Joseph Groff
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Joseph Groff (1821 - 1903)

Captain Joseph Groff
Born in Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1 Jan 1852 in Frederick, MDmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 81 in Frederick County, Maryland, USAmap
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Profile last modified | Created 14 Nov 2008
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Captain Joseph Groff served in the United States Civil War.
Side: USA

Joseph married Rebecca Beichtel on Oct. 28, 1842 in Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania. They moved to Harper's Ferry, VA in 1844. His wife, Rebecca died August 1850.

They were the parents of

  • William Shelton
  • Rebecca Groff

Joseph left Harper's Ferry, took daughter to lived with the William Carmack family in Woodsboro, Maryland.

He later married Susan C. Smith of Woodsboro on Jan. 1, 1852 in Frederick.

They were the parents of:

In the Spring of 1858 he moved with his family from Walkesville, Frederick County, MD to Philadelphia, PA. where he kept a stock yard and ran a hotel. In the Spring of 1861 he returned to Frederick, MD and opened a store selling goods at public auction.

1860 Census -- Owned a hotel in Philadelphia, PA. Ward 24 - 3rd Prec't. The hotel was valued at $6,000. Had his family living in the hotel with him.

Before the outbreak fo War:

Brengle Home Guard of Frederick City were formed April 24, 1861 - headed by Major Richard Potts and Capt. J. Alfred F. Brengle. Joseph Groff one of the other men to join the Home Guards.

Union Defenders of Frederick commissioned on June 7, 1861 by Gov. Thomas H. Hicks in Frederick. Joseph Groff was made a 3rd Lieutenant.


He enlisted as a 1st lieutenant, Co. B of 1st Potomac Home Brigade of Maryland on Aug. 21, 1861 at the Old Market House. At the same time his oldest child, William Shelton Groff, age 17 years, also enlisted into the same Company "B" with his father. William served as a private and later was promoted to corporal in the unit. The infantry regiment had its high officers: Colonels William P. Maulsby, Roger E. Cook, Lt. Cols. George R. Dennis, John A. Steiner, Charles J. Brown and Majors John I. Yellott and Eugene C. Baugher. This regiment was started in Frederick, Md. on Aug. 15, 1861, then mustered into the United States service by Major Smith - US Army on Friday-Sept. 6, 1861 at 4 o'clock PM. and by Dec. 13, 1861 put into service for 3 years.

During the winter of Dec.1861-April 1862 the regiment was lead by General Banks. They trained and were quartered on Barracks Hill near Frederick. In the winter of 1861 they left the barracks and wintered at Camp Worman, north of Frederick. All of the 1st P.H.B. were quartered there for the winter. By the spring time of 1862 the forces marched up the Shenandoah Valley as far as Winchester. Then it was assigned to guarding the Baltimore and Ohio railroad line. Gen. Banks and his troops were driven out of the Shenandoah Valley and stayed in the Harper's Ferry area. Joseph Groff had lived for 10 years (1840-1850) in Harper's Ferry.

After the second battle of Bull Run, the regiment guarded the passages along the Potomac River near the mouth of the Monocacy and then concentrated its efforts at Harper's Ferry. It was there that the regiment was surrendered on Sept. 15, 1862 after being surrounded by the Confederate forces. The Union soldiers were paroled and exchanged the next day. The regiment was then assigned to duty to Alexandria, Virginia, and along the Potomac in the southern part of Maryland. On Feb. 10, 1863, Lt. Joseph Groff was made a captain of Company "B" when Capt. Glessner resigned.

NOTE - The family story is that Capt. Groff stopped in Woodsboro on his way to Gettysburg in 1863 to kiss his daughter (Rebecca) good-bye. At the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), the regiment was part of Gen. Lockwood's brigade. On July 2nd the regiment fought on Culp's Hill and worked with Sickles Corps to repulse the Confederates under Gen. Longstreet. Capt. Joseph Groff fought at Spangler's Spring in the early hours of July 3, 1863 and was wounded just above his foot. He was allowed to go to his home in Frederick, Md. to have a doctor take care of his wound.

Capt. Groff's regiment left Gettysburg and marched with the Army of the Potomac in pursuit of General R. E. Lee and his forces. The 1st Potomac Home Brigade went as far as the Potomac River, where it was then assigned the duty of guarding the Baltimore & Ohio railroad line.

In July, 1864, the 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade regiment took part in keeping the Confederates from invading into Maryland and also fought in the Battle of Monocacy under General Wallace.

During the fall of 1864, the soldiers' whose term of enlistment expired were mustered out. This included Capt. Joseph Groff and his son, William S. Groff, who were mustered out on Sept. 6, 1864 at Harpers' Ferry, Virginia. Honorable discharged in Washington, DC in Dec. 1864.

After the war:

Sat. - June 24, 1865 --- A new bridge built in Frederick adjoining the Vulcan Iron Works east end of Patrick Street. Capt. Groff furnished the girders (six).

Wed. - Sept. 12, 1866 -- John H. Uhler walked on a wire stretched across the street from the Groff Hotel to Edward Koontz houses on North Market Street. Mr. Uhler did fall to the paved street and broke his arm and leg. It happened at 2 o'clock PM.

