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Fort Henry

The History of Emmitsburg East of Flat Run
& the Families Who Called It Home

Michael Hillman


Part II: The Horner & O’Donoghue Families

The Horner Family

Jane’s Williams' sister, Sara married James Marshall in ___. Following James’ death in ____, Sara married Alexander Love Horner 2nd, who himself was a widower.

Alexander Love Horner 2nd was born in 1764 in Mt, Joy, PA, the first born of Alexander and Margaret Horner. Alexander first wife was Jane McAllen, with whom he had six children, Eli, Eliza, Abner, John, Salas, and Saina. Following Jane’s death Alexander married Sara, with whom he had four more children, George, Mary, David, and in 1817, their last child, Alexander L. Horner 3rd.

Alexander Horner 3rd is best remembered not for his own deeds and actions, but that of his nephew: Oliver Horner. Following the resignation in 1862 of Alexander’s cousin John Horner, Oliver assumed the leadership of a mostly Emmitsburg staffed Calvary Company, part of Cole’s Calvary. Under his leadership, the exploits of the company became legendary, and led to him joining Henry Williams in the ranks of true American Hero's who proudly called Emmitsburg home.

After the close of the war, Major Horner returned to Emmitsburg, Md., where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. He was appointed postmaster in March 11, 1869, and resigned April 13, 1877. He was then appointed United States storekeeper of customs at Baltimore, August 24, 1877, serving in that capacity and as inspector of customs until July, 1882.

In October 1882, Major Horner was one of the organizers of the banking house of Annan, Horner & Company, of which he was cashier and general manager. This institution erected in 1888, one of the finest bank buildings in Western Maryland, and soon became known as one of the most prosperous and reliable in that section of the State. Much of its success can be traced to the financial ability and foresight of Major Horner. Oliver was elected commissioner of the corporation of Emmitsburg in 1882 and 1883, and as a director and treasurer of the Emmitsburg Water Company, he oversaw the instillation of the first public water supply to the growing town. In 1878, Oliver Horner married Anna E. Annan, the sisters of his banking Partners.

In In 1854 Alexander Horner formally took title to Fort Henry, a few later, he sold 4 acres off of the top most part to Michael Rider, two years later, in 1858, he sold 9 more acres off the top to John Bucker & William Rice. And two years after that, he sold 37 acres to John Gelwick.

In 1868, Alexander sold Fort Henry to his brother Eli Horner for 10,000$. Upon the death of Eli in 1883, the executors of his estate sought to maximize the value of Fort Henry for his heirs by selling off lots between Creamery road and Flat Run. The executors also sold to Jacob Gillean the 20 acres of Fort Henry that lay to the east of Harney road. The remainder of Fort Henry, now reduced in size to 242 acres, became the property of John O’Donoghue.

The O’Donoghue Family

John O’Donoghue was born on April 24. 1835, in Newery, Blair County, Pa. At the age of 17, John went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad in Altoona, where he spent 13 years with the railroad working in the blacksmith department, and also served as a foreman and engineer on the Altoona Division. In 1865 he resigned from the railroad and with his two brothers, James and Charles, formed the firm of John Donoghue & Brothers, railroad and tunnel contractors. This firm built many miles of trackage for the Western Maryland, Baltimore & Ohio, Shenandoah Valley, Columbia and Port Deposit. In July 1871, John Donoghue & Brothers began construction on the Emmitsburg Railroad.

It might be well to point out here that John O’Donoghue, for some unknown reason, would on occasions drop the "0" from the spelling, thus Donoghue, which is the way he spelled it in his construction business.

In 1893, John O’Donoghue sold Fort Henry to Albert M Mead and returned to his birthplace, Altoona Pa, where he died ten years later, stricken down in the prime of his life by a Stroke.

In 1893, John Donoghue sold the farm to Albert M & G. Mead Patterson for $6,000. 

The Patterson brothers, like many at the time, earned their living as farmers. At the time they purchased Fort Henry, the Paterson brothers already held significant farm holding adjacent to the southern and eastern borders of Fort Henry. Seeing no need in dealing with the hassle of farming on two sides of the road leading to Taneytown, they Patterson brothers keep the richer, more fertal southern half, and sold the northern half to Enoch Frizell.

During their leisure time, the Patterson brothers pursued the Sport of Kings, Often Breezing their mounts down the still dirt road leading into town. In _____, the Paterson sold their farm to David Martin, who augmented his farm income with the proceeds of the feed store that he ran on the western most side of town, where main street crosses Flat run.

[In an interesting side note in history.  David Martin feed mill is still remembered by many alive today as the only local mill that sold feed in "Dress Print Bags."  Just as the name implies, every bag, cut open to its full size, contained an outline of a dress, shirt, or pants, which when sown together, could be worn.  While the material was rough, it nevertheless was hardy, and withstood the rigors of farm life life.  Given the times, it often was the only source of new clothes for many. 

Because of the importance of the bags, farmer were often accompanied by their wives to the feed mill, who would sort through the wide verity of Dress Print Bags in stock. Once selected, the bags where filled with grain and carried home to waiting farm animals and ready sewing machines.]

The southern half continued on as a farm until 1956, when bowing to the growing need for housings, it was developed by its owners into Emmit Gardens. In 1957, Emmit Gardens was annexed into the town.

Sometime between 1893 and 1896, the Frizel Brothers sold the distinctive ‘Neck’ of Fort Henry to Frederick Welty. In 1896, Enoch Frizell sold what remained of Fort Henry to J. Stewart Annan, the nephew of Major Oliver Horner, bought Fort Henry.

Go to Part 3:  The Annan & Baumgardner Families


Part 1:  The Wilsons & Williams Families
Part 3:  The Annan & Baumgardner Families
Part 4:  The Nesters, Brookside Dairy, Epilogue

Do you have your information you can add about these families, or other families that once called Emmitsburg home?  If so, send them to us at History@emmitsburg.net

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