Carroll County Times article 14 February 1993

By Joe Getty

History shows that not all love stories end “happily ever after.” Romance as a historical theme in Carroll County has examples of both successes and failures. Our Valentine’s story this year is one about a failure.

Occasionally, when we are researching county history, we uncover late-19th century newspaper articles that are particularly revealing about social aspects of daily life in Carroll County. Many aspects of daily life are not recorded in public documents, especially stories that may have had a tragic impact on a family.

Our story was published as a newspaper article entitled “Elopement” from the Westminster newspaper, the American Sentinel, of July 31,1886:

“Nathan D___, a farmer of this county, about 30 years of age, who owns a farm near Warfieldsburg, has abandoned his young wife and child and absconded. He is a son of Samuel D___, a well-known and highly-respected farmer of New Windsor district. For some time past he has been borrowing money, with his father as endorser. His father first became his surety on a note for several hundred dollars, and when that note came due young D___ told his father that the party to whom he owed the money insisted on payment, and persauded his father to endorse a new note to another party to enable him to raise the money to pay the first note.
He repeated this until his father had become his surety for about $5,190, but paid none of the notes. Recently his father was compelled to pay some of the notes, and thus his conduct was exposed. He promised to secure his father by giving him a mortgage, but never did so. The fact has now come to light that he has for some time past been very intimate with a young woman living near his farm. A friend, having learned that this had become public, informed young D___’s father, and on Friday morning he drove to his son’s house and insisted that the mortgage be executed at once. This the young man promised to do, and drove away from the farm as if to come to Westminster to have the papers prepared, but instead of coming here he drove to Mount Airy and took a train on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.His father has paid the several notes endorsed by him, and on Monday he issued attachments against his son as an absconding debtor for $5,190. Other attachments were issued to the amount of about $1,500. D___’s mother and wife are nearly crazed with grief at the conduct of son and husband.

Nathan D___ and his wife about six years ago hired a young girl named Maggie C___, who has lived with them since that time until recently. About a year ago the girl was 17 years old, and Mrs. D___ noticed that her husband was very attentive to Maggie, taking her on excursions and to picnics and driving with her in his buggy. She spoke to him about it and he denied any criminal conduct, but Mrs. D___ insisted that the girl leave the house, and she was discharged. Since that time D___ has been much away from home, and Mrs. D___ suspected that he was visiting the girl Maggie. About ten days ago she found in her husband’s room letters from the girl, which gave her conclusive proof of his infidelity. When he came home to dinner she accused him of his crime, and he denied it bitterly until she produced the letters, when he admitted his guilt. He then said that as the matter was discovered he could not stay in the neighborhood, but would go away.

He sold his wheat and borrowed money, until it is supposed he raised about $1,500. Early last week he brought the girl Maggie to Westminster and kept her for several days at the Montour House, where they registered as man and wife. On Thursday of last week she shipped her baggage from Linwood, on the Western Maryland railroad, marked “Mrs. Maggie D___.” D___ joined her in Baltimore, and, it is said, they registered at the Howard House as man and wife, and on Saturday left Baltimore having purchased tickets for Dayton, Ohio.”