“158th County Birthday Celebration”

Carroll County Times Article for 15 January 1995

by Jay A. Graybeal

On Thursday, January 19th, the Historical Society will celebrate the 158th anniversary of the founding of Carroll County. The event will be held at 4:00 p.m. in the Shriver-Weybright Auditorium, 210 East Main Street, Westminster. President Jacob M. Yingling will formally dedicate the Society’s new publication entitled, Carroll Record Histories of Northwestern Carroll County Communities. The program will include remarks by elected officials, readings from the new book and recognition of those who served on an advisory committee for the book project. Refreshments will be served following the program.

The Society’s new book contains a number of references to the founding of Carroll County. Dr. Jacob J. Weaver, Jr. included a reference to an early effort to form a new county in his description of the November 25, 1813 issue of the The Engine of Liberty and Uniontown Advertiser, the first newspaper published in what is now Carroll County.

This issue also contains a notice of a petition to the legislature signed by citizens of Baltimore and Frederick counties praying for the establishment of a new county. Tradition gives it that the name of the new county was intended to be “Union county,” and the county seat was to be located at “The Forks,” which henceforth was to be officially known as Uniontown. The agitation began as early as 1810 or 1811, and from undoubted evidence in the possession of the writer, the people anticipated the formation of the new county, and began then to call “The Forks” by the new name of Uniontown.The metes and bounds asked for in this petition are substantially the same as those granted twenty-four years later, when the Act was passed creating Carroll county. When the publication of this paper was discontinued is not known, but as the publisher was the same person who started the second paper, and the dates were so near the same period, it is to be presumed that the second paper was issued very shortly or immediately after the discontinuance of the first.

Dr. Weaver also included an informative section entitled, “Carroll County Formed.”

During the years 1835 and 1836, the subject of creating a new county out of parts of Baltimore and Frederick counties was much agitated. Various propositions were made and finally by an Act of the Legislature, passed March 26th., 1836, Carroll county was created as it now exists. The relation which Uniontown bore to this agitation was entirely confined to the place of location for the county seat. Had the county been made to include Liberty District as was then constituted, Uniontown would have been selected as the county town. The proposition, I am informed, was, to create the new county so as to include Liberty district, and not to include some of the territory taken from Baltimore county; that would have thrown the centre of the new county near Uniontown; but, other influences prevailed, and less territory was taken from Frederick, and more from Baltimore county, which made Westminster the centre and the logical county seat.

In the formation of Carroll county, Uniontown was made the voting place for the voters of the second district. Immediately after the formation of the new district, Thomas Hook, John Smith of Joshua, and Charles Devilbiss, were appointed Justices of the District court, and John Roberts and Henry H. Harbaugh, Justices of the Peace for Uniontown. In the Whig revolution which occurred in October, 1844, Hon. William Roberts, of Uniontown, was elected to the state Senate. It was during this legislative period, and through his influence, that the charter was obtained, and the lottery authorized, which provided the money for the building of the plank road which extended from Westminster to Emmitsburg.

The public is cordially invited to attend the anniversary observance. Admission is free and refreshments will be served following the program. For additional information, please call the Historical Society at 848-6494.
Photo Caption: Dr. Jacob J. Weaver, Jr. of Uniontown wrote about the founding of Carroll County in his history of Uniontown published in the Taneytown Carroll Record newspaper in 1894. His history was included in the Historical Society’s new book the Carroll Record Histories of Northwestern Carroll County Communities.