History of Emmitsburg East of Flat Run
the Families Who Called It Home
Part 3: The Annan & Baumgardner
The Annan Family
The Annan family originated in Scotland.
The American ancestor was
Annan, who after pursuing the usual course at the
University of St. Andrew, commenced the study of theology under
the venerable Alexander Moncrief, one of the original founders of
the Presbyterian Church.
He was licensed by the Associate
Presbytery of Perth when only about nineteen years old, and
shortly thereafter appointed by Synod to visit the American
Colonies as missionary. He arrived in New York in the summer of
1761. At the outbreak of the War his fervid patriotism and
especially his denunciation of the British Government during the
struggle made him a man of mark - but at the same time, admired by
the likes of Washington, Colonel Hamilton, Lafayette and General
The oldest of Rev. Annan sons Robert
settled at Emmitsburg. A physician, Robert and _____ where parents
of six children. Anna Elizabeth, their only daughter, married
Robert and his son’s Andrew, Isaac and James, and his Anna’s husband, Major 0. A. Horner,
organized the Annan and Homer bank in 1882.
Robert's grandson, James C. Annan, the youngest son of Andrew
and Anna Annan, was born in Emmitsburg, Md., in 1836. He was a
general merchant at Emmitsburg for many years and was a life long
member of the Presbyterian Church, being one of the pillars of
that community. For thirty years he was superintendent of the
Sunday School and one of the trustees.
Mr. Annan was married to Rosa J. Stewart,
a member of an old and well-known Scotch-Irish family of the
Cumberland Valley, Pa. There was one son by this marriage: J.
Upon the completion of his education, J.
Stewart returned home, and engaged in various occupations. Much of
Stewart’s time and energy was devoted to the management of his
farms, which comprise about 706 acres of land in Emmitsburg
district. He was a director in the People's Fire Insurance Company
of Frederick County, the Emmitsburg Water Company; Emmitsburg and
Frederick Turnpike Company, and a member of the Banking House of
Annan, Horner & Co., of Emmitsburg, MD. In 1907, he was
elected to the office of Commissioner of Frederick County for a
On March 10, 1896 J. Stewart Annan Married Elizabeth
Morrison. Elizabeth was the daughter of a William and Helen
(Agnew) Morrison. William Morrison was the son of Emmitsburg's
wealthiest landholder, David Morrison, who was married to a sister
of Robert Morris, the financier of the American War of
One of Elizabeth’s sisters, Mary, married
Thomas Baumgardner. To whom, in 1919, Stewart and Elizabeth would
sell Fort Henry.
wealthily man, Stewart Annan had the means to turn Fort Henry’s
‘Mansion House’ into a true mansion. Under his ownership, part
of the most radical changes to the house in its history where
undertaken. Before he began remolding, the house was roughly half
its present shape.
Annan enlarged the attic by adding gables,
making it a livable third floor. In the Victorian style of the
time, he added a eye-catching turret with curved windows and
steep-like roof. He added a formal dining room on the first floor,
and adjoining it, he included a butler’s pantry; a small room
from which meals could be served and dishes stored . . . out of
the mainstream of the dining room.
In 1897 he added an entire rear wing. On
the east side of the rear addition, Annan also built first and
second floor porches. He also installed an oval
"Tiffany" stained glass window in the second floor,
again characteristic of the Victorian times.
A turn of the century visitor to the house
would first notice, upon entering the front door, the large
entrance hallway. Flanking the halls on each side are nearly
identical front room (part of the original house). Each of the
front rooms has a fire place, plank flooring and French-style
door, permitting the to be closed off from the central corridor.
A staircase led up to the second floor and
third floor. At the top of the staircase, an unusual split-level
landing was created when Annan added the rear wing of the house.
From the landing, one can step outside onto the second floor
porch, or turn about in the direction of the front bedrooms (which
bore close resemblance to the front rooms below)
On both the first and second floor, the
ceilings were lofty, perhaps 10 or 12 feet high. However, the
third floor, the former attic, rooms had ceilings that measured 6
½ feet high. The top floor rooms were plastered and number at
There where a total of 20 rooms, not
including the basement. Beneath the building, the foundation walls
measured 2 feet thick, indicating that the house was built to
In 1919, Stewart and Elizabeth sold Fort
Henry to Elizabeth’s sister Mary and her husband Thomas Baumgardner for $17,000.
Baumgardner Side of the family, Thomas' brother John, married a
Grace Martin, a granddaughter of Mathias and Anna Troxell Martin
who were compatriots of Henry Williams.
