works of James Rada, Jr.
with the Fitzgeralds and experience the joys and dangers of life on
the C&O Canal. You’ll almost hear the horn blowing as they
approach another lock.”
The Potomac Review
thoughtful and fascinating historical novel, Canawlers
documents author James Rada, Jr. as a writer of considerable and
deftly expressed storytelling talent.”
“James Rada, of Cumberland, has
written a historical novel for high-schoolers and adults, which
relates the adventures, hardships and ultimate tragedy of a family of
boaters on the C&O Canal. … The tale moves quickly and should
hold the attention of readers looking for an imaginative adventure
set on the canal at a critical time in history.”
Along the Towpath
Rain Man starts out with a bang and engages
the reader with its fast-moving plot.”
Rain Man is a mystery thriller that races
from the first raindrops that began the flooding to its dangerous
climax in Wills Creek as it became a raging torrent.”
Rail and River
book is an enjoyable, clean family read, with characters young and
old for a broad-based appeal to both teens and adults. Between
Rail and River also provides a unique,
regional appeal, as it teaches about a particular group of people,
ordinary working ‘canawlers’ in a story that goes beyond the
usual coverage of life during the Civil War.”
Historical Fiction Review
Rail and River arrived yesterday – I
finished it today. I couldn’t put it down. Great job! … I enjoyed
and I’m looking forward to the next installment.”
of Pocket Guide to the Civil War
the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
books by James Rada, Jr.
A Love Returned
Battlefield Angels: The Daughters of Charity Work as
Civil War Nurses
Beyond the Battlefield: Stories from Gettysburg’s Rich
Clay Soldiers: One Marine’s Story of War, Art, &
Echoes of War Drums: The Civil War in Mountain Maryland
Kidnapping the Generals: The South’s Most-Daring Raid
Against the Union Army
Saving Shallmar: Christmas Spirit in a Coal Town
When the Babe Came to Town: Stories of George Herman
Ruth’s Small-Town Baseball Games
Between Rail and River (Canawlers #2)
Canawlers (Canawlers #1)
Lock Ready (Canawlers #3)
My Little Angel
The Race (Canawlers #4)
The Rain Man
Stories of Mountain Maryland
True Stories of Mountain Maryland
A division of AIM Publishing Group
the residents of Allegany, Garrett,
and Mineral counties,
stories never cease to amaze me.
of this book were previously published in the Cumberland
Times-News, Maryland Life Magazine, Wonderful West Virginia Magazine
and Allegany Magazine.
BACK: TRUE STORIES OF MOUNTAIN MARYLAND
BACK 2: MORE TRUE STORIES OF MOUNTAIN MARYLAND
by Legacy Publishing, a division of AIM Publishing Group.
© 2009, 2012 by James Rada, Jr.
in the United States of America.
edition: May 2017
design by Stephanie E. J. Long and Jennifer Buchheister
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325
City began during a parade 249 years ago
Russian prince gave up much to become priest
The B&O vs. the C&O
Deaths raise suspicion in community
The night they drove old Dixie out
editor critical of county official killed after scathing article
revolt at Western Maryland home, infirmary
army invasion of 1894
Savage’s “Merchant King” dies during surgery
to Cumberland, the hard way
hidden fortune found in Cumberland home
City residents get first look at the big screen
a time for revelry
Police officer mortally wounded in Shantytown
City was a “Paragon” of the auto industry
Ridgeley is an example of what a vote means
Got milk? Get killed
Queen City leaders brought up on bribery charges in scandal of 1914
Millions “died struggling” with Spanish Flu
Cumberland’s first councilwoman would not serve
A hand of “Blackjack”
The Georges Creek mining wars
How the flood of 1924 all but dried up the C&O Canal
Half-century-old Main Street store destroyed by fire
The “Babe” comes to Cumberland
A 10-pound-boy named “Oxygen”
It wasn’t a spaceship that landed at Mexico Farms
Slot machines have been legal in Maryland on two occasions
All they knew was that it filled their empty bellies
The French sculptor from Lonaconing
No overalls in sight: Cumberland life surprises city girl from Boston
Shopping was encouraged because shortages lay ahead
When the World War came to Allegany County
Family desperately searches for woman’s killer
Trumans draw a crowd in Frostburg during lunch stop
“It’s a girl” three times
Crew jumps, B-52 crashes
After nearly 40 years, Welch murder case still unsolved
Washington a favorite uncle
Allegany County and
Western Maryland have a rich history covering hundreds of years. It’s
filled with stories of adventurers and Indians, presidents and wars
and those ordinary little stories of life past that those of use
today have forgotten.
I was lucky enough
to begin writing about those stories with my first historical novel,
While the story
was based on fact, it was a work of fiction. However, my editors at
the fact that I had an interest in history and began assigning me
stories associated with local history.
Then in 2004, I was
offered the chance to start
writing the newspaper’s local history column. Needless to say, I
jumped at the opportunity. I began
browsing through old newspapers looking for stories that caught my
and a lot of them did.
I start with the
and from that point, I will research more about the people involved
or the situation. If the story is recent
enough, I have even been able to interview living participants. The
result is another thread in the richly
of this region.
Editor Jan Alderton wrote in his August 1, 2004, newspaper column,
“Of the many features we’ve introduced to Times-News readers in
recent years, few have had as
much favorable reaction as the Looking Back local history column
being written by James Rada.
filed of Times-News
papers date back to the 1870s and are a goldmine of interesting
stories about our past. Some of the stories are ones that present day
readers have never heard about. Other stories that Rada is unearthing
are about topics that people have talked about for years.”
I think part of the
success of the column is that I truly
enjoy discovering a new story about this area and writing about it.
That enthusiasm becomes part of the column,
and people sense it.
True Stories of Mountain Maryland is
a collection of many of the Looking Back columns I have written, but
it includes more. This volume includes some of the historical
features I wrote for the Cumberland
It also includes expanded versions of some of the Looking Back
I hope you enjoy
this collection and that you continue to follow my columns and
articles in the Cumberland
James Rada, Jr.
