Friday, June 11, 2010

The Hostory Of Pocomoke By Murry James (14)

Formerly New 2 own. 93 Paradee, Lycurgus Stevenson, Wilmer Mills, Rufns Ste- venson, John Foley, the Messrs. Hayman, Isaac Dennis, John G. Angelo, Alexander Harris and William Banks. As the idea of improvement is one object in this history, I desire to call attention to one name, and that is George W. Landing - . He was raised but a few miles from this place on a farm.

At a suitable age he was apprenticed to a man in Berlin, Worcester County, to learn the blacksmith business. After serving his apprenticeship he came to New Town and established himself in business. It was not long before he invented a new plow, this plow was an iron mouldboard and point all made in one piece, when the point wore out he would weld to it another ; previous to this the plows had wooden mould boards with an iron point fastened to them. In the invention of this plow, Mr. Landing attained great celebrity as a blacksmith. He worked hard and had a constitution to stand it ; made money and took care of it.

He, however, became an aspirant for political fame, retired from the blacksmith shop, and was so successful in his aspirations, that he could be elected to the legislature over almost any candi- date that might oppose him. In his political career he went by the name of the Old Blacksmith. He has, however, retired in a great measure from politics and business life, having possessed himself of considerable property, and is nearing the sixty-fifth year of his age. The coopering business, in the earlier

history of New 94 History of Pocomoke City,

Town, was carried on very extensively, it was, however, confined exclusively to making tubs and buckets ; there were six pieces, flitting in each other, from the cooler to the wash tub, which was called a nest of ware. Men became so expert in its manufacture, that they have made as high as eight nests a day.

The nest of ware, when bound with iron hoops, would sell for one dollar and twenty-five cents ; when bound with wooden hoops, for fifty cents. The manufacture of this ware, as late as 1845 became so extensive, that the ware received the appella- tion of New Town currency. Since 1845, the business has dwindled so, that to-day, it is becoming obsolete, there being only two or three per- sons in the place who make a few buckets and do some repairing. About 1 Si 5, Rev. James Tilghman and General Ebenezer Hearn commenced the tanning business, in New Town. After Mr. Tilghman died, which event occurred in 18 16, General Hearn carried the business on in his own name, until Gibson Cannon, a relative of his, who had served an apprenticeship with him, became of age, when he took him in as a partner.

Mr. Cannon did not, however, con- tinue in the business but a few years before he withdrew on account of feeble health. When another apprentice of General Hearn's, John S. Mills became of age, he then w'as taken as a partner by General Hearn. This firm continued until Mr. Mills died, which event took place about the year 1844. General Hearn still continued the business, but now, in his own name again, until 1851 or 2,

Formerly New Town. 95

when he sold out to John W. Ouinn. Mr. Ouinn con- ducted the business until 1854 or 55, when he closed out. In 1861, Levin Atkinson and George Hargis estab- lished themselves in the business, which firm continued but a few years, when Mr. Hargis sold out to Mr. Atkinson- Mr. Atkinson conducted the business until a short time before he died, which event transpired in October, 1877. Since that time the tanning and currying trade, as a sepa- rate branch of manufacturing has ceased to be carried on in Pocomoke City. All who have carried on the tanning and currying business in New Town, without an excep- tion, have passed away.

A tribute to the practical mechanics, engaged in the tanning and currying trade, in New Town, is in place just here. General Ebenezer Hearn was born in Sussex County, Delaware, March the 7th, 1792. Mr. Hearn served an apprenticeship in Delaware. After he was of age, he went to Modest Town, Accomac County, Va., and worked journey work for Mr. Lippincott of that place. He did not however, continue long in Modest Town before he came to New Town and engaged, as above stated, in the business with Rev. James Tilghman. Some years after this he married the oldest daughter of Dr. Steven- son. He soon began to be prosperous in his business- In the course of time he purchased a tract of land called Cowley, but more familiary known as Old Winter Quar- ter.

