Notes for Uncommon Vernacular: The Early Houses of Jefferson County, West Virginia

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Contents

by Wallace, Edie
Bibliography
Title

Notes for Uncommon Vernacular: The Early Houses of Jefferson County, West Virginia

Author

Wallace, Edie

Date

01/01/2011

Medium

Unpublished

Publisher
Middleway, WV 1/1/2011
Found Location

Digitized for the Middleway Conservancy under grant from WV Humanities Council

Topics Architecture,Real Estate
Media

View PDF.


[page 1]

Wallace, Edie. Notes. 2010 -2011

Ms. Edie Wallace, a historian with Paula S. Reed and Associates, Inc., Hagerstown, Maryland, provided the information in this notebook. Ms. Wallace collected the information as part of the documentary research for the book, Uncommon Vernacular: The Early Houses of Jefferson County, West Virginia, 1735-1835 , by John C. Allen, Jr., published in 2011 by the West Virginia University Press.



[page 2]

Contents

Smithfield/Middleway – A Brief Review of Its Development Plan of Middleway, 1883 , Annotated by Edie Wallace

Plan of Middleway, 1883 (no annotation) 1798 Smithfield Chart

Information on Houses in Historic District:


William McSherry House (Lots 9-10)

Scollay Hall/Eckhart-Lowder-Scollay House (Lots 13-14) John Grantham House/Virginia Hotel (Lot 16)

Kounslar-Gilbert House (Lot 20) Ambrose Timberlake House (Lot 22) Strider-Harley House (Lot 26)

John Moyer House (Lot 41)

Red House and Blacksmith Shop (Lot 56) Daniel Fry House (Lot 57)

Dr. Mann P. Nelson House (Lot 59) Merchant-Janney House (Lot 60)

Michael Shaull-John F. Smith House (Lot 66)

Sebastian Eaty House (Lot 72) Grantham Store (Lot 74)

Harmon McKnight House (Lot 75)

Joseph (Guiseppe) Minghini House (Lot 78)

Crampton-Stephenson House/Ramsay Tavern (Lot 102)

Information on John Smith, Sr./Moses Smith House (Bill White Grantham House):


Documentary research on the house

1886 deed and plat to property

1821 appraisal of personal property of Moses Smith (3 pages)

Varle’s 1809 map, showing Middleway and Moses Smith’s house

Brown’s 1852 map, showing Middleway



[page 3]

NOTE ABOUT PLAN OF MIDDLEWAY, SHOWN ON NEXT PAGE

Ms. Edie Wallace annotated the Plan of Middleway, dated 1883 , on the following page. It shows in red the location of the houses she researched in Middleway’s Historic District. Also in red are the various names used for Middleway’s streets over time. Note that at one point Queen Street was called “King Street” (as well as “new,” “Main,” and “Lower,” at different points in time). The annotated map also shows the original lot numbers; these are in black and circled next to the 1883 (and current) lot numbers.



[page 4]

NOTE ABOUT “1798 SMITHFIELD CHART” SHOWN ON NEXT PAGE

Information in the following chart, “1798 Smithfield Chart,” came from several sources:

(1) the 1798 Berkeley County House and Slave Tax, transcribed by Don Woods of the Berkeley County Historical Society in 2003 , (2) the 1786 Jonathan Clark survey of the disputed Hite vs. Fairfax lands, transcribed and published by Peggy Joiner, and (3) Mutual Assurance Company records, available at the Virginia State Library.

The headings in the chart are, from left to right:

District

Owner

Tenant

Location

Tax

value

Location in other sources than 1798 House and Slave Tax

1798 Description



[page 5]

Smithfield/Middleway – A Brief Review of its Development

Here is what the Middleway Conservancy says on their website (www.middlewayconservancy.org) about the early village development:

Middleway is located at the intersection of two trails used by Native Americans: one trail ran southward from Packhorse Ford (near present day Shepherdstown) and the other ran east and west. Besides the transportation advantages these trails afforded, Turkey Run which comes from a large underground spring which forms Lake Louise about one mile east of the village, provided pure water for the area. Middleway occupies a small part of the original land grant made to Lord Fairfax by the King of England. When John Smith visited the area in 1729, he found these features attractive. By 1734, he and his son together with John's brother, Rees, had established grist and hemp mills along Turkey Run.

By the time of the Revolutionary War, a small farming and milling community had developed. The Smith family had the town surveyed in 1794 and began selling town lots in 1795 . The promotion of the village was quite successful, and in 1798 the town of Smithfield was incorporated.

In 1807 , a post office under the name of Middleway was established. This name was used to avoid confusion with the other Smithfield in Tidewater Virginia.

Although sales of lots may have begun in 1795 , nobody was taxed on Smithfield town lots until 1798 , the same year the town was chartered by the Virginia legislature and the same year that the first deeds were recorded.

John Smith, Sr. initially wrote his will in 1788 , in which he gave no indication of a planned town. He divided his land among his four sons, John Jr., William, Rees, and Moses. John Jr. got a parcel on the north side of the branch (Turkey Spring Run) and William’s parcel was on the south side, with the dividing line running down the middle of the creek. John Jr’s parcel description included reference to “the main road to Adam Levestone’s line,” as well as reference to the sawmill and the sawmill tale race, and “the main road called Cathover [?] road” (BC WB 3/145).

John Smith, Sr. lived another ten years and in 1797 he wrote a codicil to his will, revoking William’s devise because he “has since given himself entirely to [?] disguised with operitory liquers and gaming and following no honest employment for his lively hood” (BC WB 3/347). By this time it was clear that a town had been laid out: “I hereby authorize and fully empower my son John Smith Junr to sell and dispose of any Lott or Lotts on the south side turkey spring branch between the main road and grave yard…” According to the plan of Smithfield drawn in 1883 , the Grave Yard was located on the south side of the branch, east of Queen Street at the east end of South Street (a cross street). I believe that in the earliest references to lots in Smithfield the “main road” was today’s King Street, although I do not believe this lasted very long.

John Smith, Sr. died in 1798 and the town of Smithfield as laid out by John Sr. passed to his son John Smith, Jr. This was the year that the town was chartered by the legislature and is the first year that deeds were recorded for lots in Smithfield. All of these deeds were from John Smith Jr.



[page 6]

and his wife Sarah but there is some indication that sales of lots did occur prior to 1798 . In Smith’s deed to Harmon McKnight for Lot 3 “on the north side of the turkey spring run and on the east side of the main street,” the survey noted that the lot adjoined “Packett and Tapscott on the said street” and Henry Mowers (BC DB 15/13). The deed to “John Smith of Smithfield” (perhaps a cousin?) referred to the adjoining “Nicholas Shalls Lott on the said main street” (BC DB 15/173). And most importantly, on the 1798 House tax there were 15 houses listed specifically in Smithfield. John Smith, Jr. sold at least three lots in 1798 and at least twenty lots in 1799 , according to the deed records.

These earliest deeds refer only to lots on “main street” (now King Street) or on “new street” (now Queen Street) and reference “the first cross street” (now Grace Street) and “the back cross street” (now Charles Street). I believe that John Smith, Jr. expanded the size of Smithfield, prior to its chartering in the legislature, by laying out “new street” with lots on both sides of the street. This new street in effect straightened the road through town and became the new main street. The first reference to “King street” did not come until 1800 and at this time I believe it was given as the name for new street (this use ended sometime about 1830 probably). In the twelve deeds recorded under John Smith, Jr. as Grantor in 1800 , King street was referenced three times, “new street” five times, and “main street” twice. East Street, referred to as “back street” (adjoining the English Meeting House) appeared for the first time in 1800 .

John Smith, Jr. wrote his will and died in 1800 . In his will he instructed his executors, including his son Moses Smith, “to lay out and sell and convey as many lots as may be necessary in said Town of Smithfield for the improvement thereof and also I hereby authorize my said Executors to convey such lotts as I have sold and not conveyed…” (BC WB 3/302). Thus many lots conveyed by Moses Smith after 1800 were actually sold prior to 1800 ; this fact was always stated in the deed.

Smithfield lots sold prior to the late-19th century were numbered from #1 and up for each side of the two primary N-S streets starting from the north side of Turkey Spring Run and again from the south side of the run. The numbering began with Lot 1 adjoining the run on each side of King (main, old, upper) Street and on each side of Queen (new, King, Main, lower) Street. Thus there was potentially eight of each lot number, i.e. eight Lot 1’s, eight Lot 2’s, eight Lot 3’s and so on. Confusing? Confusing enough that several of the deed chains I followed used the wrong lot number for decades. Somebody else must have agreed because in 1883 the lots were renumbered consecutively on S. Howell Brown’s “Plan of Middleway” on which he noted “the system of numbering is new,” unfortunately without reference to the original numbering system. This map also seems to have codified the street names as they are used today. According to Brown’s Plan, Middleway was actually incorporated in 1831 . Incorporation is different from the legislative charter which allowed the proprietor to subdivide and sell lots and collect ground rents. Incorporation sets the town apart as a corporate entity with an elected mayor or burgess, a town council or board of aldermen, and the ability to collect taxes and provide services.

The Smithfield charter apparently required that a house be constructed on purchased lots within a certain amount of time but the early deeds were not consistent in describing that requirement. More often than not they simply said “agreeable to the law” or referred to the requirement in Shepherdstown or Mecklinburg (or even “Maglingburg”). In 1798 , McKnight’s deed called for



[page 7]

“a house 16 feet by 18 a story and a half high with a stone or brick chimney” and Smith of Smithfield’s deed called for “a house of Logs…16 feet by 18 with a stone or brick chimney.”

This is what I have gleaned from the deed and tax records only. I have not read the Bates history of Middleway. One note of interest from the tax record in reference to the “Legend of Wizard Clip” (see Middleway Conservancy website), on the 1798 tax record, John Smith of Smithfied (see above) was listed as “John Smith (Clip).” Apparently the legend had already taken hold in the official records!

On the 1820 census there were 61 households listed in Smithfield with 368 occupants, including 26 slaves and three free blacks. On the 1850 census, Smithfield was described as having 65 houses, with a total “free” (white and black) population of 351 and a total slave population of 95.



[page 8]

1798 Smithfield Chart
District Owner Tenant Location Tax value Location* Description
1 Barnhouse, Richard Hyett, Simeon Smithfield 315.00 1786 Clark (Simion Hyatt) new log house, 24 x 20, 1 1/2

story, inside stone chimney

3 Deaver, Isaac Deaver, Isaac Smithfield 168.00
3 Ensley, John Smithfield 131.25
3 Fry, John Warner, Zebulun Smithfield 210.00
1 Grantham, John Jr. Smith, Seth Smithfield 210.00 1786 Clark

(John Grantium tenant, McCormick)

2 old cabbins
3 McNight, Herman Smithfield 210.00
3 Pulse, John Smithfield 210.00
3 Sambro, Peter Smithfield 157.50
3 Saunders, Moses & Aaron Griffith, Henry & Watson Smithfield 210.00
3 Saunders, Moses & Aaron Griffith, Henry & Watson Smithfield 131.25
3 Shepherd, Godfrey Smithfield 157.50
3 Shoaf, Jacob Smithfield 157.50
3 Shull, Nicholas Wilson, Jane Smithfield 262.50
3 Smith, Moses Storthers, Philip Smithfield 262.50
3 Stone, Joseph Smithfield 210.00 *Location in other sources than 1798 House and Slave Tax



[page 9]

William McSherry House – Lot 9-10 (old Lot 1, east side Queen Street)

Built before 1812 (ca. 1805 ) by William McSherry

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

This deed chain stopped cold in 1859 with the sale of the lot by the Rebecca Wiggington heirs to Sarah West. Rebecca Wiggington was the widow of Dr. Benjamin Wiggington (d. 1847 ) and the daughter of Daniel and Lydia Fry. This lot was never owned by Wiggington or Fry and Rebecca Wiggington was never assessed for the property. I was able to retrace the ownership chain using the tax records and working backward from 1861 but ran out of time before I could take it back into the Berkeley County records. Fortunately there was a reference in a later deed to the first deed for the lot.

1800 – John and Sarah Smith sold Smithfield Lot 1 on the east side of new street to Thomas Carpenter (BC DB 17/42; ref. in JC DB 11/113).

Carpenter sold the lot to William McSherry sometime before 1802 since the conveyance did not show up in the Jefferson County land records.

William McSherry was in possession of the lot as early as 1812 (the earliest I was able to go before I ran out of time).

Certainly Carpenter, and likely McSherry as well, was required by the deed to improve the lot within several years of the purchase date. A likely date for construction by McSherry then would be 1804 -05.

In 1812 McSherry was assessed for 1 lot valued at $60, indicating a well-improved lot. This assessment remained the same through 1817 .

In 1818 , William McSherry was assessed for 1 lot at $80.

1819 – William McSherry of Frederick County Virginia sold Lot 1 to Dennis L. McSherry for $1,000 (JC DB 11/113).

The lot fronted 180 feet on the east side of new street and ran back 90 feet along Turkey Spring run.

In 1820 , Dennis L. McSherry was assessed for 1 lot with a rent value of $80, a lot value of $1,000, and a building value of $600. This assessment remained the same through 1825 .

In 1823 , Dennis McSherry entered a Deed of Trust with John Yates with his house and Lot 1 as security for a $1,400 debt to John Able.

1825 – McSherry defaulted on his loan and John Yates, trustee, sold Lot 1 at public sale to Camp Beckham for $1,700 (DB 14/10).

The lot was described as “a certain house and lot…on King street known…as Lot No. 1.



[page 10]

In 1826 , Camp Beckham was assessed for 1 lot at $1,000/$600 “from D. L. McSherry, John Yates trustee.”

This assessment remained the same through 1835 .

Beginning in 1836 the lot was assessed to Camp Beckham’s heirs at the same values, along with a vacant lot, and the assessments remained the same through 1839 .

1841 – Reassessment. Camp Beckham’s heirs were assessed for 1 lot at $600/$500 and 1 lot at $50 with no building value.

On the 1845 assessment the lot was identified as Lot 1.

1851 – Reassessment. Camp Beckham’s heirs were assessed for the combined 2 lots on lower street valued at $800/$500.

In the 1857 reassessment the heirs were assessed for 2 lots at $1,000/$800.

This assessment remained the same through 1860 .

1859 – John F. Smith, Special Commissioner, sold the house and Lot 1, adjoining “Watson’s Saw Mill Lot” and Scollay to the north (Lot 2), to Sarah West at public sale for $882 (JC DB 39/542).

The sale resulted from the Chancery Suit of Elizabeth B. Wiggington vs. James Wiggington, the children and heirs of Rebecca Wiggington.

On the 1861 JC Land Tax, “Sally West” was assessed for 2 lots (including Lot 1) on lower street “from Camp Beckham heirs.”

