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Rev John Stough

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The Reverend John Stough, First Resident Clergyman in the Youghiogheny Glades

Felix G. Robinson

Three years before the first white people settled on the Youghiogheny River a child was born in York County, Pennsylvania who in his twenty-fifth year was to found a community and church on the headwaters of this same river. This was the Reverend John Stough (Stauch) the first resident clergyman west of the Allegheny Mountains in what was then northern Virginia and adjacent to what is now Garrett County, Md. "John Stough (Stauch) was the first Lutheran clergyman west of the Alleghenies and the first in Ohio, one of the organizers of the Ohio Synod, and its first president."

"On September 27th. 1752 the ship 'President' out of Rotterdam docked at Philadelphia. Among those on board was one Gottfried Stauch—the name later became Stough. Herr Stauch was from Wurtemberg (Germany). At about this time Charlotte Kessler arrived in America in disguise. She had fled the hatreds of Europe because her mother, an heir of royalty, had been beheaded. Charlotte Kessler and Gottfried Stauch were married on Christmas Day 1754 and settled in York County, Pennsylvania. To this union was born on January 25th, 1762 a son John.

"In his nineteenth year John informed his parents that he desired to study for the ministry. This pleased his parents very much, as they were able to support their son in his education. The parents consulted their pastor, the Rev. J. Goering of York, Pennsylvania who gave John very little encouragement. In 1791 Rev. Goering wrote that he deeply regretted his error. John Stough continued his basic education at York and learned the wagon-making trade after which he went to Hagerstown, Maryland where he found employment and continued his studies. At that time there were two seminaries of the Lutheran and Reformed faiths near Hagerstown. One was at Conococheague (now Clearspring) and the other at Smithsburg. It is presumed that John attended one of these schools."

Neither in Scharf's "History of Western Maryland" (1882) nor Wentz's "History of Gettysburg Theological Seminary" (1926) is there

The Aurora Community by Rev. Martin Luther Peter, pastor of Saint Paul's Lutheran Church, Aurora, W. Va. 1918-1923, page 9. Published by the Farm Women's Club, Aurora, W. Va., 1950.
The Aurora Documents by Karl K. Gower of Washington, D. C, p. 12.
Published by the Sincell Publishing Company, Oakland, Md., 1957.


Felix G. Robinson


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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