Last week, the Frederick, Maryland area experienced multiple winter storms. We hadn’t seen a significant snow since March, 2022, and this was quite an event with a Monday night-Tuesday snowfall of about 4 inches, and a like amount on Friday. Now in no way does this compare to the Blizzard of January, 2016, or “Snowmageddon,” a double-shot of massive precipitation endured back in early February of 2010 when we received nearly three feet of snow. Of course, in my lifetime there were other memorable snowstorms I can recall harkening back to 1996, 1983 and 1979. However, these recent storms of early 2024 were quite manageable, reminding us again of the beauty of snow, especially when resting in the comfort of one’s own home.
With the recent snow, I took the opportunity to venture out of my office last Wednesday to capture some of the sights and scenes within our historic, snow-blanketed, garden cemetery. The trek did not disappoint, but my hands did get quite cold as the gloves I had were not conducive to smartphone photography. I constantly found myself having to take them off on such a frigid day. Regardless, here is some of my handiwork:
One photo, or shall I say gravestone, particularly resonated with me for more than simple visual appeal. This was due to the family surname. This was the burial space of a Civil War veteran with an old German name of Frederick that originally was spelled “Sturm,” but was changed to “Storm.” Both words can be defined as “a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow.” Interestingly, we had just received the latter, and I had to smile when seeing multiple stones in Mount Olivet’s Area A/Lot 65 with this surname. The scene of this particular gravestone was made more stunning due to a small flag placed recently for Veterans Day, and a wreath on “Wreaths Across America” Day back on December 16th.
This is the grave of John Peter Leonard Storm, born April 19th, 1838 in Frederick and died July 3rd, 1896. It’s safe to say this gentleman’s birth and death days had likely no snow in the forecast, but a storm consisting of rain, wind, thunder and lightning is certainly not out of the question. Speaking of “storms,” we currently have 38 Mount Olivet “residents” with the surname of Storm, and four others with the pluralized version— Storms.
Our records show that John P. L. Storm was a carpenter by trade and later worked as a bank cashier. He married the widow Louisa (Fardwell) Kirwin on January 23rd, 1866 (a day that possibly had snow about). They had one known child, Harrie Edward Winfield Storm (1866-1939).
John P. L. Storm served with the Union Army during the American Civil War and participated in the ranks of Companies E and G within Maryland’s Seventh Regiment. Our cemetery records show him taking part in the Battle of Five Forks, southwest of Petersburg, Virginia. This was one of the last battles of the war, taking place on April 1st, 1865. He and his regiment would be on hand at Appomattox Court House eight days later for Gen. Lee's surrender of his Confederate Army to Gen. Grant.
Storm's military record appears on a memorial page within our Mount Olivet vets.com website in the section published last Veterans Day (2023) featuring Mount Olivet Union soldiers of the American Civil War.
John P. L. Storm returned home from war and stayed active in civic and local affairs. He was particularly revered in Frederick’s local Masonic Dual Grand Lodge. He died one day shy of Independence Day, July 3rd, 1896, having been ill quite some time, and his obituary was printed in the local Frederick News that same day.
I am already quite familiar with John P. L. Storm’s grandfather, John Peter Storm. Better known as Peter Storm, this gentleman is buried to the left of John P. L. and also has a snow-covered grave adorned by a flag and wreath, and appears in our MountOlivetVets.com site as well.
Peter Storm was a veteran of the War of 1812 and held the rank of corporal in the 3rd Regiment of the Maryland militia under George W. Ent from August 24th –September 30th, 1814. Peter Storm was born January 21st, 1787 in Frederick to parents Jacob and Julianna Storm and was one of six children. His father was a participant of the American Revolution as a wagoner in Captain Jonathan Morris’ Company of the 7th Maryland Regiment.
Peter Storm advertised his services as a coppersmith in the local newspaper of the early 1800s and eventually became a tavern-keeper. He married Mary Magdelena Haller on January 13th, 1807. Rev. David F. Schaeffer, who would also play an interesting role locally in the 1812 conflict, presided over the matrimony ceremony. The couple went on to have three known children: Peter Leonard Storm (1807-1875), Mary Ann Elizabeth (Storm) Cromwell (1811-1852), and Lydia Ann Rebecca (Storm) Dadisman (1812-1832).
