Distinguished Citizens of
Excerpts from History of Allegany County
by Williams and Thomas (1923)
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Dr. John H. Patterson was one of the very early physicians of Allegany and Garrett counties. He was born in Montgomery county, Maryland, a graduate of Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, also the University of Maryland. He practiced at several places in Washington and Garrett counties previous to 1842, when he removed to Frostburg to Grantsville, Garrett county, where he continued to practice until his death in the winter of 1851-52,at the age of 50 years. He was said to have had a high degree of medical tact, and was quite successful, holding the people's confidence under all circumstances. His stock of medicines, it is said, never exceeded ten dollars worth at any one time, nevertheless he managed to have a remedy for every ailment. He was elected to the Legislature of Maryland in 1845. Dr. Patterson was Grantsville's first physician.
JAMES E. PERRIN has acquired a patronage in the real estate and insurance business in Cumberland which leaves no room for doubt as to the confidence he enjoys for ability and trustworthiness in the handling of such transactions. That he is now a leading representative in his line is, moreover, due solely to his own efforts, for his reputation has been gained by an unbroken record of honorable dealing in his home conimunity, and his present substantial position, both as a business man and in his personal relations, is the logical result of a well-chosen course in life.
Mr. Perrin bears a name long associated with worthy character in Allegany county, Maryland, being a grandson of Squire Lenox Perrin, an honored resident of Flintstone district, of which he was one of the oldest citizens at the time of his death, when he was eighty-one years of age. He had the following children: Henry, who is now eighty-one years old; Jerrous, a farmer in the Flintstone district; Murray, deceased; Dennis A., deceased; and Mary, deceased.
Dennis A. Perrin, son of Lenox Perrin, was educated in the State Normal School and followed farming in his early life; later he taught school for a time and then learned the trade of wheelwright. He went west and spent some years at Hot Springs, Arkansas. He returned to Allegany county, and thereafter was engaged in the grocery business in Cumberland until the time of his death on October 2, 1908. Of the children born to his marrriage with Hulda Wilson is James E. Perrin. Dennis A. Perrin married, second, Louisa Fisher and by this marriage had one daughter, Marie, of Cumberland.
James E. Perrin was born September 25, 1872, in the Flintstone district, Allegany county, Maryland, and passed his early life on the farm, during his boyhood attending the county schools there. He accompanied his father to Hot Springs, Arkansas, but returned east after three years' stay there, and located at Orleans Cross Roads, West Virginia, from that place moving to Gormania, in the same State, where he was interested in the mercantile business for a period of six years. In 1894 he came to, Cumberland with his father, and has since followed the real estate and insurance business there, where he is properly rated with the most successful men engaged in such operations. Besides handling property for others, he has built many houses in various parts of the city, all of a character which classes them among the permanent improvements of the localities in which they are situated. With a varied experience back of him, Mr. Perrin has developed systematic methods of caring for his business which are a credit to him and a protection to those who avail themselves of his services. In addition to his responsibilities of this nature he filled a position in the stamp department of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States for four years for Allegany and Garrett counties, with headquarters in Cumberland. His real estate and insurance offices are at Liberty and, Pershing streets, in Cumberland, the latter being a new street which he and several other leading business men of Cumberland opened up as an improvement to the city.
Though well occupied with business concerns, Mr. Perrin has also found time for social activities, especially among his Masonic affiliations, being a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason. He belongs to Ohr Lodge, No. 131, A. F. and A. M., and to Chesapeake Consistory of Baltimore. In the summer of 1920 he, in company with a large number of Shriners from the State of Maryland, enjoyed a trip through California and Canada, the journey occupying several weeks, made in chartered trains, in which they lived during their stay there. Mr. Perrin is also a member of the United Commercial Travelers of America. He is a member of the Center Street Methodist Episcopal Church of Cumberland, and is an active worker in church affairs and a trustee of his church.
