The Lost Patrol: Westminster’s First Boy Scouts

RPPC of "First Boys Scouts of Westminster, Md.When I acquired this real photo postcard of six boys identified on the reverse as the “First Boy Scouts of Westminster, Md.,” I was captivated by the children’s sober, patriotic, rag-tag resolve. With their wooden drill rifles, home-made khakis, flag and drum, these six boys clearly represent a quasi-military organization. Something about their martial pose and improvised uniforms recalls Archibald Willard’s famous 1875 painting “The Spirit of ’76.”

But these were real boys with real names.  I haven’t been able to find out anything about the photographer, identified only by his last name, Whitehill; nor about the founding of the Boy Scouts in Westminster or Carroll County. I have learned, however, a bit about the origins of scouting that helped me better understand the image. And I was able to trace the boys’ lives and family histories to a certain extent.

Although the scouting movement had many precursors and tributaries, one way to date the origin of scouting is the 1908 publication of  Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship, a short book penned by Robert Baden Powell.

Powell saw how lack of preparedness had hampered self-defense of English settlements in South Africa during the Boer War, but he had also observed the surprisingly effective ways that boys jumped into the breach as messengers and look-outs.

As “Camp Fire Yarn No. 1,” his guide includes a foundational narrative for Scouting: “Mafeking Boy Scouts.” In this tale he recounts the vital role that boys played in the defense of a South African English settlement in 1899-1900. “Every boy ought to learn how to shoot and how to obey orders,” wrote Baden-Powell, “else he is no more good when war breaks out than an old woman. . .” (10).

After his experiences in the English military, Baden Powell worried that what was viewed as the feminizing influence of urban work had sapped men’s ability to defend themselves and their communities, abilities that would be urgently needed to fight for England’s empire. He advocated the notion that by following a few simple, martial rules, groups of boys, even without an adult leader, could self-organize into “patrols” that could teach themselves physical fitness, self-reliance, and key skills for outdoor survival and self-defense in times of war and emergency.

He also viewed scouting as a way to instill norms of good citizenship many believed were being eroded by anonymous urban living. As David McLeod articulates in his 1983 social history Building Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA, and Their Forerunners, 1870-1920, “Boy Scouting drew upon an anxiety to mold the rising generation into a cohesive, hard-working citizenry–patriotic, disciplined, and conventional in values” (130).

Baden-Powell’s ideas were taken up with enthusiasm in the United States after 1910 as concerns about German militarism grew, and that’s about the time I think this photograph was taken.

All six of these boys were born between 1899 and 1901, two were first cousins, and all but one lived on E. Main Street in Westminster. The boys’ names are written in pencil on the back of the card, and seem to be positioned as to be behind the image of the each boy. So following these placements, here is what I’ve learned about the boys, from left:

Robert Howell Bohn (1899-1922) was the son of Westminster butcher Samuel W. Bohn and and Carolyn M. Frizzell (1878-1964); fellow Scout Robert F. Dinst (see below) was his maternal cousin. Unusual for the day, Carrie divorced Samuel Bohn, married Maryland Trust employee Charles Hellen (1880-1956) and moved with her son to Baltimore after 1910. Robert Bohn died at the age of 23 on 28 March 1922, at the home of his uncle, Meade Ohler, in Westminster. Robert is buried in Westminster Cemetery, Westminster, Md.

The Bohns may have been associated with the German Baptist Church, possibly Beaver Dam Church of the Brethren in Frederick County. The Bohne family came to Frederick County well before the American Revolution; a great deal of genealogical research exists on the Bohne/Boone families in the United States.

James Chesley Bond “Jack” Worthington (1900-1983) was the son of prominent, Yale-educated Maryland attorney Richard Hardesty Worthington (1872-1927) and Eloise “Ella” Bond. In 1910, the Worthingtons lived with Ella’s parents, prosperous local attorney James A. C. Bond and Selena W. Bond. Jack seems to have been a bit of a n’er do well and an adventurer; he was apprehended as a stow-away on a ship from Southhampton, England to New York in 1923; he gave his occupation as “reporter,” but no residence. He died in Pinellas County, Florida; I have not been able to learn his place of burial.

The Worthington lineage goes back to Annapolis in the late 1660s with a Captain John Worthington; part of their history is recorded in The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties by Joshua Dorsey Warfield.

