Captain David Artz (10-26-1793 to 3-28-1872)
Captain Artz, son of Peter (dod: 1834) and Anna, was among the most active enterprising of the business men of Hagerstown for fully half a century. He was also an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He received his title of captain from commanding a local company of militia. He also saw service under Captain George Shryock in the War of 1812 as his first lieutenant in the Ragan’s Regiment, Stansbury’s brigade.
In 1824, he served on a committee to prepare for Washington County welcoming and hosting General Layfayette in Hagerstown.
He was one of the original incorporators of the Mutual Insurance Company of Washington County on January 22, 1846.
He was buried from Trinity Church, where Revs. Lepley, Eyester, Hill and Luckenbach delivered the service and is interred at Rose Hill Cemetery in Washington County. He was 78 years old. His first wife, Catharine (Hammer) died on May 20, 1832 at the age of 41. He married Elizabeth (1790-1880). He fathered five children, Melinda, Cornelius, Samuel, George and Frederick.
RADM George W. Bauernschmidt, SC, USN (Ret.) (3-26-1899 to 4-18-1998)
George Bauernschmidt was born in Baltimore, the son of William and Marie Bauernschmidt. His grandfather was born in Germany and the Bauernschmidt family is known for their brewery. See Brewers.
RADM Bauernschmidt began his naval career in 1918 as a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman. After graduating in the line service in 1922, he was assigned to Pearl Harbor in the submarine service.
After he had served about 12 years, which included command of his submarine, the Navy began testing its officers for color blindness. Bauernschmidt promptly failed the test and the Bureau of Naval Personnel just as promptly informed him that his career was over. The rear admiral loved the Navy and appealed to his friend, RADM Nimitz for help. Nimitz, who was then serving as chief of Naval Personnel, offered him a transfer into the Supply Corps.
"World War II provided Bauernschmidt with some of the most vivid memories of his naval career. His most notable assignment, which lasted eight months, called for him to establish a Naval Supply Depot in Oran, Algeria, located on the shores of the Mediterranean in North Africa (about 500 miles from Casablanca). Much of his work force was composed of 300 Italian POWs. A humanitarian, Bauernschmidt provided the Italians with a full Navy ration (minus the ice cream), a policy which led his fellow officers to criticize him. He was later vindicated by the Geneva Convention, which supported his humane treatment of the POWs.
"Following the Algeria assignment, he was reassigned to London and was one of the most junior officers among those who planned the Normandy invasion. He was later wounded during a German bombing attack on London.
"After the war, he was assigned to Guam, where he consolidated various wayward depots into one command - the Guam Naval Supply Center.
"On the day after Christmas 1951, Bauernschmidt took command of Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, [then Naval Supply Center, Pearl Harbor ... where] his 25 months of service were remembered ... the plaza fronting Building 475 was named in his honor."
Baurnschmidt transferred to Naval Supply Depot Clearfield, Utah, in 1954 and retired the following year."
Other career assignments included USS Relief (AH 1); USS Nevada (BB 36); USS Beaver (AS 5); USS New York (BB 34); Navy Yard, Philadephia; staff, commander, Destroyers, Pacific Fleet; Naval Supply Depot, Mechanicsburg, Pa.; and Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Washington, D.C
His decorations include the Legion of Merit; Victory Medal, World War I; American Defense Service Medal with bronze "A"; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one bronze star; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; Victory Medal, World War II; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal with one bronze star; United Nations Service Medal; and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
Rear Admiral Bauernschmidt is buried at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Source. : CAPT Jeff Wagner, SC, USN, interviewed Bauernschmidt in 1995 and highlighted the admiral’s career as above. His date of birth and death is from the 1900 Maryland Census records, as well as his memorial headstone at the Naval Academy.
Daniel Beltzhoover (4-11-1826 to 10-31-1870)
Daniel was the son of Melchoir Beltzhoover and wife Elizabeth, nee Schunk. Melchoir was born in Metternzimmern, Germany in 1752. He was the owner and proprietor of the Globe Tavern in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Daniel was an 1847 graduate of West Point. He served through the Mexican War. He resigned his commission in 1856. He began teaching at Mount St. Mary's College, eventually becoming the professor of Geometry. He joined the Confederacy during the Civil War and was made Captain of the famous 'Watson's Battery'. He then made Major and Lieutenant Colonel. After the war he returned to teaching. He had a love for music. Lt. Colonel Beltzhoover is buried in Saint Anthony Catholic Church Cemetery in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Bennaman, John Henry (1836 to 1879)
Bennaman, John Simpson (1870 to 1917)
Bennaman, Howard L. (1911 to 1994)
We are 4th generation Baltimoreans living on the Southside of Baltimore, My great-grandfather, John Henry Bennaman, arrived to Baltimore from Prussia (Hannover, Germany) as a little boy and became a naturalized US citizen at age 8 in 1844. He went on to become a butcher at age 24, marrying and raising a family. His first born son, John Simpson Bennaman, was born in 1870, and was my grandfather.
John Simpson Bennaman married in 1899, and was a mariner sailing boats out of Baltimore's inner harbor. He fathered 5 children, one of which was my father, Howard Leroy Bennaman who was born in 1911. He died of pneumonia in 1917 leaving his wife a widow when my father was only 5, so my dad did not know him, or of his German lineage.
