. 1 to the eastern extent. All the land on both sides of the town was laid out in building lots from Flat Run to the run on south side, as the plat made by Andrew Smith in 1808 shows.

These lots were in possession of such men as John Troxell, Lewis Weaver, Patrick Reid, Jacob Danner, John Armstrong, Frederick Gelwicks, Henry Fahnestock, Robert Flemming, Lewis Motter, Jacob Winter, Andrew White, and John Hughs. The lot lines were obliterated and the land was used for farming, continuing in that relation ever since.

An agreement between Samuel Emmit, Henry Williams, John Troxell and Jacob Hockensmith, upon the line of Carrollsburg as surveyed by L. Brengle, county surveyor, November 3rd, 1791. One line runs near James Jannise's old cabin, where the trees are marked with the Indian eyes and mouth, then through a bottom of Samuel Emmit's, too long made use of by old Hockensmith and his son Jacob, on Middle creek.

Item. - Samuel Caldwell may remember the nineteenth line of Carrollsburg, where be was almost knocked down by an axe that flew off its handle December 1st, 1785.

Item. - Deed made by Lewis Motter to George Smith, March 27th, 1802, for brick house along Frederick road.

Addition to Emmitsburg

May 20th, 1786. Samuel Emmit to his son William, 55 acres of land in addition and adjoining the land deeded August 12th, 1785, part of Carrollsburg tract, to extend the limits of the new town, now Emmitsburg. [Historical Society Correction:  Samuel did not sell his son an additional 55 acres, but added several acres to the original deed to make up for the fact that the original town, as laid out by William Emmit, exceeded the land provided in the original deed. This subsequent deed added the necessary acres to correct this deficiency.]


Samuel Emmit, the founder of Emmitsburg, [nationality Irish, took out a patent May 17th, 1757, for 2,250 acres of land. He was not the earliest settler in this section, but he was a farseeing man, and used his intelligence, knowing towns would be a nucleus for a community, he early sold off lots of land to incoming persons, and established a center here, in this beautiful valley, which has afforded so many returning descendants of the pioneers, as well as strangers pleasure to sniff the fresh, fragrant air that invigorates the spirit of the depressed. One good father in the Roman Catholic church when asked how he liked his new field of labor (he had been removed to Germantown), replied, "Heaven first, Emmitsburg next." We may seek other places and decry our own, but no where on the earth will you find more beautiful surroundings.

The landscape could not be improved, the health resorts are no better. The genial cities of the 39th degrees, with the exception of an occasional blizzard, which all sections are heir to; neither heat nor cold become excessive, a happy Medium reigns. We know it. Do we appreciate it? The mountains hard by are a protection, many storms miss us, they are divided by these mountains; we see them as they flee away to the north or south. There is honor due Mr. Emmit for his perception and selection of such a truly lovely spot. Is it not the theme of the graduate as she pens her verses for the great day of her life, and deplores her department from the shadow of Carrick's Knob? 

Do we not, with it in view front our infancy, stand and gaze upon it, not only when it is covered with leaves, but in its barrenness, and when the snow covers its peak, and we await the rising moon to increase its splendor. When we ascend its Indian look out and gaze over the landscape, taking in the range of the mountain, then following the course of old Toms creek, in our vision we behold the grandeur of the valley as it lies beneath our feet, filled with the well cared for buildings and productive farms. There is a halo of satisfaction around every life, but to him who has proper appreciation of great and grand scenery, he can feast to his fullness here. Yea, if he has not seen the beauties, let him visit some locality where all is level for a hundred miles, and his eye will tire at the sameness of the place, and he will long for the hills and valleys to reinstate him in favor with himself

[Historical Society Note: Recent detailed research conducted in support of a new book on the history of the Emmitsburg area does not  support Mr. Helman's history of Emmitsburg's founding ... for the correct history, please read Setting the record straight, the real history of Emmitsburg's founding.]

This town was laid out in 1785.  At a public meeting held at Hockensmith's Tavern (the farm now owned by Meade Fuss), John McGorgan was called to the chair. He proposed to change the name from Poplar Fields to Emmitsburg, in honor of Samuel Emmit, one of the largest land-holders in the district. All persons threw up their hats, clapped their hands and hurrahed for Emmitsburg. [Historical Society Note: There is no factual basis for this claim]

The company had quite a merry time, having drank the health of the newly baptized town; they returned home full of sanguine expectation as to the rapid growth of the infant settlement. The population at this time consisted of seven families: Capt. Richard Jennings, merchant; Adam Hoffman, hatter; John Rogers, tavern keeper; Michael Smith, blacksmith; Frederick Baird, carpenter; James and Joseph Hughes, merchant and architect.

