Distinguished Citizens of
Excerpts from History of Allegany County
by Williams and Thomas (1923)
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FREDERICK WEHNER, of Frostburg, has followed the same line of business there that his father did, their association with the manufacture of soft drinks and tonics at that point covering a period of more than half a century. In the lifetime of the present proprietor the trade has grown to extensive proportions, and he has also acquired other local interests which place him among the substantial men of the day.
Mr. Wehner was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, February 6, 1866, and was only six weeks old when brought to Frostburg by his parents, George and Elizabeth (Baughman) Wehner. The father had come to America in 1863 from his native land, Germany, and made a permanent home at Frostburg, Allegany county, Maryland, in 1866, his death occurring there in 1907. The mother died in 1906. They had a family of seven children Annie, the wife of William R. Gunter, of Frostburg, Maryland; Mary, who is a widow, and resides in Frostburg; Catherine, wife of M. N. Bupport, of Baltimore, Maryland; Albert, also a resident of Baltimore; Emma wife of M. B. Wehner, of Buffalo, New York; Carrie, who was killed by accident in the tunnel of the Western Maryland Railroad, at Frostburg, in 1912; and Frederick.
Frederick Wehner grew up in Frostburg, and had his early education in the local public schools, supplemented with a course at a Philadelphia business college.
After reaching his majority he went to Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and embarked on his own account in the soft drink business, of which he had gained a familiar knowledge while assisting his father, who was a bottler and for many years so engaged in Frostburg. After a few years' experience in independent operations, Mr. Wehner returned to Frostburg in 1892, and became associated with his father, whose interests he bought out eventually, having conducted the business 36 years as sole owner. His attention has also been attracted by other local opportunities, notably the Big Savage Fire Brick Company, in which he is a stockholder and director, and the Eckhart Flat Land Company of Frostburg, of which he is president.
Mr. Wehner is thoroughly identified with the interests of his home city and the territory immediately adjacent, and has shown his loyalty to them in various ways. He is an associate member of the Frostburg Fire Department, a member of the Lutheran Church, and an Elk and Mason fraternally, belonging to Frostburg Lodge, No. 4'70, B. P. O. Elks, and to Mountain Lodge, No. 99, A. F. & A. M. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party.
Mr. Wehner has a fine collection of relics and curios of various kinds, including some specimens, old guns, pistols, Indian relics, etc., including several pieces of the first steel rails made at the old Lena Furnace at Mount Savage, Allegany county, Maryland.
On April 28, 1891, Mr. Wehner was united in marriage with Miss Ella Louise Heintz, daughter of Charles and Elizabeth M. (Orth) Henitz, of Frostburg, both of whom are now deceased. There are no children by this union.
GEORGE L. WELLINGTON, former United States Senator, and one of the vital forces in the political, financial and social life of Cumberland, is the city's foremost citizen, and a man upon whom local and national honors have been heaped with lavish profusion, and yet all of his prominence and prestige are self-earned, for he began his career a poor youth, whose educational advantages had been limited and one of poor quality. He had few early opportunities, but he came of one of the oldest and most honored families of this country and England, and he is proud of his ancestral record.
The name of Wellington instantly calls to mind that great soldier who overthrew the almost invincible emperor, Napoleon; but the Duke of Wellington was not really a Wellington. The general impression that his family name was Wellesley is also a mistake in a sense. The original family name of the Duke of Wellington's people was Colley, or Cowley, and his grandfather, Richard Colley, in coming into the title of Baron Mornington, assumed the surname of Wesley, which was afterward turned into Wellesley, and incidentally it may be mentioned that the celebrated John Wesley was a cousin of Richard Colley. The true Wellington family had been known in America long antecedent to the time when Richard Colley changed his name to Wellesley and became the progenitor of the great Duke of Wellington, for the American Wellingtons go back to Roger Welling on, who came from England and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, in the colonial period. According to Burke, the Wellington family was settled in Brecknockshire, Wales, and has a very ancient coat of arms without crest or motto. The probabilities are, however, that the family was not Welsh, but English, and had moved over the border into Wales in some bygone century, as the name is distinctly English, and probably dates back to the days of Saxon supremacy in England like Wellings and Wellingham.
Of this old English and American family comes Senator Wellington of Cumberland in the struggle of life the ancient family name has been of value to him only as the strong blood in his veins made of him a stronger man than he might otherwise have been. He is what we mistakenly call in this country a "self-made man, " meaning thereby a man who has worked himself up from the ranks without early advantages. This he has accomplished and he has traveled far. There runs also in his veins some of the sturdy German blood which has been such a potent factor in the making of Maryland.