Howard L. Bennaman struggled for the next 25 years to get a 6th grade education, then leave school at age 13 working at ordinary jobs to provide for his widowed mother and get through the Great Depression era. World War II was a pivotal time in my dad's life. In 1943, at age 32, into the US Army and sent to France in 1944 to fight the German Army under Hitler. In November, 1944, his unit was bottling up German troops who were maintaining a UBOAT base on the west coast of France. He was captured while on combat patrol by Germans, but to his good fortune, was liberated 5 hours later. In January, 1945, General George Patton called up his 94th Infantry Division to fight the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge in the Saar-Mosselle River triangle region. They fought bitter battles in one of Europe's coldest winters, eventually successful crossing the Rhine River in Germany and occupying the town of Dusseldorf in the Spring of 1945. The war ended in May, 1945 and Patton sent my dad's army division to Czechloslovakia to provide military administration, establish order between fleeing German refugees, Russian troops bordering the region, and Czechloslovak citizens who were angry.
There my dad met and fell in love with his future wife, a 23 year old girl who lived on a farm near Breslau, Germany with her aging blacksmith dad. The two of them were displaced by the fighting around Breslau, and fled to Czechloslovakia. In 1946, my dad was honorably discharged stateside, and Hilda (Rodler) Bennaman moved to Bavaria, Germany. My dad asked the Red Cross to find her when he returned to the US, which they did in 1947. He paid her way to America, and they married, and I was born in 1948.
I have cousins in the Hannover region of Germany from my mother. And after research, I discovered that's where my dad's relatives came from.
My dad's proudest achievement was his service to his country. He was decorated with 4 battle stars serving under General Patton. He kept in contact with his infantry buddies after WWII, and served in the local VFW as a chaplain. In the George Bush administration, a Peace monument was erected at the battlefield in Sinz, Germany where my dad's Army division fought the 11th German Panzer Tank Division to honor both Germans and Americans and peace. It is frequently visited by members of both armies.
(Biographical Sketch provided by the great-grandson of John Henry Bennaman, Mel Bennaman)
Thomas Bittner (7-13-1920 to 12-6-2006)
Gunnery Sergeant who flew 23 missions during WWII in Europe. His plane was shot down over Austria and he was held prisoner in Stalag Luft IV until he was forced to walk in the ‘Black Death March’ ahead of the Russian advance. He was liberated in 1945. Thomas grew up in Hamilton and graduated from Calver Hall and the University of Baltimore.
Sergeant Bittner is buried at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery.
Blumenberg, Leopold (9-28-1827 to 8-12-1876)
Mr. Blumenberg was born in the province of Brandenburg, Prussia. He was the son of Abraham and Sophia Blumenberg, and the twenty-first of a family of twenty-two children. Soon after his birth Blumenberg's parents moved to Frankfort-on the-Oder, and at an early age he was graduated from the gymnasium of that city. He served in the Prussian army in the Danish war of 1848, enlisting as a private and being promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. He was decorated for his services, but the anti-Semitism prevalent deprived him of his medal; and, resenting such treatment, he left for America in 1854, settling in Baltimore, where he was engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1861.
When Fort Sumter was attacked Blumenberg assisted in organizing the fifth Maryland infantry regiment, of which he was commissioned major. His efforts for the Union cause won for him the hatred of the Secessionists, forcing him to be guarded constantly to prevent their attacking and hanging him. He first served near Hampton Roads, was later attached to Mansfield's corps in the peninsular campaign, and commanded his regiment as colonel at Antietam, where he was severely wounded in the thigh by a sharpshooter. This ultimately caused his death. He returned home, and was confined to his bed for several months.
President Lincoln appointed Blumenberg provost marshal of the third Maryland district, with headquarters at Baltimore. He held this office from 1863 to 1865, making himself very unpopular by a strict enforcement of the laws. President Johnson appointed him to a position in the revenue department, and commissioned him brigadier-general United States volunteers, by brevet. For a long time resident in Baltimore, he was extremely popular with the German and the Hebrew element of that city. He held the office of president of the National Schützen-Verein of America, and was an active member of Har Sinai congregation and of the Hebrew orphan asylum.
By : Cyrus Adler A. M. Friedenberg
Dyer, Leon (10-2-1807 to 9-14-1883) Major
Leon Dyer (some records show he was born Feist Emanuel Heim) was the son of John M. Dyer, the organizer and first president of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. He was born in Alzey, Germany in 1807 and came to Baltimore with his family in 1812. His early days were spent working in his father’s meat packing business, which has been reported to be the first in America. It was while visiting New Orleans on behalf of his father’s business that he accepted the job of quartermaster for the State Militia. From this position he fought in the Mexican War, the Seminole War and the Texas battle for independence. He served in the Seminole War as a major under General Winfield Scott and also served under Scott during the Mexican War (1845-47). When back in Baltimore (1840-45), he was elected president of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in 1840. He was very popular in Baltimore and was appointed acting mayor during the ‘bread riots’. He held a number of public offices.
He was also instrumental in 1848 of establishing one of the first congregations on the Pacific coast, in San Francisco.
He married Sarah 'Nachman' in 1852. They had four children.
He left Baltimore for health reasons and died in Louisville, Kentucky. He is buried in Galveston, Texas at the Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery. There are varied accounts of names, dates and locations with respect to this profile.
Albert Goetze Jr. (9-2-1923 to 8-26-2007)
Born in Baltimore and raised in Mayfield, he was a McDonogh School graduate. He left his studies at Cornell University to enlist in the Army. He was assigned to an infantry unit fighting in Europe during World War II.
According to notes Mr. Goetze kept, he fought continuously from November 1944 through February 1945 in Belgium and Germany. As a 22-year-old private, he described a "hell before us" as he and his company attempted to cross the Siegfried Line while being shelled by German Panzer tanks in the Battle of the Bulge. When his superiors were killed in heavy fighting, he received a battlefield promotion to technical sergeant and platoon leader.
