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Ask A Historian

Due the lack of volunteers and excess back log of questions, the Lawrenceville Historical Society is not accepting questions related to family histories. For such information see the sources listed on http://www.lhs15201.org/articles_b.asp?ID=11.

For more "Ask A Historian" questions see http://www.lhs15201.org/articles_b.asp?ID=35.

The following has been added on November 23, 2006.

Q: JKDean1030@aol.com writes: “I am looking for information on the Devlins in Pittsburgh.”

A: The Devlin family is well known in the history of the greater Pittsburgh area. They have been instrumental in the development of St. Mary's Cemetery here in Lawrenceville where some of the family members are buried. The family is reported to have lived in the Cemetery as caretakers for a long period of time.

They have also figured prominently in the creation of the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper.

If you go to the Historic Pittsburgh Project at http://digital.library.pitt.edu/p/pitttext/ and put in the name Devlin for a Basic Search, you'll get 228 matches within 54 records. The Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania has James A. Devlin's Notes of Catholic Cemeteries. Devlin Street in the Arlington Heights section of Pittsburgh is named in the family's honor.

Anyone with additional information can contact this individual at JKDean1030@aol.com.

UPDATE: Periodically, we receive repeat questions such as “How did Happy’s Hill get its name?” Both Jude Wudarczyk and Dan D’Alessandro have asked this question. Mike Hammil joined the other inquires.

The name Happy's Hill, the area bounded by Butler, 45th, 46th and Lawrence Streets, is one of the great mysteries of our neighborhood. We heard a couple tales, but haven't been able to verify either. Both stories share similarities, so there might be some truth to the stories.

The first involves a bootlegger, who, during prohibition, would sample quite a bit of his own hooch. He was a jolly drunk and because of his disposition, he earned the nickname "Happy." The fellow used the profits from his enterprise and bought a house on the hill. During this time the houses were very new and the hill became known as "Happy's Hill".

The second story also involves bootleggers. Supposedly, several of them bought new homes and threw some wild parties up there. The hill became known as "Happy Hill" and was later corrupted to "Happy's Hill."

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact us at info@LHS15201.org and cc Mike at mike.hammill@comcast.net.

Update: Don Rusnak has answered Rose Hoover’s question about St. John Place. According to Don, this is the Denny Apartments.

Q: Don Rusnak also writes: Hello...What a great site you have! And I thank you for the wonderful question and answer section...I have one. What happened to the original Stephen Foster home? I remember my dad walking me past it when I was very young. I hope it was not lost to apathy, lack of money to save her etc. If she had to go, please tell me it was by accident and not greed etc....

A: Thanks for the kind words. They are deeply appreciated.

If your dad is 93 it's not possible that he or you walked past the original Foster house. It was severely damaged by fire during the 1860's. When the industrialist Andrew Kloman bought the house he tore it down, and built the current structure. (See the book A Doughboy's Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories for the details.) Go to http://www.lhs15201.org/publications.htm to see how you can purchase the book.

Q: James Wittig writes: My name is Jim Wittig, and I am looking for information and any pictures of my father George Wittig, who I beleave was a counselor at the Lawrenceville Boys Club in the 1930's. He was born in May of 1913 in Lawrenceville.

A: Anyone with information on George Wittig can contact Jim at jwitt4@verizon.net.

The following has been added on November 19, 2006.

Q:My cousin told me recently that my uncle told him that "when he was a boy, there was a cable streetcar(same principle as the ones in San Francisco) running along Butler St. He said it was great fun to tie a string to a tin can, slip the string down the slit in the street that held the cable and when the string wrapped around the cable, the tin can would go flying down the street." My uncle came to Lawrenceville in 1921 when he was 7. Was there such a streetcar in Lawrenceville?

A: I'm not an expert on trolleys, but my understanding is that the cable cars in San Francisco and the streetcars that used to be used in Pittsburgh are two different animals. We asked our resident trolley expert, Rich Bassett, to see if he can explain the difference, if indeed they are different.

I remember the old streetcars that ran along Penn Avenue, but I was young when they were replaced by busses.

We have been told about the trick with the tin can by many old timers. This was very dangerous as sometimes the cans would spook horses (which were still used in the 1920's) or hit pedistrians or people's windshields. This, of course, never stopped boys from doing it.

Here is Rich’s reply –

I have researched this in 4 references, and a specific date for the stopping of cable cars on Butler St. could not be found. However, when the route was bought by Pittsburgh Railways in 1902, it was DEFINTELY an electric route at that time.

The cable cars of San Francisco are much different from the trolley cars that operated in Pittsburgh. The main difference is the way the car receives it power. In the trolley cars, the power is delivered to the car through an overhead wire—electric. Cable cars, however, have a device that goes under a middle track, and clings to cable, which “pulls” the car. The trick your uncle described to you was a major problem to the cable operators. As the cable went through the powerhouse, the cable would have to be inspected to make sure nothing adhered to it. In January of 1889, a cable route replaced horse cars on the Citizen’s Traction line over Penn Avenue to Butler Street to 47th. The site of the present Teamster Hall at 47th St. was the carbarn and powerhouse. There is a full-page picture of this site in Pittsburgh Railways, Vol. 1.

After checking 4 sources, I could not find a specific date of the abandonment of the cable system. From my readings, I am estimating in was in the mid-1890’s. It is known, however, that when Pittsburgh Railways purchased the Citizen’s Traction Company in 1902, the cable lines “had been long gone.”

Interestingly, a horsecar line operated on Pittsburgh’s Southside until 1923!

Q: Can you provide any info on the Schoenberger family, their houses, employees, etc. or any links?

I am interested in this family, because I believe my great, great-grandmother worked for Margaret as an upstairs maid. She met her husband there. He was a policeman and died years later from wounds received in 1884 while rescuing a woman from a gang in the woods near 52nd Street while he was on patrol one night. I wondered if there were any papers or household records etc that might list or mention them. I would like to join the group as my father was born on Davison 1908 and their family lived on 44th Street.

A:I'm assuming that you mean John H. Schoenberger and his wife Margaret Cust, who had their summer estate in Lawrenceville. The estate occupied all of what is today's Leslie Park, Davison Square Apartments, part of St. Mary's Cemetery, and part of Allegheny Cemetery. A photo of the house can be seen on page 55 of Walter Kidney's book Allegheny Cemetery: A Romantic Landscape, which will provide you with additional information on the property and the man.

His main residence was located in Downtown Pittsburgh, and eventually became the Pittsburgh Club. He was a noted art collector and allowed art students to study the paintings in his collection.

Two other books that I highly recommend reading are The Story of St. Margaret by Mary Brignano (see http://www.lhs15201.org/review1.asp?rID=15 for a review of this book) and In Loving Memory . . . and Still More Lawrenceville Stories (see http://www.lhs15201.org/publications.htm for information on how to obtain a copy of this book). The latter book will also be available at the Lawrenceville Historical Society events.

St. Margaret Hospital was named in honor of Margaret Cust Schoenberger. Both of the books mentioned above deal with this institution.

As for websites go to "The Historic Pittsburgh Project", select "basic search" and put in Schoenberger. That will get you a bunch of hits. Read through them and you'll find information on John H., Margaret, and Peter (John's father). When you are done, you'll want to do another basic search with Juniata Iron Works. This is the company Peter started and John took over. It was located on 15th Street close to the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh's Strip District. The book Pittsburgh Then and Now has a picure of the smoke bellowing from the Iron Works. John was quite the industrialist and Andrew Carnegie once said that Schoenberger was to iron what he (Carnegie) was to steel.

I was once told by someone that lived near Juniata Street in the Point Breeze section of Pittsburgh that it was named in honor of the iron mill. However, I have never researched the validity of this statement, so I can not state as to whether it is likely to be true or not.

The Historical Society offers a non-circulating collection of materials documenting life in Western Pennsylvania. The Reading Room and collections are located at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222.

The Historical Society offers a non-circulating collection of materials documenting life in Western Pennsylvania (HSWP). The Reading Room and collections are located at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222.

I don’t know if this is the same Schoenberger family or not. You’ll have to contact the HSWP to find out. The date range is given as 1854 to 1892.

For a membership form see http://www.lhs15201.org/members.htm. I really enjoy being a member of the society, and highly recommend it. If you live in Pittsburgh, make sure you come to our meetings or our walking tours. We'd love to meet you.The story about your great, great grandfather is fascinating. What was his name? What was the date of his death? If you have done a family history, please share it with us. We get inquiries all the time, and occasionally we are able to get distant relatives together.

This should get you started. If you are writing a book or paper, please share your findings with us. We are always looking for information on the residents of Lawrenceville. If you do a website, please allow us to make a link to it.

Q: Doris Ayoob asks, “Is the Receiving vault in Allegheny Cemetery still in use?”

A:Molly O’Connell who works for Allegheny Cemetery tells us, ” the receiving vault houses what we call the community vault. It is the cremated remains that have not yet been picked up by the families.”

Q: Greg S. writes, “Somebody asked me today who Lawrenceville was named for. I figured you would know, but checked your web site and found no history at all there. The site is a bit light.”

A:The neighborhood of Lawrenceville was named in honor of Captain James Lawrence, who was killed during the war of 1812. The reason for this can be found in our book Monster on the Allegheny . . . and Other Lawrenceville Stories, which is currently available for purchase. (See http://www.lhs15201.org/publications.htm for details.)

Regarding your comment that our site is "a bit light", we too find it very illuminating. We are proud to say that we have received hundreds of compliments from all across the country on the fine job we are doing with our website. If you care to contribute, please e-mail us your Lawrenceville stories. We would love to review them.

The following has been added on October 8, 2006.

Q: I am searching for information on the Murray- Dawson - Finneran - Golden families who lived in the Lawrenceville area. Edmund and Winifred (Dawson) Murray lived on Foster Way and also on Herron Ave. Her Mother Margaret Dawson also lived around Herron Ave and Cargill. They were members of St. Augustine's parish and some records are at St. John, the Baptist. - Karen Stein

A: St. John, the Baptist has been closed for more than ten years ago when it merged with St. Augustine, Holy Family, and St. Mary’s on 46th Street. The older records would be at the Catholic Archives of Pittsburgh. The newer records would be at the new parish, which is called Our Lady of the Angels.

Anyone with additional information can reach Karen at KarenTKC@aol.com.

Q: I'm looking for photographs of 39th Street between Penn and Butler. - Anita Thomas

A: Anita can be reached by e-mailing Aug0397@aol.com. Remember the LHS is also looking for old photographs.

Q: Do you know anything about General Alfred Pearson?

I was told that there was a rumor that he may have lived at 250 - 39th Street in 1881. I looked at the deed records, it lists Alfred L. Parson (not Pearson)as the deed holder of that time. – Cheryl Mosco

A: Thank you for your inquiry. About a year ago I had heard that General A. L. Pearson owned a house on 37th Street. However, I was never able to locate the spot. This new information took me in a new direction and with your help was able to solve the mystery of where Pearson lived.

General Alfred Pearson was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War and was involved in the Railroad Strike of 1877. You can read about his role in the Railroad Strike in our book A Doughboy’s Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories.

With the assistance of the Historic Pittsburgh Project at digital.library.pitt.edu I found an 1872 map of 39th Street. Pearson's house was located directly across from the pathway in the old Allegheny Arsenal (now Arsenal park) that runs between the powder magazine (now called the hut) and what is now the ball field. His property ran from 39th to 38th and was next door to the old Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church, which was also called the 39th Street Presbyterian Church. There are some newer homes on the site of the church. They were probably built shortly after WWII, or so people have told me. Just by gazing at the map I cannot tell if Pearson's house is still standing or not. However, from the looks of the map it appears that there is a kitchen or porch protruding from middle of the back of the house. Also, the house definitely sat back from the street some distance.

I hope this helps answer your question. If you are doing a house history, please donate a copy to the Lawrenceville Historical Society.

{Cheryl later wrote to us, and was able to determine that Pearson’s house is no longer standing.}

Q: Hello! My name is Kristine Dobbins, and I am a senior at the University of Pittsburgh Main Campus in the History of Art and Architecture Department. As part of my learning experience in my major, we are required to take a writing class that takes on the task of research and persuasion. In the particular class I am taking, we are studying monuments and how they change over time, how they affect the community, and how they once affected the community. I have living in Lawrenceville for over eight years now and I have grown quite attached to a particular monument in Lawrenceville's ninth ward...the Victory Monument right at the corner of Leslie Park on Butler Street. For our task this semester we must research a local monument and turn that research into a lengthy, yet highly original piece; I have chosen Victory.

I am contacting you in hopes of some help. I am finding it quite difficult to gain information on the monument. There are tons of original newspaper clippings and stats/facts/books/articles written on the Doughboy, but it seems that Victory has been forgotten. As part of my research and as part of my paper, I want to try and find out why it has been forgotten.

I have been to both the PA Department at the Carnegie Library in Oakland and the Historical Library and Archive at the Heinz History Center and have come up with practically nothing. Where should I go? With whom should I talk? A very nice librarian at the Archives in the Heinz History Center pointed me to the LHS.

A:Have you seen the book A Doughboy's Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories? This book contains a chapter on the statue.

I also recommend that you check out our website page titled Lawrenceville's Patriotic Pride (see http://www.lhs15201.org/articles_b.asp?ID=28.) The Pennslyvania Dept. at Carnegie Library does have a small folder on WWI Memorials, which is where you can find newspaper articles on the subject. Unfortunately, we found very little information on this monument, and we would welcome any additional materials you can send our way.

We would recommend that you do the Doughboy as there is a bit more information, and if you have to write a lengthy paper it would make gathering information easier. Either way, we wish you luck.

The following has been added on September 30, 2006.

Q: La Verne Szczypinski asks, “Does anyone have a picture of the painting of Fritzie Zivic, which used to be on the side of the Old Hub’s Pub (now called Balzer’s Somewhere Inn Lawrenceville)?”

A: If anyone can help La Verne, please contact us and we’ll pass the word to her. While you’re at it why not donate a copy to LHS. We are always looking for pictures of old Lawrenceville.

Q: Did Fritzie Zivic ever own Hub’s Pub/Balzer’s Somewhere Inn Lawrenceville?

A: Harry Szczypinski tells us, “Yes.”

Update: Some time ago we had a request for information from Sally Rowley. Sally wanted to know when the Allegheny Arsenal Gatehouse was torn down. Sally can be reached at (412) 486-6891.

We were able to learn that the Gatehouse was torn down sometime in 1947. An out of town newspaper article dated in November mentions this sad day, but does not give us the exact day.

Q: Does anyoe have a list of the patients who lived in The Protestant Home for Incurables. I have an great aunt that lived there for some time. We never knew what was wrong with her or what became of her. Her name was Margaret Roschenthaler Whysall. I believe she was a widow of Mr. Joseph Whysall.

A: There is a Joseph Whysall listed in the 1877-78 City Directory as living on 42nd Street above Butler. He was a pilot. Both, he and Margaret, appear in the 1930 census.

The Protestant Home for Incurables, also called the Holmes House, was absorbed by Forbes Health System in 1982. After a quick internet search I found a phone number, but when I called to find out how you can obtain information I was told to call (412) 858-2000.

Also, the Pennsylvania Department at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has some information on the Holmes House. They can be reached at (412) 622-3154, or padept@carnegielibrary.org.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Buddy Lee Fazekas at sbfazekas@verizon.net.

Good luck, and please remember to donate a copy of your family's history to us.

The following has been added on August 19, 2006.

Q: In your flyer on Stephen Foster facts which was given to the public during the Doo Dah Days festival on July 1, 2006, your organization states that Stephen Foster was not an alcoholic. However, the following website http://www.stephen-foster-songs.de/ProblemeUS.htm shows him in an obvious drunken state and http://www.stephen-foster-songs.de/EndeUS.htm clearly says that alcohol was one of the factors that destroyed Foster. Given this proof don’t you think that you should apologize to the public for your error. Go ahead, tell me if I’m wrong.

A: O.K. You’re wrong. First, our flyer states, “There are many people who believe that Foster was a drunkard and a drug addict. However, there is no historical data to support these accusations.” We are not saying that he wasn’t an alcoholic. He might have been one. However, there is nothing to prove that he was one. A website cannot be considered historical evidence.

The first picture to which you refer does have a photograph of a young man who seems that he is intoxicated. We doubted that it was a photograph of Stephen Foster, but just to make sure we contacted Kathy Miller Haines of the Center for American Music. They are the Stephen Foster experts there. She informs us that she does not believe that it is Foster, and further pointed out that the website did not claim it was him. She went on to say that she believed that the picture was only used in connection to the song that is listed on the side of the picture.

Q:Jan Fazio writes: “Looking at the list of lecture topics, I, an outsider, would like to know exactly what the 10th Ward is. What are the boundary streets?