Obviously there had to be some relationship between the Wiggingtons and the Beckham heirs.

On the 1850 census, Rebecca Wiggington, age 39, was listed with $11,000 in real estate (she inherited land from the Daniel Fry estate). Her nearest neighbors on the list were Simoni Minghini (Lot1, west side Queen St.) and Henry Smith (Lot 1, s/s run, east side Queen St.). Living in the Wiggington household were Rebecca’s children James (9) and Elizabeth B. (5). Also in the household were Sarah Whitington (28), and Solomon A. Bates (35, Physician) and his wife Margaret (22).

Were Sarah and Margaret perhaps the Camp Beckham heirs? Had Rebecca possibly been married initially to a Beckham heir?

Sarah West devised the property in 1865 to Thomas L. Roberts (Recorders WB, p. 18). Roberts sold it in 1882 to Elizabeth B. Seibert (DB L/25). In 1943 , following the Chancery case of National Radiator Co. vs. J. K. Janney, Special Commissioners James Mason and George Beltzhoover sold the “certain house & lot…on the east side of Main St. [Queen] and now possessed by Elizabeth B. Seibert” was sold to Herbert H. Jennings, subject to a life estate of Thomas Janney (DB 159/45). In 1952 , Jennings sold the “Janney Tract” (Lots 9-10, old Lot 1)


[page 11] and the “Herbert H. Jennings Home Tract” to Thomas Hodges (DB 187/172). Hodges defaulted on a Deed of Trust and the property was sold by Forrest Brown, trustee, to the Bank of Charles Town in 1953 (DB 194/321). The Bank sold it in 1953 back to Herbert H. Jennings (DB 195/541) who sold it in 1955 to James and Rachel Hafer (DB 205/14). In 1965 the Hafers sold the property to Charles and Helen Mack Reininger (DB 274/519) and the Reiningers sold it in 1967 to Walter and Beatrice West (DB 289/360). The Wests sold it in 1986 to Jimmy and Patricia Calhoun (DB 568/60) who sold it to the current owner Janet Aitchison in 1998 (DB 916/110).



[page 12]

Scollay Hall/Eckhart-Lowder-Scollay House – Lot 13/14 (old Lot 2/3, east side of Queen Street)

Built – Log section 1799 by John Eckhart?; improved or rebuilt ca. 1816 by Frederick Lowder; south brick section 1823 and north brick section 1843 by Samuel Scollay Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1799 On April 9th John and Sarah Smith sold Smithfield Lot 2 “on the east side of the new street” to John Ecard (Eckhart), no price given (BC DB 15/254).

The deed included the covenant to “build a house…according to the law within three years from the above date under the same penalties as in the Town of Mecklinburgh.”

From 1799 through 1803 , John Eckhart was assessed for 1 lot valued at $40, indicating there was some improvement on the lot as required by his deed.

1805 Eckhart sold Lot 2 to Abraham Hively for £250 (JC DB 3/291).

It was actually in 1804 when Eckhart disappeared from the tax list and Abraham Hively appeared with 1 lot valued at $40.

That was the only year Hively was assessed for his town lot.

1806 Abraham Hively sold Lot 2 to Benjamin Bell for $600 (JC DB 10/279).

Bell, who was a trustee of the Town of Smithfield and owned several lots in town already, was assessed in 1807 on 1 lot valued at $20 “of Hively” in addition to his other 3 lots at $80.

While the purchase price that Bell paid for the lot implies some improvement already on the lot, the assessment is rather low, half of what it had been under Eckhart and Hively. Was the original building decayed or damaged by fire?

1810 Benjamin Bell sold Lot 2 to Frederick Lowder of Smithfield for $500 (JC DB 6/97).

Clearly Bell had made no changes to the property and its market value had even fallen since his purchase.

In 1811 , Frederick Lowder was assessed for 1 lot at $20 and that assessment remained the same through 1816 .

1817 Frederick Lowder sold Lot 2, “on the east side of Lower street,” to Abraham Eversole for $600 (JC DB 10/69).

On the 1817 tax, Abraham Eversole was assessed for 1 lot valued at $30.

It seems that Lowder may have “fixed up” the old Eckhart house prior to the conveyance to Eversole.



[page 13]

Eversole’s assessment remained at 1 lot valued at $30 in 1818 but he disappeared from the tax record after that.

1822 Christian Allemong, trustee for Abraham Eversole, sold the “house and Lot 2” at public sale to Samuel Scollay for $385 (JC DB 11/508).

1824 Doct. Samuel Scollay was assessed for 1 lot with a rent value of $100, a lot value of $1,000, and a building value of $800.

Although there was no comment from the assessor, I believe this increase represents the construction of the south brick addition to the old log house.

In May 1824 , Samuel Scollay purchased the adjoining lot, Lot 3 “on the east side of Lower street,” also with a house (later demolished?), from Henry Smoke for $400 (JC DB 13/61).

This deed noted that Smoke bought this Lot 3 from Thomas Tabb.

In 1814 , Thomas Tabb sold Lot 3, with a house, “on the east side of King street,” to Henry Smoke for $800 (JC DB 8/262).

Thomas Tabb purchased Lot 3 “on the east side of Lower street,” with a house, from James Trigger in 1813 for $800 (JC DB 7/591). It was noted as adjoining the lot of Frederick Lowder (Lot 2).

James Trigger purchased “one house and lot...on the North side of the Branch and on the east side of King street No. 3” from Elizabeth Smith in 1812 for $600.

Elizabeth Smith purchased Lot 3 “on the east side of King street” from Harmon McKnight in 1802 for $55 (JC DB 1/81). The deed noted that the boundary began at the corner of John Eckhart’s lot then continued along King street 90 feet to the cross street – so this has to be the Lot 3 on the east side of new/Lower/Queen Street.

In 1800 , Michael McKnight purchased Lot 3 “on the east side of King street” from John Smith (BC DB 16/111). Harmon McKnight purchased Lot 3 on the “east side of main street” in 1798 (BC DB 16/109) – but at that time it was the upper street (today’s King) that was routinely called “main street” so this is likely not the right deed (probably the Lot 3 on today’s King Street that has the “Elizabeth Smith Log House” on it – confused yet?).

In 1825 , Samuel Scollay was assessed for 1 lot at $1,000/$800 [Lot 2] and 1 lot at $500/$400 “from H. Smoke” [Lot 3].

Scollay also purchased three unimproved lots in 1823 from Dennis L. McSherry (JC DB 12/475). Two lots were located immediately behind his Lot 3, “on the east side of King street” and on the “first cross street” and the other was behind Lot 1 adjoining the north side of Turkey Spring Branch (Lots 11, 12, and 15 on the 1883 Plan of Middleway).



[page 14]

1844 Dr. Scollay’s assessments remained essentially unchanged through 1843 . In 1844 he was assessed for:

1 lot valued at $3,000 with a building value of $2,800, with the notation “$2,000 added for new House.”

This was identified on the 1845 tax as Lot 2 (the Eckhart/Lowder/Hively/Eversole lot).

1 lot valued at $500 with a building value of $400.

This was identified on the 1845 tax as Lot 3 (the E. Smith/Trigger/Tabb/Smoke lot).

Also the 3 unimproved lots and various other lots in town.

[Frankly I’m a little confused by this, that the major improvement is shown to be on Lot 2, when the larger north brick addition I thought must be on Lot 3 (the lots are only 90 feet wide). I suppose the bulk of the three sections could be on Lot 2. In any case, clearly there was a significant improvement made on Lot 2 in 1823 (which I take to be the south brick addition) and then the bigger improvement in 1843 , “new house,” which has to represent the northern addition in my mind.]

No later changes appeared in the tax record, at least as late as 1861 , so it is not known when the Henry Smoke house on Lot 3 was removed.

Samuel Scollay died about 1889 and the property went to Chancery, A. M. & Harriet S. (Scollay?) Evans vs. Elizabeth Page et al. Likely these were the Scollay heirs. Scollay Hall was sold by Special Commissioner Frank Beckwith to A. M. & Harriet Evans for $1,500 in 1890 (DB V/91). The property then passed to their heir Margaret H. Evans, who then devised it to Elizabeth S. Richardson in 1954 (DB 201/171). Elizabeth Richardson devised it to her sister Louise Bradley (WB N/180) who sold it in 1985 to Clint Thomas Maish (DB 551/561). Maish sold it in 2001 to Joanne Bario & Jacques La Marre (DB 953/40) who sold it to the current owner Margery Gifford in 2004 (DB 993/129).



[page 15]

John Grantham House-Virginia Hotel – Lot 16 (old Lot 4, east side of Queen Street) Built 1800 by John Grantham

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

Somehow this property got lost in the process and I missed it when I did the Berkeley County deeds and the tax records. The following is what I have right now but I will follow up on this when I do the Harpers Ferry/Bolivar group.

1800 John Smith sold Smithfield Lot 4 on the east side of new street to John Grantham (BC DB 16/382).

John Grantham Jr. was assessed in 1801 for 1 lot valued at $40.

This assessment remained the same until 1810 when John Grantham Sr. was assessed for 2 lots at $24 and John Grantham Jr. for 1 lot at $25.

From 1811 through 1817 , John Grantham Sr. was assessed for 2 lots at $24, while “John Grantham (son of Joseph)” was assessed for 1 lot at $30.

In 1818 , John Grantham Sr. was assessed for 1 lot at $12.

1818 February 9, John Grantham Sen. sold Lot 4 “on the east side of King street” to Benjamin B. Strider for $200 (JC DB 10/304).

I think this was probably just a deed for reconveyance to Thomas Hall. Whether the John Grantham Sr. in this deed the John Grantham Sr. of the earlier tax assessments, or John Jr. or even John “son of Joseph” is the unanswered question. In any case, since Strider turned around and immediately sold the “house and Lot” for $1,000 (see below), I’d say that John Grantham built the original house.

This is one of the deeds which refers to new (Queen) street as “King street.” The street later became known as Lower or Main Street and eventually Queen Street.

On February 10, Benjamin B. Strider sold the same lot, described as “a certain house and Lot of ground…on King street on the east side thereof” and on the cross street, to Thomas H. Hall of Charlestown for $1,000 (JC DB 10/305).

Hall entered a Deed of Trust with John McFarlane with the house and Lot 4 as security.

In 1818 , Thomas H. Hall was assessed for 1 lot at $50 “from John Grantham.”

1820 Thomas Hall was assessed for his 1 lot in Smithfield valued at $600 with a building value of $550.

In 1822 , Hall “of Maryland” was assessed for 1 lot at $600/$550.



[page 16]

1823 Hall apparently defaulted on his trust with McFarlane and McFarlane sold the property at public auction to John and James Stephenson for $301 (DB 12/159).

The Stephensons, of Charles Town, sold the lot to Samuel Stone, “the same house and lot which said Stone occupies,” three months later (DB 12/373).

Samuel Stone was assessed in 1824 for 1 lot at $600/$550 “from T. H. Hall.”

Samuel Stone was listed on the 1820 census in Smithfield, occupied as a Merchant.

1828 Samuel Stone was assessed for 1 lot valued at $750 with a building value of $700 and the notation “new addition added $150.”

This assessment stayed the same through 1839 .

1841 Samuel and Courtney Stone sold the house and lot to John H. Smith, “now in the occupancy of said John Henry Smith,” for $1,500 (DB 25/166).

This deed also included the 2 lots behind (east) Lot “No. 4 on the east side of lower street,” which were said to have been purchased from John and Jane Smith.

In 1845 , John H. Smith was assessed for Lot 4 with a rent value of $100, a lot value of $750, and building value of $700. The two adjoining lots behind were vacant, valued at $100. Smith was assessed for several other town lots but Lot 4 was by far his most valuable.

This must have been his town house and office as at the time he also owned his father’s (Moses Smith) home farm adjoining Lake Louisa.

1848 John H. Smith sold the house and three lots to Franklin B. Burwell for $1,500, described as “now in the occupancy of Thomas Lock” (DB 30/316).

It was under Franklin Burwell’s ownership that the house became known as the Virginia Hotel (ref. in 1851 DB 32/89).

On the 1850 census, Franklin B. Burwell was listed as a 31-year old “Hotel Keeper” with real estate valued at $1,500. Listed in the Burwell household were his wife and four young children, and presumably hotel patrons Hiram N. Oyler [?], a Tailor, and Joseph T. Grantham, a Clerk.

In 1849 and 1850 , Burwell was assessed for Lot 4 at $750/700.

1851 Reassessment year. Franklin Burwell was assessed for Lot No. 4 valued at $1,250 with a building value of $900. Although there was no comment from the assessor, it seems likely that some kind of small addition was made to the property.

Franklin Burwell sold to Dr. Solomon A. Bates the “house and lot of land known as the Virginia Hotel” for $1,500 (DB 32/89).

This was likely the end of the hotel days for this house.



[page 17]

In 1855 , Bates was assessed for Lot No. 4 valued at $1,750 with a building value of $1,400 and the notation “$500 added for improvements.”

On the 1860 census, Solomon Bates was a 42-year old Physician. Living in his household was his wife Margaret and their four young children, and 78-year old Priscilla Reily (mother-in-law?).

The Bates family likely also owned slaves, however, in 1860 slaves were separately enumerated.

In 1870 , Dr. Bates’ family included wife Margaret and six children, Mary, Helen, Lucy, William, Robert, and Sophia. Black domestic servant Blanche Jackson also lived in the Bates household.


In 1884 , Special Commissioners Joseph Trapnell and Frank Beckwith conveyed the property to Margaret A. Bates, presumably by then the widow of Solomon Bates (DB M/372). The house and lot remained in the Bates family until 1959 when Margaret Kilmer, attorney-in-fact for Sophie Shirley Bates, sold the property to Samuel and Louise Walker (DB 233/225). In 1965 , the Walkers sold it to Constance Jo Downey (DB 273/468) who sold it in 1999 to the current owners Wayne and Delores Milstead (DB 924/542).



[page 18]

Kounslar-Gilbert House – Lot 20 (old Lot 5, east side of Queen Street) Built 1830 by Conrad Kounslar

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

This deed chain was clear only back to the 1829 purchase by Conrad Kounslar from Benjamin Welsh. Tax records indicate that Welsh married Eleanor Smith, widow of Moses Smith, and that he acquired a Middleway lot through that marriage.

1803 George Irwin, husband of Phebe Smith (daughter of William Smith who was one of John Smith Jr’s sons – the drunken gambler son), sold Lot 5 on the north side of Turkey Spring run and the “east side of King Street” to William Gilbert for £24.

