Affidavit of George Washington Stahlman

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----- a few major surnames -----

- Dinger, Himes, London, Mohney, Moser, Schuckers, Shaffer, Slawson, Stahlman - 

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George was the youngest son of "Frederick Stahlman, who arrived in the US in 1853

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Descendents of Johann C. Stahlmann aka Frederick Stahlman

AFFIDAVIT OF GEO. W. STAHLMAN                  (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.

According to 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 each day.

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 Friedrick.

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.

In  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:

1 Charles Brunswig, husband of my sister.
2 Geo. W. Stahlman (myself) the youngest son.
3 William Stahlman, the oldest son. 
4 Friedrick Stahlman, the second son.
5 Edward B. Stahlman, the third son.
6 Mrs. Frederica S. Brunswig, wife of Mr. Brunswig.
7 Mrs. Frederica Stahlman Harnish: Mother of the Stahlman Children.
8 Mrs. Edward B. Stahlman, wife of Edward B. Stahlman.

My Brothers William, Friedrick and  I were at that time, unmarried. The center of this group, sitt1ng, as indicated, is my mother, and  the mother of all the Stahlman Children. The mother who married my father in Germany in 1837 and with whom she lived until my father's death at West Union in 1855, and the same mother who in April 1856, after my father's death married Mr. Louis Harnish and lived with him until she died and  was buried at Parkersburg, West Virginia 1n  December 1886.

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