Mr. Goetze was hit by enemy fire and lost a finger while carrying ammunition bandoleers to his fellow soldiers.
Awarded the Purple Heart, he was also given the Bronze Star for "heroic service, courage and initiative in assisting in the capture of a German officer under fire."
Decades later, he was a founding member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart on the Eastern Shore. After the war, he returned to Cornell, earned a degree in mechanical engineering and joined his family's business, Albert F. Goetze Inc.
He spent most of his career in manufacturing and operations management at its Belair Road and Sinclair Lane plant, and oversaw equipment involved in ham, sausage, scrapple and frankfurter making. He became the firm's president and in 1968 was elected president of the Eastern Meat Packers Association.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening awarded him a citation in recognition of his dedication to the welfare of the bay and its tributaries.
He served on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Council, and was a founding member of the Maryland Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association. He was also an organizer of the Talbot Rivers Protection Association.
Mr. Goetze is buried at Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery in St. Michael's.
Source: September 02, 2007|By Jacques Kelly | Sun reporter
Michael Grosh (Grosch) (9-11-1749 to 10-4-1777)
2nd Lieutenant Michael Grosh was the son of John Grosh born in Germany and died in Frederick and Maria Gutenburg, born in Germany and died in Frederick. 2nd Lieutenant Michael Grosh died on or about October 4, 1777 at the battle of Germantown. He had five siblings, one sister, Catherine ran a tavern in Frederick and after her death in 1828 the tavern was renamed City Hotel. Another sister, Anna, married Elie Williams who served as the clerk of Washington County Court from 1795-1796 and later served on the Orphans Court.
Harry Gruel, WWII Bronze Star Recipient (12-19-1922 to 4-15-2006)
Harry's first trip to Germany was during WWII. He was a genuine hero who was awarded the Bronze Star medal. When the German artillery had pinned down the Americans outside Wurzberg, Harry climbed a steep hill while under enemy fire and called down the positions of the enemy guns which were quickly silenced by American action.
Harry grew up on a farm in Parkton, MD, attended Sparks High School and Western Maryland College. He later attended Johns Hopkins University and received an accounting certificate. They were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Rockdale where Harry served on the Church Council, Finance Committee and was an usher. Harry was an avid member of the University of Maryland football and basketballteams and attended many games of the Baltimore Orioles.
Mr. Gruel is buried at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery.
Henry Gunther-Last Soldier to be killed in WWI (6-5-1895 to11-11-1918 @ 10:59 a.m.)
“The Baltimore Private - ironically of German descent - was dead. It was 10.59 and Henry Gunther is now recognized as the last soldier to be killed in action in WWI.”
Born in Baltimore of German descent, Henry was a United States Army World War I Soldier. He was the last American casualty of World War I. He was serving with Company A, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Division, as it was advancing toward Metz when it was announced that the Armistice would take effect at 11:00 a.m. on November 11. Despite this an attack was ordered, and as his unit was advancing they ran into a German ambush near the village of Chaumont-devant-Damvillers. Enraged at what appeared to be a German double-cross, he charged with his bayonet and was shot within a few yards of the German position. General Pershing officially recognized him as the last American death in his Order of the Day for November 11 announcing the Armistice. Gunther was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and his body was returned home to Baltimore in 1923. His story is told in Joseph E. Persico's "Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour." (bio by: Paul F. Wilson)
On November 11, 2010, a memorial service was held to honor Henry Gunther. The service was held at the Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Baltimore. It was a very moving tribute and a beautiful memorial stone was unveiled at his gravesite. Participants included many of the military service units in Maryland and many of the German clubs in the State.
William Allen Hadel (7-26-1821 to 7-11-1886) Military
William was the son of Johann Friedrich Carl Hadel and Margaretha Rebecca Seywert and brother of John Frederick Charles Hadel. He was born Wilhelm in Hamburg, Germany. He married Mary Elizabeth Roberts on July 19, 1855 in Baltimore. He emigrated in 1846. His military record indicates on March 03, 1847, he enlisted in Philadelphia in the US Army Captain Waddell's Company E 11th Regiment of infantry in the Mexican/American War Honorable discharge March 18, 1848 at New Orleans La. He also served during the Civil War as a 2nd Lieutenant. During Civil War William was in Co. G, 5th Regiment of Maryland Volunteers.on 5 November 1861, honorably discharged 24 November 1862. He was pensioned by the U.S. Military. He worked as a clerk at the German Correspondent Newspaper and worked at the Bauernschmidt and Marrs Brewery. He and Mary Elizabeth had 8 children, William (1856); Margaret (1858); George (1861); Mary (1863); Florence (1866); Davidson Henry (1869); Ella (1873); and Clara (1876) [1880 Census Mt. Winans].
Some of the information provided in this profile provided by the Great grandson of William Hadel, Mr. Robert Daly
Richard Curzon Hoffman (7-13-1839 to )
Richard Curzon Hoffman fought in the civil war, his allegiance to the South. He went to Richmond in April 1861 and mustered into the Confederate Army. At the rank of Lieutenant in Company B, he, on May 25 mustered with the Twenty-First Virginia Volunteer Infantry, ‘Stonewall Jackson’s Second Brigade’. He advanced to Captain and was with General Robert E. Lee at the time of the surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
After the war, he returned to Baltimore and began a partnership with D. Bowley Thompson, under the name of Hoffman, Thompson & Company. They were iron merchants. At the death of his partner, he continued the business under the name of R.C. Hoffman & Company.