Lawrence Bruce Fink (1900-1984) was the son of successful Catholic attorney Charles E. Fink and Eliza (Key) Boyle. Lawrence attended Western Maryland College, where he participated in the Student Army Training Corps (SATC). He became the postmaster of Littletown, Adams Co., Pa. and manager of the Shriver Canning Company. He and his wife Mildred had three children by 1940: Agnes, Elizabeth, and Lawrence Jr. Lawrence Sr. is buried in St. Johns Cemetery, Westminster, Md.

Charles E. Fink, who graduated from  St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, was a founder and director of the Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland, and served as State’s Attorney for Carroll County 1891-1895.

Harvey Roby Shipley (1901-1983) was the son of farmers Joshua Wilbur Shipley and Ella M. Parrish, and descended from a long line of Woolerys district farmers. The Shipleys were early members of Bethesda Methodist Church in Sykesville, founded in 1810. After working on the family farm, Harvey went into produce trucking and founded the Harvey R. Shipley & Sons Trucking Company of Westminster. He is buried in Deer Park Cemetery, Smallwood, Carroll Co., Md.

John W. Shriver (1901-1982) was likely the son of lithography salesman William J. Shriver and Julia Lynch. In 1910, John lived on E. Main Street with his parents and maternal grandparents, John T. and Mary E. Lynch. John Lynch was a prosperous horse dealer and farmer. John Shriver may have descended from Carroll County farmer Andrew Keiser Shriver (1802-1884), grandson of Maryland Militia member Lt. Col. David Shriver (1735-1826). John W. Shriver is buried in New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore, Md.

Robert Franklin Dinst (1900-1987) was the son of Pennsylvania-born grocer Herman M. Dinst (1868-1939) and Anna Frizzell (1870-1942). Robert Franklin’s mother and Robert Bohn’s mother, Carrie Frizzell, were sisters; Robert’s grandfather, Francis A., or “Franklin” Dinst (1832-1909), as he called himself, immigrated from Germany in the 1830s with his parents Anthony and Mary, and rose to “master of repairs” for a railroad in Oxford, Adams Co., Pa. Originally of Lutheran heritage, Franklin and Herman Dinst appear to have joined the Methodist Church in York, Pa. The Frizzells were prosperous farmers in Union Mills.

Robert Dinst joined the US Navy in 1918 but apparently never saw combat. He is buried in Meadow Branch Cemetery, Westminster, Md.

Did the patrol thrive and become a troop? Did they stay friends, or did they drift apart? There is so much I would like to know. But for now all I can say is this:  In this moment Baden Powell’s little book brought six boys from very different backgrounds–farmers, attorneys, and small merchants; Catholic, Methodist and Brethren–together as young citizens pledged to a common code.

The Misses Jones Make an Announcement

RPPC of Jones Sisters' Studio Opening Announcement

Students of Carroll County, Maryland local history know Ida, Fannie and Elsie Jones as “the Jones sisters,” or “the Misses Jones,” and remember them as quiet but prolific engines of local culture.

The name of the ladies’ Sykesville studio, which they opened in 1952, has been recalled in various sources as “Sunny Home,” “Sunnyholme,” and “Sunny Holmse.” A reproduction of a Jones sisters RPPC of their Sykesville home, reprinted in Bill Hall’s 2001 pictorial volume Sykesville, shows the sisters wrote it as “Sunny Holme.”

This recently-acquired real photo postcard announcing the August 3rd opening of their “photographic studio and rental library” may depict an earlier incarnation of their enterprise, but I can’t be sure without more research.

The hand-written card was mailed to “Mrs. Charles Williams, Sykesville, Md.” with a one-cent stamp and postmarked August 2nd, but the year is unreadable;  since zip codes were not introduced by the US Postal Service until 1963, it’s possible the card could be from the 1950s.

With its simple composition of an old-fashioned arm chair in a book-lined corner ornamented with family mementos, the photograph they created for this postcard announcement reflects a sense that art and literature were part of an ordinary home’s comforts, not something just for special trips to the big city.

The sisters worked together for decades on photographic expeditions throughout the state, producing hand-colored photographs of buildings, landscapes and studio still-life compositions, postcards and note cards, as well as hand-made table linens and other needle crafts.

According to Mary Ann Ashcraft’s 2007 article in the Carroll County Times, their photographs, on sale at DeVries Hering Hardware Store in Sykesville, were frequently purchased as wedding gifts.

