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Pioneer Families - Lorenz Krieger

A. W. Cissel

Despite all the words that would later be written about the Creager (Krieger) family. It is ironic and not a little frustrating to have so little information about the man who actually laid out and sold the lots in the place he called the "Town of Merchants." John Creager was the second generation to own this land; fortunately we know more about the original owner, his father - the pioneer settler, Lorenz Krieger.

1. (Johna_ Lorenz Krieger (1715-1784) was born at Elsoff, Beddelhausen, Wittgenstein (Westphalia, Prussia). He emigrated to America in 1738 arriving at Philadelphia on the ship "Saint Andrew." In 1741 he married Mary Elizabeth Hahn and was living a few miles from York, PA where his two eldest children were born. The Moravian records recite that he came to Frederick County in 1747, however we now know that he had received a certificate to survey and patent land in the county in 1744. The 375 acres he laid out adjoined that section of the north-south "wagon road" now known as Apples Church Road. He called his land "Creager's Delight." In 1761 Lorenz Krieger "in Manokosy," farmer was naturalized, along with fellow Moravian Leonard Moser.

The bulk of the land that would make up later Thurmont was added to Lorenz* holdings in 1764 when he claimed the vacant land all around his farm, Including the original "Creager's Delight" his resurvey totaled 866 acres, stretching west to the foot of the mountain and south to the present Moser Road. He named this whole tract "Stoney Corner." His will written in 1781, divided "Stoney Corner" between his sons John and Lawrence, Jr. His daughters (two of whom had married into the Moravian Weller family), received other lands during his lifetime. Lawrence Creager died in 1784 and is buried at Graceham.

2. John Creager (ca. 1746-1822) was named the eldest son in his fatherís Will. Since John was probably born in Pennsylvania and never associated with the Moravian church, basic information is sparse. We know that with his wife Elizabeth, he had a son Henry and three daughters. But in his Will of 1821 he also names Margaret as the mother of his son John Creager, Jr., she is not named as wife, so John Jr. is possibly illegitimate. Nothing further is known of this son: son Henry Creager dies in Ohio in 1869.

John, Senior, son of Lawrence, took the 400-plus acres of "Stoney Corner" he had inherited from his father and added nearby acreage by claim or purchase. Around 1803 he laid out 50 lots along both sides of the Baltimore to Hagerstown Road (now Main Street) and along the road to Frederick (now Water Street/Church Street). The name he gave his new town reflects the presence there already of a settlement composed of saw and hemp mills, blacksmith shops, wagon-maker and (possible) a distillery. These industries were located along the banks of Hunting Creek, just south and west of his lots. The lots in the new town could be purchased as quarter or half-acre sizes, priced from $13 to $30. Elizabeth Creager as wife, agreed to or acknowledged on the sale of lots on deed only between 1805 and 1809. Her maiden name or place of burial is not known.

John was forced to mortgage his lands and by 1821 his creditors demanded that enough lands be sold to pay off his debts. John died in 1822, but the 1825 Tax Assessments showed that "John Creager's Heirs" still owned lots #3 and #48 and #21 others not known." There was only 31/2 acres left of his share of "Resurvey on Stoney Corner."

No gravestone has been found for John Creager, so perhaps a more visible, lasting monument is the town he established, which today we call Thurmont.
 

Do you know of an individual who helped shape Thurmont?
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history@mythurmont.net

Read more articles by Anne Cissel