The branch of the Wellington family to which Senator Wellington belongs is curiously enough, German in its origin although its history confirms the foregoing English origin. Peter Wellington and his family, being Protestants, left England during the reign of Mary Tudor commonly known as "Bloody Mary;" went to Holland, and thence up the Rhine to the Free Cities then existing, and settled near the city of Worms. Here the family continued to live until 1848, when John Adam Wellington came to America, having been concerned in the revolutionary movement of that year. During the several centuries that this branch of the family remained in the Rhine country it became thoroughly Germanized, so that Senator Wellington can properly claim both English and German descent. George L. Wellington was born in Cumberland, Maryland, January 28, 1852. As before stated, his educational advantages were of the poorest. At the early age of eleven years the boy had to go to work, and he began in a retail mercantile establishment. Naturally he did not know much about books, but he had, as after events have shown, a powerful mind and a strong body to back up that mind. Better still, he possessed the irresistible energy that would not be denied success in anything he undertook. He worked for seven years in a store, put in all of his spare time in study, and at the age of eighteen years was qualified for a step forward. He became an accountant in the Second National Bank, where he worked faithfully. About this time he began to take an interest in public affairs as a worker in the Republican party, to which he has been devoted through life. His political work attracted the attention of the people, and in 1883 he was made county treasurer, his party then being in the majority, and he continued to fill that office with great acceptability until 1887. In 1884 he was sent as one of the State delegates to the Republican National Convention. By that time the young man of thirty-two had become a factor in State politics, although never for a moment did he neglect the business interests entrusted to his charge. In 1889 he was again appointed county treasurer, but did not fill out his term, for in 1890 President Harrison appointed him sub-treasurer of the sub-treasury in Baltimore. This was a very important step forward, but he proved himself capable of taking it, and served during his four-year term capably and well.
In 1889, just prior to his appointment to the sub-treasury, his friends made strenuous effort to have him nominated for congress from the Sixth Maryland District, but had failed. In 1892 this nomination was given him, but that was a Democratic year, and despite a tremendously active campaign, he was defeated. And here is shown an example of that wonderful energy possessed by Senator Wellington. Defeated for the election in 1892, in 1894 he came to the front again as the nominee of his party, and was triumphantly elected. Until 1895 the Republicans had not elected a Governor in Maryland for a quarter of a century. That year the party nominated Lloyd Lowndes, Senator Wellington's neighbor and friend, and the Senator was made chairman of the State Committee. He managed and waged one of the most brilliant and successful campaigns ever seen in the State, and elected Mr. Lowndes and a majority of the General Assembly.
Naturally such a brilliant victory could not be overlooked by the party that was the beneficiary of it, and a general demand went up from the Republican leaders over the State that George L. Wellington should be made their candidate for United States Senator. No man can win this honor without opposition, and naturally there was opposition, but his friends pushed the battle, with the result that in January, 1896, he was elected Senator for the term beginning March 4, 1897. He is the only man from Allegany county to be elected to this high office, and he served his six-year term with characteristic efficiency and capability. He is now something more than a national figure, as he is well known outside the boundaries of his own country, and he is something more than a mere politician, he is a statesman, and all the better one because of the fact that he is not afraid to take a positive stand whenever his convictions are at stake. An instance of this occurred in 1900, when he differed with a number of his party colleagues in the Senate upon what was called "our colonial policy," and notwithstanding the fact that this difference of opinion meant a loss of position to him in a political sense, he tenaciously adhered to his stand. As the years pass, the evidence of his wisdom in this particular case is made more manifest.
Since his retirement from the Senate, Senator Wellington has not been a candidate for public office, but has devoted his time to his business interests, and to what might be called the work of a publicist. For some years he was president of the Citizens National Bank and the German Savings Bank, both of Cumberland, but he resigned in the fall of 1919 from both, and soon afterwards they were merged into the Liberty Trust Company He is president of the Cumberland Electric Railway Company, the Edison Illumination Company, and the Tenth and Eleventh Building Associations of the Potomac Glass Company, and of the Holzshew Real Estate Company, and is a director of the Koch Lumber Company. Well known in Masonry, he is past master of Potomac Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; past high priest of Salem Chapter, R. A. M. and past eminent commander of Antioch Commandery, K. T. He is also an active member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the United Order of American Mechanics.
In 1877 Senator Wellington was married to Miss Lina C. Lear, and they have four children, namely: John L., who is a teller of the Liberty Trust Company of Cumberland, married Miss Helen Wiley; Gretchen, who is the widow of J. Elder Humbird; Henrietta, who married Boyd A. Reinhart; and Olga, who married John Oldham, and is now deceased. Mrs. Wellington died December 10, 1919.
In his magnificent home on Washington street, Senator Wellington has one of the finest libraries in the State, and here he spends many of his most pleasant hours. He has been a student all his life, as well as a doer, and the fact that he has devoted much time and thought to the pursuit of knowledge accounts in part for his wonderful success. Senator Wellington has for forty years been one of the leading factors in the improvement and development of Maryland, and is devoted to its interests and proud of its history. He is grateful to the people of his native State for the confidence placed in him, and the honors accorded him, and proud that to him was accorded the privilege of serving them in so many capacities. Although now practically retired from politics, his advice is constantly sought and acted upon, and unless he is in favor of a measure the party leaders are loath to promulgate it, for they appreciate his keen foresight, and rely upon his knowledge of men and his long experience in public life.
The ranks of the great army of veterans of the War between the States are fast thinning, and scarcely a day gasses without another name is added to the eternal roster. Allegany county at one time numbered many of these veterans among its most distinguished citizens, but the majority of them have answered the last roll call, and one of them who did so January 21, 1914, was Col. Edward Horace Welsh, of Cumberland, after a long and useful life as a soldier and business man.
