Distinguished Citizens of
Excerpts from History of Allegany County
by Williams and Thomas (1923)
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JUDGE RICHARD THOMPSON SEMMES, the oldest member of the Allegany county bar, and present judge of the Juvenile court of Cumberland, is a worthy representative of one of the early families of Maryland, whose members in every generation, have exemplified its best citizenship. He is a son of Samuel Middleton Semmes.
Samuel Middleton Semmes was born at Effton Hill, Charles county, Maryland, March 9, 1811. He was the son of Richard Thompson Semmes and his wife, Catherine Taliaferro Middleton. He had one brother, Raphael Semmes, Admiral of the Confederate States Navy.
Mr. Semmes was educated at Georgetown College, studied law under the Hon. William Price, and was admitted to the Cumberland Bar in 1833. He soon commanded a vigorous and large practice, and attained high prominence in the community of his adoption. He had an unusually large clientage, to which he occupied confidential and fiduciary relations, among these that of acquiring title for his clients in a large number of coal interests then in process of development. Mr. Semmes had probably more to do with securing legislation and drawing the charters of the pioneer coal companies of Western Maryland than any other lawyer of his day.
Mr. Semmes enjoyed the distinction of having prepared for admission to the Allegany County Bar more young men than any other man of his day and generation. In 1844 he was appointed by Governor Frank Thomas a judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, after the death of the lamented Judge John Buchanan. He served until the ensuing meeting of the Senate, when from some political reason, his appointment failed of confirmation. He was State Senator from Allegany county from 1855 to 1866.
Mr. Semmes was a benevolent man and possessed great independence of character. As evidence of the latter characteristic, though he was a Roman Catholic in religion, at that time, when the first Masonic Order was organized in Cumberland, he donated the ground upon which the first temple was erected, the deed reciting the fact that it was a gift and dedication to said fraternity.
His health failed quite early in life, and for some years before his death he had to abandon the practice of his profession. He died in November 1867.
Mr. Semmes married on May 14, 1840, Eleonora Nelson Guest, of Washington, D. C., the daughter of John Guest and sister of Commodore John Guest. The following children were born to them in the order of their citation: Mary Guest; Richard T.; Mary Guest (2) ; Kate Middleton; Nora; Middleton; John Edward and Samuel Middleton. All of these children are dead excepting Richard T. Semmes Judge of the Juvenile Court in Cumberland; Nora, wife of William J. Read, leading lawyer at Elkins, West Virginia, and John Edward Semmes, a prominent lawyer of Baltimore, Maryland.
Richard Thompson Semmes was born in Cumberland, Maryland, January 2 1843, and was reared there. He attended private school and pursued his higher studies at St. James College, in Washington county, Maryland, taking his law course at Yale, where he was graduated in 1863, with the degree of bachelor of laws. After a brief period of practice in his native city, Mr. Semmes went West and located in Chicago, Illinois, but he concluded that prospects in the East were just as promising and soon returned to Cumberland, where he has been actively engaged in legal work for nearly fifty years. The character of his practice and the acknowledged esteem of his fellow practitioners is sufficient to attest the honorable position which he occupies. In March, 1916, he was appointed judge of the Juvenile court of Cumberland for a term of four years by Gov. Emerson E. Harrington, and the same year he was honored with election to the presidency of the Allegany County Bar Association. He has been a stanch supporter of the Democratic party since he attained his majority, and has always exerted his influence in its best interest. He is a member of Potomac Lodge, No. 100, A. F. & A. M., of Cumberland, and of the Episcopal Church.
On February 28, 1871, Judge Semmes was married to Miss Clementine Schlater, of Louisiana, who died in 1892, the mother of five children: Mary, now the wife of Richard Gambrill, of Chicago, Illinois; Richard M., president of the Semmes Line of steamers, of Seattle, Washington; Nora, unmarried; Clementine; and Gervais S., a resident of Chicago. Judge Semmes married for his second wife Mrs. E. M. Hoff, widow of Dr. Hoff, late United States Naval surgeon.
JAMES P. SHAW, of Barton, has long been identified with the most progressive agricultural activities of Allegany county, Maryland, his extensive interests now embracing various branches of farming, which he has combined very advantageously. As a large owner of farm property, and its successful operator, he is keeping close to the traditions which have attached to his name for several generations, some of the most valuable land in the county having been included in the vast tracts held by the Shaws for the last century and more.