(See also Manufacturing & Retail)
George J. Kaufman (7-14-1841 to)
George Kaufman was born in Germany to John G. Kaufman, a farmer and Lena (Kessler). John died in 1854 at the age of 45 and Lena, with her four sons and one daughter left via LeHarve and emigrated to the United States and arrived in New York, after a thirty nine day voyage in 1860.
George grew up on a farm in his native village and obtained a public school education. After emigrating, George remained in New York for one year and then in an effort to help preserve his adopted county, enlisted in Battery K, First New York Light Artillery and in September of 1861 went to Baltimore. He remained in Washington for another year and then under General Banks, went to meet Jackson and participated in a number of hard-fought engagements, including the battle of Cedar Mountain, second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg and Mine Run. After a winter at Culpeper Court House, Va., he was attached to the Fifth Army Corps, and under General Grant took part in the battle of the Wilderness. In 1864 Mr. Kaufman was given veteran status, however, he remained in the service until hostilities ceased. He was mustered out June 20, 1865. He had two horses shot from under him, and his long and arduous service broke down his health, so that for some time after the close of the war he was confined in a hospital in Baltimore.
He liked Baltimore and decided to remain here. He served an apprenticeship as a stone cutter John Calvert, and worked in that trade until 1874. He was then appointed foreman on government works at Richmond, Va. He continued in this business until his retirement in 1888.
He was very successful and owned a good amount of property. He married Jennie Bien, also a native of Germany in 1873. On the 1900 census, he is listed living with his wife and his grandson, Harry Paul. They lived at 2213 Wilkens Avenue. The 1880 census shows the daughter Kate at 12 (est. 1868).
He was a Republican and a nominee for the general assembly, third district-eighteenth ward, in 1895. He was successful and was a prominent member in the session of 1896. He chaired the committee on labor, and was a member of the committees on public buildings, inspections and bills. In January, 1897, he was appointed by the supreme bench as bailiff of circuit court No. 2. He was a leading member of the Thomas B. Reed Republican Club of the eighteenth ward, belonged to the German Reformed Church, was a member of the Masonic Order, the Knights of Pythias and the Red Men.
Robert Charles Klein (1921 to 2-4-2015)
Mr. Klein was the son of Robert and Maybelle Klein of New York. It appears that his grandmother and great grandfather were German born (1930 census). He graduated from Far Rockaway High School in New York. Robert C. Klein was a WWII veteran and ‘Bronze Star’ honoree, who participated in the liberation of Landsberg concentration camp (Bavaria 4-27-1945). He served as a staff sergeant serving the 101st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 12th Armored Division. Mr. Klein was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism when he helped rescue many of the men in his platoon who had been injured and carried them to safety. His obituary in the Baltimore Sun states that Mr. Klein didn’t speak much of his service because of the atrocities he witnessed and the emotional toll it took on him. It wasn’t until he was asked to share the experience on a video for Yale University documenting Holocaust Testimonies (2003).
He met his wife, Bernice Bernheimer in 1943 at a USO dance at Fort Meade, Maryland. They married and parented two daughters. He earned his BA degree in 1948 at New York University. He then moved to Baltimore where he took a job at Riggs, Counselman, Micheals and Downes, Inc., an insurance agency now located in Baltimore County. At his retirement in 1982, he was their senior vice president.
Mr. Klein enjoyed trout fishing and was an avid baseball fan. He was a member of the German Society of Maryland. He was Catholic and a member of Immaculate Conception in Towson.
Henry Lightner (1798 to 1-24-1883)
Henry Lightner was 16 and was the drummer boy at Fort McHenry on September 11, 1814. He sounded the alarm by beating his drum throughout the night. On his death he was buried on a grassy plot in Baltimore Cemetery, without a marker. The Veteran's Administration at the request of his descendants provided a headstone with his rank, service in the Maryland Militia and the dates of his birth and death. His descendants added a footstone engraved 'Drummer boy of Fort McHenry'. Henry survived and fathered 12 children. The drum remained in his family until a descendant, in 1961, donated it to the Flag House. His father was a drummer boy during the Revolutionary War. Henry was from a German family and was a member of Zion Church.
The city of Baltimore has since issued a proclamation that designated Oct. 13, 2012 as Henry Lightner Day. The drum he played is on display at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore. And it was used by his father while serving under General George Washington at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania during the American Revolution some years earlier.
Brantz Mayer (9-27-1809 to 2-23-1879) Historian, Writer, Surveyor, Editor, A Founder of the Maryland Historical Society.
Brantz Mayer served during the Civil War, Mayer served as a brigadier-general with the Maryland volunteers and he
assisted in recruiting for the state. In 1863, he received the post of additional paymaster. In January 1865, he was promoted to major and paymaster in the United States regular army. In 1866, he was promoted again, this time to lieutenant-colonel (retroactive to November 1865) for his service during the war. Mayer retired from the pay department in 1875 at the rank of colonel. (See also Law & Politics).
General Anthony F.W. Miltenberger (-1869)
Prominent and active citizen. General Miltenberger held a commission in the war of 1812. He held various positions of public trust and honor.
Col. George Prechtel (5-5-1843 to 5-18-1931)
Col. Prechtel was born in Bavaria, and died in Baltimore. He served in the Civil War on the Union side, reaching the rank of Colonel and later continuing in the service out West. For a time he lived with his sister, near Manchester, in Carroll County where he taught school for many years. While on a trip to Germany, his sister died. A fire destroyed his house and he was severely burned. His manuscripts and papers were destroyed in this fire as well. After he recovered, he moved to Baltimore City, where he was interested in the work of the Historical Society. He was President of the Society at the time of his death. He was also the treasurer of the J.F. Wiessner Orphans’ Home. He was prominent in the Grand Army of the Republic.
