AFFIDAVIT OF GEO.
(July 2, 1918)
My name is George W.
Stahlman. I was born at West Union, in the county of Doddridge, State of
Virginia, now West Virginia, on the 7th of May 1854 and am now 64 years of
age. My home is in Nashville, Tennessee where I have lived since 1884. My
father was Johann Christian Friedrick Stahlman. My mother before her
marriage was Frederica Juliane Karoline Lange.
Both of my parents
were born in Mecklenburg, Germany; my father in 1817, and my mother in
1821. They were married in Germany in 1837. There was born to them in
Germany eight children, although shown by the German Lutheran Pastor's
Certificate there were only seven, the Certificate having included only
the living children, omitting the name of a son, Karl, who was born in
Mecklenburg in 1845 and who died and was buried in Germany before the
departure of my father and mother with seven living children for the
United States in 1853.
statements I heard my mother make, my parents sailed for the united States
from Hamburg, Germany in a Sailing Vessel 1n September 1853. The voyage on
the Vessel from Hamburg to New York covered a period of six weeks. During
the voyage an epidemic of cholera developed on the Vessel, and
a son, August Ludwig Friedrick, and a daughter, Auguste Johanne
Sophie died and were buried at sea.
This left my father,
mother and five children who reached West Union, Doddridge County,
Virginia (now West Virginia), the children being: William, born in Germany
Oct. 25th, 1838, Friedrick born May 12th, 1840, Christiana, born Dec.15th,
1841, Edward born Sept. 2nd, 1843, and Frederica born in January 1847.
On May 7th 1854, as
previously stated, l was born at West Union, being the first and only
child born to my father and mother after their arrival in the United
States. My sister, Christiana died at West Union a short time after the
arrival of my parents in this country.
In the Spring of 1854
my father was taken ill. He remained
so, growing worse from day to day until he died at West Union in January
1855. My father and my sister were buried at West Union in adjoining
graves, and the tomb erected to their memory was inscribed and intended to
answer for both.
I am informed that the
inscription on the tomb indicates that my father died Jan. 2nd, 1854. I
believe this to be an error of one year. The notation on the German
Pastor's Certificate of birth, following those relating to the children
born to my parents in Germany comes the entry relating to my birth in May
1854, the entry being made, as I believe, in my fathers handwriting, and
it would not have been possible for this entry to have been thus made had
my father died in January 1854, and the fact that the death of my father,
recorded on the same Certificate 1n my
mother's own handwriting, as having occurred January 2nd, confirms the
belief that my Father did not die until after my birth in May 1854, and
that his death must have occurred 1n
January 1855 instead of January 1854.
After my father’s
death my mother had a hard struggle, the oldest son being only about 16
years or age, and hence the three sons, William Freidrick and Edward were
compelled to hunt work -- my brother Edward, the youngest being only about
11 years of age. My brother William obtained employment with a Railroad
contractor, Friedrick a place 1n the harness shop of Mr. Louis Harnish,
while Edward was taken over by a Mr. James A. Foley, who kept a hotel in
West Union and who for the
work Edward did in Mr.
Foley's garden, waiting on guests of the hotel in their rooms, waiting on
the table and such other things as a boy of that age could do, gave Edward
his board and clothing,
which, with the tips Edward got from the guests of the hotel for building
fires in their rooms, blacking their boots and carrying their horses to
the stable when they came in as guests and bringing them to them as they
departed, enabled Edward to help his mother in a meager way.
In a year or so, while
still employed at the Hotel, Edward was given a chance by Mr. Foley to
work 1n the garden of the
town school teacher and thus earn his tuition at school. Mr. Foley also
giving him an opportunity of attending this school during the forenoon of
It was through this
work for Mr. Foley that a brother of the proprietor of the hotel, Mr.
Bushrod W. Foley, began to take an interest in my brother Edward, and when
upon the completion of the railroad between Grafton and
Parkersburg Mr. Bush Foley opened a store at Long Run Station on
the road about nine miles east of West Union he took my brother Edward
with him. this is what gave Edward his first real start in life and it was
along in 1858 that Edward came to my mother, telling her that he wanted to
leave the names of Friedrick and Heinrich off his name and substitute the
name of Bushrod so that his name instead of
Friedrick Heinrich Eduard Stahlmann should read Edward Bushrod
Stahlman in honor of his benefactor, and
my mother gave her consent. Edward also requested at the same time
to leave the last "n" off the surname Stahlmann so as to give it
more of an American tinge. My mother raised no objection to that and
hence my brother Edward has ever since in full written his name as
"Edward Bushrod Stahlman", abbreviated E.B. Stahlman.
It may not be out of
place for me to state that having been given the name of George Washington
I, after I had grown up followed my brother Edward’s example of leaving
the last “n" off of the name Stahlmann, thus indicating my
purpose to Americanize my name as far as it was legally practicable
to do so.
Of course many of the
matters l am relating occurred when I was a mere child and
yet they were made known to me and frequently in after years
related by my mother and older brothers at gatherings of our family, when
not only my mother but my brothers and sisters were present, and these
facts are therefore as well known to me as though they had occurred when I
was capable of understanding all about them as they occurred and are as
forcibly impressed upon my mind as though I had been old enough when they
occurred to appreciate their full import from personal observation.
