History Archives — People 

Articles previously published in The Bell Tower

Charles E. Cassell | Hannah More | Elizabeth Wyman Keyser | William Norris
Francis Bloy | William Keyser (death) | Sarah Wyman Whitman | Thomas Claggett
William Keyser (bounty) | Historian in our Midst

Architect Charles E. Cassell Was Designer of All Saints’ Chapel 

July 2000

The still elusive All Saints’ Chapel on Bond Avenue served our parish as a functional necessity from 1883 until 1891. While little is known of its design or decoration, we do know a great deal more about its designer. Charles Emmett Cassell was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1838. To put this date into perspective, it was just four years after the opening of Hannah More Academy and one year after the founding of the Baltimore Sun. Upon graduation from the University of Virginia as a civil engineer, Cassell worked for the army at the fortifications of Old Point Comfort. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he fled with drawings of the water-works to become a captain in the Confederate Army’s Corp of Engineers.

Considered a traitor by our federal government, he avoided execution at the end of the war by escaping to Chile where he served in its navy and was unable to return to the United States until after a general amnesty in the early 1870s. (Just 14 years earlier, one William Norris of Reisterstown had met and wed Ellen Hobson of Baltimore, also in Chile.)

Life in Baltimore

Cassell married Sally Bowles, daughter of an Episcopal clergyman, and moved to Baltimore’s Bolton Hill area where he lived in a house begun by his younger brother. His career as an architect began at this point, and by 1904, when the city needed new buildings as a result of the Great Fire, he was firmly established. He was a founding member of the Baltimore Chapter A.I.A., and practiced with his son John Cassell for several years. His offices occupied various buildings at different times in the heart of Baltimore City. Charles Cassell is believed to have invented the thick glass pavement cylinders that admit light to basements. Perhaps readers remember walking on such sidewalks in downtown Baltimore.

Architectural Achievements

The architectural achievements of Cassell are too numerous to list in full, but a few highlights must be mentioned as they are familiar sights in Baltimore and elsewhere. These sites include the Albert Hutzler country home, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation (Preston and Maryland Avenues), the Stafford Hotel (Mt. Vernon Place), the Brexton Apartments (now abandoned and possible awaiting the wrecker’s ball), the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce, the Chapel at the University of Virginia, Stewart’s Department Store (Howard Street), the Greenway Cottages (Opposite the Rotunda Mall), and, of course, All Saints’ Chapel, Reisterstown. This humble structure surely must have ben among the simplest of assignments for the 44 year-old architect when he designed it in 1882. Presumably, it of wooden construction and was meant to be occupied only briefly while the congregation laid plans for a more permanent building. When William Keyser hired an architect for the new church on Chatsworth Avenue, it was not Charles Cassell to whom he turned but the firm of Longfellow, Alden and Harlow of Boston, Massachusetts.

Final Days

Charles Cassell died of pneumonia at his home on Park Avenue, Baltimore, in August 1916, after five weeks of illness. His Reisterstown chapel was destroyed just two years later, and its lumber was sold for a paltry $109.25.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

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Meet Miss Hannah More 

September 2000

This month, as All Saints’ Church prepares to participate in the annual Reister’s Towne Festival, From the Archives focuses on the new event site, or more specifically, on the person for whom it was named. “Hannah More” is as familiar in our everyday conversation as “Chartley Shopping Center,” “Main Street,” or Super Fresh.” But how many people stop to think that “Hannah More” is not just a collection of buildings and a community part, but a name with a history?

Miss Hannah More: Teacher

Miss Hannah More, one of five daughters of an English schoolmaster, was born in 1745. She herself became a teacher, and when a projected marriage failed, moved to London where she became a social and literary success. Among her acquaintances were David Garrick, Samuel Johnson, and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Later, undergoing a conversion, she turned her back on her early theatrical writings and identified herself with the Evangelicals who dominated the Church of England at that time.

Free education won a friend in Miss More when when and one of her sisters set up a series of Sunday schools. They also held evening readings of sermons, prayers, and hymns for parents, promoted women’s friendly societies, and taught sewing and reading to girls. Rural conservatives objected to her teaching the poor to read and write, and eventually Sunday schools became unpopular with the clergy. The sisters closed their schools, and Hannah More, disappointed in the turn of events, devoted her attention to other forms of education.