Captain John Rau (9-15-1828 to 4-21-1899)
Captain Rau was born in Gravinstein, Hesse-Cassel, Germany. He is the son of John C. Rau, a blacksmith by trade. He was a soldier in the Franco-German war and was in the regular army of Germany for over twenty years. He was an active participant in the war of 1812. The older John Rau died in 1833.
He had four siblings, three brothers and one sister. His brother George came to the US and became a merchant tailor. His brother Henry was also in business in Baltimore.
John’s father died when he was only six years old and until the age of fifteen, he attended the village school. He began to learn the wheelwright trade with his brother William. In 1848, he joined the German army as a member of the cavalry. He was in the service for five years. He came to the US in 1852 and came directly to Baltimore. He began to work his trade and located near the Belair Market. He extended his business to the restaurant business where he continued until 1867. He was a large property owner and owned several businesses. In 1867, he sold his property and began his wheelwright business and a general blacksmith business. He again invested in real estate. He conducted his business at the corner of First Street and Eastern Avenue. He owned many residential and business properties.
He was a member of the State militia for over twenty years and organized a cavalry company where he was the Captain for over sixteen years. He married Wilhelmina Schluderberg (1831-1923), also a native of Germany, in March of 1854. Together they had five children.
Captain Rau was a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity, an organizer of the Order of Red Men, a member of the Legion of Red Cross. The family belonged to the German Lutheran Reformed Church of Canton. He is buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Baltimore.
The Ritter Family
The family settled on the Western Shore of Maryland in 1650. The first to live in Maryland was Elias Ritter. He was a native of Bedingen, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany where he had a large estate. He was forced into exile for supplying Protestants with munitions during the ‘Thirty Years War’. He went to England and while there joined one of the expeditions to Maryland. The family in Frederick County located on the banks of the Monocacy River. The family members were Elias, John, William, Tobias, Michael and Ludwig. John, the son of Elias assisted William Penn in surveying the province of Pennsylvania in 1682. For this, he received five thousand acres of land. William and Elias Ritter were members of Captain William Keeport’s company, Stricker’s battalion, Maryland line of 1776. Ludwig Ritter was born October 20, 1778 in Frederick. Jacob Ritter was born on November 20, 1804 near Fayetteville, Pennsylvania. He remained in Pennsylvania until August 1847 when he moved to Finksburg in Carroll County, Maryland. He died in Eldersburg in 1870.
Clifton C. Roehle (9-3-1877 to 7-14-1896)
Clifton Roehle, son of Charles F. Roehle (see medicine) was born in Baltimore and attended public schools and St. John’s College. In 1893, he entered the Naval Academy. He was the youngest member of his class, yet completed his studies and ranked first in academics in three years. At the close of his last year he was assigned to make the summer cruise on the practice steamer ‘Bancroft’. After the four weeks and when docking in Philadelphia, he was suffering with typhoid fever and died on July 14, 1896. There is a scholarship at St. John’s in his honor. The class of 1897 erected in Loudon Park, a monument as a memorial to their comrade. The emblem of the U.S. Navy adorns the cap of the stone.
Winfield Scott Schley (10-9-1839 to 10-2-1911)
Mr. Schley was born in Frederick. He was a Naval Academy graduate (1860) and assigned to the frigate ‘Niagara’. In 1861 he was made master and sent to the store-ship ‘Potomac’. He served in the West Gulf blockading squadron and fought a field battery on the Mississippi River, at which time he was made lieutenant. In 1866, he was made lieutenant commander, and for three years was an instructor in languages at the Naval Academy. He was then moved to the China station and led the assault against the forts on the Sulee river. In 1873 to 76 he was again on the faculty at the Naval Academy. He was promoted to commander in 1877, commanding the ‘Essex’.
His most notable achievement, however, was his search for Greely and his exploring team in the Arctic region. In 1881, Greely with twenty five men sailed from St. Johns, Newfoundland, and disappeared. In 1884, after two unsuccessful attempts by others, Schley volunteered to make an attempt and on 1884, he sailed from St. Johns. He found seven survivors and brought them home, along with nine bodies of those that had perished. He received many accolades from many state governments and the land near which the rescue had been made was named Schleyland.
At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Comodore Schley was ordered to the ‘Brooklyn’ as commander of the Flying Squadron. He was promoted to rear-admiral at the close of the war.
USS Schley (DD-103) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I and later designated, APD-14 in the World War II. She was the first ship named in honor of Winfield Scott Schley. Schley was laid down on 29 October 1917 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California; launched on 28 March 1918; sponsored by Miss Eleanor Martin; and commissioned on 20 September 1918, Commander Robert C. Giffen in command.
In 1885, he wrote, ‘The Rescue of Greely’. He is interred in Washington DC.
Leonard T. Schroeder, Captain (1918-2009)
Commander of the first landing boat to touch the Normandy beach on June 5, 1944. Schroeder came from Baltimore and is of German-American stock. (According to the News American 6-7-1944 and quoted by Michael Olesker in the Baltimore Sun during the 50th Anniversary of D-Day.He commanded Company F of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division in the Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944, landing on Utah beach in France. Leading the men of his company, Schroeder was the first American soldier to come ashore from a landing craft in the D-Day invasion.Schroeder was born in the Baltimore suburb of Linthicum Heights, Maryland, on July 16, 1918, graduating in 1937 from nearby Glen Burnie High School where he played soccer and baseball. While captain of his high school's soccer team in 1936, they won the Maryland state championship. He then attended the University of Maryland, College Park, on a full athletic scholarship. While there, he was enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). In June, 1941, Schroeder graduated from the University of Maryland and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Army at the age of 22. In December, 1941, he married the former Margaret Nicholson, whom he had met while in high school. The couple's first child, a son, was born the following year. They would later have two more children (a daughter and another son).
