Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States
Maryland Frostburg

Frostburg, Maryland

Frostburg was founded in 1811 during surveying for the National Road.

The Frostburg Water Company was incorporated in 1837 "for completing in an effectual and proper manner, the introduction, distribution and supply of water to the town of Frostburg."  Meshack Frost, Joseph Dilley, George H. Krebs and John Powell were appointed as agents to sell stock in the company,  No evidence has been found that this company built anything.

A second Frostburg Water Company was incorporated in 1853 "for the purpose of supplying the town with pure water."   Thomas Beall, Levi B. Porter and Samuel S. Porter were appointed as commissioners to sell stock.  No evidence has been found that this company built anything.

A third Frostburg Water Company was incorporated in 1854, with Robert McCulloh, John Keller and Nelson Beall appointed as commissioners to sell stock.  This company built a gravity system using cast iron pipes.  The owner of the system was William Osborne Sprigg (1816-1891), whose second wife was the sister-in-law of Benjamin Henry Latrobe II, son of the builder of the Philadelphia and New Orleans water works.  After Sprigg died in 1891 his son Hazelhurst Sprigg (1851-1934) of Cumberland inherited the system and owned it until his death.  It was then owned by William A. Gunter and Mary Shuck, but the system fell into disrepair and in 1954 Gunter and Shuck offered to give it to the consumers, but they chose to connect to the city water system.  The company ceased operating and its charter was revoked in 1957 for non-payment of taxes.

The town of Frostburg was authorized to purchase or build its own water works in 1884, but was unable to come to an agreement with the Frostburg Water Company so they built their own gravity system in 1891.  In 1954 the owners of the Frostburg Water Company offered the system to the city as a gift, but it was refused. 

Water is currently provided by the City of Frostburg.

References
1837 An act to incorporate a company to supply the town of Frostburg, in Allegany county, with an abundant supply of water.  March 16, 1837.

1853 An act to incorporate the Frostburg Water Company.  May 27, 1853.

1854 An act to incorporate the Frostburg Water Company.  February 24, 1854.

1882 Frostburg, from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1882 "Frostburg," from Engineering News, 9:444 (December 30, 1882)

1884 An act to provide for the purchase or erection of water-works in the town of Frostburg, in Allegany county, and to authorize the Mayor and Councilmen of said town to issue bonds to pay the cost thereof.  April 8, 1884.

1888 "Frostburg," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Frostburg," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Frostburg," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Frostburg," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1922 "Frostburg Water Shortage Blamed on Moonshining," Baltimore Sun, August 28, 1922, Page 1.

1954 "Frostburg May Receive Water Firm," The Cumberland News, August 3, 1954, Page 14.

1954 "Residents Decide To Use Water From City Firm. Gunter's Proposal Not Accepted," The Cumberland News, August 24, 1954, Page 26.

The University of Maryland's Maryland Manuscript Collection includes some records of William and Hazelhurst Sprigg and the Frostburg Water Company.





2016 Morris A. Pierce