W.H.D. Warfield, First Citizen, Dies

July 25, 1935

Leader Here For Quarter Century Passes On

Was Ill Since June 17

Death Comes At 9:20 P.M. Wednesday To Man To Whom Sykesville Owes Greater Part of its Industrial Development; Rites Saturday

The Hon. Wade H.D. Warfield, the man whom Sykesville owes the greater part of its development as a business center, died at 9:20 o’clock Wednesday night. This announcement came as a distinct shock and today Sykesville sincerely mourns the man who for more than a quarter of a century was its first citizen.

On June 17, while sitting on the porch of his home on Springfield avenue, Senator Warfield suffered a stroke. He was quickly removed to Springfield Hospital, where he was a valued member of the executive staff. Here he suffered a recurrence of the attack, but rallied splendidly under skillful treatment and was able to get about in a wheel chair and to receive and converse with friends. During the past ten days he gradually failed and passed quietly and peacefully away at 9:20 last night as stated. The family was summoned shortly after 8 o’clock and were about the bedside when the end came.

It is no easy task to attempt to tell in the limited space and time today, the story of Wade Warfield’s active life. The story of the development and growth of Sykesville tells it better than any pen could possibly depict. It was due to his efforts that the Herald came to Sykesville nearly 24 years ago. There is not an industrial enterprise in town, and scarcely a home  or a family that has not been touched by the kindly, generous spirit of this man, in some intimate way, in business life, in community life, and in political life he was for many years the outstanding leader, enjoying the love, esteem and confidence of all who knew him.

He was the son of Charles Alexander and Caroline DeVries Warfield and was born October 7, 1864. The Warfield family was long identified with the history of Maryland. He received his rudimentary education in the public schools of Carroll County and at Springfield  Institute. In 1880 he entered the Staunton Military Academy at Staunton, Va. and was graduated with honors in 1883.

Mr. Warfield, 70, was twice married. The first wife was Blanche Waterhouse, of Wheeling, W. Va., and of this union three daughters were born-Mrs. Janice O. Ridgely, of Sykesville; Mrs. DeVries Cassard, wife of Captain Cassard of the U.S. Army, at present stationed at Port Shafter, Honolulu, and Mrs. Morgan Olt Taylor, of Wheeling, W. Va. There are also seven grandchildren. Mrs. Warfield died in march, 1895. The second wife was a sister of the first, Miss Ellen Waterhouse. She, with the three charming daughters, made the home at Sykesville known far and wide for its cordial hospitality and ideal home life.

Immediately after leaving college Mr. Warfield entered upon an active business career at Sykesville and never swerved in his loyalty to the town. He soon came to be recognized as the most important business factor in this end of Carroll County. He organized and incorporated the Sykesville Lumber, Coal and Grain Company, one of the largest enterprises in this section of Maryland. He became its President and remained in that capacity until the business was reorganized and became the Maryland Milling & Supply Company, of which he was also the head.

In 1901 Mr. Warfield organized the Sykesville National Bank, of which he was President. In 1907 he organized the Sykesville Realty and Investment Company. He built the great Warfield store, the Warfield building, which houses the bank, the modern Arcade building, with beautiful quarters on the third floor for the masonic bodies; he built a flouring mill and elevator and other enterprises, besides operating four extensive farms nearby, always in high state of cultivation.

In political life Senator Warfield was as conscientious and thorough as he was in business associations. He served under Governors Smith, Warfield and Brothers as a member of the State Livestock Sanitary Board and as chairman of that body. He also served for a long period as a member of the Board of Managers of the Springfield State Hospital, recognized as one of the foremost institutions of its kind in the nation. He served with distinction in the State Senate of 1916 and 1918 and in the special war session of 1917. He was a member of the most important committees of that body and as chairman of the Committee on Supervision of Employees and Expenditures, was chiefly instrumental in saving to the State $150,000. As a member of the Finance Committee his experience as a captain of industry and banker made his services invaluable. He was steadfast in his support of all measures calculated to aid the moral welfare of the State. A business reverse, just as he was about ready to retire from active life, swept away his hard earned fortune. He took his misfortune with courage and with fortitude and faced the future hopefully.

All members of Senator Warfield’s immediate family were devout Catholics and shortly before his death he expressed a desire to accept the faith of his wives and children and was accordingly taken into the Catholic church.

The funeral will take place from the home of his daughter, Mrs. James O. Ridgely, on Saturday morning at 9:45; thence to St. Joseph’s Church, where a Requiem Mass will be said at 10 o’clock. Burial will be made at Springfield  in the family plot.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: