Anton Spath (1835-1913)

Prepared by: Ronald E. Spath
--- recent updates


Our family can trace its American roots to Anton Spath's arrival in the middle 1800's. My great grandfather (Edward M. Spath I) was Anton's youngest son. I have spent a considerable amount of time searching libraries, court houses, cemeteries, and other places looking for bits and pieces of the past. Many relatives and friends have expressed an interest in genealogy. Because of this interest, I have taken the effort to collect some of the stories of Anton Spath, his family, and their Cross Keys' community, so that it can be shared with others. This task is not complete. Portions of the family tree need to be expanded or corrected, questions need to be answered, and much more work is necessary. In addition to more factual data, pictures of the family and the Cross Keys' area during the 1800's or early 1900's would enhance the story that is contained in these pages. Everyone is encouraged to help. Information, pictures, and maps of Baltimore City and County have been included to aid the research effort and to give a better understanding of the area during Anton Spath's life.

Village of Cross Keys

Travel to America
Falls Turnpike
Basket Weaving
Church Activities
Anton's Neighbors
Brother Johannes
Brother Johann Daniel
Other Relatives
Property Holdings
Death of Anna Maria
Life Goes On
Augusta's Family
Marriage to Augusta
Twentieth Century Stories
Death of Anton
Augusta's Death
Cross Keys
List of Works Cited


Anton was born on March 3, 1835 in Germany.(1) Resource material suggests several locations for the place of his birth. Based on all of the information that I have reviewed, it is most likely that Anton was born in Dietzenbach, Germany. According to Passenger Ship Records, family members that visited Uncle Anton in 1910 were born and raised in Offenbach, Germany, not too far from Frankfurt. Offenbach has a population of 116,000 in the city. Herbert W. Spath Sr. said that Anton came from Düsseldorf, about 20 miles southwest of Essen.(2)


Records at the Family History Library operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) show that Anton was born in Dietzenbach, Germany. Information from Christoph Spath also says that Anton was born in Dietzenbach. The city of Dietzenbach is about 10 miles southeast of Frankfurt and has a population of approximately 35,400.


The name Spath comes from the German word spät, meaning late and was pronounced shpat. Over time it was changed to Spath or Spaeth. Different spellings of the name such as Spath, Spathe and Spaeth come from the same German surname. Variations of the spelling in resource material should be carefully evaluated. A different spelling may be a legitimate variation, but may simply be a misspelling. For example, the Woods Baltimore City Directory spells the name as Antony Spates in 1898 and Anthon Spath in 1899. Both are incorrect.


Anton grew up when Germany was a federation of sovereign states. The German Federation survived until 1866. (3) Not much information is available about Anton's childhood. He was 22 when he traveled to America. The 1900 U.S. census says that Anton's year of immigration was 1856, while the 1910 census says that it was 1855. Based on research submitted to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Anton's parents were Heinrich Spath and Anna Maria Juenger Spath (married on October 3, 1820). Anton was the sixth of their seven children.

Johannes Spath (M) September 28, 1821
Rudolph Spath (M) October 4, 1823
George Spath (M) October 21, 1825
Maria Spath (F) October 13, 1828
Margarete Spath (F) September 1, 1830
Anton Spath (M) March 3, 1835
Johann Daniel Spath (M) July 10, 1838


Information listed in the 1900 census says that Anton came to the United States in 1856. Baltimore was a popular port of entry for immigrants in the nineteenth century. In the late 1850's, Baltimore was the third largest city in the United States with a population of 212,418.(3a) Between 1833 and 1876, it is reported that 272,218 German immigrants arrived in Maryland. The largest wave of German settlers arrived during the decade of 1850 to 1860. (4) Ellis Island in New York was the most popular port of entry for Germans from 1850 to 1855 with 552,117 German arrivals as compared to 46,437 German arrivals in the Baltimore port for the same time. (*web*) Some Spaths might have arrived in New York and traveled to Baltimore via ground transportation. Roughly 600,000 people arrived at the Baltimore port between 1868 and 1900. Many who arrived were Germans because the steamships that carried them sailed from Bremen, Germany. Bremen is a city near the mouth of the Weser in the North German Plain. Ships belonging to the North German Lloyd Lines were named: Braunschweig, Léipzig, Berlin, Baltimore, Bremen, Nürnberg, and Ohio. The initial voyage of this line occurred in March 1868. (5) (6) Many Germans who came to America after 1830 left their homeland for economic reasons. Germany experienced an abortive revolution in 1848. (7) The liberal refugees of the abortive revolution were called '48ers and settled mostly north of the Mason Dixon Line.(8) Approximately 496 Spaths are listed in the 1880 federal census. Northern and mid-western states accounted for the majority of Spaths.(8a) For example New York had 80, Pennsylvania 78, Indiana 71, Ilinois 49, Minnesota 44, Missouri 42, Wisconsin 30, Michigan 28, while New Jersey had 9, Texas 2, Maryland 0, Virginia 0 and West Virginia 0. These are not precise numbers. Some people (such as Anton) were missed by the census takers, but they give a good estimate of the approximate scatter of Spaths about the country.


Spaths Arriving at the Port of Baltimore 1820-1897
Aug 29, 1846 Albert Cath.,Magd. ---
Oct 19, 1846 Johannes A.M.,Marg.Elsie Balt. MD
May 11, 1860 Ferdinand Anna Cinn. OH
Jun 11, 1861 Albert Fried,Caroline,Catharine,Christine,Fried Jr. IL
Dec 17, 1867 Clara Christoph ---
Sep 16, 1871 Leipzig Adolph,Marie,John,Heinhrich USA
Apr 9, 1875 Braunschweig Gustav,Henriette,Carl,Julius USA
Apr 9, 1975 Braunschweig Ferdinand,Friedrich USA
Sep 21, 1881 Herman Josef USA
Apr 30, 1882 Nurnberg Carl St.Louis
Mar 12, 1884 Weser Rosalie,Albert,Gorg,Wendelin,Crescenz,Josef,Roebus TX
Jun 12, 1884 Habsburg Minna Wisc.
May 1, 1889 America Lisette Neb
May 9, 1890 Rhein Barbara,Josef Balt.
Jun 9, 1890 Rhein Bertha MO
Mar 25, 1884 Stuttgart Christine Clev.
May 12, 1895 Wittekind Wally St.Paul
Source: Passenger ship records from the National Archives

During the period from 1820 to 1897, at least 38 Spaths arrived at the port of Baltimore (See Table 1). I collected the list by going through the soundex of passenger ship records at the National Archives. Names were grouped by their travel companions. Soundex listings assign a 4-digit code to each person's last name. The first letter is taken and the remaining letters are coded with numbers. Similar sounding surnames usually receive the same soundex number. The soundex for Spath is S130. This is also the first four digits of a Spath's Maryland driver's license. Anton's name was not listed any time during the period from 1820 to 1897. Only two groups of Spaths are listed as arriving between 1820 and 1860. One group of three people arrived in 1846 on the vessel Johannes. Portions of the description fit Anton, such as a weaver and destined for Baltimore. Other data such as ages are inconsistent and lead to the conclusion that Anton was not part of that group.

1. b, p, f, v
2. c, s, k, g, j, q, x, z
3. d, t
4. l
5. m, n
6. r
not coded: a, e, i, o, u, y, w, h

Herbert Spath Sr. said that Anton came to America alone to avoid German military service. It is possible that he traveled under an assumed name, that the name listed on the ship's record was misread when it was indexed, that the name was not legible at all, or that the ship records have been destroyed. The 1900 census records say that Anton's "year of immigration" was 1856 and that he had been in the USA for 43 years.

It has been told that Anton came to America with his cousin. The cousin was supposed to be the head of the Frank Spath family. Daniel was Anton's nephew and was born in 1863, many years after Anton's arrival in America. It is possible that Daniel might have referred to as "the cousin." He had a son named Frank, a grandson Frank and also a great-grandson Frank. All the Spaths in the Baltimore area were said to be descendants of one of the two cousins. With the large number of Spaths entering the port of Baltimore, it is quite likely that other Spaths, not related to Anton or his cousin, decided to stay in the city even though other destinations may have been originally noted on the ship records.

