The Langhirt Boys

I purchased this batch of five photographs at an antique store on The Avenue in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood. They’re beautiful portraits and the names match. It doesn’t take much to get me interested.

Let’s start with the following photograph which has on its back the following inscription: Louis Langhirt 12 N. Dallas St., Baltimore, MD. I started with this one because it has the full name and address of its subject.

Louis address front

detail Louis Langhirt back

Next up is a photograph apparently taken the same day as the photograph of Louis. The only difference in the studio setting is that the prop table was swapped out for a chair. The caption on its back appears to say James Langhirt. I think there was some confusion on the part of the person who captioned these photographs. The subject looks like it could actually be Louis’ younger brother John rather than Louis’ older brother Andrew James.

Jimmie ? front

Jimmie ? back detail

Next is a photograph inscribed John Langhirt. It is obviously earlier than the previous two photographs.

John front

John back detail

The next one is captioned Bostie Langhirt. It seems that Bostie could be a nickname for Sebastian, the oldest brother.

Bostie front

Bostie back detail

The final photograph is captioned simply Langhirt. I think this must be the father of the boys, Martin.

Dad ? front

Dad back detail.png

Martin S. Langhirt (1853-1940) married Anna Catherine Zeller (1853-1923) in 1878 and they owned 1211 North Dallas Street from 1882 to 1919. The house was purchased for $400 with a ground rent of $25 payable to the previous owner. I suspect Martin’s middle name was Sebastian. Martin was born in Germany to Andreas Langhirt (1805-1869) and Katherina Megner (1819-1893). Anna was born in Maryland to German born parents Adam Joseph Keller (1815-1865) and Barbara Josepha Keller (1821-1866). Martin’s ancestry is fairly well documented by family genealogists but I could not independently confirm a lot of the details. Martin was a tailor early in life. Here is a screenshot of Martin’s immediate family’s entry in the 1884 edition of Wood’s Baltimore City Directory, and bear in mind that the house numbers on Dallas Street changed in 1887:

18841111 detail of Woods' Baltimore city directory (1884) p. 642.png

The given names Andrew, Martin, and Sebastian appear over and over again in the Langhirt family down through the years, and in every imaginable combination.

The five Langhirt brothers were (oldest to youngest):

  • Sebastian Peter Langhirt (1881-1941)
  • Andrew James Langhirt (1885-1941)
  • Frank Charles “Dutch” Langhirt (1887-1975)
  • Louis Martin Langhirt (1889-1973)
  • John Joseph Langhirt (1892-1971).

Sebastian Peter Langhirt married Blanche Lillian Shelley (1882-1910) in 1906. At his death Sebastian “had been in the Street Cleaning Department for the past five years, having had charge of one of the North Avenue divisions.” His pallbearers were members of the Eutaw Conclave of Improved Order of Heptasophs of which he had been a member for more than ten years.  Two of their four children survived infancy; Louis Martin Langhirt (1908-1978) and Martin Sebastian Langhirt, Sr. (1909-1971). Blanche’s death came nine days after the death of her daughter Helen L. Langhirt (1910) who lived only a few days.

Andrew James Langhirt married Minnie Alberta Woody (1883-1963) in 1908 and they had one daughter, Mildred Catherine Langhirt (1909-1972). He held several positions with the Henry B. Gilpin Company, a drug wholesaler. He was killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street.

Frank Charles Langhirt also known as “Dutch,” worked with automobiles all his life, variously described as a mechanic, tow truck driver, and chauffeur. He worked for Walter Scott, “one of Baltimore’s pioneer automobile dealers,” before he opened his own business on East Lexington Street in 1923 offering towing and a “full line of accessories, tires, and lubricating oils.” He married Clara Virginia Cavey (1878-1943) in 1910 then Bessie Victoria Mummert (1906-1974) in circa 1945. He had no children.

Louis M. Langhirt seemed to do some real estate investment in the 1920s and 1930s, but lived with his siblings in later life. He never married.