Even though this early deed says “King Street,” I believe this is the subject Lot 5 on the east side of what was then more commonly called new street (Queen). The lot is described as adjoining John Granthams lot (Grantham purchased Lot 4 on the east side of new street in 1800 , BC DB 16/382) and Dedrick Bideman’s lot (Bideman purchased Lot 6 on the east side of new street in 1804 , JC DB 2/244), so I’m fairly confident this deed for Lot 5 is in fact on the east side of new (Queen) street.

This 1803 deed to William Gilbert included the covenant to build a house “under the same rules and regulations of Shepherdstown,” which was to build within two years of the date of purchase or the property would revert to the proprietor.

I never could find a deed from Gilbert to anybody else and there were tax assessments for Gilbert only in 1809 and 1810 – each 1 lot at $20, so it is possible that Gilbert never improved the lot and this conveyance reverted to Moses Smith and his heirs, thus landing in the hands of Eleanor Smith, widow.

1821 Moses Smith died and “Mrs. Smith” was assessed for her 68-acre unimproved dower land. The Moses Smith heirs were assessed for the remaining 136 acres adjoining Smithfield and multiple lots.

Beginning in 1823 , Eleanor Smith’s assessment included 1 lot with a rent value of $20, a lot value of $100, and a building value of $50.

In 1825 , Benjamin Welsh was assessed for the 68-acre dower land “by marriage to Eleanor Smith widow of Moses.”

In 1827 , Benjamin Welsh was assessed additionally for Eleanor’s lot “by marriage,” still 1 lot at $100/$50.

1829 Benjamin B. Welsh and Eleanor, his wife, sold to Conrad Kounslar of Berkeley County for $125:

“One House and Lot…on the Lower street in said Town, and known as Lot No 5…Beginning at the corner of Lot 4 on the East side of the street, (being the Lot owned & occupied by Daniel Stone) thence back 180 feet to the corner of Lot No. 4



[page 19]

thence square 90 feet to corner Lot No. 6 thence square 180 feet to the street & corner to Lot No. 6 thence with the street 90 feet to the Beginning.”

[I wonder what a $50 house looked like?]

1831 Conrad Kounslar (Berkeley County) was assessed for 1 lot with a rent value of $100, a lot value of $1,850, and a building value of $1,800 “from Benj. Welsh, $1,800 added for new building.”

The following year Kounslar purchased the Thomas Janney house across the street (Merchant-Janney House) and added a “stone back building” to it. Kounslar sold this property in 1842 .

1850 The tax record indicated that Conrad Kounslar sold the house and Lot 5 to Margaret Bell who was assessed for Lot 5, valued at $1,800/$1,700, “from C. Kounslar by deed.”

This deed was never recorded and by 1853 , according to the tax record, Margaret Bell was deceased. Her heirs were assessed for Lot 5 at $1,700/$1,600 (reduced in the 1851 reassessment) through 1854 .

1854 The deed records tell a slightly different story:

In January 1854 , Franklin A. Kounslar of Lafayette County, Missouri, and Elizabeth Kounslar sold their two-thirds interest in Lot 5 and the stone house to Jacob Gilbert for $1,000 (JC DB 34/188).

This deed noted that it was devised to Franklin and Randolph Kounslar (and Elizabeth as widow) by the will of Conrad Kounslar.

In August 1854 , Randolph Kounslar sold his one-third interest in Lot 5, “known as the stone store house property,” to Jacob Gilbert for $500 (JC DB 34/190).

In 1855 , Jacob Gilbert was assessed for Lot 5 at $1,700/$1,600. This stayed the same until the 1857 reassessment when it was $2,000/$1,600.

On the 1860 census, Jacob Gilbert was listed as a Farmer in the Charlestown District, while it appeared that Elizabeth Kounslar, aged 86, was living alone in the large stone house in Middleway (just guessing by the nearby neighbors, but this system is not infallible).

By 1870 , at age 69, Jacob Gilbert was listed in Smithfield with $10,000 worth of real estate. His nearest neighbor was John G. Shirley, who operated “a Country Store.”

This may refer to the “drug store lot” carved from the northwest corner of Lot 5 and devised to William H. and Arthur M. Gilbert by their father Jacob in his 1879 will. In 1909 , the Gilbert heirs sold “the drug store lot” to Meta B. and E. G. Shirley. The drug store building was described as being eight feet from the north side of the stone house (JC DB 102/431).

1879 Jacob Gilbert wrote his will and died (JC WB A/144).



[page 20]

In addition to his devise of the “drug store lot” to his two sons, Gilbert devised to “my kind niece Rachel Gilbert, I put & place in her possession after my daughters shall leave her, either by death or marriage my house & lot in Smithfield…”

In 1912 , Sarah (Gilbert) Fry of Hedgesville and Rachel Smith of Middleway sold the house and Lot 5 – except the “Drug Store Lot” – to Robert W. Shirley (JC DB 108/298). R. W. Shirley sold it to Mary L. Shirley in 1938 (DB 148/345). Mary Shirley died in 1967 and the property passed to her heirs, by this time including the Drug Store Lot (1942 , DB 157/429). Sandra Dale Wright, Shirley Ann Favish Wright, Edgar Lewis Wright, and Hazel Favish O’Dell sold the property to Henry and Bertha Smith in 1967 (DB 288/269). In 1977 the Smiths sold it to John and Gail Ebbott (DB 421/212). John Ebbott sold it to Thomas Low in 1981 (DB 485/502) and in 1983 Low sold it to Jean C. Reid (DB 518/730). Jean Reid (later married Heiler) died in 1993 and Jerome Reid sold the property to the current owner Bernard F. Heiler (DB 897/641).



[page 21]

Ambrose Timberlake House – Lot 22 (old Lot 6, east side of Queen Street) Built 1844 by Ambrose Timberlake

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1800 Moses Smith sold Smithfield Lot 6 “on the East side of new street” to Seth Smith for $50 (BC DB 16/357).

This deed is interesting because it states that John Smith Jr’s will authorized “his Executors to sell and convey certain Lotts of Land in the Town of Smithfield and the money arising from the sales of said Lotts to be applied towards the improvement of said Town…”

The deed also included the covenant to “build a house on the lot aforesaid at least 16 feet by 18 and a story and a half high with a stone or brick chimney to the same within three years from the present date.”

Seth Smith was assessed in 1800 through 1802 for 1 lot valued at $20.

In 1803 , Seth Smith was assessed for 1 lot valued at $40.

1804 Seth Smith sold Lot 6 to Dedrick Bideman for $50 (JC DB 2/244).

Despite the implication of the 1803 tax assessment that Smith had indeed constructed the required house on Lot 6, the Bideman deed seems to imply that the lot was vacant, given the price and the same covenant to build a house within three years.

In 1805 , Tedrick (Dedrick) Bideman was assessed for 1 lot valued at $40.

This may be Lot 7, purchased of Moses Smith in 1802 (ref. in JC DB 9/373).

In 1806 , Bideman’s assessment was for 1 lot at $60.

In 1807 and 1808 , 1 lot at $20.

From 1810 through 1813 , 1 lot at $40 and 1 lot at $20 “of Seth Smith.”

In 1814 and 1815 , Bideman was assessed for 1 lot at $5 and 1 lot at $30 “of Seth Smith.”

1816 Although his 1814 -1815 tax assessments seemed to imply that only one of Bideman’s lots was improved, in 1816 Dedrick Bideman sold to Jeremiah Hawkins “two certain houses and two lotts,” Lot 7 on the east side of King (new) street (from Moses Smith 1802 ) and Lot 6 adjoining on the east side of King (new) street (from Seth Smith 1804 ), for $720 (JC DB 9/373).

This is one of those really confusing deeds that used the name “King street” for what had been called “new street” and would later be “Lower Street” or “main street,” then “Queen Street.”

In 1816 , Jeremiah Hawkins was assessed for 2 lots valued at $35 “of Bideman.”

In 1818 and 1819 , Hawkins was assessed for 2 lots at $40.



[page 22]

1820 Jeremiah Hawkins was assessed for 2 lots with a rent value of $50, a lot value of $450, and a building value of $300.

On the 1820 census Jeremiah Hawkins was listed as a “Hatter.” It is likely that one of his buildings was his dwelling and the other was his store.

Hawkins assessment on his two lots did not change through 1832 .

By 1833 it appears that Hawkins’ buildings had been destroyed, probably by fire. He was assessed for 2 lots valued at $150 with no building value; his residence was listed as Berkeley County.

1844 Jeremiah Hawkins sold Lot 6, “on the east side of lower street” to Ambrose C. Timberlake for $137 (DB 27/110).

In 1845 , Timberlake was assessed for 1 lot, No. 6, valued at $1,300 with a building value of $1,200 and the notation “$1,200 added for new house.”

1848 Ambrose Timberlake sold his new house and lot to Frances K. Riely for $1,800 (JC DB 30/152).

Frances K. Riely was the widow of George H. Riely, deceased in 1847 .

Riely’s will instructed the executor (W. O. Macoughtry) to purchase “a lot of ground with a comfortable dwelling house, and necessary outbuildings, as the future home and residence of his wife Frances K. Riely…and his two children John William and Margaret Ellen” for her life with reversion to the children (ref. WB 11/278).

This deed noted that the lot purchased by Timberlake from Jeremiah Hawkins in 1844 was “an unimproved vacant lot at that time.”

Macoughtry, according to the deed, entered into a contract to purchase the property from Timberlake in 1847 , described as being improved with:

“… a two story brick dwelling house _ feet by, _ with an one story brick addition _ feet long by _ feet wide. One end of the main building is fitted up as a store room, with suitable out buildings, a smoke house, stable, corn house &c, and basement story or cellar as a kitchen…”

In 1849 and 1850 , Frances Riely was assessed for the 1 lot (No. 6) at $1,300/$1,200.

In the 1851 reassessment, Riely was assessed for 1 lot (No. 6) at $1,700/$1,575.

1854 This year it was Frances K. Clovinger who was assessed for the house and lot, indicating that Frances Riely had remarried.

The property went into Chancery and was sold at public auction to benefit the Riely children.

In 1855 , Special Commissioner N. S. White sold Lot 6 to Henry Swimley for $1,649.99 (JC DB 35/152).

In 1855 and 1856 , Swimley was assessed for Lot 6 at $1,700/$1,575.



[page 23]

In the 1857 reassessment Swimley was assessed for Lot 6 at $1,800/$1,500.

Henry Swimley was listed on the 1860 census as a 51-year old “Tailor” with real estate valued at $1,650.

1874 – By 1870 Henry Swimley was deceased and in 1874 his children sold the house at public auction to Joseph Hout for $910 (JC DB B/338).

In 1880 , Joseph Hout was listed on the census as a 75-year old Farmer in Middleway District, so it may be during his ownership that the house in Middleway was used by the Lutheran Church as a parsonage. I found nothing in the records however to indicate its use as a parsonage.

In 1916 , following a 1915 Chancery Suit brought by George W. Hout vs. C. Edward Hout, the house and Lot 22 (old Lot 6) was sold to C. W. Henshaw (DB 113/448). Henshaw sold it in 1919 to Robert U. Smith (DB 117/535). In 1936 , Robert U. and Reva Fry Smith sold it to David Fry Smith (DB 148/482). The property is currently owned by the heirs of David Fry Smith, Timothy D. Smith, David M. Smith, and Robert A. Smith (DB 1031/562).



[page 24]

Strider-Harley House – Lot 26 (old Lot 8, east side of Queen Street)

Built [ca. 1798 by Philip Strider?] or 1805 by Elizabeth Strider; brick addition ca. 1855 by Joseph Harley

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1804 Moses Smith, executor of his father John Smith, Jr’s estate, sold Smithfield Lot 8, “on the new street and on the east side of the same,” to Elizabeth Strider “widow and relict of Philip Strider dec.” and his heirs (children) for £12 (JC DB 2/336).

This was one of the Moses Smith deeds that stated that he was empowered by John Smith’s will “to convey such lotts as the said John Smith had in his life time sold and not conveyed.” John Smith, Jr. died in 1800 .

On the 1798 BC House Tax there was an entry for Moses Smith, 1 house in Smithfield valued at $262.50, said to be occupied by “Philip Storthers.” I believe this is probably a transcription error – it could be Strothers (or Strother) but I suspect it might actually have been Strider.

This 1804 deed did include the covenant to build a house, so it is possible that Elizabeth Strider built the house about 1805 .

Elizabeth Strider did not show up in the land tax records until 1816 when she was assessed for 1 lot valued at $40. This assessment remained the same through 1819 .

1820 Elizabeth Strider was assessed for 1 lot with a rent value of $60, a lot value of $400, and a building value of $350.

This assessment remained the same through 1839 .

1840 Elizabeth Strider was deceased.

Ferdinand W. Stephenson, John F. & Mary Ann Strider, John & Harriet (Strider?) Bush, James Power, Mary (Strider?) Huntsberry, Henry S. Shaffer, and William & Ann Amelia (Strider?) Green – the heirs (children and grand children?) of Philip Strider – sold the “house and lot of ground, Lot No. 8” to Joseph Harley for $325 (JC DB 25/130).

The house and lot were described as “now in the occupancy of Joseph Harley.”

It appears there was a lone hold-out heir to this deed. In 1841 , the property was sold to Harley again at a public auction following a Chancery Suit John F. Strider vs. Edward W. Stephenson.” This second deed, also for $325 described the property as:

“…known on the plan of said Town as lot No. 8 now in possession of said Harley and the same which had conveyed to the said Harley by another deed from Ferdinand W. Stephenson, John F. Strider, & others…”

In 1841 , Joseph Harley was assessed for 1 lot valued at $400 with a building value of $300 “from Elizabeth Strider.”



[page 25]

Harley’s assessment stayed the same through 1850 .

On the 1850 census, Joseph Harley was listed as a 50-year old Clockmaker from Germany. It seems likely that the brick addition was probably built as his shop.

1851 Reassessment. Joseph Harley was assessed for 1 lot, No. 8, valued at $450 with a building value of $350.

This doesn’t seem like a big enough change in value to indicate that the brick addition had recently been constructed. Perhaps it was under construction at the time of the reassessment.

This assessment value remained the same through 1856 .

In 1857 , another possible reassessment year, Harley’s assessment was for 1 lot valued at $450 with a building value of $400.

Again, this seems too small to indicate a new brick addition but combined with the earlier increase, $100 might be enough.

This assessment did not change through 1861 .

In 1872 , Harley’s heirs were assessed for 1 lot valued at $360 with a building value of $320.

In 1889 , “the Harley Lot #26” was sold following a Chancery Suit, Elizabeth Slagle & others vs. Jacob A. Harley & others, to R. W. Kearns for $505 (JC DB T/74). Kearns died intestate about 1908 and the lot was sold in 1916 by J. W. Kearns and E. F. Kearns to C. M. Kearns (DB 113/464). Charles Kearns purchased the adjoining vacant Lot 25 in 1933 (DB 162/143). He died in 1967 and the heirs transferred the two lots (25 and 26) to Thelma M. Kearns through a trustee in 1970 (DB 316/109). In 1971 , Thelma Kearns sold the property to the current owner Mary Toborg (DB 329/245).



[page 26]

John Moyer House – Lot 41 (old Lot 19 w/s Queen St.)

Built ca. 1815 ? by John Moyer; addition ca. 1850 by Abraham Myers Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates January 2010

1818 Moses Smith sold two Smithfield lots, both Lot No. 19, to John Moyers [sic] for $60 (JC DB 10/406).

The lots were described as Lot 19 on the west side of King Street (today’s Queen St.) and Lot No. 19 on the east side of “main street” (today’s King St.). The lots were back to back (e/s King and w/s Queen) as described in a later (1844 ) deed.

This deed was described as among the lots “sold but not conveyed” by John Smith, Jr. prior to his death in 1800 . That means John Moyer (Moyers) actually purchased the lots before 1800 , however he did not appear on the tax record until 1819 .

In 1819 , John Moyer was assessed for 2 lots valued at $50 “from Moses Smith.”

1820 John Moyer was assessed for 2 lots with a rent value of $50, a lot value of $300, and a building value of $250.

Clearly there was a building on the lots but certainly not substantial. This seems low for a three-bay, two story house. Was it possibly 1 ½ stories?

On the 1820 census John Moyers [sic] was listed as a farmer with 13 people in his household, none of them slaves. Three household members were occupied in agriculture.

Moyer’s assessment did not change until the reassessment in 1841 when the building value fell to $200.

1844 John Moyer sold his two lots in Smithfield to Abraham Moyers [sic] for $300 (JC DB 30/401).

This deed described the lots:

“Beginning at a stake in King Street (in this case it actually is today’s King St.), corner to lot No. 18, thence with the said street 90 feet to a stake corner to the cross street, thence square back with said cross street 360 feet to the main street (by this time main refers to Queen St.), thence with the main street 90 feet to a stake, corner to Lot No. 18, thence square with lot No. 18, 360 feet to the beginning, containing two full lots.”

John Moyer died that year and his heirs continued to pay the tax on the property through 1848 .

1847 John Moyers heirs were taxed for 2 lots valued at $400 with a building value of $300 with the notation “$100 added for new shop.”



[page 27]

This was the only notation ever given for this property in the tax record. It could refer to the addition to the house, possibly used as a shop, or it could refer to a stand-alone shop.


On the 1850 census, Abraham Myers was listed as a 40-year old Carpenter. The only person listed in his household was Mary Myers, 25 years old, probably his young wife.

1851 Reassessment? Abraham Myers [sic] was assessed for 2 lots valued at $600 with a building value of $450.

In 1857 , also a possible reassessment year, Myers was assessed for 2 lots at $1,000/800. This is a much bigger change than most of the other assessments in Smithfield so this may actually represent some improvement to the property.

The property remained in the Myers (Moyer, Moyers) family, passing from Abraham Myers to his heirs and sold by them in 1907 to Frederick Myers for $500 (JC DB 102/67). In 1929 , Frederick Myers sold “the Myers Property” to W. Randolph Barnes for $1,600 (JC DB 132/227). Barnes’ heirs sold it in 1954 to Frederick Kratz (DB 197/451) and Kratz to Thomas Reynolds & Edward Dent, Jr. in 1959 (DB 235/34). In 1971 Thomas Reynolds sold the property to Robert and Beatrice Mason (DB 327/308) and in 1989 , Beatrice Mason sold it to the current owners Grant and Lillian Prillaman (DB 630/590).



[page 28]

Red House & Blacksmith Shop – Lot 56 (old Lot 12 w/s Queen St.)

Built before 1820 by Benjamin Bell?; blacksmith shop built 1850 by Thomas Johnson Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates January 2010

Like the Daniel Fry House on Lot 57 (old Lot 11 w/s Queen St.) this lot had some problems with its identification in the deed and tax records.

1798 Possibly late 1797 , John Smith, Jr. sold one of his Smithfield lots to Benjamin Bell (BC DB 14, page 181 or 184).

This deed book is one of the missing record books, destroyed during the Civil War, so we cannot know for sure the details of the conveyance.

1809 Benjamin Bell sold Lot 12, described as on the west side of King Street and on one of the cross streets, to Daniel Fry (JC DB 5/172).

It was during this period that many deeds started using the name “King street” for lots located along “the new street” (today’s Queen St.)

Daniel Fry was assessed on the 1810 tax record for:

1 lot valued at $20 “from Moses Smith and John Grantham” (Lot 3, w/s Queen, “Grantham Store”)

1 lot valued at $20 “from Benjamin Bell” (subject lot). At $20 value, this was not an unimproved lot (more typically $5).

From 1810 through 1817 , these two lots were combined in the tax record, valued at $40, while his house lot (Lot 57/old Lot 11, “Daniel Fry House”) was valued alone at $40.

In 1818 the three lots were valued together at $125, indicating some improvement on one or all three lots.

Daniel Fry purchased Lot 12 on the “east side of Main street” (here I believe referring to today’s King Street) from John Fryer fro $30 (DB 10/370). This was added to his tax assessment in 1819 when Fry was assessed for 3 lots at $125 and 1 lot at $5 “from John Fryer.”

1820 Daniel Fry was assessed for:

1 lot with a rent value of $100, a lot value of $500, and a building value of $400 (Lot 57/old Lot 11 “Daniel Fry House”)

1 lot with a rent value of $35, a lot value of $150, and a building value of $100 (Lot 74/old Lot 3, “Grantham Store”)

1 lot with a rent value of $40, a lot value of $250, and a building value of $200.



[page 29]

I suspect this was actually the two lots numbered 12 fronting on Queen (the subject lot) and King (then Main street) and Charles (cross) Streets. Since they adjoined each other the two lots were listed a one lot, a common occurrence throughout the tax records.

1831 Lydia Fry sold “two lots belonging to her late husband Daniel Fry” to John Little for $600 (JC DB 17/53).

Daniel Fry died in 1823 leaving everything to his wife Lydia then to their children, giving Lydia Fry the right to sell anything as necessary to support the family.

It is the description of the two lots sold by Lydia Fry to John Little in 1831 first confuses (because the use of street names was incredibly inconsistent early on in this town), then confirms that indeed the two lots adjoined and were bounded by today’s King, Queen, and Charles Streets:

1) (confusing) “one of the said lots lying on the west side of King [Queen] street (No. 12) cornering on the back cross [Charles] street and adjoining the lot formerly the property of Isaac Williams and bounded as follows, Beginning on the corner of King street and the said cross street and running in a North direction 90 feet on King street, thence square with King street back in a west direction 180 feet, thence in a south direction square with the last line 90 feet to the said cross street thence in an east direction with the said cross street 180 feet to the beginning…conveyed by Benjamin Bell…1809 .”

2) “one other lot lying on the east side of Main [King] street (No. 12) Beginning on the corner of Main street and the said cross street, running in a north direction with main street 90 feet to the corner of lot No. 13, known by the name of Franks lot, thence back in an East direction 180 feet to the corner of the first mentioned lot, thence square with the last line and running with the back line of the first described lot in a south direction 90 feet to the cross street, thence with the cross street in a West direction to the beginning…conveyed by John Fryer…1818 .”

The deed stipulated “the further exception on the part of the said Lydia of reserving for the use of the occupants of her remaining houses in said town, the use of the well of water on one of the lots sold so long as the said lot shall remain the property of herself and her children and no longer…”

This sale appeared in the 1832 tax record under the Daniel Fry heirs, 1 lot at $250/$200 “lot & buildings transferred to John Little.”

1833 John Little sold the Lot 12 “on the east side of Main street” and adjoining Henry Franks lot (described in his deed as on the “east side of the western street” DB 14/526), to Washington Merchant for $200 (JC DB 17/53).

This seems to have had no effect on Little’s tax assessment as it remained at 1 lot valued at $250/$200 through 1838 .



[page 30]

1837 John Little of Maryland sold one of his lots to Nathan Barnes of Smithfield for $800 (JC DB 22/409).

This deed described the lot as Lot 13, “the well lot,” with a house on Main Street (in this case Queen Street).

This unfortunate re-numbering of the lot may have been a result of confusion from the wrong number being assigned to the Fry house lot on the south side of the cross (Charles) street back in 1810 (see Daniel Fry House report). The well on the lot however, is a clue that we have the right lot. Also, that by this time the “new street” really was consistently being called Main Street.

Little had sold his other lot, the Lot 12 adjoining Henry Frank’s lot, in 1833 to Washington Merchant for $200 (JC DB 19/94), so clearly “the well lot” with the house was the more valuable lot.

Nathan Barnes was assessed for his new house and lot in 1838 , 1 lot valued at $250 with a building value of $200 “from John Little.”

1841 Reassessment. Barnes was assessed for his 1 lot, now valued at $450 with a building value of $400. This may actually reflect some improvement on the lot.

On the 1850 census Nathan Barnes was listed as a “Farmer” with a wife and eight children.

Barnes’ assessment changed in 1843 to 1 lot at $500/$400 without comment, and again in 1845 to 1 lot at $400/$300 without comment, then back to 1 lot at $500/$400 without comment. It remained level through 1850 .

1851 Nathan Barnes sold his Lot 12 to John S. Grantham and Thomas Johnson, probably in 1850 .

This deed was not recorded but the conveyance showed up on the 1851 tax record when Grantham and Johnson were assessed for the lot, now valued at $1,250 with a building value of $1,000 – without explanation.

This was a reassessment year but I think also this was when the stone blacksmith shop was constructed.

On the 1850 census, Thomas Johnson, Blacksmith, was listed in a household adjoining the household of John S. Grantham, Cabinet maker.

Grantham and Johnson mortgaged their property in 1850 , also unrecorded, with George Beckwith (ref. in JC DB 33/55).

1852 Grantham and Johnson defaulted on their loan and George Beckwith sold the lot “with dwellings and Blacksmith shop” to William Martin to $950 (JC DB 33/55).

Martin was assessed in 1853 for 1 lot at $1,250/$1,000 “from Grantham and Johnson.”



[page 31]

1860 In January William Martin mortgaged his property with John F. Smith to cover three debts. This Deed of Trust confirms the exact location of the property describing it as bounded by the turnpike, Nicely to the north, Macoughtry to the west, and cross street to the south, “on said lot is erected a large stone smith’s shop, and an excellent well of water.”

Two months later John F. Smith as trustee sold the property back to Thomas Johnson at a public sale for $505 (JC DB 39/222).

On the 1860 census, Thomas Johnson (from England) was still listed as a Blacksmith, now 34 years old with his wife and children, and this time he also had an apprentice and another young blacksmith in residence, Walter Chapman.

In 1873 , Thomas Johnson sold his house and shop in Smithfield to Mildred C. Waters for $1,200 (DB A/274). Waters sold it in 1876 to George F. Foulk for $1,000 (DB D/261). In 1880 , George Foulk sold it back to none other than Thomas Johnson for $700 (DB H/121). This time Johnson held onto the lot and it remained in the Johnson family until 1944 when Carroll H. Johnson sold it to Lee Osbourn (DB 160/48). In 1958 Charlotte R. Colin inherited the property from Osbourn and in 1951 she sold it to Nathaniel Gray Sr. (DB 233/337). Gray’s heirs sold it to Mary A. Peacher in 1965 (DB 273/152) who sold it in 1972 to Donald Weise (346/169). Donald and Rosemary Weise sold the property, described as the “majority of Lot 56 on the map hanging in the Clerk’s Office” excepting the parcel with the blacksmith shop (25’ x 51’), to the current owners David and Patricia Arnaudo (409/87).



[page 32]

Daniel Fry House – Lot 57 (old Lot 11 w/s Queen St.)

Built ca. 1805 by Benjamin Bell?; improved 1819 by Daniel Fry; 1856 addition Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates January 2010

This is one of the lots that was apparently incorrectly identified in the early deeds (as Lot 12) making the deed history a bit dicey to follow.

1798 Possibly late 1797 , John Smith, Jr. sold one of his Smithfield lots to Benjamin Bell (BC DB 14, page 181 or 184).

This deed book is one of the missing record books, destroyed during the Civil War, so we cannot know for sure the details of the conveyance.

1810 Benjamin Bell sold Lot “No. 12” (should be Lot 11 by the description) to Daniel Fry and Abraham Bell for $500 (JC DB 6/18).

Although the deed said it was Lot 12, the description of the lot being “on the new street [Queen Street] and on the west side of the same” and along the south side of the “cross street” (Charles Street) implies that this was indeed Lot 11:

“Beginning at a stake in the corner of the cross street to Charlestown, then with said street [new street] S 11 ½° W 90 feet to a stake, then N 78 ½° W 180 feet, then N 11 ½° E 90 feet to a stake on the edge of said cross street running with said street 78 ½° 180 feet to the beginning.”

In 1811 , Daniel Fry and Abraham Bell were assessed together on the tax record for 1 lot valued at $40.

The deed and tax records indicate that there was a building on Lot 11 prior to the purchase by Fry and A. Bell in 1810 . If B. Bell did buy this lot from Smith in 1798 , he would have been required to build a minimum 16’ x 18’ dwelling on the lot, in accordance with the town charter, probably early in the 12 year span of his ownership. Thus it is quite possible that the older section of this log house was constructed ca. 1805 by Benjamin Bell.

1814 Abraham Bell sold to “Daniel Fry of Smithfield” his share of the “same House and Lot” the two men had purchased together in 1810 (JC DB 8/314).

In 1815 , Daniel Fry was assessed for 1 lot at $40 “from A. Bell.”

1818 Daniel Fry’s assessment was for 3 lots valued collectively at $125.

1 lot was Lot 11 (subject house)

1 lot was Lot 12 (w/s new/Queen St, “Red House & Blacksmith shop”)

1 lot was Lot 12 (e/s main/King St., bought of John Frier in 1818 and adjoining Henry Franks’ Lot 13)



[page 33]

1820 Daniel Fry was assessed for:

1 lot with a rent value of $100, a lot value of $500, and a building value of $400

1 lot with a rent value of $40, a lot value of $250, and a building value of $200

Since the second, less valuable lot was later (1832 ) identified in the tax record as the one sold to John Little (Lot 12, “Red House & Blacksmith Shop” – this sale was actually for both lots #12 listed in 1818 ), then it stands to reason that the first above-listed lot in 1820 was the “Daniel Fry House,” which apparently was improved in 1819 (judging by the rent value).

In 1823 the tax assessment for the buildings on Fry’s $500-lot rose to $450 without comment.