Esther Spath Robbins met Frank Spath in December 1945 when she was a seasonal employee at the main Post Office in Baltimore. Frank also worked at the Post Office. As Esther stood in a Post Office line, Frank saw her Spath name tag. They found out that they were distant cousins, although they were not clear of the exact relationship. (9)

A ship named Minerva sailed from Bremen to Baltimore in September 1855 and included Maria Strohicker (age 18) as one of its passengers. It is possible that this passenger could have been the woman that Anton Spath married. Michael Strohicker (age 17) was also a passenger on the Minerva.(9a)

Baltimore Passenger and Immigration Lists for 1820-1872 include "Anton Spat" on the sailing vessel named Bark Stella that arrived in Baltimore on November 3, 1857 with 337 passengers. It says that Anton was 22 years old and had sailed from Bremen. He was a weaver. The record also says that his sisters, Margarethe Spat, age 25, and Maria, age 28 were on the same ship. (9b)


Source: Baltimore Passenger and Immigration Lists for 1820-1872

A bark vessel had three or more masts, square rigged except for the fore- and aft-rigged aftermast. It was claimed to be the best all-around 20th century steel-hulled sailer. (9c) The bark James Wright was typical of many bark vessels that sailed during the 1800's.

James Wright


A hint of the occupation of people from the past can be obtained from many sources such as census records, city directories, newspaper articles, word of mouth, etc. Census records are collected every 10 years and in the 1970's could be found at the National Archives in Washington D.C., among other places. Many local libraries have microfilm copies of census records and access to on-line databases. Most of the data from the 1890 census are not available because it was destroyed in a fire. Records for 1880 and 1900 are accompanied by a soundex. I searched for Anton's name but did not find it listed in either the 1880 or the 1900 soundex.

The next step was to search the actual census records by looking in the proper census enumeration district for streets of Cross Keys. Each census record is broken down by supervisor's district and enumeration district. The enumeration districts are usually described in a reference book or on microfilm by ward and precinct or by street boundaries. In the 1880 Census, pages 2024 of enumeration district 242 (roll 496) listed dwellings in Cross Keys, but no Spaths were included. Streets and house numbers were not included for any of the Cross Keys residents. I also searched other areas of election district No. 9 such as Hampden, Davidville, Mt. Washington, Sweetair, and Clippier, and portions of Election District No. 3 for Melvale, but I found nothing useful.

My search of the 1900 Census was much more successful. Election District No. 9 was broken down into four precincts. Precinct 2 contained the Cross Keys portion of Falls Road. Street names are listed on the census sheet, there are no house numbers. Records for this area would be found in Enumeration District 41. As I was perusing sheet 33 of E.D. 41 (roll 607), the name Anton Path jumped out at me. That was very close to the correct spelling. It was missing only the letter "S". The house was located on Falls Road. I looked across the census page and found his occupation listed as landlord, years of marriage as 41, birth place as Germany and birth date as March 1835. They were all the same! It must be Anton Spath. The record said that his parents were born in Germany and listed Anton's year of immigration as 1856. It also listed his sister Annie M. at the same address and said that she was born in October 1827. LDS records suggest that Maria was born in October 1828.

Source: 1900 U.S. Census

The 1910 federal census includes information for the village of Cross Keys as part of Enumeration District Number 30. The 30th Enumeration District was described as including part of Election District 9 and part of Precinct 2 (excluding Mt. St. Mary's Orphan Asylum), all west of the center of Roland Ave. In addition to street names, the 1910 census also includes house numbers. The first few sheets of Enumeration District 30 covered houses along Roland Ave. The census taker listed several Falls Road houses on sheet 4 and more on sheet 8 (Cold Spring Lane and Falls Road area). The majority of the Cross Keys houses along Falls Road were listed on sheets 10 to 14. Anton and Augusta Spath are listed on sheet 13, at 223 Falls Road. The Pensky's are shown as Anton's next door neighbors at 225 Falls Road. The family includes Stephen, his wife Francis (Augusta's daughter), and their five children.

Source: 1910 U.S. Census

Anton probably became a farmer when he first came to America. In Baltimore City Directories for various years, he is listed as a gardener, farmer, and laborer. Table 2 shows a summary of the directory listings. Since Anton's residence was in Baltimore County, it is not surprising that Anton's his name did not appear in the city directories until 1895 when he was 60 years old. Augusta's name was listed in the city directory the year after Anton's death. Anton was probably best known as a landlord. Today, we might even call him a slumlord.


Directory Listings For Anton Spath
- - no Anton listings from 1873 to 1889
1890 - - -
1891 - - -
1892 - - -
1893 - - -
1894 - - -
1895 Spath, Anton gardener Falls Road near tollgate
1896 Spath, Anton farmer Falls Road near tollgate
1897 - - -
1898 Spates, Antony farmer Melvale
1899 Spath, Anthon farmer Cross Keys
1900 - - -
1901 - - -
1902 Spath, Anton lab Cross Keys
1903 Spath, Anton lab Cross Keys
1904 Spath, Anton - Cross Keys
1905 - - -
1906 Spath, Anton - Falls Road near Cold Spring Lane
1907 Spath, Anton - Falls Road near Cold Spring Lane
1908 Spath, Anton - Falls Road near Cold Spring Lane
1909 Spath, Anton - 223 Falls Road
1910 Spath, Anton - 223 Falls Road
1911 Spath, Anton - 223 Falls Road
1912 Spath, Anton - 223 Falls Road
1913 - - -
1914 - - -
Source: Woods Baltimore City Directories for years prior to 1901
R.L. Polk & Co. Baltimore City Directories after 1901


On May 25, 1860 Anton Spath married Anna Maria Strohicker. He was 25 and had been in the USA for about two and a half years. She was 22 years old. According to information kept by the Maryland Hall of Records Commission, the ceremony was conducted by a person named Bush and took place in Baltimore. The record shows the spelling of the names of the bride and groom as Anton Spathe and Mary Strohicker. (10) Viola Johnson Gray told me that the name was spelled Strohecker. Anna Maria was born on March 29, 1838 in Germany. (11)


Anton established his residence in Baltimore County in the 1860's. At that time, the northern boundary of Baltimore City was many miles south of Anton's property. The figure below shows a portion of Baltimore County near Cross Keys in 1852. A Falls Road tavern and several nearby dwellings are shown on the lower left hand corner.(15) The tavern was the Cross Keys Inn. The 1852 map also shows a Rural Mill that was very close to Melvale Station and Anton's property. One of the residents shown near to Melvale Station was M. Mather. The Mather family operated the Cross Keys Inn from 1849 to some time around 1880. (15a) Baltimore City annexed 23 square miles of Baltimore County in 1888 and pushed the boundary of the city into Hampden, just a few blocks south of Cold Spring Lane, but not far enough north to include Anton's property. (16) Maps in several Baltimore books show the city boundaries as they expanded. (17)

Baltimore County near Cross Keys

source: 1852 map by Chiffelle

By 1865 the U.S. Civil War was coming to a close. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox courthouse on April 9, 1865. Six days later, Lincoln was shot at Ford's theater in Washington DC.(17b) Lincoln's funeral train departed Baltimore's Calvert Street Station and traveled along the Northern Central railroad tracks. At the end of 1865, Anton signed a lease for property along the same Northern Central railroad tracks that carried Lincoln's funeral train. The lease, dated December 29, 1865, was between Anton Spath and Charlotte E. Harper, William Pennington and Shirley Pennington for eleven acres of a tract of land described as Oakland Resurveyed. Under the agreement, Anton paid $100 annual rent.(12) The eleven acres were located between Jones Falls and the Northern Central railway tracks. (13)

source: 1877 Atlas by G. M. Hopkins

Anton's property was north of Melvale Station and west of the Falls Turnpike Road. Viola Gray told me that Anton built a house facing the Pennsylvania Railroad at Melvale, Maryland. All of his children were born and raised in the house. (13b) On September 29, 1887, Anton and his wife, Mary Spath purchased the eleven acres that they had been leasing. (14) An unanswered question remains. Where did Anton live from 1857 until 1865? The 1865 lease indicates that Anton was from "Baltimore City". The 1860 census may provide some answers. A street-by-street search is required since no soundex is available for the 1860 census. I looked at the data on the microfilm roll that included wards 4, 5, and 6, but found nothing. From 1816 to 1888, North Avenue was the northern boundary of Baltimore City.

