Category: Keepers-Bios

Keeper Bio: Henry Columbus Sterling

Keepers

Date of Service: 1900 – 1937 1872: Born on August 10 to parents George B. and Nancy Clark Sterling in Lawsonia, Somerset County, MD. 1891: Marries Sally Marian Riggin on July 28. They raise 6 children. 1900: Serves as First Assistant at Solomons Lump Lighthouse, MD. His salary is $420/year. 1900-1901: Serves as First Assistant …

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Keeper Bio: Lorenzo Dow Evans

Keepers

Date of Service: 1879 – 1900   1831: Born in Maryland 1875: The first Solomons Lump Lighthouse is constructed. It was a square, screwpile on five wrought iron piles. It was painted white with a brown roof and black lantern and exhibited a fixed white light. 1879-1893: Serves as Keeper at Solomons Lump Lighthouse, MD. …

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Keeper Bio: Walter M. Shawn

Keepers

Date of Service: 1895 – 1908 1862: Born on February 14 in Queen Anne’s County, Eastern Shore, MD. 1869-1870: Family moves to Gloucester County, VA. 1880: Works as a farmer.                     1888: Works as a lumberman.  Marries Virginia E. Davis on December 26.  The couple raises three children, Lessie, Linwood, and Estelle. 1895-1901: Serves as …

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Keeper Bio: Henry Luther Dow

Date of Service: 1919 – 1954 1884: Born on April 2 at New Point, Mathews County, VA.  Keeper Dow was part of the 8th generation of Dows originally immigrating from England. 1909: Marries Hattie May Brooks on December 25.  The couple raises two children, Walter Carroll, and Elizabeth Snow. 1910:  Works as a sailor on …

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Keeper Bio: James Garnett Williams

Date of Service: 1875 – 1919 1855:  Born on April 15 in Mathews County, VA 1875:  Serves as Second Assistant Keeper at Windmill Point Lighthouse (VA).   Annual salary – $400.    1875-1876: Serves as First Assistant Keeper at Windmill Point Lighthouse (VA). Annual Salary – $440. 1876-1907:  Serves as Keeper at Windmill Point Lighthouse (VA).  …

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Keeper Bio: William Thomas “Billy” Brooks

Date of Service: 1909 – 1923 1853: Born on September 3 in Mathews County, VA.                1878: Marries Lucy Jane Marchant on January 31.  The couple has six children ­- Egbert, James, William, Thomas, Golden, and Gladys.      1900: Works as an oysterman.                     1909-1911: Serves as Assistant Keeper at Cobb Point Bar Lighthouse, MD beginning November …

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Keeper Bio: Robert Harold “Hallie” Matthews

Keepers

Date of Service: 1918 – 1941   1873: Born on October 14 in Mathews County, VA. Marries Edna Earle Brooks.  The couple raises one child – Mary Elizabeth. 1918- 1920:  Serves as First Assistant Keeper at Deep Water Shoals Lighthouse (VA). Starting annual salary – $480; ending – $720. 1918: On August 7, First Assistant …

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Keeper Bio: Andrew Broaddus Sadler

Keepers

Date of Service: 1903 – 1930 1867: Born in Mathews County, VA. 1887: Serves as an oysterman.  Marries Willia Peters on February 27. The couple raises one child – Edith Pearl.  1903 – at least 1913: Serves as Assistant Keeper at Stingray Point Lighthouse (VA). Starting annual salary – $420; ending – $480. 1915: Serves …

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Keeper Bio: Charles Franklin Sadler

Date of Service: 1925 – 1954 1892: Born on July 3 in Mathews County, VA. 1914: Marries Emma Lewis on October 10.  The couple has two children – Eileen and Weldon Lewis. 1917: Works as a fisherman – Gwynn’s Island, VA. 1925: Works for the United States Lighthouse Service as a foreman for the Shipping …

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Keeper Bio: Georgiana (Georgia) Sherwood Brumfield

Date of Service: 1895 – 1919 1849: Born on August 24 to parents John and Rebecca (Sherwood) Crouch in Cecil County, MD. 1865: Moves to Turkey Point Lighthouse, MD., where her father is appointed Keeper. 1870: Marries William Brumfield on September 23 at the lighthouse. They raise at least 6 children. 1873: Georgiana’s father, Keeper …

