Jacob’s & Mary’s Son George Brumbaugh (1783-1837)

George Brumbaugh
(1783-1837)

George was the youngest of the seven children and seems to have been the most publicly well known member of the family. Although some say he was born about 1783, in the records of Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown, he is listed as born in 1785. In 1807 at barely age 22, he married Mary Louisa Gelwicks in the Salem Reformed Church where her father’s Charles Gelwicks family also worshiped as did George’s older brother Henry.

George and Louisa had no natural children. They adopted one child, the young daughter of brother David and Eva Brumbaugh, named Eleanora L. G. [for Louisa Gelwicks?] Brumbaugh, who was born in July 22, 1829, was baptized in May 1831 and, sadly, died in 1834 before her 5th birthday. I suspect the young girl was named after her aunt Louisa, but Louisa was absent from the baptism as her parents were listed as sponsors. Two people made George a sponsor or god-father of their infants at baptism in the early 1810s. (1810s, p. 64 and 76).

In 1807 George bought the tavern The Sign of the Swan situated in Hagerstown and operated it until he sold it to a Mr. Meyer about May, 1811. He then started a brewery. In 1820 he was selling hops wholesale according to an ad in the Torch Light. During the 1820s he was elected one of the five commissioners of Hagerstown and served several years as the Clerk for the commissioners; when ads appeared in the newspapers related to their municipal duties, it was his name which appeared as Clerk at the bottom of the ad.

George opened a general store in the 1820s with a partner under the name Hess & Brumbaugh. On a Saturday night in January 1827 in the middle of the night, a fire was started in his stables— it burned them and the Town Hay Scales as well, which he may have also owned. According to the newspaper story, the buildings “were new and valuable buildings” (TL, 1-25-1827). In 1830, he was appointed by the Governor to the Levy Court in Washington County.

He settled his older brother Daniel’s estate as administrator in 1824, the estate of his father-in-law, Charles Gelwicks, in 1820, and also the estate of his brother-in-law, Daniel Gelwicks some time later. He also served in 1834 as both guardian and trustee for the estate of George Hess, with whom he had been in business.

He was a director of the Hagerstown Fire Company and also of the incorporated Hagerstown Savings Institution (Archives of MD, vol. 547 p. 20—laws of Maryland, chapter 24).

He may also have been Commandant of the Blues, the 8th Regiment of Maryland Militia which fought in the War of 1812.

He died in 1837 (Hagerstown Mail 6-2-37), his obituary noting that he “was long a respected inhabitant of Hagerstown.” (Helen Brown p. 77) He was followed in death by his wife Mary Louisa in 1840. They are both buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown.

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