A: The Tenth Ward is a very large geographic section of the city and was made up largely of the old Collins Township. It was formerly called the Eighteenth Ward, but was change to the Tenth Ward in 1907 when Pittsburgh annexed Allegheny City. It's boundaries run from the Allegheny River up 51st Street to Hetlis Avenue to Avondale Street to Stanton Avenue to Rebecca Street to Penn Avenue to Matilda Street to Allegheny Cemetery to Mossfield Avenue to Oranmore Street to Stanton Avenue to 51st Street to the Allegheny River. (See page 98 of Lewis' Pittsburgh guide, 1923. Originally Published: Pittsburgh, PA: Lewis Pub. Company.)

The following has been added on August 6, 2006.

Q: Do you have any information on the underground restroom facilities that were at 34th Penn and Butler streets? When were they built and when did they close?

A: Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the underground restrooms under the doughboy statue. They were in existance as earlier as 1921 (see A Doughboy's Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories). Older Lawrenceville residents still talk about them. Apparently, they were closed about 1960 or so, because the city was concerned about the vagrants that were hanging around them. They were also poorly kept by then, and there were concerns that the facilities might become a health hazard.

Anyone with additional information please contact us or Jack Reissman at johnrr_2@juno.com.

Q: I'm editing an article from a freelancer about the Riverside Design Group and Kingsland Scott Bauer Associates' building at 3441 Butler St. for our Pittsburgh magazine. I have some of the history, but any other information you could provide about the historic building would greatly be appreciated.

Here's what I do know:
It dates to 1888, when it was an undertaker's stable and home to horses and carriages.
It still holds traces of its past with an old coal chute that has since been sealed off.
Any other historical information you can provide to me about this building is greatly appreciated. Please feel free to call me at the number listed below if you have any questions.

Thank You,

Kristy Esch

Associate Editor
Angie's List
1030 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46209
Phone: (317) 396-9123
E-mail: kristye@angieslist.com

A: Unfortunately, we do not have very much information about the Upperman Brothers that owned 3441 Butler Street. We do know that they went to Johnstown to help with the clean up after the Johnstown Flood of May 31, 1889. They went as volunteers.

After automobiles phased out horses and carriages, the Uppermans used the building as a garage. However, by 1940 the building underwent a series of other uses. First, it was used by the Eichenlaub's Furniture Store as a warehouse. The furniture store was located at 3501 Butler Street.

In 1950 it was the Heagy Refrigeration Service, and by 1960 Arena Auto Service and Repair. Arena occupied the building for approximately four decades. The site became a terrible eye sore until the Lawrenceville Corporation purchased and rehabbed it. KSBA Architects now owns the building. Information on this company can be found at http://www.1662designzone.com/directory/businessPage.php?business_id=32.

Q: Marina G. Ricciardi writes: I am trying to locate an official Lawrenceville City Decree. Is there one? If so, do you know the text of it and can you e-mail it to me.

A: There are several Lawrencevilles. Ours is a neighborhood in the city of Pittsburgh. It never reached the status of city. Hence there could not be a “city” decree.

However, the Microfilm Department in Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, located at 4400 Forbes Avenue, does have the old borough minutes. These are written in long hand and are very hard to read. You might find something of interest in there. They include the old ordinances.

Anyone with additional information can reach Marina at marinagppa@aol.com.

Q: I am interested in finding out if an address still exists in Lawrenceville. My father apparently lived at #3 St. Johns Place back in 1940 but St. Johns Place doesn't come up on the Allegheny County assessment website.

Are you able to tell me if St Johns Place is still a street or location there? Is is called something else now or has it been torn down?

Any information would be appreciated. - Rose Hoover

A: We were not able to locate this apartment building. Can anyone help? If so, Rose can be reached at rhoover@ampcopgh.com.

Update: The following information was receive from Jack Broderick and posted in November 2011.

On the Lawrenceville web-site I saw your request about St. Johns Place, That was located between the St Johns Convent and a store owned by a woman named Mame Kelly. It ran from Liberty Avenue to Denny Street. St. Johns Place was originally called O'Hara Place. I think it was changed to St Johns Place, because it was so close to St. John's Roman Catholic Church and convent.

I lived in the upper apartment complex called the O'Hara Apartments. It ran from the upper end of Sullivan Field to 36th Street and Liberty Avenue. If you go down Liberty Avenue past where the old church was, (it is now a brewery and Bar-Restaurant) to the old convent, it is right at the lower end of the convent. Here you'll see a through way. This through way was called St. Johns Place.

The following has been added on March 19, 2006.

Q: Does anyone have any photographs (or stories to share) of the Plummer Street Car House, or the area surrounding it? This was a streetcar barn that existed on Plummer Street, not too far from the intersection with Butler Street, prior to a supermarket (Thoroughfare, now Giant Eagle) taking its place. I believe the car house existed until the mid to late fifties. The streetcar routes it served were the 95 Butler Street, 94 Aspinwall and 96 East Liberty via Morningside.

I noted there are some remaining connecting tracks that are still visible, sometimes, on 47th Street, turning from Butler Street. It tends to be revealed after a rock-salt winter. Plus, I think there was a turnaround loop in the area where the funeral home is on Butler Street, between 47th and Home Streets.

A: Member Rich Basset is our resident expert on streetcars, and was kind enough to answer this question for us. This is his reply:

The present Giant Eagle is the old car barn! The car barn was closed in the summer of 1954, with the 94/95 routes being assigned to Manchester Car House until June 1959. Then they finished their days at Keating Car House (now the Ross Garage) until replaced by bus routes on November 13, 1960.

The 96 was transferred for a very short time to the Bunker Hill Barn (probably just weeks), went to the Homewood Car House until June, 1960, and spent its last five months at the Craft Avenue Car House, also being replaced by buses on November 13, 1960. The buses were used primary because of construction of the then new 62nd Street Bridge.

When the car barn was replaced by the supermarket, three of the four sides of building were redone. However, the one wall parallel with Plummer Street was never redone. The windows were bricked, and it is very obvious to see the design of the car barn today!

The Plummer Car Barn replaced the old Butler Street Cable and Horse car barn at 47th and Butler. I have the year but not at my fingertips. The first Cable Car line in the city ran out Penn Ave, then along Butler St. ending at the entrance to the Allegheny Cemetery. This replaced a horse car line. Somewhere in my place I have a picture of this. Teamster Hall stands in this spot today.

There was no loop at 47th Street. There was an arrangement of tracks off Butler Street at 48th to Plummer and a turn up 47th to Butler, or down 47th to the car barn entrance. I remember cars making this detour to change motormen. This track was usable until 1960, and lasted years after the paving of Butler Street.

The loop is at 60th and Butler Streets. Used by PAT today. Prior to 1937 (arrival of Pcc's), there were basically 3 routes. The 95 operated to this loop from the city, and made a left turn off Butler into it. The 94 and 96 came the opposite way (toward the city) and made a right turn into the loop. The building you see was a waiting room with a candy and soda store on one side, and a motormen's waiting room on the other. When you look at the old schedules, you can see that almost every car was assigned the 95 Butler Street number, and only operated out Butler Street to this loop. Although the loop is at 6000 Butler Street, it has always been referred to as the 62nd Street Loop. In the late 1980's, the tripper service to the loop stopped. However to this date, PAT still uses this loop on Sunday evening. The 8:20 pm, 9:20 pm., and 10:15 pm trips from the city run to 62nd St. only!

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Matt Barry at mrb190+@pitt.edu.

UPDATE: Earlier Barbara asked if anyone had the ages of the two Mathias Wilhelms that are mentioned on this page. At the time we had no information on these two men. However, since that then, we found the grave. We have e-mailed Barbara with the following information, but the e-mail has bounced back. If anyone can help us locate Barbara, please let us know where she is or have her contact us.

Here is the information we sent her:

The grave is located in section "M" of St. Mary's Cemetery. There is a large mausuleum belonging to the Stenger/Cunningham family in this section. To the left of this mausuleum is a big tree. The grave is located to the left of this tree.

It looked as though it had fallen over and was half covered in mud, grass and leaves. LHS member, Jude Wudarczyk, found the grave and came to the conclusion that it had fallen because there are drawings of fingers pointing up toward heaven, which to the best of our knowledge only appears on standing stones and not on flat stones.

Using a stick Jude cleared it off as best he could, but we think that you or another member of your family should ask the cemetery to raise it. It is sinking into the ground. They won't do it unless the family requests it. We know that cemeteries do not allow anyone to do this work, except their own crewmembers. There might be a fee nowadays, but when Jude had this service done for his family members about 15 or 20 years ago there was no fee involved.

"Cemetery Inscriptions from ST. MARY'S RC CEMETERY Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania" is linked to our website. The url is http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~njm1/stmym.htm. According to this page the inscriptions on the tombstone reads:

Wilhelm, Mathias, Jan. 1, 1845 - May 11, 1870, 25 Yrs.
Wilhelm, Mathias, Nov. 1819 - May 11, 1870, 49 Yrs.

Q: Bob Schneider asks, “Do you have any information or pictures of the former Thorofare market that operated in Lawrenceville until they closed their doors in 1982?

A: Unfortunately, we have no information on nor pictures of the old Thorofare supermarket, which is now Giant Eagles at 48th and Plummer Streets. However, if you read the above you can find out a little bit about its history prior to it becoming a supermarket.

Anyone with additional information can contact Bob at bigbob_44425@yahoo.com.

Q: Conazure writes, “I would like to know, where I can find out more info about Jack Metz. My grandfather knew him when he was a young boy."

A: Jack Metz passed away many years ago. Mr. Metz ran the Willow Club in Lawrenceville. He was the one who made the club a nationally known organization for amateur boxers. Apparently, he moved to Millvale and spent the end of his days doing magic tricks for kids.

There will be a little write up about him in our upcoming book titled In Loving Memory . . . and Still More Lawrenceville Stories. It will appear in the chapter "The Fight That Rocked Pittsburgh". This book will be available for $17.00 at the Lawrenceville Historical Society events and lectures and will be available through the mail for $17.00 + $5.00 postage and handling. Watch our website www.LHS15201.org for the release date.

He is also mentioned by Joseph Borkowski in the book Miscellaneous History of Lawrenceville.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Conazure at conazure@min.midco.net.

The following has been added on February 23, 2006.

Q: I have begun to search for the residence of widow Naomi Barney, who was enumerated in the 1840 Census of Peebles Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. She was the sole occupant of her home in 1840.

In 1840, Naomi Barney was a close neighbor of a Woolslayer household. Can you help me identify what part of Peebles Township Naomi was living in, in 1840?

Thank you for any suggestions or information you may have. By 1850, Naomi Barney had returned to Greenup County, Kentucky, which is the county she was living in with her husband John R. Barney, before 1840. I do not have a date of death for John R. Barney, but it was apparently after 1822. There is quite a bit of uncertainty regarding John R. Barney's latter days.

Thank you again for your kind assistance. Naomi was my fifth-great grandmother. She was born in New Jersey about 1774 and first arrived in Greenup County, Kentucky in 1818 or 1819. Her departure point when she made her journey to Kentucky was said to be Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from where she traveled by flatboat down the Ohio River to Greenup County, Kentucky.

Randal W. Cooper

A: Please check http://genforum.genealogy.com/barney/messages/1014.html. The keeper of this site might be able to shed some additional information on Naomi. She is mentioned on this site as are her daughters.

We were not able to find anything on her yet, but we did locate Owen Barney who lived at 15 Spring Alley. He is listed in the 1864-65 Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Cities.

Spring Alley (now called Spring Way) runs through Lawrenceville and Pittsburgh's Strip District. It starts at 16th Street and ends at Ligonier Street in the vicinity of 35th or 36th Street. After the end of Spring Way comes about a block and a half of residential space, then Woolslayer Way starts. If it wasn't for this block or block and half, then Woolslayer and Spring Ways would be the same alley.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Randall at rwcooper@kellnet.com.

Q: My name is Suzanne Ponder. I am searching for any boxing information on my grandfather, John Louis Putner. He was a welterweight boxer who boxed professionally out of Pittsburgh with the Zivic Brothers of the Lawrenceville Athletic Association and as an amateur with the Willow Athletic Club of Pittsburgh from 1928 through 1931. I have seen newspaper clippings in the past but since the death of the relative who had these items, they are now missing.

If you could direct me to any resources that would contain information about my grandfather, I would be most grateful. Thank you for your time and consideration.

A: Unfortunately, we have no information on John Louis Putner.

You can try writing to Ring Magazine. They might have something on your grandfather.

At any rate please share your information with us. You can have his memorial posted on our website for free, if your grandfather lived in Lawrenceville.

Anyone with additional information on this boxer, please contact Suzanne at sponder@numail.org.

Q: John Carnprobst asks, “Can you give me some leads on where I can find information on the Lawrenceville artist, Clarence Johns?”

A: It's best that you contact the Music and Art Department of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland. They can be reached at (412) 622-3108. They have a very brief write up on Johns in Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975 -- vol. II -- p.1735. They also have more information in the PITTSBURGH ARTIST FILE DRAWER #5.

The following has been added on February 18, 2006.

Q: Is it true that Stephen Foster’s father was mayor of Allegheny City?

A: Yes, William Barclay Foster did serve as mayor of Allegheny City. He moved there around 1829, and was elected as the town's third mayor. He was elected in 1842 and reelected in 1843. Their mayors had one-year terms at that time.

He was also a State Representative from 1824 to 1829.

Q: Dorisanne Gibson writes, I am researching a large family from the Lawrenceville area. Elizabeth Kelly COLE and Mary Jane Kelly ANDERSON were sisters from Canada, who moved here with their husbands, Samuel COLE and David ANDERSON. There are, I am sure, people living in this area descended from these two women. Hopefully I will hear from one of you.

But in the meantime, there is a story in the Anderson family that there was (or still is) a statue located in the middle of Penn Avenue, between the old St. Francis Hospital and downtown. Supposedly the model for the statue was a member of either the Anderson or Cole families. I'm just wondering if there is anyone among you who would know about this statue.

A: We keep hearing stories about so and so had a job as model for the Doughboy Statue at the junction of Penn Avenue and Butler Street. We need to have some kind of proof to verify this claim. While there may be some legitimate substance to this, we have to remember that the statue was made in New York, not Pittsburgh. Also, a leading art historian has informed us that the Doughboy was patterned after Michelangelo’s sculpture of David.

Anyone with information about the families mentioned above, please contact Dorisanne at 105641.3704@compuserve.com.

Q: Jeffrey M. Arndt writes: I am purchasing 4108/4110 Foster Street (corner of Banner Way) and am researching the house history. I traced it back to the 1888-1892 city directories when an Irish family lived there. However, in the 1880 census there is no Foster St., however there is a "Railroad St." which appears to be Foster. I also located Foster St. on an 1876 map and it has railroad tracks running down it and there is no street name. Do you know when Foster Street was named and if Railroad St. was Foster St.? And I presume it was named after Stephen Foster (or his family)? Thank you for any information you can provide.

A: Foster Street was never called "Railroad Street". Railroad Street was and still is where the railroad tracks are today. Foster Street used to be called North Street. Prior to Pittsburgh annexing Allegheny City, which is now the Pittsburgh's North Side neighborhoods, in 1907 many streets names were changed to avoid duplicate names. We believe North Street was one of these name changes. It does appear as North on the 1886 street atlas, but on the 1906 street atlas it appears as Foster.

Yes, Foster Street was named in honor of the Foster family. There is also a Foster Way in Lawrenceville close to Penn Avenue.

Q: In one of the answers in "Ask a Historian" there appeared the following answer. I'm interested in knowing how to find this book; it is not listed in the catalog of WPGS or Carnegie Library.

According to One Hundred and Seventy-Five Years of Religion in Lawrenceville, 1815-1990 by James Wudarczyk, "Anthony Pysdrowski of Pittsburgh was awarded the contract as architect engineer and builder of the church." See page 201.

As a second question, does anyone in your organization know where to find the records of the Butler Street Methodist Church? If no one knows off the "top of their head", please don't research for an answer. I have other sources I can check, but thought someone in Lawrenceville might know.

Thank you.

Suzanne Johnston

A: David Grinnell at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania tells us:

The Butler Street Methodist Episcopal Church changed its name to the Butler Street Methodist Church in 1939. It merged with the 43rd Street Presbyterian Church around the late 1960's or 1970 and became know as the Lawrenceville Community Church. Later they merged with the Emory Methodist Church on Highland Avenue in East Liberty, and the records are probably still there in East Liberty. He remembers seeing the plaques from the various churches in their lobby.

One of our informants who did not give her name tells us that Butler Street and 43rd Street merged in 1961 as the Lawrenceville Community United Community Methodist Church.

Lawrenceville Community United Methodist Church merged with Emory Methodist Church on June 19, 1977.

All information on these churches and some others are kept at Emory. They are stored in one room after a diligent project by a couple members of Emory.

Anyone with additional information is requested to contact Suzie at suej@nauticom.net.