Reisterstown Girls’ School

In 1828, Mrs. Ann Van Bibber Neilson, a childless, Reisterstown widow, opened a small girls’ school in her home, Locust Grove. Her curriculum, taking its cue from the Sunday schools of Hannah More, included religious instruction, reading, writing and simple sewing. Prizes were offered to encourage scholarship and seriousness of purpose, although there was only slight attention to scholastics. When Mrs. Neilson died five years later, her will provided three acres of land across the Reisterstown Pike for a more permanent home for her school. And most importantly, it was to be named in honor of Hannah More. Its namesake died in 1833, one year before the opening of the new school in America.

St. Michael’s Chapel

In 1854, All Saints’ first parish church, St. Michaels’s, was erected at Hannah More to serve the students in the growing school. It is today the oldest structure on the grounds, for in 1857, a disastrous fire leveled the original school building. Fortunately, it was quickly rebuilt , and in later years, rebuilt again and added on to by William Keyser and the Wyman family. All Saints’ first two rectors, the Rev’d Arthur Rich and the Rev’d Joseph Fletcher, both served as principals of the academy.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

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Elizabeth Wyman Keyser 

November 2000

On October 29, 1891, an act of love was fulfilled when William Keyser witnessed the consecration of All Saints’ Church in Reisterstown, his adopted country residence. Five years previously he had lost his mother, aged 85 years. The donation of a new church, debt free, to the Reisterstown parish was his way of paying tribute to her.

Elizabeth Wyman came from a distinguished New England family, one of whom served in the Revolutionary War. Her ancestry is traceable to the early 1600s in Hertfordshire, England where her family name was Wymant. Her Uncle Sam Wyman once owned Homewood, today the site of the Johns Hopkins University.

In her early twenties Elizabeth Wyman married Samuel Stouffer Keyser, a Baltimore iron importer who hailed from Lowell, Massachusetts, and by him she had three sons and a daughter. Sons William and Sam were identical twins, frequently mistaken for each other throughout life.

Little else is known of Elizabeth Keyser beyond the memories recorded by William Keyser in the recently published Recollections of a Busy Life (Gateway Press, 2000).

The fondness he held for her shines through the pages of his manuscript. He describes her as “one of the most devout and religious of women. The marginal notes upon the pages of her Bible are so indicative of an unfailing faith in the goodness of God and in the blessedness of the future state for those who try to serve Him here, that I esteem them as one of the richest legacies she has left her children. I am constantly reminded of her, and fancy I can hear her counsel her loved ones on earth that the search for the truth can never be offensive to the God of truth, and that, even in matters of religion, honest doubt may be more acceptable to Him than blind belief.”

Samuel Stouffer Keyser passed a good bit of his life as an invalid, cared for by the ever-faithful Elizabeth. Following his death, she spent time with her daughter in Philadelphia and, in 1876 toured Europe, “deriving great pleasure from the trip, as was natural to one of her bright mind and attractive personality.”

In the fall of 1885, Elizabeth Keyser invited her son William to join her in Boston. “We spent several days in the city and vicinity, calling on all the relatives, my mother, as was her custom, distributing little gifts among the less prosperous, with all of whom she was a great favorite, prosperity having in no degree dimmed her love for her family, but if anything strengthened it.”

The following year, Elizabeth Keyser showed signs of heart trouble. After one of his visits to her in Philadelphia, William Keyser “could not help being impressed with her tenderness in parting from me, holding me tightly clasped in her arms for some moments. Early the following morning, while dressing at my hotel, I received a dispatch announcing her death, which occurred without warning, a few hours before. In her desk was found a letter written two days before, addressed to ‘My beloved children, one and all.’ full of loving advice and thanks for all the tender care of which she had been the recipient, and expressing her confident hope in a blessed immortality. We buried her in the family lot at Greenmount, beside her husband and kindred.”

“At the death of my mother I determined, when a suitable opportunity offered, to erect some memorial to her memory, as an evidence of my gratitude and love. Knowing her as well as I did, I felt that nothing I could do would so meet with her approval as to aid Christ’s cause, which she had so much at heart and to which she had always given so freely. While visiting in the fall of 1889 at Beverly Farms on the Massachusetts coast, my wife and I were much pleased with a little church we saw near Manchester-by-the-Sea, so much as to remark how we would like to have a similar one near our country home.