Elsie Sluby Jones (1885-1975), Ashcraft relates, bought a Voightlander camera in the 1930s and took the photos. Ida Webb Jones (1882-1967), who graduated from the storied Maryland Institute in 1916, where she won the class prize in the Design Department, did the printing and hand-coloring. Frances Isabelle Jones (1881-1973) was in charge of the housekeeping and driving to the places throughout Maryland that interested them.

In 1944, the sisters produced a small printed, comb-bound book they called “Maryland History through the Camera’s Eye.” It was meant to be the first of two volumes, but according to Ashcraft, war-time difficulties procuring quality paper quashed plans for the second volume. Copies of the book appear for sale from time to time on the web; it’s unclear how many were printed in total. I recently acquired a copy in good condition for $30.00.

“Maryland History” contains black-and-white prints of homes and other historic sites from all over the state, including Hager’s Mill, in Washington County, Perry Hall in Talbot County, Walnut Grove in Queen Anne’s County, and Carroll County Court House in Westminster, just to name a few of the sites they visited.

Based on my own brief research into the Jones family history, the sisters’ grandfather, Thomas Jones (1810-1899) was a carriage-builder in Rock Hall, Kent County, Maryland. He brought his family to Howard County between 1860 and 1870, where the census records his occupation as farmer, and his worth in land and personal property as $12,000.

If the information in Lawrence Buckley Thomas‘ 1896 work The Thomas Book is correct, Thomas Jones’ parents may have been David Jones (b. abt. 1780) and Maria Thomas (b. 25 June 1788, Cecil Co., Md.) On the Webb side, the sisters were descended from Maine-born merchant David Burbank and Sophia Andrews Burbank.

All three sisters are buried in Springfield Presbyterian Cemetery, Sykesville, along with their parents, Nicholas Sluby Jones (1851-1906) and Julia (Webb) Jones (1856-1932).

Update:  In late November 2013, Dr. Mark Fraser accepted this postcard as a donation to the Sykesville Gate House Museum, which will become the card’s new and permanent home.

More about the Jones sisters:

Bill Hall’s Sykesville by Arcadia Publishing includes a chapter on the sisters, including reproductions of family photographs and images of the sisters’ works.

The Sykesville Gate House Museum of History holds an important collection of Jones sisters work. The Museum has posted on line a brief article about the sisters and six of their images.

The the Pratt Library also owns a small but significant collection of Jones sisters work.

Hannah and Her Sister: Gem Tintype of Christiana Schaeffer Warehime and Hannah Schaffer Leister

Gem tintype of Hannah Schaeffer Leister and Christiana Schaffer Warhime ca. 1863This gem-size tintype of Hannah Shaeffer Leister  (1803-1867) and Christiana Schaeffer Warehime (1798-1863) of Carroll County, Maryland had to have been taken in 1863, when the Wing gem tintype camera was invented, because Christiana died in 1863.

Gem tintypes were the most inexpensive way to get many copies of a likeness at once. The camera had 16 lenses, which exposed 16 images, each the size of a postage stamp, onto an iron plate. These were mounted between two pieces of paper or cardboard. The scoring at the top of the card mount may indicate where the mounted images were divided.

Photographers often used tinting to add warmth and life to the dark images, such as has been applied to the cheeks of the sisters here.

Westminster and environs were populous enough to support at least one photography studio. During this period, according to Carroll County photo historian Bob Porterfield, Henry B. Grammer  kept a studio at “the Point,” where Pennsylvania meets West Main Street (Photographers & Photographs of Carroll County 1840-1940, Hampstead, Md., 2004)

Judging from the number of family trees on that include Hannah and Christiana Schaeffer, there seems to be wide interest from descendants. But many of them lead back to the same source, a mysterious 1999 file called PAUL.FTW.

One important source may be a 2000 family history called Descendants of Johann Diel Bohne by Mary Frances Conner Williams, Jennie Gunderson Board, accessible only in a handful of libraries across the country and probably at the Historical Society of Carroll County.

From what I’ve been able to glimpse of this book on the web, Hannah and Christiana were the children of John Jacob Schaeffer (1755-1828) and Anna Maria Pouder. Both Hannah and Christiana married Westminster-area farmers: Hannah to David Leister (1790-1868), and Christiana (also known as Anna or Christina) to George Warehime (1790-1880).