Daniel Fry was deceased by 1824 . When he wrote his will in 1821 he stipulated that everything should go to his wife Lydia and that could sell anything necessary to help the family (JC WB 3/?).

1840 Lydia Fry and the other heirs sold her house and lot to Henry Swimley for $450 (JC DB 24/247).

Swimley was assessed on the lot in 1841 with a value of $400 and building value of $350.

The value on the lot did not change until 1851 , a reassessment year, when it changed to a lot value $600 and a building value $500.

On the 1850 census Henry Swimley was listed as a 41-year old “Tailor” with a real estate value of $2,500. Also living in the Swimley household was his wife Mary and their six children.

1854 March. Swimley sold his house and lot to J. P. Martin for $1,000 (JC DB 34/267).


In October 1854 , J. P. Martin sold the property to Joel W. Roberts & John J. Hammond for $1,000 (JC DB 34/268).

Swimley may have made some improvements to the property, given the increased value, but it doesn’t seem likely that he built the addition to the house.

The confusion over the lot number (Lot 11 vs. Lot 12) seems to have caused both the tax assessor and the Clerk of the Court to simply drop any reference to a number for this lot, beginning with the 1840 deed from Lydia Fry to Henry Swimley when it was described simply as the lot on “the corner opposite Thomas Timberlake’s property.” In 1845 , when the tax assessor began enumerating the town lot numbers, this lot was not assigned a number on the tax list, although on the 1852 tax list it was identified as being on “lower street” (Queen Street).

</blockquote>


[page 34]

1856 Joel & Sarah Roberts and John J. & Sally Hammond sold the house and lot to Elizabeth Kownslar for $2,000 (JC DB 35/257).

The lot was described as being on the west side of the “lower or Main Street…at the south corner of the square or cross street and immediately opposite the Brick store and dwelling of George H. Beckwith…”

By the sale price it seems that Roberts and Hammond made a substantial improvement to the property, likely the addition to the house making it five bays with a center hall.

Elizabeth Kownslar’s 1857 tax assessment (also a reassessment year) set the value of the lot at $1,500 and the buildings at $1,200 with the notation, “$500 added for improvements.”

In an unrecorded 1861 conveyance, Elizabeth Kownslar sold the property to Eliza Lavinia Roberts, which makes me wonder if there was some relation between Kownslar and the Roberts family (like maybe Eliza was Elizabeth’s daughter?).

On the 1860 census Elizabeth Kownslar was listed as an 86-year old “Lady.” Listed immediately next but as a separate house and household was William J. Roberts, a “Gentleman,” and his wife Eliza Roberts and their five children.

The Daniel Fry House remained in the Roberts family through Eliza’s children (DB 77, pp. 90 and 250) until 1931 when it was sold by Forrest A. Brown as Special Commissioner to Elizabeth Shaull (DB 139/239). From 1940 through 1997 the property then passed through nine successive owners (DB 152/342; 246/28; 272/155; 368/549; 410/228; 468/448; 508/206; 646/635; 648/627; 743/442; 852/272). In 2008 , John Schwartz and Barbara Martin sold it to the current owners Ron and Paige Phifer (1051/680).



[page 35]

Dr. Mann P. Nelson House – Lot 59 (old Lot 10, east side King Street)

Built 1827 by Mann P. Nelson; improved about 1850 and 1856

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1798 John Smith sold Smithfield Lot 10 on the east side of “main street” [today’s King] to Seth Smith (BC DB 15/11).

In 1799 , Seth Smith was assessed for 1 lot valued at $20.

This assessment remained the same through 1804 when he may have sold the lot to Benjamin Bell (no recorded deed).

In 1803 , Bell was assessed for just 1 lot but in 1804 he was assessed for 3 lots at $80. One of these lots may have been the subject Lot 10.

Seth Smith was one of the early Trustees of the Town of Smithfield who sold lots through the first decade of the 19th century. The other trustees were John Packett, Moses Smith, Joseph Grantham, John Grantham Jr., and Benjamin Bell.

1810 Benjamin Bell sold Lot 10, on the east side of main street to John Hill for $800 (JC DB 10/106).

John Hill was first assessed in 1812 for 1 lot valued at $55 “of Benjamin Bell.”

In 1816 , Hill was assessed for 1 lot at $60.

In 1817 , it was John Hill’s heirs who were assessed for 1 lot at $60.

In 1818 , the assessment fell to 1 lot at $50 and remained the same in 1819 .

1820 Hill’s heirs were assessed for 1 lot with a rent value of $50, a lot value of $800, and a building value of $700.

This assessment remained the same through 1825 when the assessor noted “supposed to be Edward S. Bell.”

An 1826 Deed of Trust entered by Edward S. Bell with trustee Thomas Griggs, Jr. indicated that Bell had purchased “Lot 11” of Hill’s heirs, although no deed was ever recorded and the heirs continued to be assessed for the lot through 1830 .

Edward Bell had given the lot as security for the payment of two debts: one debt of $930.60 owed to “M. W. & J. Swann of Baltimore,” and one debt of $429.22 owed to Tiffany, Wynan [?] & Co. of Baltimore.”

1828 Bell defaulted on his trust and Thomas Griggs Jr. sold the property at public sale to Dr. Mann P. Nelson for $120.50 (DB 15/264).

Nelson was first assessed for the lot in 1831 : 1 lot valued at $650 with a building value of $600 and the notation “from J Hills heirs $600 added for new building.”

Nelson also purchased the adjoining vacant lot “from Molly Hodges” by 1832 .



[page 36]

In 1833 he was assessed for 2 lots at $700/$600. This assessment remained the same through 1839 .

1841 Reassessment. Mann P. Nelson was assessed for 1 lot valued at $800/$700.

This remained the same until 1845 when it was again 2 lots, with the same value. The lots were not identified by their lot number.

1851 Reassessment. Nelson was assessed for 2 lots (no #) valued at $1,500 with a building value of $1,350.

1857 Reassessment. Nelson’s 2 lots on upper street were valued at $2,000 with a building value of $1,800 and the notation “$500 added for improvements.”

Dr. Mann P. Nelson wrote his will in 1887 and died in 1888 . In his will he devised to his niece Fanny White “my house & lot (including the stoves in the fireplaces)” on the east side of upper street (JC WB A/372). In 1919 , the heirs of Fanny White sold the property to R. Edith Grantham (JC DB 117/426). Grantham devised it to Jessie Seibole, who then sold it in 1941 to Raymond White (DB 154/299). White devised it to Helen A. Z. White, who then sold it to Louise Krieg in 1954 (DB 200/425). Kreig transferred the property to trustee Forrest Brown in 1957 (DB 220/156) and in 1966 , sub-trustee L. C. Briscoe sold it to Henry Earl Smith (DB 279/356). In 1968 , Smith sold it to William and Alice Pifer (DB 295/490). The Pifers sold the property in 2003 to their children William Jr. and Vicky Pifer Smith (DB 975/217) who sold it in 2005 to Reese Clabaugh (DB 1012/75). Reese Clabaugh Jr. added Tracey Brill to the deed in 2009 (DB 1060/300).



[page 37]

Merchant-Janney House – Lot 60 (old Lot 10 w/s Queen Street)

Built 1798 by Abraham Merchant; improved 1817 by Nathan Janney; back building added 1832 by Conrad Kounslar

Resource History Paula S. Reed & Assoc. February 2010

1799 July 10. John and Sarah Smith sold Smithfield Lot 10, on the north side of Turkey

Spring Branch and on the west side of “new street,” to Abraham Merchant (BC DB 15/488). This deed did not include a purchase price.

The lot was described as 96 feet along new street and 180 feet back, adjoining “No. 11 belonging to Benjamin Beall” on the north and Lot No. 9 on the south. The lot narrowed to 90 feet wide on the west boundary line.

Merchant was bound by the deed to “Build a house on the aforesaid Lott at least sixteen feet by eighteen one and a half story high with a Brick or stone Chimney within three years from the time such Lotts were purchased or otherwise to be under the same penalties as they are under in the Town of Mecklingburg.” That is, the lot would return to the proprietor’s ownership if the lot was not improved within the three years allotted.

The ground rent was “one half dollar yearly.”

A deed dated June 7, 1798 for the adjoining Lot 10 on the east side of “main street” (today’s King Street), noted in the lot description that it was bounded on the east by “Abraham Merchant’s Lott,” indicating that Merchant had actually purchased his Lot 10 (w/s new/Queen) at least a year prior to his deed and may have already constructed his house.

On the 1799 BC Land Tax, Abraham Merchant was assessed for 1 lot valued at $40, indicating that there were improvements on the lot at that time.

Merchant never showed up again in the tax record.

1802 Abraham Merchant sold Lot 10 on the west side of new street to Andrew Waggoner, Jr. for $500 (JC DB 3/74).

Waggoner didn’t appear in the JC Land Tax record until 1806 when he was assessed for 1 lot valued at $25.

It is possible that something happened to the Merchant house, or that the assessor simply saw the now-8 to 10-year old log house as not very valuable.

Waggoner’s assessment remained at $25 through 1817 .

1816 Andrew and Attarah Waggoner sold Lot 10 to Nathan Janney for $300 (JC DB 10/99).

Clearly, the value of the property, probably particularly the improvements, had fallen.



[page 38]

Janney never did appear in the JC Land Tax record although it appears from the next (1818 ) deed that Janney made improvements on his lot.

1818 It was around this time that somebody, but not everybody, in Smithfiled decided to rename the “new street” as “King street.” (The “old street” generally called “main street” and later “upper street,” would much later become today’s King Street.) At the same time, somebody else got confused about the lot numbering system and the Benjamin Bell (Beall) Lot No. 11 (Daniel Fry House) became Lot 12 in the 1810 deed from Bell to Daniel Fry (see report). This caused a chain reaction of lot number changes along the west side of new (or King, now Queen) street.

Nathan Janney sold the house and “Lot 11” [10] on the “west side of King street” to Robert Bailey for $1,100 (JC DB 10/373).

This was a deed of trust and Bailey was acting as a trustee holding the property, possibly because of debt accrued by Janney in the house improvements. It seems likely that it was Nathan Janney who added the second story to the house.

Bailey did not appear in the tax record either.

1821 Sebastian Eaty, acting trustee for Robert Bailey and Nathan Janney, sold the house and “Lot 11 [10] on the west side of King street” to John Janney at a public sale for $135 (JC DB 11/375).

The lot was described as adjoining Daniel Fry’s lot.

John Janney appeared in the tax record in 1821 with 1 lot, with a rent value of $60, a lot value of $600, and a building value of $500, with the notation “from Lucy Haines.”

Lucy Haines was assessed in 1820 for the same lot and values. Lucy Haines did not appear in the 1820 census as the head of a household.

It would appear that Bailey and Janney had perhaps leased the house to Lucy Haines.

1823 John Janney, of Loudoun County, sold Lot 11 [10] to Thomas Janney of the District of Columbia for $1,000 (JC DB 12/290).

Thomas Janney (of Loudoun County) was assessed in 1824 for 1 lot valued at $600/$500.

This assessment remained the same through 1832 .

1833 Conrad Kounslar was assessed for 1 lot valued at $800 with a building value of $700 with the notation: “from Thomas Janney, $200 added for back building.”

Kounslar’s deed for this lot was dated February 1835 and he purchased the lot from George Johnson “of Alexandria, D.C.” for $200 (JC DB 21/296).



[page 39]

The deed references two intervening deeds, neither of them were recorded, and this despite the fact that Thomas Janney was assessed for this lot from 1824 through 1832 .

1) 1823 From Thomas Janney and John D. Brown to Joseph Janney.

2) 1829 From Joseph Janney to George Johnson.

Kounslar’s assessment remained the same through 1842 .

1842 Conrad Kounslar of Berkeley County sold Lot 11 [10] to John R. A. Redman for $800 (JC DB 25/417).

The boundary was now described as: “Beginning at a post on the edge of King [new] Street, on the west side of said street corner to Daniel Frys lot N 78° W 180 feet, then S 12° W 90 feet, thence S 78° E 180 feet, thence with the said street N 12° 90 feet to the beginning.”

In 1843 , Redman was assessed for 1 lot valued at $800/$700.

In 1845 , he was assessed for “1 Lot no. 11 [10]” valued at $800/$700 and “1/4 Lot No. 10 [9]” (adjoining on the south) valued at $50 with no building value.

1846 In an unrecorded deed, John Redman sold the house and lot to Henry Swimley (ref. in DB 32/430).

Henry Swimley was assessed in 1847 for 1 lot at $800/$700 “from Redman.”

In 1849 his assessment added the adjoining vacant ¼-lot.

1851 Reassessment. Henry Swimley was assessed for 1 ¼ lot (described erroneously as 11 and part of 12) valued at $1,000 with a building value of $900.

1852 Swimley sold “a certain dwelling house and lot of land attached” to Elizabeth Kounslar (I believe at this point a widow) for $1,500 (JC DB 32/430).

It was described as Lot 11 [10] on “the west side of lower or Turnpike Street.”

The conveyance also included the adjoining piece of lot 10 [9] purchased by Redman from Walter J. Bunnell: “as a way to the stable & corn house and for a wood & corn yard…right reserved to the owner or occupant of said adjoining property to pass over this piece of ground to the stable, corn house etc. for wagons with hay or wood to pass up and to be thrown over into the lot or otherwise disposed of,” but not for “standing stocks hogs or horses.”

From 1853 through 1856 , Elizabeth Kounslar was assessed for the 1 ¼ lots valued at $1,000/$900.

In 1857 , possibly another reassessment year, she was assessed for 1 ¼ lots at $1,200/$1,000. This remained the same through 1861 .

In 1872 , Elizabeth Kounslar was assessed for the 1 ¼ lot valued at $960/$800.



[page 40]

Following Elizabeth Kounslar’s death about 1874 , the property passed in 1875 to her heirs Harriet L. Evans and Fannie L. White through trustee S. F. White (husband of Fannie) for $1,000 (JC DB C/362). Harriet Evans sold it in 1876 to Elizabeth S. Shirley for $1,000 (JC DB E/91). By this time new street (or for several years King street) was called “lower” or “main” street (today Queen Street). The property remained in the Shirley family at least through 1966 when Carroll and Anna Martin, nieces of Florence T. Shirley (daughter of Eliz. Sophia Shirley) sold the property to Marvel Williams (DB 282/305). Williams sold it to James and Thelma Knox in 1969 (DB 309/441) and Knox sold it to Dorothea Feigley in 1972 (DB 348/150). In 1982 the Feigleys sold it to their son Chester Feigley (DB 495/532) and in 1992 Chester Feigley sold it to the current owner Frances Shirley (DB 713/605).



