Excerpt for Looking Back 1&2: 87 True Stories of Mountain Maryland by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Critical acclaim for

the works of James Rada, Jr.


“Come ‘canawling’ with the Fitzgeralds and experience the joys and dangers of life on the C&O Canal. You’ll almost hear the horn blowing as they approach another lock.”

The Potomac Review

“A powerful, thoughtful and fascinating historical novel, Canawlers documents author James Rada, Jr. as a writer of considerable and deftly expressed storytelling talent.”

Midwest Book Review

“James Rada, of Cumberland, has written a historical novel for high-schoolers and adults, which relates the adventures, hardships and ultimate tragedy of a family of boaters on the C&O Canal. … The tale moves quickly and should hold the attention of readers looking for an imaginative adventure set on the canal at a critical time in history.”

Along the Towpath

The Rain Man

The Rain Man starts out with a bang and engages the reader with its fast-moving plot.”

Beyond 50

The Rain Man is a mystery thriller that races from the first raindrops that began the flooding to its dangerous climax in Wills Creek as it became a raging torrent.”

Cumberland Times-News

Between Rail and River

“The book is an enjoyable, clean family read, with characters young and old for a broad-based appeal to both teens and adults. Between Rail and River also provides a unique, region-al appeal, as it teaches about a particular group of people, ordinary working ‘canawlers’ in a story that goes beyond the usual coverage of life during the Civil War.”

Historical Fiction Review

Between Rail and River arrived yesterday – I finished it today. I couldn’t put it down. Great job! … I enjoyed it thoroughly and I’m looking forward to the next installment.”

Gary Petrichick

Author of Pocket Guide to the Civil War on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal



A Love Returned

Battlefield Angels: The Daughters of Charity Work as Civil War Nurses

Beyond the Battlefield: Stories from Gettysburg’s Rich History

Clay Soldiers: One Marine’s Story of War, Art, & Atomic Energy

Echoes of War Drums: The Civil War in Mountain Maryland

Kidnapping the Generals: The South’s Most-Daring Raid Against the Union Army

Saving Shallmar: Christmas Spirit in a Coal Town

When the Babe Came to Town: Stories of George Herman Ruth’s Small-Town Baseball Games


Between Rail and River (Canawlers #2)

Canawlers (Canawlers #1)

Lock Ready (Canawlers #3)

My Little Angel

October Mourning

The Race (Canawlers #4)

The Rain Man

Looking Back:

True Stories of Mountain Maryland

Looking Back II:

More True Stories of Mountain Maryland


James Rada, Jr.



A division of AIM Publishing Group

For the residents of Allegany, Garrett, and Mineral counties,

your stories never cease to amaze me.

Portions of this book were previously published in the Cumberland Times-News, Maryland Life Magazine, Wonderful West Virginia Magazine and Allegany Magazine.



Published by Legacy Publishing, a division of AIM Publishing Group.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Copyright © 2009, 2012 by James Rada, Jr.

All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

Omnibus edition: May 2017

Cover design by Stephanie E. J. Long and Jennifer Buchheister



315 Oak Lane • Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325

Looking Back Table of Contents

Author’s Introduction

1. City began during a parade 249 years ago

2. Russian prince gave up much to become priest

3. The B&O vs. the C&O

4. Deaths raise suspicion in community

5. The night they drove old Dixie out

6. Newspaper editor critical of county official killed after scathing article

7. Doctor revolt at Western Maryland home, infirmary

8. The army invasion of 1894

9. Mount Savage’s “Merchant King” dies during surgery

10. Baltimore to Cumberland, the hard way

11. A hidden fortune found in Cumberland home

12. Mountain City residents get first look at the big screen

13. Halloween a time for revelry

14. Police officer mortally wounded in Shantytown

15. City was a “Paragon” of the auto industry

16. Ridgeley is an example of what a vote means

17. Got milk? Get killed

18. Queen City leaders brought up on bribery charges in scandal of 1914

19. Millions “died struggling” with Spanish Flu

20. Cumberland’s first councilwoman would not serve

21. A hand of “Blackjack”

22. The Georges Creek mining wars

23. How the flood of 1924 all but dried up the C&O Canal

24. Half-century-old Main Street store destroyed by fire

25. The “Babe” comes to Cumberland

26. A 10-pound-boy named “Oxygen”

27. It wasn’t a spaceship that landed at Mexico Farms

28. Slot machines have been legal in Maryland on two occasions

29. All they knew was that it filled their empty bellies

30. The French sculptor from Lonaconing

31. No overalls in sight: Cumberland life surprises city girl from Boston

32. Shopping was encouraged because shortages lay ahead

33. When the World War came to Allegany County

34. Family desperately searches for woman’s killer

35. Trumans draw a crowd in Frostburg during lunch stop

36. “It’s a girl” three times

37. Surprise guests

38. Crew jumps, B-52 crashes

39. After nearly 40 years, Welch murder case still unsolved

40. Washington a favorite uncle

About the Author

Author’s Introduction

Allegany County and Western Maryland have a rich history covering hundreds of years. It’s filled with stories of adventurers and Indians, presidents and wars and those ordinary little stories of life past that those of use today have forgotten.

I was lucky enough to begin writing about those stories with my first historical novel, Canawlers. While the story was based on fact, it was a work of fiction. However, my editors at the Cumberland Times-News recognized the fact that I had an interest in history and began assigning me stories associated with local history.

Then in 2004, I was offered the chance to start writing the newspaper’s local history column. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. I began browsing through old newspapers looking for stories that caught my attention, and a lot of them did.

I start with the newspaper article, and from that point, I will research more about the people involved or the situ-ation. If the story is recent enough, I have even been able to interview living participants. The result is another thread in the richly colored tapestry of this region.

Cumberland Times-News Managing Editor Jan Alderton wrote in his August 1, 2004, newspaper column, “Of the many features we’ve introduced to Times-News readers in recent years, few have had as much favorable reaction as the Looking Back local history column being written by James Rada.