The Shaws came into the George's Creek region of Allegany county, Maryland, over one hundred years ago, when it was a wilderness, and long before the inception of its leading industry, the mining of coal. Upon their arrival from England they first settled at Cresaptown (better known as Oldtown), this county, about 1810, locating on the old Shaw farm now owned and occupied by Andrew B. Shaw (see his biography elsewhere in this work). George Shaw, the first of this line of whom we have record, was a native of England, living at Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire, and his wife was a Miss Nameday, [George Shaw married Elizabeth Nainby on 1 Apr 1755]of London. William Shaw, son of George, was born December 3, 1757, at Barton, England, came to this country when a young man, and originally settled near Cresaptown, Maryland. On March 4, 1785, he married Charlotte Trimble, who, lived near Frostburg, Allegany county. William Shaw was the first Methodist preacher in this region, being the founder of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Barton, and his diary and record book of marriages, now in the possession of his grandson, Andrew B. Shaw, contains data of many of the ceremonies performed in this county over one hundred years ago, showing the dates and the names of. the contracting parties. Andrew B. Shaw also holds the certificate of eldership which was given to his grandfather, bearing the signature of Bishop Asbury, of Maryland, and dated August 25, 1813. Rev. William Shaw built his house, a log structure, near the Swanton inclined plane. It was the first house on what is now the site of Barton, and was torn down many years ago. The next house there, built by his son William Shaw, Jr., now belongs to the Shaw estate. William Shaw, Jr., laid out the town in 1853, naming it after the old family home town in England. As first planned it consisted of sixty-six lots, and in 1868 Andrew B. Shaw, son of William Shaw, Jr., made an addition of fifty-one -lots to it. The site of this town, as well as Moscow and Pekin, also laid out by the Shaws, was included in the Shaw estate of some twelve hundred acres, composed of part of the surveys Flower Meads and Ball's Good Luck and military lots. After the laying out of the town in 1853, the first house erected was put up by Russell Beveridge. It was subsequently burned down. William Shaw, Jr., kept the first store in the old Shaw log Cabin, and the first store conducted after the laying out of the town was operated by William B. Shaw & Company. The first resident. physician was Dr. Benjamin B. Shaw. When the town was laid out in 1853 there were but two houses, both belonging to the Shaws.
Henry Shaw, son of Rev. William Shaw, was the grandfather of James P. Shaw. He lived in the locality known as Pekill Hill, Allegany county, where he followed farming and-his trade of carpenter.
John Shaw, son of Henry, was born on Pekill Hill December 12, 1822, and died in March 1905. He was a man of honorable character and temperate, industrious nature, and farmed successfully on Pekill Hill all his long life, being the owner of over six hundred acres of good land, in three separate tracts, at the time of his death. He was a lifelong Republican in his political convictions, a member of the M. E. Church, and a citizen esteemed for his strict adherence to upright principles in all the relations of life. To his marriage with Nancy C. Michaels, now also deceased, was born a large family, viz. George H., now residing at Klondike Mines, Maryland; Rebecca, now deceased, wife of Gaspar Beavers, a farmer of Mahaska county, Iowa; William Lewis, who is engaged in farming in Mahaska county. Iowa: Zedoch, of Moscow Mines, Allegany county, Maryland, now deceased; Charles Franklin, of Jennings, Garrett county, Maryland; Joseph 'I., deceased; James P.; Mary Jane, widow of George Andrews, of Moscow, Maryland; John Columbus, deceased; Catherine, wife of John Boal, a miner of Barton, Maryland; and Allen, who is farming on the old home place on Pekill Hill.
James P. Shaw was born February 16, 1860, on the Pekill Hill farm, one mile east of Moscow, where his parents were established for so many years, was reared there, and acquired his education in the local public schools, which he attended during the winter months. As was customary at the time, his training was mostly of the practical order, and was begun early on the home farm, where he remained until he was twenty-three years old. His father's large holdings and extensive agricultural operations afforded him plenty of opportunity for valuable and diversified experience. When he left home he embarked in the teaming and draying business at Barton, selling out his interests in that line at the end of two years to the Potomac Coal Company, and entering the employ of R. K. Snyder R Company, general merchants at Barton, for whom he drove a delivery wagon. He had been teaming seven years in all when he took charge of the stables of the Caledonia Mining Company, at Barton, as boss and at the same time became manager of their farms, remaining in their service, as stable boss and farm manager, for twenty-one years, until in 1912 he bought the Caldedonia farm, the handsome property at Barton upon which he continues to reside. It comprises two hundred and seventy-three acres, of which two hundred acres are good farm land under excellent cultivation. Mr. Shaw raises large crops of wheat, hay and potatoes. has a fine young orchard on his tract, and is one of the largest feeders of stall-fed cattle in George's Creek region. There are few farmers in the county whose judgment is rated as superior to his, and if we may be convinced by definite achievements he deserves the distinction. Having had the management of this property in his hands for so many years, its present state of development may be attributed entirely to his care, and he has made many improvements on the place since it came into his ownership, including the fine residence built in 1915. Though he commenced without assistance from any one, and has had to make his own way entirely by his own efforts, Mr. Shaw is now in excellent circumstances. Besides the place where he resides he also owns one hundred and twenty-four acres of the old Shaw homestead on Pekill Hill, as well as five good tenant houses in Barton, and he is a stockholder in the First National Bank at that place. He has been associated with the various activities of the community, holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church at Barton and the local council of the Improved Order of Red Men, and is a Republican in his political views.
On October 14, 1883, Mr Shaw married Miss Hannah E. Creutzburg, of Barton,
daughter of John Valentine Creutzburg, an old-time resident of that place. Four
children have been born to this union, namely: Clarence L., deceased who married
Miss Maud Mason and left three children, Vesta, Helen and Randall ; Earnest Shaw
attended the public schools and was graduated from a commercial college, and is
now living at home and assisting his father on the farm; Mattie died when eight
years old; Elva M., who is now taking music at Vaparairo University, Indiana.
JOHN W. P. SOMERVILLE, president of the Midland Mining Company, and one of the prominent business men of Cumberland, belongs to a family which has had representatives in the coal industry in Allegany county from the early days of the development of the George's Creek region, and in his own prosperous career in such operations has upheld the reputation of the family name. All of his life has been passed in the pursuit of this business, and in its advancement in accordance with modern ideas he has found plenty of opportunity for the exercise of his alert faculties, which have manifested themselves in enterprises of a high order. In short, he has so managed his holdings that his policies and methods have had a beneficial effect on the business as whole, with credit to himself as well as gratifying material success.