Colonel Welsh was born at North Bloomfield, Ohio, June 2, 1840. He was reared and educated in his native State. When still a lad moved to Cleveland; Ohio, and later he became a member -of the Cleveland Grays, a company organized in that city. When war broke out between the States, he enlisted as a member of the Seventh New York Militia, and served with it until it was mustered out ninety days later, and he then enlisted, with the First Regiment of United States Chasseurs, also called the Sixty-fifth New York Volunteer Infantry, and July 11, 1861, was appointed quartermaster-sergeant of this regiment because of his patriotism and valor. At the time of this later enlistment he was only twenty years of age, and yet in spite of his youth served with distinction throughout the entire campaign. At the battle of Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines, as it is sometimes called, he was wounded in the breast, leg and ankle, and, as a reward for meritorious service, was made a second lieutenant. On October 28, 1863, Mr. Welsh was appointed first lieutenant of the Sixth Artillery, New York State Volunteers, and served with distinction during the three days battle of Gettysburg, and was very active in the placing of artillery at strategic points, and for this splendid service was breveted colonel. A monument in honor of the service performed by his regiment now stands near the entrance to the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Subsequently he was assigned to the personal staff of General Hunt, of the Artillery of the Army of the Potomac, where he served with distinction until the close of the war. In spite of his severe wounds he never drew a pension, nor did he ever apply for one, it being his pleasure that he served his country and was wounded in its service because of his patriotic love for it, and not for any material reward.
After his honorable discharge, Mr. Welsh went to Frederick City, Maryland, and from thence, in 1873, he came to Cumberland, and established himself in the wholesale and retail green grocery business on Baltimore street, and later became associated with the Kenneweg Company, wholesale grocers, was its president for a number of years until his death January 21, 1914. He was a director of the First National Bank, and the Cumberland Dry Goods. & Notion Company, both of Cumberland, and never lost his deep interest in the welfare of the city, and the development of its enterprises. Mr. Welsh took an active part in the operation of the Allegany Building, Loan & Savings Company, and demonstrated his faith in the city and county by investing in their different enterprises. A strong Republican, he was honored by being the successful candidate of his party for the office of city councilman, and was returned to that office after serving one term.
On November 8, 1869 Mr. Welsh married Ellen Sophia Wysong, of Frederick City, Maryland. For about a year prior to his demise Mr. Welsh was in poor health, but his death came as a shock to his many friends in the city and county. His funeral was largely attended by the leading citizens of this region, who flocked to honor one who in life had rendered so public-spirited a service, and set so high an example of honorable living. Rev. Martin Luther Enders, of the Saint Paul's Lutheran Church, officiated, assisted by Rev. George A. Gibbons, of Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church, Romney, West Virginia, and Rev. James E. Moffat, of First Presbyterian Church, of Cumberland. Interment was made in Rose Hill Cemetery.
Outside of his home and business, Mr. Welsh's greatest interest was centered in his old comrades, and until his death he took an active part in all affairs pertaining to the Grand Army of the Republic. On January 13, 1905, .he was elected commander of Tyler Post, No. 5. On December 6, 1899, he was elected a companion of the first class, Washington Commandery, Loyal Legion of the United States, and he also belonged to the order of the Blue and the Gray, all of these veteran organizations being represented at his funeral.
It is not out of place to quote in this connection an address made by him in Cumberland, May 30, 1905, as it gives his own personal feeling with regard to Memorial Day, and the Grand Army of the Republic
"Again the approach of Memorial Day brings painfully before the public the rapidly thinning ranks of the veterans of the most terrible war in history. The Grand Army of the Republic has become a noble remnant of an Army without a peer. Each year they pass in larger proportions, for they have attained the allotted span of life.
"But when the last member of the Grand Army sleeps under the sod, the memorial service will still be performed for him and his comrades, by loving hands and loving hearts. They will not be forgotten. The beautiful custom of gathering once each year to decorate the graves of the gallant dead will not be abandoned by the sons or the grandsons, nor yet by sons of theirs. By remembering the heroic dead and their sacrifices, we learn to appreciate the blessings of peace.
"May every year bring a greater Memorial Day than its predecessor, and as we all must in turn take our place with the silent hosts, may we not hope that this Memorial Day, growing broader even than our affection has made it, may come to be regarded as the Memorial Day for all the dead of all the land, and that on the 30th of May, all those who mourn, all who loved and honor the departed, will join with us in the rites of affection and remembrance
Mr. Welsh himself slept "under the sod" before he and his comrades were joined by that host of gallant young heroes of another war, which in its frightfulness so far surpassed the one in which he had served that words cannot describe it adequately. However, the beautiful thought voiced in the above has become a reality, and the comrades of the '60s and those of the World's War lie side by side and will never be forgotten. The American Legion has come into being, and as the last faltering footstep of the Grand Army of the Republic fades away, the stalwart members of the new organization will fall in, and keep the column moving.
DR. WILLIAM WYATT WILEY was born in Cecilton, Cecil county, Maryland, July 20, 1849, educated at Charlotte Hall Military Academy, St. Mary's county, Maryland, from which institution he graduated in 1865. Following his graduation he engaged in teaching for a time, and later accepted a position in the Treasury Department of the United States government. It was while holding this position he took up the study of medicine. For increased facilities in the pursuit of his studies he went to Baltimore, graduating from the University of Maryland in 1871.
Soon after graduating he located in St. Louis, Mo., with a view of making that his permanent location. While there he received overtures from Dr. Duvall, of Cumberland, to return and form a partnership with him, carrying with it a differential of $300. The partnership did not exist long, and after its dissolution Dr. Wiley associated himself with Dr. Dougherty in the practice of medicine. After the death of Dr. Dougherty he continued to practice in the same office. He soon built up a large practice and for a time was looked upon as one of the leading physicians of the city. Dr. Wiley was in every essential a physician, practicing his profession for the good of the community and not for the enrichment of himself. His professional charities were known only to himself and to those to whom they were rendered. It was characteristic of him to act both as friend and physician. He was always a student in his profession and kept pace. with its advances, both in theory and practice. He kept himself well informed on current events and was particularly well posted in the politics of his country, an ardent Democrat of the Jeffersonian type, prone to political discussions and tenacious of his own opinions, but considerate of the opinions of others. He was slow to anger, but when aroused in argument exhibited his latent fire. Dr. Wiley was never ambitious to hold political office, but did accept an appointment on the Water Board, which office he held for several years, with advantage to the city. He took a deep interest in every public movement to advance the interests of Cumberland, and for that reason became a prominent citizen.
In religion he was an Episcopalian, thus following in the footsteps of his
father, John Wiley, a prominent Episcopalian minister, who for many years had
charge of a parish in Charles county, Maryland. From 1876 to 1903 Dr. Wiley
served as a member of the Vestry of Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Cumberland.
During a portion of that time he was superintendent of Rose Hill Cemetery.
Dr. Wiley was a member of the State Medical Examining Board from its organization, in 1892, for several years, making the examinations in Anatomy and Physiology. He became a member of the Medico-Chirurgical Faculty in 1899. He was a member of all the local societies organized in this section of Maryland, mentioned under the biographies given in this section of this work. He was a Baltimore and Ohio railroad surgeon from 1893 during several years. He claimed to hold the record for prompt vaccination, having vaccination a child whose mother was in the eruptive stage, before the child was fifteen minutes old. This was during the small-pox epidemic of 1875.
Dr. Wiley was married to Miss Lillian Ogilby, of Hagerstown, in 1876, who survived him three years. Five children were born to them, John being the eldest, dying when seven years old; Helen, next in age, married John L. Wellington, son of ex-Senator George L. Wellington, president of the late Citizens National Bank; Mamie, third in order of age, married Mr. Harry E. Weber, president of the late Third National Bank of Cumberland; Bessie was the next child, who married Earnest Riley, of Baltimore, son of Dr. Charles H. Riley; Sarah, the youngest child, is still unmarried. Surviving Dr. Wiley are three sisters, Miss Fannie Wiley, of Baltimore, Mrs. Walter Aitkin, of Baltimore, and Mrs. William Beech, of Charlotte Hall, Maryland.
Dr. Wiley died on the 26th day of August, 1913, esteemed and beloved by all who knew him. He was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, in the beautifying of which he had much to do during his superintendency.
JOHN B. WILLIAMS, a leading manufacturer of marble and granite work in Allegany county, with large yards at Frostburg and Cumberland, makes his home at the former place, where the business was originally established about a half century back. It has ever since been one of the substantial institutions of the county, the founder, Henry Williams, and his son, John B. Williams, having held recognized positions among the capable business men of their respective generations. Both have been active in the direction and administration of public affairs and well qualified for such responsibilities by virtue of their integrity, public spirit and conscientious regard for the general welfare, as shown in their practical efforts.
Mr. Williams is a native of Wales, born March 5, 1862, son of Henry and Elizabeth (Powell) Williams, whose family consisted of eight children, namely: John B ; Mary, wife of Thomas J. Price, of Frostburg; Elizabeth, wife of D. P. Hartzell, of Cumberland, Secretary of the Cumberland & Westernport Electric Railway Company; Tillie, wife of C. C. Wright, of Frostburg; Annie, wife of P. C. Barnes, a member of the Allegany County Bar; Ada R. wife of Aden Dillon, Frostburg; Tirzah, buried at Frostburg, and Margaret, buried at Crecadon, Wales. Henry Williams brought his wife and family to America from Erwood, Breconshire, Wales, arriving in Frostburg, June 17, 1870, with the view of securing employment as a stone cutter upon the M. E. Church, which was then under construction. He went to work as soon as the excavating was completed. In a short time he was put in charge of the stone work, as he was familiar with working plans and Gothic Architecture. After the completion of this building he with his family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where he went to work upon the State Capitol, and cut the first stone in this building. Being dissatisfied with the West in the fall of 1871 he returned to Frostburg, where in time he became a leading citizen. He made a success as a building contractor and in the marble and granite business, was one of the organizers of the Citizens National Bank and a director of same, served as a member of the Frostburg town council and as county commissioner, and was prominently identified with local interests of all kinds. His religious connection was with the Baptist Church. His death occurred at Frostburg, in 1909, when he was sixty-seven years old, and his widow continues to reside there.
