False Advertising 101 is what I have done here with my cover photo, as this has absolutely nothing to do with current events. I'm sure it has lured many curious readers into my sinister "history web." As can be seen upon closer inspection, there is snow in this photo, one taken by yours truly on January 29th, 2019. That late afternoon, we had the most amazing sunset, one that painted the sky an "emblazoned orange." This came out of nowhere, as the entire day had been cloud-covered with falling snow most of the duration. FaceBook and Instagram erupted with similar pictures to mine, taken throughout the greater Frederick region. I just happened to be shooting obligatory "cemetery in snow" pictures, when this rare phenomenon occurred. Talk about being at the right place at the right time?
Speaking of rare, and strange, occurrences, we certainly experienced one this time last week over a few day period, and featuring orange skies. Certainly not as pretty, but noteworthy and a cause for alarm by some as those with respiratory conditions were cautioned to stay indoors. A few events were canceled such as Frederick's Alive at Five, and our regularly scheduled Thursday gravestone-cleaning session for our Friends of Mount Olivet.
Off the top of my head, I can think of only one thing more daunting than the media-hyped spectacle captivating much of the east part of our country (including little old Frederick) and thanks to the Canadian wildfires bringing hazy and smog-like conditions, bad air-quality index and a hint of woodfire smoke about. That one thing that comes to mind (after a painfully long tease) would be a song about a magic horse on a cold Nebraska night. That's right, I'm talking about the one, and only, Wildfire by Michael Martin Murphey. The hit single reached #3 on the Billboard "Hot 100" Music Chart in June, 1975. Interestingly, the name of the album this song came from is Blue Sky-Night Thunder. All I could think of when I discovered the album name for this story was Orange Sky-Night Coughing. At least the air quality on the album cover looked a bit like it did last week.
From one Michael to another, I was fascinated by the drone pictures and video obtained by the talented videographer Michael DeMattia for the popular Frederick Scanner website (www.frederickscanner.com) and complementary FaceBook site. These "orange skies" weren't the same orange skies commonly only seen at dawn and dusk. They were eerily prevalent all day long on Wednesday, June 7th and June 8th as we were under a Code Red Air Quality warning. For those unaware of this rare occurrence, it was the result of the smoke from over 400 fires, more than 700 miles away from Frederick, having already burned land 20 times the acreage of our county.
While all of this was happening Thursday, I recall looking out my office window and thinking that it looked like it could rain, but there was no chance for precipitation at all. It was all so strange. Since I couldn't take any "glamour gravestone shots" on my I-phone for upcoming stories, (yes, I'm now thinking that sounds equally strange), I started looking at some photos on my phone that I've taken over the last several months.
After perusing through a few dozen, I became transfixed on a monument belonging to the Fulton family in Area F/Lot 71. I don't know about "night thunder," but the blue sky in the background of this photo made me leave "sodbustin' behind" (part of a lyric in the fore-mentioned Wildfire song) and truly appreciate brilliant, clear sky days like I never have thought of before. Why, this now reminds me of another song from the 1970s which seems very apropos here —ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" which hit its peak of #35 on the Billboard Chart in June, 1978. Interesting it was from an album similar in name to Mr. Murphey's entitled Out of the Blue.
This lot contains four members of the Fulton family, with Dr. Henry K. Fulton (1832-1891) and wife Laura (1841-1922) on the monument in the picture. A few feet away are John (1810-1845) and Sarah Fulton (1817-1898). I decided to go out and explore the lot a little closer, and contextualize the situation. I assumed that John and Sarah were either parents of Dr. Fulton, or at the very least John was a brother. I was wrong.
After some "hazy"research, I realized that John and Sarah Fulton were the parents of Dr. Fulton's wife Laura. "Uh-oh," I thought, I've got more than "kissin' cousins" on my hands here. Who am I to judge, I certainly became more curious about the symbolism projected by the funerary monument of Dr. Henry K. Fulton and Laura. Traditionally, a broken column signifies "a life cut short." Dr. Fulton lived to age 59, but that doesn't illustrate "being cut down before your prime."
From a book entitled From the Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 published in 1903 for the Maryland Chirurgical Society, I learned that father Robert Fulton was born in Frederick County in 1803 and was a pupil of Dr. John Baltzell, whose home is today's Heritage Frederick on East Church Street. He attended the University of Maryland, graduating in 1827. Robert is said to have always resided and practiced in Baltimore, dying there in May of 1880. He is buried in Greenmount Cemetery.
Henry is working as a clerk at this point of time on the eve of the American Civil War. I would later learn that the father and son were joined by Henry's maternal grandmother, Margaret Keerl. Henry's mother, Amelia Henrietta (Keerl) Fulton, had died at the tender age of 21 in the year 1832. Now there is someone who deserved a broken column monument. I was impressed with Amelia's grave nonetheless, seeing it on Find-a-Grave's Greenmount Cemetery memorial pages. The page also included a transcript of her obituary which provided more insight on my Dr. Henry K. Fulton.
