Distinguished Citizens of
Excerpts from History of Allegany County
by Williams and Thomas (1923)
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JAMES CAMPBELL, a venerable resident of Barton, Allegany county, for many years an honored public official in this section of Maryland, and also at Baltimore, has gained a high place in the esteem of his fellow citizens generally by fidelity to the many trusts which have . been reposed in him. Though he had to make his own way in life from an early age, without any of the advantages of good education or vocational training, he has measured up to the full responsibilities of citizenship, business and social and domestic relations, taking a man's part in the work of the world and contributing his full share to its general well-being.
Mr. Campbell is a native of Glasgow, Scotland, born July 3, 1844, son of Joseph and Catherine (Dalrympel) Campbell, both of whom are now deceased. They came from the land of their birth and located at Pompey Smash (now Vale Summit), Allegany county, Maryland, in 1853, making a permanent settlement in this region. Joseph Campbell was a stonemason and found plenty of work at his trade here, one piece of construction upon which he was employed being the arch bridge of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Bloomington, Maryland, across the Potomac River. He died at the age of sixty-five years. Of his eight children, seven grew to maturity.
James Campbell was reared in the Georges Creek region, and in his early boyhood was sent to school for a short time. But he began work regularly when thirteen years old, digging coal, and followed that occupation in the Franklin, Pekill and Detmold Mines in this locality until the breaking out of the Civil War, in which he served three years, though under the required age when the conflict started. When Lincoln called for soldiers to defend the Union, in 1861, he enlisted, being assigned to the Second Maryland Infantry, and was honorably discharged in 1864, after three years of hard service. He was in General Kelly's command.
When he left the army he returned to Barton and resumed coal mining for a time. But he had other ambitions, and in 1870 engaged in the regular mercantile business on his own account in that town, continuing it for several years. He has had a long record in the public service, three years in the war of 1861-65; four years as a Coal and Wood Inspector; eight years as Assistant Appraiser; eight years Deputy Surveyor; making twenty-three years in the National Government's service and ten years in Maryland Legislature-a total of thirty-three years in public service.
Always a stanch Republican, and one of the regular party workers for the last half century, he has again and again been a popular candidate on its ticket, drawing its full strength and more to his support. He has five times been chosen to represent Allegany county in the House of Delegates, in the Fall elections of 1896, 1898, 1916, 1918 and 1920, having recently completed his fifth term. During Benjamin Harrison's administration he received the appointment of Coal and Wood Inspector for the United States Navy Yard at Washington, D. C. (1889). President McKinley appointed him Assistant United States Appraiser at the port of Baltimore in 1897, and after eight years service there in that capacity he was transferred in 1906 by President Roosevelt to the office of Deputy Surveyor of the Port of Baltimore, where he remained another period of eight years. At its close he was returned to the House of Delegates once more, as already related. During that period he was elected and served as Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic of Maryland in 1904, and he was one of a Commission whose names are inscribed on a monument erected in Druid Hill Park, Mt. Royal Entrance, in memory of the Union Soldiers of Maryland, 1908, war of 1861-65. His name was also inscribed on one of the ten cannons at Fort McHenry in 1907.
Though Mr. Campbell had limited schooling, he has made the lack good by application and the exercise of his unusually keen powers of observation, and in all his associations has succeeded in doing work that compared favorably with that of his confreres. He is thoroughly identified with the activities of his home town, a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge at Barton, a charter member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge there, and in the fellowship of the Presbyterian Church.
On May 28, 1866, Mr. Campbell was married to Miss Emily Frumhart, of Newburg, West Virginia, daughter of John Frumhart, and they have had the unusual felicity of celebrating the golden anniversary of their wedding. We have the following record of their eight children Catherine, deceased, was married to John Paton ; William, Hagerstown, Maryland, is one of the leading physicians and surgeon of his community; George D. is engaged as a druggist at Lonaconing, Maryland; Joseph, twin of John, residing at Akron, Ohio, employed by the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co.; John is a member of the guard at the District Jail at Washington, D. C.; James is a carpenter by vocation and resides at Westernport, Md.; Thomas D. of Piedmont, W. Va., is a merchant and is president of the Hoffa Brothers Coal Company of Barton and is also interested in mines in other localities; Emily, who resides in Newark, Del., is the wife of John S. Shaw, a graduate chemist, educated at Johns Hopkins University, and at present Assistant Superintendent of the Hercules Powder Company, of San Francisco, California. (Mrs. Shaw is a graduate of the Maryland College of Physicians and Surgeons.)
John B. Chambers
JOHN B. CHAMBERS, a highly respected resident of Frostburg, has been actively identified with business and public interests at that place since he settled there in 1880. A man of sterling character, substantial business qualities and sincere public spirit, he has been classed with the most desirable element in the community throughout his association with it. In over twenty years' service as justice of the peace, he has fulfilled the obligations of that office with scrupulous integrity, performing his duties intelligently and conscientiously, in strict accordance with the high principles which have governed his general conduct in life.