John B. Williams was eight years old when the family settled in Frostburg, and most of his elementary education was acquired in the public schools there. Later he attended Dickinson Seminary, at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. From boyhood he assisted his father in business, learning the trade of stone cutter under his direction, so that he is familiar with both the practical and executive branches of this line of manufacture by actual experience. John B. Williams worked regularly with his father from 1879, and they were associated until 1887, when the son bought out the entire interest and succeeded to the business, which has been his principal concern to the present time. He carried it on under the name of J. B. Williams until 1887, when he organized the J. B. Williams Co., of which he has since been president and manager. In 1906 the scope of the business having widened materially, doing business in seven States, he found it advantageous to establish another yard at Cumberland, and has operated both places profitably, the extra convenience and equipment facilitating the preparation and shipment of orders considerably and assuring their prompt execution. Marble and granite monuments and all kinds of stone work for special purposes are turned out in large quantities, and with the greatest possible dispatch consistent with the high-grade workmanship for which the Williams plants are noted.
Besides looking after his own affairs capably, Mr. Williams has found an agreeable and useful outlet for' his talents and energies in politics and the public service. He is a Republican in political principle and has been a leader in party activities, having served five years as a member of the county central committee and eight years as a member of the State Central Committee. For two years he held the position of county tax collector. After which time he would never consent to take a political appointment or run for an elective office. Mr. Williams was among the young Republicans who broke away from the Wellington faction, and was one of the contesting delegation who went to Frederick in the interest of Col. Geo. A. Pearre. Mr. Wellington receiving his first nomination for congress at this convention. Mr. Williams was also a Pearre delegate to the Republican convention at Frederick, which balloted 107 times without a choice, and then adjourned to Oakland, where Cola Geo. A. Pearre received his first nomination on a first ballot. Mr. Williams has been active in business enterprise. He was one of the organizers of the Frostburg Illuminating Co., and the G. E. Pearre Drug Co., and served as President until he disposed of his interest. He has also been active in the coal business, was the manager of the Bowery Coal Co., he is President of the Mannington Coal & Coke Company, which has large land holdings in Southwest Kentucky, is President of the Georges Creek Clean Coal Co., of Allegany county, and President of the Kahiki Jeans Mfg. Co.,
He is a well known member of the Knights of Pythias and Masonic fraternity, affiliating with Frostburg Lodge, No. 88, K. P., Mountain Lodge, No. 99, A. F. & A. M.; Ohr Chapter, No. 26, R. A. M., of Frostburg; and Antioch Commandery, No. 6, K. T., of Cumberland. In religion Mr. Williams is a Protestant. He is President of the Allegany Cemetery Company of Frostburg.
In 1890 Mr. Williams was united in marriage with Miss Florence Henrietta Betz, of Frostburg, daughter of the late Jacob & Phillipi Betz. Sister of Daniel J.; Henry G.; Charles F.; Edward L.; Mrs. George Ort and Mrs. Conrad Ort. Mrs. Williams is a member of the St. Paul English Lutheran Church, and has always taken an active part in church work. She was a teacher in the Infant Department for twenty-seven years.
Source: THE OLD PIKE: A HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL ROAD by Thomas B Searight, 1894
Ashael Willison, another of the old wagoners, is still living in Cumberland, and on of the most prominent citizens of that place. He was postmaster at Cumberland during the first administration of President Cleveland. From the saddle horse of a six-horse team on the old pike to control of a city postoffice is distinctively an American idea, and a good one. The old wagoner made a capital postmaster. Mr. Willison is now deputy collector of Internal Revenue for the State of Maryland.
Hanson Willison was early on the road as a stage driver, and none of his fellow drivers excelled him in skillfulness. He drove a brief period between Uniontown and Brownsville, but for the most part in and out from Cumberland. He is still living in Cumberland, proprietor of the American House livery stables, and doing a profitable business. He retains the habit of the early days of the road, generous almost to a fault, perfectly familiar with the roads history, his memory is well stored with its exciting incidents and accidents. Hanson Willison and Ashael Willison before mentioned, are brothers.
Obituaries from the Cumberland Times
HILARY FARMER WILLISON, one of the best known farmers in the eastern section of Allegany County, Maryland, and one of the most highly respected men in the community in which he lives, was born in Flintstone district of Allegany County, May 19, 1843, and is a son of Elisha Willison who was born November 10, 1798, in Flintstone district and Anah Willison, who was born in the same section of Allegany County, 11 Dec 1806. His paternal grandfather was John Willison, who was born at Fort Cumberland, Maryland, 17 Oct 1772. His paternal grandmother was Dorcas Moore. His maternal grandfather was Charles Willison, born at Fort Cumberland on 21 Aug 1761. His maternal grandmother was Amelia Farmer. (Hilary's parents were, in fact first cousins.) He had four (actually five) sisters, namely:
WILLISON 18 Nov 1907 Mr Ashael Willison, Washington St, died last night at 11 o'clock in his 84th year. A son of Jasper and Anna Hyatt Willison and a grandson of Moses Willison, he was a man of prominence. His wife Amanda Willison died in 1899. Sons and daughters surviving are: Charles E. Willison, Jasper Willison, and Miss Mary Willison and Miss Emma Willison. A brother, Owen Willison of Paw Paw, and a sister, Mrs Anne Gross, Fostoria Ohio. The funeral is from Emmanuel Episcopal Church with interment in Rose Hill Cemetery.
