Location: Hagerstown Maryland

Biography of Abraham Snethen

Abraham Snethen and his wife, Elizabeth Stewart, were natives of Germany. They emigrated to America and settled in New Jersey, where they had eleven children, of whom the names of only seven are now remembered. They were William, John, Reuben, Polly, Lydia, Elizabeth, and Margaret. William married and settled in Kentucky in 1792, and in 1810 he removed to Ohio, where he lost his wife. He then started to return to New Jersey, but died of cholera, at Hagerstown, Md. John was born in March, 1789, and when he was eight years old his mother died. He was then bound out to a man in Elizabethtown, N. J., to learn the trade of wheel-wright. He remained with the man seven years, and then having had a misunderstanding with his landlady, he ran away and went to Philadelphia, where he embarked on board a ship as a sailor He followed the sea seven years, and during the latter part of that period, while the ship was returning from the West India Islands, with a cargo of sugar and coffee, the yellow fever broke out among the crew and all of them died except Snethen, the cook, and one sailor. They succeeded, however, in bringing the vessel safely into port, and delivering her to the owners, whose admiration of Snethen’s bravery and skill was so great that they proposed to educate...

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Biography of Colonel James H. B. McFerran

James H. B. McFerran was born in Washington county, Maryland, September 17, 1819. At the age of six years his father died, and he remained with his mother until his seventeenth year, attending school part of the time. On reaching the above age he engaged in the stone cutting business under a contractor by the name of Andrew Small, receiving seventy-five cents, per day for the first year. Owing to an aptitude for the work, the second year he was given the position of superintendent, at a salary of one dollar and eighty-seven and one-half cents per day, and continued as superintendent until he was twenty years of age. At that time he went into business for himself, taking a contract first on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, and then on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and continued some six years, at the close-of his last work going back to his mother’s in 1845. He then decided to study law, and living with his mother he attended school and studied law under the instruction of the Hon. Samuel A. Lowe, of Hagerstown, Maryland, afterwards the governor of the State. He remained there until 1848, when he became a citizen of Gallatin, and Daviess county. Having been admitted to the bar he practiced his profession, and in June, 1855, was appointed .prosecuting attorney of Daviess county, at a salary of...

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Biography of Frederick D. Schnebly

FREDERICK D. SCHNEBLY – Our subject was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1832, and was educated in the Franklin and Marshall College of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1854 he started for California by way of Nicaragua. In passing up the Pacific, the steamer, Star of the West, on which he had taken passage, took fire; but the horrors of a burning ship tragedy were avoided by the timely and effective labors of the crew and passengers. After stopping for a time in San Francisco, he visited the Sandwich Islands, but, returning to the Golden state, spent two unsuccessful years in mining. While there, in 1855, he witnessed a bloody pitched battle between several hundred Kong Kong Chinamen and an equal number of their Canton countrymen. Later he became a trader and miner in Siskiyou county, but left that region for the new gold fields on the Frazer River. After much journeying, he settled where Dayton, Washington, now stands. With one exception, he was the first to build a business house there. This property he sold, and wandered from camp to camp among the mountains of Idaho and Montana. In 1871 he reached Walla Walla, and in 1872 located a farm in the Kittitass valley near Ellensburgh, Washington Territory. In 1873 he started the first agricultural implement establishment in Yakima county, representing Hawley, Dodd & Co., and since 1855 continued the...

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Biography of Samuel Bowman

Samuel Bowman, now of Coffeyville, where he is engaged in the real estate, insurance and loan business with his sons, is a Kansas resident of nearly thirty-five years and was long prominent in Labette County, where he served two terms as probate judge. His Bowman ancestors were German people who came to Pennsylvania in Colonial times. His grandfather, Benjamin Bowman, a native of Pennsylvania, was a farmer and cabinet maker, also a minister of the Dunkard Church, and spent many years in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he died some years before Judge Bowman was born. It was in the valley of the Shenandoah, a mile from Harrisonburg, Virginia, that Samuel Bowman was born May 18, 1846. His father, John Bowman, was born in the same locality in 1790, and spent his life in that famous valley, engaged in farming and stock raising. He died at Harrisonburg in 1873. Though a resident of Virginia he was not in sympathy with the South on the issue of slavery, was a stanch Union man, and a whig and republican in politics. He was an active member of the Dunkard Church. John Bowman married Rebecca Wine, who was born in the Shenandoah Valley in 1802, and died on the old farm near Harrisonburg in 1872. A brief record of the children is as follows: Daniel, who was a Virginia farmer and...

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Biography of James A. McGonigle

James A. McGonigle. For many reasons may James A. McGonigle, contractor and builder and one of Leavenworth’s most respected citizens, be regarded as deserving of extended mention in a history of Kansas. He came to Leavenworth as a pioneer in 1857; he was an early, brave and loyal soldier in the Union army until incapacitated by wounds in the Civil war; since then had been more prominent in the upbuilding of the city than any other man; and still at the age of eighty-three carries on large business operations and with the same facility and exactness that won him the reputation of being the foremost contractor in Kansas and other states. James A. McGonigle was born at Hagerstown, Maryland, February 8, 1834. His father, James McGonigle, was born in County Derry, near the Giant’s Causeway, Ireland. When a young man he started out for himself, going to Londonderry and there learning the weaver’s trade, and when about twenty-five years old, in 1813, crossed the Atlantic ocean in one of the old sailing vessels of the time, which, after months on the water, safely landed him at Hagerstown, Maryland. He found work at his trade, hand looms being used exclusively at that time, and continued until the invention and introduction of weaving machinery made hand work unprofitable. He was an industrious man and then turned his attention to farming, in...