As above mentioned, Mr. Perrin was one of the active spirits in the opening of Pershing street in Cumberland, a new and handsome business thoroughfare between South Liberty and South Mechanic streets, named in honor of the commander of the American forces in the World War. On this street, on the corner of South Liberty and Pershing streets, he, in company with some other business men, have constructed the New Strand Theatre building, one of the handsomest and finest amusement houses in the country, with a seating capacity of two thousand, and thoroughly up to date in every way, and which was opened to the public in October, 1920.
On January 23, 1901, Mr. Perrin was united in marriage with Miss Bessie Rice, of Twiggtown, Allegany county, daughter of M. R. and Sarah V. Rice, members of old families of the county. Four children have been born to them, namely: James A., May V., Charles Eugene and Nellie Rebecca. Mr. Perrin with his family occupy their own home on Cumberland street.
Judge Thomas Perry, the son of Roger Perry, a pioneer member of the Cumberland bar, and for a. number of terms a representative of Allegany County in the House of Delegates of Maryland, was born in 1807. His mother was Miss Calmese, whose father owned the handsome estate just across the Potomac from Cumberland, afterwards known as the Perry estate. He studied law under his father and was admitted to the bar in 1828 and soon became one of its most prominent members.
In 1834 he was elected to the Legislature of Maryland, and in 1844 he served on the electoral ticket in the memorable Clay and Polk campaign. The following year he was elected to Congress, serving two years. Under the Constitution of 1851 he was elected Judge of the Circuit Court, the circuit consisting of the counties of Allegany and Washington. It was then a single judge system, so that Judge Perry had all the judicial work of his circuit to perform. His term of service under the Constitution was ten years, at the end of which time he was a candidate for reelection, but was defeated by Judge Daniel Weisel. This was the only time he ever suffered defeat at a popular election. In the spring of 1867 he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention of Maryland, and in the fall of that year he was again elected to the bench as judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, and served with Chief Judge Alvey and Associate Judge Motter until 1871, the time of his death.
Judge Perry married first Sarah Van Lear, the daughter of William Van Lear of the famous Tammany Estate in Washington County, Maryland, and his wife Louisa Smith, of Cumberland, the sister of Dr. James McLain Smith. Their children were Dr. Van Lear Perry, a prominent physician of his time, and who married Miss Hopkins of Virginia; Mary Louisa Perry who married Dr. William F. Lippett, of Charlestown, Virginia; Sarah Van Lear Perry, who married Henry. Shriver, and Ida Perry who married H. Crawford Black of Baltimore.
Judge Perry married second Kate Lowney, and by that marriage left one son Frank Perry.
JOHN J. PRICE, of Frostburg, has been one of the most honored residents of that place, the many positions of trust for which he has been chosen by his fellow citizens being substantial evidence of their esteem. He has earned their confidence in a life of constant endeavor, having attained the high standing which he now enjoys through his own efforts, in the pursuit of worthy ambitious which have carried him forward in spite of the drawbacks of his early life.
Mr. Price was born at Mount Savage, Allegany county, Maryland, December 11, 1857, son of John and Mary (Lewis) Price.
The father, a native of Manchester, England, came to America when a man of twenty years, settling in the George's Creek region of Allegany county, where he followed coal mining for many years. His family consisted of eight children, namely: John J.; Thomas M.; Annie, wife of Enoch Prichard; Joseph, deceased; William J., a grocer in Frostburg, deceased; George J., also a resident of Frostburg; Benjamin J., a druggist, established in California; and May, wife of Charles Zenkins, of Frostburg.