The best evidence I’ve located are the many carefully documented graves in Carroll County cemeteries. John and Anna Maria Schaeffer, along with Hannah Schaeffer Leister and many others, are buried in Kriders Lutheran Church Cemetery near Westminster, Maryland.

Christiana Schaeffer Warehime and many other Warhimes are buried in Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery, Bachman Valley, Carroll County, Maryland.

Hannah and Christiana dressed alike and have arranged their hair alike as well. Only slight differences in the style of buttons and the patterns of their white linen collars distinguish their costumes. But what draws the viewer is the way the sisters lean into one another, a posture that expresses the affection that led them to have their portrait taken not with their husbands or children, but together, as sisters.

“With humor and distinction”: Judge John Hunt Hendrickson

Cabinet card photograph of John Hunt Hendrickson by Streck S. Wilson, Westminster, Md.Young John Hunt Hendrickson (1887-1951) had this portrait taken while at school at Western Maryland College, in Westminster, Carroll Co. Md.

The operator at Sereck Shalecross Wilson’s (1870-1943) Westminster studio placed the solemn youth against a soft background and lit him from the right to throw his long, straight nose, clear pale skin and wide, expressive mouth into relief.

The reverse of the cream card mount with blind embossed lion advertising mark bears an inscription and the year 1907, making Hendrickson about 20 at the time of this photograph.

The understated background and restrained, oversized card mount reflect the period’s move away from the visual excesses of the 1880s and 1890s. Wilson  took many photographs for Western Maryland College year books; examples can be found in the digital archives of Western Maryland College. The Carroll County Times also has a few of his portraits on its website.

Hendrickson earned a BA and was class valedictorian, speaking on “Reason in Leadership.”

After graduation, his father, John David Hendreickson, prosperous owner of The Model, a dry goods store in Frederick, sent him to Harvard Law School.

At Harvard, he told a Portland, Oregon reporter in 1947, not knowing where he would end up locating, he took very little law, and soaked up all the operas,  plays, lectures and concerts that he could.

With a poor showing at law school, Hendrickson decided to go  west. He went to Portland, Oregon, where his first job was with the firm Veazie & Veazie, run by Oregon natives Arthur Lyle Veazie (1868-1941) and J. Clarence Veazie, whose forebears, the Lyles, Scotts and Veazies, and settled in Oregon in the 1840s, ’50s and ’60s.

Hendrickson had deep roots in Frederick County, Maryland. His great-grandfather, weaver and farmer John Hendrickson (1801-1982), was born in the Johnsville district of that county.

One strong thread of the family’s story is the move from country to town, from farm labor to store owner to educated professional.

Judge Hendrickson’s father was brought up to hard farm work, but left that life to become a clerk in a store at the age of 16.

Then, after having bought the store and made it one of the most successful in Frederick, J. D. Hendrickson sent two of his three  sons to college and took the third, Russell Ames Hendrickson (1891-1968), into his business.

J. D. Hendrickson’s  third son, Caroll Henshaw Hendrickson (1892-1971), attended Cornell University and ultimately joined his brother Russell in the family firm.

In Portland, John Hunt Hendrickson found his calling as a legal educator and a judge. He began teaching commercial law  to bankers in 1913, then became an instructor and eventually dean of Northwestern College of Law until 1943. He was elected a district court judge in 1926 and held that position with the high respect of his peers until, wheelchair-bound from multiple schlerosis, he retired from the bench in 1947.

The circa 1820 brick and stone home where he grew up, at 119 West Second Street, in Frederick, still stands, as does the building where his father and then his brothers operated what became Hendrickson’s Department Store until the 1970s.

Judge Hendrickson died on 28 June 1951. He is most likely entombed with his wife, Winifred Birrell Hendrickson, at Riverview Abbey Mausoleum and Crematory, Portland, Oregon.

The home where they brought up their two sons, Ames Birrell Hendrickson and John H. Hendrickson Jr., stands very much the same at 2821 South West Upper Drive.

The Frederick County Historical Society has a number of early Hendrickson family photos on display on its website.


Bypath Biographies: J. Hunt Hendrickson, by Elizabeth Salway Ryan, Portland Oregonian, 22 June 1947

History of Frederick County, Maryland, Volume One, by Thomas John Chew Williams and Folger McKinsey, originally published in Frederick, Maryland, 1910

Commencements 1901-1920, McDaniel College Digital Archives