[page 41]

Michael Shaull-John F. Smith House – Lot 66 (old Lot 7, w/s Queen Street)

Built 1800 by Michael Shaull; improved 1813 ; stone kitchen in 1833 by J. F. Smith Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1800 John and Sarah Smith sold Smithfield Lot 7, on “the north [sic] side of new street,” to Michael Shaull for £15 (BC DB 16/386).

Shaull was bound by this deed “to build a house on said Lott at Least 16 feet by 18 feet with a stone or brick chimney under the same rules and regulations of Shepherds Town,” which was to build within two years of purchase or the lot would revert back to the proprietor.

On the BC and JC land tax records, Michael Shaull was assessed for his 200-acre farm, but his lot in Smithfield did not show up on the assessment until 1810 .

In 1810 , Michael Shaull was assessed for 1 lot valued at $20, indicating that it was probably improved, but not by much (and of course, whatever it was it had probably been there since at least 1802 ).

Michael Shaull’s assessment rose to $30 on his 1 lot in 1814 and remained the same through 1819 .

1820 Michael Shaull was assessed for 1 lot with a rent value of $30, a lot value of $350, and a building value of $300.

This assessment remained the same through 1826 .

1827 Michael and Rosanna Shall (Shaull) sold the lot to John F. Smith for $185 (JC DB 14/444).

The lot was described as: “a certain house and lott…in the Town of Smithfield, on the north side of the branch called Turkey Spring and on the north [sic] side of the new street called No. 7 – Beginning at a stake corner to Gabriel Nourse then with the street 90 feet corner to No. 8 then with the line No. 8, 180 feet corner to No. 8, then square of 90 feet corner to No. 6, then with the Lott No. 6, 180 feet to the Beginning.”

Gabriel Nourse had purchased Lot 6 on “the west side of lower street” in 1815 (JC DB 10/165).

In 1828 , John F. Smith was assessed for 1 lot valued at $350/$300 “from M. Shaul.” This assessment remained the same through 1832 .

1833 John F. Smith was assessed for 1 lot valued at $550 with a building value of $500 and the notation “$200 added for a new stone kitchen.”

Smith owned the house and lot for the rest of his life. His assessments did not change, even through the 1841 reassessment, until the 1851 reassessment when it rose to 1 lot at $800/$700 without comment. It is likely that the two-bay addition was constructed by Smith sometime between 1841 and 1851 .



[page 42]

In 1850 , John F. Smith and his 21-year old son John R. Smith were listed as merchants in Smithfield (their store was apparently on Lot 69). Smith was apparently a widower as no wife was listed. Also in the household were 16-year old Lafayette, 10-year old Mary C., 7-year old Henry, and 3-year old James.

From 1851 through 1861 , Smith’s assessment remained at $800/$700.

In 1860 , John F. Smith and his 26-year old son Lafayette were listed as merchants, living in separate households as immediate neighbors. Older son George W. Smith (not listed in 1850 but would have been 17 years old then) was a “Saddler” living nearby.

In 1872 , John F. Smith was assessed for 1 lot at $640/$560.

Capt. John F. Smith died in December 1887 (Tombstone Inscriptions said 1889 ) at the age of 82. His son, John Rufus Smith (d. 1896 ), acting as administrator of the estate, entered a Deed of Trust with George Baylor in January 1888 , the security on his $2,000 bond was his:

“interest as heir in the real estate of his father John F. Smith…it consisting as follows of a farm of 210 acres adjoining John McClure’s heirs, D. Fry’s heirs and others, a tract known as Watson’s place, containing 192 acres, a lot known as Brick yard lot containing 9 ¾ acres; a lot known as Granthams lot containing 10 acres, a tract known as the Shaull place, containing about 120 acres, and five house and lots in Middleway…” (JC DB W/13)

[all of these tracts are easily identifiable on the 1883 map under the name “John F. Smith” except, of course, the Brick yard lot which I still believe is likely the same one mentioned in the 1831 Joseph Bell to Lydia Fry deed adjoining Henry Smith land (the 210-acre John F. Smith farm here described). I believe the small lot on the south end of Middleway under the John F. Smith name in 1883 (the one identified by Don Watts as the likely brick yard lot) is more likely the 10-acre “Granthams lot” due to its proximity to other Grantham lands.]

G. M. Lafayette Smith, who was probably living in the John F. Smith house addition at the time of the 1860 census, died in July 1888 (Tombstone Inscriptions). The house was by then known as the “Lafayette Smith House” and was the subject of a Chancery Suit in 1891 between George W. Smith (son of J. F. Smith; d. 1904 ) and Rufus W. Smith (son of Lafayette?). The Lafayette Smith House (the subject house) was sold in 1892 to Joseph D. Smith for $495 but the deed was “lost of mislaid” (ref. in DB 111/299). In 1912 , Joseph D. Smith sold the house and lot to Cattie V. Smith (JC DB 111/299). Cattie Smith Outcalt sold it to Elizabeth S. Shaull in 1920 (DB 118/295). Elizabeth Shaull’s property was sold as a result of delinquent taxes in 1940 to Harry and Mary Smith (DB 157/263). In 1955 , Robert Upton Smith Jr. sold the house and lot to Douglas Ring (DB 204/477). His widow, Beulah Ring sold it in 1981 to James Fastenrath and Anne Grimmer (DB 492/145). In 2006 Fastenrath and Grimmer sold it to Kelley Yeomans and Alfred Phelps (1024/302). Apparently the property was foreclosed and Wells Fargo Bank sold it to HUD in 2009 (1064/161).



[page 43]

Sebastian Eaty House – Lot 72 (old Lot 4, east side King Street)

Built – “store room” 1798 by Packett & Tapscott; house built 1813 /improved 1819 by Sebastian Eaty

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

It is likely that old Smithfield Lot 4 on the east side of then-main street (today’s King Street) was sold by John Smith in 1798 to John Packett and William Tapscott, however, this deed could not be located. It was probably recorded in Berkeley County Deed Book 14 which is one of the missing books (a Civil War casualty). Packett and Tapscott also did not appear in the 1798 -1799 tax records. I did find a 1798 reference to Packett and Tapscott as owners of this particular Lot 4, identified as the adjoining lot in the deed from Smith to William Robinson Lowry for Lot 4 on the west side of new street (today’s Queen Street) dated December 24, 1798 (BC DB 15/20).

1799 John Packett and William Tapscott “partners in trade” sold Lot 4 on the “east side of main street” to Joseph Grantham for £90 (BC DB 15/572).

The lot was described as adjoining 90 feet along “William R. Lowry’s Lott” to “the first cross street [Grace Street].”

This deed did not include the covenant to build a dwelling but rather the standard phrase “and all houses, buildings, orchards…” etc., indicating that Packett and Tapscott had constructed the one story building later (1852 ) called the “store room” on the lot.

The “first cross street” (today’s Grace Street) was the route to the nearest bridge over the Opecquon Creek, and “main street” had been the main street through Smithfield, so this would have been a central location for a store or warehouse.

Packett and Tapscott were not listed on the 1798 BC House Tax.

Joseph Grantham was never taxed on this lot either, only on his acreage elsewhere.

John Packett and Joseph Grantham were both Trustees of the Town of Smithfield.

1804 Joseph Grantham sold Lot 4 on the east side of main street to Sebastian Eaty for £103 (JC DB 2/83).

It seems likely that Grantham had not made any improvements on the property beyond what was already there at the time of his purchase in 1799 .

In 1804 , Sebastian Eaty was assessed for the first time for 1 lot valued at $30.

In 1807 , Eaty’s assessment was for 1 lot at $30 and 1 lot at $10 “of John Grantham” (not sure which lot this is but it appears to have been essentially vacant).

In 1810 and 1811 , he was assessed for 2 lots at $50.

In 1812 , 2 lots at $50 and 1 lot at $20 “of Seth Smith.”



[page 44]

1814 It appears that Sebastian Eaty substantially improved the building on his Lot 4 in 1813 . In 1814 he was assessed for his three lots separately:

1 lot valued at $60 (probably Lot 4, main street)

1 lot valued at $24 (“of Smith” lot?)

1 lot valued at $15 (“of Grantham” lot?)

This assessment remained the same until 1818 when he was assessed for his three lots combined with a value of $100.

1820 Sebastian Eaty was assessed for his three lots separately again:

1 lot with a rent value of $100, lot value of $1,000, and building value of $800

1 lot with a rent value of $25, lot value of $150, and building value of $100

1 lot with a rent value of $15, lot value of $100, and building value of $50

Given the increase in lot value on the first lot (presumably Lot 4) it would appear that Eaty had again made improvements on his house about 1819 .

This assessment remained the same through 1839 .

On the 1820 census, Sebastian Eaty was listed as a Merchant, with a wife, seven children, and six slaves.

1841 Reassessment:

1 lot at $1,000/$900

On the 1845 assessment this was identified as Lot 4 upper street.

1 lot at $150/$100 (1845 , Lot 11 upper st.)

1 lot at $50/ - (no bldg) (1845 , Lot 12 upper st.)

1 lot at $100 (4½ acre lot from Wm Smith hrs in 1824 )

1851 Reassessment. Eaty’s Lot 4 was valued at $600 with a building value of $450.

Unfortunately there was no explanation for this devaluation of the Eaty lot.

On the 1850 census, Sebastian Eaty was listed as 78 years old with no occupation and real estate valued at $2,000. Living in the household was his wife Frances (65), son Sebastian B. Eaty, aged 38 and listed as occupied as a Physician but also “Insane,” and daughter Eliza Eaty, aged 27.

Given Eaty’s age and the “insane” condition of his son, it is possible that the house was by this time in bad repair, prompting the devaluation of the property (or the assessor took pity on the old man).

1852 Sebastian Eaty died in April.



[page 45]

In his will, written October 1851 , Eaty authorized his executor W. O. Macoughtry to sell his real estate (ref. in JC DB 32/309).

Macoughtry sold Lot 4 “on the upper street” to Thomas J. Homar for $745 (JC DB 32/309).

The property was described as 90 feet by 180 feet, “on which a commodious dwelling house and store room, the same in which the testator lived for many years,” was located.

Thomas Homar was assessed in 1853 for 1 lot (#4) valued at $600/$450 “from S. Eaty heirs.”

This assessment remained the same through 1861 .

Thomas J. Homar kept the property until his death when it passed to his heirs Herman Homer (Homar), Matilda (Homar) Manahan, and Sadie (Homar) Smith (JC DB 104/375). In 1909 , Sadie Smith sold it to Robert U. Smith and Elizabeth Shaull (DB 142/416). Shaull sold her interest to Smith in 1944 (DB 160/59). Robert U. Smith sold it in 1955 to Albert Henry (DB 206/118). Albert and Alma Henry sold the property to Robert A. Smith in 1981 (DB 482/145). Robert and Virginia Smith sold it to Lillian Woehler and Lillian Prillaman (DB 644/689). Woehler married James G. Grantham and sold her interest to Prillaman in 1997 (DB 857/123). In 1997 , Lillian and Grant Prillaman sold the property “known as the Smith Lot” to the current owners Larry and Karen Bowers (DB 878/72).



[page 46]

Grantham Store – Lot 74 (old Lot 3, west side of Queen Street) Built 1855 by John W. Grantham

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1801 William and Catherine Ainsworth sold Smithfield Lot 3 on the west side of “new street” to Moses Smith and John Grantham for £12 (JC DB 1/212).

The lot was described as being on the “north side of the branch called Turkey Spring on the new street and on the west side of the same called No. 3. Beginning at a stake corner to lott No. 2 thence with the street 90 feet to a stake at the cross street then square with cross street 180 feet to a stake then square 90 feet to a stake corner to lott No 2 then with lott No. 2 180 feet to the Beginning.”

“…said Smith and Grantham doth bind themselves…to build a house on said lott at least 16 feet by 18 feet story and half high with a stone or brick chimney under the same rules and regulation of Shepherdstown also to pay Moses Smith one half dollar yearly ground rent…”

This was the earliest deed I could find for this lot – I could not find the deed from Smith to Ainsworth and Ainsworth never appeared on the BC Land Tax with a lot. This may have been a sort of “reconveyance” arranged by Moses Smith so that the Smith & Grantham partnership could own the lot.

Beginning with the 1801 tax list, and continuing through the 1804 list, Moses Smith and John Grantham, Jr. each were separately assessed for 1 lot valued at $40 but nothing jointly. After 1804 their assessments were inconsistent but the two were never jointly assessed.

1808 Smith and Grantham sold their Lot 3 on the west side of new street to Daniel Fry for $200 (JC DB 4/357).

The lot was described as being on the corner of new street and “the cross street leading to the saw mill” adjoining Harmon McKnight’s lot (Lot 3, east side upper/King Street) and Joseph Stone’s lot (Lot 2, west side new/Queen Street).

Technically, according to the town regulations, there should have been a small log house/building on the lot by this time.

In 1810 , Daniel Fry was assessed for 1 lot valued at $20 “of M. Smith & Grantham.”

Fry also owned Lot 12 (Red House) by this time, 1 lot at $20 “of B. Bell.”

These two lots were combined in the tax record from 1811 through 1814 as 2 lots valued at $40.

Here a large gap in the chain of ownership occurs with no recorded deeds and no identifications in the tax record until 1845 .



[page 47]

In 1815 , Daniel Fry was assessed for two separate lots, both valued at $40, but by this time he had purchased Lot 11 (Daniel Fry House) so that was one of the assessed lots. Later assessments show that the other lot was Lot 12 (Red House).

I believe that the Smith & Grantham Lot 3 was sold by Fry in 1814 but to whom I do not know.

In 1818 and 1819 , Fry again had three lots, combined in the assessment as 3 lots at $125, and in 1820 Fry’s three lots were separated out:

1 lot – rent $100, lot $500, buildings $400 (Daniel Fry House)

1 lot – rent $40, lot $250, building $200 (Red House, to John Little 1832 tax)

1 lot – rent $35, lot $150, building $100 (later identified as Lot 14)

So where did the Smith & Grantham Lot 3 go?

1845 On the land tax records beginning this year lots were identified by lot number.

Henry Farnsworth was assessed for Lot 3 (in 1852 identified as Lot 3 on Lower [Queen] Street) valued at $250 with a building value of $200.

Since this building value could not possibly have represented a new brick building I did not take the time to trace the lot back to Daniel Fry in the tax record.

In 1846 , Henry Farnsworth was assessed for his 1 Lot 3 at $450/$400 with the notation: “$200 added for new house.”

Again, I don’t think this represents a new brick building. I suspect this indicates that Farnsworth added to the already existing building.

On the 1850 census, Henry Farnsworth was listed as a 39-year old “Saddler” with a wife and seven children ages 1 to 17 years.