The Northern Central Railroad (NCRR) that ran adjacent to Anton's 11 acres was founded in 1854 by consolidation of the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad and lines from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (18) It served Baltimore City and the towns of central Maryland and Pennsylvania. A 60 mile ride from Baltimore to York, Pennsylvania took 4 hours and cost $1.75. Much of the white marble used for front steps was hauled down to Baltimore on the Northern Central tracks.(19)

Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Newly elected President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion. In response, troops from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania traveled through Philadelphia to Baltimore's President Street Station on their way to the Nation's Capital. As the 35 train cars full of troops were individually pulled by horse from the President Street Station to the B&O train tracks at Camden Station, Baltimore citizens harassed the troops and barraged the cars with stones that shattered railroad car windows. The eighth car in the procession was stopped when sand, a ship anchor and cobblestones were dumped to block the tracks. The troops tried to return to President Street Station, but there was violence. Four soldiers were killed and three dozen were injured. Northern newspapers were enraged and wanted to "organize, arm, and push on to Baltimore to lay it to ashes". City politicians were concerned that another incident would cause much greater violence and wanted to eliminate the clash before it occurred. To prevent northern troops from reaching the city, Mayor Brown ordered a squad of Baltimore police to destroy the Northern Central Railroad bridges at Melvale, Relay House, and Cockysville on April 20, 1861. John Merryman was arrested on May 25, 1861 and held at Fort McHenry for burning the Northern Central Railroad bridges. The railroad bridge at Melvale was just south of the property that Anton would lease in 1865. (20)(20c)

Army encampments appeared during the Civil War in Druid Hill Park and other parts of the city. The army took prisoners from Gettysburg and Antietam to Baltimore.(20b) Baltimore had 44 forts, batteries, redoubts and armed camps during the Civil War. There were also unarmed camps (hospitals, POW's, etc.). Camp Melvale existed from 1861 to 1862 at Cold Spring Lane and Jones Falls in the Cross Keys area. Camp Melvale was also called Camp Small because the property had previously been owned by George W. Small. Jim, an office worker at Fleischmann's, said that the area west of the Fleischmann building is used as a debris dump for Baltimore Gas & Electric and was the site of Camp Small during the Civil War. It was used as a holding area for prisoners.

During the Civil War, the Northern Central line carried a greatly increased traffic load, generated much additional revenue, and was double tracked from Baltimore to York. In the figure below, the railroad tracks can be seen as they pass over the Jones Falls, near Melvale Station. The figure of the Melvale Distilling building from the 1800's was often used in advertisements for pure rye whiskey. Their main office was located at 45 S. Gay Street in Baltimore. A train can be seen approaching Melvale Station on the far left side of the figure.

Melvale Distilling

The old distillery still stands today along Old West Cold Spring Lane. Some time prior to the 1990's, the main Fleischmann's building was slightly modified from its original construction. Air conditioning units protrude from several of the windows and a one story frame structure has been added to the south side of the building. Buildings adjacent to the main structure do not look like originals. The property now is used to manufacture vinegar by Fleischmann's. The address for manufacturing is 1900 Brand Ave. The original Melvale Railroad Station is not standing today. (12) Construction of the Jones Falls Expressway (JFX) was completed in 1962 and cut off Old West Cold Spring Lane east of Melvale Station and the railroad tracks. Cold Spring Lane now passes high above the falls, the expressway, and Fleischmann's. With the changes, Old Cold Spring Lane dead ends into the parking lot of the Fleischmann plant. A high chain linked fence impedes direct passage to the railroad tracks. The maintenance man told me that the owner of the plant has a lithograph of Melvale Station.

Dam on Jones Falls
Source: 1915 Baltimore County Atlas by Bromley

Anton's property between the Jones Falls and the Northern Central railroad tracks was labeled on the 1877 map, but the property looks vacant on Bromley's 1915 Atlas. Anton sold the willow grove to the Roland Park Company when they needed land for a sewage disposal field. It is likely that real estate transaction occurred when the Baltimore Country Club was organized in 1898, or when the clubhouse was built a year later, or when Roland Park plat 2 was laid out in 1901, or when the historic Roland Park Water Tower was designed in 1904 (and water made available to all of the new houses in Roland Park).(29) A dam is shown on the 1915 map in the vicinity of Anton 1870's property. It also might have been involved with the Roland Park "water works" that is also shown on the map.

The Baltimore Country Club was organized in 1898 and a club house was built a year later. After the unique looking Roland Park water tower was constructed, water was delivered to every house in Roland Park. It did not, however, include any supply for the Cross Keys residents. (20d)


A toll sign from Falls Turnpike in 1890's

Source: Maryland Geological Survey Commission

The 1895 and 1896 Woods Baltimore City Directories list Anton's residence as Falls Road near tollgate. Anton's houses were built close to the Falls Turnpike Road. The legislature incorporated the Falls Road Turnpike Company in 1804 to construct a road from Baltimore to Richard Caton's lime kilns at Brooklandville. The cost of the road was $7500 per mile. Tollgates were placed at locations along the road where toll collections could be maximized. Most of the Baltimore turnpikes were out of operation by about 1910. (21) The location of the Baltimore turnpikes and railroads are shown on the figure below. (22)

Source: A History of Baltimore County by Brooks and Rockel

A fee was charged according to the load that travelers carried on the Falls Turnpike. Wagons with narrow wheels were charged a higher fee because it was believed that they caused more road damage than wider wheels. (23) T.C. Robbins introduced the electric motor to street car service in 1885 on the Baltimore & Hampden Railway. It was reportedly the first electric railway operation in America. The electric equipment wore out by 1889 and the company went back to mule service. The Pikesville Reisterstown Emory Grove Railroad ran from Mt. Washington, along the Falls Turnpike Road, down Charles and Calvert to Baltimore Street. The name was later changed to the Baltimore and Northern. Operation started in 1897. (24) One of trolleys along Falls Road can be seen in the 1906 figure from the book Baltimore - A Picture History. Records at the Baltimore County court house in Towson show that Anton and his wife purchased the 11-acre tract of land in September, 1887, for $2,200. The deed, recorded in book number 134 J.W.S., listed the purchasers as Anton Späth and his wife Mary Späth. Initially, Anton owned property west of Falls Road, but later moved across the street to a duplex at 223 Falls Road. The exact date is not known. The other half of the duplex was smaller and was occupied by Stephen Penske, Stephen's wife Frances, and Frances' mother Augusta Philips. Baltimore City Directories might tell when the Philips moved into the Falls Road house.

After many years of inactivity, the Northern Central Railroad right-of-way was viewed as a potential home for part of a proposed north-south mass transportation system for the city. Planning was started about 1980 and the first 22.5 miles of track were opened for ridership in April 1992. Baltimore's Light Rail runs from its southern point in Glen Burnie to Baltimore's downtown area, along the Jones Falls, right past Melvale Station, across Lake Roland, and finally all the way to Hunt Valley.

Baltimore County Election Districts 1877

Source: A History of Baltimore County by Brooks and Rockel

When I was searching and reviewing old records, some of the information was listed by legislative, census or election district. Baltimore County was divided into election districts as shown on the 1877 map. (25) The area was also divided into census or enumeration districts. Anton's property was located in E.D.228 or E.D.242. In 1880, Enumeration District No.242 of ward 20 was described as all that part of the Ninth Election District lying South of Lake Avenue from Jones' Falls to Charles Street, then West of Charles St. to Merryman's Lane and North of Sixth Avenue to Hampden road and then West of Hampden road to Jones Falls. (26) The enumerator was G.G. Gibson of Woodbury. Enumeration District 228 was described as all that part of the Third Election District lying East of Madison Ave, from City limits, and east of Green Spring Avenue through Druid Hill Park to the old Court road, and South of said road to the 9th District line at Rockland.


