Above is a 1940 financial statement from the Myersville Savings Bank. The financial institution was located in what is now the C. Basil Grossnickle Insurance Company at 415 Main Street, Myersville. It was established in 1898 and operated as such until it was purchased by First United Bank & Trust in 1995.
By Rebecca Conrad
This second family postcard was sent from Frederick to Miss Mildred Knodle of Myersville on 22 October, 1909. The sender was Walter Knodle (1873-1929), Mildred's father. It reads: "Hello Mildred, How are you getting along. Wish you were here tonight. You could go to the show. I am not good. Am so tired and stiff. Help Mama all you can and be a good girl. Tell her not to worry about anything. Take good care of Baby and Helen. I will bring you something. Your Papa."
Below: Mildred Elizabeth Knodle Poffenberger, Jacob Berman Poffenberger, Audrey Irene Knodle, and Fannie Rosella Moser Knodle around the time of Mildred’s marriage in 1921.
By Rebecca Conrad
My grandmother, Mildred Elizabeth Knodle was born and resided at our farm on Ward Kline Road. Her parents were Walter Knodle (1873-1929) and Fannie Rosella Moser Knodle (1872-1943) and her grandparents were John Henry Moser (1834-1905) and Amanda Weddle Moser (1837-1913).
This postcard, with the stamp cancelled on the morning 2 December, 1911, reads: "Dear family, we got over all right and I as well as usual. It rained so hard all day and tonight Hary thinks the ice may break and come down. Wishing you a happy birthday. Your Mother, Amanda Moser.'
By Rebecca Conrad
Most of us probably learned to read using the series of books starring Dick and Jane. These books used a “look and say” approach of learning new words followed by sometimes tedious repetition. “See Dick run. Run, Dick, run. “ Used from the 1930s to the 1970s, children of this time all followed the antics of these characters. The books fell out of favor due to many factors, such as the women’s movement, limited and stereotypical story lines, and the preference to the phonics system of learning to read.
For almost one hundred years prior to Dick and Jane, students had learned using a set of books created by William Holmes McGuffey. McGuffey was an educator and a preacher. He combined these two skills to create a series of textbooks which consisted of basic education in the areas of reading and spelling as well as religious instruction in his compilation of stories. His set of seven books consisted of a Pictorial Eclectic Primer and an Eclectic Primer to be used by beginning readers; four increasingly difficult Readers to be used by more advanced scholars; and an Eclectic Progressive Speller. As their names suggest, the books used a variety of materials gleaned from the Bible and works written by many notable people such as John Milton, Lord Byron, and Noah Webster, along with original essays on a wide range of subjects such as nature and geography.
McGuffey's colleague Joseph Ray published three instructional books on arithmetic in 1834. McGuffey’s series were published between 1836 and 1838. Two later textbooks (the Fifth and Sixth Eclectic Readers) were written by William’s brother, Alexander McGuffey. A study of these books gave any student a thorough knowledge of the three R’s – Reading, ‘Riting, and “Rithmetic - as well as a fourth R, Religion. Many parents who homeschool their children still use these resources today.
By Rebecca Conrad
Have you ever heard “The Beer Barrel Polka?” How about “Roll out the Barrel?” Barrels were such an integral part of life that many songs were written about them. There are also many sayings such as “He is a barrel of laughs” that reference them. We even use the expression “stave off” which refers to the wood pieces used in the barrels. Barrels were used to store essentials such as flour, sugar, and salt. They were very important in the production of beer, whiskey, wine and other liquors. The type of wood used in them was crucial because they lent some of the flavor to the final product. Where did all these barrels come from?
A search of the 1850 Census for the area shows many men listed as coopers. The skill was passed down from father to son. The listing for Jacob Wastler, aged 68, and his son, Jacob, aged 25, shows them both with cooper listed as their occupation. The cooper Joseph Stottlemyer, took an apprentice named Goodlow Hayes into his household and trained him. John Wachter, John Haynes and Henry Gaver were others in the area manufacturing barrels.