George Stricker (1732 to 11-29-1810)
George Stricker was born in Frederick Maryland in 1732. His parents were Swiss and settled in North Carolina before coming to Maryland. He served as an officer in the French and Indian War in 1755 and took part in the defense of Western Maryland against the Indians. He was commissioned as a Captain January 14, 1776 and was stationed near Annapolis for several months. When the German Regiment was organized, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel on July 17, 1776 and was its highest ranking officer. He was a member of the German Reformed church in Frederick. He fought with the German Battalion in battles around New York City and New Jersey. He became the field commander when Colonel Haussegger was taken prisoner by the Hessians in Trenton. He led the Battalion at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. His oldest son was General John Stricker.
John Stricker (1752 to 6-23-1825)
John Stricker was born in Frederick, Maryland. He was the son of Colonel George Stricker. He was appointed a cadet in the German Battalion at the onset of the Revolutionary War. He served in Captain Graybill’s company at the Battles of Long Island, Harlem Heights, White Plains, For Washington, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant after the Battle of Trenton and put in charge of the Hessian prisoners. He was transferred to the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment and later the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment.
After the war, John Stricker was a Baltimore businessman. He organized a company of Baltimore Militia and in 1794 assisted in the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. During the War of 1812, then General, he became the commanding field officer of the Maryland Militia for the defense of Baltimore. He was in command of the American forces at the Battle of North Point on September 10-12, 1814.
He was later a member of the Baltimore City Council. Stricker Street in Baltimore is named in his honor. He assisted in reorganizing the German Society of Maryland in 1817 and served as a vice president until his death. He was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati, formed by officers of the Continental Army. He died in Baltimore.
Captain George Shryock (2-22-1783 to 5-21-1872)
One of the leading members of St. John's church for many years , George, son of John (1747-1831) and Mary (Teagarden 1747-1816) Shryock, was born in 1783 on the manor in Washington County. In 1787 the family removed to Hagerstown, and resided on Franklin Street opposite the Oak Spring. In 1796 he accompanied his father and brother John to Westmoreland County, Pa., where they built a log house in the woods. In 1803, George Shryock returned to Hagerstown and began to manufacture pumps. He was a leading member of St. John’s congregation, which his father had furnished with a portion of the building materials for the church edifice erected in 1796. In 1808 he married Elizabeth Lewis (1784-1865), daughter of Capt. William Lewis, both he and his wife became communicants of St. John's Church. Together they were the parents of Anna, John, William and Priscilla.
In 1820 he was a lay delegate to the first General Synod of the Lutheran Church in America, which met in Hagerstown, and was the last survivor of that body. In 1813 he served as captain in Ragan's regiment, Stansbury's brigade. His regiment was present at the famous bombardment on the night the "Star-Spangled Banner” was written.
Note: Initial information about Captain Shryock's wife Elizabeth was obtained through Scharf's History of Western Maryland (1882) and was later corrected by Kitty Shryock Hood, who corrected the name of Elizabeth's father. The Maryland Herald and Elizabeth Town Advertiser, on January 15, 1808 wrote 'Married Tuesday eve last, by Rev. Rahauser, George Shryock to Miss Betsey Lewis, daughter of Capt. William Lewis, of this town.' In addition, a deposition dated May 21, 1839 Hagerstown, in the pension file of William Lewis, George Shryock states that he is married to Elizabeth Lewis, the oldest daughter of William and Mary Lewis, and that he believes she was born in 1784.
Captain Shryock was laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown.
General Thomas J. Shryock (2-27-1851 to 2-3-1918)
He served four years as the first lieutenant in the Maryland National Guard and took part in the railroad riots of 1877. Governor Lloyd Lowndes appointed him chief of staff with the rank of brigadier-general. (See also Government, Law & Politics)
Served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Maryland for 32 years, the longest ever served by any Grand Master in the United States. Had been elected to his 33rd term when he died.
He was in the lumber business, and held many public offices, including Police Commissioner of Baltimore and State Treasurer of Maryland. Was president of the Iron Mountain and Greenbrier Railroad. Was a director of bank, power, and telephone companies. He was first president of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial; treasurer of Supreme Council, 33° AASR (SJ) and Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Md.; Grand Treasurer of the General Grand Chapter, R.A.M.; was Past Grand High Priest of Grand Chapter, Past Grand Master of the Grand Council, and Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery in Maryland.
He was married to Maria E. H. (1850-1886). They are buried at Lorraine Park Cemetery.
Colonel Augustus P. Shutt ()
Captain Augustus L. Shutt (2-21-1845 to )
Capt Shutt was born in Baltimore to Col. Augustus P. Shutt and Mary (Miller). Both of his parents were born in Baltimore to German immigrants who came to the US at the beginning of the 1800s. His parents were married on September 30, 1838, His father was in the furniture manufacturing business and had a plant on Gay Street in 1840. He was an exporter of that furniture around the world. He continued that business until 1845 when he was appointed High Constable of the City of Baltimore (this is now the Police Chief). He held this position until 1853 when he was appointed Warden of the Baltimore City Jail. He also worked as a conductor for passenger trains for the B&O. He was an independent candidate running against the very popular Thomas Swann for Mayor of Baltimore. Thomas Swann won the election.