John Joseph Langhirt married German-born Margaret C. Eckl (1889-1955) whom he met while they were attending St. James Parochial School and married in St. James Church. They had one child, Catherine Muriel Langhirt (1914-2000). After Eckl died he married Helen V. Backus (1907-1988). John retired in 1957 after a 45-year career in the Baltimore transit system that included 25 years as a conductor on the No. 15 streetcar line that traveled Belair Road.

Three of the photographs appear to have been taken on the occasion of the subjects’ First Communion. A visit to the The Archdiocese of Baltimore Archives housed at St. Mary’s Seminary and University would probably yield exact dates of the boys’ first communions and thereby date the photographs. Update: The records for St. James Church are also available online for a price at

Harry Alexander Plumley (1871-1936) operated the “Balto Photo Co” at 588 North Gay Street in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as a photographic supply company and portrait gallery at 506 West Lexington Street in partnership with George C. Mueller.

Photographicus Baltimorensis, a wonderful blog about “Archeology of Maryland photographers of the 19th and early 20th centuries,” tells us that Julius Christian Friedrich Bernhard Hebbel (1853-1905) operated a photography studio in Baltimore beginning in the late 1870s and that the business continued in his name after his death.

We don’t have photographs of the two girls in the family, but we know stuff about them. Margaret Mary “Maggie” Langhirt (1879-1945) married Peter Faust (1875-1914) in 1900 and they had five children. She married Andrew George Reichert (1870-1949) in 1918. Catherine Anna Langhirt (1883-1935) married Michael Kilian Schellenberger (1879-1924) and they had three children.

An coincidence: Martin and Anna’s children were first cousins to Frank Zeller (1897-1979). I posted about Frank here and about his wife Jenny Kornick (1894-1982) here in July 2017. How’d that work? Martin’s sister Margaret “Maggie” Ursula Langhirt (1860-1941) married Anna’s brother Charles Francis Zeller (1859-1932). Frank’s dad was Louis M. Zeller (1864-1926) who was Anna’s and Charles’ brother.

This was a fun project but I spent too much time on it. There is a lot of genealogy left to do for this family and many interesting things to learn. Here are a couple of newspaper articles of interest:

19030515 Langhirt Zellers wedding anniversary The_Baltimore_Sun_Fri__May_15__1903_
Langhirt-Zeller 25th Wedding Anniversary, The Baltimore Sun of 15 May 1903
19130202 Sebastian Langhirt's horse in Jones Falls The_Baltimore_Sun_Wed__Apr_2__1913_
Sebastian Langhirt’s horse fell into the Jones Falls; The Baltimore Sun, 2 April 1913



The Langhirt Boys

The Long Siblings

Harry S Long front

Hattie Maria Long front

Above are photographs of Harry S. Long (1868-??) and his sister, Hattie Maria Long (1869-??). The photographs were taken in Greenfield, OH by E. J. Price (1843-1906) who served that city from 1868-1906. Both were born in Ohio and both died in Camden, NJ.

They were the first two of the four children of Henry W. Long (1843-1917) and Kate Brott (1848-1911). I can narrow down Harry’s death date to circa 1927 because that’s the first year that his wife Eva D. Anderson (1868-1951) was listed as a widow in the Camden, NJ city directory. I can narrow down Hattie’s death date to circa 1829 because she appeared in the Camden city directory in 1928 but her husband Ethelbert David Stone (1870-1941) was enumerated as a widower in the 1930 Census. Sometimes it is difficult finding exact dates when subjects lived in urban areas and had common names. Obituaries in big city newspapers often do not name surviving children or parents. Harry and Kate’s other children were George W. Long (1875-??) and Samuel Stewart Long (1881-1963). Not every fact can be discovered from the luxury of one’s home office and Camden is too far away for a hunting expedition.

It was pretty easy to find out via that Henry and Kate were married in Marysville, OH on 29 October 1866, but they didn’t show up in Ohio in other searches, possibly because of an indexing error. I went page by page through the 1870 Census to find the family of four enumerated in Greenfield that year. Harry was a characterized as a huckster and born in Pennsylvania. Kate kept house and was born in New York. Henry and Kate were still in Ohio when their son George was born in 1875, then they were living in Camden for the 1880 Census.