June 1, 2009
a parade 249 years ago
created in the grand spectacle of a
happened 249 years ago today.
reported in 1955, “Two hundred years ago day
after tomorrow Cumberland had its first big parade
and one that, in all probability, has never been surpassed.”
In May 1755, a new
fort had recently been completed on the high bluff between the
Potomac River and Wills Creek.
It was about 200 yards long and
46 yards wide. Eighteen-foot-long logs that were buried on end 6 feet
into the ground and then lashed together made up the walls.
including cannons, were mounted at the top of the walls and slits had
been left between some logs in
order to fire
small arms through the hole at attacking enemies.
This new fort had
been built to replace a smaller fort called Mount Pleasant that had
on the same site in 1754.
Gov. Horatio Sharpe
had deemed Mount Pleasant too small for staging an attack on Fort
Duquesne in Pennsylvania and had ordered it rebuilt.
Col. James Innes, a
South Carolinian, arrived at the fort on Sept. 1, 1754, and took
command of a couple of hundred soldiers stationed there. This was a
fraction of the army needed to man and defend the larger fort,
and he and his men waited anxiously for reinforcements.
Braddock, commander-in-chief of British military forces in
North America, was given the job of driving the French from the Ohio
“On May 10, after
an exhausting journey overland, he (Braddock) reached Wills Creek and
entered the fort to the booming of cannon,’ Gordon Kershaw wrote in
Allegany County: A
Sharpe had given
Braddock an elegant chariot to ride in,
and Braddock rode it much of the way from Winchester. He also rode in
it as he entered the fort through the small gates in the north and
south walls at the eastern point of the fort.
British Gen. Edward
Braddock and his troops, including a young George Washington, arrive
at the Fort
Braddock would name Fort Cumberland on May 10, 1755. Photo courtesy
of the Albert and Angela Feldstein Collection.
The soldiers with
Braddock were sharply dressed in their scarlet coats and marched in a
tight formation. A military band played “The Grenadier March,
” and other guns
were fired in salute at the soldiers marched
past the barracks to the parade grounds near the western end of the
Braddock and his staff, among whom was young 23-year-old Virginia
colonel named George Washington. Washington had been to the area
three times before.
When Braddock was
told the new fort had not been named, “One of his first actions
upon arrival was to rename the structure for the Duke of Cumberland,
soldier-son of George II and Captain General of the British Army,”
Fort Cumberland was
first written in a letter Braddock wrote to Sharpe on May 22. The
fort eventually became the City of Cumberland. With its existence
beginning with a parade, it's no wonder that Cumberland residents
still enjoy the city's parades.
This article originally
appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on May 10, 1004.
prince gave up
much to become a priest
Gallitzin felt he had already given up so much to become a priest.
He’d been a Russian prince living a life of luxury in Europe for
most of his life,
and now he was being asked to go into the wilderness where no one
else wanted to go. He was going to Cumberland.
Before he left on
his first trip to St. Mary's Church (now St. Patrick’s) in 1795, he
wrote his mentor Bishop John Carroll, “Your Grace, I am receiving
this letter at the moment of my departure for Cumberland. I am very
offended that you are insisting on that. I beg you to have a little
regard for my feelings. You told me in Baltimore that you would not
force me to go to that congregation in the backwoods. Please send
your response immediately since I will be returning in 10 days.”
From Cumberland to
Taneytown was a 175-mile trip in those days before the railroad, the
canal or the National Road. The journey had to be made on horseback
and Gallitzin left before dawn.
Gallitzin about three days by horse to get to Cumberland each time he
visited to bring the sacraments to the people here,” said Father
Thomas Bevan at St. Patrick's church.
The church where he
offered the Mass was a large log cabin on the St. Patrick's property.
A plaque marks the site of the original church now. At the time, the
church was only four years old. The first Mass had been celebrated
there in 1791 by Father Dennis Cahill.
the second priest to serve at St. Mary’s. He would make the
three-day journey between Taneytown and Cumberland about once a
month. He served St. Mary's from 1795 to 1799.
“By that time, he
had so fallen in love with the people in the West that news had come
to him of even more people to the northwest of Cumberland who needed
the sacraments. Reluctantly, Bishop Carroll told him that he could
go,” said Bevan.
Gallitzin and some
Maryland families set off to the north looking for Irish and Germans
who were in the Western Pennsylvania wilderness. When he found them,
Gallitzin would stay with them for the next 30 years of his life.
flowered, in that even today, that area has one of the highest
concentrations of Catholic
population in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Bevan.
efforts have been so far-reaching that the Diocese of
Altoona-Johnstown has recommended to the Pope John Paul II that
Gallitzin, "the Apostle of the Alleghenies," be canonized
as a saint.
When Gallitzin died
on May 6, 1840, he was a poor priest who was beloved by Catholics in
Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is a far cry from how he began life as
a privileged prince.
Gallitzin was born
in the Netherlands to a Russian prince and a German countess on
December 22, 1770. His godmother was the Empress Catherine the Great
and he was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.
In 1787, Gallitzin,
influenced by his mother who experienced a resurgence of her Catholic
faith, made his first confession and took First
Communion in the church.
After finishing his
education, he was appointed aide-de-camp to the Austrian General von
There was no opportunity for him to advance in the Austrian army so
his parents resolved that he should spend two years traveling through
America, the West Indies,
and other foreign lands. His father knew Benjamin Franklin and John
Adams and hoped he would learn from them.
Gallitzin learned from Carroll
instead after his arrival in Baltimore on Oct. 28, 1792.
During his travels
in America, Gallitzin took the name of Schmet
or Smith, and for many years he was known as Augustine Smith. This
allowed him to avoid the inconvenience and expense of traveling as a
During his travels,
he was impressed by the needs of the church,
and he resolved to devote his life and fortune to the salvation of
souls in America.