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Keeper Bio: Rebecca Crouch

Date of Service: 1873 – 1895 1825: Born on November 17 to parents Philip and Ann Sherwood in Baltimore, MD. 1840:  Marries John M. Crouch. They raise 3 children. 1850: In the U.S. Census John Crouch is 33 years old, married to Rebecca, age 25. His occupation is listed as a laborer. 1865: Rebecca’s husband …

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Keeper Bio: John M. Crouch

Keepers

Date of Service: 1865 – 1873 1817:  Born on April 10 in Cecil County, Maryland. 1840: Marries Rebecca Louisa Sherwood. They raise 3 children. 1850: In the U.S. Census John Crouch is 33 years old, married to Rebecca, age 25. His occupation is listed as a laborer. 1853: Listed as Constable for the 5th District …

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Keeper Bio: James Thomas Bowling

Keepers

Date of Service: 1873 – 1879 1839: Born June 9 in Baltimore, Maryland to parents Thomas & Susana Bowling. 1860s: Marries his wife, Margaret. They raise 4 children. 1863–1868: Served as Ensign for the Union Navy, where he was stationed on the USS Allegheny, a receiving ship. 1873–1874: Served as Principal Keeper for Craighill Channel …

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Keeper Bio: Loch Weems Humphreys

Date of Service: 1901 – 1914 1874: Born November 2 to parents Richard and Mary Drusilla (Bunting) Humphreys in Calvert County, MD. 1897: Marries his wife, Ellen Delilah “Nellie” Lusby on August 25. They go on to raise 4 children – 2 sons and 2 daughters. 1900: In the U.S. Census, Loch Humphreys is married, …

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Keeper Bio: James Locke Weems, Sr.

Date of Service: 1887 – 1918 1888: Born January 18 to parents James & Margaret Weems in Calvert, MD. 1878: Marries Mary Alice Ireland on February 21, 1878, in Calvert, MD. They had 5 children. 1887–1890: Served as First Assistant at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. His salary was $420/year. 1890–1891: Served as Principal Keeper at …

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Keeper Bio: Harold McKnett Messick

Date of Service: 1939 – 1960 1900: Born January 3 to parents William and Elizabeth Messick in Wicomico County, MD. 1918: Per the 1917-1918 U.S. Draft Card, Harold is 18 years old, single, and his occupation is listed as a streetcar conductor. 1930: In the U.S. Census, Harold lives with his wife, Alice, and their …

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Keeper Bio: Paul B. Gray

Date of Service: 1921 – 1925 1887: Born on March 5 to parents Benjamin Nathaniel and Sarah Gray, in Drum Point, MD. 1900: In the U.S. Census at age 12, he is listed as living with his parents, Nathaniel, and Sarah. His father, Nathaniel, is the Principal Keeper at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. 1905: Serves …

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Keeper Bio: George Henry Leikam Sr.

Date of Service: 1940 – 1960 1902:  Born on March 4 in Baltimore, MD 1940:  Stationed at Norfolk, Virginia as Quartermaster on the U.S. Coast Guard Tender, Violet. 1942 to 1943:  Keeper Leikam begins service as 1st Assistant Keeper at Holland Island Bar Lighthouse, Maryland. Salary – $1,440 a year. 1943 to 1945: Keeper Leikam …

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Keeper Bio: Helen C. Tune

Date of Service: 1877 – 1883 1854: Helen Dodge was born in October 1854 in Vermont 1871: Marries Thomas Steptoe Tune on June 21 in the District of Columbia. 1872:  Daughter Lorena Elizabeth is born on June 22 in the District of Columbia 1877:  Helen is hired as acting Keeper in March for the Piney …

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Keeper Bio: William Kirwan Slacum

Keepers

Date of Service: 1892 – 1914 1833:  Born on November 8, 1833, in Church Creek, Dorchester County, MD. To Barzillai and Julia Ann Slacum 1862:  Marries Margaret Jane Christopher on February 4, 1862, in Dorchester County, MD. 1880: Occupation listed as a clerk in Baltimore, MD. in the U.S. Census. 1892: Serves as Assistant Keeper …

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Keeper Bio: Otho Bounds

Date of Service: 1892-1939 1867:  Born on September 27, 1867 in Allen (Wicomico County) Maryland. 1889:  Marries Esther E. Hopkins. The couple raises eight children. 1892:  Serves as First Assistant Keeper at Craighill Lower Front Range Lighthouse (MD). Annual salary – $435. 1892-1893:  Serves as Keeper at Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse (MD). Annual salary – …

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Keeper Bio: William Yeatman, Jr.