John J. Price grew up in Georges Creek region and attended public school during his early boyhood, but his advantages were limited, as family circumstances made it necessary for him to begin work young. He found employment at the mines, and continued at that occupation for thirty-seven years, a record rather remarkable when his faculty for business and executive qualifications are taken into consideration. After giving up mining he carried on the grocery business in Frostburg successfully for seven years, and he has been a member of the Board of Trade and an active influence in the promotion of local industrial and commercial enterprises. Though he started life on his own account without a dollar, he has accumulated a comfortable competence by honorable and well directed activities, has acquired valuable property in Frostburg, become a leader in local public affairs and reached an altogether substantial position among his townsmen. In 1906 he became a member of the town council, serving one term in that body, and in 1909 he was honored with election to the office of Mayor, administering his duties so well that he was reelected in 1910, 1911 and 1912- the best possible testimony regarding his services. And at the November election in 1915 he was elected County Commissioner, again in 1917 and 1919. Mr. Price is a Republican on political issues, but acts according to his own judgment in local affairs. He is Protestant in religion. In his social connections he has displayed the same live interest that characterizes his other associations. For a number of years he has been treasurer of Freedom Council, No. 123, Jr. O.U.A.M., of the local lodge of the loyal Order of Moose, and of the Veteran Firemen's Association of Frostburg; he also affiliates with Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows, and is also Master of Exchequer of Frostburg, Lodge No. 88.
On November 2, 1882, Mr. Price married Miss Sarah Edwards, and they had five children, namely: James H., who lives in New York, married Stella Barnes, have two children, Catherine and Edward, and is engaged in the audit department of the Consolidation Coal Company; William V., a resident of Cleveland, Ohio. He married Edith Nanis, they have no children; Goldie G., unmarried and living at home; Cecil D., of Cleveland, Ohio, married Flora Hilderbrand, of Cumberland--they have one, child, Jack; and Daniel who died in childhood.
Mr. Price was mayor of Frostburg at the time of the memorable Centennial Celebration in August, 1912, and was a member of the General Centennial Committee and a member of the Executive Committee, rendering valuable service in making the event one of the most successful ever held in Western Maryland.
FERMAN G. PUGH has sustained a long and honorable connection with the commercial, manufacturing and financial institutions of Cumberland during his business career, which, measured by his present interests, has been a busy and fruitful one. He has shown good judgment in the direction of his energies and keen oversight of all his affairs, which have flourished under his vigilant care and rewarded him well for his efforts. Besides being a member of the wholesale hardware firm of Wilson & Pugh, now the largest concern of its kind between Baltimore and Pittsburgh, he is an executive or director of several important local enterprises, and his progressive influence has been apparent in the policy of every undertaking with which he has identified himself.
Mr. Pugh has been a resident of Cumberland since 1872, his parents, Solomon J. and Margaret Elizabeth (McDonald) Pugh, settling here in that year. The Pugh family is an old one in Virginia, Solomon J. Pugh having lived in Hampshire county now in West Virginia, until his removal to Cumberland. He was a school teacher during his early manhood. At the outbreak of Civil War he joined the Eighteenth Virginia Cavalry, and served in the Confederate army in many of the hottest battles. After coming to Cumberland he was employed for a number of years in the old Baltimore & Ohio rail mills, and he was respected by his associates there and fellow citizens generally as a man of honorable character and industrious life. He was a lifelong Democrat and a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Pugh died April 15, 1900. Of the children born to himself and wife the following lived to maturity: Ferman G., Maud L., the wife of Oliver S. Wilson, of Cumberland, mentioned elsewhere in this work; Florence E., the wife of William R. Deetz, of Cumberland; and William Edward, who died when nineteen years old.
Ferman G. Pugh was born in Hampshire county, West Virginia, and was a small boy when the family located in Cumberland, where he obtained his education in the public schools. He had no opportunities in his early life for pursuing the higher studies, beginning work while quite young, but he has made up in application and practical knowledge for any lack of youthful preparation. After following various occupations he became a clerk in the dry goods house of Lucius M. Shepherd, where he was employed for the next twenty years, leaving that establishment to enter business on his own account as member of the wholesale hardware firm of Wilson & Pugh. For a number of years thereafter he devoted practically all of his time to the business of this old established house, being on the road as traveling salesman, in which capacity he met with decided success. Mr. Pugh has made himself familiar with all the details of the business, and is competent to handle any part of it, having a comprehensive grasp of the fundamentals of good management which would make his co-operation valuable in any association. He also maintains a live interest in the operations of the Maryland Shoe Company, the only wholesale shoe house in Western Maryland, of which he is vice-president. He is also a director of the Commercial Savings Bank, a thriving financial institution of Cumberland.
