Wendel Bollman (1814-1884)

Harpers-Ferry-Bollman-Bridge

General James C. Clarke named one of his sons “Wendell Bollman Clarke”.  Since I could find no family correlation to the name I began to research the name in hopes of finding a connection.  James C. Clarke was one of the most notable railway men in the nation.  James C. Clarke had an illustrious railroad career rising to the ranks of President of the Illinois Central Railroad and Mobile and Ohio Roads. His other accomplishments are too vast to list can can also be viewed on my blog. So the first logical place to begin searching for Wendel Bollman  was in railroad history.  My hunch proved correct.

I was delighted to find so much documentation on him.  Here is what I found out about Wendell Clarke’s  name sake.  The original Wendel Bollman (1814-1884) was born January 21, 1814 in Baltimore, MD.  Wendel’s father died when he was 11 years. It is ironic that both Wendel and James lost their fathers at an early age andWest Virginia B. & O. Bridge forced to find work to support themselves and their families. Both would find themselves working for the B & O Railroad. Wendel was only 14 years of age when he started working as a carpenter laying wooden railroad tracks. Wendel worked various positions rising eventually to Master of the Road – he was a self-taught builder and engineer. Bridge at Savage MillThe first Bollman Truss was built in the 1850′s over the Little Patuxent in  Savage, Maryland. It was the first bridge built entirely of iron in America. The nearby elementary school “Bollman Bridge Elementary” was named for him.  Bollman rebuilt the Harper’s Ferry Bridge in West Virginia in 1851.  This would become one of his most famous bridges and rebuilt many time using his system throughout the civil war due to enemy fire. Unfortunately the bridge was washed away in a flood in the 1930′s.

In 1852 Bollman was awarded a patent for his iron suspension truss design called the Bollman Truss.” He transformed bridge building from an art to a science. Bollman is  heralded as the first successful iron bridge builder in America.

Circa 1855 Wendel Bollman left the B & O Railroad and together with James Clarke and J. H. Tegmeyer would form the W. Bollman Company in Baltimore, MD located in Canton on Clinton Street & Second Avenue. The company was one of the first to design, fabricate and erect bridges. Baltimore County Circuit Court records (Libor GHC 25 Folio 55) reveals that J.H. Tegmeyer on August 30, 1859 leased the Canton Company of Baltimore with a 99 year lease renewable forever for manufacturing iron bridges or similar manufactured items for at least two years. It is a natural assumption that this is where they opened their business.  The company faced trouble and ceased to exist circa 1862. On January 8, 1863 Tegmeyer and Clarke executed a deed (Libor GES 216 Libor 539) agreeing to sell the factory to Bollman.  Baltimore was  facing trouble with wartime conditions in the city which contributed the company’s demise.

Advertisment 1857

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Circa 1865 Bollman would form a new company  – Patapsco Bridge and Iron Works.  The advertisment below touted the fact that they where the only establishment in Baltimore to manufacture its own bridges.   In addition to building bridges Bollman is also credited as being one of the architects for City Hall in Baltimore.   In 1873 he supplied the iron castings for the splendid dome on City Hall. he worked at the company until his death in 1884 at which time the company was dissolved.

Wendell Bollman Clarke  born September 27, 1859 in Baltimore, MD. He was affectionately called Wennie.  An 1886  Frederick newspaper article stated “Wendell has a rather delicate constitution”.  The article further states, “He is a good, faithful business man and a general favorite especially with children.  He mends their toys, teaches them to ride the bicycle, and entertains them with his inexhaustible fund of stories.  Almost every evening he can be seen on the seated on the front steps of his father’s handsome residence with a crown of youngsters around him.  There is not a child among them that does not love him to distraction.  Such a son is always the joy of the household”.

Wendell Bollman Clarke died on March 21, 1920 and is buried with his family at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, MD.

Resources:

"Gen. Clarke and His Boys." The News [Frederick, MD.] 10 July 1886: 4. Newspaperarchive. Web. 16
     Sept. 2009. <http://newspaperarchive.com>.
Smith, William Prescott. The Book of the Great Railway Celebrations of 1857, Embracing a Full 
     Account of the Opening of the Ohio & Mississippi, And the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroads, And 
     the Northenwestern Virginia Branch of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. New York, New York: Appleton
& Co., 1858. N. pag. Google. Web. 16 Sept. 2009. <http://books.google.com/
books?id=KsdHAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA120&dq=William+Prescott+Scott+-+the+book+of+the+great+railway#v=onepage&q=
     &f=false>.
Howard, George Washington. The monumental city, its past history and present resources. 1-2 vols.
     N.p.: J.D. Ehlers & Co., 1873. N. pag. Google. Web. 16 Sept. 2009. <http://books.google.com/
     books?id=k9ERAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Howard,+George+Washington+(1873),+%22The+Monumental+City
,+Its+Past+History+and+Present+Resources&source=gbs_book_other_versions_r&cad=9#v=onepage&q=&f=false>
Griggs, Frank, Jr. "A self-Taught Engineer." Structuremag. NCSEA, Feb. 2006. Web. 16 Sept. 2009.
     http://www.structuremag.org/Archives/2006-2/D-GA-Bollman-Feb-06.pdf.
Wikipedia contributors. "Wendel Bollman." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. N.p., 11 Aug. 2009. Web.
16 Sept. 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendel_Bollman>.