Q: My name is Holly Hicks-Oppeman, daughter of the late James Neal Hicks, born in Lawrenceville to Tressa (Spire) Hicks and Stewart Hicks. He was a popular singer in Pittsburgh Night Clubs and won several amateur contests. Maybe one was the Warner Brothers Talent Contest in the 1940's. They called him the Bobby Breen of Pittsburgh. I'm looking for more information on when and where my father, Jim Hicks may have performed. Thanks in advance for your help.

A: There is an old time actor/singer Bobby Breen and the only connection that I can think of is that your father might have sounded like the professional Breen. There was a Donny McGrael, who was known as "the Bobby Breen of the Ohio Valley". However, James Neal Hicks turns up a blank.

If you do a Google search for Bobby Breen, you'll get 912 hits. Due to lack of volunteers, we don’t have time to check them all out for you. You’ll have to do that yourself. Good luck.

If anyone has information, please contact Holly at HicksOp@aol.com.

Q: We own a five acre property that has been operated as a farm since 1875...The original address was the Butler-Sharpsburg Plank Road. We are currently raising vegetables and marketing them in the East End and training young people in sustainable and organic food production.

We bought the farm from the DiCaprio family who had it for 70 years. Do you think anyone in your organization might be interested in researching our farm and /or farming in the 10th ward area? We would like to be able to show how farming was an integral part of the city's life.

The farm is located at 1100 Normahill drive in Stanton Heights. The property extends down to Butler Street almost ( they sold off the 100 foot frontage on Butler at some point) If you Google Mildred’s Daughters Urban Farm you should get some newspaper coverage from the past 2 or 3 years. We are also on a web site growpittsburgh.org( under "about us" section click on Mildred’s daughters). If anyone is interested and would like to see the place call me, (412) 799 0833.

One of our farm interns this year is going to be interviewing the older community gardeners in different neighborhoods to preserve and pass on their wisdom and inspiration. The interviewees will be featured on the grow Pittsburgh web site. If you know of any Lawrenceville oldsters who do phenomenal gardening we would like to know them.

A: Regarding working with kids. We don't have any kind of a youth program in the Lawrenceville Historical Society. Perhaps one of the other members would be willing to start one, but I'm far too busy to do so. I think you might benefit from contacting St. John Neumann School and/or Career Connections School in the old Boys' and Girls' Club. Both principals seem to willing to work with special projects like yours.

I'm not sure as to where the border is between Stanton Heights and Lawrenceville. I always thought it was Woodbine Street. If this is the case, then you are in Lawrenceville not Stanton Heights and we'll try to find out what we can about the history of your farm. However, if it's Stanton Heights, then you'll have to ask whatever organization serves that community, or hire a professional. The only professional real estate historian we know is Carol Peterson. She can be reached at cpeterson155@yahoo.com. You would probably be better off hiring Carol anyway. I'm told she is very complete in her work.

Also, you’ll want to go into Google and do a search for "Historic Pittsburgh Project". It's the first hit. Once it comes up you'll see the words HISTORIC PITTSBURGH. Under that is a series of selections. Hit "Maps". It's the second option. Then select "Search". Do a street search. If you use Butler or Woodbine, you should be O.K. This won't give you a definitive history, but at least you'll get a few names of previous property owners.

Those with additional information about this farm are asked to contact Rhanda Shannon at mildredsdaughters@earthlink.net.

Q: My name is Suzanne Ponder. I am searching for any boxing information on my grandfather, John Louis Putner. He was a welterweight boxer who boxed professionally out of Pittsburgh with the Zivic Brothers of the Lawrenceville Athletic Association and as an amateur with the Willow Athletic Club of Pittsburgh from 1928 through 1931. I have seen newspaper clippings in the past but since the death of the relative who had these items, they are now missing.

If you could direct me to any resources that would contain information about my grandfather, I would be most grateful. Thank you for your time and consideration

A: We have no information on John Louis Putner. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh used to subscribe to a database called Newspaper Archives Elite. It was a magnificent tool for use in tracking old time boxers. Unfortunately, the database did not contain any Pittsburgh newspapers. However, some of the surrounding communities were included.

The library dropped its subscription to this database. If enough people contacted Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and asked that they re-subscribe, the database selection committee might reconsider its position and re-subscribe. My suggestion to you is that you write them a letter requesting such action. Otherwise, you can try writing to Ring Magazine. They might have something on your grandfather.

At any rate please share your information with us. You can have his memorial posted on our website for free, if your grandfather lived in Lawrenceville.

Q: Jim O'Brien writes: To whom it may concern: I have written 18 books about Pittsburgh sports history and I am interested in learning more about Fritzi Zivic of Lawrenceville and Harry Greb of Garfield. I am interested in obtaining photos of both. I have interviewed Helen Zivic, Fritzi's wife, but I would love to talk to some old-timers in Lawrenceville who personally knew Fritzi and his family. My name is Jim O'Brien, P.O. Box 12580, Pittsburgh PA 15241. My phone number is 412-221-3580. I have written books about Art Rooney, Bob Prince, Jack Lambert, Roberto Clemente, Mario Lemieux, and all the sports heroes of Pittsburgh. My e-mail address is jpobrien1@earthlink.net. Hope to hear from anyone who can assist me.

A: If anyone can help Jim, please do so. We also would like to hear from you.

Q: I was reading your article about Thomas Enright and I was wondering if you knew that there is a plaque honoring Enright in Oakland near the section of the Forbes Field wall that is still standing. It is a small plaque and it is in front of a larger memorial to fourth ward veterans. - Chuck Lawton

A: Thanks, Chuck. We know about it, but will include it here in case if others don’t know. Thomas Enright was one of the first three American casualties of WWI. He may have been the first, but there is no way to know for sure. He is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery. (See our article about him.)

Q: Lance Pryor writes: I read your article on the Ewalt Bridge and some of the questions asked to the historian. My wife is related to the Ewalt family of Pittsburgh and would like to know more about the Ewalt family that lived on Ewalt Street, which is now 43rd Street. For example, does your archives have a picture of the bridge? What was the husband and wife's name of this family? Do you have the address of their residence? In your archives do you have a family genealogy of them? Any info would help. We are coming (from Calif.) to Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks to do family research. So any records you might have we can easily come and copy at that time.

A: The Ewalt family name appears frequently in Pittsburgh history. You can check "The Historic Pittsburgh Project" at digital.library.pitt.edu. Once you access the site enter "Ewalt" in the "basic search" mode and you'll get quite a few hits. The most famous Ewalt that lived in Lawrenceville was probably Samuel Ewalt. We do not know his wife's name.

Unfortunately, we have no knowledge as to where his house was located nor do we have pictures of him or his house.

Samuel served as the second sheriff of Allegheny County from 1792 to 1795. His first house in the area was in what is now downtown Pittsburgh on the corner of Market and Water Streets (the latter no longer exists). Here he kept a tavern and was fined five pounds for keeping a disorderly house.

The 43rd Street Bridge can be seen on the Historic Pittsburgh Project. Click the "image" button, select "search", type in 43rd Street Bridge and then click the "search" button. You can purchase a print directly from them. The Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, which is located at 1212 Smallman Street in the Strip District section of Pittsburgh used to sell postcards with this image. It is a nice place to visit, while you're in Pittsburgh.

Anyone with additional information can contact Lance at lspryor@netzero.net.

Q: I have a gold L of GAR Past presidents pin presented and engraved to Mary E Chalmers Post #21 by the O.H.Rippey Circle Jan 8th 1924. Any info on Mary Chalmer?

Ken Boardman
The Antique Center of Gettysburg
30 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, Pa. 17325
(717) 337-3669
acog@superpa.net

A: If anyone can help this gentleman, please contact him directly.

The following has been added on February 17, 2006.

Q: Hello! My name is Kristine Dobbins and I am a senior at the University of Pittsburgh Main Campus in the History of Art and Architecture Department. As part of my learning experience in my major, we are required to take a writing class that takes on the task of research and persuasion. In the particular class I am taking we are studying monuments and how the change over time, how they affect the community, and how they once affected the community. I have living in Lawrenceville for over eight years now and I have grown quite attached to a particular monument in Lawrenceville's Ninth Ward...the Victory Monument right at the corner of Leslie Park on Butler Street. For our task this semester we must research a local monument and turn that research into a lengthy, yet highly original piece; I have chosen Victory.

I am contacting you in hopes of some help. I am finding it quite difficult to gain information on the monument. There are tons of original newspaper clippings and stats/facts/books/articles written on the Doughboy, but it seems that Victory has been forgotten. As part of my research and as part of my paper, I want to try and find out why it has been forgotten.

I have been to both the PA Department at the Carnegie Library in Oakland and the Historical Library and Archive at the Heinz History Center and have come up with practically nothing. Where should I go? Who should I talk to? A very nice librarian at the Archives in the Heinz History Center pointed me to you, the LHS, and particularly to a man named James Wudarczyk. I wanted to know if we couldn't meet, or if we could talk, or set up a meeting so that I may get insight/advice/or whatever you at the LHS would be willing to offer up for my now very difficult task.

I could have taken the easy way out and switched my project over to the Doughboy, since there seems to be tons of information on him, but what is the fun in that? I believe that deciding to continue on with Victory will be rewarding for all parties, and will be more valuable to me in the end.

A: Welcome to Lawrenceville!

Have you seen the book A Doughboy's Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories? It contains a chapter on the Goddess Victory statue.

Also, check out our website page titled Lawrenceville's Patriotic Pride (see http://www.lhs15201.org/articles_b.asp?ID=28.) The Pennslyvania Dept. at Carnegie Library does have a small folder on WWI Memorials.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Kristine at k0is0here@hotmail.com.

Q: Lisa asks: Who owns the oil tanks on 54th Street? Is it Pennzoil or Sunoco?

A: Pennzoil owns the tanks on 54th Street. Sunoco owns the ones at 5733 Butler Street.

Q: My Great Grandparents were married in Lawrence or Lawrenceville, PA. They married in Oct. 1873. I have found no civil records. How can I find out what Catholic churches were in either of these towns? They lived in Allegheny, which is now Pittsburgh’s North Side. They’re names were Jacob Janda and Maria Bastyr.

A: The number of Catholic churches that existed in the Lawrenceville neighborhood during 1873 seems to have been very limited. St. Mary's on 46th Street (not to be confused with St. Mary's on 57th Street) and St. Augustine Church are the only two in Lawrenceville proper. However, if you include the Strip District as part of Lawrenceville as many people do, then you should add St. Patrick's and St. Philomena's to the list. At any rate you'll probably want to contact the Diocese of Pittsburgh's Catholic Archives. They can be reached at:

Cardinal Dearden Center
4721 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Tel: (412) 456-3158
Fax: (412) 621-6237
Email: archives@diopitt.org

Address correspondences to - Burris Esplen.

If you're in the Pittsburgh area, then you might wish to check out the following website for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society: http://www.wpgs.org.

The Pennsylvania Department at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh may be able to offer you additional help.

Q: I would like to get in touch with the children/ direct relatives of Fritzie Zivic. My father, Young Kid McCoy, fought Fritz for the welterweight title to a draw in 1941. My family had a 16mm film of the fight, but it has been lost over the year. I was hoping the Zivic family still had a copy that I could put to DVD.

Any leads you could give me would be appreciated.

A: Unfortunately, neither Fritzie's wife nor his children are members of the Lawrenceville Historical Society, so we have no information about them. We will, however, be happy to pass along your request to our readers.

Fritzie actually fought your father twice. It was during the December 12, 1941 fight in New York that your father drew against Fritzie. However, during the August 9, 1943 in Pittsburgh he did not do so well. Fritzie knocked him out in the fourth.

If you are able to get a copy of either fight, please share it with us. We are eager to expand our collection regarding Fritzie's career.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Michael Pianga at acesfull@ez2.net.

Q: As part of my involvement with the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society, I am doing research on the history of petroleum refining in the Pittsburgh area.

In 1854, Samuel M. Kier built and operated the first petroleum refinery in North America, a 5-barrel still, at Grant Street and Seventh Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. Concerns about odors and fire hazards resulted in a city ordinance in 1861 that directed Mr. Kier to move his operation outside the city limits. According to one reference (George S. Davidson, Spirit of Pittsburgh, 1927, page 93), the 5-barrel still was relocated to "the bank of the Allegheny River at Ewalt Street, now known as 43rd Street."

I see that an article by Jim Wudarczyk in the December 1993 issue of Historical Happenings describes the Ewalt Street Bridge or the Forty-Third Street Bridge, erected in 1870. Does anyone know the exact location of the Kier refinery on 43rd Street, and whether there are any remaining foundations or other evidence of its existence?

Sincerely,

Al Mann
Parsons Corporation
412-386-5070 (phone)
412-386-6404 (fax)
e-mail: al.mann@pp.netl.doe.gov

A: The Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny City for 1864-1865 lists Kier & Kirpatrick, oil dealers, as being on the corner of Ewalt and Railroad Streets. This Refinery can be seen in the 1872 Atlas of Pittsburgh's Seventeenth Ward, where it is listed as the J. C. Kirkpatric Refinery - Radiant Oil Works. It was on the riverside of the railroad tracks on the left side of the street as you face the river.

Both references can be found on the Historical Pittsburgh Project. As far as we know there are no remains of the oil works.

Q: Hi, My name is Cara and I live in the 10th ward. I was wondering if Jim Wudarczyk wrote anything about the 10th ward. I would be interested in reading more about my neighborhood.

A: Jim did write quite a bit about the Tenth Ward including:

”Historical Sites and Lost Landmarks of Lawrenceville's Ninth and Tenth Wards” by James Wudarczyk, - booklet
”History of Lawrenceville and Vicinity” (Multiple Volumes) by James Wudarczyk, - manuscript
Plus Jim wrote chapters on Matt Cvetic and Mary Schenley in our book A Doughboy's Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories and a chapter on George Croghan in the book Monster on the Allegheny . . . and Other Lawrenceville Stories.

There is also a great book about the 10th Ward written by Pat Scott, titled The Scotts on the Hill in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, which we highly recommend.

Q: Celita Hickman asks if anyone has anyone information on her father, Henry Tabb, who settled in Lawrenceville when he first moved to Pittsburgh?

A: The earliest reference we found regarding your father appears in the 1930 City Directory. He is listed as having lived at 3039 Penn Avenue. While this is the Strip District, many people consider the Strip to be part of Lawrenceville. According to this book, he worked as a laborer for Fort Pitt Oil and Paint Company.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Celita at hickmanc@carnegiemuseums.org.

Q: Do you know if there was an Episcopal Church in Lawrenceville in 1858? I found George Hodge's will and he requested a "proper Episcopalian funeral".

A: Lawrenceville had St. John's Episcopal Church at Main and Butler Streets. It appears as early as the 1837 Harris Business Directory.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Gary Rogers at PLUM64@aol.com.

Q: Randall W. Cooper writes:

I have begun to search for the residence of widow Naomi Barney, who was enumerated in the 1840 Census of Peebles Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. She was the sole occupant of her home in 1840.

In 1840, Naomi Barney was a close neighbor of a Woolslayer household. Can you help me identify what part of Peebles Township Naomi was living in, in 1840?

Thank you for any suggestions or information you may have. By 1850, Naomi Barney had returned to Greenup County, Kentucky, which is the county she was living in with her husband John R. Barney, before 1840. I do not have a date of death for John R. Barney, but it was apparently after 1822. There is quite a bit of uncertainty regarding John R. Barney's latter days.

Thank you again for your kind assistance. Naomi was my fifth-great grandmother. She was born in New Jersey about 1774 and first arrived in Greenup County, Kentucky in 1818 or 1819. Her departure point when she made her journey to Kentucky was said to be Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from where she traveled by flatboat down the Ohio River to Greenup County, Kentucky.

A: Please check http://genforum.genealogy.com/barney/messages/1014.html. The keeper of this site might be able to shed some additional information on Naomi. She is mentioned on this site as are her daughters.

I was not able to find anything on her yet, but I did locate Owen Barney who lived at 15 Spring Alley. He is listed in the 1864-65 Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Cities.

Spring Alley (now called Spring Way) runs through Lawrenceville and Pittsburgh's Strip District. It starts at 16th Street and ends at Ligonier Street in the vicinity of 35th or 36th Street. After the end of Spring Way comes about a block and a half of residential space, then Woolslayer Way starts. If it wasn't for this block or block and half, then Woolslayer and Spring Ways would be the same alley.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Randall at rwcooper@kellnet.com.

The following has been added on February 16, 2006.

Q: My name is Patti Bennett. I have two music schools in Buford, GA and Suwanee, GA. (Yes, our Suwanee is spelled differently than Foster's Swanee). This year we are studying American composers. I have been doing research on Stephen Collins Foster. I have two problems:

1. I can only find three pictures of him. I need more. I always make a presentation board for use in my classes and to display in the waiting area for students/parents to re-read. Surely more than three pictures exist of such a great historical figure.