Of interest, the 1850 census also listed Jefferson Farnsworth (who purchased Daniel Fry’s Lot 14 in 1841 ) who was likely Henry Farnsworth’s brother and was a “Bricklayer.” In 1860 , Jefferson Farnsworth was listed as a “Brickmaker.”

This assessment remained the same through 1850 .

In 1851 , a reassessment year, Henry Farnsworth was assessed for Lot 3 valued at $1,000 with a building value of $600.

This assessment remained the same through 1854 .

1855 John W. Grantham and John F. Shaull were assessed for Lot 3 valued at $2,000 with a building value of $1,600 with the notation: “from H. Farnsworth, $1,000 added for new store house.”



[page 48]

In 1857 the tax assessment (reassessment year?) for John W. Grantham was for 1 Lot 3 on Lower Street valued at $2,200 with a building value of $2,000 and the notation “from Shaull.”

In 1861 J. W. Grantham was assessed for Lot 3 at $3,000/$2,700 without comment.

On the 1860 census, John W. Grantham was a 40-year old “Merchant” with $10,000 worth of real estate and $14,000 worth of personal property (probably including his merchandise).

His immediate neighbor was Samuel W. League, a 51-year old “Clerk” who probably worked in Grantham’s store. League had $800 worth of real estate, perhaps one of the old houses on the lot? Among his family members was his 16-year old son, James W. League.

In 1880 , John W. Grantham was listed as a 61-year old “President of a Bank” and James W. League was a 35-year old “Merchant.”

1887 John W. Grantham wrote his will and died (JC WB A/359).

In his will he devised: “to my wife Phoebe A. M. Grantham for and during her natural life, the lot in Middleway improved by the store house and dwelling where I now reside.”

He also devised to his daughter Lillian, wife of William H. Gilbert, the lot with a “store house and dwelling occupied by James W. League and J. L. Grantham” and the other store house/dwelling subject to her mother’s life estate.

In 1918 , Lillian Gilbert sold the Grantham Store Lot to Carrie Weaver for $450 (DB 116/299). Weaver sold it to S. B. Webb in 1945 (DB 165/287) and Webb sold it in 1946 to Nathaniel Gray (DB 165/321). Gray sold the lot in 1956 to Albert Nicodemus (DB 210/343). In 1969 Nicodemus devised the lot improved with a brick store building and dwelling to his son Milton Nicodemus (JC WB N/435), who sold it in 1983 to the current owners Joseph and Barbara Bitner (DB 512/726).



[page 49]

Harmon McKnight House – Lot 75 (old Lot 3, east side King Street) Built 1798 by Harmon McKnight

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

Unfortunately I believe the common name given to this house, the “Elizabeth Smith House,” is incorrect and is the result of confusion regarding the street names in Smithfield/Middleway.

As noted in the Scollay Hall (old Lot 3, east side of new/upper/Queen Street) report, that lot was sold to Elizabeth Smith by Harmon McKnight in 1802 then described as being on the east side of King street (another name used at that time for today’s Queen Street). That Lot 3 (e/s Queen) was actually owned by Michael McKnight (possibly Harmon’s father?). I could find no other sale of a lot to Elizabeth Smith and she was never taxed on any lots.

1798 John Smith Jr. and Sarah his wife, sold Smithfield Lot 3 “on the east side of the main street” to Harmon McKnight for £15 (BC DB 15/13).

The deed included the covenant to “build on the lott aforesaid a house 16 feet by 18 a story and a half high with a stone or brick chimney…”

In 1798 , Harmon McKnight was assessed for 1 lot valued at £12.

“Herman McNight” was assessed on the BC House Tax for 1 house in Smithfield valued at $210.

From 1799 through 1804 McKnight was assessed for 1 lot valued at $50.

1804 Deed of Trust from Harmon McKnight to Andrew Waggoner (JC DB 2/224).

McKnight was in debt to Benjamin Stephenson for £106 and put up his Lot 3 on the east side of main street as security.

1806 Andrew Waggener (Waggoner) sold the lot to Benjamin Stephenson (JC DB 3/478).

1807 August. Benjamin and Lucy Stephenson of Kentucky sold Lot 3 on the east side of main street to James Stephenson for $500 (JC DB 4/327).

October. James and Ann Stephenson sold Lot 3 to Moses Smith for $250 (JC DB 4/406).

I found no conveyance of this property from Moses Smith to anybody.

In 1806 and 1807 , Moses Smith was assessed for 1 lot at $60 in addition to his inherited 161-acre farm adjoining Lake Louisa.

Beginning in 1809 , Moses Smith was assessed for 4 lots at a combined value of $150.

This assessment stayed the same (his acreage rose to 200 a.) through 1819 .



[page 50]

1820 Moses Smith was assessed for his acreage and:

1 lot with a rent value of $60, lot value of $500, building value of $400

1 lot with a rent value of $20, lot value of $200, building value of $150

I’m thinking this is the most likely candidate for the subject Lot 3.

1 lot with a rent value of $20, lot value of $100, building value of $50

1 lot with a lot value of $30 (unimproved)

1821 Moses Smith was deceased by January 1821 , leaving his widow Eleanor (later married Benjamin Welsh), an adopted (?) daughter Courtney (Hale) Smith, a newborn son, and son and primary heir John Henry Smith (JC WB 3/268).

Moses Smith noted in his will, written November 1820 : “Whereas my wife Elenor [sic] Smith was delivered of a male child some time about the 16th of August last and it has no established name that I know of…” He devised the child $500.

To John H. Smith he devised “the plantation whereon I now live and also all my houses and lots in the Town of Smithfield…”

The Moses Smith heirs were assessed for the same 4 lots at the same values through 1839 .

Beginning in 1841 the lots were assessed under the name of John H. Smith. This stayed the same until 1845 .

1845 JC Land Tax, the first year lots were identified by their number, John H. Smith was assessed for Lot 1 at $300/$250, Lot 2 at $300/$250, Lot 4 at $750/$700, and 4 unimproved lots – but no Lot 3, although as far as I can tell he still owned it.

Those taxed on the various Lot 3s in Smithfield in 1845 included:

Samuel Scollay (we know this is e/s Queen St. – Scollay Hall)

Henry Farnsworth (we know this is w/s Queen St. – Grantham Store)

Henry Gilbert heirs (1 Lot 3, $350/$300)

Michael Labow’s heirs (unimproved – Lot 3 s/s of Turkey Spr. run, e/s Queen DB 12/41)

George Murphy (unimproved - Lot 3 s/s of Turkey Spr. run DB 23/137)

Henry Gilbert (and his heirs) may have been leasing the subject Lot 3 from 1845 through 1850 and paying the tax on the lot.

1851 Reassessment. John H. Smith was assessed for Lot 3 (upper street) valued at $400/$350.

In 1857 , also a reassessment year, John H. Smith was assessed for Lot 3 (upper) at $500/$400.



[page 51]

1860 John H. Smith sold Lot 3 on the “east side of the upper street” to Van Thomas for $400 (JC DB 39/173).

Van Thomas was assessed in 1861 for 1 lot (3, upper) valued at $500/$400 “from John H. Smith.”

1866 W. O. Macoughtry, trustee, sold Lot 3 at a public sale to William H. Thomas of Ritchie County, West Virginia for $250 (JC DB 1/190).

The public sale took place in October 1865 , at which time Susan Thomas was the purchaser for her son William H. Thomas.

Van Thomas, “now residing near Winnsborough, Franklin Parish, Louisiana did in March 1860 execute to W. O. Macoughtry as Trustee for the benefit of John H. Smith, a Deed of Trust on a certain house and lot in Smithfield…to secure to said John H. Smith the balance of the purchase money for the same property…”

1868 William H. Thomas sold the lot and house to John J. Thomas for $500 (JC DB 3/459).

Ten days later John J. Thomas sold the lot to John W. Grantham (owner of the adjoining Lot 3, w/s of Queen St – Grantham Store) for $500 (JC DB 3/460).

In 1869 , John W. Grantham sold the lot to Thomas F. Harris for $650 (DB 4/77). Harris entered at Deed of Trust in August 1875 to sell the property (DB C/259) and in December 1875 , trustee G. N. DeL. Smith sold it to Eugenia P. Isler for $202 (DB D/362). The heirs of Eugenia Isler, Edith & Charles Johnson, Annie Barnes, and Charles & Elizabeth Isler, sold the lot to W. L. Isler in 1923 (DB 122/501). W. L. Isler devised the property to his heirs Edith, Carroll, and Aldo Johnson (JC WB I/278). Edith L. Johnson et al sold it in 1953 to Eleanor Fry Childs (later Wilson) (DB 194/380). In 1981 , Eleanor and William Wilson sold it to Charles Rocheleau and John Pliny Eastman Holt (DB 493/82). This deed noted: “It is understood…that the Grantees are going to restore the existing house on the property…and build a wing that will be complimentary to, and architecturally compatible with, and in a style similar to the existing structure.” Rocheleau and Holt sold the property in 1987 to Alfred and Diane Ewing (DB 584/130), who sold it in 1993 to Wayne and Delores Milstead (DB 756/386). In 1999 the Milsteads sold it to Alan and Sara Caldwell (DB 924/558), who sold it to Linda and Peter Fricke in 2003 (DB 971/455). In 2004 , the Frickes sold the “Isler lot” to the current owner James E. G. Grantham (DB 993/657).



[page 52]

Joseph (Giuseppe) Minghini House – Lot 78 (old Lot 1, n/s Turkey Spring, w/s Queen Street)

Built ca. 1812 by Joseph (Giuseppe) Minghini; rear shop added 1832 by Simoni Minghini Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1799 John and Sarah Smith sold Smithfield Lot 1 “on the north side of the Turkey Spring run and on the west side of the new street” to Simeon Hiett for £300 (BC DB 15/227).

This deed was described as being for two lots, Lot 1 and an adjoining lot. Since the subject Lot 1 (78) on the 1883 Plan of Middleway shows this lot to be 162 ½ feet wide by 180 feet deep, it was essentially a double lot.

The lot adjoined the Richard Barnhouse lot (Lot 2) on the north, George Fry (Fryer Lot 1 (79), e/s King Street) on the west, and Turkey Spring run on the south.

Despite the high purchase price of £300, this lot was unimproved and Hiett was bound by the deed “to build a house on the same agreeable to law.” Likely the high price was due to the proximity to a water power source.

On the 1798 BC House Tax, Simeon Hiett was listed as the occupant of the Richard Barnhouse house valued at $315.

Simeon Hiett was listed on the 1800 BC Land Tax with 2 lots valued at $40.

I believe this assessment also reflected to value of the land for industrial use rather than improvements.

1802 Simeon Hiett sold his double Lot 1 plus a 180’ x 90’ lot – part of Lot 1 on the south side of the run – to John Endsley and Levi Hiett for £330 (JC DB 1/80).

Endsley and Hiett were bound by their deed “to build a house on each lott at least 16 feet by 18 a story and half high with a stone or brick chimney within three years from the present date…” indicating that Simeon Hiett did not fulfill his covenant.

In 1804 , John Endsley was assessed for 3 lots at $40.

1805 John Endsley sold the double Lot 1 to Jacob Krick for $600 (JC DB 2/484).

Krick was bound by the deed “to build a house on each lot agreeable to the rules of said Town.”

In 1806 , Jacob Crick [sic], who already owned 1 lot valued at $10, was assessed for another 2 lots valued at $26 “of Endsley.”

Krick’s (or Crick) assessment did not change through 1809 . In 1810 he disappeared from the tax record.

1811 Jacob Krick sold his double Lot 1 to Joseph Minghini of Berkeley County for £100 (JC DB 7/99).



[page 53]

Once again, Minghini was bound by the deed “to build a house on each lot agreeable to the rules of said Town.”

Minghini already owned a 1/3 lot valued at $20 (1809 -1811 ), a rare instance of a subdivided lot in Smithfield. This may be the other Endsley lot on the south side of Turkey Spring run which was carved from the “south side” Lot 1.

In 1812 , “Joseph Mongina” was assessed for 3 lots valued at $90 indicating that he may have immediately made improvements on his Smithfield lots.

In 1814 Minghini’s assessment was for 3 lots at $80 and it remained the same through 1819 .

1820 Joseph Minghini of Berkeley County was assessed for 3 lots with a rent value of $80, a lot valued of $400, and a building value of $200.

This assessment remained the same through 1826 when the heirs of Minghini were assessed for 3 lots at $400/$350, but returned to $400/$200 the following year.

In 1828 , the heirs of “Joseppi” Minghini, with the notation “the right name,” were again assessed for 3 lots at $400/$200 and this assessment remained the same through 1832 .

Giuseppe Minghini was reportedly the Italian immigrant servant of Gen. Charles Lee of Prato Rio who, along with housekeeper Elizabeth Dunn, inherited most of Lee’s livestock, slaves, and cash in 1782 :

“Lee died in October 1782 in Philadelphia. His personal property inventory included 2 swords, 30 horses, 52 sheep, 26 lambs, 32 steers, 7 cows, 16 young cattle and calves, 29 hogs, 13 pigs, and 4 slaves. The only furniture listed was one bed, the only kitchen items were 6 table spoons, 6 spoon forks, 11 teaspoons (BC WB 1, p. 315).” (Quoted from the Prato Rio report)

The amount of cash is unknown but the livestock, particularly the horses, would have been quite valuable. Minghini appears to have made the most of his inheritance.

On the 1820 census he was listed in Berkeley County as a Farmer. It appears the Smithfield property was either his “town house” or a rental property.

1833 Simoni Minghini (son of Joseph?) was assessed for 1 lot valued at $400/$300 “from Minghini heirs, $200 added for new shop.”

On the 1850 census, Simone L. Minghini was listed as a 45-year old Cabinet Maker with his wife Elizabeth and son Joseph L. Also in the household was Josiah Ridgway, a 22-year old Cabinet Maker, and three younger men, probably apprentices.

The Minghini assessment remained the same through 1840 .

In 1841 , a reassessment year, the building assessment rose to $350.

This assessment did not change, even through the 1851 reassessment.



[page 54]

In 1852 Simoni Minghini was assessed for his 2 lots (for many years assessed as 1 lot) valued at $650 with a building value of $400, with no explanation. This assessment remained the same through 1861 .

The house and lot remained in the Minghini family until 1891 when Joseph L. Minghini sold it to John S. Grantham for $550 (JC DB W/217). In 1850 , 22-year old John S. Grantham was a Cabinet Maker on the census. On the 1880 census, 52-year old J. S. Grantham was listed as an “Undertaker,” typically a profession taken on by cabinet makers.