The Colonel’s route on the B&O was through a portion of Virginia and during the time of the Civil War, the track was frequently torn up by Confederates and the trains were often held up by Mosby’s men. The Colonel’s train was robbed one night and the train thrown from the tracks by Mosby’s men. The engineer was killed and the US Paymaster robbed. The Colonel was well respected, however, and was even chosen, at the request of the Secretary of War Stanton, to take him to his sick mother’s bedside. The Colonel and the Secretary remained good friends unril Stanton died in 1857. During his time with the B&O he also conducted a train that was filled with military being sent in May 1857 to suppress a freight conductors strike. His train was thrown from the track by strikers at Mt. Clare station. He was presented with a gold medal for his courage and conduct during that ordeal.
He was also involved in the John Brown raid at Harper’s Ferry in 1859. It began when an agent of the railroad, Beckman, was killed by Brown’s men. Shutt was appointed temporary agent of the company there. He participated in the taking down of Brown and his men. He even captured Brown’s rifle and took it home with him.
When the Civil War broke out and the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment was passing through Baltimore to Washington on April 19, 1861, it was attacked by a mob. Colonel Shutt was selected to take them via train to Washington.
Colonel Shutt took great interest in the military and was commissioned from time to time until he rose to the rank of Colonel and the commanding officer of the Fifth Regiment. His commissions
- 5-30-1856: commissioned third lieutenant Independent Greys, Fifty-third Regiment
- 12-27-185: commissioned second lieutenant same company
- 4-26-1847: commissioned captain Independent Blues, Fifth Regiment, Maryland Volunteer Infantry
- 10-10-1853: commissioned major Fifth Maryland Volunteer Infantry
- 3-22-1856: commissioned lieutenant colonel, Fifth Maryland Volunteer Infantry.
- 3-12-1861: commissioned colonel of this distinguished regiment and remained its colonel and commanding officer until it was disbanded at the beginning of the war.
The Colonel, after resigning his position with the B&O, moved to Martinsburg, W. VA. He took charge of the B&O Dining Hotel, where he remained until 1877. He also was elected Mayor three terms while in Martinsburg. He then returned to Baltimore.
Upon his return to Baltimore he went into the coal and wood business, taking with him his son, Captain Shutt, under the firm name of A. P. Shutt & Son; their business grew and the firm soon became one of the foremost in their line in the city; Colonel Shutt continued in this business until his death, July 10, 1881. The Colonel and his wife had eight children.
His son Captain Shutt succeeded him and kept the firms name. He was educated in the public schools of Baltimore and Loyola College. His education was interrupted during the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment riots mentioned above. He was a member of Company E, Fifth Regiment. He quit school after this and worked as a clerk with Lord & Robinson, woodcrafters, where he remained until the family moved to Martinsburg. He worked there with his father in the hotel business and returned to Baltimore with the family and began work with the family coal business, A.P. Shutt & Son.
Captain Shutt was married to Hilda Shutt (born in Germany 4-1855). There were two step children listed on the 1910 census, Lillie Laubheimer (30) and Lena Laubheimer (25). In 1910 the family lived at 1408 Mt. Royal Avenue. They were Protestants. He was a member of the Fifth Regiment, Veteran Corpos, L.M.N.G. He was captain and quartermaster of that command. The family lives on W. Lexington Street. The business was located at 106 N. Eutaw Street.
Martin H. Stephan, Bomber Pilot (1923 to 2009)
World War II B-17 Pilot, Who Flew 51 Missions and Won A Distinguished Flying Cross Martin Herman Stephan, a decorated World War II pilot who flew 51 missions and was a retired engineer. Born in a suburb of Leipzig, Bohlitz-Ehrenburg, Germany, he immigrated to Baltimore in 1924 with his mother and sister. He grew up on Palermo Avenue and graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1942.
Source: August 14, 2009, By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun.
John Thompson (8-14-1838 to 7-2-1915)
John was born in the Holstein region of Northern Germany. He enlisted in the service in the US Army in Baltimore on December 1, 1863. He was a member of Company C, 1st Maryland Infantry. He served as a Corporal. He earned the Medal of Honor during the Civil War for heroism displayed on February 6, 1865 at Hatcher’s Run, Virginia. As a color bearer, Corporal Thompson distinguished himself by preceding his regiment in the assault, bravely carrying the flag. He planted his regiment’s flag in advance of his men. He mustered out on July 2, 1865 at Arlington Heights, VA.
He married Augusta (1842-1911).
Mr. Thompson is buried at Immanuel Cemetery in Baltimore.
Captain John W. Torsch (6-22-1834 to 10-1-1898)
John was the son of Henry (immigrated from Germany to the U.S. when eighteen). He was an officer in the Confederate army during the four years of the Civil War. He was the commanding officer of the Second Maryland Regiment, Confederate States army, the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, which General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House in 1865.
He was married to Mary (Sutton) and they are buried at Loudon Park Cemetery.