2. I have looked for several years and have been unable to find any hymns (with music and words printed) by Foster. I have read in numerous biographies that he composed hymns. I have found the lyrics for two hymns of his Praise the Lord and While We Work for the Lord. However, I can find no printed music for the hymns. I collect old hymnals, and I have looked through each one for hymns by Foster, but so far have been unsuccessful in finding any.

Since Foster comes from your city, I was hoping you may be able to help me find pictures/photos of him and actual printed hymns.

Thank you very much!!

Patti Bennett
Owner/Instructor
Music by Patti, Buford and Suwanee Locations

A: We asked Kathy Miller Haines of the Center for American Music for her help on this one. Here is her reply:

In response to your questions:

1. I can only find three pictures of him. I need more. I always make a presentation board for use in my classes and to display in the waiting area for students/parents to re-read. Surely more than three pictures exist of such a great historical figure.

Unfortunately, only four photographs of Foster exist. Three of the pictures may be viewed on our website at http://www.pitt.edu/~amerimus/foster.htm

The fourth picture may be viewed at http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foster%2C_Stephen

In addition to our website, if you haven't already done so, please take a look at the site for PBS's American Experience documentary on Foster at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/foster/

2. I have looked for several years and have been unable to find any hymns (with music and words printed) by Foster. I have read in numerous biographies that he composed hymns. I have found the lyrics for two hymns of his Praise the Lord and While We Work for the Lord. However, I can find no printed music for the hymns. I collect old hymnals, and I have looked through each one for hymns by Foster, but so far have been unsuccessful in finding any.

All of Foster's lyrics, including the words to his hymns, may be found our website at: http://www.pitt.edu/~amerimus/chrono.htm (follow the link in the title to view the lyrics to each song).

The titles to his hymns are:

The Beautiful Shore
Oh! 'Tis Glorious!
Tears Bring Thoughts of heaven
Leave Me with My Mother
He Leadeth Me Beside Still Waters
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
Seek and Ye Shall Find
We'll all Meet Our Saviour
We'll Still Keep Marching On
The Angels Are Singing unto Me
The Pure, the Bright, the Beautiful
We'll tune Our Hearts
Tell Me of Angels, Mother
What shall the Harvest Be?
Don't Be Idle
Stand Up for the Truth
Over the River
While We Work for the Lord
Choral Harp
The Bright Hills of Glory
Praise the Lord

Foster's hymns never gained great popularity, which is probably why you haven't been successful in locating them in any of your hymnals. The music for all of these songs is included in: Saunders, Steven and Root, Deane L., editors. The Music of Stephen C. Foster: A Critical Edition. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990.

You might want to see if your local library has this title available.

Additionally, the Lester Levy collection at Johns Hopkins University has digital copies of reproductions of the first editions for most of Foster's songs, including the hymns. Just search on the title at http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/advancedsearch.html and you should be able to view the complete score for many of these songs.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best,

Kathy Haines
Associate Director
Center for American Music
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh PA 15260
412-624-4100
kmill@pitt.edu

Q: Can you tell me about Abraham Josephson, who sold caps in Lawrenceville during the 1920’s or there about.

A: The best we could come up with is Abraham Joseph, who resided at 4421 Davison Street in 1925. He had a confectionary store in 1915 at 4327 Butler Street and by 1920 had a Merchandise Store at 4327-29 Butler Street. We have no information on him selling caps, however, there was a Benjamin Josephson, who manufactured caps at 1106 Fifth Avenue in 1925. Perhaps the two were related and worked out some kind of deal where one would make the caps and the other sold them.

Abraham shows up as Abe Josephs in the soon to be released book by the Lawrenceville Historical Society, which is titled In Loving Memory . . . and Still More Lawrenceville Stories. We highly recommend that you purchase a copy for yourself.

Q: Who was the architect that designed the Butler Street gate to the Allegheny Cemetery? Is it true that it was designed in a military fashion to match the gate to the Allegheny Arsenal?

A: The man who designed the gate was John Chislett, who was the leading Pittsburgh architect of his day. It was finished in 1849. The design was not meant to be military in appearance, rather it is believed that the design was in the Tudor style of architecture and is said to have Romantic influence.

Chislett became the first superintendent of the cemetery.

Q: Mary Kraszczak asks: “Where is Stephen Foster’s wife buried?”

A: Our resident expert on Allegheny Cemetery, Mike Murphy, provided the answer to this one.

Jane Foster married again. She, like Stephen Foster, is buried in Allegheny Cemetery. Her tombstone bears her second married name, Mrs. Mathew D. Wiley. She became a telegraph operator and tragically burned to death on January 6, 1903.

The following has been added on February 12, 2006.

Q: Laurie YANDA-Byrd is seeking information about her ancestors. She writes:

I have some info (taken with a grain of salt) that my Great-Grand Parents were wed in October 1873. (They lived in Allegheny, but married in Lawrenceville) There street address that I have is 12 Saw Mill Alley near Chestnut.

First marriage for Maria Baster (Bastyr) b 1854 d ??? (Allegheny , PA) Second marraige for Jacob JANDA b 1846 d 1886 (Allegheny, PA) (His first wife was Anna Larva.)

Both were from Bohemia her arriving in 1870, him in 1869. They were Roman Catholics.

Where do I write for a marriage certificate that is this old? Or do they even exist?

There was one child, whose name was Peter GANDA. He was born in 1872. (Anna died after giving birth). This child only lived a few months, and he is buried on top of or under this great-grandparent (his father). In the 1880 census, they are listed as LANDA.

Thank you, Laurie YANDA-Byrd

P. S. As you can see this family has many spellings of the name. Any help is appreciated in advance.

A: The most likely place for the marriage certificate would be:

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
Archives & Records
Attn: Burris Esplen
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

(412) 621-6204

Anyone with additional information about this family is asked to contact Laurie at shoppingcoast2@comcast.net.

Q: Hello, my name is Michael Krupinsky.

I am working on a project about and honoring the Polish volunteers who joined and fought with the Polish Army in France in WWI.

I know that roughly 2,000 of these men came from the Pittsburgh area.

I found your website and its mention of Joseph Borkowski and his work on this subject.

Do you have any of his materials or any other materials on this subject? I believe the main library in Pittsburgh has one of them.

I am looking for any sources of information or memorabilia.

My project is currently a website, but if I can come up with enough material I have considered making it a book.

The site is: http://www.HallersArmy.com.

Thank you for any help!

Best Regards,

Michael Krupinsky

A: Unfortunately, the Lawrenceville Historical Society does not have any of Joe Borkowski's works on the subject of Pittsburghers that volunteered for the Polish Army in WWI.

We checked the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s catalog for his work on this topic. Here's what we found.

City of Pittsburgh's part in formation of Polish Army - World War I 1917-1920, by Joseh A. Borkowski.
Pittsburgh, Central Council of Polish Organizations, c.1956

The role of Pittsburgh's Polish Falcons in the organization of the Polish army in France, by Joseph A. Borkowski.
Pittsburgh, Polish Falcons of America, c.1972

We hope this helps you in your research.

Anyone with additional information is requested to contact Michael through his website at http://www.HallersArmy.com.

The following has been added on January 5, 2006.

Q: Jack R Reissman writes, “I was born in the 10th Ward and in the 30's, I remember playing sometimes at the dump that was on the site of what was known as the "Lucy Furnace". It was down at the river around 51st street. As a kid, all I remember about it was all of the garbage that was being dumped at that location.

I was wondering if anyone has ever mentioned it in your Historical travels? You might like to research that as I know from your web site, you are interested in finding "new" history about Lawenceville.”

A: Lucy Furnace was one of the early Carnegie works. It was named in honor of Lucy Carnegie, wife of Thomas Carnegie. It set many production records in its day. For a more detailed account of see pages 87 and 88 of Monster on the Allegheny . . . and Other Lawrenceville Stories by Allan Becer, James Wudarczyk and Jude Wudarczyk or the book History of the Carnegie Steel Company by James Bridge.

Lucy Furnace was dismantled on February 3, 1937.

Those with more information can reach Jack at johnrr_2@juno.com.

Q: I am searching for information on the Murray- Dawson - Finneran - Golden families who lived in the Lawrenceville area. Edmund and Winifred (Dawson) Murray lived on Foster Way and also on Herron Ave. Her Mother Margaret Dawson also lived around Herron Ave and Cargill. They were members of St. Augustine's parish and some records are at John the Baptist.

I would appreciate if anyone knows these families to contact me at karentkc@aol.com

Thanks so much

Karen Stein

Q: Elva Gedier asks, “Does anyone else remember the dry goods store that was located where Good’s Funeral Home is on Butler Street? What was the name of that store? This would have been somewhere between 1922 and 1927.”

A: Good Funeral Home is located at 4635 Butler Street. We checked the city directories for those years, and found no store at that address in 1922. In 1923 the Wayne Brass Foundry Company occupied that spot and were still there in 1929. Alas, it just seems like our memory plays tricks on us from time to time. Does anyone have any information on any stores in that block during the 1920’s (or maybe the early 1930’s)?

Q: John Carnprobst asks, “Can you help me find a picture of my great-great-grandfather? It appeared in one of the Pittsburgh newspapers dated September 11, 1894. His name is John Anderson and he is listed as a general, but was actually a colonel. He is wearing a Kepi.”

A: It was in the Pittsburgh Daily Dispatch. It was on page 22, which can be found in Microfilm N-59, Roll 22 at the Microfilm Room in Carnegie Library.

Q: Leanne writes, “I was wondering if you had anything - pictures, information and such on 4512-4520 Butler St? There was a saloon and grocer located there from at least 1870's - 1920's. There were owned by the HUFNAGEL family.

“This is what I have concerning the HUFANGEL who owned the saloon and grocery:

“Joseph (1838-1900) was a gardner for the Charles HARTMAN family, there he met Barbara SCHMIDT (1842-1906), who was a servant girl on the 1860 census. By 1863 they were married and by 1876 they had the saloon. After Joseph's death their sons Lawrence, Adam and Joseph ran the saloon and grocery. They attended St Augustine's and St Mary's in Lawrenceville, and are buried at St Mary's. They had the following children:

Gertrude (1863-??), Lawrence (1865-1935), Adam (1867-??), Maggie (1870-??) I believe became a nun, Josephine (1873-1907?) became a nun, Catherine Elizabeth (1876-??), Joseph (1879-??), and Philip Theodore (1885-??).”

A: If anyone can help Leanne, please contact her at missleanne2002@yahoo.com.

Q: Kay Reamensnyder writes, I am interested in finding information on the Stevenson/Stephenson family, who settled in the Lawrenceville area from Ireland. Their profession was Brick making.

I am also interested in the McKinley family, also in brick making... Sameul (b. ca. 1826) and Robert (b. Feb.2, 1830). Their father, John McKinley (d. 1834), and mother, Isabelle Anderson (b. 1791..d.ca. 1860) came from Ireland in July of 1833 (settled in Brownstown ???)

I am related through their older sister, Margaret Jane( b. ca. 1822 Ireland ...d. Jan. 19,1901, buried Alleghney Cem.). Margaret married Sameul G. Stevenson. Their children: David D. b. 1848...d. 1917....m. Emma ?, Isabelle ...b. Apr. 7, 1852...d. July 19, 1928 ....m. James Crumley on May 17, 1869.

Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.”

A: There is a small write up about the brick company appearing in the following book:

Author: Consolidated Illustrating Company. Title: Allegheny County Pennsylvania : illustrated / compiled by the Consolidated Illustrating Co.,

Originally Published: Pittsburgh, Pa : The Company, c1896. page 130.

You will also want to see:

Author: Fleming, George Thornton, 1855-1928.
Title: Vol. 4 History of Pittsburgh and environs, from prehistoric days to the beginning of the American revolution, by George Thornton Fleming.
Originally Published: New York, Chicago, The American historical society, inc., 1922. pages 269 and 270.

These and other hits can be found for Samuel McKinley in the "Historic Pittsburgh Project" website. You will have to go through the site yourself to determine whether or not the hits belong to your family. This excellent website will provide you with tons of information on local history, and may even include information about brick manufactures of the region. Unfortunately, the hits on this website are not always legible. In these cases you'll have to come to the library and see the book. At least the website tells you which book to see and the pages to read.

Q: Mary Bates writes, “Was a portion of Allegheny Cemetery once called Collins Town? I saw an old map of Allegheny Cemetery in a cemetery book entitled Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography. It showed Lawrenceville and Allegheny Cemetery. Across the cemetery area there was written "Collins Town" I know that Steven Foster's middle name is Collins. Is there a connection?”

A: Collins Town was actually Collins Township. It encompassed an enormous area. While we don't know for sure we think that all of Allegheny Cemetery was part of it. A portion of the cemetery had been also said to have belonged to the community of Hatfield. As far as we know Hatfield was part of Collins Township.

The township was named in honor of a prominent lawyer and politician Thomas Collins. His wife was from Maryland, and was a childhood friend of Eliza Foster, Stephen’s mother. Mrs. Collins's son Stephen died at the age of 12 shortly before the birth of Stephen Foster. To honor the memory of her friend's son, Mrs. Foster named her son Stephen Collins Foster.

Mrs. Collins had a slave named "Lieve", which was short for Olivia. She gave this slave to the Fosters as a gift to help care for Stephen. These "gifts" were common practice among the wealthy of that time.

It was also common practice in that era to name a child after a wealthy person you knew in hopes that when the person died they would leave your child money in their will.

Q: Angie McKean writes, “I am a design student at the University of Idaho. I am currently working on my senior thesis, and in doing so I am using the Heppenstall Steel mill as my project site. I have looked through your site and enjoyed reading the question and answer section. It has given me some good insight into the town of Lawrenceville. I was a little surprised not to find much information or mention of the mill. It would seem to me that the mill was a large part of the town's history, but I have had some trouble finding much information on the factory, and the family who owned it. I am most interested in how the mill affected the city while still in service and after the closure, the economic realities of the mill's closure on Lawrenceville, and the overall feeling the town has about the mill. I am curious if the mill workers had a favorite pub in town that they all went to on off hours. What was Lawrenceville like when the mill was still functioning? Was it a hub for shopping and entertainment like Braddock used to be? How did the community feel about the Heppenstall family? Were they good people, or not looked highly upon? Are there any Heppenstall family members around today and where?

I also notice that Stephen Foster is an icon in your community. Are there other icons that are not as known, but that really influenced the town? The Heppenstalls maybe?

A: Thank you for your interest in our community.

First, I would like to clear up what might be a misconception on your part. Lawrenceville is not a town, although it used to be one. In 1868 it was absorbed into the city of Pittsburgh and is now a neighborhood within the city. Pittsburgh has dozens and dozens of neighborhoods within its boundaries.

The community was booming from around the 1850's or 1860's until the 1970's. Heppenstall's like the other mills in Pittsburgh started suffering a major down turn during the 70's. Although many Democrats will argue that the mills boomed during the Carter administration and closed as a result of the Reagan era this is simply not true. I remember that I got out of high school in 1974 and started looking for work in the mills in earnest starting in 1975. From that point until the mills closed in the early 1980's every mill or foundry in which I applied for work told me that they had people laid-off. Every single one told me that they were anticipated closing for good. Hence it was no surprise to me that mills closed permanently in the early 1980's.

Heppenstall's was no exception to this industry wide down turn.

It was probably the largest mill and the second largest employer in Lawrenceville, but could not come close to comparing in size to the huge mills in Braddock, Homestead and Aliquippa. The largest employer was St. Francis Hospital, which just recently closed. The neighborhood certainly has a lot going for it now, but it is a mere shadow of its former self.

There were, and to some extent still are, many bars in the neighborhood. We never called them "pubs" until recently. They were always called bars, saloons, taverns and "moony joints". Probably, the most popular watering hole for the guys at Heppenstals would have been Andy's Bar on the corner of 43rd and Willows Streets, which was owned by Andy Golembiewski. It folded as a result of loss of business due to the closing of the mills. It is now the River Moon Restaurant.

Not only has the closing of the mills affected the bars it has had a devastating effect on the economy of the entire neighborhood. We had two flourishing business districts. The largest was along Butler Street with the next largest on Penn Avenue. There were clusters of small stores and businesses throughout the area most notably along Main Street, Hatfield/Harrison/Plummer Streets, Davison Street, and individual small stores and businesses on numerous corners throughout the neighborhood. Almost all of these places are now closed.

Most people in my generation moved out of Lawrenceville because there were no jobs in Pittsburgh. Others have left because there is little space for parking cars. As the older people died off the population dropped from 33,000 in the year 1900 to just over 11,000 with the last census.

From what I heard about the Heepenstall family, people have told me that the "old man" was great, but the sons did not give a darn about other people and they ran the business into the ground. I never met any of the family and can not comment as to whether or not any of this is true, or if people are just bitter over losing their jobs.

Regarding other local icons - Max Leslie was a very famous politician of his era. He was known as the political kingmaker of his day. Lawrence Park was renamed Leslie Park in his honor.