Capt. Richard Jennings built the first house, a one-story log house, on the lot No. 27, now owned by Eugene E. Zimmerman. The first brick house was built adjoining this log house by Capt. Jennings, known later as the Otter tavern; James and Joseph Hughs built on lot NO. 28 where the Spangler house now stands, and lot No. 11i where the bank and Elder's drug store stands. Lot No. 12, Adam Hoffman, batter, built a log house where Philip Lawrence lives; lot No. 13, John Rogers, tavern keeper, built the log house where Mrs. F. A. Adelsberger lives; lot NO. 22, Michael Smith, blacksmith, built the house now Michael Hoke's; lot No. 24, the present Presbyterian parsonage, was built by Frederick Baird; said to be the third brick house built in town; lot No. 29, the large brick house burned in fire of 1863, was built by John Troxell. The lots left by Samuel Emmit by will to his wife and children are No. ii to his wife, where Kerrigan's shop stands; lot No.4 to his son Abraham James, the lot of Wm. Lansinger; lot 10 to his grandchild, Wm. Porter, the lot where Dr. C. D. Eichelberger live, Rotering and Charles Zeck occupy; lot 16 to daughter Mary, the lot now owned by F. Payne; lot 17 to his son Josiah, the lot where the Reformed church stands. Abrahain James Emmit lived in house No. 126, the house now owned by Mrs. George Gillelan, where he died. Wm. Emmit was the executor of his father, a magistrate, a bachelor. Deeds are still in existence with his signature attached.

Emmit Family

Samuel Emmit, an Irish emigrant, in company with Win. Shields, who was married to his sister, came into this locality and took out patents for lands May 7th, 1757; they were not the earliest settlers; they were of the number coming with the third influx, 1730, 1746, 1757. Amongst this third was Key, the father of the national song; the men coming at this period proved to be strong men, as their descendants have evidenced. Samuel Emmit and wife are buried in the Presbyterian cemetery in unmarked graves. Come with me to that hallowed spot where so many of the early settlers sleep, and drop a tear on these lonely graves, not for Mr. Emmit, but for the regret. Over a hundred years has witnessed the changing seasons, yet no man felt interested enough to place a tablet to Emmit's memory. I solicit a contribution of ten cents from each reader of the History of Emmitsburg towards a marker to the memory of Samuel Emmit and wife. Their family consisted of the following children:

Agnes, married Wm. Porter; William, bachelor, died 1817, dropped dead. Mary, Abraham James, Josiah, 1765, June 29th, 1821; Abigail, 1774, February 15th, 1838; children of Abraham James; John, 1811, 1847; Jane married Joseph Crooks 1806,1858; Mary married - McKeehen; children of Joseph and Jane Crooks, Abigail, July 23rd, 1838, died January 17th, 1882; Robert Emmit, 1840, 1867; Wm. Washington, 1842, 1870; Joseph David, 1846, 1853; children of John; married James B. Taylor.

Joseph Crooks and wife lived at Smithsburg, Md.; he is buried in Chambersburg, Pa. Mrs. Crooks, Richmond, Ohio. The last property in the Emmit name was purchased by David Gamble in 1838, now the George Miller farm, the last record of Samuel Emmit; he was living in 1797.

[For a more detailed history of the Emmet Family, we suggest reading Mercedes Murrays: The Maryland Emmets]

Shields' Addition

William Shields purchased from Samuel Emmit, September 29th, 1787, 106 acres of land, west and adjoining the west end of Emmitsburg, he continued the town and named it Shields' Addition. He improved the lay out by widening the alley on south side, laying the alley out in lots:

1. Philip Nunemaker; 2. M. C. Adelsberger, 3. Jacob Oyster; 4. Jacob Oyster; 5. ______ Sefton; 6. John Armstrong; 7. Michael Row; 8. George Weaver; 9. Daniel Welty; 10. James Nickleson; 11. James Moore; 12. Bernard Welty; 13. Jacob Rickenbaugh; 53. Asa Webb; 54. Samuel Bomgardner; 14. John Hengh; 15. Peter Honiker; 16. William Boner; 17. Frederick Row; 18. Mrs. George Smith; 19. _____ Bowden; 20. Jacob Houck; 21. Mary Knox; 22. Margaret Knox; 23. David Agnew; 24. Joseph Row; 25.John Bader; 26. Joseph Danner; 55. _____ McFadden; 56. _____ Purcell; 57. _____ Dugan.

A ground rent of ten dollars was included in the purchase of each lot, which was collected for many years and abandoned. At odd times prior to the dates of lot owners named, Duphorn, Shockey, Walters, Smith, Cunningham, Moreland, Dugan, owned lots on Main street. Burket, Duncan, Lucket, colored people lived on alley. The tearing away of the tanyard and sale of lots of the Jacob Motter property was the extension of the west end, as well as the sale of the lot formerly connected with the hotel, Black's Tavern.

Pages 51 - 60

Helmans' History Of Emmitsburg

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