“He saw around
him many immigrants who wanted to persist in their Catholic faith but
were denied in the new world a sufficiency of priests to minister to
them. These people had come from a Europe that hated their Catholic
faith. They had come to America to be able to practice that faith and
here were often denied the consolation of the sacraments for the lack
of clergy,” said Bevan.
Around that time,
there were about 36,000 Catholics in America spread from Canada to
Florida and west to the Mississippi River. Carroll was the only
bishop in the country,
and he had only 18 priests to serve his flock.
St. Mary's Seminary, which had opened in 1791 in Baltimore, as one of
the first students. On March 18, 1795, he was ordained a priest. He
was the second ordained priest in America and the first to receive
all of the orders from tonsure to priesthood in America.
ordination to the Catholic priesthood, he was disowned by his family.
He lost his title and inheritance. Later in life, Father Demetrius
letters to his family in Russia trying to obtain funds to support his
missionary activity, all to no avail,” said Bevan.
None of this
deterred Gallitzin who served with vigor and unselfishness to provide
for the spiritual and physical needs of the Catholics in Western
Maryland and Pennsylvania.
When Gallitzin died
in Loretto, Pa., he was a happy man. Once when his mother had urged
him to return to the comforts of Europe, he had written to her,
saying, “You can be fully assured that I have no other will in
life, and wish to have no other,
than that of fulfilling God's will. You can be further assured that I
find no lasting joy outside of the activities of my calling.”
originally appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on August 23, 2004.
B&O vs. the C&O
It was a race from
the very beginning. The winner would survive,
and the loser
On July 4, 1828,
President John Quincy Adams broke ground for the Chesapeake and Ohio
Canal near Great Falls, Md. On the same day, Charles Carroll, the
last living signer of the Declaration of Independence broke ground
for Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in Baltimore just 40 miles away.
then as both the business names suggest, Ohio and beyond.
The first clash
between the two occurred in the courts when the B&O claimed a
right of way through Point of Rocks, an area of Maryland between the
mountains and the Potomac River that had room for the canal or the
railroad, but not both. The C&O owned the right of way through
its charter, but the railroad
had gathered up permission from the landowners to build.
railroad] had aggressively gathered land waivers in the narrowed
valley where it knew very well that usurpation would provoke a
head-on collision with the canal company. Its
grab did indeed precipitate showdown time, and the canal and railroad
fought it out in the courts for four years,” Elizabeth Kytle wrote
in Home on the Canal.
Though the C&O
won that case, the delay nearly bankrupted the company. The B&O
continued to fight through the courts with injunctions and high
demands for rights of way.
both the railroad and canal companies fought for workers, seeking to
lure them away from each other.
The B&O won the
race to Cumberland, arriving eight years before the canal opened,
giving the railroad a significant advantage in establishing itself.
The companies then
began to fight for freight. At one point, the B&O raised its
rates to haul flour and encouraged the C&O to do so as well. When
the canal company did, the railroad reduced its rates to even lower
than they had been originally.
Within a few months, the B&O had virtually put the C&O out of
the flour-hauling business.
between the two companies showed itself in day-to-day operations as
well. At the points along the routes where the canal and the railroad
run side by side, engineers were known to blow their whistles to
spook the mules on the towpath and cause problems for the canallers.
At the places where
the canal and railroad ran side by side, railroaders liked to blow
their whistles to spook the canal mules. Courtesy
of the National Park Service.
The C&O Canal
was in a
constant struggle for its existence and never fulfilled its ultimate
goal of connecting to the Ohio River. However, the B&O Railroad
did see success and continued to expand, including buying a stake in
When the flood of
1889 washed out the canal
and put it in receivership, the B&O Railroad took over its rival
and began to run it. While the railroad would have like to just shut
down the canal operation, it couldn’t. Though the canal
itself was a financial burden on the railroad, the B&O Railroad
could use the canal rights of way to block other railroads
from coming into the area. The courts had ordered that the railroad
needed to operate the canal profitably or lose its charter. If that
happened, other railroads could have gotten a foothold in Western
Wolfe, wrote in I
Drove Mules on the C&O Canal,
saw in this an opportunity to relieve itself of the expense of
further operation. Enough repairs were made to assert that the Canal
was a going concern, with enough revenues from the Georgetown
factories and dams along the river to pay the expenses of a minimum
operating staff; and it was also maintained that the Canal could be
placed in operation quickly if business warranted. The court went
along with this fiction, and the B&O retained the property, but
without having any further expenses for its maintenance.”
And so the B&O
continued to operate the canal until the flood of 1924 put the canal
out of business permanently. The B&O sold its rights to the canal
to the federal government in August 1938 for $2 million.
Otho Swain was born
on the canal in 1901 and worked on it during its final years. He said
in a 1976 interview, “The canal
finally closed down in 1924. There was flood damage then, but the
railroad—it was the railroad
killed the canal.”
This article originally
appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on June 30, 2008.
Even as Mrs. Samuel Engle
brought a new life into the world, her own death had been sealed by
the woman who was supposed to care for her.
The year was 1851
and Engle had gone into labor in her home near Grantsville. Her
personal nurse, Nancy Hufferd,
assisted her through the birth. Nancy and Mrs. Engle were alone in
the bedroom as the expectant mother thrashed and sweated on the bed
with each contraction.
Nancy walked to the
wash basin and poured water into a cup that sat next to the basin.
Then she added something extra to the cup of water. That extra was
arsenic. She soaked a towel in the water and wrung it out. She
carried it back to the woman on the bed and wiped the sweat from her
“It won't be long
now, Mrs. Engle,” Nancy said. “Here drink some water. It will
Mrs. Engle obeyed,
and Nancy smiled.
The baby was
eventually born, but Mrs. Engle never recovered from the effects of
childbirth. Sam Engle wondered why his wife wasn't getting better.