George Crogan, the frontiersman, is believed to have been the role model for the character Hawk-Eye, who appeared in the book LAST OF THE MOHICANS.

Mary Schenley was a great benefactor to Pittsburgh. Schenley Park here in Pittsburgh was named after her.

The iron magnate, John Shoenberger, had his summer estate in Lawrenceville. Andrew Carnegie once said that Shoenberger was to iron what he, Carnegie, was to steel. John's first wife, Margaret, was such a kind and giving woman that he left money in his will for a hospital to be established and named St. Margaret Hospital in her honor. This hospital was located in Lawrenceville, but like so much of the community it too is gone.

There is, of course, Matt Cvetic, the man who infiltrated the Communist Party of America as an informer for the FBI, and the World Welterweight Champ, Fritzie Zivic, to name a couple more. See the movie I Was a Communist for the FBI.

The following has been added on December 11, 2005.

Q: Cheryl Mosco asks, “Do you know anything about General Alfred Pearson? I was told that there was a rumor that he may have lived in my house in 1881 at 250 39th Street. I looked at the deed. It lists Alfred L. Parson as the property holder. I did not think my house was that old, but it says the lot had a building erected. Although that lot encompassed a larger lot, the size wasn’t listed. I knew there was a General who lived on that block, but I thought it was the yellow brick building that sits up high on the corner.”

A: General Alfred Pearson was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, and was involved in the Railroad Strike of 1877. You can read about his role in the Railroad Strike in our book A Doughboy’s Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories.

With the assistance of the Historic Pittsburgh Project at digital.library.pitt.edu I found an 1872 map of 39th Street. Pearson's house was located directly across from the pathway in the old Allegheny Arsenal (now Arsenal park) that runs between the powder magazine (now called the hut) and what is now the ball field. His property ran from 39th to 38th and was next door to the old Lawrenceville (or 39th Street) Episcopal Church. There are some newer homes on the site of the church. They were probably built shortly after WWII, or so people have told me. From the looks of the map it appears that there is a kitchen or porch protruding from middle of the back of the house. Also, the house definitely sat back from the street some distance. Hopefully, this will help you to determine whether or not your house was General Pearson’s home.

I hope this helps answer your question. If you are doing a house history, please donate a copy to the Lawrenceville Historical Society.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact us, or contact Cheryl directly at Cheryl.Mosco@ssa.gov.

Q: I am trying to determine which Lutheran church (Saint John's or Zion) a Rev. T .B. Yeakley was from. I have Jung and Knobel ancestors from Lawrenceville, and my grandparents were married at home in 1911 by Rev. Yeakley.

A: According to the 1915 City Directory, Rev. T. B. Yeakley was pastor of the Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at the corner of 44th and Sherrod Streets. This church is not the same as the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, which was at that time and still is located at 37th and Bandera (then called Bank) Street. The latter church belongs to the Missouri Synod. The directory did not say to which synod the 44th Street Church belonged. However, Rev. Yeakley belonged to the Maryland Synod, therefore, it is probable that the parish likewise belonged to the Maryland Synod.

Rev. Yeakley resided at 326 Main Street.

Q: Toni Naser, who can be reached at toni_n23@yahoo.com says, “I am interested in information about the Naser family of Lawrenceville. Philip Naser was a baker on Butlet St. Any information would be helpful I know that there were many Naser families living there in 1800's and early 1900's.”

A: The Naser family seems to have been prominent in the Lawrenceville business community of the mid-nineteenth century. Phillip Naser does show up as a baker in the Directory of Pittsburgh and vicinity - 1857-58. This book states that he was a baker at Butler and Arsenal. As Arsenal Way does not intersect Butler Street this suggests to me that he worked as civillian baker at the Allegheny Arsenal, which used to be located between 39th and 40th Streets.

This same source lists August Naser as a cabinetmaker, but apparently he was not from Lawrenceville.

John Naser shows up as early as 1857 as an innkeeper at Butler and Borrough (or Burrows) Street. Borrough Street is the old name for 41st Street. In 1877 he is listed as living at 24 - 41st Street, and M. V. Naser is shown as owning the tavern at 41st and Butler.

During 1877 we also find C. P. Naser of Young & Naser Livery Stable, which appears to have been somewhere between 40th and 41st Streets below Butler.

Backtracking to 1864 we find that Henry Naser worked for the Lawrence Exchange and he lived at Butler and Main Streets.

Charles Naser was a firefighter for the Lawrenceville Hose Company. (See Our Firemen, which was edited by Charles T. Dawson in 1889. His name appears on page 172.)

Given the close proximity of all these men I would venture a guess that they were all relatives.

Good luck on your research, and please share your results with us. If you do little write-ups about your ancestors we can post them on our Memorial Page.

The following information was added on November 27, 2005.

Q: Jan Ackerman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asks: "In your book A Doughboy's Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories you mention that Lillian Russell's husband, Alexander Moore, was a publisher. For which company did he work.

A: Mary Kraszczak, who will portray Lillian Russell for the Lawrenceville Historical Society in November 2006 informs us that Alexander Moore was the owner/publisher of the newspaper The Pittsburgh Leader.

Q: jimandjackie41@netzero.com write: "I am looking for a list of small businesses in lawrenceville around the 1960's. Any names would be welcome."

A: Your best bet would probably be to come to the Microfilm Department at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in the Oakland section of the city. Get the city directory for whatever year you want and print out the streets that interest you. The largest concentration of small businesses were located along Butler Street, however, there were quite a few on Penn Avenue and many more along the side streets plus some on Liberty Avenue.

Cost is $.30 per page, if you do it yourself. The machines only take dimes. If you don't live in Pittsburgh you can contact Paula Kepich at kepichp@carnegielibrary.org, who runs that department. She'll be able to provide you with current prices for someone at the library to do the work, and answer any questions you might have.

This could be costly in terms of both money and time as there are many streets in Lawrenceville. If you can narrow the search to a specific store or section of Lawrenceville and a specific year, perhaps we can help you better.

Q: Joanne Weis asks: "My Grandfather worked for the Best Company somewhere in Lawrenceville. Can you tell me where this company was located?"

A: The Best Company manufactured pipes, fittings and valves. It ran between 37th and 38th Streets along the railroad tracks that run through Skunk Hollow above Liberty Avenue.

Q: Kathy at McCuean@aol.com asks: "When was Canterbury Place an orphanage?"

A: It started as the Episcopal Church Home in 1861. It was a home for aged women and an orphanage at this time, and continued as an orphanage for many years to come. The most current reference I could find for it being an orphanage is 1935. When I was growing up in the 1960's and 1970's it was no longer an orphanage, but was a home for aged women. Residents were originally called inmates.

Canterbury took over the facility in 1985. Prior to that only Episcopalians were permitted. Today there are no restritictions based on race or creed.

The following information was added on January 25, 2005.

UPDATE:Earlier we received a request from Cora Ott for pictures of Calvin Street. The following picture was provided by Terry O'Connor, who in turn got it from Rosemary McKittrick. Rosemary writes:

When I first started writing my column for the Post-Gazette, I did a number of stories on Pittsburgh History in it....One in particular was Lawrenceville...Back then, St. Francis Hospital had its own photographer...He let me go through the hospital's photographic archives and pick out photos of the old neighborhood. Then he blew them up and gave them to me hoping some might appear in the paper...The editors went with a photo of the old firehouse on Calvin Street for that particular column....

When the hospital decided to expand they took lots of photos, including aerial ones...




Calvin Street is between the Hospital's main entrance and the large parking lot.

The following questions were added on January 11, 2005.

UPDATE:La Verne Szczypinski asked us what the residents of Lawrenceville are called. (See below). In her book Pittsburgh: a Place In Time, author Abby Mendelson refers to us as Laurentians (p. 101).

The following questions were added on December 26, 2004.

Q: I am searching for the location of my great-grandfather’s hotel in Lawrenceville. It might not have been "Bannon" Hotel, but "Bannon" was up on the top of the facade of the building and as I walked Butler Street last and chatted with people -- different ones remembered the word "Bannon" on a building. I saw different buildings with a family name or a business name high on the building on a piece of stone or whatever. We just assumed the name to be "Bannon" Hotel, but it might not have been.

I feel it was between the Cemetery and the bridge near Arsenal School, and it was on the riverside of Butler Street. People remembered it there as well and my father agrees. It was in business during the last part of the 1800s until at least 1925 or so. My Dad remembers being there, and he was born in 1917. It was his Grandfather's business and the Grandfather often helped people escaping Ireland after being in trouble there.

The building seemed to survive long after the business closed according to some of the older neighborhood people with whom I chatted. One of the people working in an antique shop near the bridge remembered the building. I wished I had gotten her name. I (at that time) felt I'd walk down the street and find the building. I walked clear to Nied’s Hotel without luck. The farther I got from the bridge, the less anyone remembered a building that said "Bannon" on the top.

Sincerely,

Dr. Richard Bannon - IOWA92216043520@aol.com

Q: I'm a researcher down in Virginia trying to find a list of Morgan's Raiders taken prisoner back in the Civil War. I understand a learned individual named Joseph Borkowski has such a list ... and that he's affiliated with your esteemed organization.

Is there any way to get a message to him? I'm just trying to verify one or two names that might be on this list.

Sincerely,

Kate McK.

A: Unfortunately, Joe Borkowski passed away on February 22, 2003. His list of Morgan’s Raiders consisted only of the names of those individuals that were confined in prison in Allegheny County. It was not a complete list.

If anyone can provide Kate with a complete list please contact her at KateMcKennaDC@aol.com or write to us and we’ll be happy to pass along the information.

Q: I have been researching my family surnames of Porco and Cappellano. I know they resided in Lawrenceville in the 1920s and 1930s. I have found them at 140 -43rd Street, Lawrenceville, PA on the 1920 and 1930 censuses. According to the 1930 census, my great great great grandfather was a grocer at his own store. His name was Guiseppe Porco, but also went by the name Joseph. I was curious to find out if anyone could help me find out the name and address of the store. I am also interested in any possible photos of it.

Lastly, I know most of my relatives are supposedly buried in St. Augustine's cemetery. Do you know if anyone volunteers to search tombstones in that cemetery? I appreciate any help.

Stacy Huston

3539 E. Mockingbird Ct.

Gilbert, AZ 85234

Or Stacypooh@hotmail.com.

Q: Do you have any information on W. Ralph McNulty? The Lawrenceville V.F.W. is named for him but I wondered if you had any information about him or would know where I could find information on him.

Thank you,

JoAnn Stupka

A: The Lawrenceville Historical Society’s book A Doughboy’s Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories has a chapter about to McNulty as well as a picture of him.

Q: My name is Donna Knechtel Paszek and I lived on Milgate Street and attended Arsenal when it was a middle school back in the 50's. My family was originally from Lawrenceville, living on 38th Street where my great-grandfather, William Simmers, had a store and stable. I also had another great-grandfather, Valentine (Braun) Brown, who had a waffle wagon. My family and I are curious to see if you have any information on the waffle wagon.

We would also be interested to know if you have any information on William Simmers.



A: Can anyone help Donna? If so, then please e-mail her at dmpaszek@comcast.net or let us know and we’ll pass the information along to her.

Q: I am especially interested in how some of the streets in Lawrenceville were named, especially in the Ninth Ward area.

Thanks,

Dan Fullen

4076 Gator Trace Road

Fort Pierce, FL 34982

A: There are hundreds of streets in Lawrenceville. Could you be a little more specific as to which streets interest you? Many of the numbered streets had other names, but seem to have been changed when the borough of Lawrenceville was absorbed into Pittsburgh in 1868. For example, 43rd Street used to be called Ewalt Street named after the Ewalt family that owned property on that street.

Foster Street in the Ninth and Sixth Wards and Foster Way in the Sixth Ward are named after the Foster family. William Foster was the founder of Lawrenceville and his son, Stephen, was the famous composer.

Other streets also had name changes after Pittsburgh absorbed Lawrenceville. For example, Washington Street became know as Willow and Hatfield Streets. School Way, which was named because of the school on it, became Service Way.

Many streets still have their old names. Fisk Street was named in honor of industrialist and civil servant, Alba Fisk.

In order to research the street names I'll need to know in which streets you are interested.

Q: Mike asks, “Where was the Claremont Workhouse that was mentioned in your book A Doughboy’s Tale . . . and More Lawrenceville Stories?”

A: The Historic Pittsburgh Project shows it as being just east of the mouth of Guyasuta Creek on the north shore of the Allegheny River. The maps do not clearly show if Claremont was in O’Hara Township, Hoboken or Aspinwall. It was also called “the Poor House” and was close to the Hoboken and the Claremont Railroad Stations.

Q: Where can I find the records for the Episcopal Church Home Orphanage, which used to be located on 40th Street and Penn Avenue? It is now part of Canterbury Place.

A: According to Monica Reidner, Director of Canterbury Place, information from limited records are available by writing to both Canterbury Place and the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. You must receive permission from both locations before the information will be released.

The following questions were added on December 19, 2004.

Q: Barry reported seeing old streetcar tracks when the construction crews tore up 44th Street while razing the old St. Francis Hospital. He was wondering which streetcars ran in Lawrenceville and when did they stop running?

A: We had to call in Rich Bassett, our resident streetcar expert for this one. Here's what he had to say.

Is Barry sure that the tracks were on 44th Street and not Penn Avenue? [ed. Note - Barry said he's sure.] The 88 Frankstown, which traveled along Penn Avenue past 44th Street stopped running on January 27, 1967.

The 94 Sharpsburg and the 95 Butler St. stopped running on November 13, 1960. Both of these routes were part of the old Citizens Traction Co., which started cable cars in 1889.

In Pittsburgh Railway Vol. I (Ronald L. Beals, Copyright 9/11/01) a good description is given to early operation in Lawrenceville. I was amazed to see a map in this book with tracks on several streets below Butler Street between 34th Street and the old 43rd Street Bridge. Much detail is given to this, plus the opening of the “new” 62nd Street Bridge in 1872, which was again replaced in the early 1960’s.

I rode the carlines on the last day both in 1960 and 1967! I see nothing in several maps of any track leaving Penn Avenue in the 44th St. area.

And who can forget the old flying fraction the 77/54? What an interesting history this one has.

The 77 ran in both directions (clockwise and counter clockwise) in a loop along Penn/Main/Liberty/Millvale/Centre/Craig/Forbes through downtown and returning to Lawrenceville. The 54 was the Carrick-Oakland. I am not sure when the loop was discontinued, with the merger of the 77 and 54. At that time the addition of service to the North Side was introduced. (The 16th St. was built WITHOUT car tracks!)

When the Brady Street Bridge was declared unsafe for streetcars in the early 60’s, the route was again split in two.

This continued until Labor Day, 1965, when the 54C continued operation over much of the 77/54 route. The South Hills end has been changed several times. The trips to Bon Air replaced an old single-track trolley line that was abandoned in 1951. Trips via Polish Hill replaced the old Herron Shuttle that ran between 28th & Liberty in the Strip to Centre Avenue and Craig Street in Oakland.


Q: Amy Picci of New York City asks if anyone has heard of the newspaper called the Lawrenceville Gazette? She wants to locate a picture of her grandfather Armand "Herman" Selvaggio from L'ville who was on the front page for auctioning off a chicken to raise money to purchase paper and pens for the G.I.'s during WWII. Does any of this sound familiar? Can anyone help? If so, Amy can be reached at picchi@aol.com.

A: We have not heard of a paper with that specific title. However, there was a paper put out for the fellows in the armed forces called The News and it was geared toward keeping the guys informed about events at home as well as keeping the neighbors informed about guys and gals in the service. It served the folks in the armed forces that hailed from Lawrenceville, Bloomfield and Garfield during WWII.

This paper was the brainchild of Helen Zinsser, who had no children of her own, but wanted to do something for the guys overseas. Helen and several other concerned citizens banded together and put out the weekly paper (a one sheet affair) at their own expense. They distributed the papers around the neighborhood and asked the neighbors to send them to the guys in the army, navy, etc. Helen owned a small grocery store in Lawrenceville. I think it was on Penn Avenue between Fisk and Main Streets, but I'm not sure.

The editor was a man named George Busch.

Q: Can you provide me with any information/pictures of the amaeteur boxer—“Jumping Joe” Barone? I am most interested, as I may be a distant relative.

Thanks,

Ken Mori

A: Unfortunately, I have not been able to determine whether or not Jumping Joe Barone was from Lawrenceville or not. However, he was definitely from Pittsburgh.

Barone was a featherweight with 11 known fights under his belt. Almost all his fights were in Pittsburgh or Fritzie Zivic's place in Millvale. (Fritzie, a boxer from Lawrenceville, was the World Welterweight Champion in 1940. He bought a park, and called it the Zivic Arena.)

Barone beat Vic Eisen on March 15, 1947. He then went on to win again a string of victories in 1947. The first was against Dick Cook on June 9th, the second against Willie Anderson on October 9th and the third against Frankie Pucci on November 6th. He lost on December 11th to Filberto Osario.