Naturalization records at the Hall of Records in Annapolis were searched for Anton's name, but it was not found. The 1900 Census lists the citizenship of the persons surveyed. It shows that Anton Spath was naturalized by its "na" designation in column 18. Many years later, a second search of records in Annapolis found three Spaths in the Naturalization index. They were Anton, Daniel and Ferdinand. The Naturalization record says that, in 1883, Anton appeared before the court and preyed to become a citizen of the United States. The Certificate of Naturalization was signed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Baltimore County on November 26, 1883. (26b)


Anton and his wife Anna Maria had four children that made it to adulthood. At least one additional child (Matilda) died shortly after birth.(27) She was Christina's twin sister. All of the children were born and raised in Baltimore. The children's names birth dates are listed below:

Anton Spath Jr. - January 6, 1864
Anna Marie Spath Anthon - April 17, 1867
Christina Kathrine Spath Johnson - August 27, 1869
Matilda Spath - August 27, 1869
Edward Martin Spath - January 25, 1872

Anton Spath Jr. (age 22) married Mary Ziehl (age 24) on February 15, 1887 according to the records at the Baltimore City court house. Their oldest child, Herbert W. Spath, was born on June 13, 1890. Listings in the Baltimore City Directories show that Anton Spath Jr. was an insurance agent in Baltimore City from about 1888 to 1896 and a grocer from 1905 to 1910 (190 Falls Road). His father's house was on the east side of Falls Road and the grocery store was on the west side of the Road. He was listed in the directory as a florist from 1911 to 1918. Anton Jr. and his son Herbert Spath Sr. owned a florist shop on Wyndhurst and Lawrence Avenues in Roland Park until the Great War put them out of business. The florist shop was located near Wyndhurst Station, one of the stops on the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad. This narrow gauge railroad was called the Ma and Pa Railroad. In the Roland Park area, the tracks ran adjacent to Stoney Run and crossed Wyndhurst Avenue near the florist shop. Herbert Spath Jr. was given the sign that hung over the door of the florist shop. Jim Glover's cousin, Gary, found a copy of the Roland Park Walking Tour book that included the following item as stop 10 on tour number one.(27a)


The Roland Park Florist is the fourth florist to locate here, just outside the boundaries of the Park. It follows a tradition that began in 1894 when A. Spath & Son opened a florist at the same spot. The Covens family, owners of the present Roland Park Florist, have been in business since 1938.

Anton Jr. died on December 29, 1919 and is buried in Baltimore Cemetery. His wife Mary died earlier in 1919 on January 11th.

Several bodies are buried in the Baltimore Cemetery lot that was owned by Anton Spath Jr. The east (E) and west (W) designations usually indicated that infants or small children are buried in the grave. It is not clear if all of those buried were relatives. (36) Cemetery records indicated that the following were buried in Anton Jr.'s lot, J443:

1 Schlesinger, Marg., Aug 27, 1861
2 Schlesinger, Henry, Jan 23, 1867
2E Smalzel, Choe St, Aug 8, 1865
3W Spath, Charlotte A, Sep 26, 1898
4W Spath, S.M., Jul 22, 1889
4E Spath, Marie A. Aug 15, 1895
two other people

An idea of when the two sons, Anton Jr. and Edward, went out on their own can be put together by looking at the yearly listings in the Baltimore City Directories. Anton Jr.'s name first appeared in 1888 when he was 22 years old and Edward's name appeared in 1891 when he was 18. Neither daughter's name appeared in the directories. Women were sometimes listed in the directories next to their husband's name and sometimes not listed at all. It is not easy to differentiate between Anton Sr. and Jr. each year in the Baltimore City Directories. The entries for Sr. on table 2 were differentiated from those for Jr.(table 3) by the Sr/Jr designation or by their address or occupation.

Source: 1915 Baltimore County Atlas by Bromley

Anton Jr. is listed in Baltimore directories as a florist from 1911 to 1918 at Wyndhurst and Lawrence Avenues. His frorist shop was east of Roland Park and west of Charles Street in an area called Embla Park.


Directory Listings For Anton Spath Jr.
1887 - - -
1888 Spath, Anton agt 528 n. Castle
1889 Spath, Anton ins. 528 n. Castle
1890 Spath, Anton grocer 175 n. Chester
1891 Spath, Anton grocer 1751 n. Chester
1892 - - -
1893 - - -
1894 - - -
1895 Spath, Anton Jr ins. Melvale NCRR
1896 Spath, Anton Jr ins. Melvale NCRR
1897 Spath, Anton Jr farmer Melvale
1898 Spath, Anton Jr lab Cross Keys
1899 - - -
1900 - - -
1901 - - -
1902 - - -
1903 Spath, Anton Jr lab Cross Keys
1904 - - -
1905 Spath, Anton grocer Falls Road near Cold Spring La
1906 Spath, Anton Jr grocer Falls Road nr Cold Spring lane
1907 Spath, Anton Jr grocer Falls rd nr Cold Spring la
1908 Spath, Anton Jr grocer Falls rd nr Cold Spring la h do
1909 Spath, Anton Jr grocer 190 Falls rd
1910 Spath, Anton Jr grocer 190 Falls rd
1911 Spath, Anton Jr florist Wyndhurst & Lawrence avs
1912 Spath, Anton Jr florist Wyndhurst & Lawrence avs
1913 Spath, Anton Jr florist Wyndhurst & Lawrence avs
1914 Spath, Anton florist Wyndhurst & Lawrence avs
1915 Spath, Antone florist Wyndhurst & Lawrence avs
1916 Spath, Anton florist Wyndhurst & Lawrence avs
1917 Spath, Anton florist Wyndhurst & Lawrence avs
1918 Spath, Anton florist Wyndhurst & Lawrence avs
1920 - - -
1921 - - -
Source: Woods Baltimore City Directories for years prior to 1901
R.L. Polk & Co. Baltimore City Directories after 1901

Anna Marie Spath Anthon married George F. Anthon in about 1893 and lived at 1025 Falls Road. Their children were Antoinette, John William and George Dewey Anthon. Dewey died in 1911 at age 13. Some time before 1926, John William Anthon married Lula Yeagle, sister of George E. Yeagle and Lawrence Yeagle. The families were already connected because Edward Spath's sister, Madeline, married George E. Yeagle in about 1915. Anna Marie died on May 24,1913 when she was 46 and is buried in Baltimore Cemetery close to her father's grave.

Christina Spath Johnson and her husband Olaf Johnson (from Denmark) lived at 809 35th Street until they moved to 2943 Cedar Avenue in 1913. Both houses were in Baltimore City. Viola was their daughter. In the 1920 census, Viola and her husband (Thomas Carroll Pierce) lived at 1027 Falls Road. Her cousin John William Anthon and his wife Lula were their next door neighbors. The cousins were two of Anton Spath's grandchildren. Christina and Olaf also had three children who died at birth. Christina and Olaf are buried in the Mt. Lebanon section of the Parkwood Cemetery on Taylor Avenue between Harford and Belair Roads.

Christina Spath

Edward Martin Spath married Laura Anthon on April 24, 1893. Both were 21 years old. They moved to 703 Third Avenue in Hampden after several years of marriage and lived there for about 15 years. Although the name of Third Avenue was changed to 36th Street many years ago, people from Hampden still call it the Avenue. Edward worked for the railroad until about 1910. Edward and Laura had two children, Madeline and Edward Jr. Laura's father, William E. Anthon, fought in the Civil War.

For twelve years before his death, Edward Spath operated a grocery store with George E. Yeagle. Edward's daughter Madeline was married to his partner, George. Their store was located on the east side of Falls Road south of Cold Spring Lane, at the north (left) end of the block, next to the alley. George and Madeline Yeagle lived at the south end of the same block. The building and the houses in that block were built in 1913 and are still standing today.

4400 block Falls Road
Source: Microsoft Live Search

Edward and Laura lived at 903 Cold Spring Lane from about 1912 to 1925. Edward died at 3PM on January 2, 1925 while he was shoveling snow. At 9PM that same day, his sister Christina died at her daughter's house in Washington, DC. Some time after 1930, Laura married Mr. Williams. Laura died in 1939. The 903 Cold Spring Lane house was sold after Mr. Williams death in the late 1940's. Edward and Laura are buried at a Spath/Yeagle family plot in the Woodale section of the Druid Ridge Cemetery.