Mr. Chambers was born in Ireland July 15, 1845, and the next year was brought to America by his parents, John and Annestacia (Lynch) Chambers, who settled at the Green Spring Iron Works in Washington county, Maryland, in 1852. The father was employed many years at the old Green Spring Furnace. John B. Chambers had such educational privileges as the old-fashioned country schools of the locality then afforded. When twelve years old he began to work regularly, driving mules on the towpath of the old Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, and was so occupied until he entered the Union army in 1861, serving until 1865 and seeing considerable field duty, including seven battles. He was captured twice, was assigned to act as orderly, and made an honorable record. After the war he resumed his old occupation, and eventually became the owner and operator of boats on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, between Cumberland, Maryland, and Georgetown, D. C., also dealing in grain and coal. With the decline of this business, he turned to merchandising, in 1881 opening a grocery at Frostburg, where he had located in 1880, and operating a general store continuously until 1904. Throughout this period he enjoyed a profitable trade, his patrons giving substantial evidence of their appreciation of the reliable goods which he carried and the accommodating service always to be expected in his establishment.
Mr. Chambers has always shown a real interest in the general welfare, never hesitating to do his part in supporting movements for promoting the public good. He was appointed justice of the peace by Governor Brown in 1896, and has been reappointed by every Executive since, an unqualified recognition of his excellent services, fully indorsed by his neighbors and townsmen generally. Politically he is a Democrat, and has worked for the party ever since he had a vote. He is a member of Post No. 71, G. A. R., of the Ancient Order of Hiberians, the Owls and the Knights of Labor, and served many years as district master workman of the last named organization. Mr. Chambers has the honor of being the originator of Columbus Day celebration, begun in 1893. He has encouraged all the progressive activities of his town, and has taken part in pushing many such enterprises to completion, his zealous labors in behalf of the Normal School being illustrative of his spirit in this regard. He is the only surviving member of the committee chosen to purchase the site for that institution.
In 1884 Mr. Chambers married Miss Mary McAlister, of Frostburg, and ten children have been born to this union, namely: John, Estella, Leo, Bernard, Frances, Eugene, Eva, deceased, James, Joseph, William. Mr. Chambers himself was one of a family of ten, viz.: Thomas, Michael, Mary, Bridget, Margaret, Elizabeth, John B. Ellen, Daniel and Annestacia. John B. Chambers died August 14, 1917.
MILLARD CHENEY was born in 1858 in Flintstone District, Allegany county, Maryland, and is a son of Leonard Cheney, who was born in Flintstone District in 1828 and Sarah Ann (Rabinette) Cheney, who was born in Flintstone District in 1831. His paternal grandfather was Thomas Cheney, who was born in Washington county, Maryland, near Boonsborough. His paternal grandmother was Margaret Roberts, who was born in Flinstone. His maternal grandfather was Jasper Roberts, born in Flintstone District. His maternal grandmother was Hessie Roberts, also born in Flintstone District.
Mr. Cheney attended the public school in Flintstone. He is a farmer by occupation. In politics he is an independent. In 1894 Mr. Cheney was married to Miss Hettie Willison, who was born in Allegany county, Maryland, in 1861, and is a daughter of Ashford and Harriette Willison. Mr. and Mrs. Cheney have one child, Harold K. Cheney. Mr. Cheney's father was a Democrat and his wife's father was a Republican. The parents of both were Methodists.
[Note: There are errors in this biography. Corrections will be added when received.]
John S. Combs
JOHN S. COMBS was a leading citizen of Lonaconing, and one of the best known business men of Allegany county, and identified with many of its most important interests. A gentleman of the old school, and a man of sterling integrity and high sense of honor, for many years he was a leading general merchant in Lonaconing. He was a public-spirited citizen, and took an active part in the upbuilding of Lonaconing, then the center of the coal development in Allegany county, and in the public matters of the State. He was a director of the Second National Bank of Cumberland, and was a strong and influential tie between that growing financial institution and the populous section of Allegany county. He was one of the leading Republicans in Western Maryland, and in 1877 he represented Allegany county in the Senate of the General Assembly, where he did efficient work in behalf of his county and State, with especial reference to the coal interests of his section of the State. A number of important measures, looking to the promotion of this important industry, received the support and initiative of Mr. Combs. Mr. Combs has the distinction of being the first postmaster at Lonaconing, his appointment having been brought about through the activity of Mr. Detmold, of the Detmold Mine, who had taken a great liking to Mr. Combs, and was determined that a postoffice should be an [in] Lonaconing, the mail at that time reaching Lonaconing by carrier on horseback from Frostburg. Petitions numerously signed were sent to Washington. Both the Detmold and George's Creek factions were in favor of the proposition, but which of them should control the office was an important matter to be yet determined. Mr. Graham, a staunch Whig, supported Mr. Smith. Mr. Detmold selected his friend, John S. Combs, and strained every nerve to secure for him the appointment. The announcement of the first part of the proposition was received with great satisfaction, but the failure to name the postmaster created anxiety. J. Dixon Roman, then a prominent Whig politician, wielded great influence at the National Capital. From him Mr. Combs got a letter of recommendation, and on the next day started for Washington, where he obtained his commission as postmaster. On his return the contract was let for carrying the mails from Frostburg. All the expenses over $190 were paid by Mr. Detmold, and in after years by Mr. Combs, until a change of administration placed the office in other hands. A desk containing a number of pigeon-holes, which constituted the first postoffice establishment, was still in possession of Mr. Combs at the time of his death, and was greatly prized by him. The desk was made in Baltimore for Mr. Combs, after plans of his own and was his individual property.