The Gaver family was well-known for their cooperage skills. The History of Frederick County, Vol 1 by Thomas John Chew Williams and Folger McKinsey tells of John T. Gaver. He was the great-grandson of the John Gaver who donated land for the church for which Church Hill is named. John T. Gaver’s father was John P. Gaver, who purchased 121 acres of timber land and spent summers peeling bark and getting out materials for his barrel making enterprise. He was so successful that he was able to purchase an additional 60 acres of land.
These barrels were so critical that there was even a magazine called the National Cooper’s Journal that proudly declared itself "Devoted to the Cooperage Industry; A Paper of Great Value to All Stave, Hoop, Heading and Liner Manufacturers; To All Makers and Users of Barrels, Kegs, Casks, Tubs, Pails, Machinery and Mill Supplies." It began publishing in the 1890s and continued into the mid 1900s.
All of this makes me long to have been there when you could sit at the general store, playing checkers on an old cracker barrel and watching little girls roll the hoops down the streets. Ponder on this the next time you hear of politicians "pork-barreling." Just don’t try going over Niagara Falls in one!
The late evening of 3 August, 1904, was hot and sultry, but with a luminous Moon. George Bittle closed up his shop but did not go home. As he had done on multiple recent occasions, Bittle sat on his front porch, armed with a breech-loading gun, to watch over his store. The night song of the cicadas and crickets and the calls of the amphibians at Frog Hollow were thick in the humid air around him.
Two months earlier, on 9 June, someone had burgled his storeroom and taken about $50 in jewelry—more than $1,500 in today’s worth and a significant loss. On 6 July, the storeroom was entered through the cellar, but the thief may have been spooked and fled empty-handed, leaving a lit lantern outside the door.
Sometime between 10 and 11 p.m., Bittle’s neighbor, Joseph Wolf (1850-1911), and another man strolled past the storefront. The second fellow wore a dark slouch hat and dark clothing. Bittle was sure it was George Henry Koogle (1884-1958), son of well-known Captain Jacob Koogle (1841-1915), who had been in the store earlier that evening and who possessed a distinctive gait. Shortly after this, Bittle heard noises at the rear of the building, went there—finding no one—then remained awhile, keeping lookout. At about 12:15 a.m. he heard noises at the front of the building and quietly retraced his steps. Under the bright moonlight, he saw a figure half-crouched, fiddling with the door lock.
Click to read the full article by Ann Longmore-Etheridge at Your Dying Charlotte.
By Ann Longmore-Etheridge
This strange, slightly sinister unstamped postcard was addressed to Nellie Amanda Johnson (1890-1979) of Ellerton. It reads: "Hello Nellie, How are you and George R. getting along. Suppose you are very sleepy this morning. Now don't wait as long as I did to answer. From George R. [sic] other Girl".
The postcard dates to before 1909, when Nellie married Clyde Leatherman Harshman (1885-1978). Nellie was the daughter of farmer Charles Webster Johnson (1857-1918) and Amanda Ellen Wiseman (1860-1934), who had married at the parsonage on Church Hill on 8 January, 1880.
Who was George R.? We don't know. Was this a love triangle? It reads like one, but until more information comes to light, we cannot be sure.
By Nancy Bruce
The Maugans family cemetery is located off Harp Hill Road. The stones have been removed but the Maugans remain. The first of this clan came from Germany to Pennsylvania in 1695. There were, and are, various spellings of the name: Maugins, Maugin, and even Morgan.
Conrad Maugans, known throughout his life as "Nick," was born in about 1732 and researchers have found records of his father's death in Wolfsville, Frederick County, and have thus attributed Conrad's birth to the Wolfsville area.
Who was Conrad Maugans? He was a man of determination and stamina. At one time, Maugans owned a part of the land grants with the colorful names "I'll Take It All" and "Tom's Farewell." However there was another parcel of land for which he and another man sought a grant. reportedly, Conrad walked all night to Annapolis to beat his competitor to it. When the other man arrived the next morning, he found Conrad at the capitol building with the deed in hand. This parcel became the Maugans' homestead and was known as "Conrad Travels At Night." Their log cabin stood over the spring. The Maugans Family cemetery is adjacent and the Conrad's remains still occupy the land for which he walked so far.