The delivery had gone smoothly and was not unusual in any way, Nancy
Barely a week after the birth of
the baby, Mrs. Engle died.
once arose in and out of the Engle mansion that there had been foul
play,” wrote the Cumberland
Evening Times in a
1907 article about the case.
Among the believers
that Mrs. Engle was a victim of foul play was her physician, J.H.
Patterson. He performed an autopsy on her body but could find no
evidence of any poison.
“She was buried
in due time, but the belief and excitement spread over the whole
neighborhood, which led to the disinterment of the woman, and a
second post-mortem examination was made by Drs. Patterson, Hermann,
and J.J. Bruce, who had just commenced the practice,” wrote the
The stomach was
sent to Professor Atkin in Baltimore for examination. In the
meantime, Nancy was arrested and placed in the Allegany County Jail
in September. In October, she was indicted in Allegany County Circuit
Court since Grantsville was still part of Allegany County at that
The trial began in November
before Judge Wiesel. State's Attorney James Schley and Frank Thomas
prosecuted the case. T.I. McKaig and George Pearre defended Nancy.
During the trial,
23 witnesses were called, including five doctors. The state's
evidence was called circumstantial. It rested on the fact that Nancy
had purchased a lot of arsenic from a store in Grantsville with the
remark that she wanted to make a salve for her sore leg. Prosecutors
pointed out that she never had a sore leg.
On the other side
of the table, the poison could not be found, and Professor Atkin
testified that he had found no arsenic in Engle's stomach.
“Who can say the
verdict would have been the same if the remaining poison had been
produced at the trial? She was acquitted according to the rules of
there was hardly one in the whole neighborhood believed her to be
innocent,” wrote the Cumberland
The arsenic Nancy
purchased eventually was found hidden in a bureau in the Engle house
after the trial had ended.
This spurred people
to look more into why Nancy had been widowed three times. Two of her
four husbands died under mysterious circumstances.
Her first husband
was John Yeast, an
man who died “unexpectedly, if not mysteriously” in 1834,
according to the Cumberland
Evening Times. There
were suspicions at the time that the death wasn't from natural
causes, but it wasn't followed up on.
John Layman was
Nancy's second husband. He was a respectable and prominent citizen in
the community and died of
cancer in 1845.
Philip Hufferd of
Somerset County was husband No. 3, but he died suddenly after eating
a pumpkin pie not too long before Mrs. Engle died. Again, the
death caused suspicion,
but no one took action.
Her fourth husband was Holmes
Wiley, but Hufferd died before she could be widowed again.
Evening Times noted
that Nancy never had a child and “She is remembered by only a few
and cared for by none, it may be said.”
This article appeared in the
Cumberland Times-News on May 24, 2004.
night they drove old Dixie out
During the Civil
War, towns changed hands depending on which army was nearest. Romney
went back and forth between Union and Confederate control more times
than you can count on your fingers and toes. Boonsboro didn’t even
wait for a
surrender. It flew the flag of whatever army was nearest.
always flew the Stars and Stripes throughout the entire 1,500-odd
days (depending on when you consider the beginning and end of the
war) of the Civil War.
Except for one day.
On June 16, 1863,
the Union Army in
Cumberland totally pulled out of the city to concentrate their forces
at New Creek, which is now known as Keyser. The Union forces were
gathering to oppose General Robert E. Lee’s Army, which was
expected to push into Maryland.
While Gen. Lee did
cross into Maryland, the crossing was made at Williamsport as the
Confederates marched on
their way to Gettysburg.
When the Union Army
left Cumberland, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad took all of its
rolling stock and light machinery and sent it north.
With no military
defense, the city residents were hysterical, expecting the
Confederate Army to march on them at any time.
“On the 16th, it
was reported that the enemy was rapidly approaching the city in
a number of
citizens retired with considerable
precipitancy in the direction of Pennsylvania, and merchants began to
cast about for means whereby they might save their goods from
confiscation by unexpected visitors. The next morning strangers were
seen out on Williams Road,” James Thomas and Thomas Williams wrote
in the History of
and Cumberland remained untaken.
The next morning
strangers and artillery pieces were seen on Williams Road outside of
town. Two cavalrymen who had escaped from the destruction of Maj.
General Robert Milroy’s command at Winchester a few days earlier
approached the strangers and were fired upon by two cannons.
The cavalrymen quickly retreated.
and merchants closed up their stores. Other groups of citizens
gathered in the street to see what would happen.
Confederates entered the town
and walked down Baltimore Street under the white flag of truce.
Acting Mayor Valentine A. Buckey and a group of citizens met them
under a flag
soldiers handed Buckey a note addressed to the military commander of
Cumberland from Colonel George W. Imboden of the 18th Virginia
Cavalry. The letter read: “You are surrounded by a superior force,
and as an act of humanity, I demand the surrender of the city. The
bearer, Captain R.B. Muses, is authorized to negotiate as to terms of
Buckey wrote out
his reply and gave it to Muses. His
letter to Imboden read: “Sir: Your note addressed to officer
commanding at this point has just been handed to me, and as there is
no force here to resist you, and no officer in command, I, as Mayor,
for the time being, do as far as I can, surrender the city as
demanded, upon the following terms, viz: That private persons and
property, and the property of the State of Maryland, be respected.”
reply was: “Sir: I will receive a surrender of the City of
Cumberland, and will respect all private property except such
as the Quartermaster may desire for the Confederate States. No public
of the State of
Maryland will be respected.”
About 350 of
Imboden’s Cavalry took possession of Cumberland. Their first
priority was to secure fresh horses. The soldiers and convinced the
merchants to open their stores.
then purchased pretty freely such articles as hats, boots, shoes,
clothing, etc., paying for the same in Confederate money, a species
of currency which had then rather limited value,” wrote Thomas and
While the soldiers
respected most property, they did tear down the telegraph lines and
remove train track.
Union Brig. Gen.