Thursday - Dec. 27, 1866 --- A tremendous storm in Frederick. Several homes and buildings damaged. The Groff Hotel's tin roof torn and was partially hanging over the building onto Market Street.

Jan. 1867 - Mr. Washington Shorb (Taneytown) and Miss Margaret Jane Weitzel (Taneytown) were married by Rev. Dr. Diehl at the Groff Hotel.

Thursday - Feb. 21, 1867 --- At a public sale Capt. Groff offered his tavern stand for rent at a public sale. It went for $1,285 rent a year. It was located at North Market Street between 3rd and 4th Street.

Friday - Jan. 27, 1871 and Sat. - Feb. 4, 1871 - the Union or Republican Party made nomination for councilmen, Mayor and Alderman at "Groff Hall" located on West 4th Street.

1878 - Frederick had a population of about 10,000. Joseph ran one of the city's hotel and William (his son) made mattresses and upholstered furniture.

1879 - He applied in Nov. 24, 1879 and received a veteran’s pension (#180772 - 281584) of $15 a month.

1880 census - had Nicholas H. Groff living with his family. Nicholas - age 13, born about 1867 in MD as were his parents. Listed on the census was that he could not read or write but had attended school in the last year.

Feb. 2, 1881 -- Capt Groff purchased two large Poland China hogs from Mr. Joseph Harp. The hogs and sleight weighed 2,350 pounds.

Early 1885 - partners in a "Frederick Colored Rink" - skating rink on 4th St. Groff Hall for the 'colored' population (blacks). Had his future son-in-law, Charles Everhart as ticket taker.

April 1885 - very successful rink - Capt. Groff very strict in running it. Sept. 12, 1885 - Sole ownership of the skating rink with a big grand opening.

1886 - owned a bull dog.

Nov. 1886 - David Cronin worked for Capt. Groff at the Hotel. On Oct. 1886 - Cronin shot his wife after a disagreement. They had married about 1863 in Frederick. Cronin then joined the Union Army and to war. He remained away from Frederick until about 1885 and then came back to his wife (lived on West 4th St.)

May 1887 - Mr. P. E. Long Baltimore, MD - rented the Groff Hotel from Capt. Groff, the captain and family moved to Groff Park at the north end of the city.

Oct. 10, 1887 - in newspaper - Levi L. Groff (brother of Capt. Joseph Groff) - his ex-wife (Nancy S. Waltz - 'Nannie') remarried to Capt. Alfred Schley. Levi may have tried to stop the wedding.

Aug. 1889 - Capt Groff was in West Virginia, (Jefferson County) to supervise the construction of the Sheperd Turnpike.

About 1890 - the large iron four-tier fountain is built in front of the Groff House, North Market St. and 7th (still standing as of 2008).

June 5, 1890 - 8:30 pm - the wedding of Josie Groff and Charles Everhart in the Groff Hotel.

March 1890 - David Groff took over ownership of the Groff brickyard.

April 1890 -- AD appeared in the Frederick newspaper - about Groff Hotel, owned by Misses Groff (Joseph's daughters) and managed by Dudrear. Cost $1.50 per day for a room (1st class).

May 1890 - John Groff has ownership of North End Livery and Sales Stables.

Sept. 28, 1890 - a floor put in the bar room of the Groff Hotel.

1891 - Morse Fountain built by M. P. Morse at North Mkt St. across from Groff home.

April 30, 1891 - quote in News by Capt. Groff - "I have lived in Frederick a long time and have seen many changes wrought, but the bustle and activity here this spring are greater than I ever saw before. The old town is certainly waking up at last."

June 1891 - selling large lots of property at Groff Park - 30 acres (west of Frederick). Possibly big sale to a gentleman from Washington, DC. No sale then. Groff Park also known as Schentzen Park. Placed many newspaper ads for sale of Park, Hotel and Hall in late 1891.

Nov. 1892 - Capt Groff owned North End Livery Stables, his son, John Groff previously.

June 1896 - home robbery at night while family slept. Only money taken. His sister, Elizabeth was visiting at the time.

Sept. 19, 1899 - Capt. Joseph Groff's first son, William Shelton Groff - died of TB at his home in PA.

Oct. 2, 1899 - Frederick, MD - Capt. Groff was selected President of the Rossbourg Club - for Maryland - Agricultured College.

Feb. 1903 -- Capt. Joseph Groff died.

July 23, 1913 -- After death of Joseph and Susan Groff, their sons, sell the "Arlington Hotel" located at 324 North Market St.


  • Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018), Joseph Grauff in entry for David Grauff, 06 Dec 1854; citing ; FHL microfilm 845,442.
  • Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018), Joseph Groff in entry for Fannie Groff, 25 Feb 1863; citing ; FHL microfilm 13,935.
  • United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 11 March 2018), Joseph Groff, 1890; citing NARA microfilm publication M123 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 338,169.
  • United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 August 2017), Joseph Graff, 1880; citing enumeration district ED 70, sheet 127C, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d), roll 0509; FHL microfilm 1,254,509.
  • United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 8 August 2019), Joseph Groff, Frederick city (north part), Frederick, Maryland, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 5, sheet 20B, family 497, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,622.

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