Jumping Joe started 1948 with a win over Jauan Manuel on January 15. On January 27th he fought Osario again and lost that one too. He went on to beat Proctor Heinhold on July 12th and Bobby Bell on June 1st of the following year. Barone ended his boxing career with two more losses. The first of these two was against Mimmie Adragna on June 28, 1949 and the latter was against Auburn Copeland on April 26, 1951.

Q: We would really love to have some pictures of Radiant Hall the way it looked in the old days. Can anyone help? If so, contact Gloria Sarnowski at the Pittsburgh Gateways Corp.

Q: I am interested in finding information about the Woolslair(Woolslayer-Woolslare) family that were very early residents of the Lawrenceville area. My ancestor John Woolslayer(1763-1839) had large land holdings in the area and possibly named a section that is shown on early maps as "Springfield Farms" in honor of the family farm in Bucks County PA.

Any information that you could lead me to concerning the above family, will be greatly appreciated.

Thanking you in advance,

Wayne Woolslare

A: We understand that the family had a large farm on the south side of Penn Avenue, which was at that time called the Greensburg Pike, the Pennsylvania Turnpike or just the Turnpike. That is to say that Penn Avenue bore these names, not the farm. I don't know exactly where the farm started or ended. David Woolslayer appears in the 1837 Harris Business Directory as a farmer in Lawrenceville, but does not appear in the 1839 version of that book.

I heard a story about a farmer Woolslayer, but have never been able to verify this tale. Nor have I been able to learn the first name of this gentleman. It seems that this farmer lived in Peeble's Township along the border of Lawrenceville. He wanted his farm to be in Lawrenceville because it was a more prestigious community. He asked the Lawrenceville town council if the farm could be taken into the community. They agreed and he lived in Lawrenceville until that borough was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1868. Around 1869 the city officials noticed that farmer Woolslayer had not been paying his taxes to Peebles Township for quite a long time and went to take his farm away from him. Mr. Woolslayer fought the seizure in court and the court ruled that he was in fact part of Lawrenceville and the city had to drop its case.

Today there is an alley called Woolslayer Way that runs a half a block above and parallel to Penn Avenue. It goes from 36th Street to Friendship Avenue. There is also a Woolslair School at 40th Street and Liberty Avenue. It originally opened as Lawrenceville's first high school, but was change to an elementary school in 1917 with the opening of Schenley High School.

The Woolslayer family is said to have named part of their estate "Bloomfield". A community by that name grew up in that area and residents will argue to this day if their street is in Lawrenceville or Bloomfield. Those that favor living in Bloomfield will say that their zip code is 15224. The U. S. Government calls the post office in that zip code zone the Bloomfield Postal Station. These folks say that since the Federal Government deems them as living in Bloomfield they live in Bloomfield.

The others who say that they live in Lawrenceville say that the court deemed the area as Lawrenceville. Therefore, it is Lawrenceville.

"Springfield Farms" was the estate of Congressman Harmar Denny, and as far as we know was never owned by any of the Woolslayer/Woolslare/Woolslair family. The two estates were close to each other.

Anyone with additional information can contact Wayne at woolslare@hotmail.com.

Q: Hello, my name is Stacey Jean Merlo(my maiden name is Tallean), and I have been trying to research some of my family history.

One of the most interesting things in my family history is, unfortunately, that my Great Grand Father, Stephen Tallean, was the victim of a murder. I have had a heck of a time locating anything at all on him. I don't know very much about him. I know that he was from Budapest in Austria-Hungary and that he lived, I believe, on Foster St by the 40th St Bridge. I think he died in either 1920 or 1921.

Unfortunately, I am not sure how his name was being spelled at the time. He had a wife, 3 sons (John, Frank, & Stephen) and a daughter (Ann). He was a night watch man, and he was shot in the head while at work one night. I was wondering if you could possibly offer me any assistance in locating any information at all on him. After his death, his wife remarried a man named Joe. (I think that was his name.)

I am sorry I don't have more info, but I am the youngest in the whole family and I don't think anyone really knows that much about it. His son, who was my grandfather, died in 1985, so I can't get any info from him. I don't even know what season it was when he died. Any assistance you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Stacey J. Merlo

A: We have no information on this person or his murder. Can anyone help? Stacey can be reached at stacey640@msn.com.

Q: Sister Martha is searching for any information on the underground railroad in Lawrenceville.

A: Throughout the last two decades we have heard that there were (and possibly still are) numerous tunnels in Lawrenceville that were used by smugglers and abolitionists to hide their wares and runaway slaves.

Unfortunately, we have never found either written evidence or the actual tunnels to support these claims. If you find anything regarding this topic, please pass it along to us. It is a subject that has wide interest, and we would appreciate your help.

Q: I recently picked a print of what appears to be an architects rendering of the Holy Family Church (Kosciol Najsw Rodziny) in Lawrenceville. It appears to have been given to people who donated 10.00 to the building fund in 1939. The word Foundatorzy (founders) is printed on the bottom right hand of the print beside two lines. On the top line is a persons name and below that "ofiana $10.00 1939".

I was wondering if you knew anything about such prints being given out to raise money for the church's construction. More specifically I would like to know who was the Architect and or architectural firm for the church. Any information at all would be great.

Thanks so much,

Frank Oreto

A: According to One Hundred and Seventy-Five Years of Religion in Lawrenceville, 1815-1990 by James Wudarczyk, "Anthony Pysdrowski of Pittsburgh was awarded the contract as architect engineer and builder of the church." See page 201.

This is the first we’ve heard about these prints. Thanks for sharing the information.

If anyone else has information please contact Frank at: Frank Oreto, Eljay's Used Books, 1309 East Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203.

The following questions were added on December 18, 2004.

Q: I am preparing a project for my church, St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Shadyside. In 2000, St. Andrew and St John's church merged. I am trying to find out the Sociological history of Lawrenceville so that I can tie into the organizations and history of St. John's.

What I am looking for is from the years 1859 through 1979 is what happened in Lawrenceville, such as epidemics, social changes main types of industry ect. If you could please provide me with some referral source, I would appreciate your help.

If you need to contact me, please call my cell phone at 412-215-4901 during the day.Thank you for your assistance.

Stan Ricketts

sbricketts@verizon.net

A: You have definitely contacted the right people. Take a look at our website. Check out the page www.lhs15201.org/articles_b.asp?ID=9. Here you'll find a number of very good sources on Lawrenceville History. You'll want to read anything that James Wudarczyk, wrote. Also read Miscellaneous History of Lawrenceville by Joseph Borkowski. Another good book to read is Monster on the Allegheny . . . and Other Lawrenceville Stories by Allan Becer, James Wudarczyk and Jude Wudarczyk. A City Parish Grows and Changes by Sr. Martina Abbott, S. C and History of St. Mary's by Rev. Raymond Conway are good church histories, but have a lot of other history and information too. Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit - The History of St. Francis Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Carolyn Leonard Carson is a good history of St. Francis Hospital and The Story of St. Margaret by Mary Brignano are both good histories of the hospitals of Lawrenceville and contain information about life in the neighborhood. All these books are available at Carnegie Library.

Read The history of the Carnegie steel company; an inside review of its humble origin and impressive growth by James Howard Bridge. This will provide you with a good understanding of the early years of the steel industry in Lawrenceville.

The Pennsylvania Department at Carnegie Library has a lot of information on Lawrenceville as does the library of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. The Historic Pittsburgh Project is the best website I have ever seen on researching local history. It can be reached at http://digital.library.pitt.edu.

Anyone with additional information can contact Stan at sbricketts@verizon.net.

Q: Frank Heath asks, “What was the Iron City Band? Did it have anything to do with the Brewery in Lawrenceville?”

A: I seem to remember hearing that Pittsburgh Brewing had a band, an athletic club and several other organizations for the employees. However, we have not discovered any written basis for this claim. Hence we can’t determine whether it’s true or not.

I found one reference to the Iron City Brass Band in the book My High School Days by George Thorton Fleming. (See page 54.) According to the book, the band was on hand for the celebration when the cornerstone of Central High School was laid on September 30, 1869. This is Central Public High School, which was Downtown, and should not to be confused with Central Catholic High School which still stands in Oakland.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Frank Heath at bandwagon_@yahoo.com.

Q: Barbara asks: if you have the ages of the two Mathias Wilhelms who died together. (See below.) I am researching Mathias Wilhelm I, who came from France before 1828 and was the immigration sponsor for my ancestor Ignatius Arbogast, as they had come from the same village.

Mathias had a son, Mathias, who was shown as 32 in the 1850 census, and his son Mathias was listed as 5 that year.

The first Mathias was born in 1796, so the possible ages in 1870 could be about 74, 52, or 25. (By the way, my Arbogast ancestors are buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, also.)

Thanks!

Barbara

A: Unfortunately, we do not have the birth dates of either one of them. Marilyn Holt of the Pennsylvania Department of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh suggests that you call the Catholic Cemeteries Association. They can be reached at (412) 521-9133, or e-mail them at cca@ccapgh.org. If they can't help you, Marilyn said for you to contact her at holtm@carnegielibrary.org or (412) 622-3239.

Anyone with additional information can contact Barbara at bmay@postbox.esu.k12.oh.us.

The following questions were added on December 13, 2004.

Q: Mrs. Christine Jackson is looking for her ancestors, and she has asked LHS for help. Some of her people lived at 2415 1/2 Penn Avenue during the 1930's. She would like to find the names of their neighbors. Also, she's wondering how she might find some pictures to show what that stretch of Penn Avenue looked like at the time.

A: Christine, a good place to search for the names of those who lived near a particular address is to go to the Microfilm Department of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, which is located at 4400 Forbes Avenue. Ask for the city directories of the years in which you are interested. Go to that address and then look that other names. Not many people still live in that part of the city, but many people who were children in the 1930’s will still be living today. Once you get the names of your ancestors’ neighbors, you should then cross-reference them with the people who have the same names in the current telephone directory. This is a very time consuming process with a lot of dead ends because many people will have died, married or remarried, moved away or forgotten their neighbors. However, it sometimes pays off.

The following places all have pictures, but it takes some effort to look through them all. The library staffs are very helpful.

PA DEPARTMENT CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF PITTSBURGH 4400 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (412) 622-3154 {This facility has a complete collection of HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS.}

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 1212 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (412) 454-6000. There is a fee for non-members to use this facility.

THE HISTORIC PITTSBURGH PROJECT {This is a digital collection, and I use it extensively.} http://digital.library.pitt.edu

Best of luck.

Q: Margaret DeFazio writes:

Hi, wondering if anyone on the list might be able to direct me? I have recently starting re-researching a particular relative. I know for a fact that this ancestor registered for WWI, as I've seen his draft registration card.

He was married in the early 1900's, and had two sons. Suddenly, on the 1920 census, none of the family is to be found. I did find one possible son, but he is in the orphan's home. Don't know if this is the correct child, because there was other family around that could have taken him, so why would he be in an orphan's home? The wife and other son appear nowhere.

On the man's draft registration, he lists himself as single, and his mother as next of kin, which leads me to assume that his wife had died. Where I am going with this is, is there a way to find out if a relative died in WWI? No one that is still living knows anything.

Thanks much,
Maggie

A: Thanks for the puzzling questing regarding why the WWI soldier and son suddenly disappeared while the other son ended up in an orphanage. There are several possibilities as to why this may have happened. The most obvious one that occurs to me is that the family may have danced with the Spanish Lady. (That's a fancy way of saying that they fell victim to the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918-19.) This epidemic killed more people in less than one year than the First World War killed in four years. It was so bad that in Philadelphia the Army and police force were sent door to door checking on people. If nobody answered they broke the door down and would find entire families dead.

The dead were coming so fast that the people started putting the dead bodies on the front porches. City garbage wagons would ride along the streets picking up the bodies and placed them in mass graves.

To check to see if your family members died during this time contact the County Health Department. Based on what people have told me Allegheny County did not keep good records during this epidemic. This may be that the County workers were sick, but who knows.

Another possibility might be that the family suffered from a fire. Perhaps only one son survived. The city Fire Department might be able to help you there.

A third possibility might be that the father was killed during the War, one child died leaving the remaining child to be taken to an orphanage.

Audrey Iacone is the local expert on orphans. She might be able to help you. She can be reached at Ioconea@carnegielibrary.org.

Anyone with additional information or suggestions should contact Maggie at cmovahed@hotmail.com.

Q: In my continuing search for a possible "Old Lee" cemetery circa 1816 in the vicinity of the Arsenal and the 40th St Bridge in Lawrenceville, I've come across the 1872 map on the Historic Pittsburgh site:

http://digital.library.pitt.edu/maps/1872ind.html

There is a graveyard shown in the 17th Ward in Lawrenceville. The 1872 map shows the "Borough Grave Yard" surrounded by Main, Sherman, Fisk, and Davison Streets.

Does the Lawrenceville Historical Society have any information on this graveyard? Is there a chance it might have been in existence in 1816? Is it possible it could have been a graveyard on property once belonging to people named "Lee"???

I appreciate any information you might be able to share.

Thank you sincerely,

Carolyn "Cari" Thomas
western37@cox.net

A: The "Old Borough Cemetery" was called "The Washington Burying Ground" or the "Lawrenceville Burying Ground". It was formed around 1814 or thereabouts when William Foster, Stephen Foster's father and founder of Lawrenceville, donated some ground for the dead soldiers from the Allegheny Arsenal and residents of the new community.

Foster originally bought the land from Alexander Hill. Hill called his farm "Good Liquor." Unless Good Li, short for "Good Liquor" somehow got translated into Old Lee I can't fathom how there can be a connection between the two.

Bill Reynolds, one of our members and an expert on local cemeteries suggested that the cemetery might not be "the Old Lee Cemetery", but might have been "McElwee Cemetery". Some people pronounce McElwee as "Mik Ol Wee". Originally, I thought that this is long shot, especially when one considers that the McElwee Cemetery is in South Park and is nowhere near Lawrenceville. However, two of the family names that owned the land are Ewing and Kirkpatric. Both these families owned land along the Allegheny River on 43rd Street, three blocks from the Allegheny Arsenal. There used to a bridge there before they built the 40th Street Bridge. Perhaps the person you are searching was picked up on the Ewing or Kirkpatric property and buried in their family cemetery.

Hopefully, this could be a link. While I think it's a long shot, you might want to check it out.

The following questions were added on December 10, 2004.

Q: I'm looking for information on the 49th street railroad station and the Lawrenceville station.

stims@connecttime.net

A: We, too, are seeking information about the railroad stations in Lawrenceville. Unfortunately, there seems to be little information available. While looking at the 1886 Atlas found on the Historic Pittsburgh Project website it seems as if there were some extensive railroad works in the area bounded by 49th and 52nd Streets, the Allegheny Valley Railroad tracks and the Allegheny River. The station itself was between 49th and 50th Streets. The complex in which the station was located contained between one and five buildings. The map shows five buildings, but does not specify as to how many of these belonged to the Railroad.

The "Historic Pittsburgh Project" lists two Lawrenceville Stations on two separate maps. The first one appears in the 1872 Atlas of Pittsburgh. It was on the north side of the Allegheny Valley Railroad tracks and the east side of Ewalt Street (now 43rd Street). There used to be a covered bridge at the end of Ewalt Street and the Lawrenceville Station was located right before the bridge.

The second Lawrenceville Station appears in the 1904 Atlas of Pittsburg. (Note the lack of the letter “h” in the city’s name.) It was on the Polish Hill side of the Pennsylvania Railroad Tracks close to the 33rd Street Bridge. It looks as though Downing Street overlooked the station.

I hope this information proves to be helpful in your research. If you have additional information, please share it with us.

Q: I visited your site's section about Fritzie Zivic and was very interested to learn that a book was written about him. Could you please inform me of that book's publication date and the author's full name. I am a boxing historian with a strong interest in Mr. Zivic's career.

Robert Fanelli

A: Champ Fritzi Zivic . . . The Life and Times of the Croat Comet is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it. Our Vice President, Dan Simkins, has informed me that the book is available from time to time at auction on ebay.com. I also found it listed on another site. The author's real name is Joseph Pavlak, but he writes by the name Timpav. Unfortunately, I could not find a copyright date.

Q: Many of my Maloney ancestors lived, worked and owned businesses in Lawrenceville. I am looking for family history information about them.

I live in California but have visited the Carnegie Library in Oakland and the Heinz History Center on Smallman. I have also spent considerable time on the internet gathering census information, looking at Social Security records and researching The Historic Pittsburgh Project web site. I have looked extensively at the Pittsburgh City directories. With all of this effort, I have found a lot of informa-tion but still lack good information about how various Maloney families were related.