Below: The Will of Conrad Maugans; Right: John Robert Maugans (1860-1940). Resident of Ellerton and descendant of Conrad Maugans.
By Nancy Bruce
On St. Cecilius Day, 22 November, 1633, the fast and large ship, the London Ark and the smaller, slower ship, the Maryland Dove, set sail from the Cowes, at the lower end of the Isle of Wight. These two ships were on an expedition to found the first Roman Catholic colony and the first of the English proprietary colonies in North America. On 25 March 1634, these two ships landed at St. Clements Island, Maryland.
While there is no documented list of all the passengers on these two ships, there is evidence that one William Browne came on The Ark as a manservant and shoemaker to Captain Thomas Cornwalys. He is believed to be between 10 and 13 years old at the time. William accumulated a large estate. He had many slaves and thirteen hundred acres of land. There are records of William being sued many times and of him suing others frequently.
William Browne died 28 February 1665 leaving a son and a daughter as his heirs.
In the 1720s, a descendant, William Browne, moved to the Monocacy Settlement, where he served as constable. In 1742, this William Browne signed the petition for the formation of Frederick County.
Thomas Brown was the sixth generation of the family in America. Brown was a corporal in the 2nd Maryland Regiment during the Revolutionary War. He married Hannah Pittinger and fathered nine children. Thomas died in the late 1780s; his burial site is unknown.
Following Thomas's death, Hannah and the couple's children built a home along Monahan Road south of Foxville. As the family grew the village became known as Brownsville. When Hannah died she was buried on her homestead which is now known as the Brown's Cemetery. Some of the foundation rocks from her old cottage are still intact there.
Photo: A replica of the Maryland Dove at St. Mary's City, Maryland.
By Nancy Bruce
There were three Horine families who emigrated to America. All passed through or stayed in our area. One Horine who stayed was Johann Tobias Horine. He was born to Hans Adam Horine (1691-1772) and his wife Anna Catherine Crummin (1695-1790) on 5 May, 1725, in Grantschen, Heilbronn, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, and arrived in Philadelphia on 17 November, 1749, on the ship Dragon.
While in Pennsylvania, Horine married Elizabeth Possert (1730-1773), the daughter of Jorg Possert (1700-1733). The couple's first child, Adam, was born 11 January, 1753, in New Hanover Township, Pennsylvania. This was followed by five daughters born between 1754 and 1765, then two more sons in 1766 and 1769, and a final daughter in 1771. Some of the daughters, it appears, did not live to adulthood.
Horine family researcher Eric Davis relays two pieces family lore concerning Horine that are of interest, although probably mostly apocryphal. First, it is said that Horine was the first white man to cross the mountains to the Middletown Valley. Second, after his arrival, Horine found an open meadow. From it, he cut and built a haystack, dug a little den under it, and spent the night with his wife and little child, probably their son Adam. The valley was yet home to Native Americans and during the night, some found the haystack and danced a War Dance around it. Johann and his wife were frightened, fearing that their little child might cry or make a noise that would betray them to the hostile Indians. But the hay house proved a complete deception to the Native Americans, who never suspected that there were white people hiding beneath it. The next morning, they returned to the colony at Frederick, but later established a permanent home near what would become Beallsville, now Harmony, where in 1754 he acquired an 81-acre parcel called "Johnson's Delight" from Thomas Johnson. Additionally, he obtained a 303-acre parcel on 24 May, 1764. Horine also built and ran a distillery for a number of years.
His Will, probated after his death on 21 October, 1773, directed that he be buried in Jerusalem Cemetery. He also directed that his daughters attend a German school until they were able to fully read the language, and that his sons Tobias and Samuel attend an English school "and instructed on the same until they have knowledge of the Rule of Three, commonly called the Golden rule."
Photo: Boyhood home of Johann Tobias Horine in Flien, Germany.