"It has been truly said one thing begets another. In sketching a number of the old-time families of this county, the respected name of Blocher presents itself, and is well worthy of simillar attention. Sorry I am unable to do it full justice.
Andrew Blocher, the ancestor of this numerous progeny, was born in Germany, about the year 1761, but it is not known exactly when he came to America, however, when quite young. He married in this county, and all his children were born here. Nine in number, four sons and five daughters. We find him in the beginning of the present century seated, and opening up a farm about three miles below the Little Crossings on the Casselman River. Here he lived and prospered till the end of his life, which came in 1838, aged 77 years, 7 month[sic] and 7 days. He was industrious, honest, hardy, thrifty, and besides a good law abiding citizen, very primitive and simple natured in his ways, and the subject of many characteristic jokes and stories; one of which will bear telling, without vouching for its truth. One day while hauling logs with a pair of cattle, his log chain parted, when almost at the end of his haul. The way to mend a chain temporarily in those early days, was to insert the end link through the other, and then put a wooden plug through the inserted link. To save time the industrious new beginner, offered his middle finger for a plug - result, a very distressed member.
His four sons were John, Jacob, Daniel and Jonas, the latter in early life removed "out back", which was the style in those day for Ohio, our present near neighbor. John was born in 1791 and grew up to manhood on the homestead; married to Nancy Mussleman, a member of an old and highly respectable family who had their seat immediately on the old Braddock road about six miles West of Frostburg. It was in olden times a "public inn" and a prominent point on that great thoroughfare, but now to be detected only here and there by dim scars and depressions upon the earth's healing surface. As the Musslemans passed away, John Blocher became its possessor, and lived there till his death. He was an honest, industrious and energetic man. Without education, but still a good business man. A farmer, ostensibly, but much engaged in general business, and always successful. He was drafted in 1814 to fill the quota of Allegany county, to repel the British at Baltimore. Having just married, he could not think of leaving his young wife. A substitute was allowable, and fortunately one was at hand in the person of old "Davy Sibert," a veteran of the Revolutionary war, and some of the subsequent Indian wars, in which he was captured, tied to the stake and about to be burnt, but a good story from him as to his great expertness in repairing old flint locks, proved a ransom for his endangered life, but old Davy broke the treaty the first opprtunity and made a most wonderful escape. He became the willing substitute for $90 in money, and 10 bushels of wheat, and did his duty at North Point. Our subject was married twice, lastly to the widow of Daniel B. Layman in 1843, who still survives, just a little the worse of four score years, and beloved by all. He was remarkably fond of society, and genteel amusements, particularly dancing, full of life and good cheer, and always a gentleman. He died in 1858, the father of fourteen children; twelve by the first and two by his last wife. The sons are Christian, Andrew, John (dead), George W., Henry, Jacob and Daniel all residents of this county except the last two who live in Kansas. All well doing and good citizens. One of the daughters, Elizabeth, is the widow of the late Col. Hanson Brown. The most prominent of the family is George W., the first commissioner of Garrett county and subsequently a member of the Legislature, in both relations a faithful officer, with prospects of a seat in the State Senate, but he adheres to the good old doctrine, that honors are only worth wearing when they come without being sought. George is an incurable bachelor, but his domestic relations are of the most happy and fortunate nature. He has lately completed the finest private residence in the county, with every convenience and comfort attached. His generous hospitalities are handsomely presided over by his aged stepmother and her daughter Mary Jane, the latter the widow of a deceased brother. This beautiful and tasteful residence is about a half-mile west of the Mussleman mansion, and hard by the line of Braddock's road. To use a homely phrase George is solid, but no one envies him his many comforts.
Jacob, the next in order, was a man of fine presence, and dignified appearance, industrious, prosperous and rigidly honest, like his brother John, twice married, first to ___Newman and then to the widow Bolden, who deceased but recently. Fifty years ago Blocher became the proprietor of a moiety* of the "Grassy Cabins", the oldest (surveyed in 1768) and one of the best tracts of land in Garrett county. It was once the property of the noted John Sloan, around whose name hang more amazing history and romance than any other man who ever dwelt in the county. What unmined material for a book, but who would or could write it. Jacob had not long been in the enjoyment of his nice property till a disturber, one of the Sloan connections, came along to dispossess him. Without right, title, or justice the machinery of the law was put in motion to oust an honest man from his own property, and it was kept in play till the Supreme Court of the United States was reached, where the case was decided in favor of the rightful owner, now more than forty years ago. This was a great triumph for him as well as for justice. It has been told of him, after receiving the news of his success through his counsel, Mr. Wm. Price, he doned his best suit, inlcluding the swallow tailed blue coat, and brass buttons, and ascended the highest point of the won ground, and there alone took a survey of its lawns, slopes, hills, rills** and valleys, never so attractive did they appear during the eight years of legal strife. Mr. Blocher possessed great probity*** of character, and stood deservedly high in the estimation of all who knew him. His death, which took place in 1874, was a serious loss to the community. He left a large family of sons and daughters, the fuit of his two marriages. All the sons are in the west except the youngest, John W., who owns and resides upon the old historic homestead, and who is the most marked member of this family. Not robust in health, but in all else sound, well and comfortably seated, honorable, just and generous in all his dealings; high in the estimation of the community. Fortunate and happy in his marital relations. His wife (one of the daughters of the late William Stanton) being a lady of considerable education and cultivation, as well as wifely and domestic in her habits.
Daniel, the third brother of the quartette, was a man of splendid physique, of much amiability, universally liked, never out of humor, or off his balance. He married one of the many daughters of George Newman, an old soldier of the war [of] 1812, and lived for many years on the northern end of "Grassy Cabins", then down to the lower end of the district where the widow Hanson Brown now resides. He had a large family, especially of sons; all removed west about twenty years ago, and good old Daniel Blocher died some years since in Iowa. No one could ever say Daniel Blocher was not a good law abiding respectable citizen while one of us. The daughters of the old ancestor married in Pennsylvania, and their descendants are quite numerous."
October 1, 1883
Brown's Miscellaneous Writings ~ 1880 to 1895
by Jacob Brown
My vocabulary is not all that expansive; I had to look up some words. Here are the definitions:
*Moiety ~ A part, portion, or share.
**Rills ~ A small brook; a rivulet.
***Probity ~ Complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness
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