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William's History of Frederick County

James Baset Elder

JAMES BASIT ELDER, proprietor of Spangler Hotel, Emmitsburg, Frederick County, Md., was born at the old homestead of the Elder family, January 14, 1856, a son of James A. and a grandson of Joachim and he was a son of Aloysius Elder. (See Elder family.)

James B. Elder attended the public and parochial schools of Emmitsburg and completed his education in Niagara University, Suspension Bridge, N. Y., leaving school in 1878. Returning to Emmitsburg, Mr. Elder began business as clerk in a drug store, but afterwards learned carpentry and was employed in that business for eleven years. In 1893, he was appointed postmaster in Emmitsburg, receiving his commission under President Cleveland. At the expiration of his term of four years, Mr. Elder purchased a farm near Emmitsburg, and spent three years in its cultivation and improvement. In 1901, he bought his present home, the Spangler Hotel, in Emmitsburg, Mid. Mr. Elder is a stanch Democrat, actively interested in political affairs, and has served for several years as register and judge of elections in Emmitsburg.

James B. Elder was married in Emmitsburg, May 1, 1880, to Sarah B. (Hess) Smith, widow of Edward Chester Smith. Their children are: 1, Clara, born January 15, 1880, died January 28, 1890; 2, James Carroll, born January 31, 1883, died September 11, 1908, married Julia Scalding, February 17, 1905; 3, John Dubois, horn September 19, 1884, married Genevieve Spalding, December 25, 1906; 4, Joseph Edward, born October 6, 1885, at home; 5, Mary Catherine, born October 1, 1887, died in 1893; 6, Anna Rose, horn April 20, 1889, died in infancy; 7, Anna Frances, born November 2, 1890, at home; 8, Clara Elizabeth, born March 17, 1892, died in 1896; 9, Francis Xavier, born June 30, 1893; 10, Mary Bernardine, born October 15, 1894; 11, Hazel Virginia, born February 26, 1896; 12 and 13, Pauline Eleanor and Martha Alice, twins, born May 17, 1898, Martha died in infancy. Mrs. Elder had three children by her first marriage: 1, Margaret Olynscia (Mrs. Constantine Diamond), of Baltimore, Md.; 2, Robert Guy, of Allentown, Pa.; 3, Edward Claud, of Washington, D. C. Mr. James B. Elder and family are members of the Roman Catholic Church.

THE ELDER FAMILY - William Elder, a Catholic, who emigrated from St. Mary’s County, Md., to Frederick County, was the first white man who settled in the Emmitsburg district, and he gave the name of "St. Mary’s Mount" to a portion of Carrick’s Knob. He located at the foot of Blue Ridge in 1734, then the abode of numerous Indians and the haunt of wild beasts. He called his place "Pleasant Level." Here he built a house, reserving one room for religious services which he called a chapel. This room was equal in size to all the rest of his house. He was there joined by his family and a few friends from St. Mary’s County. Mr. Elder was a devout Catholic and his chapel was the home for all weary travelers, and a delightful resort for all professing his faith. Hospitality was religiously practiced by this good family and their descendants. The little congregation was taken care of by priests from St. Mary’s, and later from Conewago and Frederick, while sometimes Father Mathew Ryan, from Path Valley, Pa., visited them. In 1807 St. Mary’s Church was built. The old mansion stood until about 1852.

William Elder was born in Lancashire, England*note, in 1707, and emigrated to St. Mary’s County, Md., not earlier than 1728 and not later than 1732. In 1739 death invaded the home of this pioneer, taking from him the in other of his five children. Her maiden name was Ann Wheeler, and she was married to Mr. Elder in England. She bore him four sons and one daughter. The first son, William, married a Miss Wickham. The second, Guy, was twice married, and by his second wife was the father of thirteen children: Joseph, Judith, James, Polly, Benjamin, Guy, Priscilla, Edward, Thomas and George, of whom the first four went to Kentucky. Charles, the third son of the immigrant, married Julia Ward, of Charles County, Md. The fourth child, Mary, married Richard Lilly, of Virginia, and through her children the family became connected with the MeSherrys of Virginia. The fifth child, Richard, married Phoebe Polovier. In 1794, William Elder was married to Jacoba Clementina Livers, daughter of Arnold Livers.

Arnold Livers was an Englishman by birth and had been an active and noted partisan of James II. Upon the collapse of that monarch’s cause, Mr. Livers had been obliged to flee from his native land and became the proprietor of a large estate in Maryland, called "Arnold’s Delight," on Owing’s Creek. It is said of Arnold Livers, in explanation of the singular name given by him to his daughter, that he had registered a vow that his first child, whether a boy or a girl, should, be called James. The good priest to whom the child was presented for baptism found no difficulty in complying with the father’s wishes and so the babe was christened Jacoba Clementina. Livers in his flight from England carried this child with him.

William Elder’s second wife bore him four sons and two daughters: Elizabeth, Arnold, Thomas, Ignatius, Anna and Aloysius. It was from the second named that the title for the farm upon which now stands the structure known as Mount St. Mary’s College was derived. In the old Catholic Cemetery, about a half mile below St. Mary’s College, and near the town of Emmitsburg three stones mark the graves of William, Ann Wheeler and Jacoba Clementina Elder. The inscriptions, which are still distinct, record their names and dates of births and deaths: William Elder, born 1707, died April 22, 1775; Ann Wheeler Elder, born 1709, died August 11, 1739; Jacoba Clementina Elder, born 1717, died September 19, 1807.

Thomas Elder, the third child of William Elder by his second wife, was born January 4, 1748, and was married in 1771 to Elizabeth Spalding, a sister of Basil Spalding, of Charles County. Shortly after that event he removed to and occupied a farm in Harbaugh’s Valley, where he lived for twenty-eight years, and where his family of eleven children were born. The names of these children were: Anne or Nancy, was born July 1, 1772, and died unmarried in 1844; Basil Spalding, who was born October 22, 1773 and died October 13, 1869, in Baltimore City, was married November 18, 1801, to Elizabeth Snowden, who died January 29, 1860; Catharine, who was born March 7, 1776, was the second wife of Joseph Gardiner, of Nelson County, Ky., three of whose daughters by his first marriage became Sisters of Charity of the Nazareth Community, and of these the late Mother Francis Gardiner was for many years Superior of the sisterhood; William Pius, was born May 4, 1778, and died in Baltimore, August 22, 1799; Clementina, who was born June 16, 1780, and died July 21, 1782 was married to Richard Clarke; Ignatius, was born July, 21 1782, and married Monica Green; Theresa was born March 1, 1785, and died unmarried, December 19, 1816; Thomas Richard, was born June 14, 1289, and died July 11 1830 was married to Caroline Cleutents; Chritiana was born October 30, 1791, became the wife of John B. Wright; Mary Elizbeth born May 15, 1794, married John Tarboc; and Maria M., who was born April 11, 1796, was the wife of John Howard. In 1799, Thomas Elder broke up his establishment in Harbaugh’s Valley and removed to Kentucky, accompanied by all his children, except Basil Spalding.

Basil Spalding, the second child of Thomas and Elizabeth (Spalding) Elder, was married to Elizabeth Snowden. To them were born thirteen children, three of whom died in infancy. Of the other ten, Eleanora became a Sister of Charity. Another daughter, Mrs. Jenkins, died in Havana in 1846, and another, Mrs. Baldwin, in Baltimore in 1812. Of the sons, Frances W. settled in Baltimore; Basil T., in St. Louis, Mo.; James C., in Baton Rouge, La.; Joseph E., in Denver, Col.; Thomas S., of New Orleans, La.; William Henry, became Bishop of Cincinnati, 0.; and Charles D., of New Orleans.

James Elder, the first Catholic of his name to emigrate to Kentucky, was born in Emmitsburg district, Frederick County, in 1760, and was the son of Guy Elder and grandson of William Elder, the American progenitor. He married Ann Richards and immediately went to Kentucky, where he settled on Hordin’s Creek. His brother William, joined him a few months later. James Elder died August 15, 1845, and Ann, his wife, January 8, 1857.

Note: We received the following correction to the history of the Elder family the following form a Elder research: William Elder (the one whose land is the site of Mt. Saint Mary's) was born in Maryland in 1707.  His father William Elder was born in England.  This William Elder's wife, was Elizabeth Finch, daughter of Guy Finch.

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