“The microfilm files of Times-News papers date back to the 1870s and are a goldmine of interesting stories about our past. Some of the stories are ones that present day readers have never heard about. Other stories that Rada is un-earthing are about topics that people have talked about for years.”

I think part of the success of the column is that I truly enjoy discovering a new story about this area and writing about it. That enthusiasm becomes part of the column, and people sense it.

Looking Back: True Stories of Mountain Maryland is a collection of many of the Looking Back columns I have written, but it includes more. This volume includes some of the historical features I wrote for the Cumberland Times-News and Allegany Magazine. It also includes expanded versions of some of the Looking Back columns.

I hope you enjoy this collection and that you continue to follow my columns and articles in the Cumberland Times-News and Allegany Magazine.

James Rada, Jr.

June 1, 2009

City began during a parade 249 years ago

Cumberland was created in the grand spectacle of a parade that happened 249 years ago today.

The Cumberland Evening Times reported in 1955, “Two hundred years ago day after tomorrow Cumberland had its first big parade and one that, in all probability, has never been surpassed.”

In May 1755, a new fort had recently been completed on the high bluff between the Potomac River and Wills Creek.

It was about 200 yards long and 46 yards wide. Eighteen-foot-long logs that were buried on end 6 feet into the ground and then lashed together made up the walls.

Various armaments, including cannons, were mounted at the top of the walls and slits had been left between some logs in order to fire small arms through the hole at attacking enemies.

This new fort had been built to replace a smaller fort called Mount Pleasant that had been built on the same site in 1754.

Gov. Horatio Sharpe had deemed Mount Pleasant too small for staging an attack on Fort Duquesne in Pennsylvania and had ordered it rebuilt.

Col. James Innes, a South Carolinian, arrived at the fort on Sept. 1, 1754, and took command of a couple of hundred soldiers stationed there. This was a fraction of the army needed to man and defend the larger fort, and he and his men waited anxiously for reinforcements.

Gen. Edward Braddock, commander-in-chief of British military forces in North America, was given the job of driving the French from the Ohio Valley.

“On May 10, after an exhausting journey overland, he (Braddock) reached Wills Creek and entered the fort to the booming of cannon,’ Gordon Kershaw wrote in Allegany County-A History.

Sharpe had given Braddock an elegant chariot to ride in, and Braddock rode it much of the way from Winchester. He also rode in it as he entered the fort through the small gates in the north and south walls at the eastern point of the fort.

British Gen. Edward Braddock and his troops, including a young George Washington, arrive at the Fort Braddock would name Fort Cumberland on May 10, 1755. Photo courtesy of the Albert and Angela Feldstein Collection.

The soldiers with Braddock were sharply dressed in their scarlet coats and marched in a tight formation. A military band played “The Grenadier March,” and other guns were fired in salute at the soldiers marched past the barracks to the parade grounds near the western end of the fort.

Innes greeted Braddock and his staff, among whom was young 23-year-old Virginia colonel named George Washington. Washington had been to the area three times before.

When Braddock was told the new fort had not been named, “One of his first actions upon arrival was to rename the structure for the Duke of Cumberland, soldier-son of George II and Captain General of the British Army,” wrote Kershaw.

Fort Cumberland was first written in a letter Braddock wrote to Sharpe on May 22. The fort eventually became the City of Cumberland. With its existence beginning with a parade, it's no wonder that Cumberland residents still enjoy the city's parades.

This article originally appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on May 10, 1004.

Russian prince gave up much to become a priest

Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin felt he had already given up so much to become a priest. He’d been a Russian prince living a life of luxury in Europe for most of his life, and now he was being asked to go into the wilderness where no one else wanted to go. He was going to Cumberland.

Before he left on his first trip to St. Mary's Church (now St. Patrick’s) in 1795, he wrote his mentor Bishop John Carroll, “Your Grace, I am receiving this letter at the moment of my departure for Cumberland. I am very offended that you are insisting on that. I beg you to have a little regard for my feelings. You told me in Baltimore that you would not force me to go to that congregation in the backwoods. Please send your response immediately since I will be returning in 10 days.”

From Cumberland to Taneytown was a 175-mile trip in those days before the railroad, the canal or the National Road. The journey had to be made on horseback and Gallitzin left before dawn.

“It took Gallitzin about three days by horse to get to Cumberland each time he visited to bring the sacraments to the people here,” said Father Thomas Bevan at St. Patrick's church.

The church where he offered the Mass was a large log cabin on the St. Patrick's property. A plaque marks the site of the original church now. At the time, the church was only four years old. The first Mass had been celebrated there in 1791 by Father Dennis Cahill.

Gallitzin became the second priest to serve at St. Mary’s. He would make the three-day journey between Taneytown and Cumberland about once a month. He served St. Mary's from 1795 to 1799.

“By that time, he had so fallen in love with the people in the West that news had come to him of even more people to the northwest of Cumberland who needed the sacraments. Reluctantly, Bishop Carroll told him that he could go,” said Bevan.

Gallitzin and some Maryland families set off to the north looking for Irish and Germans who were in the Western Pennsylvania wilderness. When he found them, Gallitzin would stay with them for the next 30 years of his life.

“His work flowered, in that even today, that area has one of the highest concentrations of Catholic population in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Bevan.

Rev. Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin

Gallitzin’s efforts have been so far-reaching that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has recommended to the Pope John Paul II that Gallitzin, "the Apostle of the Alleghenies," be canonized as a saint.

When Gallitzin died on May 6, 1840, he was a poor priest who was beloved by Catholics in Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is a far cry from how he began life as a privileged prince.

Gallitzin was born in the Netherlands to a Russian prince and a German countess on December 22, 1770. His godmother was the Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, and he was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 1787, Gallitzin, influenced by his mother who experienced a resurgence of her Catholic faith, made his first confession and took First Communion in the church.

After finishing his education, he was appointed aide-de-camp to the Austrian General von Lillien. There was no opportunity for him to advance in the Austrian army so his parents resolved that he should spend two years traveling through America, the West Indies, and other foreign lands. His father knew Benjamin Franklin and John Adams and hoped he would learn from them.