ROBINETTE 12 Jan 1901 Mrs Harriet Robinette, widow of George Robinette who lived at Rush in the Flintstone area, died this morning at the home of her mother Mrs Hanson Willison on Union Street where she had been living since the death of her late father, Mr Hanson Willison, two weeks ago. Death is attributed to heart failure. She was 53 years of age and leaves her mother and 4 children: William Robinette; Misses Bessie and Ella all of the home place; and Hanson Robinette Jr, a clerk at his uncle's hardware store in the city. She is also survived by these brothers and sisters: Messers, Richard Willison of Philippi WV; AG Willison, a hardware dealer of Cumberland; Randolph, a clerk for the B&O; Hanson Willison Jr, a clerk for his brother; AC Willison and Miss Rose Willison all of this city. Funeral is from the Lutheran Church at Rush and burial in the Robinette Cemetery.
WILLISON 11 May 1904 Mrs Mary Willison, widow of the late Hanson Willison, died at her residence at the corner of Union & Rebecca Streets, aged 78 years, after an illness contracted on 1 January last. She rallied from a severe attack of pneumonia, but became affected with another ailment shortly after which, owing to her age and weakened condition, she was unable to overcome. She was born in Germany and came to this county with her parents Mr & Mrs Adam Hobrook when she was but 13 years of age and became identified with the Lutheran Church. Her husband died 3 years ago. She is the mother of Miss Rose and Archibald C. Willison, Randolph Willison, and Hanson Willison, all of this place. Burial in Rose Hill Cemetery.
GROSS 17 Apr 1912 Fostoria OH- Mr George H Gross, who for many years conducted the Six Mile House of the Baltimore Pike, died last night in his home in Fostoria OH. He was 74 years old and his wife was a sister to the late Achael Willison and Hanson Willison of Cumberland and uncle to Mr Jasper Willison. He was a brother to Captain Richard T Gross who was sheriff of Allegany County in 1872 and a veteran of the Civil War. Another brother still resides on the old Gross home on the Baltimore Pike. Burial in Fostoria OH.
WILLISON 08 Jul 1913 Jesse Willison, 70 years of age, died at his home in Ridgeley of paralytic stroke suffered 3 weeks ago. A brother of the late AC Willison-postmaster, and an uncle of Jasper N Willison of Cumberland. He was one of the oldest residents of Cumberland who moved later to Ridgeley WV. He is survived by his wife and the following children: John A Willison of Cumberland; Clifton Willison of Ridgeley WV; Mrs Bessie Flora of Jersey City; and Mrs Madge Lovell; also, a brother, Owen Willison of Paw Paw WV and a sister Mrs Anna Gross of Fostoria OH. Interment in Rose Hill Cemetery.
WILLISON 08 Sep 1913 Ridgeley WV- Mrs Rebecca Willison, age 66 years, wife of Jesse Willison died suddenly on Saturday evening (06 Sep). She lived with her step son, Mr Clifton Willison, Central Avenue since the death of her husband last July. About noon, she was stricken with paralysis on the left side. Dr Cowherd was called and discovered that her condition was critical. She lingered until Saturday evening about 9:00, when death relieved her suffering. Mrs Willison was married twice, her first husband was Mr Robinette and from the union were five children. She has two children from her second marriage. Interment in the Rose Hill cemetery.
Picture of Hilary Willison
from photo with wife,
Elmira Hendrickson and
Contributed by Terri Heslin,
descendant from Clara.
Mr. Willison received his education in the country schools
of Flintstone district. He was reared as a farmer and still continues in
that occupation. He is a Democrat, and like his progenitors, takes great
interest in the affairs of his party. In religion Mr. Willison is a
Methodist, as was his wife who is deceased.
Mr. Willison was married to Miss Elmira Hendrickson on 24
Jan 1864. She was born in April, 1842, in Flinstone district, and was
the daughter of William Hendrickson and Mary Zembower. The following
children were born to them:
Clara - married Ensley Hartsock
Charles Wellington married Amanda Laney Bennett
Mary L. married Charles J. Simpson
Frederick Norval married Judith Perrin
Josephine married W. J. Edwards
Blanche married Richard Huerta
Mr. Willison was in the Union Army during the Civil War. he enlisted in the Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry on 19 Apr 1861. His great grandfather, James Moore, served three years in the Revolutionary War, and was awarded Military Lot No. 1356, in Allegany County, MD. His great grandfather, was Jeremiah Willison, the first Court Crier of Allegany County.
Hilary F. Willison was born on 19 May 1843 and died on 18 Aug 1933. His wife, Elmira, was born in 1842 and died in 1915.. Both are buried in the Oddfellow's Cemetery, Flintstone.
[Portions highlighted in maroon are additions to the biography supplied by Connie Beachy.]