Edward Martin Spath I


Directory Listings For Edward Martin Spath I
1890 - - -
1891 Spath, Edwd M clk 1202 Peabody
1892 - - -
1893 - - -
1894 Spath, Edwd brakeman 452 Turner pl
1895 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 425 w 24th n
1896 Spath, Edw M brakeman 425 w 24th n
1897 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1898 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1899 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1900 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1901 Spath, Edwd M condtr 707 3rd av n
1902 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1903 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1904 Spath, Edw M lab 707 3rd av n
1905 Spath, Edw M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1906 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1907 Spath, Edwd M condtr 707 3rd av n
1908 Spath, Edwd M brakeman 707 3rd av n
1909 Spath, Edwd M condtr 707 3rd av n
1910 Spath, Edwd carp 707 3rd av n
1911 Spath, Edwd carp 707 3rd av n
1912 Spath, Edwd carp 903 Cold Spring Lane
1913 Spath, Edwd M carp 903 Cold Spring Lane
1914 Spath, Edwd M carp 903 Cold Spring av
1915 Spath, Edwd M grocer 903 Cold Spring la
1916 Spath, Edwd M grocer 903 Cold Spring la
1917 Spath, Edwd M grocer 903 Cold Spring la
1918 Spath, Edward M grocer 903 Cold Spring la
1920 Spath, Edward M grocer 903 Cold Spring la
1921 Spath, Edward M grocer 903 Cold Spring la
1923 Spath, Edw M grocer 903 Cold Spring la
1924 Spath, Edw M grocer 903 Cold Spring la
1926 - - -
Source: Woods Baltimore City Directories for years prior to 1901
R.L. Polk & Co. Baltimore City Directories after 1901

Anton and Anna Maria Spath had nine adult grandchildren, George Dewey Anthon (died at 13) and several that died as infants. Some had long lives and others died young. In addition to the grandchildren listed in table 5, Christina and Olaf Johnson had thee baby boys that died at birth and are buried at Western Cemetery in Baltimore.


Anton Spath's Grandchildren
S.M. Spath about 1889 July 20, 1889 -- Mary and Anton Spath Jr
Herbert W. Spath Sr June 13, 1890 May 20, 1976 85 Mary and Anton Spath Jr
Lena Spath Mark August 31, 1891 December 9, 1969 78 Mary and Anton Spath Jr
Ella Margaret Spath Ketler November 21, 1892 November 10, 1938 45 Mary and Anton Spath Jr
Marie Antoinette Anthon Helms October 15, 1893 June 21, 1941 47 Anna Marie and George Anthon
John William Anthon February, 6, 1895 August 18, 1954 59 Anna Marie and George Anthon
Marie A. Spath about 1895 August 1895 -- Mary and Anton Spath Jr
Madeline Spath Yeagle June 4, 1896 December 31, 1969 73 Laura and Edward Spath I
Viola Johnson Pearce Gray January 27, 1897 November 1987 90 Christina and Olaf Johnson
Charlotte Augusta Spath February 24, 1898 September 24, 1898 6 mo Mary and Anton Spath Jr
George Dewey Anthon July 15, 1898 August 12, 1911 13 Anna Marie and George Anthon
Florence Anna Spath Mason September 5, 1900 March 1, 1989 88 Mary and Anton Spath Jr
Edward M. Spath II July 19, 1903 July 22, 1964 61 Laura and Edward Spath I
Source: various records


The Jones Falls quarries that were located just north of the city line were considered to contain excellent examples of gneiss and granitic gneiss that was found in Baltimore County. (28) One of these quarries was operated on Anton's property. It was located high up on the hill behind his dwelling. Much of the stone for the roads of Roland Park was supplied from the quarry. (29) Roland Park was a planned community for the rich that was located a few blocks east of Anton's property. The community was incorporated in 1892 and grew from 250 homes in 1904 to 500 homes in 1910.(30) The planners tried to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape.


Anton used his willow grove along the Jones Falls to provide material for the baskets that he made and sold in the neighborhood or possibly at the market. The Jones Falls starts at the head of the Green Spring Valley; flows through alluvial material near Mt. Washington; rushes over broken rocks, across an alluvial meadow and over the crushed remains of rock ledges; and finally through the city. David Jones was the first settler along the Jones Falls and the stream was named after him. (31) A rainfall of 7 inches on July 24, 1868 produced a flood that inundated several thousand homes along the Jones Falls. (32) One hundred lives were lost and all the bridges except for the one at Eager Street were washed out. (33) The draught of 1872 caused different but serious problems along the Jones Falls valley. Topographic maps show that Anton's land was low and might have been affected by floods. The 1899 USGS Quadrangle shows several streams entering the Jones Falls in the Cross Keys area. It shows Cold Spring Lane running east-west, parallel and north of the city/county boundary. An area named Clyburn can be seen on the map west of the railroad tracks, north of Melvale and not too far from Anton's property. Horatio Nelson Gambrill owned a large estate in Clyburn, estimated to be worth $200,000 in the 1860 U.S. Census. He built the Druid Mill in 1866. When it was expanded in 1872, it was one of the largest cotton duck mills in the world. It was near the Jones Falls in Woodberry. (33a)

source: 1899 USGS Quadrangle


Bertha Spath told that Anton belonged to the First German Church. Records show that the German Baptist Church was organized in 1859 and moved to a new building at Caroline and Hampstead Streets in April 1867. (34) The church records may be in the possession of West Baltimore Baptist Church (formally Second Church). Anton's obituary tells that his funeral was held at the First German Baptist Church that was located at the corner of Monument and Patterson Park Avenues. Records of the church still have to be searched. Anton also attended Hampden Baptist Church and served as a deacon of the church for many years. The fiftieth anniversary book for the church tells that Anton was a delegate to the Maryland Baptist Union Association in October of 1888, 1889, 1890, 1896, 1898. His wife and children were delegates in many other years. (35) The Spath family always had doughnuts on Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday is the day before the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and is 46 days before Easter (40 weekdays and 6 Sundays). This day was set aside as a special day of repentance. In the year 325, the church decided that Easter would fall on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after March 21. "Shrove" refers to the shriving or cleansing of sins by going to confession on this day. On the other hand, it was a day of feasting and carnival. The Germans called it "Fasching" or "Facsh Nacht". It was the time to use up their store of fat which was forbidden during Lent. Thus, many Germans used up the fat by making doughnuts on Shrove Tuesday.


The 1880 census lists Perry Knight and family as residents of the village of Cross Keys. It said that he was in the restaurant business. His wife's name was Lena (age 28) and there were five children, Mary (age 16), Annie (age 13), William (age 12), Perry (age 4) and Lena (age 2). The census shows that there were three boarders with the Knights. In addition, Nathan Mather and his family were in the same house.(35a)

On the east side of Falls Road (opposite the Cross Keys Inn), was a picnic grounds called the White Oak Grove. It had a dancing pavilion with polished floors under the trees.

Much of Anton's property was located on the east side of Falls Road (from Spath Lane on the south to Oakdale Road on the north). Anton owned a rental house at the corner of Falls Road and Oakdale Road and also four houses on the south side of Oakdale Road. The Colored M.E. Church was located on the north side of Oakdale Road. It was one of two churches in the village of Cross Keys during the early 1900's. The 1918 Maryland Legislative session describes the church property as bounded on the south by a lot owned by Anton Spath. The other church was on Falls Road, several houses south of Anton's property. On the 1915 map, its building was shown as a HALL.

Anton's Two Church Neighbors
source: 1915 Baltimore County Atlas


Christoph Spath sent a letter to many Spaths in 1993 asking for information about the Spaths of Baltimore. Christoph lived in Vermont. I responded by providing a copy of the Anton story. Christoph's father, Bertold Karl Spath lived in Aschaffenburg, Germany and planed to visit America in September 1993. Aschaffenburg is located about 25 miles southeast of Frankfurt and 220 miles northwest of Munich. Aschaffenburg was a Roman settlement on the right bank of the Main River and has grown industrially in recent years.

Daniel Spath was Christoph Spath's great-grandfather. Christoph said that Daniel Spath was born on January 19, 1863 in Dietzenbach (Hessen) Germany and died on November 8, 1927 in Baltimore. Daniel's profession in Germany was a steel or leather "presser". Daniel's youngest son Franz was approximately 14 years old when he immigrated to Baltimore with his father. Franz and his oldest son (Frank) are the "Frank Spath" part of our family.

In Christoph's second letter, I received several family pictures and Bertold's family tree given to Christoph by his father, Bertold Spath.(35b) Christoph's father (as a youngster) and grandfather Karl Spath are shown in the picture below. Several generations of Bertold's family tree match the names and dates that I found at the family History Library in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City records show Heinrich Spath and Anna Maria Junger as Anton's parents while Bertold's family tree also includes them as Bertold's great-great-grandparents. Bertold's great grandfather, Johannes, was Anton's oldest brother.

Pat and Dan Spath also received a copy of Christoph's letter in 1993 and traveled from Baltimore to New Jersey to meet Bertold, Lottie and Christoph Spath. They were excited to visit the Ellis Island and checked out the Immigrants Wall of Honor. Dan retired in about 1980 and operates Time and Treasures, a clock repair shop in Ellicott City, MD.

Listed below is part of the family of Anton's brother Johannes Spath.

