Friday, July 22, 2011

Fetter Schrier Hoblitzell (1838-1900)

                               Hobitzell as he appeared in the 1882 edition of Public Men of Today.

   The life of Maryland congressman Fetter Schrier Hoblitzell is highlighted today, and in this author's opinion his unique name makes an excellent tongue twister (just try saying his full name three times fast!) Born in Cumberland, Maryland on October 7, 1838, Fetter S. Hoblitzell was the son of William and Henrietta Hoblitzell. His education began in the primary schools of Cumberland County and he later graduated from the Alleghany Academy located in that county.
   In the late 1850s, Hoblitzell turned his attention to the study of law and would receive his law degree in 1859. Shortly thereafter he established his practice in Baltimore, but his career as a lawyer was put on hold due to his enlisting for service in the Civil War. Siding with the Confederacy, Hoblitzell joined the First Maryland Regiment of infantry as a private and later served amongst the ranks of the 3rd Regiment, Virginia Local Defense Infantry.
   Fetter Hoblitzell married on October 28, 1862, taking as his wife Julia Truehart. The couple wed in Richmond, Virginia and are believed to have remained childless through the entirety of their marriage. Resuming his law practice after leaving the Confederate Army, Hoblitzell was soon bitten by the political bug and in 1870 launched a successful campaign for the Maryland State House of Delegates from Baltimore's 3rd legislative district. He would win reelection to this body in 1876 and 1878, and in the latter year was chosen as its speaker. His stewardship of the house proceedings garnered him praise from his fellow delegates, with the Public Men of To-Day noting that:
"He won golden opinions from every quarter for his able, intelligent and energetic discharge of the delicate duties of his position."
   During his tenure in the house of delegates, Hoblitzell also was a trustee of the St. Mary's Industrial School in Baltimore, serving in that capacity for six years. In 1880 Fetter Hoblitzell was "chosen without opposition" to be the Democratic nominee the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland's 3rd district, and in November of that year won handily against Republican nominee Joshua Horner, Jr, besting him by over three thousand votes. Hoblitzell took his seat in March of 1881 and would win re-election to Congress in 1882, defeating Republican candidate Thomas F. Lang by over 4,000 votes
   During his two terms in the House Hoblitzell sat on the committee on Railways and Canals. At the conclusion of his second term, he returned to Maryland, where in 1888 he was named as Baltimore city counselor. Fetter Schier Hoblitzell died at his Baltimore home on May 2, 1900 after having been ill for several months prior. The 61-year-old former Congressman was later interred at the Loudon Park Cemetery in his native Baltimore. He was survived by his wife Julianna, who died in 1935 at age 92.

An obituary for Hoblitzell published in the Washington D.C. Evening Times, May 3 1900.

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