On my return, I found among my correspondence a circular letter form the vestry of our parish, soliciting aid to enlarge our little All Saints’ Chapel, which determined me if I could carry out my plan, to make this my memorial, my little wife approving, as she always does whenever I suggest doing anything for the benefit of others. On All Saints’ Day, the parish fete, when the parishioners are accustomed to assemble and spend the day together, I submitted a proposition to purchase a lot, and build and furnish it at my own cost a handsome stone church, something on plan of the one I had seen, and deed it to the parish as a memorial to my mother, which offer occasioned great rejoicing and was gratefully accepted.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

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Colonel William Norris, 1820-1896 

September 2003

The Reisterstown Parish has long recognized William Norris as one of its most familiar links to the Civil War. Buried at All Saints’ Cemetery, he was during his lifetime, a local resident and communicant. Although not confirmed until the age of 72, he attended All Saints’ Church in its early years.

Tales still exist of post-bellum parties held at his Cockeysmill Road home and of tipsy veterans making their way back to the Civil War Veterans Home (now State Police headquarters) in Pikesville. This writer can testify to numerous oyster shells found in the soil near the site of the family home, long since destroyed.

The son of a Maryland hardware merchant, Norris graduated from Yale, then practiced law in New Orleans, and later became a legal consultant for the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Squadron.

At the start of the Civil War, Norris volunteered as a civilian aide on the staff of General John Magruder. Magruder appointed him to command signal operations with the rank of captain. Norris devised his own communication system using flags and colored balls which were run up and down poles. In 1862 he was posted with the new Confederate Army Signal Corps in Richmond. By July he had established the Secret Service Bureau. Agents comprised its staff which penetrated Union territory to obtain information and supplies. Although their activities extended as far as Canada, their main focus was on the Potomac River lines of communication. It is said that New York newspapers could be conveyed to Richmond within 24 hours of publication!

Norris was promoted to the rank of major in 1862 and continued to serve the Confederacy until war’s end. A paper trail of his work, however, is practically non-existent. The records of the Confederate Secret Service were destroyed by fire; likewise, nearly all of Norris’s personal papers and war mementos were lost when his Reisterstown home burned in 1890. Although promoted to colonel at the close of the war, a combination of work enshrouded in secrecy and small commentary by his superior officers, including General Lee, left William Norris a virtual footnote in the annals of the great conflict of our nation. His aging headstone set among family grave sites at All Saints’ Cemetery is scant testimony to his devotion to a cause that failed.

– Neil Haynie, Parish Archivist

(Information for this article was obtained from the All Saints’ Church Archives and from the book, The Civil War -– Spies, Scouts and Raiders, by the Editors of Time-Life Books, 1985. To date, 45 articles have been printed From the Archives. Over 50 binders and/or documents relating to the Reisterstown Parish are currently on file and are available for perusal by members of the Parish upon request.)

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The First Ordination at All Saints’ 

The Reverend Francis Bloy

March 2004

The 102 year history of All Saints’ Church has witnessed the ordination of a priest only twice, and those events were separated by a span of nearly 75 years. Daniel Joseph Tuton was admitted to the sacred order of priests on February 2004 and becomes assistant rector to a far larger and busier church than existed on the eve of the Great Depression. But if the career of his predecessor is any indication, the Reverend Tuton is destined for great things!

On June 8, 1929, the Reverend Francis Bloy, still in his mid twenties and not yet out of seminary, was chosen to succeed Ted Barth who was moving on to Baltimore and, eventually, to the bishopric of Tennessee. A distinguished congregation of the Diocese of Maryland took part on that summer Saturday, as well as the new rector’s father, the Reverend F. J. Bloy of Missouri. The Rt. Rev. John Gardner Murray (seventh Bishop of Maryland) and the Rt. Rev. Edward T. Helfenstein (Bishop Coadjutor) oversaw the ceremonies. They were assisted by the Rev. Joseph Fletcher, All Saints’ second rector and Canon of the Washington Cathedral.

Francis Eric Irving Bloy was born in the south of England in 1904. The son and grandson of Anglican priests, he moved with his family to America at the age of seven. After graduation from high school in Arizona, he attended the University of Arizona for two years, transferring to the University of Maryland from which he graduated as an honor student. With his eyes on the diplomatic corps, Francis then enrolled in the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. However, the call of the priesthood led him, to drop out and move on to the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria in 1926. Even before graduation he was called to take charge of All Saints’ in March of 1929. He was to spend the next four years of his career with his new wife serving the Reisterstown congregation.