Gallitzin learned from Carroll instead after his arrival in Baltimore on Oct. 28, 1792.

During his travels in America, Gallitzin took the name of Schmet or Smith, and for many years he was known as Augustine Smith. This allowed him to avoid the inconvenience and expense of traveling as a Russian prince.

During his travels, he was impressed by the needs of the church, and he resolved to devote his life and fortune to the salvation of souls in America.

“He saw around him many immigrants who wanted to persist in their Catholic faith but were denied in the new world a sufficiency of priests to minister to them. These people had come from a Europe that hated their Catholic faith. They had come to America to be able to practice that faith and here were often denied the consolation of the sacraments for the lack of clergy,” said Bevan.

Around that time, there were about 36,000 Catholics in America spread from Canada to Florida and west to the Mississippi River. Carroll was the only bishop in the country, and he had only 18 priests to serve his flock.

Gallitzin entered St. Mary's Seminary, which had opened in 1791 in Baltimore, as one of the first students. On March 18, 1795, he was ordained a priest. He was the second ordained priest in America and the first to receive all of the orders from tonsure to priesthood in America.

“Following his ordination to the Catholic priesthood, he was disowned by his family. He lost his title and inheritance. Later in life, Father Demetrius wrote endless letters to his family in Russia trying to obtain funds to support his missionary activity, all to no avail,” said Bevan.

None of this deterred Gallitzin who served with vigor and unselfishness to provide for the spiritual and physical needs of the Catholics in Western Maryland and Pennsylvania.

When Gallitzin died in Loretto, Pa., he was a happy man. Once when his mother had urged him to return to the comforts of Europe, he had written to her, saying, “You can be fully assured that I have no other will in life, and wish to have no other, than that of fulfilling God's will. You can be further assured that I find no lasting joy outside of the activities of my calling.”

This article originally appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on August 23, 2004.

The B&O vs. the C&O

It was a race from the very beginning. The winner would survive, and the loser would perish.

On July 4, 1828, President John Quincy Adams broke ground for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal near Great Falls, Md. On the same day, Charles Carroll, the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence broke ground for Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in Baltimore just 40 miles away.

Their destination?

Cumberland, and then as both the business names suggest, Ohio and beyond.

The first clash between the two occurred in the courts when the B&O claimed a right of way through Point of Rocks, an area of Maryland between the mountains and the Potomac River that had room for the canal or the railroad, but not both. The C&O owned the right of way through its charter, but the railroad had gathered up permission from the landowners to build.

“It [the railroad] had aggressively gathered land waivers in the narrowed valley where it knew very well that usurpation would provoke a head-on collision with the canal company. Its grab did indeed precipitate showdown time, and the canal and railroad fought it out in the courts for four years,” Elizabeth Kytle wrote in Home on the Canal.

Though the C&O won that case, the delay nearly bankrupted the company. The B&O continued to fight through the courts with injunctions and high demands for rights of way.

On site, both the railroad and canal companies fought for workers, seeking to lure them away from each other.

The B&O won the race to Cumberland, arriving eight years before the canal opened, giving the railroad a significant advantage in establishing itself.

The companies then began to fight for freight. At one point, the B&O raised its rates to haul flour and encouraged the C&O to do so as well. When the canal company did, the railroad reduced its rates to even lower than they had been originally. Within a few months, the B&O had virtually put the C&O out of the flour-hauling business.

Tension between the two companies showed itself in day-to-day operations as well. At the points along the routes where the canal and the railroad run side by side, engineers were known to blow their whistles to spook the mules on the towpath and cause problems for the canallers.

At the places where the canal and railroad ran side by side, railroaders liked to blow their whistles to spook the canal mules. Courtesy of the National Park Service.

The C&O Canal was in a constant struggle for its existence and never fulfilled its ultimate goal of connecting to the Ohio River. However, the B&O Railroad did see success and continued to expand, including buying a stake in the canal.

When the flood of 1889 washed out the canal and put it in receivership, the B&O Railroad took over its rival and began to run it. While the railroad would have like to just shut down the canal operation, it couldn’t. Though the canal itself was a financial burden on the railroad, the B&O Railroad could use the canal rights of way to block other railroads from coming into the area. The courts had ordered that the railroad needed to operate the canal profitably or lose its charter. If that happened, other railroads could have gotten a foothold in Western Maryland.

George Hooper Wolfe, wrote in I Drove Mules on the C&O Canal, “The railroad saw in this an opportunity to relieve itself of the expense of further operation. Enough repairs were made to assert that the Canal was a going concern, with enough revenues from the Georgetown factories and dams along the river to pay the expenses of a minimum operating staff; and it was also maintained that the Canal could be placed in operation quickly if business warranted. The court went along with this fiction, and the B&O retained the property, but without having any further expenses for its maintenance.”

And so the B&O continued to operate the canal until the flood of 1924 put the canal out of business permanently. The B&O sold its rights to the canal to the federal government in August 1938 for $2 million.

Otho Swain was born on the canal in 1901 and worked on it during its final years. He said in a 1976 interview, “The canal finally closed down in 1924. There was flood damage then, but the railroad—it was the railroad that really killed the canal.”

This article originally appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on June 30, 2008.

Deaths raise suspicion in community

Even as Mrs. Samuel Engle brought a new life into the world, her own death had been sealed by the woman who was supposed to care for her.

The year was 1851 and Engle had gone into labor in her home near Grantsville. Her personal nurse, Nancy Hufferd, assisted her through the birth. Nancy and Mrs. Engle were alone in the bedroom as the expectant mother thrashed and sweated on the bed with each contraction.

Nancy walked to the wash basin and poured water into a cup that sat next to the basin. Then she added something extra to the cup of water. That extra was arsenic. She soaked a towel in the water and wrung it out. She carried it back to the woman on the bed and wiped the sweat from her face.

“It won't be long now, Mrs. Engle,” Nancy said. “Here drink some water. It will help you.”

Mrs. Engle obeyed, and Nancy smiled.