Mr. Somerville was born at Eckhart Mines, Allegany county, Maryland, May 6, 1883, and is a son of William A. and Harriette (Porter) Somerville, and a grandson of John Somerville. His grandfather, a native of Scotland, settled in Allegany county when the development of the mines in the George's Creek region was in its early stages, and here spent the balance of his life. He shipped the first car of George's Creek Big Vein smithing coal that went west of the Ohio river, this being sent from the Pickell Hill mines near Barton, the same property that is now known as the Moscow-Georges Creek Mining Company. His family consisted of nine children: Agnes, who is the wife of George Shaw; John, a resident of Lonaconing, Allegany county; William A. R. L., A. T. B., A. B., H. B., Laura and Isabelle.
William A. Somerville, the son of John Somerville, was born at Barton, Allegany county, Maryland, in 1857, and was a leading figure in the promotion of the coal industry in this section, being associated with that business in the Georges Creek region all his life. After twenty years of service with the Consolidation Coal Company, he was the recipient of the following letter:
"Baltimore, Md., Feb. 5, 1900.
"Mr. W. A. Somerville,
"Your letter of January 30th, announcing your resignation is mine foreman, has been received, and I take this opportunity of expressing to you the estimation in which your services have been held by this company. When I assumed the presidency I was informed by Mining Superintendent Randolph of the ability which you showed in discharging the duties of your position, and especially of your loyalty to the company. I give you my assurance now that you have fully lived up to this recommendation. Loyalty is a characteristic which commands not only our admiration, but, because of its great value, our gratitude also. In that it assists cooperation, it brings about the most beneficial results to all concerned. It is therefore with regret that your resignation is accepted, and I feel that this regret is shared by all connected with the company. With best wishes for success in whatever you undertake in the future, I am,
"Very truly yours,
"THE, CONSOLIDATION COAL CO.
(Signed) C. K. Lord,
"P. S.-Command me whenever I can be of service to you."
In 1900 William A. Somerville organized the Midland Mining Company and became its president, remaining at the head of the business until 1913, the year of his death, at Cumberland. In 1900 he also organized the Columbia Coal and Coke Company, at Clarksburg, West Virginia, and in 1902 organized the Moscow-Georges Creek Mining Company. He was one of the substantial business men of his day, and much respected for his sterling personal qualities as well as his talent for executive responsibilities.
By his marriage to Harriette Porter, Mr. Somerville had a family of five children: Miss Margaret P., who resides at Cumberland; Agnes R., the wife of Floyd C. Scott, of Cumberland; John W. P., of this review; William A. also a resident of Cumberland, secretary of the Midland Mining Company; and Miss Dessie E., who resides in Cumberland. William A. Somerville was a member of Ohr Lodge, No. 131, A. F. & A. M. He belonged to the Lutheran Church, which he supported generously. In politics he was a Republican throughout life. John W. P. Somerville was reared at Frostburg, Allegany county, and obtained his education in the public schools of that place and at Maryland State College. He has spent his life in Allegany county, with the exception of three years as road engineer in Prince George's county, Maryland, and has worked at everything in the mines from the position of water-boy to that of president. He began to learn the practical side of mine operations at an early age, being only a small boy when he commenced work regularly at the Klondike mines for the Consolidation Coal Company, and is familiar with all the details of the business, having had experience in every phase of actual mining as well as management. Since his father's death he has been president of the Midland Mining Company, whose various properties are all in Allegany county. He is also president of the Moscow-Georges Creek Mining Company of Allegany and Garrett counties, and of the Georges Creek-Parker Coal Company of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and devotes all his energies in business to the responsibilities of their operation. Though he had the advantage of long association with his father and excellent training under his direction, Mr. Somerville may nevertheless be called a self-made man, for he has gained his present position through his own efforts, and has had to work hard to maintain his solid standing among the worthy business men of the day. Neither has he relaxed his strict attention to affairs since he succeeded in placing the above companies in a position of recognized importance.
On March 30, 1911, Mr. Somerville married Miss Eutelka Powell, of Keyser, West Virginia, and they have two children: Wilma Elizabeth and Ruth Eutelka. He is a member of the Lutheran Church, and supports the Republican ticket in political issues. Fraternally he is a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to Mount Hermon Lodge, No. 179, A. F. & A. M.; Keystone Chapter, No. 32, R. A. M.; St. Elmo Commandery, No. 12, K. T., and to Boumi Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. of Baltimore. He is also a Thirty-second degree Mason.
WILLIAM McLEYNE SOMERVILLE, a member of a family long identified with the business:, social and political development of Western Maryland, was admitted to the Bar of Allegany county at the October term of court, 1902, and has practiced his profession actively at Cumberland ever since. In his profession he holds a recognized place among the reliable attorneys of the county, and is likewise well known because of his activities in successful business operations, public service and effective participation in various movements designed for the elevation of living and social standards.