Johannes Spath (born September 28, 1821) married Anna Katherena Korb Spath on October 29, 1854

Bertold and Karl Spath

Anton made several trips back to Germany during his lifetime. On one of his trips, he brought Daniel Spath and Daniel's son to the United States. Herbert Spath Sr. said that his father (Anton Jr.) was Dan's uncle. (36) They could not get used to the new country and returned to Germany after several years in America.

Passenger Ship Records show that four Spaths were aboard the S.S. Wein that sailed from Bremen, Germany on August 25, 1910. It arrived at the port of Baltimore on September 7, 1910. Anton and Auguste Späth were returning home to Rollen Park, Maryland. (Spelling was not always accurate in the ship logs). Daniel Späth and his 8year old son were also aboard the S.S. Wein. They were going to visit Uncle Anton Späth at 223 Falls Road, Roland Park, Maryland. Daniel was 5 foot 7 inches tall, had black hair, blue eyes and was born in Offenbach, Germany. Offenbach is a town in the state of Hesse, Germany and is only a few miles south east of Frankfurt. In addition to the four Spaths, the S.S. Wein passenger records also includes Frieda Pronys who was on her way to see Uncle Anton Spath at 223 Falls Road.

The 1911 Baltimore City Directory lists Danl Spath and Anton Spath both at 223 Falls Road. Daniel is listed in the 1923 City directory at 2571 Fdk av. From 1924 to 1927, Danl, Frank W, and Cath, are all listed in the Baltimore City Directories at 2517 w Lombard Street. The directories after 1927 only list Frank and Cath. An obituary in the Baltimore Morning Sun said that Daniel Spath, father of Frank W. Spath, died on November 6, 1927. He was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.


Johann Daniel Spath was Anton's youngest brother. He was born in Dietzenbach, Germany and immigrated to the USA prior to his marriage to Eva Margarethe Gunther Bauer in 1873. Johann Daniel died on January 24, 1900 and is buried at the Zion Luthern United Church of Christ Cemetery in Baltimore. His wife, Eva died two months later (March 17, 1900) and is also buried at the same cemetery. Mary Anna Bauer was Eva's daughter by a previous marriage. Mary Anna married Christian Foltz in 1881 when she was 19 years old. Mae Sturgis (Eva Margarethe's great granddaughter) provided the Spath family research that is available at the LDS Family History Center.


The 1900 Census Records show that Anton's sister Annie M. was living with Anton at the time of the 1900 census. She was born in 1827, had six children, two living in 1900, and immigrated in 1856. It looks like the census taker might have combined some of Anton's information with his sister. She probably did not immigrate in 1856 with her brother Anton.

When I visited Salt Lake City, Utah in May 1991, I toured the Family History Library operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS). The Family History Library was founded in 1894 to gather records that help people trace their ancestry. More than 1500 family history centers operate in 55 countries. The library in Salt Lake City and the other family history centers are open to the public. Family history centers are generally located in church meeting houses and are staffed by volunteers. Much information is now available on the LDS web site. The collection of records is important to the church and is not limited to the church, its members, or ancestors. It is a valuable source of information.

I found Anton Spath's name listed in the LDS Ancestral File. The Ancestral search file links individuals to families or pedigrees and is available on compact disk. In a matter of minutes (in 1991), I discovered four new generations of Spaths; Anton's parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and great great grandparents. The names and birth dates for those four generations were collected by Mae E. Sturgis of Las Vegas, Nevada. LDS records indicate that the source of information was the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Darmstadt, Germany. On one LDS "entry form", Mae Sturgis wrote that Mary Anna Bauer was her grandmother and was raised by Daniel Spath (1838-1900) and took his name. Mary Anna's mother was a widow when she came to this country and loved her stepfather. Mae Sturgis wrote that she prayed about this and felt that it was right to have her sealed to him.

LDS Family History records show that Anton's great grandfather Isaac Spath was born in Dettingen, AM in 1724. I found 10 Dettingens on a Global Gazetteer, a directory of the world's cities and towns. Several of the cities had unique names, such as: Dettingen am Albuch, Dettingen am Main, Dettingen an der Erms, Dettingen an der Iller and Dettingen unter Teck. Since nine of the ten locations were close to Stuttgart, my initial focus was on the towns that were located south of Stuttgart. Soon I realized that this was the wrong area, because the AM in the record stands for au main or on the Main River. Only one town (named Dettingen) was on the Main and it was located east of Frankfurt.


History tells that there was a Battle of Dettingen in July 1743. It was fought on the north bank of the Main River east of Frankfurt and 3 miles west of Aschaffenburg. King George II of Great Britain, with his sword raised high, led 50,000 allied troops against 70,000 French troops at the Battle of Dettingen. This was the last time that a reigning monarch personally led his troops in battle. The allied force called the Pragmatic Army, was comprised of British, Austrian and Hanoverian troops.

Isaac Spath was born in Dettingen in 1724. He was 19 years old and probably still living in the town when the Battle of Dettingen was fought in 1743. He married Judith Junger and from 1756 to September 1768 had six children while they lived in Dettingen. Their last child, Anton's grandfather Heinrich, was born in Dietzenbach in February 1771.

Anton's great-great grandparents: Konrad Spath and Karolie Zuck (married 1723)
Child's NameBirthBirth PlaceDeath
Isaac SpathMay 23, 1724Dettingen, AMMay 17, 1805

Anton's great grandparents: Isaac Spath and Judith Jünger
Child's NameBirthBirth PlaceDeath
Daniel SpathMarch 29, 1756Dettingen, AM
Marie Elizabeth SpathJanuary 7, 1758Dettingen, AM1804
Conrad SpathApril 20, 1760Dettingen, AMJune 12, 1763
Catharina SpathJuly 30, 1763Dettingen, AM1834
Martin SpathMarch 1, 1766Dettingen, AMDecember 27, 1770
Margareta SpathSeptember 28, 1768Dettingen, AMJune 2, 1793
Heinrich Spath IFebruary 11, 1771DietzenbachJune 20, 1844

Anton's grandparents: Heinrich Spath I and M. Elizabeth Reitz (married July 1794)
Child's NameBirthBirth PlaceDeath
Daniel SpathApril 7, 1795DietzenbachJun 2, 1795
Heinrich Spath IIApril 4, 1796DietzenbachMarch 20, 1855
Margarete SpathMay 5, 1798DietzenbachOctober 18, 1802
Johannes SpathJanuary 14, 1800DietzenbachMarch 17, 1835
baby SpathOctober 8, 1802DietzenbachOctober 8, 1802
Rudolf SpathFebruary 26, 1805Dietzenbach1870

Anton's parents: Heinrich Spath II and Anna Maria Jünger (married October 3, 1820)
Child's NameBirthBirth PlaceDeath
Johannes SpathSeptember 28, 1821DietzenbachFebruary 12, 1874
Rudolph SpathOctober 4, 1823DietzenbachOctober 26, 1886
George SpathOctober 21, 1825DietzenbachFebruary 11, 1869
Maria SpathOctober 13, 1828Dietzenbach
Margarete SpathSeptember 1, 1830Dietzenbach
Anton SpathMarch 3, 1835Dietzenbach
Johann Daniel SpathJuly 10, 1838DietzenbachJanuary 24, 1900
Source: LDS Family History Records


Throughout the years, Anton's property holdings along Falls Road grew. The Baltimore County Court House records show that Anton purchased a lot on the west side of Falls road in April 1884. Four additional lots were obtained from a trustee sale in December 1884. An auction in March 1890 added more. A street intersecting Falls Road near Anton's house was called Spath's Lane. This unpaved lane might have provided access to the rock quarry. Anton owned at least 16 houses and lots by the end of his tenure. It has been told that most of these structures were without indoor plumbing and that the dwellings were inhabited by poor blacks. The 1906 picture shown below was taken from a point on Falls Road north of Anton's properties. (37) Falls Turnpike Road and the No.25 trolley line can be seen in the picture. Roland Park houses along Hillside Road and the tennis courts of the Baltimore Country Club can be seen in the background. A golf course and club house were also included in the development of the Baltimore Country Club. Part of the golf course was on the east side of Falls Road. When you looked the at the course from Falls Road, the layout wandered up the hill to a grand club house that was located at the top of the hill. (37b) After playing the starting hole, or maybe two, golfers crossed the road to play additional holes that were on the flatter west side of Falls Road. They had to hit over Falls Road on the 17th hole. Their final hole took them back up the hill to the club house. The purple figures on current topographic maps show that the recent additions, such as the Cross Keys complex was constructed on property obtained from the Baltimore Country Club west of Falls Road. Table 2 has a list of entries for Anton Spath in the Baltimore City Directories.