The baby was eventually born, but Mrs. Engle never recovered from the effects of childbirth. Sam Engle wondered why his wife wasn't getting better. The delivery had gone smoothly and was not unusual in any way, Nancy assured him.

Barely a week after the birth of the baby, Mrs. Engle died.

“Suspicions at once arose in and out of the Engle mansion that there had been foul play,” wrote the Cumberland Evening Times in a 1907 article about the case.

Among the believers that Mrs. Engle was a victim of foul play was her physician, J.H. Patterson. He performed an autopsy on her body but could find no evidence of any poison.

“She was buried in due time, but the belief and excitement spread over the whole neighborhood, which led to the disinterment of the woman, and a second postmortem examination was made by Drs. Patterson, Hermann, and J.J. Bruce, who had just commenced the practice,” wrote the Cumberland Evening Times.

The stomach was sent to Professor Atkin in Baltimore for examination. In the meantime, Nancy was arrested and placed in the Allegany County Jail in September. In October, she was indicted in Allegany County Circuit Court since Grantsville was still part of Allegany County at that time.

The trial began in November before Judge Wiesel. State's Attorney James Schley and Frank Thomas prosecuted the case. T.I. McKaig and George Pearre defended Nancy.

During the trial, 23 witnesses were called, including five doctors. The state's evidence was called circumstantial. It rested on the fact that Nancy had purchased a lot of arsenic from a store in Grantsville with the remark that she wanted to make a salve for her sore leg. Prosecutors pointed out that she never had a sore leg.

On the other side of the table, the poison could not be found, and Professor Atkin testified that he had found no arsenic in Engle's stomach.

“Who can say the verdict would have been the same if the remaining poison had been produced at the trial? She was acquitted according to the rules of law; but there was hardly one in the whole neighborhood believed her to be innocent,” wrote the Cumberland Evening Times.

The arsenic Nancy purchased eventually was found hidden in a bureau in the Engle house after the trial had ended.

This spurred people to look more into why Nancy had been widowed three times. Two of her four husbands died under mysterious circumstances.

Her first husband was John Yeast, an active, healthy man who died “unexpectedly, if not mysteriously” in 1834, according to the Cumberland Evening Times. There were suspicions at the time that the death wasn't from natural causes, but it wasn't followed up on.

John Layman was Nancy's second husband. He was a respectable and prominent citizen in the community and died of cancer in 1845.

Philip Hufferd of Somerset County was husband No. 3, but he died suddenly after eating a pumpkin pie not too long before Mrs. Engle died. Again, the husband's death caused suspicion, but no one took action.

Her fourth husband was Holmes Wiley, but Hufferd died before she could be widowed again.

The Cumberland Evening Times noted that Nancy never had a child and “She is remembered by only a few and cared for by none, it may be said.”

This article appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on May 24, 2004.

The night they drove old Dixie out

During the Civil War, towns changed hands depending on which army was nearest. Romney went back and forth between Union and Confederate control more times than you can count on your fingers and toes. Boonsboro didn’t even wait for a demand to surrender. It flew the flag of whatever army was nearest.

But Cumberland always flew the Stars and Stripes throughout the entire 1,500-odd days (depending on when you consider the beginning and end of the war) of the Civil War.

Except for one day.

On June 16, 1863, the Union Army in Cumberland totally pulled out of the city to concentrate their forces at New Creek, which is now known as Keyser. The Union forces were gathering to oppose General Robert E. Lee’s Army, which was expected to push into Maryland.

While Gen. Lee did cross into Maryland, the crossing was made at Williamsport as the Confederates marched on their way to Gettysburg.

When the Union Army left Cumberland, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad took all of its rolling stock and light machinery and sent it north.

With no military defense, the city residents were hysterical, expecting the Confederate Army to march on them at any time.

“On the 16th, it was reported that the enemy was rapidly approaching the city in force, whereupon a number of citizens retired with considerable precipitancy in the direction of Pennsylvania, and merchants began to cast about for means whereby they might save their goods from confiscation by unexpected visitors. The next morning strangers were seen out on Williams Road,” James Thomas and Thomas Williams wrote in the History of Allegany County.

Night fell, and Cumberland remained untaken.

The next morning strangers and artillery pieces were seen on Williams Road outside of town. Two cavalrymen who had escaped from the destruction of Maj. General Robert Milroy’s command at Winchester a few days earlier approached the strangers and were fired upon by two cannons. The cavalrymen quickly retreated.

Frightened citizens took refuge, and merchants closed up their stores. Other groups of citizens gathered in the street to see what would happen.

Shortly after that, two Confederates entered the town and walked down Baltimore Street under the white flag of truce. Acting Mayor Valentine A. Buckey and a group of citizens met them under a flag of truce.

The Confederate soldiers handed Buckey a note addressed to the military commander of Cumberland from Colonel George W. Imboden of the 18th Virginia Cavalry. The letter read: “You are surrounded by a superior force, and as an act of humanity, I demand the surrender of the city. The bearer, Captain R.B. Muses, is authorized to negotiate as to terms of surrender.”

Buckey wrote out his reply and gave it to Muses. His letter to Imboden read: “Sir: Your note addressed to officer commanding at this point has just been handed to me, and as there is no force here to resist you, and no officer in command, I, as Mayor, for the time being, do as far as I can, surrender the city as demanded, upon the following terms, viz: That private persons and property, and the property of the State of Maryland, be respected.”

Imboden’s written reply was: “Sir: I will receive a surrender of the City of Cumberland, and will respect all private property except such property as the Quartermaster may desire for the Confederate States. No public property except of the State of Maryland will be respected.”

About 350 of Imboden’s Cavalry took possession of Cumberland. Their first priority was to secure fresh horses. The soldiers and convinced the merchants to open their stores.

“The Confederates then purchased pretty freely such articles as hats, boots, shoes, clothing, etc., paying for the same in Confederate money, a species of currency which had then rather limited value,” wrote Thomas and Williams.

While the soldiers respected most property, they did tear down the telegraph lines and remove train track.