Mr. Somerville was born at Barton, Maryland, November 6th, 1879, a son of John and Clementine Cowan (McLeyne) Somerville. The Somerville family of Western Maryland had its inception here when three brothers, John, William and Robert Somerville, emigrated from Scotland, and settled at Lonaconing, in 1851. While Robert died childless, the other brothers had large families, and their descendants now number many citizens of Allegany county, which county is always looked upon as the family home. John Somerville, one of the three brothers named, and grandfather of William McLeyne Somerville, was born at Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and soon after settling in Maryland undertook the management and operation of the Pickell Mines, at Barton, and the mines of the Empire Coal Company, at Bloomington, Garrett county, until his death in 1882. He was one of the pioneer coal operators of this region, and the family has ever since been identified with the development of the coal industry here, during a period of more than seventy years. John Somerville was one of the founders of the Presbyterian churches of Lonaconing and Barton. The family have nearly all been of the same religious faith and in the early days were factors in the establishment of several churches in the Georges Creek region.
John Somerville, son of the pioneer John, and father of William McLeyne Somerville, is a prominent citizen of Lonaconing, Allegany county, where he has been well known as a general merchant for a number of years. In 1871 he married Clementine Cowan McLeyne, and they became the parents of five children: John, who died in 1911, at the age of thirty-seven years; Harry B., a resident of Cumberland, engaged in business; William McLeyne; Irwin B., of Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Elizabeth Cowan, the wife of Albert H. Macy of Lonaconing. The maternal great-grandfather of William McLeyne Somerville, John Cowan, was one of the first in the Georges Creek region to develop and exploit the valuable coal deposits of the county, he having operated coal mines near Eckhart from 1835 to 1855, after which he took up the same business in the coal region south of Wheeling, West Virginia.
The boyhood of William McLeyne Somerville was passed at Barton and Lonaconing, at both of which places he attended the public schools, and after he had graduated from the High School at Lonaconing in 1897, entered the Old Allegany County Academy, at Cumberland, from which he was graduated in 1899. He entered the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and in 1902 received the degree of Bachelor of Laws from that institution. He was admitted to the Bar during the same year, and has been engaged in practice to the present time, being the first member of the Somerville family to take tip this profession. He maintains offices at No. 14 Water Street, Cumberland, where he has built up a patronage of gratifying proportions, his clientele including representatives from all the ranks of substantial residents and business of the city and county. While he devotes himself almost exclusively to the practice of law, his talents have naturally associated him with coal mining corporations in the region. Since 1912 he has been secretary and treasurer of the Empire Coal Company, one of the industries established by his grandfather; treasurer of the Stoyer Coal Company and secretary of the Aberdeen Coal Company, with mines at Stoyer, Garrett county, this State. He is also manager of the coal interests of the Pollock Estate in Maryland, in which two valuable coal operations have been developed.
Mr. Somerville has been a prominent member of the Republican party, and has been one of the leaders of that branch of the party which for years advocated the elimination of intoxicating liquor traffic from the county and State. Mr. Somerville was for several years known as one of the "Dry" leaders of Allegany county in the Republican Party, and it was largely through his able work that the State of Maryland ratified the Constitutional Amendment against alcoholic beverages, at the session of 1918. In 1906 he was the successful candidate of his party for the House of Delegates from Allegany county, serving on the Judiciary, Committee. He has been prominently associated with religious enterprises, and was for several years secretary of the Allegany County Sunday School Association. He belongs to the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma; The B. P. 0. Elks; Barton Lodge I. 0. 0. F.; the Knights, of Pythias, Cumberland, the Cumberland Country Club. the Shawnee Canoe Club, and is secretary of the Allegany County Assembly.
On November 25, 1915, Mr. Somerville was united in marriage with Miss Ethel Irene Bierman, daughter of Major Henry Bierman, a prominent physician of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and to this marriage there have come two sons: William Bierman, born September 6, 1916 and Donald Leonard, born February 25, 1921.
ANDREW SPEIR is one of the most prosperous business men at Lonaconing, Allegany county, where he has been engaged in the furniture trade and undertaking for over thirty years. In 1914 he erected the block in which he is now established, and which in its substantial construction, convenient arrangement and ample accommodations is quite typical of the manner in which all of his affairs are ordered. For capability, integrity and reliability Mr. Speir ranks with the most honorable business men in his community, and stands deservedly high in the good opinion of all his townsmen.
Mr. Speir was born in April 30, 1859, in Newburg, West Virginia, son of Hugh and Jean (Caldwell) Speir, who were from Kilmarnock, Scotland, and came to this country about 1852. After living for some years in Virginia they settled in Allegany county, Maryland, during the sixties, and the father was engaged as a miner in the George's Creek region for many years, living at Lonaconing. He died at the age of seventy-three years, a Presbyterian in religion and a Republican in politics. His wife was seventy-six at the time of her decease. They were the parents of twelve children, namely: Allen, who was killed by falling rock in the Carlos Mines at Midlothian, this county; Andrew; Jean, deceased; Hugh, a butcher, living in Frostburg, Allegany county; Elizabeth, deceased; Minnie, widow of Aaron Connor, of Lonaconing; Jane, deceased; Annie deceased; Thomas, of Newark, N. J.; Clara, wife of Frank Winn ; and Alexander, a miner, living at Lonaconing; and Jane died in infancy.
Andrew Speir was seven years old when his parents brought their family to Lonaconing, where he has since resided. He had such educational advantages as the public schools afforded during his early years, beginning work at the age of twelve at the mines, and continuing such employment in the George's Creek coal region during the next fifteen years. At the end of that period he turned to commercial interests, in which he gained his first experience as clerk for J. J. Bell & Brothers, general merchants at Lonaconing, with whom he remained about six years. In 1880 he decided to make a venture on his own account, and started the furniture and undertaking business, which he has ever since carried on, with steadily increasing success, being now one of the foremost men in his line in this region.
