By Jean Warfield Donnelly Keenan with Carolyn Warfield Scheele Fakadej
In 1929, twenty-three descendants of Dr. Charles Alexander Warfield and his wife, Elizabeth Ridgely Warfield, collected $934.75 and commissioned Mr. E. A. Easton to build a stone wall around the family cemetery located in a field behind Dr. Warfield’s home in “Bushy Park.” The wall was necessary because livestock were damaging the tombstones. This effort was spearheaded by Mary Warfield Cockey and Evan Warfield Hook who were descendants of the Warfield family. “Bushy Park” had been built by our ancestors on 1300 acres in Howard County, MD not far from Glenwood about the time of the Revolutionary War. The original home burned in 1933 and a similar one was built on the same foundation.
The Charles Alexander Warfield Descendants Memorial Association was formed in 1954 by Thomas B. Cockey, Jr. for the purpose of maintaining the Bushy Park Cemetery. A letter was sent to known descendants suggesting an annual donation of $15.00 per family for cemetery upkeep. Repairs were made to the wall. Then in the 1980s the association regrouped and shortened its name to The Bushy Park Cemetery Association and no longer collected dues, but asked for donations when repairs were necessary. One of the previous owners of ‘Bushy Park’, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Clevenger, cut the grass in the cemetery. The current owners, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Salandra, not only cut the grass but have even built a white plastic fence along the entrance to the cemetery to make access easier. Fortunately, the ‘Bushy Park’ farm and cemetery are protected from development by the Maryland Agricultural Preservation Easement.
The cemetery association did replace the marker on the grave of Dr. Charles Alexander Warfield and his wife because the previous one, made of some type of cement, had seriously deteriorated over time. This work was done in 1994 by Raymond G. Merkle, a monument maker in Baltimore, at a cost of $1,365.00. A granite stone, as close as possible in size to the original, was inscribed exactly as the original and replaced the old one.
The association then turned their attention to ‘Longwood’ cemetery, adjacent to the home of Dr. Gustavus and Mary Thomas Warfield, he the son of Dr. Charles A. and Elizabeth Ridgely Warfield. “Longwood” is located just to the south of Glenwood, MD. The home was sold out of the family in 1964. The cemetery had been neglected and completely overgrown so that initially it was difficult to find. “Longwood” was built around 1820 on land that was originally part of the “Bushy Park” acreage. The cemetery is 1/8 acre in size and is deeded to the family separately.
In 1990 some of the family members of the Bushy Park Cemetery Association decided
to take on the responsibility of maintaining the Longwood Cemetery. We asked permission of the owner, Mr. Oliver Goldsmith, to proceed with our project. We inspected the cemetery and found the graves of Dr. Gustavus Warfield, his wife Mary, five of eight daughters and their husbands, a sixth daughter whose husband is not buried there, and another daughter who never married.
Also buried there was a one-year old baby, son of Dr. Evan William Warfield by his second marriage. (The oldest Warfield daughter is buried with her husband near Philadelphia.) Two of the stones’ tops were toppled and broken off their base. One was completely buried. The renovation was difficult if not impossible. Mr. Goldsmith offered to dispose of the brush, load after load. Although Richard Nicholas Snowden was listed as being buried there next to his wife, we could not locate his grave.
Just outside the ‘Longwood’ cemetery is a stone marked, “To our Faithful Nurse Peggy Fossett, Born 18 January 1795, Died 25 June 1865, by Mr. and Mrs. Warfield and their children, Longwood.” At that time Servants (slaves) were not buried in the family plot so it was unusual to see a stone in what was probably an unmarked slave cemetery. Peggy Fossett was listed in an early census as a mulatto, part Indian.
We searched and probed for the stone of Richard Nicholas Snowden whose wife, Elizabeth Warfield Snowden, was buried there. It was a real puzzle until one night months later, I had a phone call from Rich Snowden Samuels in Chicago. He is a distant Snowden relative who is an historian, a writer, and puts together the “Chicago Tonight” program for a PBS station there. He inquired as to whether I had any information about the manumission of Snowden slaves. I replied that I did not.
While talking, I told him about not being able to find Richard Snowden’s grave. He said, “I can tell you exactly where he’s buried, in Humboldt, Nevada!” What a SURPRISE!!! Richard Snowden and Elizabeth had originally lived at ‘Ellerslie’, a lovely old home in Glenwood that they had received as a wedding gift. He was quite a gambler and is said to have lost the house in a poker game. While she was pregnant with their fifth child, he left for the Gold Rush in California and never returned. Rich Samuels has written an exciting account of the whole trip called “California” and it may be read on the following website: http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/Snowden
Our cemetery work group consisted of Rich and Lucille Hook; Tom and Nan Cockey; Jim and Jean Keenan; Jim and Mary Murphy, their son David who was three and daughter Mary Kate who watched from her playpen; Frank and Martha Ditman and daughter Laura; Jean and William (Butch) Gillingham and daughters Lindsay and Allison; Grace and Joe Cole and her children, Sarah and Matthew Rollinger; Charles (Bud) and Tori Kraus and daughters Jessica and Dana. All told there were three generations involved. We would take our lunch and spend the day on a Saturday or Sunday nearly every week-end until the area was pretty well cleared and the stones mended with epoxy glue. Frank Ditman had to climb up a heavy vine to cut away trees that had grown together. The following few years we would go every other month during the summer for further maintenance work. Groundhogs are a major problem in old cemeteries and to our dismay, one stone toppled into a HUGE groundhog hole. This stone had to be professionally reset by Mr. Merkle.
Mr. Goldsmith died in 1997. A few years later his widow sold ‘Longwood’ to Mr. Al Smith who owned a nearby commercial nursery and landscaping company. Mr. Smith completely restored the mansion in 2005 and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. He was intrigued by the cemetery and offered to care for it. This he has done faithfully, even though the cemetery has its own deed promising ingress and egress to family descendants.