Benjamin Kelley’s men captured some of the Confederate forces of
Col. George Imboden that took over Cumberland for a day. Courtesy
of Wikimedia Commons.
News Echo reported,
“The conduct of the Confederates throughout was gentlemanly. They
were well-clothed, armed and mounted, and exhibited in no respect
evidence of starvation or raggedness.”
knew a large Union force was in New Creek,
so they remained in Cumberland for only three hours, leaving by 10:30
When they left the
city, a few residents who were sympathetic to the Southern cause also
went with them. Among these young men were Thomas Black, Lewis Rice,
and James Thomas, according to Harold Scott in The
Civil War Era in Cumberland, Maryland.
Benjamin Kelly and his staff had passed through Cumberland shortly
before the Confederate forces had arrived.
When the train they were on reached a torn up area of track and
couldn’t continue, the train headed back to Cumberland to switch
the train onto
an alternate route. Kelly’s forces arrived back shortly after the
Confederates had left. In fact, Kelly’s soldiers captured a few of
Imboden’s men who had remained behind with friends in Cumberland.
The Union Army also
found that the B&O Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal had
been damaged. It took more than a month to restore the telegraph
communications because the damage Imboden’s men had done.
Enquirer told of
‘millions of dollars worth of damage done at Cumberland;
and Baltimore and
Pittsburgh papers dolefully announced a
great disaster in
Cumberland,” wrote David Dean in Allegany
The only casualty of the capture
of Cumberland was Griffin Twigg, a farmer who lived near Murley’s
are not known, but the old man was killed; not, however, until he had
killed two of the enemy and wounded another,” William Lowdermilk
wrote in History of
The graveyard where
the Confederate soldiers are supposedly buried was located by the
Genealogical Society in the 1980’s near the Meadow Wood Sportsman
This article originally
appeared in Allegany Magazine in March 2007.
editor critical of county official killed
Lloyd Clary of
Frostburg was the managing editor of the Cumberland
Daily Times. He,
along with John Broydrick,
also owned the newspaper, which was a merging of the Mountain
City Times and the
Cumberland Times and
On October 27,
1873, Clary wrote an article critical of how the long-time Clerk of
the Circuit Court of Allegany County Horace Resley paid jurors.
talesmen from Lonaconing were paid $8.50 each; those from Frostburg
$4.00 (the Clerk taking the trouble to tell them in Court to go down
to the office and get their certificates), while those from Mount
Savage and the country districts were allowed to go without being
paid at all, and without receiving any intimation from anybody that
anything was due them,” Clary wrote in the Cumberland
Resley was overpaying those jurors he did pay more than they were
intimated there was more wrongdoing, perhaps even shady dealings, by
writing, “In the case of Lonaconing the money was handed over to
Mr. Patrick Mullen, an earnest satellite of the present incumbents,
for distribution all of which gives rise to considerable comment.”
While it’s not
known how Horace Resley reacted to the article, his eldest son, John,
took it as an attack on his family’s honor.
Around 2 p.m. on
Oct. 27, an angry John Resley headed for the offices of the
Times. He found
Broydrick at the corner of Baltimore and George Streets in front of
King’s Shoe Store.
“Did you write
that article about my father in this morning’s paper?” Resley
Resley raised his
arm as if he was going to strike Broydrick.
“I don’t want
any trouble with you,” Broydrick
said quickly. “I’m no politician.”
“I’ll make a
politician out of you and Clary, too.”
Then Resley headed
down Baltimore Street to the newspaper office. He found Daniel
Bradley, a collector for the newspaper,
at the office and asked him if Clary was in. Bradley said he was and
Resley headed up the stairs to where Clary’s office was located on
the second floor.
Resley was in Bradley’s sight
the entire time, but he was unable to see or hear Clary when the
editor met Resley near the top of the stairs.
“I looked after
him,” Bradley told a jury later. “Just as he reached the top, he
put his hand behind him and pulled a revolver and said, ‘You son of
a—, did you write the article about my father ?’ Then he fired
the two shots, turned about and came down
the revolver in his hand.”
Both shots struck Clary. One
shot hit him in the ribs and was not fatal. However, the other shot
went in the left side of Clary’s throat, passing through his
windpipe and severing his carotid artery as it passed out the side
Bradley ran up the
stairs and found Clary lying on the floor bleeding. Doctors Orr and
Dougherty were brought in to try and help him. They stabilized Clary
and had him taken on a stretcher to City Hospital.
Before removing him
from the newspaper office, Clary made a dying statement to Justice of
the Peace J.M. Beall that would be admitted as evidence in Resley’s
trial. Clary told Beall pretty much the same thing that Bradley would
later testify. However, he added that once he had been shot the first
time, he told
Resley, “Give me a chance.” Clary said Resley said, “You
damned, son of a bitch, I’ll kill you.” and then fired the second
Clary’s family in
Frostburg was notified,
and they made the half hour trip to Cumberland to be with Clary. A
local priest gave Clary the rights of baptism before he died at 8:45
Clary was buried two days later,
but the story was far from over.
A view of Baltimore
Street around the time the editor of the Cumberland Daily Times was
killed in the newspaper office in 1873. Courtesy
of the National Archives.
what the sword couldn’t
They say, “The
pen is mightier than the sword” and for Lloyd
Clary that indeed
The young newspaper editor of the Cumberland
Daily Times had
survived the bullets and swords of the Civil War only to be felled
because of something he wrote on October 27, 1873.
“Never in our
experience have we been called upon to publish the details of an
occurrence more truly
painful and shocking than that of the killing of Lloyd Lowndes Clary,
the brave editor of the Cumberland Daily Times by John H. Resley…”
the Hagerstown Mail
reported after the murder.
It was in the
offices of the newspaper on Oct. 27
that John Resley shot Clary twice, once in the neck and once in the
body. The neck shot would kill Clary later that evening.