At one time William Combs, father of John S. Combs, conducted a large store, in Jackson, now a part of Lonaconing. He took his son into partnership. Later John S. Combs became sole proprietor. In addition to his large mercantile business, Mr. Combs owned and conducted a fine farm at Mt. Savage. He was successful as a merchant and farmer and was ranked among the wealthy men of the county. He also owned another farm, eleven miles west of Frostburg, called "Little Meadows," on the National pike, a name given the place by George Washington. It is still in the family.
Mr. Combs was born on the old Arnold place, near Mt. Savage, in 1826, in Allegany county, and died October 18, 1885, at his home in Lonaconing, at the age of 59 years, respected and esteemed throughout the county and State.
John S. Combs married Miss Wilhelmina J. Pegenhardt, September 10, 1868. She was the daughter of the late Charles Pegenhardt, of Lonaconing. She came to this country from Germany with her parents when very young. She was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church. She died at the home of her daughter Mrs. David F. Kuykendall, October 2, 1918, at the age of 90 years, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in the family lot. Shortly after this the remains of her husband, which had reposed for thirty years in the old family burial ground near Mount Savage, were removed to Rose Hill Cemetery and re-interred beside his wife. Mrs. Combs was a woman of culture, and was greatly beloved for her nobility of heart and hand, modest and retiring, though at all times in touch with those in need of her assistance.
A very handsome memorial has been erected over the graves of her father and mother by Mrs. Kuykendall.
HENRY CREUTZBURG, late of Barton, Maryland, was at the time of his death the oldest merchant still in active business in the Georges Creek Valley, where he had carried on a store continuously from 1869. But he had many other claims to the good-will and respect of his fellow-citizens besides his long and honorable career in merchandising. He had the friendly esteem of all who knew him in any of the relations of life, for his popularity was based on his fine character; not on his success, but on his substantial qualities which brought it about. Straightforward and upright in all his dealings, and with an industrious and thrifty temperament which made all his own undertakings prosper, he was nevertheless keenly sympathetic with those less fortunately endowed than himself, and his kindly nature manifested itself in material assistance as well as in genial intercourse. His death was sincerely mourned in the community where most of his long life was passed.
Born September 13, 1845, in Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Germany, Mr. Creutzburg was eight years old when brought from that country to America by his parents, John and Maria (Schram) Creutzburg, who settled at Barton, Allegany county, Maryland, in 1853. The father was a miner, and for many years in the employ of the Swanton Mining Company. In his later years he conducted a hotel. Of his five children, Henry is mentioned below; John is deceased; Harmon is deceased; Elizabeth is married to Thomas Gannon, of Barton.
Henry Creutzburg grew up in Barton, then a small village consisting of a few miners' cabins clustered around the one store and the railroad station. He attended its first schoolhouse, a small log building, and recalled many other primitive features of the place. In 1869 he embarked in the mercantile business, which he carried on until his death, occupying the same stand for nearly fifty years, his being the oldest establishment of its kind in Allegany county in point of continuous operation. By his undeviating fairness and honesty in all transactions, accommodating service, and scrupulous attention to the requirements of his extensive patronage, Mr. Creutzburg gained a standing second to none among the successful merchants of his day, in Allegany county, and strove to prove Himself worthy of the confidence that he enjoyed. He also made an honorable record in the public service, having been elected county commissioner in 1886 for a term of three years, and later served as general tax assessor, under appointment by Gov. Lloyd Lowndes in 1897. In 1906 he was made road director for Allegany county, and in all of these positions of trust showed keen appreciation of his responsibility toward his fellow citizens as well is the general obligations of his office. For fifty years he was an active member of the Republican party and one of its most valued workers in the county. His religious connection was with the Methodist Episcopal Church.
On January 27, 1869, Mr. Creutzburg was united in marriage with Miss Matilda Cooper, a native of England, who died November 30, 1908, aged sixty years. They were the parents of seven children, namely: E. Fred, who has for some time been associated with the mercantile business established by his father; Gertrude, deceased, who was the wife of P. C. Barnes, an attorney at law, of Cumberland, Maryland; Edith; Harry, who died when twenty-four years old; Matilda, wife of Rev. George Kane, of New Jersey; and Lucretia, wife of Floyd Linninger, of Westernport, Maryland.
Mr. Creutzburg died February 24, 1917, leaving a name that will long be held in kindly memory by the many whose lives had touched his in the associations of every-day existence.