Falls Road in the Cross Keys' Area - 1906


Anna Maria died on January 21, 1890 and is buried in Baltimore Cemetery. She was 51 years old. Their youngest child (Edward) celebrated his 17th birthday two days after his mother's death. Herbert Spath said that his grandmother died when he was 8 or 9 years old. I estimate that he would have been that old in about 1898. Since he was born about the time of Anna Maria's death, he could not possibly have remembered her death at all. I looked at old Sunpapers, recorded on Pratt Library microfilms, but could not find an obituary for Anna Maria.


The country faced a depression in 1893 that brought on numerous suicides, mostly by Germans. Financial panic spread, farm prices collapsed and there were many foreclosures. (38) The effect of depression on Anton's family is not clear. Court records would tell if this was the time when Anton acquired some of his property holdings. It has been suggested that Anton may have taken another wife after Anna Maria's death and before he married Augusta. Could this be the one that Herbert Spath remembered? The 1900 Census lists Anton's wife as Leana. The spelling was hard to read in the document and could have been Leana or Leanor, etc. Much of the census data about this wife is identical to that of his first wife Anna Maria.

A 1900 death certificate says that Magdalina Spath died at Cross Keys on Novermer 3, 1900 and was the wife of Anton Spath. She was Anton's second wife. Her name was spelled several different ways in documents (Magdaline, Magnalena, Leana, Lena, etc.) Lena was born in Prussia. In the 1880 census, Lena was the wife of Frederick Rumohr and five children were listed (Cristini, Julia, Henry, John and Luis). Frederick died on June 21, 1887 and is buried at Loudon Park Cemetery. Two of their children died in June 1899. The Baltimore Sun had obituaries.

in the 27th year of his age, beloved son of Magnalena
His funeral will take place from his brother-in-
law's residence, No. 300 South Monroe street, this
Wednesday, at 4 P.M.

Lewis died on two weeks later of typhoid fever.

RUMOHR - On June 21, 1899, LEWIS W., young-
est son of Magnalena Spath.
The funeral will take place from the residence of
his brother-in-law, No. 300 South Monroe street, on
Friday, at 4 P.M.

The house at 300 South Monroe Street belonged to Frederick Rumohr before his death in 1887. The Rumohr family resided in the house. It is likely that daughter Julia Rumohr Hill and her husband Clarence Hill lived in the house after Lena's marriage to Anton Spath. In addition to the Hills, the 1910 census, shows that sister Christina Rumohr also lived at 300 South Monroe Street.

Anton's second wife died in November 1900 and is buried in Loudon Park Cemetery with her first husband, Frederick Rumohr and their sons.


Augusta and Otto Philips had three children. Their family is shown on the incomplete family tree:

Otto Philips Sr. & Augusta Philips


Anton and Augusta

Anton married Charlotte Augusta Philips on January 3, 1901. Anton was 65 years old. The ceremony was held at the Calvary Baptist Church parsonage. (38c) Calvary Baptist is located on West Pennsylvania Avenue in Towson, just across the street and north of the Baltimore County courthouse. The second lot from the corner has a designation of Cal Bap Ch on the 1898 Bromley map. In the back of the church lot, there is a small square with an X, that is likely to be the parsonage. The 1910 census reported that Anton and Augusta had been married nine years when the census was taken in April 1910. Prior to their marriage, an agreement was made between Anton Spath of Baltimore County and Augusta Phillip (of Washington City in the District of Columbia) his intended wife. The agreement was filed with the Baltimore County Court in the morning of January 3, 1901 and said that Anton would have power to dispose of all his real and personal property absolutely or conditionally by deed or will not withstanding his proposed marriage to Augusta. (38b) They were married the same day that the agreement was signed.

Towson, Maryland
Source: 1898 Baltimore County Atlas by Bromley

Augusta's husband before Anton was Otto Philip. She and Otto had at least three children, Frances Penske, Augusta Muth and Otto Philips. The spelling of the two daughter's names in Anton's will was slightly different from other spellings. The 1910 census lists Stephen Pensky, his wife and their five children as residing at 225 Falls Road, next door to Anton and Augusta. Stephen's wife, Francis was Augusta's daughter. In November 1913, Stephen Pensky lived at 1307 W. Lombard Street.


Bertha Loos Spath told many stories about her husband's grandfather. Anton Spath was a friend of the Loos family. When two of the church members were making fun of her parents, as they were cleaning the church, Anton snapped at them to keep their snoz where it belonged. All the children were afraid of the "old man". One day he caught her climbing the apple tree in his yard. She was so scared that she wet her pants. Augusta's granddaughter, Eleanor Penske Kretchmeier recited in German a poem called "Blackjack" for Anton's 70th birthday. She said that she was eight years old when she gave the recital. It was held at the German Baptist Church. In 1986, she was 93 years old and was living in the Baptist Home of Maryland.

On June 10, 1909 The Baltimore American newspaper carried a short article about Anton.

Some Large Strawberries
Some unusually large and fine speci-
mens of strawberries raised by Mr.An-
ton Spath of Cross Keys were sent yes-
terday to The American Office.


On December 20, 1912 Anton affixed his seal to his last will and testament. It is recorded at the Baltimore County Courthouse, liber W.J.P. 1908 1942, folio 51, book 17.(39) He directed that his estate be divided as follows:

Augusta Spath (for the term of her natural life only) $5,000

residence at 223 Falls Road
furniture, plate, silverware & fixtures
dwelling at 225 Falls Road
(after Augusta's death)
Frances Pensky $100
Augusta Mutt $100
Otto Philips $100
his children balance of the $5,000
property above to be evenly divided
Anton Spath Jr. all property on the west side of Falls Rd
Edward M. Spath lots at 227 and 229 Falls Road
lots at 220 and 222 Falls Road
Christina Janson lots at 201, 203, 205 and 207 Falls Road
four lots on the north side of Spath Lane
for the term of her natural life only
then to her child or children)
Marie Anthony lots at 231, 233 and 235 Falls Road
lots at 203, 205, 207 and 209 Oakdale Rd
(for the term of her natural life only
then to her child or children)

The will named Anton's friend Thomas Worthington Brundage Jr. as the executor of the estate. Where did the friend live? What was his occupation and what happened to the property?

Anton Spath Sr. died on March 14, 1913. He had just celebrated his 78th birthday earlier in the month. A notice in the Baltimore Sunday Morning Sun read as follows:

SPATH Suddenly on March 14, 1913 at his home,
no. 223 Falls Road, West Roland Park ANTON SR.
beloved husband of Augusta C. Spath.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the
funeral from First German Baptist Church,
corner Monument Street and Patterson
Park Ave. on Tuesday March 18, 1913 at 2:30
o'clock. Interment in Baltimore Cemetery.

Anton was survived by his wife, his four children and some number of grandchildren, maybe ten. All lived relatively close.


Augusta died seven months after Anton's death. She was 70 years old and is buried with Anton in Baltimore Cemetery. Augusta's will was recorded at the Baltimore City Court House, folio 561, book 116.A notice in the Baltimore Sun read as follows:

SPATH On November 3, 1913 AUGUSTA C. age 70
beloved wife of the late Anton Spath Sr.
Relatives and friends of the family
are respectively invited to attend the funeral
from the residence of her daughter, Mrs.
Stephen P. Penske No. 1307 West
Lombard Street, on Thursday at 2 P.M.
Interment in Baltimore Cemetery.

The house at 223 Falls Road and the other property was to be divided evenly among Anton's children after Augusta's death, according to Anton's last will and testament. The property was offered for sale at public auction on June 25, 1914. A bid of $2500 was received and the offering was withdrawn. The property was again set for auction on August 4, 1914 and sold for $2810. Christina, Edward and Anton Jr each received 1/4 of the net proceeds. Anton's oldest daughter died two months after Anton, but before the property was sold. The remaining 25 percent was divided between the surviving husband of Mary Spath Anthon and their two children, John W. Anthon and Antoinette Anthon.


The current-day village of Cross Keys is a planned community developed by the Rouse Company with residential, retail and office components. It opened in September 1965. There are 30 shops and restraunts in the development. It is situated on 72 acres and includes 81000 square feet of retail and 189000 square feet of office space. The location of Anton's house is shown on this figure taken from the 1915 Baltimore County Atlas by George W. & Walter S. Bromley. A portion of Rouse's Cross Keys was built on land that had been Anton's willow grove.

