What was Frederick like when Stephen Steiner built his home in 1807? By the early 1800s, Frederick was a thriving crossroads with a strong economy. It served its residents, as well as travelers and farmers to and from the emerging west, and also north-south travel and trade routes. Retail stores and small manufacturers flourished along with support services such as banks and city government.
A group of Germans led by John Thomas Schley had settled in Frederick in 1745.There were enough people living in Frederick by 1748, that it could separate from Prince George’s County. One of those early settlers was Jacob Steiner, who emigrated from Germany. Jacob owned land in Tasker’s Chance and he operated a mill along Tuscarora Creek. His son John inherited Mill Pond from his father, and continued the family mill business.
John and his wife had 11 children, including Stephen Steiner born in 1767. During the Revolutionary War, he was too young to enlist so he served as a guard for prisoners at the Hessian Barracks. Stephen and a younger brother served in the War of 1812.
After the war, Stephen became very involved in the economic base of Frederick. He was one of the organizing directors of Frederick County National Bank in 1818. He served as Tax Commissioner and Ward One Councilman. Perhaps his greatest accomplishments were as a builder.
In 1807, he began work on two structures that are his legacy-the Trinity Chapel Spire and his own home, known as Steiner House.