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Mr. Lewis Martin Motter

Originally Published in the Emmitsburg Chronicle April 29, 1910

Mr. Lewis Martin Motter, Emmitsburg's oldest male citizen, died at his home on Wednesday afternoon, April 27, at the very advanced age of ninety-five years, two months and twenty-one days.

On Dec. 15, 1907 Mr. Motter took to his bed where he remained until his death. He suffered very little during these two years his infirmity being due almost entirely to his age and the gradual giving away of his physical self. Up until the day of his death his mental faculties were practically unimpaired.

Mr. Motter was the son of Mr. Lewis Motter and was born February 6th, 1815, in the house in which he died. He succeeded to the business of Mr. Lewis Motter and from 1837 to 1885 conducted the tannery business purchased by his father from Mr. Christian Flautt in 1798. The deceased was successful in business and became a prominent citizen of the state, being elected to the Legislature in 1853.

On March 24, 1840 he married Miss Alice Rudisel, of Taneytown. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Motter four of whom survive him. Mrs. Motter died on February 14, 1899.

Shortly after he took up the tanning business he became identified with the Gettysburg National Bank as a director and remained such for about fifty-three years. In politics Mr. Motter was a Democrat. His first vote for a president was cast for W. H. Harrison, the Whig candidate who was elected in 1840. When he closed out the tanning business in 1885 he devoted his time to farming, managing his various properties and other business affairs. For years he was a director in the Emmitsburg Water Company. He was very successful in business and was one of Emmitsburg's wealthiest citizens. Up to the time of his death he was the oldest living alumnus of Mount St. Mary's College.

Mr. Motter was a life long member of the Reformed Church and up to within a few years ago was in regular attendance at religious service, and perhaps there was no man of his age in the whole denomination who was as regular a communicant. His interest in the church dates back to the days of his childhood. He served as a member of of its governing bodies and evinced much interest in its affairs.

As the last representative of the older generation of the Motter family, in their day leading citizens of this part of the state, it may be timely to mention the fact that Mr. Motter was the younger brother of Mr. Joshua Motter, who up to the time of his death in 1875 was the leading merchant in this district, and of Mr. Samuel Motter, the founder of the Chronicle, both gentlemen so closely identified with the interests of this community that to mention them is to call to mind almost every advance made in Emmitsburg and vicinity during their life.

Mr. Motter is survived by two sons, Rev. I. M. Motter, of Frederick, and Mr. L. E. Motter, of Kansas City, who for the last two years had been with his father at Emmitsburg; and by two daughters, Mrs. A. A. Hack and Mrs. G. B. Resser, both at home.

The funeral service will be held at the house on Saturday at 12 o'clock noon. The interment will be made in the Lutheran Cemetery.

Mr. Motter was such a familiar figure in Emmitsburg and so much associated with the entire district that it was only natural that any one who knew any thing about the locality at all, even though he had not visited it, knew about Mr. Motter. The old gentleman was a very interesting conversationalist and was gifted with an unusually clear memory which made his talks most interesting, especially when he dwelt on reminiscences. He was fond of speaking of the early days of Emmitsburg and was always referred to when there was any doubt about things that happened in the long ago. For this and other things that endeared him to this community he will be greatly missed.

If you know anything about Mr. Motter, and would like to see him remembered in the next History of Emmitsburg, please send us any stories or antidotes about him to us at: history@emmitsburg.net

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