Mr. Speir is a Republican in his political views, and for thirty years and more has been one of the most active workers in the party in his locality. Though never aspiring for office for himself, he was chosen tax collector for the Lonaconing district for two years, 1912-1913, and filled the position with complete satisfaction to all concerned, handling its responsibilities with the conscientious care that he gives to all his duties, of whatever nature. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and fraternally belongs to Rising Sun Lodge, No. 86, Knights of Pythias, as well as the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
In October, 1899, Mr. Speir was united in marriage to Miss Rhoda E. Barnette,
daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Barnette, of Lonaconing, both her parents being
now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Speir have one child, Hugh Barnette Speir, who is now
teaching in the prep school at the Western Maryland College Westminster,
HUGH SPEIR is on of the substantial business men of Frostburg, and his modern and sanitary butcher shop reflects his effectiveness and good management. Since 1893 he has been a resident of the city, and his interest in its progress dates from that epoch. He4 is well and favorably known personally, being particularly active in politics through the medium of the Republican party, and is ranked as one of its influential local workers.
The birth of Hugh Speir occurred at Newburg, Preston county, West Virginia, May 28, 1862, and he is a son of Hugh and Jean (Caldwell) Speir, natives of Scotland, who came to the United States from Kilmarnock, that country, about 1852, and lived for some years in Virginia. Early in the ‘60s they settled in Allegany county, Maryland, and for many years there after he was employed in the mines of Lonaconing. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and was steadfast in his adherence to its creed. The Republican party had his firm support. His death occurred when he was seventy-eight years of age, and his wife died when she was seventy-six. They had the following large family: Allen, who was killed by a falling rock in the Carlos mines; Andrew, who is a furniture dealer and undertaker of Lonaconing, is mentioned elsewhere in this work; Hugh, whose name heads this review; Elizabeth, who is the wife of Jesse Dohem, a miner of Lonaconing; Minnie, who is the wife of Aaron Connor of Lonaconing; Annie, who is deceased; Clara, who is the wife of Frank Winn of Cumberland; Thomas, who is a salesman of Newark, New Jersey; Alexander, who is a miner of Lonaconing; and three who died in childhood.
Hugh Speir, of this notice, was only a small boy when his parents moved to Allegany county, so practically all of his life has been spent in this region. For a short period he was a student of its public schools, but at an early age he went into the mines of Lonaconing, and, although he changed his employment for something more to his liking, he has continued self-supporting ever since. He learned the butchering trade with different butchers of Lonaconing before he came to Frostburg, so was perfectly conversant with the business when he opened his store in 1893, soon after locating in this city. From the start he was successful, and his market on Broadway has come to be recognized as a place where the best quality of meat may be obtained, and at prices as low as is consistent with the quality of the goods and the prevailing quotations. He butchers the best procurable live stock, and makes a point of giving a first-class service in every particular. His large trade has been built up on a basis of honorable methods entirely in keeping with his general charaster, and he stands deservedly high in popular esteem. Although his business responsibilities are heavy and carefully looked after, he has been able to give considerable attention to politics, and taken an active part in the local campaigns in behalf of the Republican party. At the Republican primaries in 1912 he was a candidate for sheriff, only losing the nomination by a small vote. Fraternally he maintains membership with the Knights of Pythias. He is a consistent member of the Presbyterian church.
On January 2, 1882, Mr. Speir was married to Miss Maria C. Null of
Lonaconing, who was born March 17, 1862. They became the parents of the
following children: Minnie, who is the wife of Robert Cook of Frostburg, who
died January 10, 1923, and they had two children, Noel and Marie; Andrew H., who
is studying art at Baltimore, Maryland; Louise, who is the wife of William
Spates of Frostburg; Agnes, who married James Jeffries of Frostburg,
superintendent of the Frostburg water works, has one son, Hugh Speir Jeffries;
Mabel, who married William Stephens of Frostburg; William Engle, who is
unmarried, is associated with his father in the butchering business; Lillian,
who married John Stewart of Frostburg; and Nelson, who is at home. In 1922 Mr.
Speir . took a trip abroad, visiting different European countries. In addition
to his other interests he is a member of the Georges Creek Clean Coal Company at
Barton, Allegany county.
To be successful in business and signally honored in public life does not by any means come within the experience of every man before middle age reaches him, but it does happen sometimes, and an example at hand is found in one of Midland's highly respected and substantial citizens, Hon. Thomas E. Stakem, formerly mayor of this city. Futhermore, Mr. Stakem is a self-made man, and what he has accomplished in the way of business is the direct result of perseverance and hard work, while the honors bestowed on him have been testimonials to his sterling character and qualities of good citizenship.
Thomas E. Stakem was born at Lonaconing, Allegany county, Maryland, February 23, 1878. His parents were Patrick and Esther (Cavanaugh) Stakem, the former of whom was born in County Wicklow, Ireland. From there he came to the United States when twenty-one years of age, and found work in the coal mines near Ocean, in Allegany county, Maryland. He was married there to Esther Cavanaugh, an estimable young woman also of Irish ancestry, and they became the parents of the following children; James J., who is a miner in the Lonaconing district, Allegany county; Patrick A., who follows the carpenter trade at Lonaconing; Thomas E.; Richard F., who is a miner in Allegany county; John C., who died in July, 1915, at the age of thirty-two years; Maggie, who is the wife of Patrick McDonough; Lono, who is a miner; Catherine, who is the wife of William J. Broderick; Isaac, who is a cutter and tailor; Daniel J., who conducts a barber shop at Lonaconing; Ruth, who is deceased; and Winnifred, Sarah, Veronica and Edward, all of whom reside at Lonaconing. The father of the above family died in his home at Lonaconing, October 26, 1914, at the age of sixty-nine years.