In 1933, Reverend Bloy moved to La Jolla, California, where he served as curate at his father’s church, St. James, of which he became rector two years later. His career advanced rapidly when he was named Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Los Angeles, in 1937. Eleven years thereafter he was elected Bishop of Los Angeles, making him at that time the youngest bishop in the Episcopal Church . His tenure in the Diocese of Los Angeles ran until his retirement in 1974. Unfortunately, his wife died ten day later, just as he was beginning to devote extra time to his other passions, flying and astronomy.

As the third Episcopal primate of Los Angeles, Bishop Bloy served during a time of rapid growth and ethnic expansion in Southern California. He oversaw the founding of 46 parishes and missions and started the Episcopal Theological School –known as Bloy House – at Claremont. He was a trustee of both Occidental College and General Theological Seminary and was the recipient of several honorary doctorates.

Never one to forget his flock, Bishop Bloy telephoned All Saints’ in 1971 to offer his congratulations on the occasion of the church’s centennial celebration. Following a period of declining health, Francis E. I. Bloy died in 1993 at the age of 88. He was deservedly well respected in California, and we can be proud that All Saints’ Church was instrumental in the formation of his long career in the Episcopal Church.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

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William Keyser Dies Suddenly 

June 2004

This was a headline in the Baltimore News of June 4, 1904, one day after the unexpected death of William Keyser at his country estate in Reisterstown. At age 68, he had fulfilled an energetic life as businessman, churchman, writer, financier, builder and political watchdog. Earlier in his career he had personally witnessed the first bloodshed of the Civil War in the streets of Baltimore. And in Reisterstown Parish he was recognized as the major patron of All Saints’ Church. Now one century later, it seems appropriate that we should pay tribute to a great benefactor and civic leader.

Born in 1835, William Keyser was the sixth generation of a distinguished family from Amsterdam. He was educated at St. Timothy’s School, Catonsville, and later married Mary H. Brent, by whom he fathered six children, three of whom died in infancy. When his father became an invalid, William entered his iron and steel business at the age of 17. Seventeen years later he became President of the Baltimore Copper Company. His numerous accomplishments in the business world include Second vice-presidency of the B&O Railroad, founder of the Baltimore Copper Smelting and Rolling Company, Director of the Western Maryland Railroad and Director of the National Union bank of Maryland.

He was so highly regarded for his work in the railroad industry — especially in calming the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 — that several communities were named in his honor. Notable among them are Keyser, West Virginia, and Keyser’s Ridge (Western Maryland). He also helped to found the town of Garrett, Indiana.

Politically active, Mr. Keyser frequently worked, often behind the scenes, to help bring reform to Baltimore and Maryland. He served as a member of the committee of Five in 1882 to break the Democratic ring, worked as chairman of the Democratic City Committee and became President of the Reform League.

As a philanthropist, William Keyser gave generously to many institutions. He served as a trustee of the McDonogh School Fund, helped to rebuild Hannah More Academy, and donated 60 acres for building the Johns Hopkins University at Homewood. One Baltimore newspaper called him the richest man in Maryland.

In the Episcopal church, he served at church conventions and played a role on the vestries of Baltimore churches. During the months when he summered at Brentwood, his farm on Cockeysmill Road, he took an active interest in the Reisterstown Parish. When, in 1890, the call went out for building a church to replace All Saints’ Chapel, he answered by fully funding the new church on Chatsworth Avenue. All Saints’ Church was dedicated a year later as a memorial to his mother, Elisabeth Wyman Keyser.

Immediately after the Great Baltimore fire of February, 1904, Mayor Robert McLane named William Keyser Chairman of the Citizens Emergency Committee, a group of prominent business and financial leaders, and charged them with mapping out a plan for rebuilding the devastated city. (Mr. Keyser’s own building was a victim of the fire.) The Baltimore that we recognize today is basically a result of this committee’s efforts. Tragically, less than four months after the fire, Baltimore’s young mayor was dead — of a presumed suicide. Only five days later William Keyser also died quite suddenly.

On Friday, June 3, the Keysers were entertaining friends at their Brentwood home. In the late afternoon, Mr. Keyser offered the use of one of his carriages to three lady visitors to ride to Glyndon Station for a return train trip to Baltimore. Upon departing, however, one horse in the team became unmanageable, causing he driver to pull him toward a tree. At that instant the ladies jumped from the carriage and were injured. Mr. Keyser, who had been sitting on his porch, ran onto the lawn to assist and immediately collapsed of a stroke. His distressed family summoned Reisterstown doctors Harry Slade and James Gore who arrived promptly but were unable to revive the stricken man.

