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Nancy Elaine Haberkorn - Pieces of History

Updated August 8, 2005

Our grandmother, Hilda Margaret (Kuhlman) Haberkorn, was born on July 5, 1909 in Baltimore Maryland, where she lived most of her life. She now resides in Williamsport Maryland, near two of her three grandchildren.

Over the years, Gram spoke of her great-grandparents, Susanna Priscilla (Little) Gorsuch and James Knox Polk Gorsuch, "a lawyer who spoke 13 languages..."

A few years ago I became curious about Mr. James K.P. Gorsuch, based on the stories Gram told. Using her handwritten family notes on lined paper along with the internet, I was quickly able to establish that her maternal great-grandfather was indeed a member of the notable Gorsuch family of Baltimore.

Every family has at least one interesting TALE, right? This was hers:

Susan Gorsuch, widowed at 37, had inherited from her husband (James K. P. Gorsuch) two large properties in Baltimore; a winter home in the city (said to have been located at Fremont & Lombard near the present site of University of Maryland), and a summer home (said to have been located at Gorsuch Avenue & Polk Street near the present site of Waverly Stadium & 33rd Street).

At some point after her husband's death, the grieving Susan was approached by his cousin, Lovelace Gorsuch, and his brother-in-law John Geiger. They wanted her to sign some documents, and they lied about what they were. Susan signed over her entire estate to them without realizing.

She managed to sneak out some valuables like a silver teapot via the housekeepers before she and the children, Edith, Cora Mae, and Milton, were forced to leave their home.

Now without any property or means of income, Susan supported the family by leasing a 3-story house on Calhoun Street and letting rooms to boarders.

It's said that Susan was so wounded by the Lovelace/Geiger deceipt that it was difficult for her to talk about the Gorsuch family for the rest of her days.

When Susan died at age 69 on February 14, 1923 of chronic bronchitis, she was living with her eldest daughter Edith (Edith Miria Gorsuch Ritz) and Edith's husband (John Ritz, Sr.) at 1137 Woodley St., Baltimore.

Edith's sister, Cora, was Hilda's grandmother, and both families lived near one another. In fact, Hilda says the kids went back and forth between both homes on a daily basis -- we would call it an extended family. So, Hilda actually spent some of her young years around her great-grandmother Susan.

Susan and James K.P. are both buried in the Gorsuch Vault in the Baltimore Cemetery at E. North Ave & Rose Street.

It's been interesting to learn that our family is linked through the generations to one of the founding families of Baltimore. And as a result of the research, I've even linked up with a distant Gorsuch cousin!

Please feel free to contact me using the e-mail link if you wish to share family research.

-Nancy (Haberkorn) Rachlin
Nancy Elaine Haberkorn

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Family Photos

  • Hilda Margaret Kuhlman, Age 2 (18 KB)
    Fulton Studios, Baltimore Maryland, 1911. Red hair, blue eyes. Still living (2004). Parents: Walter Henry Kuhlman & Lillian Carle.
  • Arundel Auto Service, 1931, Curtis Bay Maryland (460 KB)
    My great-granfather, Richard Bernard Haberkorn Sr. operated this garage in with my grandfather, Richard Bernard Haberkorn Jr.(Hilda's husband).
  • Lillian Carle (403 KB)
    My great-grandmother and daughter of Cora May (Gorsuch) Carle. Lillian is our link to the Gorsuch family of Baltimore.

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