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 findmypast.com.

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

 

 

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The Langhirt Boys

Frank at 1529 Holbrook Street, Baltimore, MD

Young Frank in back yard 1

Pictured above is Francis Joseph Zeller (1897-1979), AKA Frank, on 19 June 1910. He was about a month shy of 13 years old. As you can see from the caption on the back (below), he is standing in the back yard of 1529 Holbrook Street, Baltimore, MD “which mother kept neatly and proudly.” Holbrook Street is in the neighborhood of Oliver (see map below). I have not yet determined which of Frank’s sisters wrote that.

Frank was the son of Louis M. Zeller (1864-1926) and Margaret Ann Buechner (1868-1938). Louis purchased 1529 Holbrook Street from Ella A. Murphy in 1907. The house was subject to a ground rent of $39 until Louis acquired the ground from W. Allen Hammond in 1920. Margaret sold the house to Frank after Louis died in 1926 but maintained ownership of the ground. In 1937 Margaret and Louis sold the house and ground to Frank’s sister, Caroline M. Zeller (1893-1965), and her husband, Benjamin Harrison “Harry” Gosnell (1889-1960). Caroline and Harry had owned 1544 Holbrook Street since 1927. I’ll tell you more about the Gosnells in a future post.

The next door neighbor whose window is visible and mentioned in the caption was Ella M. Carlin (1858-1946) who lived at 1527 Holbrook Street. She was married to John W. Harris (1852-??). Her brother Louis B. Carlin (1864-1930) lived with them there at the time of his death.

Here is the back of the above photograph:

Young Frank in back yard 2

In the next photograph of Frank, developed 2 May 1933, he is 35 years old and again standing in the back yard of 1529 Holbrook Street. The dog in the photograph belonged to Eva M. Smith (1890-1981) who was married to John W. Bates (1897-1969). They were neighbors two doors down at 1525 Holbrook Street.

Frank in back yard 1

Frank in back yard 2

The three-story residences behind Frank were in the 1500 block of Aisquith Street. These three-story residences were replaced by two-story residences in the 1970s. A 10 June 1970 article in the Baltimore Sun discussed the recent demolition of 1531, 1533, and 1535 Aisquith Street, after they were condemned by the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development. The article noted that 1531 Aisquith Street was owned by a couple living in Trieste, Italy. A lien of $1200 was placed against the property to cover the costs of razing the house and “wall patching” at 1529 Aisquith Street, which was left standing, but a spokesman for the Department was quoted as saying “it’s going to be difficult to collect.” Almost 50 years later the problems associated with dilapidated housing and absentee owners still exist in Baltimore.

Below is a recent Google Earth Street View view of 1525, 1527, and 1529 Holbrook Street. All three of the houses are vacant.

1529 (white) 1527 (red) Holbrook Street.png

Here is a map of the neighborhood of Oliver with Holbrook Street marked in red”

Holbrook St Map.png

These photographs were among about 50 I purchased from an antique store on The Avenue in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore in July 2017.

Watch this blog for more of what these photographs tell us about the Zeller Family and life in ancient Baltimore.

 

Frank at 1529 Holbrook Street, Baltimore, MD

Reuschlein and Wolfe and Great Hats

REUSCHLEIN 1 front

The beautiful people above are Albert Charles Fredrick Reuschlein (1875-1948) and Bessie M. Wolfe (1875-1967).

REUSCHLEIN 1 back

Albert was the son of George Reuschlein (1847-1936) and Anna Margaret Schneider (1847-1892). All four of Albert’s grandparents were born in Germany. Bessie was the daughter of Samuel Y. Wolfe (1847-??) and Susan Carlin (1847-??) who were born in Pennsylvania as were all four of her grandparents.

Albert and Bessie grew up in Cumberland, MD and married there in circa 1900. They both performed in vocal ensembles of various configurations at the First Presbyterian Church on Washington Street and at the Y.M.C.A. Albert worked as a clerk, timekeeper, and statistician for the B&O Railroad and retired on 3 July 1940 after 43 years of service. Bessie worked as a dressmaker and stenographer. Albert was a member of Ohr Lodge No. 131, A. L. & A. M for 35 years. They had one daughter, Elizabeth Carlin Reuschlein (1903-1977). She married Clinton Leroy Ewing, Sr. (1898-1989) and they had one son, Clinton Leroy Ewing, Jr. (1925-1983).

Bessie and Albert moved from Cumberland to Baltimore around 1920. They were buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in plot which is also the final resting place of Carlin and her husband (findagrave.com memorials 157268103-6).

Bessie and Albert were great hat people. Below they’re posing with Carlin.

REUSCHLEIN 2 front

Here is Carlin and an unidentified man:

REUSCHLEIN 3 front

I bought these photographs at an antique store on The Avenue in the Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden.

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REUSCHLEIN 3 backREUSCHLEIN 2 back

Reuschlein and Wolfe and Great Hats