Union Brig. Gen. Benjamin Kelley’s men captured some of the Confederate forces of Col. George Imboden that took over Cumberland for a day. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Valley News Echo reported, “The conduct of the Confederates throughout was gentlemanly. They were well-clothed, armed and mounted, and exhibited in no respect evidence of starvation or raggedness.”

The Confederates knew a large Union force was in New Creek, so they remained in Cumberland for only three hours, leaving by 10:30 a.m.

When they left the city, a few residents who were sympathetic to the Southern cause also went with them. Among these young men were Thomas Black, Lewis Rice, and James Thomas, according to Harold Scott in The Civil War Era in Cumberland, Maryland.

Brig. General Benjamin Kelly and his staff had passed through Cumberland shortly before the Confederate forces had arrived. When the train they were on reached a torn up area of track and couldn’t continue, the train headed back to Cumberland to switch the train onto an alternate route. Kelly’s forces arrived back shortly after the Confederates had left. In fact, Kelly’s soldiers captured a few of Imboden’s men who had remained behind with friends in Cumberland.

The Union Army also found that the B&O Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal had been damaged. It took more than a month to restore the telegraph communications because the damage Imboden’s men had done.

The Richmond Enquirer told of ‘millions of dollars worth of damage done at Cumberland; and Baltimore and Pittsburgh papers dolefully announced a great disaster in Cumberland,” wrote David Dean in Allegany County – A History.

The only casualty of the capture of Cumberland was Griffin Twigg, a farmer who lived near Murley’s Branch.

“The particulars are not known, but the old man was killed; not, however, until he had killed two of the enemy and wounded another,” William Lowdermilk wrote in History of Cumberland.

The graveyard where the Confederate soldiers are supposedly buried was located by the Genealogical Society in the 1980’s near the Meadow Wood Sportsman Club.

This article originally appeared in Allegany Magazine in March 2007.

Newspaper editor critical of county official killed after scathing article

Lloyd Clary of Frostburg was the managing editor of the Cumberland Daily Times. He, along with John Broydrick, also owned the newspaper, which was a merging of the Mountain City Times and the Cumberland Times and Civilian.

On October 27, 1873, Clary wrote an article critical of how the long-time Clerk of the Circuit Court of Allegany County Horace Resley paid jurors.

“The talesmen from Lonaconing were paid $8.50 each; those from Frostburg $4.00 (the Clerk taking the trouble to tell them in Court to go down to the office and get their certificates), while those from Mount Savage and the country districts were allowed to go without being paid at all, and without receiving any intimation from anybody that anything was due them,” Clary wrote in the Cumberland Daily Times. Also, Resley was overpaying those jurors he did pay more than they were due.

Further, Clary intimated there was more wrongdoing, perhaps even shady dealings, by writing, “In the case of Lonaconing the money was handed over to Mr. Patrick Mullen, an earnest satellite of the present incumbents, for distribution all of which gives rise to considerable comment.”

While it’s not known how Horace Resley reacted to the article, his eldest son, John, took it as an attack on his family’s honor.

Around 2 p.m. on Oct. 27, an angry John Resley headed for the offices of the Cumberland Daily Times. He found Broydrick at the corner of Baltimore and George Streets in front of King’s Shoe Store.

“Did you write that article about my father in this morning’s paper?” Resley asked.

“No,” Broydrick replied.

Resley raised his arm as if he was going to strike Broydrick.

“I don’t want any trouble with you,” Broydrick said quickly. “I’m no politician.”

“I’ll make a politician out of you and Clary, too.”

Then Resley headed down Baltimore Street to the newspaper office. He found Daniel Bradley, a collector for the newspaper, at the office and asked him if Clary was in. Bradley said he was and Resley headed up the stairs to where Clary’s office was located on the second floor.

Resley was in Bradley’s sight the entire time, but he was unable to see or hear Clary when the editor met Resley near the top of the stairs.

“I looked after him,” Bradley told a jury later. “Just as he reached the top, he put his hand behind him and pulled a revolver and said, ‘You son of a—, did you write the article about my father ?’ Then he fired the two shots, turned about and came down stairs, holding the revolver in his hand.”

Both shots struck Clary. One shot hit him in the ribs and was not fatal. However, the other shot went in the left side of Clary’s throat, passing through his windpipe and severing his carotid artery as it passed out the side his neck.

Bradley ran up the stairs and found Clary lying on the floor bleeding. Doctors Orr and Dougherty were brought in to try and help him. They stabilized Clary and had him taken on a stretcher to City Hospital.

Before removing him from the newspaper office, Clary made a dying statement to Justice of the Peace J.M. Beall that would be admitted as evidence in Resley’s trial. Clary told Beall pretty much the same thing that Bradley would later testify. However, he added that once he had been shot the first time, he told Resley, “Give me a chance.” Clary said Resley said, “You damned, son of a bitch, I’ll kill you.” and then fired the second shot.

Clary’s family in Frostburg was notified, and they made the half hour trip to Cumberland to be with Clary. A local priest gave Clary the rights of baptism before he died at 8:45 p.m.

Clary was buried two days later, but the story was far from over.

A view of Baltimore Street around the time the editor of the Cumberland Daily Times was killed in the newspaper office in 1873. Courtesy of the National Archives.

Pen kills what the sword couldn’t

They say, “The pen is mightier than the sword” and for Lloyd Clary that indeed proved true. The young newspaper editor of the Cumberland Daily Times had survived the bullets and swords of the Civil War only to be felled because of something he wrote on October 27, 1873.

“Never in our experience have we been called upon to publish the details of an occurrence more truly painful and shocking than that of the killing of Lloyd Lowndes Clary, the brave editor of the Cumberland Daily Times by John H. Resley…” the Hagerstown Mail reported after the murder.

It was in the offices of the newspaper on Oct. 27 that John Resley shot Clary twice, once in the neck and once in the body. The neck shot would kill Clary later that evening.

Though Resley left the scene of his crime, he did not flee. He walked across Baltimore Street and stood on the opposite side looking at the newspaper office. “A considerable crowd gathered around Mr. Resley while be stood on the street. He was very pale and much excited, and moved about nervously. He did not seem inclined to converse, and several times rebuffed persons who spoke to him,” reported the Hagerstown Mail.