My great grandfather was T.D. Maloney who lived at 4404 Butler Street from 1892 to 1906. Some of his children continued to live there for many years after. He was in the coke and coal business from the mid 1880's until 1930. His business was located at the end of 44th Street, near the river. He also owned a livery business at 3706 Butler Street in the late 1880's and early 1890's. His business name in the later years was T.D. Maloney and Son (the "Son" was my grandfather Joseph Maloney). He had a number of business names but T.D. Maloney was usually in all names. His son, Wilbert Maloney, owned a men's clothing store at 4519 Butler Street from 1904 and was in business there for many years.

If you can put me in touch with anyone how knows anything about any Maloney's from Lawrenceville or can direct me to additional resources, I would greatly appreciative.

Thanks for anything that you do.

A: Since you have addresses of the buildings where your family had businesses you may wish to contact Carol Peterson. She is Lawrenceville's expert house and building historian. She does charge a fee for her work, but many people have told me that she is very thorough. She can be reached at cpeterson155@yahoo.com

Q: According to the docent at one of your Allegheny Cemetery tours, Ford City was named that because J. B. Ford, who is buried there, opened his PPG plant in Ford City. What was the name of the town before the plant opened?

A: Barry Chad of the Pennsylvania Department at Carnegie Library provided the following information.

“The Ford City Public Library says that Ford City was always called Ford City. However, according to our Dates of Incorporation book, Ford City, Armstrong County, was incorporated in 1889, laid out / settled in 1887 and incorporated from Manor Township.”

Q: What information do you have on the Allegheny Arsenal between the years 1920 and 2003? Bill

A: By 1920 the Arsenal had seen its day and was no longer much in use.

Most of the Upper Arsenal grounds (those above Butler Street) were sold to the city for a school and park. Only a small part, near Penn Avenue, was kept by the federal government. This was used for a Merchant Marine Hospital. About 1950 this facility was rented to Allegheny County for use as a Health Center. The buildings have remained shamefully neglected since then.

The Lower Arsenal (the grounds below Butler Street) was turned into a warehouse complex called the Arsenal Terminals.

One by one all the Arsenal buildings were razed until only four remain today. There are two small buildings used by the County Health Center for storage. The original powder magazine, now called "the Hut" is used for a combination city park center and Community Oriented Police (C.O.P.) Station. Restrooms were added as wings to the powder magazine during WPA projects of the 1930's.

The last remaining Arsenal building was, until recently, used as offices by an architectural firm.

Q: I was once told that the Children’s Room in the Lawrenceville Library is the first Children’s Room of any library in the world. Is this true?

A: I too have heard this, and I have been guilty of repeating it without verifying the facts. Heidi Estrin, a former Children’s Librarian at the Lawrenceville Branch of Carnegie Library, informed me that she had learned in college that the New York Public Library was the first library to have such a room. So I contacted New York Public Library to learn whether or not their earliest Children’s Room preceded the 1898 opening of ours. Here is the response from Marilyn Iarusso:

In response to your letter asking about the date of early children's rooms in the library, I have the following information.

The New York Public Library makes no claim to be the first library to have a children's room. Our claim to fame is Anne Carroll Moore, who came to our library to organize and run library services to children in September, 1906. She was quite influential in the field of library work with children. Our present philosophy of service grew out of principles she established. That may be why the librarian got the impression that we were the first to have a children's room. Our Central Children's Room opened on May 24, 1911.

There were a number of association, subscription, and settlement libraries in New York, which became part of the New York Public Library when it was incorporated in 1895. According to History of the New York Public Library by Harry Lydenberg, a children's library in the Washington Heights Branch was opened on February 7, 1869. Children's Rooms in other branches are mentioned in 1869, 1888, and 1899.


So you see the 1869 date definitely precedes our 1898 opening. However, we still believe that the Lawrenceville Branch’s Children’s Room was the first such room in any Carnegie Library.

Q: What can you tell me about the old theater across from the Doughboy Statue at the junction of Penn Avenue and Butler Street?

A: The Penn Theater was owned by Israel Roth of 1004 Portland Street. Because Mr. Roth was Jewish, his establishment was often the target of anti-Semitic graffiti.

Old time Lawrenceville residents have told me that it was the first theater in Lawrenceville to be integrated. They said that the seats on the left and center were for "Whites Only" while the seats on the right were "Reserved for Coloreds."

In his book Miscellaneous History of Lawrenceville, author Joseph Borkowski tells us that, "It was regarded as a high class movie house as it carried the best of the day."

The theater has been closed for decades now and I was informed that the building is up for sale, but it needs a tremendous amount of work. At one time I was told that Junction Coal Company owned the building, but I have never been able to verify this. Jay Design Company considered buying the building a few years ago, but the deal fell through.

We haven't as yet been able to find out yet when the theater opened or closed its doors.

The following questions were posted before December 10, 2004.

Q: I’m trying to find out any info on my grandfathers involvement in motorcycling in the pre-1915 era. He worked for C.P. Lesh Paper Company, and was supposed to have had both a Harley and an Indian back then. He was supposed to have been quite active in the sport, but had to give it up when given the choice of "the bikes or me" by my future grandmother. As I'm writing this instead of someone else, it's because he chose my grandma.

I can be reached at Jtwithner@aol.com.

Regards,
Dennis Withner

A: We searched the Carnegie Library and the Historic Pittsburgh Project for information on early clubs in the Pittsburgh area, but came up empty handed. We do know that there was some racing going on and that Wm. Augustus McCready, D.D.S., of the Press Cyclist Club, a bicycle club, served as a judge in some of these early motorcycle races.

Q: Which president came to Arsenal Park to unveil the fountain?

Tippi Comden

tcomden@mindspring.com

A: It was on May 29, 1909 that President William Howard Taft came to Lawrenceville. It was estimated that 10,000 people jammed Arsenal Part to see the President dedicate a drinking fountain which was presented to the City by the Dolly Madison Chapter of the Daughters of the War of 1812.

Q: Member Pat Scott, author of that great Lawrenceville saga, The Scotts from the Hill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania writes, "Does anyone have a photo of Holmes House that are willing to share? It can be sent to me at patscott@thesafety.net

or mail to:

Pat Scott
349 Arthur Drive
Volant, PA 16156

"I will pay handling costs."

She adds, “The first printing of The Scotts from the Hill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania sold out. The author anticipates that the book will go into a second printing. Stay tuned.”

A: Remember the Lawrenceville Historical Society is also looking for a copy of a photo of the Holmes House. If you can help Pat, why not help us too? We can scan the picture for our use, make a copy for Pat and give you back your original all at no cost to you. If you can help, please call us at (412) 683-1515.

Q: Catherine Burke writes: "The 1850 census of Allegheny County shows my ancestors John and Catherine Trax to be living in Lawrenceville. He was a cabinetmaker, and I was told that he drowned in an accident picking ice.

"Where I would like your help is if you can direct me to where I can search obituaries for the time period of 1852 and 1860 in your area. I would also like to know what cemeteries in the area it would be likely that he would be buried in. Also, where can I read about Lawrenceville during this era?"

A: The only John Trax we could find appears on page 306 of the book Under the Red Patch by Gilbert Adams Hays. This book says that John Trax was mustered in the Union Army on August 1, 1861 and was discharged August 29, 1862 due to wounds suffered at the Second Battle of Bull Run. He apparently served in the 63rd Regiment/Company B. As your John Trax died before this date, he is obviously not the same man, but may have been his son. At any rate he was the only one we could find.

We searched the Death notice index at Carnegie Library where I work, but didn’t find any John Trax.

A question that comes to mind - To which religion did John and Catherine Trax belong? If they were Catholic, then there is a good chance that they are buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrenceville. You can contact the Catholic Archives in Synod Hall on Craig Street. If they were not Catholic, then they may have been buried in Allegheny Cemetery. We have just been informed that both organizations charge for searches. If you want to spend the time, you can use the links from our website to St. Mary’s or Allegheny Cemetery. These links do not list the names in alphabetical order, nor do they include all the names of those interred in the cemeteries.

A very good book to get started on reading about early Lawrenceville is Monster on the Allegheny . . . and Other Lawrenceville Stories, which was published by the Lawrenceville Historical Society. Another is Miscellaneous History of Lawrenceville by Joseph Borkowski. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has other noncirculating material on Lawrenceville, much of which was written by James Wudarczyk.

Catherine Burke can be reached at cburke1@kc.rr.com.

Q: Member Marlene Butler remembers a time when she was a child and there was a possible sighting of the Blessed Mother on the rooftop of the old School of Nursing at St. Francis Hospital. Can anyone provide her with an exact date of when this alleged sighting occurred? According to one of her friends, he left for the army during the Korean War in March 1951. He is sure that the sighting occurred before then.

A: A lot of Lawrenceville residents remember the event or heard their parents or other older residents speak of it. Unfortunately, nobody can come up with an exact date. Those who do remember it said that it was a very hot time of the year. Estimates range from sometime in 1948 through 1953. According to Sr. Sylvia, who was associated with St. Francis Hospital for a very long time, the event took place sometime in August between the 15th and the 22nd. After making some inquiries on our behalf, she informed us that the year was probably 1948 or 1949.

According to most people who could comment on the event, the alleged sighting drew thousands of people. Some came because they were curious. Others came out of devotion. The mobs swelled with people kneeling in the streets blocking traffic. The police were called to disperse the crowds. The official statement seems to be that it was a trick of the light positioned on the rooftop to illuminate the crucifix that sits on the top of a needle-like spire jutting out of the roof. To help keep the crowds away, the hospital shut off the light. However, to this day there are some that will claim that it was a miracle, and who are we to say it wasn’t?

Q: Melissa Gotsch, the Director of the Lawrenceville Branch of Carnegie of Pittsburgh has contacted us with this question:

The library had a family researching genealogy. They were interested in the history of St. Francis Hospital, and wondered what became of their records when they closed?

A: According to Drew Wilson, formerly of the Public Relations Department of St. Francis Hospital, all the records were sent the nuns’ motherhouse on Hawthorne Road in Millvale. I was informed that these records are not open to the public.

Q: Carolyn e-mailed us to ask if the Notary Public that appears on our website homepage might be the office of George Vetter, who had his business to the right of a large bank during the 1930’s.

A: No, the notary in the picture is Gribbin Company. George Vetter had his office at 5141 Butler Street about 15 blocks closer to the 62nd Street Bridge.

The large bank to the left of Mr. Vetter’s office was Allegheny Valley Bank, which was located at 5137 Butler Street. This bank is still in the same location, and has recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Gribbin Company is also still in business. They were located at 3621 Butler Street, but have since moved to 3615 Butler Street.

Q: Carolyn has e-mailed back with another inquiry: "I found several forms with Mr. Vetters information on them. On one he is addressed as George Vetter, DR. What does the 'DR' mean?"

A: We don’t know, but after scouring several books at the Carnegie Library, the best we can determine is DOCUMENT REGISTRAR.

Q: While strolling through St. Mary’s Cemetery Jennie Benford, a well known, docent for Homewood Cemetery, found a double tombstone both sides of which had the name Mathias Wilhelm and the same date of death, May 11, 1870. She challenged your historian to find out how they came to die.

A: According to page four of the May 12, 1870, Pittsburgh Daily Gazette, father and son both named Mathew Wilhelm were helping two others dig a new privy vault. The new vault was three feet from the old one. As the workers reached twenty-two feet deep the top ten feet of the dividing wall collapsed into the new vault taking with it the corresponding contents of the old vault. Father, son and one of the other two men, Jacob Mooney, were buried alive. The fourth man, Richard Mackey, survived.

Q: What was Radiant Hall?

A: Radiant Hall was a Polish social club operated by the Polish National Alliance. It served as place for weddings, parties and teen dances. It earned the nickname “Bucket of Blood”, because of the many fights that broke out during the weddings.

As Polish Americans drifted away from their ethnic roots, the club was closed and sold. Various tenants including the Hare Krishnas, Merlot’s Awnings and Pittsburgh Gateways have since occupied the site.

Q: Member John Conneely asks, “Can anyone provide information on my Great Grandfather John Conneely, a.k.a. John Conley and John Connelly who resided in the 3000 and 3300 blocks of Mulberry Way? He froze to death on January 10, 1903.”

I can be reached by writing:

John Conneely
2 Redbud Road
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

Q: Beth Reiners is seeking information on the old Arsenal Bank Building located at 43rd and Butler Streets.

A: Here’s what we found appearing on page 54 of Historical Sites and Lost Landmarks of Lawrenceville by James Wudarczyk.

The Arsenal Bank at 4300 Butler Street was organized in 1872, with reorganization taking place in 1892. By 1913 the bank showed total resources of nearly 1.2 million dollars. It survived the Great Depression of the 1930’s and eventually was merged into what is today PNC. It was here that on March 18, 1888, the Mt. Zion English Evangelical Church was organized.

Send additional information or photos to Beth Reiners at 3922 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224.

Q: Douglas W. Reid asks if anyone can provide information on his ancestor Joseph Wainwright, or other members of the Wainwright family.

A: On page 11 of Historic Sites and Lost Landmarks of Lawrenceville’s Sixth Ward by James Wudarczyk we learn:

Site of Joseph Wainwright Brewery

Little information exists on this brewery, but it was one of the earliest breweries in the area, located at 36th and Charlotte Streets. It was a viable business establishment from 1818 until 1852.


Q: Member Catherine (Edwards) Mish is seeking information about the following organization;

Guyasuta Lodge, No. 513, F. & A.M.

This comes from the 1902 obituary (in the Pittsburgh Press) of her great-great-grandfather’s brother, David Edwards. Apparently, David was “one of the oldest glassworkers in the city. He first worked as a glass blower in the Wightman glass works on Main Street, later becoming manager. He died on Jan. 2, 1902, at the age of 79. His obituary states that David “was a charter member of the Guyasuta Lodge, no. 513, F. & A.M.” Does anyone know what that means?

Catherine can be reached at cmish@jud.state.mi.us, or at (616) 458-3592 (daytime) or (616) 235-6918 (evenings).

A: Here’s what we learned so far. The term “charter member” means that he was one the founding members. Guyasuta Lodge 513 was one of the Masonic Loges that existed in and around Pittsburgh during that era. It was for “Free and Accepted Masons”, hence the initials “F. & A. M.”

We cannot find any information at all on the Guyasuta Lodge 513 or Wightman Glass Works. If anyone can help, please contact Catherine.

Q: Albert M. Tanner, historical collections director of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation has asked our help regarding a letter he received from Daniel Meyer, University of Chicago. One of their files has over 40 letters written by Virgil David, who was stationed at the Allegheny Arsenal. In these letters dated 1828-1838, David mentions a literary society called the “Lawrenceville Lyceum.” Can anyone provide information on the “Lawrenceville Lyceum” or Virgil David?

A: In its description of Lawrenceville the 1837 Harris Business Directory mentions "the Lyceum, a literary Institute, so extensively known and patronized by the great and good of all nations are sufficient evidence of the respectability and quality of the society at large."

Q: Member Evelyn Petrucci asks if anyone has any information on her ancestor Frank Bauer. He was born in Hungary in 1890 and lived in Almond Way after he settled in Lawrenceville. His wife’s name was Rosa. They eventually purchased a grocery store at 601 – 52nd Street. Their children were Frank, John, Joe, Leonard, Charlie and Anne (who married a Lynch).

Frank married Margaret Page, who lived near St. Augustine Church. They had nine children: Geneva, Margaret, Ruth, Isabella, Esther, Evelyn, Ralph, Earl and Melvin.

Evelyn can be reached at epetrucci@bellsouth.net. Those who do not have access to e-mail can write to us, and we will be happy to forward the information to her.

Q: Melissa Gotsch, the librarian at the Lawrenceville Branch of Carnegie Library contacted us to ask our help for Sally Rowley. Sally is doing some research for her family history and was wondering when the Allegheny Arsenal Gatehouse on Butler Street was torn down. Can anyone help?

Sally can be reached at (412) 486-6891.

Q: Member Bill Reynolds asks, “I recently found out about a picture of a soldier’s funeral that took place in Lawrenceville. The picture hangs in D’Alessandro’s Funeral Home at the corner of 46th and Butler Streets. What can you tell me about this soldier?”

A: Thanks to Dan D’Alessandro, we know that the soldier is named William Harrington. He served in Battery B of the 107th Field Artillery, “Capt. Alfred Hunt Armory.” The funeral was handled by Gilbert McInnes Funeral Home, which was the predecessor of D’Alessandro Funeral Home. Harrington was born on May 20, 1878, and died on April 31, 1922. He died of a crushed chest when his horse kicked him at the corner of 11th and Sarah Streets on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

Harrington was an amateur boxer who fought under the name “Andy Carnegie.” He was interred at St. Mary’s Cemetery May 3, 1922. Father Cox, the chaplain for Battery B, officiated at the cemetery. Music was provided by Battery B.

McInnes and Harrington were friends, and McInnes waived the charges on some of the funeral expenses.

Q: What is a May procession? What is Harrison Shields Company. Can anyone tell us what this company did?