Why were they in Ohio? I’m not altogether certain of the story but there are clues. Kate was the daughter of John Brott (1825-??), a railroad passenger agent in Buffalo, NY in 1860, and Adaline Ogden (1827-1909). Kate had a sister named Mary Frances Brott (1845-1917). The sisters came “from a family of professional stage people” and were cousins of Mrs. George H. Primrose, a famous minstrel. Mary married Marysville native Colonel Noah B. Orr (1836-1882) in 1864. At a height of nine feet in his uniform with boots and hat, and a weight of 550 pounds, Orr was known as the “Union County Giant”. Orr toured the U.S. and Canada with various companies. He was part of P. T. Barnum’s museum in New York City when he met John Brott, himself purported to be a champion prizefighter though I could not confirm this. Presumably Kate followed her sister to Marysville and met and married Henry there. Connecting Kate with Mary Frances seemed natural based on their shared name and the fact they both married in Marysville. I found the 1860 Census record for the Brott family of four in Buffalo even though their surname was misspelled “Britt”. The connection was confirmed when I discovered that Mary and her son Louis Orr (1879-1942) attended Samuel Stewart Long’s wedding.

Henry and Kate were still in Ohio when their son George was born in 1875, then they were living in Camden for the 1880 Census. Colonel Noah Orr died in 1882 and by 1887 Mary Frances Brott Orr and five of her children had also moved to Camden.

Harry’s wife Eva D. Anderson was the daughter of William Harold Anderson (1847-1907) and Joanna Wescott Peak (1850-1931) of Mount Holly, NJ. They had one child, Jennie A. Long (1890-1966). Jennie married Albert Pierson (1890-1954) and they had one child, Edith A. Pierson (1910-1984). Edith married Charles A. Fisler (1912-1988) and they had one child.

Hattie married Ethelbert David Stone, Sr. (1870-1941) in 1890 and they had five children: Harry W. Stone (1893-??) married Martha A. Shiding (1898-1953); Katie E. Stone (1897-??) married Charles Raymond Adams, Sr. (1889-1985); Ethelbert David Stone, Jr. (1899-1948) married Carmella “Carrie” DiBarolomeo (1901-1963); Hattie Maria Stone (1903-1973) married Samuel S. Potts (1897-1975), and Sarah A. Stone (1909-2003) married Chester Levock (1902-1937). Their descendants were multitudes.

There is a story about Ethelbert that a history nerd cannot pass up even though newspaper accounts contain a few minor errors of fact. At around 8:00 AM on the morning of 6 September 1901 two employees of a the New York Shipbuilding Corporation plant in south Camden were painting a roof and talking favorably about President William McKinley when Ethelbert walked up and offered a wager of five dollars that McKinley would be shot by 8:00 PM that night if he hadn’t been shot already. McKinley was shot at 4:07 PM that day. The painters told the story and Ethelbert was arrested on 10 September 1901. Ethelbert did not deny he offered the bet and explained that it didn’t mean anything, he was arguing with the painters and “made the statement thoughtlessly” and “it had no significance whatsoever.” Ethelbert’s house was searched and initial reports indicated that “incriminating items” were found. At a hearing on the morning of 11 September 1901 Ethelbert was ordered released after it was determined that Ethelbert could neither read nor write, that nothing incriminating had been found in his house, and that “nothing could be found in the present or past of the man indicating in any way that he knew of a conspiracy to kill the president.” The story of suspicion and arrest got nationwide coverage, though Ethelbert’s exoneration did not.

I tried to find a certain link to Baltimore to explain how these 4 inch X 2.5 inch photographs ended up in an antique store on The Avenue in the Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden. The best I could find was that Ethelbert David Stone, III (1928-2016) and his sister Catherine M. Stone (1924-2004) lived in Maryland for a while before moving to Sarasota, FL in 1982. There is a genealogist working on this branch of the family who has posted several photographs of Ethelbert, III on; perhaps she’ll come across these photographs when I post them.

Below are the reverses of the photographs. Can you understand why I first thought Hattie’s and Harry’s surname was “Song”?

Harry S. Long back

Hattie Maria Long back


The Long Siblings