Mason-Dixon McCardells

"Harry's & Ada's Life on the Ridge"


MT. Laurel~~PA. State Flower~~~Hemlock~ PA. State Tree

While growing up, I had heard a little about my ancestors on the McCardell side. The family, as far as I knew, had always lived in Rising Sun, Cecil County, Maryland. The most distant relative was my great grandfather, John Henry McCardle. You will note his name is spelled differently from McCardell. My father, James Morton McCardell, had wondered all his life why the spelling had been changed. He finally concluded that it had taken place when his grandfather, John Henry and grandmother, Isabella, had separated or divorced. She went to Philadelphia to live with relatives. Harry Lewis, John's and Isabell's son and youngest child, originally, had gone with his mother.
When Harry became of an age he could leave home, he went back to Cecil County, where his father, John, lived. Instead of living with his father, he was what they called then, "farmed out" to work. He went to live and work on a farm owned by Norris Reynolds, near Rising Sun, Md. Just how long he stayed, I don't know, because I didn't hear much about him until the time he married my grandmother, Ada Pearl Drennen.
Ada was seventeen years younger than Harry. They settled north of Rising Sun and raised their children there. Albert Jennings born in 1898, and two children, who died, between Albert and James Morton, my father. John Henry, named for his grandfather, was three months and Evan was three years when they died. I heard my grandmother lament several times, that Evan was such a pretty little boy with curly blond hair and blue eyes. It is such a sad situation when a child is lost. It was believed that he probably had appendicitis. They concluded that pneumonia had taken baby John.

ABOVE is an early photo of the train station in Rising Sun where our Philadelphia relatives would come to visit my grandfather, Harry, and grandmother, Ada. My father recalled many times and lamented about their seemingly important feelings, just because they were from the big city. It seemed that they thought they had to help raise Harry's Child Bride, by constantly giving her advice, and along with that, plenty of criticism. I'm sure there was, with that, also plenty of love. I have, as prized posessions, several letters from the sisters, aunts, nieces, as well as Harry's father, written down through the years.

History of Rising Sun, MD

It might be interesting to know that the Town of Rising Sun has a unique distinction of having been located in two different states, originally in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and finally in Cecil County, Maryland. In 1674, when Governor George Calvert, son of Cecilius Calvert in England, proclaimed Cecil County to be a county of the Maryland Colony. Rising Sun was not included because it was claimed by William Penn to be part of his grant of the Province of Pennsylvania. For many years the citizens of Rising Sun voted in Pennsylvania elections, paid taxes In Chester County, and land records were kept in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The undefined boundary of Cecil County, Maryland, and Chester County, Pennsylvania, remained in bitter dispute until 1765, when the Mason & Dixon Line was established and Rising Sun became part of Cecil County.
Rising Sun had its crossroads beginning in the early part of the 18th century, around 1710 to 1720. Being an inland town, the livelihood here was quite different from the developing neighboring towns, who had access to river transportation and its related business of commercial fishing, boat building, and shipping. Rising Sun became an agriculture center with many grain and flourmills and related machinery manufacturing. Wagons to move products to the shipping points were built in Rising Sun. Oxen, horses, harness, cattle, and leather tanning kept the tradesmen busy. In 1730, five different wagon trails from the produce markets of Wilmington, Delaware, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as well as the shipping points of Port Deposit, North East and Elkton crossed here when the loction was identified as “Summer Hill:’ To accommodate travelers and drovers who passed through, a substantial stone tavern was built at the Intersection where presently stands the National Bank of Rising Sun. A swing sign over the entrance depicted the rays of the sun at dawn at the establishment known as “The Rising Sun:’ This first building became very popular as a stopping place for travelers and drivers and many business deals were consummated there. It was the general meeting place for political end social activities and the meeting place for the sixth, eighth, and ninth election districts. A huge weighing scale was erected in center square to weigh animals, wagons, crops, etc. For many business appointments and social life, the often repeated phrase was, “We will meet you at the Rising Sun” Thus the name overshadowed the original Summer Hill, and when the first post office was established in 1802, David Cumings was appointed Postmaster for the Town of Rising Sun, Maryland. It is generally conceded that is how Rising Sun got its name. Presently, Rising Sun is a progressive small town of about 1,500 population, but (more importantly it is the business hub of a thriving business community. The majority of the inhabitants are single family homeowners who are natives or have chosen to settle here. Rising Sun enjoys the reputation of being a friendly town, whose residents are deeply involved in improvements and making it a great place to live. (Supplied by: William W. McNamee, town Historian 1/1/92.)
Records show that about 1720, on Lot #17 of William Penn’s famous “Nottingham Lots” there was established by one Henry Reynolds a stone tavern for a stage stop. Over the front entrance was a swinging sign depicting the rays of the sun at dawn - with lettering “THE RISING SUN:’ It was around this busy tavern that Our village began to grow and until 1815 this crossroad cluster of mostly log houses was known as “Summer Hill!’ The popularity of the tavern as a meeting place for business deals, political activities, elections, etc., prompted the often repeated phrase, ‘We will meet you at the Rising Sun!’ This expression eventually took over and when the first Post Office was established, where, most likely the first loca-tion of the tavern was, the name Summer Hill had faded and yielded to Rising Sun. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The article above was taken from Rising Sun phone directory in 2003 and used on the Rising Sun Middle School web site. The Rising Sun Middle School gave permission to be used on this site.(Marian Baughman)

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