Photo's from Library of Congress Website - Historic Engineering  Record, Library of Congress Compiled after 1968 [online image] http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hhh.wv0291
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Bollman Bridge, Spanning Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV

Part III – Grandma was Penniless

This is my third and final post in the series, “Grandma was Penniless…”

1859

Honorable Richard J. Bowie

You know that I would have gotten my deed in two or three weeks when you came to the office begged of me to let let you get me a chancery deed.  You told me it should cost me nothing.  You said if I wished to sell I would find very few that would buy it at a Sheriff sale and I told you I would never sell.  I wanted it for my home.  You then said I will make the Trustees answerable for all the property Francis Simpson put into his hands I then said you may file a bill.  You said I will get your deed the first court.  Court after court passes and I never got a deed.  Had I thought for one moment I had all the property safe under the sheriff sale except a note of five hundred dollars that Forest had to collect the the heirs of George Wolfe.  You told me not to employ another counsel that you would attend to my business properly.  I stated my case to Sandy Magruder from Annapolis he said that I take Bowie to be an honest young man and he is your counsel.  I don’t see any need for you employing another.  For fourteen years you made me believe that Doctor Gustavus Warfield and the Trustee robed me of my land.  I called on you twice a year to know if there was any way by which I could get my property.  You said Warfield and the Trustee has so fixed the business that nothing can be done in the case.  I then asked could I not get some of the money I had paid them on the land.  You said no they have so fixed the business that I could get nothing.  You showed great sorrow for me.  You thought they were the worst of robbers.  I asked if Mrs. Ann Williams could not get her money as Francis Simpson was owing her twelve or thirteen thousand dollars at the time he appointed Trustee.  Knowing that if she got hers she would pay me what she owed me.  You only gave her two hundred dollars and I got two hundred dollars from you looking into my business since the year 1852. I knew that you and you alone where my robber.  I wanted you and Price and Hobbs’ Counsel to tell them that they had no interest or right to my land and to allow me to moderate rent for it.  That you would not do. If you do not pay me interest in the two hundred dollars that you had the use of for twenty three or twenty four years and give me entire satisfaction with regard to my business, I will publish your conduct.  Do not think that your position as it regads to Office has any influence with me for I esteem men according to their merit.  If you would cultivate justice and with an honest heart say I will give Mrs. Gardiner her land that I took from her and allow her moderate rent and pay her the interest in the year 1859 after having had the use of it for 23 or 24 years.  With this conclusion you would feel more happiness that you now feel.  You must feel unhappy when you think how you persuaded me to let you get me a chancery deed.  I am your friend and I wish you to believe in God for he sees and judges our actions,  You will please answer this and let me know what you will do in the business.  I will expect to hear from you soon.  Until then I remain.

Yours Respectfully,

Henrietta Gardiner

New London, Frederick County, Maryland

Well Hello Governor…

leonard-calvert

 

 mdflag You never know what you will find when you start tracing your origin.  Through research I discovered that I am related to Thomas Greene.  

 Thomas Greene was the 2nd Provincial Governor of the colony of Maryland from 1647 to 1648 or 1649. He was appointed by the royally chartered Proprietor of Maryland, Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, to replace Leonard Calvert, who had been the first Governor of the Province. He was succeeded by William Stone.

 Maryland began as a proprietary colony of the Catholic Calvert family, the Lords Baltimore under a royal charter, and its first eight governors were appointed by them. When the Catholic King of England, James II, was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution, the Calverts lost their charter and Maryland became a royal colony. It was governed briefly by local Protestants before the arrival of the first of 12 governors appointed directly by the English crown. The royal charter was restored to the Calverts in 1715 and Governors were again appointed by the Calverts through the American Revolution.

Thomas Greene came to America in the mid 1600′s from England with Leonard Calvert.  He was born at Bobbington, Kent, England in 1610 he first married Ann Cox in 1634 and they built their home,
known as “St Anne’s” on Green’s Freehold. Their home was located near St. Mary’s City. While by Leonard Calvert’s death bed Calvert named Greene as the next Governor upon his demise.  Margaret Brent witnessed this as well as acting as the executrix of Calvert’s will.  Brent is perhaps best know for her request to vote.  She on January 21, 1648, she went before the all-male Assembly and asked for two votes — one for herself as a landowner and one as Lord Baltimore’s attorney. Ironically Governor Greene would be the one to decline her request to vote. The statement made by Margaret Brent when she appeared before the Assembly was not, “Women should vote,” but “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”

margaretbrentplaque

Greene originally came from England on the Ark and the Dove with the first adventurers in the year 1634.  It has also been said that Thomas Green and Ann Cox (his first wife) was the first Christian marrigage on Maryland soil. Greene was one of the most prominent and influential men in public affairs until
his death in 1651.

Maryland’s “first families” are traditionally the descendants of Sir George Calvert (Lord Baltimore) and of those passengers who came on the Ark and the Dove in 1634.

certain facts of this article are from an Article from Wikipedia. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.