Eventually, Cumberland Police Officer Magruder saw Resley and approached him.

“Am I wanted?” Resley asked.

“Yes you are,” Magruder told him and arrested him.

Resley was later indicted for Clary’s murder.

While the newspapers detested Resley’s actions, they seemed to understand the reasons behind it. The Hagerstown Herald and Torch noted, “It is a fact that the editor referred to wielded a caustic pen, and his paper, as long as we received and read it, contained some terribly severe articles against political opponents.”

As with many men of his time, Clary had not been afraid of a fight. He was a Confederate veteran of the Civil War. “Mr. Clary was intensely Southern in his feelings, every pulsation of his young heart beating in unison with the late struggle of the seceding States for their guaranteed and Constitutional rights,” one obituary noted.

He had joined McNeill’s Rangers in 1862. The Hagerstown Mail credits Clary for planning and executing the kidnapping of Union Generals George Crook and Benjamin Kelley from a hotel on Baltimore Street in February 1865.

“Young Clary in company with four others, captured the Federal pickets, dashed into Cumberland and at three o’clock in the morning surprised Generals Crook and Kelley, and brought them safely out,” the newspaper reported.

Both generals were taken to Richmond where they were paroled and exchanged for Confederate Brigadier General Isaac Trimble.

Crook would later say, “Gentlemen, this is the most brilliant exploit of the war!”

After the war, Clary was a reporter and then editor of the Mountain City Times, which merged with the Cumberland Times and Civilian to become the Cumberland Daily Times in May 1872.

“From its first note to its last the Times has not uttered one uncertain sound. It had but one voice—that of condemnation and exclusion from office of the men whom it had convinced of betrayal of their trusts. Thus fighting he fell with his harness on, a martyr to the cause of honesty, truth and Justice,” the Cumberland Daily Times noted in its obituary of Clary.

Though there was no question in anyone’s mind that Resley had killed Clary, there were still unanswered questions that would come to light during the trial that changed how everyone looked at the murder.

The villain becomes the hero after day in court

On October 27, 1874, John Resley, son of the clerk of the circuit court of Allegany County, shot and killed Lloyd Clary, the editor of the Cumberland Daily Times and a Confederate Civil War hero. It appeared to be an open-and-shut case. After all, Resley had confessed to the shooting.

However, just as a battle plan becomes obsolete as soon as the enemy is engaged, so too, go jury trials once the court is called to order.

Resley’s murder trial began on January 29, 1874, barely three months after the murder.

The importance of the case was evident in the fact that Maryland Governor William Pinkney Whyte sent the state’s attorney general Andrew Syester to assist Allegany County State’s Attorney William Reed with the prosecution.

The defense had four lawyers. Col. Charles Marshall of Baltimore was the lead attorney and James M. Schley, J. J. McHenry and William Price, all of the Cumberland bar were assisting.

Chief Justice Alvey, Associate Justice Motter, and Associate Justice Pearre presided over the trial.

Reed gave the opening statement for the prosecution at the trial saying “they would prove, he thought, that Resley had not read the article when he committed the act,” according to the Hagerstown Mail.

However, the most damning piece of evidence Reed said would be that Resley had confessed in front of witnesses. While standing on Baltimore Street, Resley said, “Nobody else would do it and I did it.”

What Reed was starting to do was lay out a case of premeditated murder based not on a newspaper article, but on Resley’s hatred for Clary.

Schley deferred giving an opening statement to the jury until the state had made its case.

Among the witnesses called was another Cumberland Daily Times editor named Thomas McCardle. On hearing shots fired, McCardle has rushed down from the pressroom and seen Clary holding his throat. “He leaned against the wall as if completely exhausted, his body trembling as if from the effort to keep his feet, holding his throat by one hand, and with the other arm hanging down, holding a pistol in that hand,” the newspaper reported.

McCardle testified that he had never seen Resley with a pistol before then. The defense went further to suggest that Clary could have seen Resley coming from a window and gone to get the gun.

Clary had said in his statement he had been shot without being given a chance and he said as much to Resley just before the man shot him the second time. Clary said he hadn’t been able to get his pistol out to return fire.

Schley presented conflicting testimony that Clary had drawn his pistol and furthermore medical evidence showed that Clary wouldn’t have been able to say anything immediately after being shot in the throat as Clary said in his own statement.

A later witness would testify that Clary had hurried him out of his office just before rushing out to meet Resley on the stairs. This same witness had heard Clary and Resley argue, Clary’s pistol misfire and then two shots from Resley. Resley hadn’t gone to the office seeking to kill Clary. Resley had shot him in self-defense.

Other witnesses testified that Clary had hated Resley and said, “if ever he crossed his path again he would fill him as full of holes as a net,” the newspaper summarized Clary saying about Resley at one time.

After two days of testimony, the jury retired for six hours before returning a verdict of not guilty.

“Resley was then escorted home by the crowd, cheering all the way,” the New York Times reported.

Resley would live to be 73 years old and die from a stroke in January 1916.

These articles appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on January 26, 2009; February 2, 2009, and February 9, 2009.

Doctor revolt at Western Maryland home, infirmary

In 1893, Dr. G. L. Carder, surgeon-in-chief, for the Western Maryland Hospital needed to operate on a patient, but he couldn’t find a doctor in town who would administer the chloroform to the patient. On another case of Carder’s, when a woman died after a particularly difficult surgery, other doctors started rumors that Carder had been guilty of malpractice. So prevalent were the rumors that the body had to be exhumed to clear Carder’s name.

It wasn’t that Carder was a bad surgeon. Far from it. He had graduated from Baltimore Medical College in 1892 at the top of his class. He had come to the forerunner of the Western Maryland Health System with glowing recommendations.

“He was a young man on the threshold of life, who had the highest recommendations, and the board would not be justified in taking him by the neck and heels and throwing him out in the street without good grounds,” said George Pearre, hospital superintendent, in the Cumberland Evening Times.