Though Resley left
the scene of his crime, he did not flee. He walked across Baltimore
Street and stood on the opposite side looking at the newspaper
office. “A considerable crowd gathered around Mr. Resley while be
on the street. He was very pale and much excited,
and moved about nervously. He did not seem inclined to converse, and
several times rebuffed persons who spoke to him,” reported the
Cumberland Police Officer Magruder saw Resley and approached him.
“Am I wanted?” Resley asked.
“Yes you are,” Magruder told
him and arrested him.
Resley was later indicted for
newspapers detested Resley’s actions, they seemed to understand the
reasons behind it. The Hagerstown
Herald and Torch noted,
“It is a fact that the editor referred to wielded a caustic pen,
and his paper, as long as we received and read it, contained some
terribly severe articles against political opponents.”
As with many men of
his time, Clary had not been afraid of a fight. He was a Confederate
veteran of the Civil War. “Mr. Clary was intensely Southern in his
feelings, every pulsation of his young heart beating in unison with
the late struggle of the seceding States for their guaranteed and
Constitutional rights,” one obituary noted.
He had joined
McNeill’s Rangers in 1862. The Hagerstown
Mail credits Clary
for planning and executing the kidnapping of Union Generals George
Crook and Benjamin Kelley from a hotel on Baltimore Street in
“Young Clary in
company with four others, captured the Federal pickets, dashed into
Cumberland and at three o’clock in the morning surprised Generals
Crook and Kelley, and brought them safely out,” the newspaper
Both generals were
taken to Richmond where they were paroled and exchanged for
Confederate Brigadier General Isaac Trimble.
Crook would later
say, “Gentlemen, this is the most brilliant exploit of the war!”
After the war,
Clary was a reporter and then editor of the Mountain
City Times, which
merged with the Cumberland
Times and Civilian to
become the Cumberland
Daily Times in May
“From its first
note to its last the Times has not uttered one uncertain sound. It
had but one voice—that of condemnation and exclusion from office of
the men whom it had convinced of betrayal of their trusts. Thus
fighting he fell with his harness on, a martyr to the cause of
and Justice,” the Cumberland
Daily Times noted in
its obituary of Clary.
Though there was no
question in anyone’s mind that Resley had killed Clary, there were
still unanswered questions
that would come to light during the trial that changed how everyone
looked at the murder.
villain becomes the hero after day in court
On October 27,
1874, John Resley, son of the clerk of the circuit court of Allegany
County, shot and killed Lloyd Clary, the editor of the Cumberland
Daily Times and a
Confederate Civil War hero. It appeared to be an open-and-shut case.
After all, Resley had confessed to the shooting.
However, just as a
battle plan becomes obsolete as soon as the enemy is engaged, so too,
go jury trials once the court is called to order.
trial began on January 29, 1874, barely three months after
The importance of
the case was evident in the fact that Maryland Governor William
Pinkney Whyte sent the state’s attorney general Andrew Syester
to assist Allegany County State’s Attorney William Reed with the
The defense had
Col. Charles Marshall of Baltimore was the lead attorney and James M.
Schley, J. J. McHenry and William Price, all of the Cumberland bar
Alvey, Associate Justice Motter,
and Associate Justice Pearre presided over the trial.
Reed gave the
opening statement for the prosecution at the trial saying “they
would prove, he thought, that Resley had not read the article when he
committed the act,” according to the Hagerstown
However, the most
damning piece of evidence Reed said would be that Resley had
confessed in front of witnesses. While standing on Baltimore Street,
Resley said, “Nobody else would do it
and I did it.”
What Reed was
starting to do was lay out a case of premeditated murder based not on
a newspaper article, but on Resley’s hatred for Clary.
Schley deferred giving an
opening statement to the jury until the state had made its case.
Among the witnesses
called was another Cumberland
Daily Times editor
named Thomas McCardle. On hearing shots fired, McCardle has rushed
down from the pressroom and seen Clary holding his throat. “He
leaned against the wall as if completely exhausted, his body
trembling as if from the effort to keep his feet, holding his throat
by one hand, and with the other arm hanging down, holding a pistol in
that hand,” the newspaper reported.
that he had never seen Resley with a pistol
before then. The defense went further to suggest that Clary could
have seen Resley coming from a window and gone to get the gun.
Clary had said in
his statement he had been shot without being given a chance and he
said as much to Resley just before the man shot him the second time.
Clary said he hadn’t been able to get his pistol out to return
conflicting testimony that Clary had drawn his pistol
and furthermore medical evidence showed that Clary wouldn’t have
been able to say anything immediately after being shot in the throat
as Clary said in his own statement.
would testify that Clary had hurried him out of his office just
before rushing out to meet Resley on the stairs. This same witness
had heard Clary and Resley argue, Clary’s pistol misfire and then
two shots from Resley. Resley hadn’t gone to the office seeking to
kill Clary. Resley had shot him in self-defense.
testified that Clary had hated Resley and said, “if ever he crossed
his path again he would fill him as full of holes as a net,” the
newspaper summarized Clary saying about Resley at one time.
After two days of
testimony, the jury retired for six hours before returning a verdict
of not guilty.
“Resley was then
escorted home by the crowd, cheering all the way,” the New
York Times reported.
Resley would live
to be 73 years old and die from a stroke in January 1916.
appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on January 26, 2009; February
and February 9, 2009.
revolt at Western Maryland home, infirmary
In 1893, Dr. G. L.
Carder, surgeon-in-chief, for the Western Maryland Hospital needed to
operate on a patient, but he couldn’t find a doctor in town who
would administer the chloroform to the patient. On another case of
Carder’s, when a woman died after a particularly difficult surgery,
other doctors started rumors that Carder had been guilty of
malpractice. So prevalent
were the rumors that the body had to be exhumed to clear
It wasn’t that
Carder was a bad surgeon. Far from it. He had graduated from
Baltimore Medical College in 1892 at the top of his class. He had
come to the forerunner of the Western Maryland Health System with
“He was a young
man on the threshold of life, who had the highest recommendations,
and the board would not be justified in taking him by the neck and
heels and throwing him out in the street without good grounds,”
said George Pearre, hospital superintendent, in the Cumberland
The problem was
Carder had come here. He wasn’t from Cumberland,
and he didn’t live in Cumberland or Allegany County once he did
And for that sin of
birth, the doctors in town had banded together to force Carder out of
the top medical slot of the hospital.