Jacob C. Wilson
JACOB C. WILSON senior member, of the firm of J. C. Wilson & Son, of Frostburg, has reached excellent standing in business and all his other associations in the community by reason of his sterling character and industrious career. As proprietor of a well patronized grocery store he has come into personal contact with a large proportion of the inhabitants of the city and vicinity, and has gained their friendship and unqualified respect in a score of years and more of agreeable relations.
Mr. Wilson was born January 7, 1848, in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, where the family was established long ago. His father, Hugh Wilson, was also a native of Pennsylvania, a cabinetmaker by trade, and died in Flint Stone, Allegany county, Maryland, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. He married Mary Mills, who is also deceased, and they were the parents of eight children, namely: Andrew, who is a farmer in Flint Stone district; Jacob C.; Sarah Ann, deceased, who was the wife of Elijah Collins; Mary, wife of John M. Chappel; Caroline, wife of William Miller, of Bedford county, Pennsylvania; Amanda, married to William Deihl; Rebecca, wife of Amos Smith, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania; Emanuel, a machinist, living at Keyser, West Virginia; and Martha, wife of William Robinett, residing in Cumberland, Maryland.
Jacob C. Wilson was reared in his native county, and obtained what education the public schools of the day there afforded. When sixteen years old he began to learn the trade of cabinetmaker with his father, following that business until he reached his majority, when he became interested in a mercantile business at Chaneysville, Bedford county, Pennsylvania. He continued to carry this on in partnership with his father until 1879, when he went to Springfield, West Virginia, and resumed work at his trade, remaining there until his removal to Frostburg, Maryland, in 1881. Here he followed his trade several years as cabinetmaker for Gross & Nickel, furniture manufacturers and undertakers, in 1886 taking over the business for himself until 1900; at that time taking charge of the gristmill of H. B. Shoffer & Company, of Frostburg, with whom he was associated for eight years. Since 1897 he has been in the grocery business in which line he has prospered steadily, doing a thriving trade from the beginning. J. C. Wilson & Son handle high-grade goods, their establishment, at No. 149 Union street, having a high reputation for the quality of its stock as well as for the courteous accommodations extended to customers. Mr. Wilson has worked faithfully for success, and he has not only built up a good paying business, but has also acquired considerable valuable real estate in the city. He is a good citizen, though he has not borne any active part in public affairs beyond voting, supporting the Democrat party on political issues. His religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
By his marriage to Miss Elmyra Ruby, of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, Mr. Wilson had a family of six children, namely: George, Frederick, E. C., Annie, Robert and Francis. The mother died January 24, 1884, and Mr. Wilson subsequently married Miss Nellie Porter, whom he survives, with one son, Charles M. She died January 19, 1890, and for his third wife he married Miss Addie McMullen, by whom he has one daughter, Grace A., now Mrs. Billinger, living in Baltimore, Maryland. Jacob C. Wilson, deceased, died September 23, 1921, and since that time the business has been carried on at the same stand by his son, Emory C. Wilson, Jr., partner, who took over his father's interest in the business and real estate, and is enjoying a good business, and hopes to continue, by square dealing, as was the motto of the deceased, J. C. Wilson, his father.
Emory Condon Wilson, Junior, partner of J. C. Wilson & Son, was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, October 8, 1872. In 1879 his parents moved to Springfield, West Virginia, in 1881 moved to Frostburg, Maryland. Here he acquired his school education at Beall High School, later being employed by a grocery firm by the name of Jenkins, and afterwards, four and one-half years at the St. Cloud Hotel, then owned and managed by Cornelius Lynch. And in 1897 entering into business with his father, which he is carrying on at the present time at 149 East Union street.
In 1895 he was married to Ida May Rushton, of Lonaconing, Maryland, of this union three children were born, one girl and two boys, namely: Carl T. Wilson, Tillio Tapin, Emory C., Jr., all living.
JOHN C. WOLFORD, who is a reliable and substantial business man of Cumberland, Maryland, owner of property and active in all that concerns the best welfare of the city, is a representative of one of the old families of Allegany county. At the age of fourteen years he began to look after himself, and today, through his own efforts, is one of the representative business men and valued citizens of Cumberland, having practically proved that industry, determination and honesty are powerful factors in making an up-hill journey easy and worth while.
John C. Wolford was born on his father's farm, situated six miles northeast of Cumberland, January 27, 1869. His parents were Jacob and Mary (Magarts) Wolford, natives of Allegany county, farming people, as was the paternal grandfather, Samuel Wolford. The Wolfords are a long-lived family. The brothers and sisters of John C. Wolford were as follows: Letha, who married William Cordry, a printer by trade at Cumberland; Virgil T., who is in the tobacco and cigar business at Cumberland; Lottie, who is the wife of Claud Lockwood, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Charles, who was a babe of three weeks when his mother died, is a farmer in,. Allegany county.
John C. Wolford was only six years old when he lost his mother, which is a calamity to come into the life of any child. The family continued to live on the farm until he was fourteen, when his father moved to Cumberland, and his schooling was obtained in the country. His first employment after coming to the city was with Jacob Hawdry, a veteran cigarmaker, with whom he remained for two years, going then to H. U. F. Flurshultz, where he worked in the furniture store and shop for four years, by this time having a pretty fair working knowledge of two good trades. From there he went with Kennedy H. Butler, who was in the furniture and undertaking business, and with him he continued for the next five years.
