Read Past Columns:

by Jack Lynch, Editor


Plan Maryland

Bulldozer Blaine Young

Remembering my Revolutionary Ancestor - Abraham Faw

Why Not the Best?

A Tree Grows in Frederick for Anne Frank

The Tragedy of Kai Hagen

Frederick County's Gunslinger Slate, Fire from the Lip, shoot from the Hip!

A Visit to Tangier Island

Historic Snowfall, Road Salt, Watershed Protection and the Chesapeake Bay

Will It be Progress or Retrenchment in Frederick County?

Is This the End of Frederick Smart Growth?

A Series of Links Follows from the Air It Out with George political commentary website:

Chesapeake Blues on Tangier Island

July 4, 2008

Mass Burn

Appalachian Blues on Hillbilly Highway

Buying a Congressional Seat in Maryland's First District - Coming to the Sixth District?

Democratic Candidates on American Foreign Policy

All the King's Horses!

Campaign in Song: Bushie Head Out the Mixing Bowl

Democratic Campaign's Vertical Treadmill on Space Mission

A Bit of Olympic Political History

Obama for the Chesapeake Bay?

Politics is Personal: Repeat Three Times

Prediction: Bad News for Obama, The End of Post-Racial Politics

American Exceptionalism on the World Stage

Obama Speaking on March 18th - Political Equinox

Yee Haw! On to Pennsyltuckey!

American Blackface: Tragic Octoroon

Key to Success - Lesson for Frederick:

Republicrats Yes, Middlecrats No

Too Many Promises ...Loaves and Fishes

Identity Black and White in Frederick

Mashup 1968 - 2008: On to Texas, Out with Clinton?

Fat Tuesday!

Symbol, Sense and Substance

Eight More Years

The Dollar Bubble

Judging a Candidate By Their Website

Baby, We Were Born to Bun!

The subsequent links are again from older dates of The Frederick Citizen:

A Rememebrance: Beijing Spring, Interrupted

County Officials and Public Communications

The Snallygaster in Frederick County

Fourth Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Frederick City Growth

American Promised Land - American All

Black Frederick and Matters of Race and Politics

Dumping on the Chesapeake Bay

Common Sense Writ Large

The Next Mayor of Frederick

Democracy in Action!

Ottawa: About a Greenbelt, Transit Oriented Development and Government FiatCountering Alderman Imhoff's Growth Beliefs

An Alternate View of Frederick CityGrowth Policy

An Acorn in the Bucket

Monocacy River Part II

Monocacy River Part I

New Market Regional Plan Affirmation

43 More!

Fish and Life

Talking Trash

Strike Three, Smoking Out!

A Green Fund Too Far, Or Not Far Enough?

Growth Back to the Future

Revisiting an Iraq War Opinion Four Years Later

Second Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Unrepentant Cady

Sour Grapes and Fine Wine

There's Hope for Good Government

The Democratic Fifth

The County of Feel Good

Hypocrisy Indeed

The Alliance

The Growth Machine Slate

"The Issues are Bipartisan" - David Gray

The Importance of Jan Gardner's Campaign

Form Follows Function

Route 15 Scenic Walmart

Frederick Blue

The Curtain Rises

Housing Growth, Not Smart Growth, Not Progressive Planning

Understanding Lennie Thompson

Frederick's Tale of Two Rabbi's

Wellhead Protection

Make Believe, or Desperate Duncan?

A Progressive Concept Approved...then Defeated!

Hog Wild

Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

We're No Gwinnett County

"An Election, Not a Selection...!"  Indeed!

A Potpourri of Thoughts and Issues...

Now That the Smoke Has Cleared


How am I to Decide on Mayor of Frederick?

Doomed To Repeat It

Frantic Orthodoxy

Stealth Candidate

Another Perfect Day for Bananafish

This Summer Election

Building Issues

Just Powers

Death Defying Election?

In the Heat

Horse Sense for Frederick County?

Kudzu and Million Dollar Homes

Bartlett's Ozone Trip

Let the Games Begin

Blood in the Water

Coffee Klatch

Archaeology in Frederick

Bizarro World

Mr. O'Malley's March

Playing All the Cards

Who are Your Friends New Market?