The problem was Carder had come here. He wasn’t from Cumberland, and he didn’t live in Cumberland or Allegany County once he did come here.

And for that sin of birth, the doctors in town had banded together to force Carder out of the top medical slot of the hospital.

The Western Maryland Hospital had been around since 1888 when the Maryland legislature passed an act that established the Western Maryland Home and Infirmary for the Aged.

“The facilities were initially located in private homes. The need was realized for a larger facility that would provide hospital care for the large number of railroad accident victims,” wrote Al Feldstein in Postcard Views of Allegany County, Maryland.

A new building on Baltimore Avenue was opened in 1892, and the name eventually became Western Maryland Hospital. It would become Memorial Hospital in 1929 and the Western Maryland Health System in 1996.

In January 1894, a group of doctors traveled to Annapolis to meet with the Governor Frank Brown and members of the legislature.

According to a report in the Cumberland Evening Times, Dr. M. A. F. Carr told the governor, “Send a joint committee to Cumberland and investigate the institution. Then we will convince you that the men and women who control its management should be turned out of office. We will show you things that you little dream of!”

The other doctors in the group were G. H. Carpenter, Spear, Porter, Hodgson, Craigen, Doemer, Dukes, Wiley, Greenweil and Fogtmann and they were all dissatisfied with the management of the hospital, in particular, with Carder. However, the governor had the power to appoint the majority of the board of directors to the hospital, and the legislature had the ability to cut off the primary source of hospital funding. The Western Maryland Home and Infirmary had received two payments from the state – $5000 in 1890 and $10000 in 1894. For change to happen, Governor Brown and the legislature would have to be convinced.

“I wouldn’t send a patient of mine there to be at the mercy of an inexperienced surgeon, and then not be allowed to enter the institution myself,” Carr reportedly told the governor in the Cumberland Evening Times article.

“Would you be refused admission?” the governor asked.

“They have said that once a patient enters there, he is beyond outside control.”

“Has any doctor ever applied for admission?”

The newspaper reported that Carr admitted, “that no such application had been made, and no self-respecting physician could afford to make it under the circumstances.”

This left Governor Brown with a choice to make: Should he reorganize the Western Maryland Home and Infirmary Board of Directors to have one physician dismissed or should he allow the directors to make the decision they were appointed by him to make?

The Western Maryland Hospital, located on Baltimore Avenue, circa 1909, is shown in this postcard image. Courtesy of the Albert and Angela Feldstein Collection.

Charity was lacking at WM Home and Hospital

Thought the Western Maryland Home and Hospital in Cumberland was, by and large, a charity hospital, the charity was lacking there in 1894 for at least one doctor, G. L. Carder.

A group of doctors had petitioned Governor Frank Brown to remove Carder as surgeon-in-chief at the hospital in January.

Three weeks later, following the publication of the meeting, a group of businessmen from Cumberland traveled to Annapolis to have their own meeting with the governor and legislature. This group included: George Pearre, an ex-state senator and manager of the hospital; B. S. Randolph, superintendent of the Consolidated Coal Company, C. J. Orrick, wholesale grocer; J. N. M. Brandler, orphans court judge; P. H. Daughtrey, wholesale grocer; David Sloan, Lonaconing Savings Bank; Henry Rehs, magistrate; Merwin McKaig, president of McKaig Shafting Works; John Avirett, Cumberland Evening Times editor; E. J. Cooney, merchant; Willie Cooney, son of E. J. Cooney; T. S. Kean, tax collector and William Shepherd, president of the Third National Bank of Cumberland.

Pearre told the governor that the doctors who had come to Annapolis in January wouldn’t tell Pearre what sorts of charges they had leveled against the management. However, the doctors did claim they had been misrepresented in the newspaper.

“But, knowing that reporters, while they may not get all that is said, generally are accurate in what they do get, and, further, that the various newspapers agreed as to what took place, I had faith in the published reports,” Pearre told the governor as reported in the Cumberland Evening Times.

The group’s request of the governor was that the current management of the hospital be maintained, the hospital get its normal governmental appropriation and grant a special appropriation to pay off the hospital’s debt.

Brown told the group what the doctors had charged against the hospital. He then said he wouldn’t make a decision either way until he visited the hospital in April.

“The charges made while without the slightest foundation in fact, might do some harm if we did not refute them before our request for continuance of our appropriation comes before the Legislature. After this vicious act on the part of the physicians, it appeared that all had been postponed until April but we want to contradict the charges before they go any further,” Pearre was reported to have said.

He further went on to tell the governor that none of the local doctors had been appointed surgeon-in-chief because none of them had applied for the position. So the board of directors had sought a doctor outside of the area, and Carder had come highly qualified. Even then, Pearre said that the hospital still wanted local input.

“We wanted the Cumberland doctors to form a consulting staff to aid Carder, but, instead, they formed, as one of my colleagues wittily said, an ‘insulting staff.’ Since then the work of the Institution has been misrepresented,” Pearre said.

The doctors formed an association opposed to the hospital management and demanding changes that the board thought was a usurpation of the hospital authority, such as control of the nurses at the hospital.

Apparently, someone had a change of heart about Carder between February and April. On April 18, the Cumberland Evening Times reported that the board of directors of the Western Maryland Home and Infirmary asked for Carder’s resignation.

“At the investigation it was found that Dr. Carder bad failed to be present at an operation, which was to have taken place at the ‘Home.’ Dr. Carder will tender his resignation within the next sixty days, the time granted him according to his contract with the institution,” reported the Cumberland Evening Times.

Even on his way out, Carder still proved he was a more-than-capable surgeon. In May, the Cumberland Evening Times reported the story of Lewis Davis of Barton. The young boy took ill and began losing weight. At Easter, he weighed only 18 pounds and couldn’t speak. Area doctors “pronounced the case of the little fellow hopeless.” Lewis was admitted to the Western Maryland Home and Hospital as a last-ditch effort. On May 19, the newspaper reported that Lewis was as “agile as a kitten” and his weight was up to 25 pounds. The reason for his recovery was that Carder had diagnosed the boy’s illness and removed a rib from him, which was apparently the source of the problem.