Peter Storm died on April 28th, 1821 at the age of 34. His mortal remains were originally buried in Frederick’s Lutheran graveyard, but moved here to the Storm family plot in Mount Olivet, likely in 1862 when his wife died, or earlier when the lot was purchased in 1855. I found a reference to Mary Magdelena (Haller) Storm operating the family’s tavern on Market Street (likely South Market) as late as 1825 in Jacob Engelbrecht’s diary. She lived out her life on South Market Street, and I found her in the 1850 census living in a house next door to her son (Peter Leonard Storm).
Back in 2014, the cemetery placed a special marker on Peter Storm’s gravesite speaking to his military involvement during the War of 1812. This was during the 1812 Bicentennial commemoration, as we did the same for the other 1812 veterans buried here in Mount Olivet.
Peter and Magdalena’s son, Peter Leonard Storm (b. November 12th, 1807), is buried directly behind his father. He worked as a bank clerk for the Central Bank of Frederick and, in 1861, would be promoted to the position of cashier. He would enjoy quite a career in the banking field. In personal life, Peter Leonard Storm would be married two times. With first wife, Henrietta Riehl, he was father to John Peter Leonard Storm, whose gravestone started this Story in Stone “Storm Storm” in the first place for me.
Peter Leonard is also the man who purchased the family lot here in Area A, and would bury both parents here. It would also be the final resting place for both his wives, the aforementioned Henrietta (1812-1844), and second wife Isabella Burrows (1821-1879). Henrietta, like father-in-law “Peter” Storm, was originally buried in the Evangelical Lutheran graveyard, but we have records showing she was moved to Mount Olivet in 1855.
Peter Leonard Storm remarried in 1848 and was known to have lived at today’s 403 South Market Street. He had five children with Henrietta, also known as Harriet, and four children with Isabella. It’s the first-born child of Peter Leonard and Isabella that really ties our story together, but more on that in a moment.
Peter Leonard Storm would pass in October, 1875. He is buried between wife #1, and wife #2.
We started our story with John Peter Leonard Storm, and I just made reference to a stepbrother who should have been my original inspiration for this snow-laden story. However, he is buried a good distance away in Mount Olivet’s Area Q, just south of what we call Founder’s Garden atop Cemetery Hill. On the southern slope of downtown Frederick’s highest landform, you will find the grave of Luther W. Storm and wife Alice. Although a simple middle initial exists on the tombstone, it gives me great pleasure to tell you this gentleman’s middle name—Winter.
That’s right, the eldest son of Peter Leonard and Henrietta Storm was Luther Winter Storm, born August 4th, 1849. I can guarantee that this occupant of Area Q’s Lot 13 was not given his name in a driving snow storm in August. The secret likely lies with his mother’s Burrows family, but that’s enough “name game” for one day. Luther married Alice Olivia Rice and went on to have four sons holding respectable names of Charles, Frank, William and George. Peter was successfully sidestepped.
Luther Winter Storm can be found in the occupation of cigar maker in the 1880 US Census and living on South Market Street.
Luther Winter Storm would eventually become a bookkeeper for a tobacco firm and relocated to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he lived on North Shippen Street. He would die in Lancaster on September 23rd, 1912, and his body would be brought back home to Frederick for burial.
When looking at all the Storms buried in Mount Olivet, I was pleased to find one with an even more magical name than “Winter Storm.” This would be the daughter-in-law of our initial subject, John Peter Leonard Storm. On June 2nd, 1892, John P. L. Storm’s only son Harrie (and yes, that’s the correct spelling) would get married in Jefferson County, West Virginia. The ceremony was presided over by a Rev. Feel. On this momentous occasion, Harrie’s blushing bride, the former Fairy Belle Daniels, became Fairy Belle Storm. She was the daughter of farmer Dennis Monroe Daniels and wife Mary Ann (Sperry)Daniels of Bakerton, West Virginia near Harpers Ferry. Fairy Belle was born on April 28th, 1871 and died at Frederick Memorial Hospital on April 12th, 1954.
The couple had four sons, and also avoided the name Peter: Frank, Charles, Sperry, and Edward. I read that this family would occupy the old homestead at 403 South Market.
Sperry Storm was a noted music teacher in town, and Edward was a lawyer who would serve as a Maryland State Senator in the mid 20th century.
Ironically, I had to do a double-take of the pictures I took on Wednesday in which I found that my final photo taken was that of beautiful plantings found on the north corner of Area GG. In the background were the graves of Sperry L. Storm and former senator Edward D. Storm, grandsons of John P. L. Storm.
Almost sounds like we should have the following customized inscription on a gravestone:
“Here lies in Mount Olivet steadfast,
a family with a quite Stormy Past."