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 Montgomery County Maryland

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Court House at Rockville

On September 6, 1776, the county of Montgomery was formed out of the "Lower District of Frederick," and named in honor of that illustrious hero, General Richard Montgomery, killed at Quebec in the previous year.

The county furnished a conspicuous part of the Maryland Line during the Revolution, also troops in every subsequent war in which the country has been engaged, Montgomery has given the State at least nine members of the national House of Representatives, one United States Senator, one Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, three Presidents of the State Senate, and has had one Cabinet officer. The late United States Senators Edwards, of Illinois, Davis, of Kentucky, and the brilliant commoner, Proctor Knott, of the same State, were natives of this county; and the ancestors of the southern Lamars and of Thomas H. Benton, of Missouri, were from Montgomery.

The first school of any reputation in the county was a seminary for young men, established toward the close of the Revolution, and memorable as the alma mater of William Wirt. The Rockville Academy (1809) and Brookeville Academy (18 14) were next chartered and liberally endowed, and have been in operation ever since their foundation. Many private institutions of learning have since been established, and those now existing are at Rockville, Sandy Spring, Darnestown, Poolesville and Forest Glen.

The Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad runs diagonally through the county, available to nearly every section, and several electric roads enter the southeastern part, reaching various towns. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal borders on southern Montgomery, from the District line to Monocacy. There are numerous circulating libraries, and the proximity of the county to the national capital offers the best facilities to students and information seekers. Braddock's army encamped for a night within the present limits of Rockville.

In the early history of the county corn and tobacco were the staple products of the soil, until it became so exhausted that Montgomery lost by emigration to the new country beyond the Ohio large numbers of her population. In 1790 this was over 18,000, and fifty years later, 15,456. By the introduction of guano in 1845 by the Society of Friends, a wonderful advance was made in the growing of cereals and grass, and the value of land and farm products materially enhanced. In the last twenty-five years the fertility of the soil has been greatly increased by the use of lime and phosphates.

The Great Falls of the Potomac is said to be the largest available water power, perhaps, in the world, and the county has many natural advantages. Gold has been found in Montgomery in small quantities, and there are extensive deposits of granite.

Rockville, the county seat, has a population of 1,110, Kensington of 477, Takoma of 756, Gaithersburg of 547. The area of the county is 508 square miles.

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 Maryland AHGP

Source: History of Maryland, by L. Magruder Passano, Wm. J.C. Dulany Company, 1901.

 
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