This tract of land he purchased of Mr. John Stevens, a regular descendant of Col. William Stevens, of colonial fame. As Old Winter Quarter has been a place of 96 History of Pocomoke City, renown, the reader may be anxious to know something more about it. It adjoins Pocomoke City; in fact, the dwelling and principal part of the farm is within the corporation of the town.

When General Hearn pur- chased it, it was a perfect wilderness; was interspersed with branches, sand hills, mud and swamp, where the yew pawns and prickly pears grew, and where it is said, bears were numerous, and old Blue Beard lived. These were terrible scarecrows to the boys when they would go into Winter Quarter yew pawning. Many a farce has been played upon strangers in getting them to dig in the sand hills of Winter Quarter for Blue Beard's money* which, it has been said, that he buried there.

Here Mr. Hearn built his house, which yet remains a fine one. Probably, about this time, he was chosen captain of militia. He now was called Captain Hearn; subsequently he was placed upon the Governor's Staff, as one ot his aids, with the title of Colonel, he now was called by that title, and later again he received the title of General, since which time, he was called General Hearn to the day of his death. General Hearn was a man of pleasure, he was fond of iox hunting and a game of chess; he also became a great politician, of the Whig party, and has been elected to the legislature of Maryland often er, probably, than any other man in Worcester County, in his day. He was kind and genial, calm and even in his disposition, and never in a hurry, and was very popular.

He was independent in his circumstances, and when he died he left a handsome

Formerly New Town. 97

estate to his children. He died January 13th, 1854, in the 62nd year of his age, honored and respected by all who knew him, and was buried in the family burying ground, in Winter Quarter. Gibson Cannon was born in Sussex County, in the State of Delaware. During his partnership with General Hearn, he married Miss Elizabeth Sturgis, in 1832. His health, as before stated, was so feeble as to compel a change; consequently he went to merchandising at Cot- tingham's Ferry ; here he continued for three or four years, when in 1839, July the 3rd, he died, being, at the time of his death, in the 34th year of his age. He was buried in the Protestant Episcopal Church burying ground, of Pocomoke City.

Mr. Cannon left a widow and two children, who are still living ; his widow and daughter are living in this place ; his son, Clayton, is living in the City of Baltimore. As Mr. Cannon is a native of this place, it gives me pleasure to state that he is an enterprising business man of the monumental city. At the age of fifteen years he entered the store of Colonel William H. Merrill as clerk and continued one year, then he went to Baltimore and engaged with Gibson & Co., auctioners, at the age of six- teen, here he continued one year. At the age of seven- teen, he entered the wholesale dry goods house of Lewis, Drost & Co. How long he continued in this situation I cannot say, but from there he entered a savings bank, then in the course of time, he procured a situation in one

98 History of Pocomohe City,

of the National Banks of the City, then again, he accepted a situation as cashier, in a bank in Annapolis. From there he returned to Baltimore and entered the Trader's National Bank as cashier, which situation he still holds. Clayton Cannon had to make his own mark. I need not tell the reader how well he has done it.

He now ranks well with the banking business men of Baltimore, with an unspotted character, at the age of forty- six years. After Gibson Cannon retired from the tanning and currying business, General Hearn took John S. Mills, who had just finished his apprenticeship, as a partner in the business.

Mr. Mills continued in this firm until he died. He died quite a young man, and left a widow, and one child by his first wife : that child is the Rev. Joseph L. Mills, D. D., of the Methodist Protestant Church. CHAPTER XIII. TRADES. &c. The Hatting business held a very important place in manufacture.

Hats, at an early day, were made of all the various grades of fur, from the rabbit to the beaver. The first hatter, of whom we have any information, carry- ing on the business in New Town, was John Hall, after he died, then Andrew Gilchrist, then in succession, James Hall carried on until he died. These all died young men. An- drew Gilchrist was a Scotchman and was full of playful fun.

formerly JSfeiD Town. 99

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