Friday, February 15, 2013

Archley Richard Molesworth (1874-1944)

   A distinguished official in the political affairs of Frederick County, Maryland, Archley Richard Molesworth served as mayor of the city of Mount Airy, Maryland for over fourteen years. Despite his status as a man of prominence in Frederick County, little information could be found for him online, with the exception being his obituary published in the December 30, 1944 edition of the Frederick News-Post.
  Born in the Woodville district of Frederick County on April 10, 1874, Archley Molesworth was one of two sons born to John Joseph (1847-1918) and Annie M. Molesworth (1851-1922). He is recorded as receiving his education at the Prospect Public School and was later enrolled at the Linganore Academy. Sources of the time denote that Molesworth's early life was centered around working on his father's farm in Woodville. In the early 1900s, Archley married to Ardella Hood (1880-1953) and this union eventually produced six children: Helen L. (1907-1997), Olive (1911-1921), Katherine Molesworth Pickett (1913-2003), J. Raymond Molesworth (1918-1989) and Frances Molesworth Bartlett (birthdate unknown)
  Molesworth and his family later removed from Woodville to nearby Mt. Airy, Maryland, where he became cashier in the Mt. Airy Savings Bank. In 1914 Molesworth was elected as the Mayor of Mt. Airy, beginning the first of seven terms in this office. His lengthy service as mayor was highlighted in his Frederick Daily Post obituary as bringing a progressive element to Mt. Airy, stating that "the town progressed during his administration and the most notable improvement was the installation of the water system."

From the October 30, 1930 edition of the Frederick Daily Post.

 During his final term as mayor, Molesworth was named to the Board of Commissioners of Frederick County and served a four-year term that concluded in 1930. This same newspaper also notes that Molesworth lost his reelection bid for a seat on the board by "a margin of thirty votes"!
  Although defeated for reelection, Molesworth continued to serve the Frederick County Board of Commissioners in a slightly different capacity, chief clerk. Elected to this post in 1934, Molesworth served as clerk until 1938, when he retired to private life. His Frederick Daily Post obituary remarks that he was regarded as an "acknowledge authority on matters of the county" during his later years, and is mentioned as operating a printing press at his home as a "sideline hobby". This same newspaper notes that he maintained active involvement in a number of local fraternal organizations, including the Prosperity Lodge #58 of the International Order of Odd-Fellows and the Prudence Lodge #190 of Free and Accepted Masons. Molesworth was also a longtime parishioner at the Prospect Church in Mt. Airy.
  Archley Molesworth is recorded as suffering from a heart ailment during his later years, and this condition eventually led to his death on December 29, 1944, at age 70. His wife Ardella survived him by several years, dying in 1953 at age 73. Both were interred at the Prospect Cemetery in Mt. Airy, Maryland.

Molesworth's obituary as it appeared in the December 30, 1944 Frederick Daily Post.

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