Chapter V


(Page numbers from 1888 Green Book in [square brackets].)

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John Shultz Shriver, Baltimore

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JOHN S. SHRIVER, the eldest son of Andrew Shriver of Union Mills, was born at the Homestead, Little Pipe Creek, Md. He was baptized by the Rev. William Otterbine, Baltimore; John Shultz, god-father. He was married to Henrietta Myer, by the Rev. Mr. Glendy, at the residence of James H. Causten, Baltimore.

In early life he prepared himself for the bar, and though he did not engage in the practice of his profession, the legal knowledge which he acquired was of much value to him in his subsequent career. His attention was chiefly given to questions of trade, commerce and finance, and his acquaintance with these subjects was extensive and accurate. He was a vigorous thinker, and often used his pen in advocating, through the Press, important measures pertaining to commercial affairs, and the interests of the state and country. He was influential in the re-establishment of the transportation companies known as the “Erricson Line,” plying between Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, of which he was president. In this relation he showed unusual executive ability as attested by the success of these companies.

He resided in Baltimore the greater part of his life — over forty years — and was esteemed as an honorable and influential citizen.

In the war with Great Britain, 1812-1814, he took an active part in the defense of the city of Baltimore, serving in the capacity of Quarter-Master.

As a member of the Whig party, he was prominent in the advocacy of its principles, and warmly espoused the candidacy of Henry   [53]   Clay for the Presidency. He was not, however, addicted to party politics, seeking office neither for himself nor friends, holding the opinion that it compromised a man’s independence of action and advancement in, life.

As the eldest brother of a numerous family, his counsel was sought in all matters affecting their welfare, and his advice, when followed, was usually found wise and judicious.

For years the management of his father’s business in Baltimore devolved upon him, and, in the absence of a will, he administered upon his estate to the satisfaction of all concerned. Through. his counsel the homestead of the family at Union Mills was allotted to his brothers William, and Andrew K., who resided there and controlled the business of the place.

The following extract from an article which appeared in the Press, at the time of his decease, confirms the estimate of his character given above:

“Mr. Shriver inherited, in their most useful and comprehensive development, the distinguishing characteristics of his ancestors. His judgment was almost unerring, and was supported by a strong, steady and resolute will. He prepared himself for the bar, and the knowledge of fundamental legal principles which he acquired was often usefully manifested in the important concerns with which he was connected. When he had occasion to write, he expressed himself with a precision, fullness and vigor, which left little to be supplied by those who might follow him in the investigation. As the president of the companies which have, for many years, controlled the transportation of merchandise between Baltimore and the cities of Philadelphia and New York, he disclosed uncommon administrative capacity, and the successes of these and kindred enterprises in which he was concerned, were justly ascribed to his superior tact, energy and sagacity. In short — he possessed most of the qualifications which fit a man for public usefulness, and many of them in a very eminent and remarkable degree, and few men have lived in Baltimore whose labors have been attended with more beneficial results.

[54]   In the more retired relations of life — as the guide and sagacious adviser of a wide-spread family connection — the extent of Mr. Shriver’s usefulness it would be equally vain and indelicate to attempt to estimate. They, from whom this resource is withdrawn, are alone competent to appreciate the value of what they have lost, in the extinguishment of that far-seeing and prudent wisdom, upon which they have so long relied with undoubting confidence.

The sketch of such a man would be incomplete if it failed to exhibit him in the most important of all his relations and duties — those of the husband and parent. The first of these relations was sundered by the death of his excellent and exemplary wife. From that time there was a visible decay of his faculties, and near the second anniversary of this irreparable calamity, he, too, succumbed to the great destroyer. His deportment as a husband, for more than a third of a century, justifies this solution of a coincidence so remarkable, and when his children reflect upon the affectionate vigilance with which he watched over them, it ought to console them to remember that he was removed, not only in the fullness of years, but probably at the time when he himself might have desired to be reunited to the departed.”

HENRIETTA SHRIVER, Wife of John S. Shriver, was the daughter of Jacob Myer, of Baltimore. She had two brothers and several sisters. Capt. James Myer, in the merchants marine, and Thomas Myer, were well-known and valued citizens of Baltimore. Her sister, Eliza, married James H. Causten, of Washington, D. C. Harriet Shriver, as she was familiarly called, was remarkable for her self-sacrificing endeavors to promote the welfare and comfort of her family. Her kindly dispensed hospitality contributed largely toward making the Franklin street home one of the most popular resorts for friends and relations frequenting the city.

Their family consisted of three children, Mary Elizabeth, John Alexander and Isabella Julia.

MARY E. SHRIVER, the eldest daughter, was married to Hanson B. Pigman, Esq., of Cumberland. She was a woman of intelligence, admired and loved by relatives and friends for her courtly manners   [55]   and many accomplishments. Mr. Pigman was a lawyer and practiced at the Cumberland bar: was State’s Attorney at that bar for several terms. Suffering from ill health he sought recuperation by travel, and took passage for Europe on the ship Francis De Pau, but his death occurred on the outward passage from New York to Havre. His bereaved wife proved faithful to his memory, and devoted her after life to the care and education of their children.

J. ALEXANDER SHRIVER, son of John S. Shriver, was liberally educated, graduating 1839, from, St. Mary’s College, Baltimore.

From early manhood he was associated with his father in the management of the New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore Transportation Companies, and, at his father’s death, 1855, succeeded to the presidency, which office he has ably filled to the present time. From life-long identification with the business interests of Baltimore he has attained a prominent position in the community, and has the respect of a wide circle of friends.

In a late tour in Europe be availed himself of the opportunity to visit the home of his paternal ancestry, Alsenborn, Germany; and, through his kindness, his friends have been favored with photographic views of the ancient village with its environments, which, together with the details of the visit, have given them much pleasure. Among the things noted by him of interest was the “Hess” family residence, the home of Anna Margareta Hess (the widow Young) wife of Andrew Shriver, the emigrant; which is still occupied by the descendants of the Hess family. He also procured while at Alsenborn, from the pastor of the church there, a revised and accurate compilation of the Shriver Family records, antedating, by some years, those previously had in possession of the family in America — a copy thereof being given in this history.

His son, Clarence Shriver, now in Europe, in a recent visit to Alsenborn, was most hospitably, entertained by Mr. Brandstettner, the pastor of the church. He visited the Hess house and obtained from Mrs. Hess, the present occupant, a valuable relic — a pewter plate, stamped with the Hess name, said to have been over two hundred years in possession of the family. He also visited the old   [56]   church, and the pastor, who is an admirable performer on the organ, treated him to some exquisite music; also visited the village school, of sixty pupils, and heard them sing the German National Anthem, “Heil dir im Siegeskranz,” which is identical, or nearly so, with “America” and “God Save the Queen.”

The town of Alsenborn is beautifully situated in a fertile valley, and contains about a thousand inhabitants and two hundred houses.

The new steel propeller, the “Alsenborn,” of the New York Transportation Company, of which J. Alexander Shriver is president, is named in honor of the home of his ancestors.

Mrs. J. Alexander Shriver has been prominently connected with the benevolent work of the city. She has been a member of the Board of Managers of the Baltimore Orphan Asylum, for boys and girls, for twenty-eight years, and since 1883 has been the efficient President. It is the oldest institution of the kind in the city, having been organized in 1778.

Mr. and Mrs. Shriver and family are members of the Episcopal Church, Emmanuel Parish.

They have had a family of eight children, viz. — Alice, Frederick, Lawrence, John Shultz, Alexander, Harry Gaw, Clarence and Joseph Alexis.

ALICE SHRIVER their only daughter, married Thomas R. Clendinen, Esq., of the Baltimore bar.

FRED. SHRIVER, eldest son of J. Alexander Shriver, has been associated with his father in the Transportation Companies Agency, Baltimore, also the agent at Baltimore of the Royal Mail Steamship Companies line for the Netherlands. He married Martha A. Nicholson, of Baltimore.

JOHN S. SHRIVER, third son of J. Alexander Shriver, was an “honor” graduate from Princeton College, N. J. He leas been for some years on the Reportorial Staff of the Baltimore American; also President of Journalists Club, Baltimore. He has attained considerable literary reputation as an occasional correspondent of the press,   [57]   and as contributor of racy articles to current periodicals. “Almost” — a novel, is the latest from his pen.

ISABELLA J. SHRIVER, the youngest daughter of John S. Shriver, Sr., married Robert H. Macgill, merchant, Frederick, Md., where they resided through life and enjoyed a good degree of prosperity, leaving, at their death, a liberal patrimony to their children.

Genealogical Records