Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Mid Life Crisis Of M. H. German

Mitchell H. German was born in what was to become Delmar, Sussex County Delaware about 1851.  He was the son of George W. German (1827-1888) and Matilda J. Hastings German (1827-1863).  He would marry in 1873 to Francis Ann Hearn, born in 1849, and daughter of Jonathan Hearn of Harford County. They would live on the Maryland side of town or on their farm outside of town in Wicomico County. 

They would have as children; Marion H. (1873-1898), Rosa B. (1874-), Matilda Ellen (1876- ), Sadie E. (1878-), Harry L. (1881- ), Loren Halbert (1884- ) and Roberta B. (1889-).

Mr. German was an entrepreneur type and was active in the social life of Delmar.  He started a number of businesses from a brick plant to a Dry Goods Store to a drug store.  He built what is referred to as Brick Row (Seven brick homes city row style along the rail road tracks).  He was a director of the Bank of Delmar and a leader of the choir of the Methodist Protestant Church.

In August of 1901, he got on the train to travel to Aberdeen, MD with the ideal of locating a piece of land to put a brick yard on.  He was not heard from again until December.  No one knew what had happened to him.  They did know he was carrying a large amount of cash on his person ($16,000) with which to set up the brickyard.  There was much speculation as to what happened to him.  A person from Delmar had seen him meet a Mrs. Frank Harmonson at the Philadelphia train station and it was known in Delmar he had a special relationship with her when she was the housekeeper for W. L. Sirman in Delmar.  He did have a history also of being very attentive to a Mrs. Lecates in Delmar.  Speculation was he had run off with Mrs. Harmonson, as he was 50 year olds and men sometime did those things at that age.  Investigation found he had heavily mortgaged all his properties and taken out loans from various people before leaving.

Mrs. German did what any self respecting wife would do; she filed for a divorce.

His disappearance was of interest to the newspapers and various reports were written on it.  A fire destroyed part of Delmar in September and, no pun intended, took the newspaper heat off of Mr. and Mrs. German's problems.

In December of 1901 Mr. German had decided he had enough.  He had traveled to Liverpool, England as he put it; trying to put as many miles between him and his creditors, but he was not that kind of man and returned to Delmar to make his amends.  There was no mention of Mrs. Harmonson.  Mrs. German dropped the divorce action.  They continued to live on their farm outside of Delmar.  Up until 1901 there were many land transfers as Mr. German bought up land,  after 1901 there were many land transfers as Mr. German sold off property.

Mitchell H. German would die in 1915 and would be buried in Delmar.  His wife would go to live in Norfolk with Loren, her son and his family.  She would die in 1925

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