Pages from the Past: Christmas presents an unexpected opportunity to renew family ties

An article in the Dec. 28, 1961 edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian reported an area resident's holiday was made even brighter after a chance phone call led to a reunion with two sisters he had not seen in 16 years.

Christmas was made happier for a Lansdowne resident, semi-orphan John Glade, 21, who now resides at the home of Mrs. Betty Volkman of 3201 Hilltop road.

John's mother died when he was three years old, leaving him and two older sisters. When he was five, he and his father came to live at the home of Mrs. Volkman and his sisters were put out for adoption to a Mr. Johnson in Oakland, N.J. The years passed by, John and his sisters were separated and his father disappeared in 1950.

Recently, while looking over some old papers, Mr. Johnson of Oakland came across the address of Mrs. Volkman and, as he was coming to Baltimore on business, decided to try to find John's name in the telephone book between train changes. A hurried phone call was made and old ties were resumed. John's sisters were found and now Mr. Glade will visit his two sisters and their families, whom he has not seen or heard from for 15 years.


Eight-year-old Carol Lynn Irvin of 1221 Tugwell Drive, Catonsville, has been selected as this year's "Miss Model Railroader" to reign over the annual open house shows of the Baltimore Society of Model Engineers. Carol is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis W. Irvin and is a student in the Catonsville Elementary School. Her father is Chief of the Arson Bureau of the Baltimore County Fire Bureau.


On Sunday evening, Dec. 10, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver H. Flohr of No. 4 Locust Drive, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a surprise "open house" party given them by their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. O. Ridgely Flohr at their home, 114 Locust Drive. Relatives and friends of the couple pleased them with many gifts and anniversary cards.

Mr. and Mrs. Flohr were married on Dec. 11, 1911, in the parsonage of Caroline Street Methodist Church, Baltimore. They have both been active for many years in the Catonsville Methodist Church. Mrs. Flohr is the former Miss Sadonia Eleanor Ridgely of Elioak, Howard county. He was retired on August 1, 1955 after having served 30 years as agent for an insurance company.


Last Thursday, Mrs. Mary Eavey of Newfield road notified police that a youth between 16 and 19 wearing an olive colored sweater snatched her purse from her arm while she was removing some articles from her car, which was parked in front of her home. He ran west on Newfield road toward Ingleside avenue with the purse, which contained $5 cash and personal papers.

75 Years Ago

An article in the Dec. 25, 1936, edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian announced the accomplishments of a local club.

The Art Class of the Woman's Club of Relay is doing splendid work under the guidance of Miss Paula Eicha of the Maryland Institute. The class expects to hold an exhibit of their work some time in April at the Maryland Institute. The date will be announced as soon as Mrs. Dew, crafts teacher at the Institute, can make arrangements with Mr. Hans Schuler. The club hopes to have Mrs. Kingsbury, chairman of art in the Federation, to lecture on built-up pottery, slab work, etc., at an early date.


A coroner's inquest into the death of Mrs. Edith B. Gaither, 33, who was found dead in a gas-filled basement kitchen at the Rolling Road Golf Club early Tuesday, declared the woman's death to have been due to suicide.

Dr. Silas W. Weltmer, superintendent of the Spring Grove State Hospital, identified Mrs. Gaither as a patient who had escaped from the institution several days before her body was found in the golf club kitchen at about 10 o'clock Tuesday morning by Herbert Schaub, bartender at the club locker house, which is a short distance from the main club house. Mr. Schaub and W. C. Bauer, manager of the club, entered the building at about the same time and, noticing a strong odor of illuminating gas, Schaub went to the basement to find the leak, and found the body of the woman. Gas was flowing from fourteen open burners on a large kitchen range. The woman lay on her side, facing the stove. She was nude and her clothing was not in the room.


The many friends of Mrs. William Wirt Neale of Edmondson and Swann Avenues were shocked to hear of the death of her oldest son, William Wirt, Jr., which occurred last week. Mrs. Neale was formerly Miss Stup of Arlington Avenue, and "Billy" was one of our Relay babies.

100 Years Ago

An article in the Dec. 30, 1911, edition of The Argus reported on a special event at the local firehouse to start the new year.

The Catonsville Volunteer Hose Company will hold "open house" on New Year's afternoon and evening for members and their friends at their headquarters on Bloomsbury avenue. Refreshments will be served. The committee in charge consists of Messrs. Irvin Huster, Joseph Kaehler, John Priester, James Kaehler and Edward Simon.


There are a number of cases of grip and tonsillitis in and around town owing to the unseasonable weather which has prevailed.


Fifty per cent more patients were admitted to the Maryland Hospital for the Insane, Spring Grove, in the year just past than the previous one, while the number of admissions was double that of two years ago, according to the annual report of the hospital just published. Even with this increase, many were denied admission for lack of room.

In the year, 736 patients were treated. Sixty-eight were discharged. The net cost per capita for 600 patients, the average number in the hospital during the year, was $204. 75. The returns from the farm show the value of the produce raised and sold. An addition has been added, and the industrial shop for the female patients is nearly completed.

Material from archives courtesy of Catonsville Historical Society.

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