A: May Processions were religious celebrations in Honor of the Blessed Mother, Mary – Queen of May. These processions were conducted by various Roman Catholic parishes. The children from the parish schools were given flowers, candles or balloons to carry in the procession. They would form a line outside their respective schools and march to the parish church. Once inside the church a special mass would be conducted with many of the songs and prayers dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. If my memory serves me correctly May Processions were held on the first day of May.

Member Harry Szczypinski, tells us that Harrison Shields Company was a trucking firm. It was a freight hauler for Sears.

Q: LHS member La Verne Szczypinski asks if any reader can recall the “Girl’s Friendly Society.” La Verne’s sister, Flo, at age 10 spent many happy hours participating in the activities offered by the Society. There were crafts, games and plays that were performed by the members. Flo recalls that the club was located in a small church that was divided in two portions. One half was used for worship and the other for activities. The building stood at Main and Butler Streets where the Citizens Bank stands today.

Membership included some orphaned girls who were housed in a building on Fisk Street and Penn Avenue. They were set apart from the other girls by their black uniforms and black stockings.

Q: Donna Gleave asks if anyone has any information on her great-great, grandfather Martin Hahn or his family. Martin settled in Lawrenceville in 1840 and died in 1849. His first wife bore him the following children – Charles David, Mary Ann, Caroline and Nancy. His second wife, Margaret, had two daughters – Margaret and Marrianni.

She is also looking for the records of St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Washington Burying Ground.

Donna can be reached by writing to her at 2056 E. Middleton Drive #19, St. George, UT 84770-8643.


Q: During a tour of Allegheny Cemetery sponsored by the Lawrenceville Historical Society in was pointed out that Ford City in Armstrong County was named in honor of J. B. Ford, founder of Pittsburgh Plate Glass. His plant was located in this town. Joann Schoenecker, who was on the tour asked, "What was Ford City called before it was Ford City?"

A: We posed this question to librarian Barry Chad of the Pennsylvania Department at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Here's his reply:
"The Ford City Public Library says that Ford City was always called Ford City. However, according to our Dates of Incorporation book, Ford City, Armstrong County, was incorporated in 1889, laid out/settled in 1887 and incorporated from Manor Township."

Q: Joann Schoenecker asks, "How many siblings did Stephen Foster have?"

A: Once again Barry Chad of Carnegie Library provided the answer. "He had brothers named Dunning, Morrison, William and Henry and sisters Ann and Henrietta as best as I can tell from the several resources in our collection."

Q: On July 17, 2003 your organization had a fantastic presentation by Audrey Iacone on orphanages. During her talk she mentioned two Lawrenceville orphanages. One was the Sunshine orpanage on Main Street and the other was the Episcopal Home on 40th Street and Penn Avenue. Wasn't there another orphanage in Lawrenceville?

A: We came across two more. The Roman Catholics had one called the Raphael Tempory Home, which was located at 3715 Penn Avenue. The Orphanage for Colored Children was founded in the Good Hope Baptist Church on 34th and Charlotte Streets.

Q: Joe Lipinski asks “How can I find out information on my house?”

A: The Pennsylvania Dept. of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh maintains a web site on performing “House Histories.” The site is
http://www.carnegielibrary.org/locations/pennsylvania/history/househistories.html
. Or you can hire a professional House Historian. The only professional House Historian we know in the Pittsburgh area is Lawrenceville’s Carol Peterson. She can be reached at (412) 687-0342.

Q: Darlene Fahey inquires, “What was the Heppenstall Company? Was it ever part of USS Steel?”

A: The Heppenstall Company, or Heppy’s as it was known around the neighborhood, started in 1903 when the Heppenstall family took over Pittsburgh Shear Knife and Machine Company. It was originally know as Heppenstall Forge and Knife Company, but changed its name to Heppenstall Company in 1930. I was told that it was the largest mill in Lawrenceville. It underwent vast growth during WWII and the Korean War, because of the numerous orders for military supplies.

Heppenstall’s also made the “the best razor blades in the world.” Several men told me that Heppy’s razor blades did not wear out anywhere near as fast as the ther brands. Because of the extreme durability of the blades, men did not need to buy very many, therefore, the company did not profit from this product. It was discontinued.

They also manufactured forging materials and playing cards. (This is very surprising considering foundries do not normally make playing cards.)

Heppenstall’s was never part of U.S. Steel. It was owned and operated by the Heppenstall family. According to various reports that I heard, the overall decline of the American steel industry and poor management in the 1970’s forced the mill to shut down.

Q:Virginia Brown is searching for information on the ancestors of Emily Scott, Richard and Sarah Bishop and their children William, Alfred, Ella and Anne who lived in Lawrenceville during the early 1900’s. If you can help Virginia, please write to her at 3168 Cutthroat Circle, Pinetop, AZ 85935 or e-mail her at vbrown@cybertrails.com.

Q:Dan D’Alessandro and Jude Wudarczyk both want to know how the area bounded by Butler, 45th, 46th and Lawrence Streets came to be called “Happy’s Hill?”

Q: Kim Meyers seeks information on Benjamin Moore, master armorer at the Allegheny Arsenal around 1830.

A: According to page 903 of History of Pittsburg by Eramus Wilson. “On March 15, 1830, the officers and a number of workmen at the United States Arsenal, together with several citizens of Lawrenceville, met and organized a temperance society.” The book goes on to say that Benjamin Moore was elected the Secretary, and Lawrenceville’s was the first temperance society in the county. It led the way to the formation of other temperance societies in Pittsburgh, Allegheny City and surrounding localities.

Those with additional information are asked to contact Kim at (425) 466-0459, or e-mail her at kimmyers@wt.net. Or write her at 18592 NE 57th Way, Redmond, WA 98052.

Q: Darlene Fahey inquires, “What was the Iron Trough?”

A: We think you might be referring to the Eintracht (rhymes with Mine Trot).

The Eintracht was a German music society started after the Civil War (1886). This society purchased the Heyl mansion as a clubhouse. It was located around 36th and Bandera Streets. It was a place for German men to sing, drink, play cards, etc. Their group won numerous singing competitions. Their reputation so good the mayor of Cleveland invited them to sing at the Cleveland Exposition. As years went by membership was open not only to Germans, but to any man as long as they were willing and able to pay the dues, were of sound reputation and were white.

The society began to lose members after WWII. The loss of membership along with escalating costs caused the Eintracht to close in the 1960’s. The old mansion was torn down, and St. Augustine Plaza was erected on the site.

Q: Pat Cousineau is seeking information on Captain O’Hara of the Pittsburgh Fire Department. Captain O’Hara was from Lawrenceville. If you can help, contact her at (412) 820-0319.

Q: Pat Scott is seeking information on the closing of Hubbard and Company, and the company’s efforts to cheat the employees out of their pensions. If you can help, contact Pat at (724) 530-6976.

Q: Jack Mazur is seeking information on the Lawrenceville Welsh Choir. Jack can be reached at (412) 561-2239.

Q: Brenda Etschmeyer has purchased an old copper teakettle from the March-Sisler Company from Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. Can anyone tell her if the company was located in our Lawrenceville or another? Brenda can be reached at (412) 802-0406.

Q: Cora Ott is seeking information on Calvin Street. Old photos would be very nice. Please contact her through the Lawrenceville Historical Society.

Q: Eilene Gallant of 124 McClintock Drive, McMurray, Pa 15317 is seeking information on her Great Grandfather, John Horne, who was born in 1866 and lived on 42nd Street. She is also seeking information on the Ruckleman family of Lawrenceville.

Q: Pfaffmann and Associates inquired as to when the addition of the old Holy Family School at the corner of 41st and Foster Streets was construction.

A: An anonymous helper led us to the answer to this one. According to the book Holy Family Church published by Customed Book, Inc. in 1978, “In 1918 an addition of six classes was built under the direction of Father Kulacz, assistant pastor.”

Q: William P. Hines, Sr. asks if anyone has information on his great-great-grandparents, Patrick and Mary Hines, who lived on 38th Street (the old 15th Ward, now the Sixth Ward), around 1867. Patrick died March 10, 1872. The attending physician who signed the death certificate was A. Falconer, M.D. His residence was 39th and Butler Streets.

If anyone has information or maps showing these names please contact William Hines, Sr. at 1030 Indiana Avenue, Monaca, PA 15061.

Q: Ed Linder of Linder and Associates is looking for books about Lawrenceville. He can be reached at (412) 771-6570.

Q: Harry Szczypinski and Henry Lewandowski asked, “When did the Washington School, which now serves as the Stephen Foster Community center, close as a school? Which grades were served?”

A: Jim Wudarczyk tells us that the school closed in 1938. Others have told us that the school served grades 1-8.

Q: B. Shields is searching for information on Olive Turney, a female artist from Lawrenceville. Olive was at the Pittsburgh School of Design for Women in 1865. Can you help?

Q: La Verne Szczypinski asks, “What does one call someone who lives in Lawrenceville? A Lawrenceviller? A Lawrencevillite? A Lawrencevillian? A Lawrencevillan? A Lawrencevillager?

A: Arthur Gordon Burgoyne answered that question for us in 1892. In his book All Sorts of Pittsburghers, he refers to us as “Lawrencevillians.”

Q: I remember way back you guys did a great article on the Arsenal Tunnels. Has anyone provided more information regarding these tunnels?

A: As a matter of fact we got two more leads on additional tunnels. Member Sabina Michalski recalls being told of a tunnel that runs from the Stephen Foster Community Center basement on Main Street to Arsenal Park. We followed up with a visit to the Community Center. The people there were really nice and gave a tour of the basement. We couldn’t find anything there.

The second tip came from Daniel Szramowski who informed us that he had heard of a tunnel that ran from the Civil War era building that is close to Penn Avenue in the Frank Clack Health Center to somewhere near Butler Street. Again we visited the site and John Grau, Superintendent of Maintenance at the Health Center tells us that there is a dug out section of the old building, but it probably doesn’t run beyond the walls of the building. He thinks it may have been used as a grease pit for vehicles belonging to the old Marine Hospital.

Both Dan and John talked about there being loose floorboards that were lifted up to gain access to the site. John tells us that the dug out area cannot be construed as a tunnel. If it was a tunnel at one time the tunnel has long since caved in or was filled in.

Q: How many songs did Stephen Foster write?

A: Kathryn Miller Haines, Associate Director of the Center for American Music at the University of Pittsburgh, informs me that Foster wrote approximately 280 - 285 pieces. This includes arrangements of other people's works. For a complete list she has referred us to the center's website at http://www.pitt.edu/~amerimus/foster.htm. Once you find the website go to the pull down menu on the right side of your screen. Click the triangle next to the word "Home". From the options you can select an alphabetically listing or a chronological listing of the songs. Once you have made your selection you can then click on most of the titles to get the words.

Q: Elizabeth Whiteman asks, “What can you tell me about the old Penn Theater across from the Doughboy statue? When was it opened? When did it cease to operate as a business?

A: The Penn Theater was owned by Israel Roth of 1004 Portland Street. Because Mr. Roth was Jewish, his establishment was often the target of anti-Semitic graffiti.

Old time Lawrenceville residents have told me that it was the first theater in Lawrenceville to be integrated. They said that the seats on the left and center were for "Whites Only" while the seats on the right were "Reserved for Coloreds."

In his book Miscellaneous History of Lawrenceville, author Joseph Borkowski tells us that, "It was regarded as a high class movie house as it carried the best of the day."

The theater has been closed for decades now and I was informed that the building is up for sale, but it needs a tremendous amount of work. At one time I was told that Junction Coal Company owned the building, but I have never been able to verify this. Jay Design Company considered buying the building a few years ago, but the deal fell through.

We haven’t been able to find any information about what years the Theater was in operation?

Q: Dan Szramowski is looking for any information on the old Lawrenceville Mohawks? Can anyone help? Dan can be reached at DSzramowski@aol.com

Q: In which section of Allegheny Cemetery is the poet, Joyce Kilmer buried?

A: Poet, Alfred Joyce Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He never used his first name. He is best known for his poem “Trees”, which starts out “I think I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.”

He was about thirty years old, married with children when the United States entered World War I. He volunteered to serve his country and was reported to have been very brave and courageous. On July 30, 1918 he was killed in action and was buried in Oise-Aisne Cemetery in Fere-en-Tardenois, France. His grave is still there and is not in Allegheny Cemetery.

Q: Someone in your society is always mentioning the fact that four American presidents George Washington, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, U. S. Grant and Howard Taft have all visited Lawrenceville at one time or another. Don’t you male chauvinists know the First Lady that visited Lawrenceville?

A: You must not have been there when we mentioned that Jackie Kennedy Onasis came to Allegheny Cemetery for the funeral of Kirk Le Moyne in 1981. Le Moyne was a school chum of her late husband John F. Kennedy. He worked for a New York advertising firm and campaigned for both John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. Le Moyne was a Squirrel Hill native.

If you know of any others, please let us know. Contrary to what you might believe we are dedicated to documenting the contributions of women to our history as well as men. After all half of all “history” is “her story”.

Q: Dan Szramowski asks, “What can you tell me of the Iron City Brick and Stone Works that was on Stanton Ave, across from where the community garden is now. It is shown on city plat maps, and I read that they quarried the shale from the hillside to make their bricks, I think it disappeared in the early 30's.

A: According to page 30 of The geology of Pittsburgh and Its Environs: a Popular Account of the General Geological Features of the Region, by Henry Leighton, “The clay beds of this company had quick lime deposits, so making bricks required special attention.”

Another source, No.27 Topographic and Geologic Atlas of Pennsylvania, by the Pennsylvania. Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey, lists them as dealing in clay and shale. It also states that the kilns were gas fired, but coal was used for firing the dryers. They manufactured common red brick. This source also states that the sandstone quarried at this site is said to have been hard and good for roadwork.

Q: Jean Swick ran into a couple at the Pennsylvania Department of Carnegie Library. They were looking for the location of Raphael Temporary Home, where they spent a short period of their lives as children. She asked us for help.

A: With the help of Audrey Iacone, a librarian at Carnegie Library, we were able to find a web site that she developed on local orphanages. The site is http://www.carnegielibrary.org/locations/pennsylvania/orphanages/RTH.html. Here is what we found.

The Raphael Home, also known as St. Raphael Home, was established in 1921 and closed in the early 1950’s. It was located at 3715 Penn Avenue and was sponsored by the Mission Helpers, Servants of Sacred Heart. Its records are housed at the Archives and Records Center, Diocese of Pittsburgh, 125 North Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

In addition to this information we were able to let Jean know that the building was also known as the L.E.A.P. Building. L.E.A.P. stood for Lawrenceville Economic Action Program, and was a publicly funded program to help with problems such as unemployment, job training, etc. L.E.A.P. was criticized by many as being poorly run, but praised by others as beneficial to the community. When public funding was cut, the program shut down in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. The building was demolished to make way for a police station that was never built. Today the site is home to several brand new houses.

Q: Helen Christy is searching for information on her great-great-great grandfather, George Hurst (also spelled Hirst), Sr., a Lawrenceville resident who died in 1832. George was married to Cynthia White Hinds Hirst. They had at least one son, Patterson, who was born in 1818. Patterson built or was building a paper when he died. You can contact Helen at Hhchristy@aol.com, or let us know.

Q: Margot is searching for information on her Lawrenceville ancestor, Sebastian Wimmer. Sebastian started keeping a diary in 1851, and continued to do so for the next 65 years. He married Lavinia Blakely in 1857. Her parents were James and Susan Blakely. You can reach Margot at margo4it@tampabay.rr.com, or let us know.

Q: Robert J. Meneely is looking for information about James and Margaret Anderson, who were buried in the Lawrenceville Burying Ground. Does anyone know to where their remains were moved after this cemetery was closed in the 1880’s? This couple lived in Lawrenceville from at least the 1830’s. Margaret died between 1843 and 1847, and James died July 3, 1872.

Q: Blaine J. Smith is looking for information on James Smith who is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery. He is also looking for any local Lawrenceville newspapers published between 1876 and 1980, and any information on the area of 45th Street above Davison Street.

He can be reached at BlaineSmith@PSS.Boeing.com.

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Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864)

Born on July 4, 1826, while the country celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence, Stephen Foster has become Lawrenceville’s most famous native son. He was the son of William Barclay Foster, founder of Lawrenceville and Eliza Tomlinson. Foster’s parents moved to Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh’s North Side) when Stephen was very small.

He developed a love for music at a very tender age of about three or four, and from that point forward there was no stopping him. Foster is considered by many to be the world’s foremost composer, and is the only person to have written two state songs – “My Old Kentucky Home” (Kentucky) and “Swannee River” (Florida). A third song “Oh! Susanna” was considered by the state of California as being their state song, but it was rejected.

Today he is considered the founder of “Pop Music” and his works are played throughout the world. There are many books written on Stephen Foster and the University of Pittsburgh maintains the Stephen Foster Memorial Center in his honor. It is located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh close to the Cathedral of Learning.

 
   

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