Rev. David H. Manrodt (1921-2010)

Rev. David H. Manrodt, Ph.D., passed away on 10 August 2010. He was 88 years old. According to his  obituary in the Baltimore Sun, Manrodt served Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church for 38 years, from 1948 to 1986.

Rev. Manrodt, a third-generation Lutheran minister, came to Baltimore from New York City in 1931 when his father was called to the pulpit of Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Born in New York, he was the son of Rev. Manfred Manrodt (1893-1974) and Martha (Mueller) Manrodt. David graduated from Baltimore City College in 1938, and went to work for the Glenn L. Martin in Middle River; later he worked for the Johns Manville Company.

According to the 2011 Baltimore City College Alumni newsletter, after graduating from BCC, Rev. Manrodt worked to earn the money to attend Loyola College, then studied theology at Lancaster and at the Lutheran seminary at Gettysburg.

Two sons, John and Paul, followed in his footsteps to become Lutheran ministers: Rev. John Manrodt serves in Minneapolis; Rev. Paul Manrodt in Wernersville, Pa.

David Manrodt’s wife, Miriam (Miller) Manrodt, died in 2008.  They are buried in Parkwood Cemetery, Parkville, Md.

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Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church Homecoming, October 23rd, 2011

This year marks Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church’s 169th anniversary.  In honor of the church’s birthday, the congregation will hold a Homecoming Day on Sunday, October 23rd, 2011.

In addition to the dedication of the church’s renovated bell tower, the church, led by Pastor Arwyn Gohl, will welcome descendants of one of JELC’s most beloved and longest-serving pastors, the Rev. Paul E. C. Burgdorf (1884-1948).

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Private Henry Albert Koppelman (1877-1898)

On 2 November, 1898, the Baltimore SUN reported that Private Henry Albert Koppelman, stationed at Camp Meade, in Middletown, Pennsylania, had been sent to the First Division Hospital.

Henry Koppelman died on 19 November, just over two weeks later.

If his illness followed the usual course of the disease, he endured high fever, delirium, diarrhea, drastic dehydration, and possibly septicemia before death released him from suffering.

His illness was, most likely, contracted from water or food contaminated by feces, but the cause of typhoid was not completely understood at the time. Little thought was given to sanitation at hastily-built mustering points such as Camp Meade.  Even hospital orderlies, ill-trained recruits from the ranks, exacerbated the epidemic in the camps through careless hygiene in the division hospitals.

It was the volunteers and their home visitors who brought typhoid to the armed forces, according to the Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American War; 86.8 % of all deaths by disease during the war were caused by typhoid (656).

Eventually, widespread introduction of hydration therapy saved the lives of the many sufferers who contracted the disease. An effective vaccine was not developed and put into use for another decade. (Read the University of Virginia’s excellent essay “Walter Reed and Typhoid Fever, 1897-1911.”

The crisis and its eventual resolution were precipitated by the creation of large new camps in preparation for war in Cuba and the Phillipines.

In April 1898, the federal government put out the call for 100,000 volunteers in case of war with Spain. Maryland’s quota was about 1,500 men. By May, the Fifth Maryland Infantry, made up of Maryland National guardsmen and volunteers, received orders to move south in preparation for an invasion of Cuba; the First was to remain behind until needed.

Private Koppelman was hospitalized just as his regiment began preparing to move south to be ready for embarkation if needed. By then, 50 to 100 soldiers a day were ill enough to be transported from Camp Meade to hospitals in Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Henry had enlisted, over the objections of his family, with his friend Walter Hedeman. Henry died at the German Hospital in Philadelphia without ever having seen service. His body was returned to the family farm for burial and the service was held on 21 November, a little over a month after his 21st birthday.

Henry’s grave is now in the Koppelman plot at Baltimore Cemetery, along with those of his parents, grandparents and siblings.

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Passings: Leonard Malwitz

We know that babies continue to be born, and marriages celebrated, but somehow it is the deaths we hear the most about.

The Schwarz clan has lost another member in the passing of Leonard Malwitz. Leonard’s sister-in-law was Gloria Schwarz Malwitz. Gloria was the daughter of butcher John G. Schwarz and Amelia Weilbrenner.

The Malwitz family was doubly connected to the Schwarzes: Leonard and Earl Malwitz’s mother was Rose Vogt Malwitz, the daughter of Bavarian immigrant farmer Albrecht Vogt ( 1838-1916) and Wilhelmine Friederike Gnamm. (1849-1933). Minnie, in turn, was the granddaughter of the eldest immigrant Schwarz, Rosine Friederike Schwarz (1800-1863), who brought her family to Baltimore from Hohenacker, a village outside Stuttgart, in 1855.

We learned about Leonard’s death from the Jerusalem Tidings, the newsletter of Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, church of the Koppelmans, Schwarzes, Vogts, and numerous other connected families, for over 150 years.

On February 17, 2011, LEONARD A. MALWITZ; beloved husband of the late Doris B. (nee Frey); survivied by his brother Earl F. Malwitz; niece Leslie Cain and nephews Glenn Malwitz and his wife Nancy and John Malwitz and his wife Robin and many great great nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held at the E.F. Lassahn Funeral Home, P.A., 11750 Belair Road, (Kingvsille), on Thursday at 11 AM. The family will receive friends on Wednesday 2-4 and 7-9 PM. Interment Parkwood Cemetery.

Baltimore SUN, 22 February 2011
Copyright (c) 2011 The Baltimore Sun Company

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“A Klondike Catamaran”

In my last post, I told the story of discovering that a long lost ancestor, John Herman Koppelman (b. 24 Dec 1866, Baltimore County, Md.), eldest son of Gardenville farmer John Henry Koppelman (1840-1902), went gold-prospecting in the Klondike in 1898.