Maryland Hospital had been around since 1888 when the Maryland
legislature passed an act that established the Western Maryland Home
and Infirmary for the Aged.
were initially located in private homes. The need was realized for a
larger facility that would provide hospital care for the large number
of railroad accident victims,” wrote Al Feldstein in Postcard
Views of Allegany County, Maryland
A new building on
Baltimore Avenue was opened in 1892,
and the name eventually became Western Maryland Hospital. It would
become Memorial Hospital in 1929 and the Western Maryland Health
System in 1996.
In January 1894, a
group of doctors traveled to Annapolis to meet with the Governor
Frank Brown and members of the legislature.
According to a
report in the Cumberland
Evening Times, Dr. M.
A. F. Carr told the governor, “Send a joint committee to Cumberland
and investigate the institution. Then we will convince you that the
men and women who control its management should be turned out of
office. We will show you things that you little dream of!”
The other doctors
in the group were G. H. Carpenter, Spear, Porter, Hodgson, Craigen,
Doemer, Dukes, Wiley, Greenweil
and Fogtmann and they were all dissatisfied with the management of
the hospital, in particular, with Carder. However, the governor had
the power to appoint the majority of the board of directors to the
and the legislature had the ability to cut off the primary source of
hospital funding. The Western Maryland Home and Infirmary had
received two payments from the state – $5000 in 1890 and $10000 in
1894. For change to happen, Governor Brown and the
have to be convinced.
send a patient of mine there to be at the mercy of an inexperienced
surgeon, and then not be allowed to enter the institution myself,”
Carr reportedly told the governor in the Cumberland
“Would you be
refused admission?” the governor asked.
“They have said
that once a patient enters there,
he is beyond outside control.”
“Has any doctor
ever applied for admission?”
reported that Carr admitted,
“that no such application had been made, and no self-respecting
physician could afford to make it under the circumstances.”
This left Governor
Brown with a choice to make: Should he reorganize the Western
Maryland Home and Infirmary Board of Directors to
have one physician dismissed or should he allow the directors to make
the decision they were appointed by him to make?
Western Maryland Hospital, located on Baltimore Avenue, circa 1909,
is shown in this postcard image. Courtesy
of the Albert and Angela Feldstein Collection.
was lacking at WM Home and Hospital
Thought the Western
Maryland Home and Hospital in Cumberland was,
by and large, a
charity hospital, the charity
was lacking there in 1894 for at least one doctor, G. L. Carder.
A group of doctors
had petitioned Governor Frank Brown to remove Carder as
surgeon-in-chief at the hospital
Three weeks later,
following the publication of the meeting, a group of businessmen from
Cumberland traveled to Annapolis to have their own meeting with the
governor and legislature. This
group included: George Pearre, an ex-state senator and manager of the
hospital; B. S. Randolph, superintendent of the Consolidated Coal
Company, C. J. Orrick, wholesale grocer; J. N. M. Brandler, orphans
court judge; P. H. Daughtrey, wholesale grocer; David Sloan,
Lonaconing Savings Bank; Henry Rehs, magistrate; Merwin McKaig,
president of McKaig Shafting Works; John Avirett, Cumberland
editor; E. J. Cooney, merchant; Willie Cooney, son of E. J. Cooney;
T. S. Kean, tax collector and William Shepherd, president of the
Third National Bank of Cumberland.
Pearre told the
governor that the doctors who had come to Annapolis in January
wouldn’t tell Pearre what sorts of charges they had leveled against
the management. However,
the doctors did
claim they had been misrepresented in the newspaper.
knowing that reporters, while they may not get all that is said,
generally are accurate in what they do get, and, further, that the
various newspapers agreed as to what took place, I had faith in the
published reports,” Pearre told the governor as reported in the
request of the governor was that the current management of the
maintained, the hospital get
governmental appropriation and grant a special appropriation
to pay off the hospital’s debt.
Brown told the
group what the doctors had charged against the hospital. He then said
he wouldn’t make a decision either way until he visited the
hospital in April.
“The charges made
while without the slightest foundation in fact, might do some harm if
we did not refute them before our request for continuance
of our appropriation comes before the Legislature. After this vicious
act on the part of the physicians, it appeared that all had been
postponed until April
but we want to contradict the charges before they go any further,”
Pearre was reported to have said.
He further went on
to tell the governor that none of the local doctors had been
appointed surgeon-in-chief because none of them had applied for the
position. So the board of directors had sought a doctor outside of
and Carder had come highly qualified. Even then, Pearre said that the
hospital still wanted local input.
“We wanted the
Cumberland doctors to form a consulting staff to aid Carder, but,
instead, they formed, as one of my colleagues wittily said, an
‘insulting staff.’ Since then the work of the Institution has
been misrepresented,” Pearre said.
The doctors formed
an association opposed to the hospital management and demanding
changes that the board thought was a usurpation of
the hospital authority,
such as control of the nurses at the hospital.
had a change of heart about Carder between February and April. On
April 18, the Cumberland
reported that the board of directors of the Western Maryland Home and
Infirmary asked for Carder’s resignation.
it was found that Dr. Carder bad failed to be present at an
operation, which was to have taken place at the ‘Home.’ Dr.