Baumgardner family was not a well to do as the Annan family, the
nevertheless added to the splendor of the Fort Henry with the
addition of new electrical fixtures throughout the mansion. In
___, 250 people tecked from all parts of the community to help
Thomas and his family raise a new barn.
Baumgardner was an industrious man. For thirteen years, he ran
both Fort Henry, which the family affectionately called ‘The Upper
Farm,’ as well as wife’s ancestral family farm just to the
east of Keysville-Grimes Road intersection (three miles east of
Shank, the youngest of the Thomas’ children, remembers her years
in the Mansion fondly. "I was six years old when my parents
moved into the house. I can remember was not wanting to leave my
mother’s side because I was afraid of getting lost, whenever I
did, I would get lost. For the first year, I slept in my parents
room, which was above the large foyer. My parent’s bedroom was
larger then most downstairs of present day house. Eventually I was
allowed to move up to the third floor with my other sisters where
I had a room with a big window that faced in the direction of
town. In the summer, the view was blocked by a big apple tree that
had the sweetest apples one ever ate.
sides of the foyer where two large rooms that each had fireplaces
made of Italian Marble. The Kitchen was huge, at least 24 feet by
16 feet. All the walls in the house were plastered and painted
dark green. About six feet up on almost every wall ran a piece of
fine wood upon which you hung pictures. All the trim was natural
wood. While the house had twenty rooms, it only had one bathroom!
In a house that had two staircases that went all the way to the
third floor mind you. One bathroom for 10 people. Can you imagine
The house was
connected up to the town water system, but according to Polly,
"The water from the town was not as sweet as the water from
the farm’s well. Because it was expensive to water all the
animals using town water, we only used to run town water in the
house, the luckly animals got the well water! "
reminiscences about the past evoke a dream like picture of
quintessential small town America. As soon as she was able, she
rose before sunrise and joined in with her brothers and sisters as
they hand milked the family’s 26 cows. Once the milk was cooled,
it was brought to the creamery, (now Quality Tire). From there, it
made ways to Boyle's grocery (now the Main Street Deli).
her morning barn chores, Polly would rush home, and quickly wash
and ready herself for school. Because they where short on space,
the school split the grades up into in several buildings. Polly
joined other first thru third graders for classes in the fire
hall, where she sat next to the fire bell. Grades 4th
thru 7th were in the ‘school building’ on South
Seton Ave, now home to ABC Printing. There was no eight back then
- you only attended 11 years, not 12 years of school as we do
A avid studier,
Polly prided herself on always having done her home work. Even
today, she still has vivid memories of the one time she failed to
do so, and the embarrassment of being called to the front of the
room to explain herself.
School was from
nine to four, and because of the small class sizes, two grades
frequently occupied the same room and teacher. Up until forth
grade, Polly attended school in the building now occupied by ABC
Printing on South Seton Ave. Following which she and her
classmates joined the upper classes in old high school. After
school Polly would rush home with her brothers and sisters and
join in the afternoon milking. The evenings were family time, and
like other children her age, were spent doing homework.
summer, Polly's parents moved their dairy herd out to the ‘Lower
Farm.’ While the summer brought a vacation from schoolwork, it
was replaced with added farm chores. Polly's eyes glisten as she
recants how she and her sister Jane used to retrieve a hidden ball
when things slowed down, and sneak off a play with it. "We
used to bounce it off the wall picking a particular brick and
seeing who could hit it. We would throw the ball for hours, making
up all sorts of games until such time as Anna, one of my older
sister, would find us and give us more work to do."
were able farmers, and as such, they could afford some of the
luxuries of life, like a telephone. "I can remember picking
up the telephone and calling into the switchboard and asking to be
connected to such and such. The operators always knew who was in
or out of town. If the operator received a call asking to be
connected to 'Hillcreast-X', she knew it was an out of Towner. The
word would spread quickly, and others on the party line would pick
up their receivers and listen in. Of course," Polly added
with a smile, "I never did that."
graduation, many of Polly's classmates began working at the old
sewing mill, the present day Antique Mall. Polly however, chose to
work in Leone McNair's Green Parrot Tea Room, one of Emmitsburg's
more charming restaurants. In 1934 Polly marred Weldon Shank, the
man of her dreams. The son and grandson of millers, in 1936, they
took over his grandfather's mill located just to the west of the
hit the Baumgardner’s hard, and finding difficult to maintain
both farms, In 1933 they sold the 3-story brick house, accompanied
by 150 acres of farmland to James L. Nester.
Go to part 4:
Nesters, Brookside Dairy, Epilogue
Wilsons & Williams Families
Part 2: The Horner
and O’Donoghue Families
Nesters, Brookside Dairy, Epilogue
other stories by Michael Hillman
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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