Christ Episcopal Church, Baltimore, was the setting for a simple funeral service for William Keyser, “a man who never admired notoriety or display of personal traits, character or reputation.” The Reverend Joseph Fletcher of All Saints’ Church assisted in the ceremony. Mr. Keyser was buried in the family plot at Greenmount Cemetery.

On the one-hundredth anniversary of the death of William Keyser, we pause briefly to remember the man who made our house of worship possible. Two stone tablets honoring Mr. Keyser and his mother are mounted on the rear wall of the church. And for those interested in a thorough and fascinating account of the man himself, be sure to check out his autobiography, Recollections of a Busy Life (ed. 2000) available in our church library. This memoir includes many period photographs and an account of how All Saints’ came to be built.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

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All Saints’ and Radcliffe College 

Sarah Wyman Whitman

June 2005

A church and a college with a common denominator – an artist in portraiture and stained glass windows. That person, or course, is Sarah Wyman Whitman. Ms. Whitman is well known to us as the cousin of William Keyser and the creator of the outstanding windows of All Saints’ Church.

Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, a woman ahead of her time, fought for women’s education in the mid to late 1800s, finally convincing Harvard professors to agree to offer instruction to “properly qualified young women”, and establishing the Society for Collegiate Instruction of Women, popularly known as the Harvard Annex. Se became its founding president in 1882, and thus Radcliffe College was born., In October of 2004 a portrait of Ms Agassiz was moved to the Harvard Faculty Room in University Hall – the third woman to grace those walls. The artist: Sarah Whitman Wyman.

Ms. Whitman created many notable windows in New England, including works for Trinity Church (Boston), Central Church (Worcester) and Christ Church (Andover). Her 1891 windows for All Saints’ Church include both clear-glass pieces as well as seven full-color works in the sanctuary.

Sarah Whitman’s final stained glass window was crafted in 1904 (the year of her death) for the St. Louis Exposition. It was later purchased and given in her memory to the Radcliffe College Room in the Schlesinger Library. While her design incorporated landscape, in the manner of Louis C. Tiffany, for the first time, the basic figures are highly reminiscent of those used in the All Saint’s windows thirteen years earlier. The inscriptions in both sets of windows are identical in style.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

(Sources include the Radcliffe Quarterly, March 2005)

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Bishop Thomas John Claggett 

October 2006

For many members of our parish family, the word “Claggett” connotes an Episcopal conference center in the hills of Frederick County. But the name of this retreat originates in the person of our first bishop, Thomas John Claggett (1743-1816) – in fact, the first Episcopal bishop consecrated in the newly formed United States of America.

The Claggett family – originally spelled Clagett – traces its ancestry to the late 1400s in Kent, England.One George Clagett was mayor of Canterbury in the early 1600s, the time of William Shakespeare.

Thomas John Claggett was born in Prince George’s County and attended Princeton University. Following graduation he studied theology and returned to England where he was ordained in 1767. Two years later he became rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Sunderland, Calvert County. His ministry ended at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, at which time he retired to his home in PG County. Father Claggett was apparently a man of means; his estate was named “Croom”, a title passed down to the town located there today. While living at Croom, Claggett served as rector of St. Thomas Church.

For six more years, beginning in 1786, Claggett returned to his ministry at All Saints. Then, in 1792, when he was in his late 40s, he was consecrated Bishop of Maryland at Trinity Church, New York City.He is distinguished as the first Episcopal bishop ordained on American soil.

In 1800, during the administration of John Adams, Bishop Claggett was appointed Chaplain of the United States Senate – its first session in Washington, D.C. In 1810 he founded Trinity Episcopal Church in Upper Marlboro.

Thomas John Claggett died in 1816, two years after Britain attempted to burn Baltimore, and was buried in Croom. In 1898 (when our own church was just seven years old) his remains were re-interred at the National Cathedral. Highly regarded, he was memorialized in Canterbury Cathedral where his cenotaph may still be seen today.