Carder will tender his resignation within the next sixty days, the
time granted him according to his contract with the institution,”
reported the Cumberland
Even on his way
out, Carder still proved he was a more-than-capable surgeon. In May,
the Cumberland Evening
Times reported the
story of Lewis Davis of Barton. The young boy took ill and began
losing weight. At Easter, he weighed only 18 pounds and couldn’t
speak. Area doctors “pronounced the case of the little fellow
hopeless.” Lewis was admitted to the Western Maryland Home and
Hospital as a last-ditch effort. On May 19, the newspaper reported
that Lewis was as “agile as a kitten” and his weight was up to 25
pounds. The reason for his
recovery was that Carder had diagnosed the boy’s illness and
removed a rib from him, which was apparently the source of the
appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on August 4, 2008,
and August 5, 2008.
army invasion of 1894
April 14, 1894, the invasion
the residents of Frostburg had been expecting for weeks happened.
Coxey’s Army appeared at the crest of Federal Hill and marched into
town right down Main Street.
4:15 p.m., the marshal of the marching group, a four piece band,
flags and banners, and some wagons, followed by a group of 245 tired
and bedraggled mortals, crossed Federal Hill and marched in a more or
less soldierly fashion down Main Street into Frostburg,” Harold
Scott wrote in his book Incredible,
Army was a group of unemployed workers that had formed in Massillon,
Ohio, under the direction of Jacob Coxey. The official name of the
group was the Commonweal of Christ, but most people referred to it as
Coxey’s Army. The group planned to march to Washington D.C. where
Coxey would present his petition to Congress of his ideas for a
national program of building and repairing roads that would also
solve the national unemployment problem. The group has started its
march with much fanfare, leaving Massillon on Easter Sunday, March
25, and had since then made their way slowly eastward.
of pillaging, disorderly conduct, and even assaults by the band of
men all served to alarm the local residents and spread fear and
apprehension as to what the impending invasion would bring. Some news
accounts were reporting that the army was infested with drunks,
crooks, and toughs,” Scott wrote.
the actual situation was not that bad, the army did face deprivation
and slow passage on the very roads they hoped to repair. Infighting
over leadership of the group had led to factions forming within it
and even a mutiny as the two leaders vied for control of the army.
Carl Browne, who had been appointed by Coxey to lead the group, was
ousted from leadership and a
group led by
Unknown Smith took control. No one knew the man’s name,
and he refused to give it to reporters,
so they called him “Unknown Smith.”
Coxey’s Army marched toward Washington in 1894, they passed through
Garrett and Allegany Counties. Courtesy
of the Library of Congress.
from the group, Browne reached Frostburg first. Though the group
was named after Coxey, he rarely traveled with it. Instead,
he traveled ahead and slept in rooms while the men who followed him
were generally forced to sleep outside. Browne’s first move on
reaching Frostburg was to telegraph Coxey about the incident.
Reporters waiting for the army to arrive learned of what had happened
and word spread of the mutiny.
it was when the army marched through town, the city officials were
expecting trouble, according to John Grant in his monograph, Coxey’s
38-Day March Through the Alleghenies in Search of Economic Justice.
week before the army’s arrival, the Frostburg City Council voted to
spend $100 to help accommodate the group. On the day of the army’s
arrival, citizens took up a collection to feed them and arrangements
were made to allow them to sleep in Ravenscroft’s Opera House. The
city also hired special
police officers to help maintain order should the rumors of rowdiness
prove to be true.
expected violence didn’t happen when the army arrived. The marchers
were tired and hungry. Some suffered from exposure.
group dubbed the Frostburg stop as Camp Robert E. Lee and started
campfires in a vacant lot near the opera house and cooked their
evening meals. When the evening shows were over in the opera house,
the men went to their accommodations on the third floor.
following day Coxey arrived from Cumberland to settle the authority
dispute between Browne and Smith.
first praised the group for their efforts to date and added, “The
eyes of sixty-five million people are fixed on this noble and
patriotic band, and on the success of our movement depends the future
happiness of a
according to the Cumberland
then called for
a vote to expel
from Smith from the group. Browne was restored,
and the march was ready to continue. Despite their troubles and
trials on the march,
most of the men still shared Coxey’s vision to change government
Army left Frostburg at 9 a.m. and headed for Cumberland.
visit of Coxey’s Army
Army fought in no war. The men wore no uniforms nor called themselves
soldiers. They were unemployed workers named after their leader Jacob
Coxey. They marched on Washington in 1894 looking to change national
policy. In that single battle, which they sought, they lost, but in
the long run, they won the war.
route of that march
on Washington brought the army through Allegany County and Cumberland
where the army became a navy.
Army left Frostburg at 9 a.m. on April 15 and arrived at Camp Victory
around noon. Camp Victory was a Narrows Park baseball field just
outside of the city. According to The
Cumberland Evening Times,
the day’s weather was beautiful and brought out hundreds of
spectators to watch the army arrive.
ball field had a fence around it, which created a chance to collect
an admission fee to see the army in camp. This had been done
successfully at the Exposition Park near Pittsburgh. On Sunday, April
citizens of Cumberland paid 10 cents to see the army
prepare its camp in the ball
Grant wrote in his monograph, Coxey’s
38-day March Through the Alleghenies
in Search of Economic
Coxey later in life. Courtesy
of the Library of Congress.
residents contributed food to the army that included six barrels of
corn, 10 bales of hay, three-quarters
of beef, 600 loaves of bread, 140 pounds of bologna, 75 pounds of
cheese and 60 pounds of coffee.
Scott wrote in his book Incredible,
“…some of the news accounts from Cumberland, noted that although
there were some earnest, good men within the army who were out of
work and seeking some intervention or program by the Federal
Government that would insure jobs in the future, if those spectators
who visited the park in the Narrows in Cumberland expected to find a
large body of men, with a glorious mission, men determined to stand
by their principals at all cost, they no doubt were disappointed.
For the most part
all they found was a sorry looking bunch of weary, footsore humans,
who had very
little idea of
what their glorious
mission and objectives were in marching.”
men rested for
the remainder of the
day at the camp and all through the next day. The time was used to
repair equipment, mend clothing, and get haircuts. Scott wrote that
during a morning baseball game, “The Working Men” defeated “The