by Jacob Brown
To the Editor of The Republican:
It has been quite a while since I have written up any of the good old families of Garrett county. It has been suggested that the Compton family would be a suitable subject for a paper of the kind.
Robert Compton was the ancestor of the family in this region, having been born in 1767 in New Jersey. He claimed that he was a messenger for Washington duirng the War of the Revolution. By trade he was a tailor. He was married to Lydia Brown in New Jersey and died in Grantsvile in the year 1856, and his wife died in Somerset County, Pa., in 1847. Some years after starting in life Robert moved to Berlin, Somerset county Pa., where he went into business, following his trade--that of tailoring, where he brought up a family of twelve children, all of whom, except one, are dead. The members of the family became scattered, only three passed away in the home county-Somerset. The surviving members drifted over into Maryland. The faithful old family bible record shows the names of the children with the dates and places of their births as follows:
Archie, born in New Jersey in 1802 and was married but had no children; died a number of years ago.
Phineas, born in New Jersey in 1804; died July 4, 1858; his wife was Adaline Glotfelty. They had three children - Samuel, Lucretia, wife of Isaiah Boucher, both dead, and Lydia, wife of Dr. H. Stewart.
Eliza Z., born in 1807; she became the wife of Daniel Durst; both dead a number of years ago; left many children, many of them now dead, but some still living. One of of[sic] the deceased sons was Elisha, tax collector of old Allegany county.
Sallie A. Compton was born in 1809. She was the wife of Joseph Glotfelty, a prominent citizen of the county. He died in 1864 and she in 1863. Dr. E. H. Glotfeltly, of Accident, was a son; once a member of the Maryland Legislature. The oldest daughter, Lydia, was the wife of Perry Shultz, sheriff of Allegany county in 1853; both dead many years ago. Another daughter is Martha, wife of W. H. Swauger, a lumber manufacturer, of Garrett county. She is in her middle sixties; bright and intelligent, and can write matter fit of the type. She had a helping hand in getting up this account of her family.
Catherine was born in 1811; wife of John Davis; both died in Somerset county many years since.
David Compton, the last of the Jersey births, was born July 8, 1814, and died in 1866, from an accident due to the breaking of a threshing machine. He was a blacksmith but later became a prosperous farmer. His wife was Elizabeth Brown, sister of the writer, allow me to say. She died in 1895. The product of this happy union was five sons and one daughter, Armada, who is still living as the Widow Glotfelty in Iowa. The sons were J. L. a physician who died in early life; Ross, for most of his life a prominent citizen of Garrett county, but of late years a resident of Ohio; George, with his family is in the remote state of Washington, comfortably fixed and enjoying a quiet life; lastly, Charles and David, both for many years residents of Webster, South Dakota, where through enterprise and energy they have been very successful and prosperous in general lines of business. One of them is rated at a figure in wealth of over $100,000. They started out young but not penniless. These two young men were not only lucky but wise and judicious in their movements and dealings.
Lydia, born July 21, 1816. About 1835 she became the wife of George Matthews, a well known young man. He was prominent in the two counties and died a number of years ago at a great age; she following a few years ago, very aged. They left no living children.
William Compton was born in 1818 and died in 1823 in Berlin, Pa., the new Compton home.
Robert, born January 25, 1821, in Somerset county Pa., came to a mysterious death on the night of the Presidential election of 1856 at New Philadelphia, Ohio. His wife was Mary Yeast, who died only a few years ago in her eighties, leaving children.
Charles Compton, born 1823 at Berlin. Went to Grantsville and became a carpenter. From there he went South many years ago; never married; died in Mobile, Alabama, only a few years since.
Henry Compton was born in 1825 at Berlin, but in his early years went to Grantsville where he remained for a long time and then moved to Cumberland, near which city he married Ruth Hardman. His next move was to Grafton, W. Va., where he remains as the last survivor and a memorial of the twelve Compton children. He was once a preacher. He has a wife and a number of children and is a prominent man of his city.
Lastly, Alfred, born in 1828. He died at Salisbury, Pa., while quite a young man; was never married.
The name of this large and worthy family has vanished from our two counties - may say it is extinct - but there is considerable of the Compton blood in the veins of a number of good people in Garrett. In Somerset county, Pa., it still exists in one case, that of Samuel Compton's children. He was a son of Phineas, the gunsmith.
It is almost with sadness when we think of the old-time families which have become extinct in name in our two kindred counties - the work of Providence and of time. ~ J.B. Cumberland, Md., April 13, 1909
The Republican (Oakland, Garrett Co., MD); 29 April 1909