In his boyhood, Thomas E. Stakem attended the parochial school of St. Mary's parish, but in so large a family his parents could give him but few advantages, and while yet a boy he began to make plans for self support, finally deciding to learn the tailor's trade. After making his practical decision, Mr. Stakem became an apprentice under William J. Mooney, the leading tailor of Lonaconing, and continued with him for nine years, learning the business very thoroughly. In 1904 he came to Midland, where he believed he would find a good business opening and soon found himself well established, and today owns one of the finest, most up to date business houses in his line in this section of the county, with substantial patronage that extends over a wide territory.
In April, 1905, Mr. Stakem was married to Miss Eliza Mullen, who was born at Pekin, Maryland, and is a daughter of John and Catherine Mullin, of that place. Mr. and Mrs. Stakem have five children, namely: Marie, Thomas E., Jr., Patrick, Veronica and John. Mr. Stakem has been in a position to give his children many advantages that he never enjoyed in his own youth.
For some fifteen years past Mr. Stakem has been a prominent factor in Democratic politics in Allegany county, and particularly active in local circles at Midland, where appreciation was shown by his election in 1916 to the office of mayor of this city. In choosing the individual who shall occupy the highest office within the gift of the municipality, the citizens of every live community can be generally trusted to name one who has proven his worth and ability in managing his own affairs, his fitness for handling big issues and his loyalty to his section being assured. Although Midland is generally conceded to be largely Republican, Mr. Stakem was elected on the Democratic ticket with a handsome majority, and throughout his administration as mayor proved by his able handling of civic matters and his public spirit that no mistake had been made in his selection. He fostered the city's industrial interests, brought about reforms and lent encouragement to many worthy enterprises.
He is a faithful member of the Roman Catholic church, and his support to many of the church's great benevolent movements is generous and constant. He belongs to the Knights of Columbus and to the American Order of Hibernians, and is State treasurer of the latter. He is well known in Allegany county, and some of his undoubted personal popularity may be attributed to his genial manner and friendly interest in others.
Thomas M. Stallings belongs to on of the pioneer families of Western Maryland which settled near Hagerstown, Washington county, in 17--. The name Stallings is familiar in Allegany county, and has been identified prominently with the affairs of the county for many years, politically and as farmers and merchants. The present generation of the Stallings family carry all the characteristics of their progenitors in intelligence, thrift and hospitality.
Thomas M. Stallings, the subject of this sketch, was born near Spring Gap, Maryland, on May 2, 1851, and is the son of John H. Stallings, who was born near Flintstone, Allegany county, Maryland, August 28, 1821. His paternal grandfather was Lloyd Stallings, who was born near Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1798. His paternal grandmother was Rachael Robinette, who was born near Flintstone, Allegany county, Maryland, in 1802. His maternal grandfather was John M. Twigg. His sisters and brothers were as follows: Elizabeth, Emily Valeria, Francis, Harvey, Thomas, Naomi, Ella, Rosa and Irving.
Mr. Stallings was educated in the schools of Allegany county and has been a successful merchant for a number of years. He is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church, and in politics is a Republican. Mr. Stallings was twice married, his first wife being Miss Mary Fisher, whom he married in 1875. His second wife was Miss Sarah Pittman, to whom he was married in 1891. His children are Bertha, Warren R., Vera, Nola and Sylvia. He served in the Spanish War with Captain Sigsbee.
Charles W. Stark has a recognized place among the well established business men of Cumberland, having worked his way to a substantial competence and honorable position by the most commendable methods. He educated himself for his chosen calling, embarked in business on his own account with no encouragement to back him but the consciousness of self reliance and willingness to apply himself to whatever came in the way of responsibility, and has made a creditable success.
Mr. Stark is a native of Cumberland, born June 5, 1879, son of George Stark and grandson of George Stark, who brought his family to Cumberland from Germany in the year 1845. Of the latter's children but one now survives-Christiana, who is the widow of William Hart, living on Highland street, Cumberland:
George Stark, father of Charles W. Stark, was born in Germany and accompanied his parents to this country in 1845, he and his wife being reckoned among the pioneer German residents of the city of Cumberland. Their home was at No. 116 Columbia street. For nearly half a century Mr. Stark was in the service of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, being one of the trusted engineers on that road, died in March 1922, age 80 years. Mr. Stark married Elizabeth Froehlich, like himself a native of Germany, and daughter of the late Adam Froehlich, and they celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage with a family reunion at which their five living children were present. Mrs. Stark died April, 1920. Mr. and Mrs. Stark became acquainted in Cumberland, and their wedding took place in the German Lutheran Church on Bedford street, the Rev. Mr. Vossler performing the ceremony. Of the eight children born to them, seven grew to maturity, namely George H., who is traveling representative of the Cumberland Brewing Company; Margaret, who is deceased; Philip, who died when twenty-one years old; John Frank, who is engaged in the office of the Cumberland Steel Company; Charles W.; J. William, a resident of Philadelphia; and Miss Ida Stark, who lives at home. One daughter died young. They are members of St. Luke's German Lutheran Church and Mr. Stark always supported the Republican party. He was a highly respected member of the community, where his useful life and the substantial position attained by his family have contributed materially to the general welfare.