"Obituary, Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertiser (Baltimore, MD), January 30, 1832:
"This morning at half past 5 o'clock, AMELIA HENRIETTA, wife of Doctr. Robert Fulton, and only daughter of the late Dr. Henry Keerl, of this city, aged 21 years 5 months and 15 days."
I now learned what the "K" stands for in our central subject's middle name, along with his first-name namesake Henry (his maternal grandfather, who I would discover was a physician as well.)
Even though things are out of order in my line of discovery, this article from the Baltimore Sun solidified my subject's heritage to the Hessian physician. I tried to make a connection to our Frederick Barracks, but was unsuccessful in doing so. Dr. Keerl invested heavily in real estate and garnered a large fortune, one that would be shared with his family upon his death in 1827. It's no surprise that his son-in-law (Dr. Robert Fulton) and grandson (Dr. Henry K. Fulton) would live comfortable lives. I found an article in the Baltimore Sun from 1851 showing that Henry owned property as a minor, certainly proving my postulate.
I read that Dr. Henry attended the University of Maryland for his training, but found an article from 1861 that shows his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania's Medical School. Even though the article has a "J" for his middle initial here (instead of a K), this lines up chronologically and perhaps he attended both schools as it's not like he was without the means to do so.
Since I was poking around in Baltimore's Greenmount Cemetery anyway, I thought I'd share a look at Dr. Henry's father's grave monument. Dr. Robert Fulton would pass in May, 1880. It appears that he remarried sometime after 1860. She was a Baltimore widow named Caroline (Lloyd) Starr.
Henry Fulton wound up here in Frederick by the early 1870s from what I've seen. I was frustrated in not being able to find Henry and his father (Dr. Robert) in the 1870 US Census. This would have given be a better context of his permanent arrival in Frederick.
I do know that Laura Fulton was living with her parents in the vicinity of Woodsboro in 1870. My research assistant Marilyn found this part of Frederick County as the home of many of the Fulton family, and likely the place where Henry's father (Dr. Robert Fulton) was born and raised before re-locating to Baltimore. Apparently, young Henry spent a great deal of time in Frederick County with extended family while growing up. This is understandable considering the premature loss of his mother.
To confuse things, I found a Charles Henry Fulton (1834-1915), farmer at Glade in the greater Walkersville vicinity and buried at the Glade Cemetery. He was known by the name Henry Fulton and appears regularly in the papers as a leading member of his neighborhood. I assume he was a cousin.
And speaking of cousins, Laura can be found in the 1870 census living with her parents near Woodsboro. She would marry Dr. Henry K. Fulton the following year.
A living legacy of Dr. and Laura Fulton is a house they once owned in Adamstown. This is Green Manor and may have been their only residence here in Frederick County, as they would eventually re-locate to the Mount Pleasant neighborhood or northwest Washington, D.C. by 1882.
Located at the west end of Washington Street, Green Manor was the home of Adamstown's namesake, Adam Kohlenberg. Kohlenberg served as the first railway agent and postmaster, and established a storage warehouse near the original Davis warehouse (demolished) which was built about 1835. In 1856, another man, Daniel Rhoads, laid out 12 lots on the south side of the main road which was the first stage of its development.
Green Manor is important to the town of Adamstown as the past residence of two of the most prominent citizens in the town's history, the fore-mentioned Adam Kohlenberg Jr., and later Jacob Kline. By 1864, a brick dwelling house was standing on twenty-five acres on the periphery of the developing Adamstown. Upon Kohlenberg's death, the house was sold to Dr. Henry K. Fulton, who lived there until 1882. Three years later Jacob Kline bought the property for $5,200. He lived at "Green Manor" for more than twenty years and during that time platted and sold lots, "Jacob Kline's Addition" to Adamstown which today comprises the largest area of Adamstown.
The Fultons moved to 1514 Park Street in northwest Washington, DC. I didn't learn much of Dr. Fulton's work, if any, as a physician, and the same about their personal interests. All I saw were a few newspaper mentions that they were happily spending summers in Bar Harbor, Maine. In less than a decade from moving from Adamstown, Dr. Fulton would be dead.
On November 26th, 1891 was not a good Thanksgiving for Laura Fulton, This would be the day she lost her husband.
Dr. Henry K. Fulton would be placed in the family burial plot of his wife's family at Mount Olivet the following day (January 28th)in Area F/Lot 71. Our records show that this plot was purchased in 1864. I found his last will online as well and have shared it here.
As can be seen, Laura outlived her husband by 31 years. She died in Washington on January 5th, 1922.
A rare find came in the form of an ad for the monument company that constructed the Fulton's monument. I had noticed earlier that the maker's mark of J. F. Manning Wash, D.C. was stamped/carved on the base of our monument. When I found Laura's obit in the Washington Evening Star, an advertisement for J. F. Manning appeared in the very next column.
If anything else, I think you will agree that we have a bit "clearer" view of a monument and its decedents located in Mount Olivet's Area F. In doing so, I pulled on the help of the "ROY G. BIV" acronym as we focused on at least one primary color in blue, and two secondary colors in orange and green.
As usual, these are the ramblings of a curious and strange mind in a quest to gain greater understanding of those who eternally rest here at one of Maryland's most historic burial grounds.