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Jabez Powell


Mr. Jabez Powell has one of the largest monuments in Ellsworth Cemetery.

Mr. Powell was born free to Mr. Jacob Powell and his wife, Johanna Johnston Powell, in 1863. He was free because his father had purchased his mother in May of 1858 and manumitted her (set her free from slavery) two weeks later.

He lived with his parents in Manchester, northeast of Westminster. In November of 1885, he married Sarah Morfitt in Westminster. Rather unusually (and even illegally), their marriage was an interracial one. Interracial marriage had been illegal in Maryland since 1664, and wasn’t made legal until 1967, month before the Supreme Court  Over the years, they were alternatively enumerated as white and Black in the Federal Census.

Mr. Powell was a prosperous man, who worked in various industries. He did not have any children, although was close to his brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. His wife passed away a few years before him.

At the time of his death, at the age of 52 years, he was working as an upholster. Mr. Powerll left hundreds of dollars to his nieces and nephews. 

He is buried next to his wife, Sarah, in Ellsworth Cemetery, outside of Westminster, Maryland. 

The Hanover Evening Sun, 14 Dec 1932