Charles W. Stark was reared in Cumberland, and during his boyhood had such educational advantages as the common schools afforded. When fifteen years old he became a clerk in the drug store of A. M. Lichtenstein, in whose employ he continued from 1895 to 1905, meantime completing the course at the Maryland College of Pharmacy, from which he was graduated in 1899, the youngest of his class. He earned his own way, and after acquiring enough experience to give him confidence, started up for himself in 1905, purchasing his present place of business at No. 179 North Center street, which has proved an excellent stand. As recently remodeled the property is one of the up-to-date drug stores in Cumberland, well stocked with all the ordinary merchandise of the trade, as well as a full line of all kinds of paints and similar goods.
Though strict in his attention to business, Mr. Stark has also found time for other interests, particularly his association with the Maryland National Guard, being a first lieutenant of Company G. First Regiment, which he accompanied to the Mexican border in June, 1916, in response to President Wilson's call for troops to protect United States citizens and property. He served until November, when his command was ordered home and mustered out. Mr. Stark is a Republican and a Lutheran, belonging to St. Luke's Church. Fraternally he is a Mason, affiliated with Ohr Lodge, No. 131, A.F. & A.M.
On June 28, 1909, Mr. Stark married Miss Bessie M. Reuschlein, daughter of George Reuschlein, of Cumberland, and they have one child, John W.
GEORGE W. STAUP has maintained his home in the city of Lonaconing since 1904, and has been practically a lifelong resident of that section of Allegany county, and in the course of an active career one of its best known citizens. As owner of valuable farm and town property, dealer in real estate, stockholder in a number of important enterprises, industrial, commercial and financial, auctioneer, public official and political worker, there are few local interests in which he has not shared, and he is never a passive member of any organization. Born near Lonaconing, Allegany county, April 11, 1850, Mr. Staup is a son of Peter and Susanna (Dye) Staup, the father for many years a prosperous farmer and distiller in this region. Peter Staup died December 6, 1893, aged seventy-two years, his wife passing away February 18, 1915, at the age of eighty-six.
George W. Staup grew up on a farm in the vicinity of Lonaconing, and had the ordinary advantages of the common schools of the locality, which he attended during the winter season, when not needed to assist on the farm. When nineteen years old he began teaching at Midland, Allegany county, subsequently becoming principal of the Dan's Mountain school. At the age of twenty-three years he took up contract work, cutting timber for various coal companies operating around Lonaconing, and for thirteen years continued to follow this business in the Georges Creek region, with whose resources he acquired close familiarity in that experience. Then he centered his attention for some years upon farming, in time becoming the owner of a tract of two hundred and eight acres near Lonaconing, which he still holds, and upon which he made his home for a number of years. For a time he was in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, having taken a contract for cutting timber for a paper mill, returning from there to his farm, where he continued to reside until 1904, in which year he purchased his present home in Lonaconing, known as the Douglas property. Along with his agricultural operations Mr. Staup has followed the business of auctioneer in Allegany county for the last thirty years, his wide practical knowledge of local values fitting him admirably for the advantageous sale of property of any character. He has kept his eye open for desirable investments, as his various associations show, being a director of the First National Bank of Lonaconing, president of the Lonaconing Park Association, a stockholder in the Lonaconing Cooperative Store, and the owner of valuable real estate, in which he has handled a number of profitable transactions.
In his earlier manhood Mr. Staup was a Democrat, but for many years he has given his allegiance to the Republican party and taken an active part in its campaigns, having served twelve years as judge of elections. He was deputy sheriff of Allegany county for six months under Sheriff Hodell, and has been constable and collector for the last twenty-four years, in these connections also extending his wide acquaintanceship in the Georges Creek Valley especially. Fraternally he belongs to the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
On December 7, 1871, Mr. Staup was married to Miss Rebecca Susan Miller, like himself a member of one of the old and honorable families of Allegany county. Her father, Henry Miller, of Dans Mountain, had a family of twelve children, namely: William H., deceased; Christopher, deceased; James M., deceased; Jacob, deceased; Annie Maria, deceased; Elizabeth, deceased; Mahala, deceased; Henry, deceased; Matilda, deceased; Mary Catherine, deceased; Rebecca Susan, died May 18, 1922; and Orphia, who lives at Cumberland.
Mr. and Mrs. Staup became the parents of nine children: Peter, who is now superintendent of his father's farm, married Miss Annie Ravenscroft and has five children, Roland, Herbert, George L., deceased, Martha E., and Lorenzo, deceased; Susan, who died in childhood; Amelia, who married Edward Dye, passed away at the age of twenty-eight years, leaving one son, Roy; James H., who married Miss Grace Wadel, has eight children, Annie E., Gladys, James Henry, Edna, George Washington, Margaret, Edith and William; Mary Ann, who married Edward C. Robertson of Lonaconing, has five children, Esther, Wilbert, George, Erma and Glena, twins; George W., Jr., who is unmarried, lives at Lonaconing; Andrew J., who also lives at Lonaconing, married Mrs. Nellie Todd.