Paul J. Wiedorfer (1-17-1921 to 5-25-2011) Medal of Honor Winner
"Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Medal of Honor didn't exist because there were no wars and we could all live in peace? And that the only way to spell war was love? Wouldn't that be wonderful?" —Paul J. Wiedorfer
Paul J. Wiedorfer is a retired United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in the 2400 block of McElderry Street, he attended St. Andrew's School, and graduated in 1940 from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. On 11November 2008 a plaque honoring him was place in Poly's Memorial Hall. Married to his bride, Alice Stauffer, for just six months when Wiedorfer enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943, he was working as an apprentice power station operator at the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company in Baltimore, and was living in the 1900 block of Bank Street. Wiedorfer did his basic training at Camp Lee, Virginia. He was then assigned to the Quartermaster Corps, and then he took and passed the examination for cadet air training, and was training to be a pilot, but the army switched him to infantry because of greater need. On the way to England he crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Queen Mary, and by December 25, 1944 was serving as a private in Company G, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division. On that Christmas Day, near Chaumont, Belgium, Wiedorfer single-handedly charged across 150 yards of open ground and then destroyed two German machine gun emplacements. He was subsequently promoted to Staff Sergeant and, on June 12, 1945, issued the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle. While crossing the Saar River, he was severely injured February 10, 1945 by a mortar shell that blew up near him, shrapnel broke his left leg, ripped into his stomach, and seriously injured two fingers on his right hand. The sergeant next to him was killed instantly. He was evacuated to the 137th United States Army General Hospital in England where he was placed in traction. While in the hospital a sergeant reading Stars and Stripes asked him how he spelled his name, and then told him he had won the Medal of Honor. Later, on May 5, 1945, General E.F. Koenig with a band entered the ward to present him with his medal. In addition to the Medal of Honor he also has a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He returned to Baltimore June 11, 1945, and was given a ticker tape parade with General George C. Marshall and Maryland governor Herbert R. O'Conor in attendance. After the war he spent another three years recovering in different army hospitals and then returned to Baltimore Gas & Electric, and retired in 1981, after 40 years of service. He and Alice had four children.
Medal of Honor citation He alone made it possible for his company to advance until its objective was seized. Company G had cleared a wooded area of snipers, and 1 platoon was advancing across an open clearing toward another wood when it was met by heavy machinegun fire from 2 German positions dug in at the edge of the second wood. These positions were flanked by enemy riflemen. The platoon took cover behind a small ridge approximately 40 yards from the enemy position. There was no other available protection and the entire platoon was pinned down by the German fire. It was about noon and the day was clear, but the terrain extremely difficult due to a 3-inch snowfall the night before over ice-covered ground. Pvt. Wiedorfer, realizing that the platoon advance could not continue until the 2 enemy machinegun nests were destroyed, voluntarily charged alone across the slippery open ground with no protecting cover of any kind. Running in a crouched position, under a hail of enemy fire, he slipped and fell in the snow, but quickly rose and continued forward with the enemy concentrating automatic and small-arms fire on him as he advanced. Miraculously escaping injury, Pvt. Wiedorfer reached a point some 10 yards from the first machinegun emplacement and hurled a handgrenade into it. With his rifle he killed the remaining Germans, and, without hesitation, wheeled to the right and attacked the second emplacement. One of the enemy was wounded by his fire and the other 6 immediately surrendered. This heroic action by 1 man enabled the platoon to advance from behind its protecting ridge and continue successfully to reach its objective. A few minutes later, when both the platoon leader and the platoon sergeant were wounded, Pvt. Wiedorfer assumed command of the platoon, leading it forward with inspired energy until the mission was accomplished.
He is buried at Moreland Memorial Park.
Henry Wilhelm (5-17-1836 to 7-13-1911)
The Wilhelm family was founded in the United States by the great grandfather of Henry. He was a native of Germany who came to the U.S. during the Revolutionary war and he aided the colonies in achieving their independence. He purchased a large estate in Baltimore County and this estate has been handed down throughout the years. The family is known for their patriotism and loyalty to the U.S. Henry’s grandfather served as a soldier in the War of 1812.
Henry was born in Baltimore, the son of Peter (1807-1891) and Elizabeth (Kone) (1809-1881). They spent their entire lives in Baltimore County and raised their ten children (George, Jeremiah, Daniel, Caroline, Julia, Mary, Susan, John, Jacob and Henry) here. The family besides, soldiers, were farmers and all engaged successfully in farming. Henry was educated in Baltimore County. He enlisted to serve his country on July 29, 1862, in Company F, Fourth Maryland Infantry, where he served for three years. He was promoted to Corporal and subsequently to the ranks of sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant and captain of his company. He was discharged at Arlington Heights on Mary 16, 1865. He participated in twenty-one important engagements, including the following: Antietam, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Hatchie's Run, Laurel Hill, Harris Farm and Five Forks. His skull was fractured by being hit with a gun at the battle of Spottsylvania and at Cold Harbor he was wounded by a shell in the thigh. For one year after his return home, he was a conductor on the Baltimore City Railroad, but at the end of that period returned to his father's farm in the sixth district, and successfully devoted his time to agricultural pursuits until 1887, when he retired from business life.
Captain Wilhelm married Chloe (Dorsey) (born March 1844-1900 U.S. Federal Census) also from Baltimore County, in 1868. They had two children, Carrie and May. Ms. Wilhelm was educated and was a teacher. Her father was a commissioned officer in the War of 1812.
Captain Wilhelm was a prominent member of Charity Lodge No. 134, A. F. & A. M., of Parkton, Md. ; Wilson Post No. 1 , G. A. R., of Baltimore; Middletown Lodge No. 92, I. O. O. F. , of Middletown, with which he was connected for over forty years; Eklo Council No. 134, J. O. A. M., of Eklo; and Summit Grange No. 164, of Middletown. He was Republican.
Henry and Chloe are buried at Middleton Cemetery (20074 Middleton Road, Freeland, Baltimore County).