Six men, including a jeweler, a window-dresser, a barkeep and a waiter, formed a company for the purpose of funding the expedition. John Herman Koppelman had grown up a farmer, and was then a commission merchant with his brother George C. Koppelman.

Each member of the group put in $500 to $1,000, to cover expenses for three years. They called themselves the Matthews-Faby Alaska Mining Company.

John T. Matthews, a steering gear manufacturer, started building a three-hull catamaran in his shop.

They planned to sail to Seattle in February 1898.  The catamaran was to travel to Seattle by rail; the company would then sail from Seattle to the gold fields.

Matthews designed and built the vessel with the belief that a three-hulled catamaran could travel over snow and ice as easily as over water:

“‘Although some persons are credulous as to the practicability of the craft,’ said Mr. Matthews yesterday, I have every confidence in her ability to do what I designed her for, and it won’t be long until I demonstrate the feasibility of my ideas'” wrote the Baltimore SUN on 14 Jan 1898.

Next: A break-up.

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“Yukon” Koppelman

In the years I’ve been piecing the Koppelman story together, one mystery stood out: What became of John Henry Koppelman’s eldest son, John Herman Koppelman?

Born on Christmas Eve, 1866, John Herman Koppelman was named after his grandfather, the family’s immigrant patriarch, Johann Hermann Koppelmann (1811-1877). John Herman was the eldest of John Henry and Anna Catherine Weber Koppelman’s eight surviving children.

The last appearance of young John Herman was the 1880 census, when he was living on the Franklin Avenue farm with his family in Gardenville, northeast of Baltimore city.   I searched newspaper databases, census and military records, and the records of our family’s church, Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran, without success.

After some years, finally, a breakthrough when searching, once again,, on of Newsbank’s newspaper archives.  I went through a routine check of surname spelling variations, and I found a series of articles detailing John Herman’s expedition to the Yukon in 1898.

In December 1897, the SUN published an article about a group of Baltimore men who were organizing to go north:

Messrs. J.T. Matthews, Theodore Gottschalk, Harry Faby, Richard Buck, and J. H. Koppelman, Jr., met last night at the residence of Mr. Faby, 622 South Broadway, for the purpose of organizing a company to prospect for gold in the Klondike (22 Dec 1897).

They planned to leave in January 1898 for Seattle, from whence they would sail for the gold fields in a catamaran-like vessel of their own construction.

Next up:  The “catamaran-like vessel” takes shape; a quarrel  dissolves the company.

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Julia Schwarz: “Remembering the knitting needle”

Detail from Bromley's 1898 Atlas of Baltimore County showing location of Schwarz home and Brehm's brewery. Note B&O railroad crossing over Sinclair Lane at lower left. Loney's Lane runs perpendicular to Sinclair Lane on left side of map. Regester's woods, mentioned as the location of the assailant's disappearance, was part of the John Regester estate, "Woodlawn."

Julia Ella Schwarz (1909-1995), for whom my mother was named,  was the very youngest of my 16 Schwarz and Koppelman great-aunts and great-uncles.

After all her brothers and sisters had married and set up their own homes, Julia was left alone with her mother, Anna Soeder Schwarz (1872-1957), in the big old Brehm house at Sinclair and Loney’s lanes, on the edge of northeast Baltimore, close to Brehm’s Brewery (see map above).

According to family recollections, the large house had been given to Julia’s father, John Christian Schwarz (1868-1916) rent-free, when John came to manage the Brehm family’s stock farm, and the large Schwarz family was allowed to continue living there after my great-grandfather’s untimely death.

Still country but easily accessible from the city, the area that broadly encompassed the Brehm property was the site of a number of assaults on young women.

In 1922, at least three girls were attacked in the vicinity. One of them, 8-year-old Clare Stone, was murdered in February of that year. Her body was found in Dungan’s woods, part of a large estate about a half mile south of the Brehm house. The unsolved case roiled the city for months, with forced and retracted confessions, false accusations, disinterment of the body by the US Department of Justice, and the suicide of a would-be witness.

Six months later, on August 3rd, 12-year-old Julia Schwarz successfully fought off a would-be attacker. As the SUN and the Baltimore AMERICAN tell it, Julia was returning from the family mailbox at Loney’s Lane when she was accosted.

She had dawdled along, knitting as she went, said the SUN’s account:

“As she turned from the box to start homeward she was seized from behind. Swinging about quickly, she found herself face-to-face with a strange man, who asked to be directed to Erdman Avenue.”

The “sporty-looking” man then tried to get her to come with him. When she refused, he grabbed her.

“Remembering the knitting needle, which she still held in her hand, she gave the man several vicious jabs. The pain caused the man to loose his hold. She screamed for help.”

Whether it was her mother or a flagman on the nearby B & O track  who first came to her aid is unclear. But the alarm was raised; Julia and her mother ran to call the police from Brehm’s plant; and a search was made of the neighborhood, especially adjacent Regester’s woods, where some reported having seen a stranger dressed like the attacker.

Despite several reported sightings, Julia’s assailant was not apprehended. The neighborhood was thick with woods and fields in full summer growth. He may simply have boarded a nearby Belair Road streetcar and melted back into the city.

Julia’s tale is a part of the larger story of change in northeast Baltimore: urbanization, the dangerous anonymity of the city threatening the neighborly, innocent familiarity of the countryside; the fear that the easy streetcar access that was making suburban living possible also made access easier for those bent on mischief.

Her story also sharply highlights the power of women’s work. Despite the rise of factory-made clothing, home knitting, while unpaid, was still an important part of domestic economics in the 1920s. In a moment of threatened sexual violence, women’s homely tool shows its sting.

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