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James Doeg Todd of Hagerstown MD

James Doeg Todd8, (Silas7, Elam6, Edmund5, Christopher4, Samuel3, Samuel2, Christopher1) born Nov. 22, 1826, died June 15, 1912, married Oct. 2, 1855, Susan Sophia Webster, who was born Dec. 10, 1830, in York, Canada. He was a Congregational minister. He lived in Granite Falls, Minn., thence he moved with his son to Hagerstown, Md., where he died. Children: *2078. Cornelia Ermina, b. Dec. 8, 1856. *2079. James Marcus, b. Oct. 12, 1858. *2080. William Edward, b. April 26, 1861. 2081. David Ripley, b. May 13, 1866, unmarried. *2082. John Reynard, b. Oct. 27, 1867. *2083. Susan Elizabeth, b. Sept. 4, 1871. 2084. Mary Frances, b. June 8, 1875; she m. Veeder G. Treat, who had previously m. her next older sister...

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William Edward Todd of Hagerstown MD

William Edward Todd9, (James D.8, Silas7, Elam6, Edmund5, Christopher4, Samuel3, Samuel2, Christopher1) born April 26, 1861, in Richmond County, Wis., married in Labette County, Kan., Nov. 24, 1890, Maude Augusta Roller, who was born Aug. 9, 1870, in Millersburg, Ind. Some of her ancestors lived in Stanton, Va. She attended Western College, a college for women, in Oxford, O. Mr. Todd graduated from the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Ill., in 1890. He began the practice of his profession in Albert Lea, Minn. Later he moved to Hagerstown, Md., where he was living in 1919. Children: 2652. Gertrude Elizabeth, b. April 30, 1892, in Madison, Minn. 2653. James Roller, b. May 15, 1894, in Madison Minn. 2654. Helen Augusta, b. Nov. 20, 1895, in Madison, Minn. 2655. William Oscar, b. Dec. 5, 1898, in Albert Lea, Minn. 2656. Florence Susan, b. Aug. 9, 1903, in Albert Lea,...

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Biography of George Loughead Eyster, M. D.

Among Rock Island physicians none have a wider practice or a more successful one than the subject of this sketch, Doctor George L. Eyster, one of that city’s old established and prominent physicians and surgeons. He was born May 14, 1853, at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, his parents being William IF. and Lucretia (Gibson) Eyster. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother of Vermont. His father’s family was of German origin, the Eysters being among the early settlers in the colony of Pennsylvania. Doctor Eyster’s father was for many years a clergyman of the Lutheran Church, being also engaged in the educational work of that church. For some years he was president of the Hagerstown Female Seminary, a Lutheran educational institution located in Maryland. In 1876 he came to Rock Island, where for ten years he occupied the chair of English Literature at Augustana College. He afterward removed to Crete, Nebraska, where he lived a retired life. After the removal of the Eyster family to Maryland, where the subject of this sketch received a public school and academic education, fitting himself to enter Pennsylvania College, an institution from which he graduated in 1871. He then entered the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, and three years later he graduated. One year later he began the practice of his profession in Nebraska, but in 1876 he removed to...

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Biography of William Bruce Middlekauff

William Bruce Middlekauff, banker, farmer and stockman of Vesper, came to Kansas with his father over forty years ago, and since then the interests and activities and holdings of the Middlekauff family have grown apace until the name is now one of the most substantial and respected in Lincoln County. The family through its varied relationship had become prominently known in Kansas, Mr. Middlekauff himself is a native of Maryland and in the vicinity of Hagerstown the family and its kin have lived for generations. Mr. Middlekauff’s grandfather, Daniel Middlekauff, was also born near Hagerstown, Maryland, was a farmer and slave owner and died on his property in Maryland before William B. was born. The name suggests German origin and the ancestors came out of the Fatherland and settled in Maryland in colonial days. J. D. Middlekauff, father of William B. and founder of the family in Kansas, was born at Hagerstown in 1842. He grew up and married there, took up farming, and in 1873 sought the larger opportunities and the more abundant resources of the West and located at Vesper, Kansas. Here he homesteaded 160 acres and he lived on that homestead farm until the time of his death in December, 1896. He developed a good home, was prospered, and left an estate of 240 acres. He was affiliated with the democratic party and was an active...

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Biography of David J. Schnebly

DAVID J. SCHNEBLY. – Among all the editors whose lives are sketched in this volume, Mr. Schnebly yields to none the priority, since in 1850 he was conducting the only newspaper then in Oregon. He was born near Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1818, and from that state drew the physical completeness and mental energy for which her people have been distinguished. As a youth of seventeen he removed with his parents to Illinois, but there was greatly afflicted by the loss of his father by death. In 1840 he returned to his native state in order to pursue a course of literary study, and spent some years thereafter at Marshall College. In 1850 he felt the impulse to give his life to the establishment of a new state on the Pacific coast, and arriving in Oregon found scope for his native abilities and for his literary acquirements as editor of the Spectator. That was the first paper established on the Pacific coast, and the only one published in Oregon in 1850. In the year following Mr. Schnebly, having gained the confidence of the people, and being well assured by all of his fitness for the position of publisher and censor of the ideas and opinions of the people of the state, purchased the establishment, and was editor and proprietor until 1854. reference to the old files of that journal show...

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