This article appeared in the Cumberland Times-News on August 4, 2008, and August 5, 2008.

The army invasion of 1894

On April 14, 1894, the invasion the residents of Frostburg had been expecting for weeks happened. Coxey’s Army appeared at the crest of Federal Hill and marched into town right down Main Street.

“At 4:15 p.m., the marshal of the marching group, a four piece band, flags and banners, and some wagons, followed by a group of 245 tired and bedraggled mortals, crossed Federal Hill and marched in a more or less soldierly fashion down Main Street into Frostburg,” Harold Scott wrote in his book Incredible, Strange, Unusual...

Coxey’s Army was a group of unemployed workers that had formed in Massillon, Ohio, under the direction of Jacob Coxey. The official name of the group was the Commonweal of Christ, but most people referred to it as Coxey’s Army. The group planned to march to Washington D.C. where Coxey would present his petition to Congress of his ideas for a national program of building and repairing roads that would also solve the national unemployment problem. The group has started its march with much fanfare, leaving Massillon on Easter Sunday, March 25, and had since then made their way slowly eastward.

“Stories of pillaging, disorderly conduct, and even assaults by the band of men all served to alarm the local residents and spread fear and apprehension as to what the impending invasion would bring. Some news accounts were reporting that the army was infested with drunks, crooks, and toughs,” Scott wrote.

While the actual situation was not that bad, the army did face deprivation and slow passage on the very roads they hoped to repair. Infighting over leadership of the group had led to factions forming within it and even a mutiny as the two leaders vied for control of the army. Carl Browne, who had been appointed by Coxey to lead the group, was ousted from leadership and a group led by Unknown Smith took control. No one knew the man’s name, and he refused to give it to reporters, so they called him “Unknown Smith.”

As Coxey’s Army marched toward Washington in 1894, they passed through Garrett and Allegany Counties. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Dismissed from the group, Browne reached Frostburg first. Though the group was named after Coxey, he rarely traveled with it. Instead, he traveled ahead and slept in rooms while the men who followed him were generally forced to sleep outside. Browne’s first move on reaching Frostburg was to telegraph Coxey about the incident. Reporters waiting for the army to arrive learned of what had happened and word spread of the mutiny.

So it was when the army marched through town, the city officials were expecting trouble, according to John Grant in his monograph, Coxey’s 38-Day March Through the Alleghenies in Search of Economic Justice.

A week before the army’s arrival, the Frostburg City Council voted to spend $100 to help accommodate the group. On the day of the army’s arrival, citizens took up a collection to feed them and arrangements were made to allow them to sleep in Ravenscroft’s Opera House. The city also hired special police officers to help maintain order should the rumors of rowdiness prove to be true.

The expected violence didn’t happen when the army arrived. The marchers were tired and hungry. Some suffered from exposure.

The group dubbed the Frostburg stop as Camp Robert E. Lee and started campfires in a vacant lot near the opera house and cooked their evening meals. When the evening shows were over in the opera house, the men went to their accommodations on the third floor.

The following day Coxey arrived from Cumberland to settle the authority dispute between Browne and Smith.

He first praised the group for their efforts to date and added, “The eyes of sixty-five million people are fixed on this noble and patriotic band, and on the success of our movement depends the future happiness of a great people,” according to the Cumberland Evening Times.

He then called for a vote to expel from Smith from the group. Browne was restored, and the march was ready to continue. Despite their troubles and trials on the march, most of the men still shared Coxey’s vision to change government policy.

Coxey’s Army left Frostburg at 9 a.m. and headed for Cumberland.

The visit of Coxey’s Army

Coxey’s Army fought in no war. The men wore no uniforms nor called themselves soldiers. They were unemployed workers named after their leader Jacob Coxey. They marched on Washington in 1894 looking to change national policy. In that single battle, which they sought, they lost, but in the long run, they won the war.

The route of that march on Washington brought the army through Allegany County and Cumberland where the army became a navy.

Coxey’s Army left Frostburg at 9 a.m. on April 15 and arrived at Camp Victory around noon. Camp Victory was a Narrows Park baseball field just outside of the city. According to The Cumberland Evening Times, the day’s weather was beautiful and brought out hundreds of spectators to watch the army arrive.

“The ball field had a fence around it, which created a chance to collect an admission fee to see the army in camp. This had been done successfully at the Exposition Park near Pittsburgh. On Sunday, April 15, 1500 citizens of Cumberland paid 10 cents to see the army prepare its camp in the ball park,” John Grant wrote in his monograph, Coxey’s 38-day March Through the Alleghenies in Search of Economic Justice.

Jacob Coxey later in life. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Cumberland residents contributed food to the army that included six barrels of corn, 10 bales of hay, three-quarters of beef, 600 loaves of bread, 140 pounds of bologna, 75 pounds of cheese and 60 pounds of coffee.

Harold Scott wrote in his book Incredible, Strange, Unusual..., “…some of the news accounts from Cumberland, noted that although there were some earnest, good men within the army who were out of work and seeking some intervention or program by the Federal Government that would insure jobs in the future, if those spectators who visited the park in the Narrows in Cumberland expected to find a large body of men, with a glorious mission, men determined to stand by their principals at all cost, they no doubt were disappointed. For the most part all they found was a sorry looking bunch of weary, footsore humans, who had very little idea of what their glorious mission and objectives were in marching.”

The men rested for the remainder of the day at the camp and all through the next day. The time was used to repair equipment, mend clothing, and get haircuts. Scott wrote that during a morning baseball game, “The Working Men” defeated “The Hobos.”

Behind this much-needed rest, the leaders of the group, Coxey and Carl Browne, were facing a tough choice. The group has started its march with much fanfare, leaving Massillon, Ohio, on Easter Sunday, March 25, and had since then made their way slowly eastward. The journey had thus far been tough on the men, and they were averaging between 10 and 15 miles a day. To the east still lay many mountains to cross and just under two weeks to do it in.

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