A short sad Sykesville Story – Meet the Cauthorns

While taking pictures of John Bennett, the Confederate boat captain buried in Springfield Cemetery, I came across the Cauthorns. Here is their short sad story.

cauthorn - stone

cauthorn - fanny

cauthorn - mary


cauthorn - rhoda

cauthorn - wilmer




They lived long, or they barely lived at all.

The end.

16 Comments on this post.

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  • Fay Dowling
    21 January 2013 at 1:18 am - Reply

    I knew the Cauthorns, sort of. I vaguely remember Alex and his three sisters. My father farmed their land for many years, and we rode horses through their farm to reach trails down to Ellicott City and beyond. The water that rose from a natural spring up into the spring house below the barn had the most delicious taste – or perhaps it tasted so good from working hard in the hay fields on hot summer days. I remember the sisters, Helen and Margaret, and their grand, tall thoroughbreds, watching them set out as if to ride a hunt. Elegant ladies, or so they seemed, to one so young as I was. Their farm was up on Arrington Road, between Sykesville and Marriottsville. I often daydreamed of what it was like inside their grand home. I never did see myself, unless it was when i was very, very young. Before I reached my teens, my father was no longer farming their land, and the ladies no longer rode. I never knew them to not be old, and mysterious, and always, elegant.

    • Jack White
      21 January 2013 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Hi Fay,

      Thanks so much, that’s fascinating. It’s good to know that those who didn’t die as babies grew up to elegant mysterious ladies.


  • Andrea White
    21 January 2013 at 10:12 am - Reply

    It’s a joy to hear your lovely, lyrical story Fay! Thank you!

    21 January 2013 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Well written Faye, I’ve been gone so long, that names and faces are disconnected. This was a delightful tidbit of history.

  • Tim Iannuzzi
    4 February 2013 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    My mother Susan Ann O’Brien lived with Cauthorns sometime in the late 40’s. I’ve been trying to find out why she lived there. I knew them as Uncle Ellick, Aunt Helen & Aunt Agnes but not sure if Aunt Agnes was Aunt Margaret., My mom died in 1990 and we never found out why she lived there as a child. But we had been there though out the years. I know they are not related because none of them were married. However, I remember that there could have been a 3rd sister and got married but not positive. If anyone else knows more please share.

    • Jack Brooks
      27 August 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Tim, this is Jack Brooks, I am the great nephew of the Cauthorn’s and knew your mother well. There were actually Six sisters (Kitty,Agnes,Margaret,May, Helen and Lil)and Alec. The only one who married was Kitty (Elizabeth Corrine) who was my grandmother. Your mother stayed there during the time when my mother and uncle were growing up. I don’t remember the exact reason for her staying there except that she was the daughter of someone they knew well. I spent most of my summers there as a child and visited there often after I grew up. I also have many found memories of the farm and riding with Alec and Helen. Susan and I last saw each other in the early 70’s, after which I moved from the area. If I can answer and questions I will be glad to try.

      • Debbie Brooks-Harris
        4 November 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

        Hi Uncle Jack! I found this thread a while ago. (Hopefully I gave accurate details of the Aunts in my earlier post) Their lives are still very mysterious, and glamorous to me in a lot of ways, and Nanny (Kitty) always held a special place in my heart.♡

      • Tim Iannuzzi
        6 November 2016 at 10:35 am - Reply

        Jack-I would love to speak to you about what you knew about my Mom Susan Ann O’Brien, I wanted to give you my email address so we can speak about this in a different forum.
        Thanks Tim Iannuzzi
        email: mradjuster@comcast.net

  • Fay Dowling
    15 February 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    I recently spoke with my mother, Dorothy Hood. She and my father, Lyman Hood, were raised in the area. My dad was actually born in a home that lies far under Piney Run, and raised in Sykesville. My mom said that there was a fourth sister, who did not live with the others. She married, and had a son. There may have been more children, but this is all she remembers with certainty. Might be interesting to research further!

  • Fay Dowling
    15 February 2013 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Oh! Jack, and Andrea – are you related to Mike and Lisa? They went to school with me, would have graduated in the mid-80’s from Liberty High.

  • Mary Dean Stewart
    19 February 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Concerning the Family of Alex Cauthorn– If you are still interested in knowing more, I believe I can help you. As a child I rode with them and lived beside them until I moved to Florida.

    • Susan Smoot
      28 December 2015 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      Hello Mary Dean Stewart. Did you remember a Susan Ann Obrien when you were younger? She lived with the Cauthorns for a period of time in the 40s. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Jack Brooks
      27 August 2016 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Mary Dean, this is Jack Brooks, their great nephew. As a child I visited them each summer and worked on the farm. We knew each other slightly and rode together at times. It’s good to see your name come up.

  • Shirley Day Barrick
    20 February 2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    I was friends with Alex and Helen. When I was a teenager I used to ride their horse Barney. I finally got my own horse and rode with them quite often. I was riding with Alex one day and he picked this thing off a tree and told me to take a bite, I did it turned my mouth inside out it was a persimmon ugh , Alex thought it was hysterical, I didn’t. Iwas in the house many times, I loved it, we had lunch or just tea and talked. Alex was very stricked about you sitting straigh t in the saddle he always would put his hand in my back and say straighten up girl or you’ll ruin your back. I remember when Helen’s horse threw her and she broke her back.

  • Shirley Day Barrick
    21 February 2014 at 8:21 am - Reply

    What a great family.

  • Debbie Brooks-Harris
    26 August 2016 at 9:18 am - Reply

    My name is Debbie Brooks-Harris, and Margaret, Agnes, Helen, and Alec Cauthorn were my great-Aunts, and Great Uncle. Elizabeth Corinne, the eldest of the Cauthorn children was my great-grandmother, and the only one of the siblings to marry. I am sorry to say that I did not ever know the other siblings, and I am not sure how many there were, as the others passed before I was born, however my family has spoke of May and Lilly because they passed in more recent years (late 50’s or so) My great grand-mother had 2 children, Ralph Bordley, and my Grandmother Mary Bordley. My great Uncle married later in life , but never had children. My grandmother had 3 boys and on girl and the family still lives on.
    I have fond memories of the Farm. As a child, we visited often, and always on holidays. Christmas was grand, we sat in the parlor and opened presents. The Aunts were stern, and very much brought up on proper etiquette, and yes, they were vey elegant. They had a softer side though, and I have lovely memories. I always wished they would let me ride the horses as a child, but by then the horses that they kept were all boarded. I learned a lot from them as a child, and still carry it with me as an adult.

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