Chapter VI


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

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Thomas Shriver

Enterprises  |  Sandy Mount, Frederick, Franklin and Cumberland, Md.  |
Philadelphia and New York  |  Children with their Connections  |  Genealogical Records


CAPTAIN THOMAS SHRIVER, the second son of Andrew Shriver, of Union Mills, was born at the homestead, Little Pipe Creek, Md. He was baptized by Rev. Mr. Kopright, at Mr. Forney’s house, Hanover; sponsors, Andrew Shriver and his wife.

He was married to Ann E. Sharp, of York, Pa.

He manifested, in an eminent degree, the characteristics peculiar to the family, and was a self-taught and practical engineer, machinist and inventor. He was engaged in a number of enterprises, some of which were quite successful. His first business engagement — about 1814 — was at York, Pa. At this time the war with Great Britain occurred, and he enlisted and organized a company of volunteers for the defense of Baltimore, which he commanded at the battle of North Point, thus earning the title of “Captain.”

In 1818 he located at Sandy Mount, on the Reisterstown pike, eighteen miles from Baltimore. He improved the property by the erection of several buildings, among others a saw-mill, which was run by horsepower. While at Sandy Mount he conceived the idea of an improvement in carriage springs, and built for himself a carriage to which he applied the invention as an experiment. This was the origin, as he claimed, of the invaluable “Elliptic Spring” now so generally in use, though he never applied for a patent.

In 1826 he removed from Sandy Mount to Frederick, where he was interested in an effort to introduce water into the city from the mountain springs near by. Thence he removed to Franklin, a village near Baltimore, and was associated with a company of gentle   [60]   men having in view the improvement of that place, superintending the location and construction of the Franklin turnpike, etc. He was also interested, about this time, in consort with his brother Joseph Shriver, in prospecting the route for the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, south of the Susquehanna; the result being the adoption of plans submitted by them for crossing the Gunpowder and Bush rivers in the use of pile bridges.

In 1834 he removed to Cumberland and secured an interest in the Good Intent Stage Company, carrying mails and passengers between Cumberland and Wheeling (W. Va.). While thus occupied he invented and patented the “Bow Spring,” which was applied to the coaches.

He was chosen Mayor of Cumberland several terms, and gave much attention to the improvement of the streets, personally superintending the grading and paving. After the extension of the railroad west of Cumberland, staging was discontinued on the National Road. He then organized a company for the construction of a Plank Road from Cumberland to West Newton, Pa., via the old turnpike. The Youghiogheny river was improved for slack-water navigation, and a steamboat, the “Thomas Shriver,” plied daily between West Newton and Pittsburgh, connecting with the stage line. The effort to compete in this way by “rapid transit” with the railroad was not successful, but it shows his indomitable energy and enterprise. In 1853 he started an Omnibus line in Philadelphia, and continued it until bought out by a Passenger Railway company. He then moved to New York, becoming one of the firm of T. Shriver & Company, founders, which connection he sustained to the close of his life.

Thomas Shriver was naturally of buoyant spirits, and, consequently, was but little affected by the varying fortunes of life. If his efforts proved unsatisfactory in results, nothing daunted, he turned his attention to new fields of enterprise until he achieved success. His practical experience enabled him to counsel wisely, and he was ever ready to lend a helping hand to those deemed worthy of his confidence.

[61]   He affiliated politically with the Whig party, and took a lively interest in the campaigns of 1840, ’44, and ’48, when Harrison, Clay and Taylor were successively candidates for the Presidency. The “big ball,” which he improvised upon the occasion of the Harrison Ratification Convention and Procession, Baltimore, (1840), was a unique feature of that memorable campaign, and elicited rounds of applause as it was rolled, by the Allegany “Mountain boys,” decked in their hunting shirts and coon-skin caps, through the streets.

At the inauguration of General Taylor, Thomas Shriver was one of his escorts to the seat of government. A lady, who lived upon the route, though a stranger at the time to Mr. Shriver, says that she remembers him well, and thought he was better qualified from what she saw of him, to represent the nation at Washington, than was the eminent personage he was escorting, a merited compliment to his genial and courteous manners.

Thomas Shriver reached the rare age of ninety years, retaining in good measure his physical and mental vigor until near the close of his life, which was due, as has been remarked, to his “temperate habits in eating and drinking, using neither ardent spirits nor tobacco.”

ANN E. SHRIVER, his wife, was born at Lancaster, and resided, when married, at York, Pa. She was a lady of culture and refinement, a devoted wife and mother, and a devout Christian. She was a member of the Episcopal church, in which communion she was joined by her husband, and reared her children. George Sharp, her brother, edited the Citizen, Frederick, Md., a journal of considerable influence at the time in the state.

Children of Thomas Shriver and Ann E., his wife: Ann, Edwin Thomas, Ellen, Alfred, Ann Elizabeth, Howard, Walter, Hervey, Mary and Mary Frances. Ann, the first-born, died in infancy.

EDWIN T. SHRIVER, the eldest son received a preliminary education as an accountant, in a Banking House, Baltimore. He was subsequently appointed to an office in the Cumberland Bank of   [62]  Allegany (merged into the First National), and in 1852 he was made the cashier, afterward, at death of Jos. Shriver, vice-president of the bank. He enjoys the respect of the entire community.

ELLEN SHRIVER married J. Lynn Richardson, merchant, Cumberland, where (in widowhood) she continues to reside.

ALFRED SHRIVER was engaged in the foundry and machinist business at Cumberland when he died. His widow and three children survive him.

ANN E. SHRIVER married Alpheus Beall. He was partner with her father in the Good Intent Stage Company, Cumberland, and was a highly respected citizen of that place.

HOWARD SHRIVER was liberally educated, graduating from Trinity College. He has been a professional teacher in public and private institutions.

WALTER SHRIVER was, in early life, engaged with his brother Alfred in business at Cumberland. He subsequently married and located in New York, where he was associated with his father in business — firm style Thomas Shriver & Company, founders. Since his father’s death he has continued the business, and has been eminently successful in its management, the firm rating among the first of its class in prominence and financial stability.

HERVEY SHRIVER was engaged in Mercantile business, Baltimore. He is at present a resident of Oswego, N.Y.

MARY died in infancy. Frances died in 1833.

Genealogical Records