Mixed Use

Beijing Spring, Interrupted

Passion, People and Politics in Frederick City

Millennium project

A Frederick Leader of Distinction

APFO Under Attack

State Lands Sale

Frederick Water Sourcing

Frederick Water










The Frederick Citizen Logo

February 22, 2012

Adolphus Fearhake of Frederick, Maryland

by Jack Lynch

A chance find in an antique shop brought me to a little piece of Frederick history.  It was an old tin sign:


It’s really neat to see the curved pencil lines used to help shape the lettering.

The unusual name led to a bit of web searching, and I found out that:

Adolphus Fearhake, Jr. was quite a prominent Fredericktonian.  He built the house at 129 E. Patrick Street, just across from the Post Office parking lot, also known as the Doubs home, and was born at that location in 1840.  After schooling at public schools and Frederick City College, he began studying surveying at fifteen, and in 1857 was about to be run for County Surveyor until it was discovered he was not yet eighteen.  Some details of his life are recorded in Williams, History of Frederick County.

His grandfather, George Fearhake (Fuerhacke) came over with Amelung to work in the Fleecy Dale glass factory and was associated with the Masonic Lodge there whose first Master was Abraham Faw, and which became the Columbia Lodge No. 58 in Frederick. 

Adolphus Fearhake, Sr. born in Frederick in 1795, married Elizabeth Lease.  They had three children, Rose, George, and Adolphus, Jr.  He is said to have produced and sold potato chips from the Fearhake house at the rounded shop window in the 1870’s.  He was also a prominent Masonic master.

Adolphus, Jr. joined the Confederate Calvary, Maryland 1st, Company D after reading law with Judge John Lynch in Frederick.  He saw various actions, but most prominently was at Gettysburg as a messenger, and during the retreat of the wagon train at Monterey Springs or Pass, the lines were attacked by General Custer’s saber charge, he became lost in the woods and was captured, imprisoned at Ft Lookout and Ft Delaware.

Just as a point of reference, General Custer first received his command at Richfield north of the city of Frederick, site of the rebuilt home where Thomas Johnson’s house stood until 1813.  Sons of the Goldsborough family who then owned the property fought on opposite sides in the Civil War, and are said to have never reconciled unto their deaths.

Fearhake’s close friend, Carlton Kelton, was captured from horseback in Hagerstown, and at the prison camp they built a shack from wooden cracker boxes.  Kelton found escape on a coal barge to Philadelphia which was not searched because of the smallpox threat.  The two were reunited fifty years later at the Gettysburg reunion in July 1913.  This was reported in Confederate Veteran magazine.

Adolphus Fearhake was eventually released and rejoined his troops and was at Appomattox for the surrender.

In 1867 Fearhake was elected Surveyor for Frederick County, within a year he became Deputy Law Clerk for the Circuit Court, and in 1979 Clerk of the Circuit Court.  His service continued in various roles until about 1910.  Along the way he was a Masonic Master and various offices covering forty odd years.


Signature of Adolphus Fearhake

Fearhake married Agnes Elliott in 1877, but had no children.

In 1899, local Masons celebrated the anniversary of the death of George Washington, and Fearhake gave the address.  The Washington Times of June 6, 1909 notes his remarks at Confederate Veterans Day at Mt Olivet Cemetery, as part of celebrations by the Alexander Young Camp, Confederate Veterans and the Fitzhugh Lee Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy.

He kept a summer cottage on Braddock Heights, and became known for holding gospel singing services there on Sundays, which are said to have attracted thousands of people.

I’m not certain of the exact age of the sign, but it is reasonably from 1870, and likely not later than 1910.  It was held in an estate for nearly a hundred years since Adolphus Fearhake, Jr. died in late 1913.  He is buried in Mt Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland.

A lifelong Democrat, he was quoted in Men of Mark in Maryland:

As a help in life he offers these thoughts, "Sobriety (abstaining from intoxicants); good companionship (associating with the best and most reputable people); usefulness (no loiterer or idler, but keeping always at work); helpfulness (ready to assist by voice, pen, or means, any good work). Above all, trying to be a consistent Christian."