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Biographies from

Men of Mark in Maryland
- Bernard C. Steiner, PhD, 1907


George Benjamin OSWALD, clerk of court, was born near Smithsburg, Washington county, Maryland, December 24, 1842. He is the son of David and Susan (BEARD) OSWALD. His father was a farmer and, from 1860 to 1861, was a tax collector for Washington county. Barnet OSWALD, an ancestor, native of Wurtemberg, Germany, came to Massachusetts between 1740 and 1750 and lived there for a short time, removing thence to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

George Benjamin OSWALD spent his youth in the country, with the influence of his mother's character for good an important factor in his life. His education was obtained in the subscription and common schools at Smithsburg, under the instruction of the late George PEARSON. In 1860, he left school, and became deputy tax collector to his father, and in 1863 he entered the clerk's office under the late Isaac NESBITT, and served as chief clerk until 1870. He then accepted a clerkship in the Hagerstown Bank, where he was employed until 1873, when he was elected clerk of the Circuit Court for Washington county, and has, for five consecutive terms, been re-elected to the same office.

The paths he has followed in choosing a life work have been taken through personal preference on his part. Mr. Oswald is president of the Mechanics Loan and Savings Institution; treasurer of the Mutual Insurance Company; and a director in the following companies: the Washington County Water Company; the Rose Hill Cemetery Company; the West End Improvement Company; and the First Hose Company of Hagerstown. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge; the Odd Fellows; the Knights of Pythias; the Red Men; and the Elks. He has been the recording secretary of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for 36 years, and is a Past Master in Masonry. In politics, Mr. Oswald is a Democrat, and in religious faith, he affiliates with the Lutheran church.


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