“Ex-Gov. Brown’s Big Sale”

Carroll County article for 19 May 1996

by Jay A. Graybeal

This afternoon at 1:30, Springfield Hospital Center will celebrate its centennial. The general public is invited to view the hospital grounds, a new museum will there will be a parade as part of the celebration.

Prior to the opening of Springfield Hospital, the site was known as Springfield Farm and was the home of Ex-Governor Frank Brown. The sale of the property marked an end of the Governor’s agricultural pursuits and the former governor disposed of his livestock at a public auction. The event, which drew a huge crowd, was described in an April 4, 1896 newspaper article in the Westminster American Sentinel.

The sale of the stock and implements on “Springfield” farm, near Sykesville, the estate recently sold by Ex-Gov. Frank Brown to the State of Maryland for the new insane asylum on Tuesday last attracted a big crowd of people. The gathering numbered not far short of 2,500, enough for a first-class county fair, and fine horses, sheep and cattle and other accessories of a fair were not wanting.The sale aggregated about $12,000, of which $6,000 was realized on the horses. The stock was in excellent shape, and this was perhaps the largest sale of home-bred horses that ever took place in Maryland. The prices were very good and ex-Governor Brown seemed well satisfied with the outcome of the day’s sale. The pick of the horses was the imported French coach stallion Paris, that the ex-Governor bought in Paris a few years ago. He was bought by Mr. Robert Crain for $500. Mr. Gaun M. Hutton was one of the largest buyers of the day. A list of the horses sold, with the names of the buyers and prices, follows: “Maggie,” black mare, W. H. Forsythe, Howard county, $100; “Frank,” brown gelding, Gaun M. Hutton, $147.50; “Sallie,” black mare, W. H. Forsythe, $105; “Kate,” bay mare, John Meginness, city, $167.50; “Tillie,” thoroughbred French coach mare, Gaun M. Hutton, $325; “Minnie,” bay mare, W. H. Forsythe, $100; “Nancy,” chestnut filly, Mr. Violet, of Carroll county, $82; “Joe,” bay gelding, W. H. Forsythe, $140; “Nig,” black gelding, John Meginness, $182.50; “George,” bay gelding, Welcome White, city, $130; “Fox,”, bay gelding, H. S. Ridout, Annapolis, $107,50; “Young Bettie,” gray mare, Henry Eckart, city, $65; “Charlie,” gray gelding, W. H. Forsythe, $100; “Scott,” chestnut gelding, G. T. Masson, city, $72.50. “Daisy,” gray mare, D. Cowan, Westminster, $107.50; “Dave,” gray gelding, Spring Grove Asylum, $150; “Ella,” bay filly, Senator A. Posey, La Plata, $37.50; black mare colt, W. H. Forsythe, $35; “Duke,” chestnut colt, Robert Crain, $25; “Logan,” black colt, John E. Benson, city, $31; “Jimmie,” bay colt, Edwin Warfield, $37; “Accident,” bay filly, W. H. Forsythe, $25; black colt, Boston Fear, $34; “Tillie,” imported French coach mare, Gaun M. Hutton, $462.50, “Dandy,” bay colt, Edwin Warfield, $56; “Lottie,” chestnut mare, Edwin Warfield, $110; “Lizzie,” Edwin Warfield, $105; “Young Dollie,” bay mare, W. H. Anderson, Carroll county, $107; “Helen,” bay mare, A. Posey, $107; “Sade,” bay mare, A. Posey, $50; “Springlet,” gray mare, August C. May, city, $70; gray pony, S. A. Rice, city, $60; “Tom,” bay stallion, Edwin Warfield, $260; ” Woodridge,” chestnut stallion, Robert Crain, $105; “Harry,” bay stallion, Edwin Warfield, $290; “Dollie,” bay mare, A. Posey, $52; “Dan,” gray coach horse, M. Gaston, Ellicott city, $106; “Simon,” coach stallion, J. W. Stalling, Prince George’s county, $52.

Most of the cattle, farming implements and supplies were bought for the new state insane asylum, and the rest was bid in by the farmers living in Carroll and the adjacent counties.

The sale was conducted by Joseph W. Berret. Messrs. J. Oliver Wadlow, John Hubner and W. H. Forsythe, of the building committee, were at the sale and stated that the contemplated improvements would be pushed rapidly to meet the requirements of the asylum, which will be opened as soon as possible. Dr. Rohe, the superintendent, was also at Springfield. He expects to move there April 15.

The sale of livestock and farming implements brought one era to a close and opened a new one in the history of the site. Today’s event will provide an opportunity to look back over a century of the site’s use as a hospital.
Photo caption: A cigar smoking Ex-Governor Frank Brown posed on “King”, a favorite horse, in this early twentieth century image taken in Baltimore. The former governor sold his livestock and farming implements of his Springfield Farm near Sykesville in March 1896. Today, Springfield Hospital celebrates its 100th anniversary. Historical Society of Carroll County collection, gift of Francis H. Benton, 1990.