Source: 1915 Baltimore County Atlas by George W. & Walter S. Bromley

World War I put an end to the German-American era in Baltimore. Having a German name or a German sounding name was not popular. German Street was renamed Redwood Street, after the George Buchanan Redwood, the first officer to die in France during World War I. Many Germans changed the spelling or pronunciation of their names. The effect of these world occurrences on the Spaths of the 1910's is not totally clear. The Cross Keys area was incorporated into Baltimore City when the northern boundary of Baltimore City was moved to its current location in 1918 as the last chunk of Baltimore County was annexed.(40)


The figure above is a reproduction of the Spath Lane sign that was given to Bertha Spath for a special occasion. An architect or engineer did an investigation of the Cross Keys' area around 1964 or 1966. I believe that it was connected with design or construction of the new Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. Retail construction in the Cross Keys area claimed Spath's Lane sometime in the 1960's or 1970's. Some recent highway maps still show Spath's Lane. Bromley's 1915 map of Baltimore County shows four dwellings on a road that probably was Oakdale Road. It was north of Anton's residence. This coincides with the number of Oakdale Road lots listed in Anton's will. Before 1918, the houses along Falls Road (between Cold Spring Lane and Hillside Road) were part of Baltimore County and took its house numbering system. Anton's house was 223 Falls Road. The numbering system was changed in 1918, when large parts of Baltimore County were annexed and became part of Baltimore City. If Anton had still been alive, his house would have been in the 4600 or 4700 block of Falls Road. The 1925 photograph shown below is included in Baltimore Transitions.(36b) By the will, Anton's son Edward inherited two lots on the west side of Falls Road (numbered 220 and 222). Edward's houses might be two of those in the picture. Anton house was on the other side of the road and is not shown in the picture.

Source: Baltimore Transitions by Mark B. Miller

When I visited the Falls Road area in 1989, all of the houses along Oakdale Road had been removed. A big old tree, a highway sand box, and a set of concrete steps to a vacant lot were all that remained. The houses at the end of Oakdale Road were separated from the Roland Park properties by a stone wall. A small road or alley named Sunny Lane, was located at the top of the hill. The picture shown below of Anton's house was taken about 60 years after his death.

Before her marriage to Anton Spath, Augusta lived in the left portion of the duplex. The entire duplex was torn down during the summer of 1985. All of the houses on the west side of Falls Road were demolished in the 1960's to make room for the Poly-Western complex. By 1989 most of the Falls Road houses immediately south of Oakdale Road had been demolished. The Falls Road houses north of Oakdale Road were still occupied.

Back in the old days, John Gambrill owned the Cross Keys Tavern. Horatio Nelson Gambrill was John's son. The name of the tavern came from the crossed swords that hung over the door. It was managed by John's nephew, Perry Knight. When I was looking for Anton's name in the 1880 census, the only names that I recognized were Perry Knight and his family. Perry's Ordinary took its name from the early manager.(41)

Current topo maps show the location of the Poly-Western high school complex and the Cross Keys buildings that were constructed on the land that was previously home of the Baltimore Country Club. Cross Keys Quadrangle Building at 2 Hamill Road was constructed on the 11-acres that had previously been owned by Anton Spath.

source: 1974 USGS Quadrangle

The village of Cross Keys is located north of the Poly-Western high school complex. When the Rouse Cross Keys development opened in 1965, it included a hotel called the Cross Keys Inn. An advertisement in the Baltimore Yellow Pages in the 1980's touted the Cross Keys Inn's distinctive accommodations. The Inn's address, 5100 Falls Road, reflected the street numbering system that went into operation after the city line was moved out to its present location. Radisson took over the hotel in the 1990's and advertises the hotel as the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys. Its address is 100 Village Square. There are several conference rooms in the building, including the Knight and Mather rooms. The Knight room was named after Perry Knight. Crossroads is the new name for the restaurant in the hotel. The family tree shows the descendants of Anton Spath. Some names are missing from the chart. I will need some help to bring it up to date and to keep it current.


1. Baltimore Cemetery gravestones. East end of North Avenue near Gay Street, area J, walk 7, lot 5, north side.

2. Interview with Herbert Spath Sr. on December 27, 1975.

3. Mann, Golo. The History of Germany Since 1789. New York: Frederick A. Praeger Publishers, 1968, p.54.

3a. Baltimore, A Picture History 1858-1958, p.26.

4. Cunz, Dieter. The Maryland Germans. Port Washington, N.Y./London: Kennikat Press, 1972, p.201.

5. Scharf, Thomas. History of Baltimore City & County. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 1881, p.306.

6. Kelly, Jacques. Bygone Baltimore, A Historical Portrait. Norfolk, Virginia: Donning Company / Publishers, 1982, p.53.

7. Cunz, p.237.

8. Cunz, p.271.

8a. U.S. Census Records.

9. Letter from Ester Spath Robbins to Edward Spath Jr, dated July 8, 1986.

9a. Passenger and Immigration Lists (1820-1872) M255, Roll 11, List 56.

9b. Passenger and Immigration Lists (1820-1872) M255, Roll 11, List 48.

9c. Wilbur, C. Keith. Tall Ships of the World. Philadelphia, Chelsea House Publishers, 1997, p.10.

10. Baltimore City Marriages 1851-1865. Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland: CR10,277.

11. Baltimore Cemetery gravestone.

12. Baltimore County Real Estate records, Towson, MD., Book number 134 J.W.S.

13. Hopkins, G.M. 1877 Atlas.

13b. Letter from Viola Gray, dated Jan 3, 1979.

14. Baltimore County Real Estate records.

15. Papenfuse, Edward C. and Joseph M. Cade III. Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland 1608-1908: The Hammond-Harwood House, 1982, figure 125, 1852 map by Chiffelle. p.107.

15a. Correspondence from Sean Mather.

16. Olson, Sherry. BALTIMORE The Building of an American City. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980, p.217.

17. Brooks, Neal and Eric Rockel. A History of Baltimore County. Towson, MD: Friends of the Towson Library Inc., 1979, p.277.

17b. Sheads, Scott Sumpter and Toomey, Daniel Carroll. Baltimore During the Civil War. Baltimore, Maryland: Toomey Press, 1997, p.78.

18. Olson, p.159.

19. Kelly, p.24.

19b. Melvale Distilling, source unknown.

20. Manakee,Harold. Maryland in the Civil War. Maryland Historical Society. March 1961, p. 38.

20b. Chapelle, Suzanne Ellery Green, Baltimore An Illustrated History, 2000, p.122.

20c. Sheads and Toomey, p.13.

20d. History of Roland Park.

21. Brooks & Rockel, pp.140-152.

22. Brooks & Rockel, p.143.

23. Brooks & Rockel, p.142.

24. Olson, pp.174-176.

25. Brooks & Rockel, p.265.

26. rose colored book from Archives.

26b. Baltimore County Circuit Court (Naturalization Certificates) 1879-1892, folio 765.

27. Baltimore Cemetery records.

27a. Roland Park Walking Tour, p15.

28. Scharf, p.22.

29. Weston, B. Latrobe. CrossKeys: Baltimore Evening Sun, February 13, 1934.

30. Olson, pp.217 & 213.

31. Scharf, p.15 & 208.

32. Olson, p.163.

33. Kelly, p.24.

33a. McGrain, John. Light Rail History and Scenery, 2005.

34. Scharf, p.566.

35. Fiftieth Anniversary of Hampden Baptist Church. pp.51 & 141.

36. Interview with Herbert Spath, Sr.

36a. Passenger Ship Records 1910.

36b. Miller, Mark B. Baltimore Transitions, Views of an American City in Flux. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Press, 1998, p224.

37. Baltimore A Picture History 1858-1967. Baltimore, Maryland: Bodine & Associates, 1968, p.101.

37b. Ottenheimer postcard series, R34580 Baltimore Country Club, Roland Ave. pm 1913 PWB.

38. Olson, p.228.

38b. Baltimore County Real Estate records, Towson, MD., Book number 248 folio 494.

38c. Baltimore Sun, January 4, 1901.

39. Baltimore County courthouse, Towson, MD.

40. Brooks & Rockel, p.337.

41. Beyond the White Marbel Steps. Livlier Committee of the Citizens Planning & Housing Association: August 1979, p.35.