Although public-spirited and thoroughly interested in the welfare of the community, Mr. Pugh has never cared to participate in public affairs to the extent of holding office, but he has been serving for several years as a member of the Allegany county school board, to which responsibility he was appointed by Governor Harrington. Mr. Pugh has proved eminently worthy of the honor and has given complete satisfaction in the discharge of his duties, in which his attitude has been broad and thoroughly unselfish. Politically he is a Democrat.
Fraternally Mr. Pugh is a thirty-second-degree Scottish Bite Mason, being a member of Ohr Lodge, No. 131, A. F. & A. M., as well as other Masonic bodies of Cumberland, and his religious connection is with the Methodist Church. The respect in which he is held by his business associates is fully equalled by his personal standing, and both well deserved, for he has made his own way to a place among the representative men of Cumberland.
Mr. Pugh has never married. In 1923 Mr. Pugh was elected president of the Commercial Savings Bank of Cumberland.
THOMAS W. PUGH, passenger engineer on the Third or Cumberland division of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, is one of those men who go quietly about their work, day in and day out, through the years of their strength, the same as though theirs was not among the most hazardous of callings, unconsciously playing a heroic role every day and every hour while in his cab with his hand on the throttle. Upon his clearheadedness and constant self possession and presence of mind daily depend the lives of the tens of thousands, of his fellow citizens who ride by rail, and the billions of dollars of property annually transported under his pilotage. No class of citizens overmatches these pilots of the steel rails. This work is a man- demanding and man-building occupation and calling, and its recruits are ever the pick of the flock, for this is the hardest of apprenticeships. The recruits to this dangerous calling often come from the farm, and it was from such rural surroundings that Thomas W. Pugh matriculated, serving through the different stages until he reached his present responsible one.
Mr. Pugh was born at Glencoe farm on the Great Capon River, Hampshire county, West Virginia, November 21, 1870, and he is the second son, and third child of the nine children of Mahlon and Rebecca Jane (Nixon) Pugh, whose names are as follows: Jesse, who was killed while on duty as brakeman on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, at Eightieth Cut, Cumberland Division; Loretta, who is deceased; Thomas W.; Sallie, who is at home; Alfred who is a conductor on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad; James, who is an engineer on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad; Luke, who died at the age of seven years; John, who resides at Cumberland, and Elizabeth, who is at home. All of Mr. Pugh's brothers in the railroad service, are, like him, attached to the Cumberland Division. William Nixon, the maternal great-grandfather, was a large land and slave owner of northeastern Virginia. Mahlon Pugh served in the Confederate army, and was a farmer on the Great Capon River, and it was in this region that Thomas W. Pugh and his brothers were reared. They worked on the farm, and were also engaged in lumbering as the opportunity offered.
Thomas W. Pugh entered the service of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad as a machinist helper in 1887, and in 1891 was made a fireman and in 1896 was promoted to be an engineer. In 1913 he was made a passenger engineer, and is still so serving. He is a Democrat without apologies, a habit with Southerners, a habit learned of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Wilson. His religion is helping to brighten the home where his mother and sister live with him. He belongs to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and has filled all of the chairs in this order, and was the local delegate to the national convention of it which met at Detroit, Michigan, in 1910. Like the others of his calling, Mr. Pugh is one of the men who serve, his enlistment being for a lifetime, or until death or retirement terminates his obligations. His is a high and responsible position, and he is fully living up to it in the best sense of the word.