The career of Andrew J. Stegmaier, the proprietor of a prosperous meat and grocery .market located at No. 68 ½ Bedford street, Cumberland, has been one in which he has worked his way from modest beginnings to recognized standing and material independence. His life is but another example of the worth of the homely virtues of industry, thrift, perseverance and honesty, combined with natural business ability, and his transactions have always been carried on in a manner which have merited for him the regard and esteem of those with whom he has been associated.
Born on a farm, two miles east of Cumberland, on the old Baltimore pike, October 2, 1879, Mr. Stegmaier is a son of Leonard and Mary G. (Heck) Stegmaier, and a grandson of Andrew Stegmaier. His father, a native of Germany, was about eight years of age when brought to the United States, where he grew to manhood in Allegany county, and early took up farming as his life work. Later he also engaged in the dairy business, and for more than a half a century was known as one of the industrious agriculturists of his region. He was a man of personal probity and integrity and a good citizen, and had the universal regard of his neighbors. His widow, died March 14, 1921. Mr. Leonard Stegmaier was a life-long member of the Catholic church, in the faith of which he died in 1915, when he had reached the age of seventy-five years. He and his wife were the parents of thirteen children: Mary, who died unmarried at the age of twenty-two years; John, a farmer on the Williams Road in Allegany county; Elizabeth, who resides on the home farm; Josephine, who died in childhood; Michael L., who conducts a successful butcher shop in Cumberland; Frank who works the home place; Andrew J., Joseph, Clara and Annie who live at the home place; Agnes, who died of typhoid fever at the age of sixteen years; Leonard, who died at the same time of the same disease, aged eighteen years and Rosie, living on the home farm.
Andrew J. Stegmaier acquired his education at the parochial school of SS. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church parish, and was reared on the home farm, where from his father he learned the business of butchering. When twenty-one years of age he engaged in the business with his brother, Michael L., on North Center street, and remained with him for about ten years, but in 1911 disposed of his interests to the elder man, and built his present establishment, one of the most up-to-date stores of its kind in the city, including both meat and grocery departments. This store has a feature seen nowhere else in the city, this being white enameled brick walls on the interior, a pleasing innovation that makes both for attractive appearance and sanitation. He caters to the best class of trade in the city, and his business reputation is of the best, resting on the solid foundation of a number of years of honorable dealing and fair treatment. Mr. Stegmaier advocates the principles and supports the candidates of the Democratic party, although not himself a politician. He belongs to SS. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church and to St. Joseph's Club, and is president of the local Catholic Knights.
On November 16, 1904, Mr. Stegmaier married Miss Margaret Cook, of Grafton, W. Va., a daughter of H. L. and Elizabeth (Miller) Cook. Mr. Cook is one of the reliable and popular locomotive engineers of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, running out of Grafton and Parkersburg.
In business circles of Cumberland and particularly in the
meat trade, a name that is well and favorably known is that of Michael L.
Stegmaier, who is the proprietor of a flourishing butcher establishment located
in Cumberland. During a period of about seven years he has been identified with
this line of commercial activity, and in this time has catered to the best trade
at Cumberland, where he has established a reputation for business honesty and
Mr. Stegmaier was born on a farm on the Baltimore pike, two miles east of Cumberland, September 11, 1875, a son of Leonard and Mary G. (Hick) Stegmaier. Leonard Stegmaier, his father, was born in Germany, and was about eight years of age when brought to the United States by his father, Andrew Stegmaier. The family settled near Cumberland, and in young manhood Leonard Stegmaier adopted farming, which he followed, in connection with dairying, for more than fifty years. He was a lifelong member of the Catholic church, a responsible, industrious and reliable citizen, and in his death, which occurred in 1915, when he was seventy-four years of age, his community lost one of its substantial and highly respected residents. His widow died March 14, 1921, at the age of 73. They were the parents of thirteen children: Mary, who died unmarried at the age of twenty-two years; John, who is engaged in farming on the Williams Road, in Allegany county; Elizabeth, who is unmarried and resides on the farm; Josephine, who died in childhood; Michael L.; owner of the City Meat Market; Andrew J., owner of a meat and grocery store on Bedford St.; Clara, Anna, Joseph, who operate the home farm; Agnes who died at the age of eighteen years; Leonard, Jr., who died at the same time, of typhoid fever, aged sixteen years; and Rose, living on the farm.
Michael L. Stegmaier attended St. Peter and Paul's parochial school, Cumberland, and was reared to agricultural pursuits, remaining on the home farm until the time he had attained his majority. He then came to Cumberland, and having learned the butcher business in his youth, embarked in an enterprise of that nature on George Street. Having made a success of that venture, he moved to more commodious quarters at No. 163 Baltimore Street, next to the Arlington Hotel, and after remaining there six years, came to his present establishment at No. 13 N. Center Street in 1902. Here he has one of the most up-to-date and sanitary meat markets in the city, and caters to a high class of patronage. He is progressive and enterprising, a thorough master of his business, and a man who has always been found faithful to his business engagements. His success has been all his own, and he is eminently deserving of being numbered among those who have worked their way to success without outside assistance. In politics he is a Democrat, and his religious connection is with St. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church.
On November 22, 1899, Mr. Stegmaier was united in marriage with Miss Sophia Wagner, of Cumberland, a daughter of Conrad Wagner. This union has been blessed by the birth of five children: Margaret, Helen, Levota, Maurice and Jack (James.)