Locally, the legacy of Thomas John Claggett lives on in the Bishop Claggett Center, established in 1952 in Western Maryland. The property, dating from 1791, was originally the Buckingham Farmhouse. From the late 1800s until 1944 it served as the Buckingham Industrial School for orphaned boys. Today, Bishop Claggett Center hosts numerous retreats, conferences and youth activities – a fitting tribute to a remarkable clergyman.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

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Keyser’s Bounty 

October 2007

When the appeal went out in 1889 for the raising of funds for a new and larger church for the Reisterstown parish, little did the Vestry expect that its prayers would be answered, in full, by a single member of the congregation. William Keyser, whose summer estate was in Reisterstown, offered to pay for the building and land as a memorial to his mother. Only a man of considerable means such as Mr. Keyser could underwrite a project of this scope. So where did he acquire the wherewithal?

William Keyser, who was 54 at the time of his proposal, was recognized in Baltimore as a well-to-do and influential businessman, as well as an active member of Episcopal affairs. Having worked as an iron and steel dealer, his career expanded very naturally into the growing copper industry. By 1870 he had become president of the already established Baltimore Copper Company, John Garrett and Johns Hopkins being the sole owners. Over time, the business was renamed the Baltimore Copper Smelting and Rolling Company and occupied considerable acreage in Baltimore’s Canton district.

The capacity of the copper works doubled in 1892 with the formation of the Baltimore Electric Refining Company whose function was to purify the copper by electrolysis. In total, the copper company consisted of the smelting works (over 27 furnaces), the blue vitriol works, the copper rolling mills, the electrolytic department, and the acid works.

Before the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, Mr. Keyser’s office was located at Calvert and German (Redwood) Streets. When he died suddenly that same year, his son relocated the firm to a building which still bears the family name on East Redwood Street.

Nineteenth century Baltimore had close ties with South America; this was due, in large part, to the importing of ore from that area. But by Keyser’s time, Montana and other western states were supplying the industry’s hungry appetite. In 1891 (the same date as the building of All Saints’), 32 million pounds of refined copper was produced. The product was officially known as “Baltimore Brand.”

William Keyser’s activities, as well as his beneficence, extended not only to All Saints’ Church, but to many other groups and organizations. His name is readily associated with Hannah More Academy, McDonogh School, the B&O Railroad, Western Maryland Railroad, Johns Hopkins University, the Reform League, the Enoch Pratt Library, the Maryland Institute, National Union Bank of Maryland, and more. He was a man both lucky and successful in what he did. And happily for Reisterstown Parish, he gave of his fortune for the growth of All Saints’ Church.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

(Information for this article was obtained, in part, from John W. McGrain’s book From Pig Iron to Cotton Duck, a Baltimore County Heritage Publication, 1985.)

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Historian in our Midst 

January 2014

Annie Middleton Leakin is not a name most Reisterstown parishioners would readily recognize, yet she numbers among those who have made their mark in Baltimore. She lies buried in our church cemetery amongst the Leakin, Sioussat, and Fenhagen families.

If the name Leakin does ring a bell today, it is because we are familiar with the city’s Leakin Park, whose benefactor (in the late 1800s) was Annie’s cousin, James Wilson Leakin.

Born in 1849, Annie was the daughter of the Rev. George Armistead Leakin whose namesake defended Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Reverend Leakin served for many years as rector oat Trinity Episcopal Church, Fells Point. He, too, is interred at All Saints’ Cemetery.

Going back one more generation, Annie’s grandfather was Sheppard Church Leakin who is distinguished for leading a company at Fort McHenry, September 1814. He later became high sheriff of Baltimore County and finally mayor of Baltimore.

Another family member of note, also buried at All Saints’, is her son, Dr. St. George Sioussat, who served in the 20th century as Chief of Manuscripts in the Library of Congress.

But what of Annie herself? Much of her time was devoted to history, and at the turn of the last century she became historian for The Maryland Historical Society – at a time when women were first being admitted to full membership in the organization. She authored at least two histories: Old Manors in the Colony of Maryland (1911) and Old Baltimore (1931).

Annie also helped organize the National Society of Colonial Dames. She held offices in the Daughters of the Barons of Runnymede, the Arundell Club, and the Civic League. A busy woman, indeed.

Why the Leakins and Sioussats are buried at All Saints’ Cemetery is not known. One may speculate, however, that there was a connection between our first rector, Dr. Arthur John Rich, and Annie Sioussat’s father, the Rev. George Leakin. You may find their graves just south of the cemetery ellipse on Bond Avenue.

– Neal Haynie, Parish Archivist

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