The heirs of John S. Grantham sold the lot to Rose Kearns in 1914 (DB 113/505). In 1954 , Rose Kearns sold it to the Chesapeake Conference Association of 7th Day Adventists of Baltimore, Maryland (DB 198/460). They in turn sold it, through trustee C. V. Anderson, to D. Frank Wyncoop in 1955 (DB 205/409). The Wyncoop heirs sold it to Wave Lewis in 1958 (DB 228/554) who immediately sold it to John and Alice Wyncoop (DB 228/555). The Wyncoops sold it in 1966 to Charles Winfrey (DB 283/253). Winfrey divided the lot (Lot 78 or old Lot 1) into two lots and sold the house on subdivision Lot 1 in 1968 to Darius Hughes (DB 292/486). Hughes sold the lot in 1972 to Lorraine Markley (DB 340/663) who sold it in 1974 to Idella Murry (DB 370/569). Idella Murry died in 1989 and the house and lot passed to Gloria and Charles Lester, who sold it to the current owner Anne Womeldorf in 1989 (DB 648/120).



[page 55]

Crampton-Stephenson House/Ramsay Tavern – Lot 102 (old Lot 9, west side King Street)

Built between 1808 and 1812 by John Crampton and William Stephenson Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1807 Moses Smith, as executor of his father John Smith Jr’s estate, sold Lot 9 on “the west side of main street,” one of the unsold lots of Smithfield, to John Crampton for $200 (JC DB 4/413).

The deed included the covenant to build within 12 months of the purchase date “one good dwelling House to be at least 16 feet wide and 18 feet long with a stone or brick chimney to the same fit for Habitation, otherwise this deed shall become void.”

Crampton did not appear on the tax list until 1809 when he was assessed for 1 lot valued at $40, by then apparently improved.

1809 Crampton did indeed fulfill the covenant to build and in 1809 he sold the “house and lot” to William Stephenson for $300 (JC DB 5/163).

Judging by this sale price (compared to his purchase price in 1807 ) I’m guessing that Crampton built the minimum dwelling, probably 1 ½ stories and certainly not a 5-bay house.

In 1810 , William Stephenson was assessed for 1 lot at $40.

This assessment remained the same through 1813 .

1813 William Stephenson sold his “certain house and lot” (Lot 9) on the west side of main street to Joshua Showers for $600 (JC DB 7/595).

This doubling of the market value seems to imply a greatly improved building but in 1814 Joshua Showers was assessed for 1 lot at $40 “of Wm Stephenson.” It is possible the assessor never viewed the property.

Showers’ assessment remained the same through 1819 .

1820 Joshua Showers was assessed for 1 lot with a rent value of $50, a lot value of $500, and a building value of $400.

Showers died in 1822 and his heirs were assessed for the lot at the same value through 1845 .

Showers’ heirs were his three children Mary Ellen (m. Abraham Gardner), William Showers, and Henry Showers.

In 1840 , Mary Ellen Gardner purchased her brother William’s share in the property (DB 24/383; ref. in DB 27/222).



[page 56]

1844 Abraham and Mary Ellen Gardner of Elizabeth Town, Harden Co., Kentucky, sold their two-thirds interest in Lot 9 to William O. Macoughtry of Smithfield for $150 (DB 27/222).

Presumably Henry Showers also sold his 1/3 interest to Macoughtry but I did not locate this deed.

Despite the low price for the property, Macoughtry was assessed for the 1 lot No. 9 at the same values $500/$400 from 1846 through 1850 .

In the 1851 reassessment the values fell to $400/$350.

Then in the 1857 reassessment the values rose to $600/$450 and did not change again through 1861 .

Dr. William O. Macoughtry owned several other lots in Smithfield, including three adjoining (unnumbered in the tax record) lots on “upper” street that likely included Lots 10 and 11 (w/s upper street) previously owned by James Macoughtry (father?) with a building value in 1857 of $800; also Lot 13 on “upper” street with a building value of $50, and five other lots on “lower” street.

On the 1850 census, Macoughtry, a Physician, was listed immediately after Physician Mann P. Nelson (who lived across the street on Lot 10). Macoughtry was listed with $2,400 in real estate. There was nobody living nearby listed as a “Hotel Keeper” or “Tavern Keeper” but there was single mother Susan Myers (39) who owned no real estate and may have been living in one of Macoughtry’s houses.

I was unable to find any Ramsay’s in Smithfield/Middleway except one in 1870 , Frederick Ramsay, a mulatto farm laborer on the Getzendanner farm.

Sometime before 1885 , the Dr. W. O. Macoughtry estate was divided between his two surviving children Thomas Macoughtry and Frances L. White (wife of S. F. White). In 1885 a confirmatory deed was recorded by N. S. White (trustee?) stating that the widow and children of Thomas Macoughtry inherited the “houses and lots” in the division between Thomas and Frances (DB O/93).

In 1901 , those children of Thomas Macoughtry – William O., Margaret R., and Robert Lee Macoughtry sold the “house and lot known as the Ramsay House” to William, Samuel, and Mary Wilson (children of John Wilson, dec.) for $750 (DB 90/195). In 1908 , the John Wilson heirs of Bunker Hill (Berkeley Co.) sold the “Ramsay House and lot” to J. B. Watson of Middleway for $750 (DB 101/412). It remained in the Watson family until 1956 when Bessie Watson sold it to Leon and Virginia Stevens (DB 209/369). The Stevens’ sold it in 1956 to Charles and Emily Hough (DB 212/391) who sold it in 1963 to Joseph and Josephine Stephens (DB 260/198). The Stephens’ sold it to Stephen and Stephanie Giddings in 1982 (DB 499/22) and the Giddings’ sold the property to Nicholas S. Frobouck in 2005 (DB 1009/382). Frobouck sold it to the current owners Ronald and Mary Sosnicki in 2007 (DB 1043/410).



[page 57]

John Smith, Sr./Moses Smith House (Bill White Grantham House)

Built before 1798 by John Smith, Sr.? or ca. 1800 by Moses Smith

Resource History

Paula S. Reed & Associates February 2010

1788 John Smith, Sr. wrote his will, dividing his land among his four sons John Jr., William, Rees, and Moses, and his two daughters Phebe Fry and Sarah Smith. The daughters’ land was a little southwest of today’s Middleway (adjoining Ludwick Fry). John Jr. got a parcel on the north side of Turkey Spring branch, “part of the land and premises I now live on,” including the saw mill (and later Smithfield) and bounded on the west by “the main road”; William got a parcel on the south side of Turkey Spring branch (and later included the south side town lots); Rees’ share seems to have been on the south side of the branch and on the east side of William’s share; and Moses’ share adjoined Rees (north of) and John Jr. (east of). No acreage was given but the boundary description seems to approximate the “John H. Smith” tract on the 1852 map:

I do herby give bequeath and devise unto my son Moses Smith the land and property within the Bounds here after mentioned Lying and being in the said county and on the east of opeckon creek and branch of the same called Turkey spring and beginning at some stones on the south side a Muddy branch Running through the meadow and being the beginning course of the afore devised tracts then with and along my sons Rees share last [? ?]nning black oak corner on [????] then along the same to John Granthams line north twenty seven [?st] forty seven poles to three black oaks Granthams corner then north [?] west twenty seven poles to a white oak [on the south] the meadow Granthams corner then north ten west ten poles crossing the meadow to a large white oak [?????] Courses then north thirty three east thirty nine poles to [?] and white oak Granthams corner by a path then north fifty nine east fifty two poles to a black oak sapling corner to Grantham then south twenty eight east eighty poles to a hollow white oak Granthams corner then south twenty six east sixty poles to a white oak in his line then leaving his line and running north sixty seven poles to a locust and white oak in a hill about two poles south of bell heaven road corner to General Washington land then with his land north eighteen east seventy eight poles to a walnut & two black oaks in his line then leaving his line and running west one Hundred and sity poles to two white oak saplins at the line of Hugh Rankins land then along his land south twenty five west about fifty poles to four black oak saplins on the south side belheaven Road and corner to my son Johns land. Then along his line to the beginning which said land and premises within the bounds afore mentioned I do hereby give bequeath and devise unto my son Moses Smith…” (BC WB 3/145)

1798 John Smith, Sr. died this year but probably late in the year (his codicil was proved in February 1800 ).

On the 1798 BC House Tax (completed by October 1, 1798 ) it appears that John Sr. was still living:

John Smith (Sr.?) was assessed for 1 house in the country valued at $210.00



[page 58]

John Smith (Jr.?) was assessed for 1 house in the country valued at $157.50.

William Smith was assessed for 1 house in the country valued at $157.50.

Moses Smith was assessed for 1 house in Smithfield valued at $262.50, occupied by “Philip Storthers.”

On the 1798 BC Land Tax (completion month unknown) it appears that John Sr. was deceased and Moses was either underage or away at school:

John Smith Esq. (Jr.) assessed for 111 acres and 1 town lot.

John Smith Esq. “for Moses” assessed for 161 acres and 1 town lot.

William Smith assessed for 161 acres.

Rees Smith assessed for 161 acres.

There was also “John Smith (Clip)” assessed for 1 town lot, “Clip” probably referring to his location in Smithfield (Wizard Clip), who was perhaps a cousin or maybe not even related?

John Jr. and William both already had their own houses and the only house that Moses owned, located in the town of Smithfield, was occupied by a tenant, so it appears likely that Moses was still living in his father’s house (or away at school) and that the house may have been on the parcel shortly to be inherited by Moses Smith. Given the relatively low value of John Smith Sr’s house, it was probably a fairly simple log house.

1800 John Smith, Jr. wrote his will and died (BC WB 3/302). In his will he named his brother Moses as one of his executors, along with “my trusty friends” John Grantham and Jacob Rees, and his wife Sarah Smith as executrix.

Moses Smith was assessed on his own for 161 acres and one town lot.

1809 Moses Smith was living on his inherited land at the head of Turkey Spring branch as noted on Charles Varlé’s “Map of Jefferson and Berkeley Counties” (see attached).

In 1810 , Moses Smith was assessed for 200 acres in addition to several town lots.

1815 The Jefferson County House Tax

1820 Moses Smith was assessed for his 200 acres “near Smithfield” with a building value of $300.

On the census Moses Smith was listed in the “country,” a Farmer over the age of 45, with one adult female, one teenage female, two males under age 9, and eleven slaves.

Moses Smith wrote his will in November 1820 in which he noted his wife Eleanor, daughter “Courtney Smith alias Hale daughter of Nancy Hale” (adopted?), and wrote of his youngest son, “Whereas my wife Elenor Smith was delivered of a male child some time about the 16th of August last and it has no established name that I know of…”



[page 59]

Smith left the bulk of his estate to his oldest son John Henry Smith (still under age 9 according to the census): “I give to my son John Henry Smith the plantation whereon I now live and also all my houses and lots in the Town of Smithfield, also all my Slaves together with all the balance of my personal Estate.”

So according to his will, Moses Smith, his family, and slaves were living on his 200-acre farm in the buildings with an assessment value of $300.

John Smith, Jr. died shortly after writing his will; it was probated in January 1821 .

His exceptionally detailed personal property appraisement (see attached) indicated a man of wealth, despite his continued occupation of what must have been a relatively small log house. The list of items appraised included a copy of Varlé’s map and noted the title of every book in his library.

In February 1821 , the real estate was divided (see attached plat) and the widow given her dower of approximately 68 acres (JC DB 11/328).

On the 1821 tax assessment, “Mrs. Smith” was assessed for 68 acres with no building value. “Moses Smith’s heirs” were assessed for 136 acres with a building value of $300.

1841 Reassessment. The Moses Smith heirs were assessed for 136 acres with a building value of $400.

Beginning in 1843 it was John H. Smith who was assessed for the 136 acres/$400.

John H. Smith married Margaret Grantham, daughter of William Grantham, in 1840 (online William B. Barnes family genealogy).

1851 Reassessment. John H. Smith was assessed for 204 acres with a building value of $1,000.

This acreage increase likely represents the return of most of the widow’s dower. Eleanor Smith married Benjamin Welsh about 1824 and usually the dower returns to the heirs after the widow’s marriage.

The building value increase appears to represent more than just a reassessment.

1857 Reassessment. John H. Smith was assessed for 204 acres with a building value of $800, noted as adjoining James Grantham.

On the 1860 census, John H. Smith was listed as a 45-year old Farmer with $8,900 worth of real estate. Living in the household was his wife Margaret and their eight children ranging in age from 19 to 2 years.

1886 A Chancery Suit between Nathan Barnes plaintiff and John H. Smith et al defendants resulted in the sale of Smith’s inherited farm, now down to 88 acres (see attached plat; JC DB P/478).



[page 60]

The farm was sold to W. E. Outcalt for $3,463.69. The plat showed that the bulk of the eastern section of the Moses Smith land had been sold to John James Grantham (brother-in-law of John H. Smith? – is this Tudor Hall?). Other adjoining neighbors included George W. Shirley and Dr. S. A. Bates.

On the 1870 census, John H. Smith (52) was listed adjoining his father-in-law William Grantham (81) and John J. Grantham (45).

In 1889 , William E. Outcalt sold the then 89-acre farm to Nelson R. Roberts for $3,100 (JC DB U/2). Between 1899 and 1905 , Roberts had acquired significant amounts of nearby and adjoining land, five tracts for a total of 220 acres including the former John H. Smith 89-acre parcel. Roberts sold the farm in 1905 to Charles F. Keiter for $9,000 (DB 95/465). After Keiter’s death in 1910 , his executor Harry Keiter sold the farm to himself (Harry Keiter) in 1917 for $14,850 (DB 115/142). In 1949 , Charles E. Keiter et al (heirs of Harry Keiter) sold the now 90-acre former Smith farm to William and James Grantham (DB 175/534). William White Grantham, Sr. died in 1987 and the 90-acre tract passed to his widow Janet, then to son William White Grantham, Jr., the current owner (DB 1063/226).



[page 61]

1886 deed and plat to property -- John Smith, Sr./Moses Smith House (Bill White Grantham House) <a href="/Portals/0/deed/JCDB_P_478.PDF" target="_blank">View deed </a>



[page 62]

1821 appraisal of personal property of Moses Smith (3 pages) <a href="/Portals/0/Wills/MC014_Temp_WB1821 .PDF" target="_blank"> View p1</a>, <a href="/Portals/0/Wills/MC015_Temp_WB1821 .PDF" target="_blank"> View p2</a>, <a href="/Portals/0/Wills/MC016_Temp_WB1821 .PDF" target="_blank"> View p3. </a>



[page 63]

Portion of Varle's 1809 Map showing Smithfield area and Moses Smith's House. <a href="/Portals/0/zoomify/URLDrivenPage2.htm?zImagePath=/Portals/0/zoomify/varle_1809&zSkinPath=Assets/Skins/Default target="_blank">View Map</a></head><body>




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