In 1885 Mr. Wolford embarked in the furniture and undertaking business for himself, and probably now does the largest volume of undertaking business, including embalming, in Allegany county. His fine building, at Nos. 43-45 South Liberty street, Cumberland, is a handsome structure 59 x 64 feet in dimensions and two stories high, giving floor space for three casket show rooms, two funeral parlors, two sleeping rooms and bath, all fitted with modern conveniences and comforts. Mr. Wolford is a licensed embalmer and his methods are scientific and sanitary, while his equipment for funerals, both private and public, are very complete. Mr. Wolford operates both a funeral car and an automobile ambulance, he being the first at Cumberland to introduce these modern conveyances. In Mr. Wolford the public not only finds an efficient business man but a friendly helper in times of domestic distress, for he is ready to aid by advice, arrange all details of legal transportation, besides, personally and sympathetically performing his duties in a dignified way.
Mr. Wolford was married June 24, 1899, to Miss Nettie Ridgley, a daughter of Charles Ridgley, in whose honor the town of Ridgley, West Virginia, was named. Mr. and Mrs. Wolford have two children: Mabel Pauline and John Homer. The family belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. Fraternally Mr. Wolford is a member of Ohr Lodge, No. 131, A. F. & A. M., and Chapter at Cumberland, and belongs also to Chosen Friends Lodge of Odd Fellows and the Independent Order of Red Men. In politics he has always been identified with the Democratic party, but has never been willing to accept a public office.
Solid worth, sterling integrity and steadfastness of purpose have marked the career of Virgil T. Wolford, proprietor of the leading cigar and tobacco store of Cumberland. He has had no towering advantages of birth or position. Great wealth was not given into his hands to assist him in making his way easy. What he possesses he has earned himself, and he has known how to keep on adding to his store, and at the same time to win and hold the confidence of his associates and customers. With such characteristics he was bound to succeed. Failure was impossible. Never discouraged, even when reverses came, as they do to all, he has kept right ahead, and whenever the condition of business permitted, he has enlarged his field of operation until he is now one of the leaders in his line in Allegany county.
The birth of Virgil T. Wolford took place at Bottle Run, seven miles east of Cumberland, February 12, 1866. He is a son of Jacob and Mary (Mogart) Wolford. The paternal grandfather, Samuel Wolford, was one of the substantial farmers of Allegany county, but has long been deceased. Jacob Wolford was engineer for many years at the Bottle Run tannery, but late in life retired from Bottle Run to Cumberland. He and his wife had five children to reach maturity, namely: Lethie, who is the wife of William Cardry of Cumberland; Virgil T., whose name heads this review; John C., who is an undertaker of Cumberland, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Lottie, who is the wife of Claud Lockwood; and Charles Lewis, who is a farmer of Allegany county.
Eleven years old when his parents moved to Cumberland, Virgil T. Wolford
attended the public schools of that city and then, when only twelve years old,
began learning the cigar-malting trade, which he followed for twenty years. In
1909 he started in the cigar and tobacco business on Front street, Cumberland,
and in 1912 moved to his present location, 107 1/2 Baltimore street, and here he
has one of the most complete and well equipped stores in Cumberland. Mr. Wolford
carries in stock a fine line of all of the leading cigars, cigarettes, smoking
and chewing tobacco, and pipes.
Since casting his first vote he has espoused the principles of the Democratic party. For many years he has been an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Fraternally he belongs to Chosen Friends Lodge, No. 43, I. O. O. F., of which he is past noble grand and past chief patriarch; and he is past master of Ohr Lodge, No. 131, A. F. & A. M. of Cumberland.
On January 19, 1888, Mr. Wolford was married to Miss Ada G. Keller of Cumberland and they have one son, Ernest Van Dyke Wolford. Mrs. Wolford is a daughter of Francis Keller, a bricklayer by trade, but for years a policeman of Cumberland, and one of the prominent men of his day. He lived to the unusual age of eighty-two years. His father was one of the early sheriffs of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, from whence the family migrated to Allegany county, Maryland, many years ago. During the years he has been in business Mr. Wolford has built up an enviable reputation for uprightness, probity and reliability, and while attending to his own affairs he has also kept in touch with public matters, and given an intelligent thought to civic responsibilities.
Ernest Van Dyke Wolford was born May 6, 1889, and was educated in the Cumberland public schools, the Allegany County Academy and the Cumberland Commercial College. He is now in business with his father. On May 6, 1918 he volunteered and entered the United States Navy, and was assigned to the U. S. S. Richmond and stationed at Norfolk, Virginia. Later he was transferred to the U. S. S. transport Madawaska in the capacity of commissary yeoman. This ship was engaged in transporting troops to the various disembarkation ports of France to take part in the World War. Mr. Wolford made six round trips in this service through the various submarine zones. In politics he is a Republican. A Mason, he belongs to Ohr Lodge, No: 131, A. F. & A. M.; Salem Chapter, No. 18, R. A. M., Antioch Commandery, No. 9, B. T.; and Boumi Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. of Baltimore. He also belongs-to Progressive Council, No. 83, Jr. O. U. A. M. of Cumberland.