Nicholson, Earl

Nicholson, Earl

Earle E. Nicholson, age 91 passed away May 19, 2020 at Northampton Manor, Frederick, MD.

Earle was known by his family and Montgomery County friends as “Ting” and by the longtime residents of Urbana as “Tim.” 

The youngest child of eight, and the fourth son of George and Mary C. Whpp, he was born May 31, 1928, at home at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain, Comus, Maryland. He was the last member of his immediate family.

He met his wife Marie L. May, from Hagerstown, at a barn dance in Frederick. They were married at her home on January 20, 1950. They celebrated 70 years of marriage this year with a quiet celebration with the nursing staff at Northampton Manor.

Earle was a graduate of Poolesville High School, class of 1947. There he participated in 4-H raising swine and showing Percheron draft horses. Hew would tell stories about his growing up in rural Montgomery County and on the family farm. How he had a license to drive to pick up farm supplies at age 14 during WWII, sledding down the long hill on the road between Comus and Barnesville and helping with the cows and Percheron horses. 

Shortly after marrying Marie, they moved to a farm outside of Urbana, Maple Hill Farm. There he was farm manager until 1988. He remained there until 2016. When he first arrived to the farm with his “city” wife, he found a few poorly looking, low producing dairy cows. Within a few short years, he had grown the milking herd to 64 plus registered Holsteins. There were a few registered Milking Shorthorns in the herd as well, a breed he showed in his youth. He showed both Holsteins and Milking Shorthorns at the Frederick Fair for many years.

He continued his love of equine and in the early 1960’s he purchased a Shetland pony mare. Soon later he had several Shetland ponies, all matching dapple gray with white manes and tails.

His team of ponies grew as well, first a single hitched to a 4 wheeled cart, then 2 to a surrey and 4 to a wagon. He took his team to parades, gave rides and enjoyed taking the 4-H Queen around the grandstand at the Frederick Fair. 

Earle continued dairying until 1991, but still yearned for a Percheron draft horse team. A few years prior from retiring from dairying, he and Marie would go Holmes Co., Ohio to look talk draft horses. After a trip to Ohio, they came home with 3 registered Percheron mares, Jane, Dolly, & Kandy. He enjoyed competing at local fairs in both confirmation and hitch classes. As the trio grew older, he replaced them with Star and Apple. They could be seen in downtown Frederick giving rides during the Christmas (2005-2011), holidays, presenting the 4-H Queen and King at Montgomery Co. Fair 4-H parade, giving wagon rides and bringing brides to their weddings and taking their guests for rides during the reception.  Of course, time was taken out to exhibit this pair and others at the local fairs.

But farm, dairy cows and equine were not the only interest he had. He was a member of Wesley Chapel UM Church, Urbana, where he served as Administrative Board chairman, and Trustees chairman. He enjoyed organizing or helping with manpower public Church dinners, butcherings, Lord’s Acre Festival, and  chaperoning youth activities. He was a active member of the Urbana Volunteer Fire Company. He was served as the chairman the fundraising committee in the the early years. He helped with bingo, public dinners, banquets, dances, and the carnival. He also served as director and was the Chaplain for many years.

Earle worked hard to promote the dairy breeds of Holsteins and Milking Shorthorns. In 1975 he was asked to become the Open Class Dairy Superintendent at The Great Frederick Fair. He held this position until 2011. He served as a director of the Frederick County Holstein Association and was inducted as a life member to the Maryland Dairy Shrine in 1977. 

He was involved in his children’s school activities, serving as vice-president of the Urbana Elementary School, chairing as the Strawberry Festival for several years. He was president of the Frederick High School Band Boosters, helping to raise money for new uniforms and other band activities and working the the concession stand during the FHS varsity football games. 

Earle was a local 4-H leader in Urbana from 1957 – 1989. He was active on may activities including dairy workshops, dairy judging, auctioning the 4-H cake auction, emceeing different events and judging baked goods, grains and hay and vegetables at fairs and community shows.

He was a charter member of the Frederick County 4-H Camp and Activity Center. He helped with land purchase, and negotiated with many contractors to get the best price for this much desired space. In 1983 he was award the Maryland 4-H Alumni Award.

In 1985, the Maryland Draft Horse & Mule Association was formed. Earle was a charter member and organizing President. He held this postion for a total of 10 years under two separate administrations. He was the organizing person along with his wife Marie, to bring the Draft Horse & Mule Shows back to Howard, Montgomery and Frederick county fairs. He served as Superintendent of both The Great Frederick Fair Draft Horse & Mule Show until 2019. He was instrumental in reviving the Draft Horse Pull at The Great Frederick Fair.  He loved sharing his expertise of grooming, harnessing and driving draft horses to others interested in these gentle giants, especially the youth. He won the Maryland Horse Council Youth Volunteer of the Year in the early nineties.

Besides his wife, Marie, Earle is survived by his daughter, Carolyn and husband Thomas Maher, Jr. and son, Gary and wife, Jane Nicholson. He leaves behind 4 grandchildren and their spouses, Michael and Tita Maher and their children Justin and Juliana, Andrew and Jenny Maher and son AJ, Cathy and Jesse Ensor and their children, MacKenzie and Ryleigh and Steven and Bridgett Nicholson and children Lydia and Landon. He is survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother, John and wife Gertrude Nicholson, sister, Annie and husband Newton Ward, sister, Alice (Beck) and husband Dave Ward, brother, George and wife, Emily Nicholson, sister, Myrtle and husband Elmer Ward, brother, Wilfred (Dick) and wife Gladys Nicholson,  and sister, Frances ( Ellie) and husband Billy Jones.

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