Date of Service: 1904-1939 1872:  Born on July 26 to parents William M. and Anna Yeatman, Sr., in St. Mary’s County, MD. 1900:  His occupation is listed as a blacksmith in the U.S. Census. Early 1900s:  Marries Julia Courtney. 1903:  Wife Julia gives birth to a daughter, Mary on December 10. Neither mother or daughter …

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Keeper Bio: William M. Yeatman, Sr.

Date of Service: 1871-1908 1830: Born on October 1 in Richmond County, VA. 1862:  Marries Anna Maria Lamb on May 12 in St. Mary’s County, MD. They go on to have 12 children. 1871:  Appointed Keeper at Point Lookout Lighthouse, MD on September 22. His beginning salary was $520/year. 1874:  A Novia Scotian schooner, Etta, …

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Keeper Bio: Francis E. Wilkins

Date of Service: 1884-1918 1852/1853:  Born in Virginia to parents G.W. & Mary Wilkins. 1884:  Served as First Assistant at Watts Island Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $420/year. 1890:   Appointed Keeper at Tangier Sound Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $575/year. 1892:   Marries his wife, Lida, on June 12 in Northumberland, VA. They …

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Keeper Bio: Benjamin Nathaniel Gray

Date of Service: 1882-1907 1851:  Born in Maryland 1885:  Marries his wife, Sarah. 1882:  Served as First Assistant at Cove Point Lighthouse in MD.  His salary was $420/year. 1883:  Served as the first Keeper at Drum Point Lighthouse in MD.  His starting salary was $540/year and ending salary of $575/year. 1890:  Served as Keeper at …

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Keeper Bio: James T. Somers

Date of Service: 1919 – 1958 1892:  Born on November 18 to parents Tobey & Matilda, Somerset County, MD. 1919:  Served as First Assistant at Cove Point Lighthouse in MD.  His annual salary was $1,115/year. 1919-1920:  Served as First Assistant at Point No Point Lighthouse in MD.  His salary was $1,182/year. 1923:  Served as First …

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Keeper Bio: David W. Collison

Date of Service: 1907 – 1917 1873:   Born on July 30 to Robert & Mary Collison, Maryland. 1907-1909:   Served as the First Assistant at Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse in MD. His starting salary was $420/year and his ending salary was $480/year. Early 1900s:   Married his wife Ellen and raised six children. 1909-1912: …

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Keeper Bio: Julian Haywood Austin

Date of Service: 1921 – 1948 1898:   Born on February 20 to John Lotson Austin & Markey Poyner Austin, in Frisco, NC 1916-1917:   Joins the U.S. Lighthouse Service and was stationed on three lightships, including LV71. 1918-1921:   Worked on multiple “oilers” for the U.S. Army. 1921:   Returned to the U.S. Lighthouse …

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Keeper Bio: Josephine McWilliams Freeman

Date of Service: 1876 – 1912 1843:   Born on January 14 to parents Dr. Joseph & Eliza McWilliams in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. 1850:   Dr. Joseph L. McWilliams, the father of Josephine, sells 2.75 acres on the southwest corner of Blackistone Lighthouse at a price of $300 to the U.S. government as a …

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Keeper Bio: Martha Nuthall

Date of Service: 1850 – 1861 1803:   Birth of Martha McClelland in Maryland. 1843:   John W. Nuthall age 40, widower, married Martha McClelland age 40 on January 3, 1843. 1849:   John W. Nuthall listed as Keeper at Piney Point Lighthouse. His annual salary is listed as $350/year. 1850:   In the 1850 …

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