On the 15th of April
1856 my mother married Mr. Louis
Harnish. This marriage took place at my mother's home in West Union. I
although present was too young to understand what the gathering meant,
although a year or two later realized what had occurred on the occasion.
Early in 1859 Mr.
Louis Harnish, my step-father, and my brother Friedrick employed 1n
his saddlery shop, looking for a larger field went to Parkersburg,
about fifty miles west of West Union, to establish their business. l
remained with my mother until Mr. Harnish and my brother had defnitely
planned to locate at Parkersburg and had everything in order for us.
In the latter part or
1859, or the early part of 1860, my mother, my sister Frederica and
I, including a son born to my mother and
Mr. Harnish moved to Parkersburg to join Mr. Harnish and my brother
About two years after
reaching Parkersburg my sister Frederica went to the country to live with
Mr. and Mrs. Diechman, who had a nice home but no children of their own.
They had what I have always thought an adopted son living with them, a
Mr. Charles Brunswig, who along in the latter part of 1862 married
my sister Frederica.
Matters at my mother's
home were not as agreeable as they might have been. In other words, my
mother having given birth to two children by Mr. Harnish, the latter
became somewhat disagree- able toward me and frequently irritable toward
my mother, insinuating that she was
more attentive to me than to his children. At all events the matter
resulting 1n reaching a point where my mother felt that it would be best
for me and for her happiness if l left her home and it was through my
sister, Mrs. Brunswig and her husband. that an arrangement was made for me
also to go to the Diechman’s to live and help Mr. Diechman on the farm.
This was along in 1866 or 1867.
I remained with the
Diechmans on the farm until 1883, when my brother Edward B. Stahlman, then
Vice-President of the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago R.R. (The Menon),
with its headquarters at Louisville, Ky., wrote me to come to Louisville.
l did so and was for about six months there after 1n
the employ or the Menon Road.
1884 my brother Edward, who during his three years’ connection
with the Menon Line had never moved his residence from Nashville, Tenn.
was made one of the Vice-Presidents of the Louisville & Nashville
Railroad with headquarters in Nashville, and shortly thereafter advised me
to come to Nashville. I did as requested and on May 4th, 1884 was
appointed Agent at Nashville of the J. M. & I. R. R., a part of the
Pennsylvania System. I was subsequently in 1886 appointed Joint Agent of
the J. M. & I. and Star Union Line. In 1896 l was sent to Memphis,
Tenn., as Agent of the Pennsylvania Company for these same lines. In 1911
I was recalled to Nashville to resume charge of the Pennsylvania Co.’s
interest in that city, where I remained until May 15th of this year, when
under the order of Director-General McAdoo the Pennsylvania Agency at
Nashville was dis- continued and I was directed to report to the
Pennsylvania Co., at Pittsburgh, Pa., where I have been and am now
employed, although my family is still residing 1n Nashville. I have thus
been connected with the Pennsylvania Company for 34 years, 19 years of
which time I represented that Company at Nashville, Tenn.
When I came to
Nashville 1n 1884 I was taken into the home of my brother, Edward B.
Stahlman and became so to
speak a member or his family, being treated practically not only as a
member of my brother's family but as a member of the family of Mr. M. B.
Toney, B. F. Champe, and Mr. J. M. Reed. My brother Edward, Mr. Toney, Mr.
Champe and Mr. Reed all
having married sisters who with their children were all living 1n the same
house and eating at the same table. I never saw a happier household, all
being greatly devoted to each other. l remained with my brother Edward's
family under these agreeable surroundings until April 26, 1888, when I
married Miss Aline Stubblefield of Nashville, Tenn. During the entire
period of my sojourn in Nashville,
covering 19 rears, I was never to my knowledge known or regarded as a
half-brother of Edward B. Stahlman, nor anyth1ng more nor less than a full
brother, being the children of the same father and mother, and the attempt
to make me appear other than this could hardly have been inspired by
anything short of an evil aim on the part of enemies for an evil purpose.
I am not now nor have
I been an obscure or unknown person 1n Nashville. My position as Agent of
the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. put me almost in daily touch with the largest
and most active merchants and
business men in this city,
and my church connection as a member of the Board of Stewards of the Tulip
Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South, the second largest church 1n the city, has given to me an association and
acquaintance with the best people of Nashville.1 am now and have
been ever since the organization of commercial bodies in Nashville a
member of the Board of Trade and Commercial Clubs, the leading business
organizations of the City.
l am submitting
herewith as Exhibit "A" a photograph of my mother and all the
living children of the Stahlman Family taken in the Fall of 1868 at
Parkersburg, West Va. l remember well the circumstances under which this
photograph was taken. It was during a visit of my brother Edward B.
Stahlman, who having married at Nashville, Tenn. in 1866, was on his first
visit with his wife to his relatives in Parkersburg. On the right side of
this photograph will be found written by Mr. Bartlett, the photographer,
the words “Stahlman Group”.
The group in this
photograph, reading from left to right represents: