George T. (George Thornton) Fleming.

History of Pittsburgh and environs, from prehistoric days to the beginning of the American revolution .. (Volume 5) online

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sorrow. At the McKeesport Mills, although it had been
four years since he had official connection with the busi-
ness, associates of former days gathered in the midst of
silent machinery and bore witness of their regard for
their friend and benefactor. His record stands as an
honorable monument to a man who lived nobly and un-
selfishly in the unwavering esteem of all who knew him.



ROLAND G. WOOD— A native son of Pittsburgh,
Roland G. Wood has won honorable position among the
younger business men of his city as a member of the
firm of Wood & Pugh, investment securities. He is one
of Pittsburgh's sons who were missed from their places







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^i^<n



BIOGRAPHICAL



193



during the World War, and who returned from the work
of war to the work of peace. He is a son of Alan W.
and Frances Alberta (Carrier) Wood (q. v.).

Roland G. Wood was born in Pittsburgh, Nov. 24,
1888. He was educated in Brennan's private school,
Pittsburgh, and St. Mark's School, Southboro, Mass.
He left school in 1908, and at once secured a clerical posi-
tion with the National Tube Company, remaining with
that company until 1913. He was variously engaged dur-
ing the following three years, and in 1916 established the
firm, Wood & Pugh, investment brokers and dealers in
investment securities, the business of the firm being with
investors. They are members of the Pittsburgh Stock
Exchange, and are well known in financial circles.

On April 4, 1918, Mr. Wood enlisted as a private in
the United States Army Aviation Service. He enlisted
at Fort Slocum and was sent to Curtiss Field, Buffalo,
N. Y., for training. He was in the service fifteen months,
and was honorably discharged with the rank of second
lieutenant. Mr. Wood is a member of Crescent Lodge,
No. 576, Free and Accepted Masons; Buffalo Consis-
tory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, thirty-second de-
gree ; Syria Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of
the Mystic Shrine ; and is a member of Pittsburgh Lodge,
No. II, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His
clubs are the Pittsburgh Athletic Association and the
Pittsburgh Country Club.

Mr. Wood married, in Pittsburgh, Dec. 2, 1910, Louise
McKinney, daughter of William S. McKinney (q. v.).
Mr. and Mrs. Wood are the parents of two sons : Ro-
land G. (2), and W. Grant Wood. The family attend
the Episcopal Church of the Ascension. The family
home is at No. .4724 Wallingford street, Pittsburgh, East
End.

STEELE FOSTER ROBERTS— During the period

of life of the associates of the active years of Steele
Foster Roberts there will be no need for the Roberts
Memorial Fund except as it shall foster and further
v/ork in which he would have been actively engaged had
his span of life been longer, for in the hearts of his wide
circle of friends and associates is his most intimate mem-
orial and the assurance of his greatest appreciation. This
record, preserved in the history of the city of his birth
and the scene of his labors, shall confine itself to the out-
line of his career, and quotations from the pens of those
who were his close associates.

Mr. Roberts was a son of John Marks and Elizabeth
Porter (Steele) Roberts, and grandson of Joseph H.
Roberts, a native of Manchester, England, who came to
the United States with his wife, Sarah (Whitaker) Rob-
erts, in 1830, settling in Pittsburgh. John Marks Rob-
erts was a well known jeweler of Pittsburgh, and in
1848 established the firm which afterward became E. P.
Roberts & Sons.

Steele Foster Roberts was born in Pittsburgh, June 11,
1850, attended the public schools of his native city and
the Western University of Pennsylvania. In 1866 he
entered his father's business and, the death of the founder
occurring that year, continued in the establishment un-
der his uncle, the Hon. Thomas H. Steele who conducted
its affairs until 1875. In that year the firm became E. P.
Roberts & Sons, the members Mrs. Elizabeth Porter
Pitts— 1—13



Roberts, Steele F. Roberts, C. W. Roberts, and John M.
Roberts, Jr. In 1906 the business was incorporated, with
Mr. Roberts as president. Few men in the jewelry trade
were so widely known as he. His reputation was na-
tional, and he exerted a powerful influence in organizing
the trade, standardizing its methods, strengthening its
credit, and increasing its prestige in the public eye. He
organized the Jewelers' 24 Karat Club of Pittsburgh,
and he was a member of the executive committee of the
American National Retail Jewelers' Association, both of
Vvhich he served as president. The following appeared in
a trade journal at the time of his death :

The accession of Mr. Roberts to the ranks of the
organized trade inaugurated, in a sense, a new epoch
in association history. Previous to that time there
were those who claimed that the different associations
were but poorly representative of the trade at large,
inasmuch as their membership did not comprise the
large jewelry houses of high standing. For this rea-
son, the organization leaders regarded with special
gratification the accession of Mr. Roberts to their
ranks, but they did not then realize to the full the
extraordinary enthusiasm, energy, ability, and unsel-
fishness of their new acquisition. It is to the credit of
the organized trade that these qualities * * • were
given prompt recognition in his elevation to the presi-
dency of the National Association, his efficient work in
this position entitling him to the honor of a second
term, which was appreciatively recorded. It is a trite
saying that if you wish to know a man thoroughly you
should question his neighbors, and the fact that the
members of the Pittsburgh 24-Karat Club elected and
reelected him their president is his neighbors' tribute
to his fine character, broad mind, and amiable person-
ality. If it be true that his enthusiasm in the cause
may have hastened his death, the fact will add still
further to the sorrow which his host of friends in the
trade will feel on hearing the sad news of his sudden
passing away.

In recognition of Mr. Roberts' valuable services to the
jewelry trade a Roberts' Memorial Fund w?s established
to be invested and controlled by the American Retail
Jewelers' Association for the advancement of association
work and general trade betterment. In addition to his
connection with the organizations previously mentioned,
Mr. Roberts was a director of the Pittsburgh Chamber of
Commerce and a member of the Pennsylvania Jewelers'
Association. He was a life member of the Western
Pennsylvania Exposition Society, held the thirty-second
degree in the Masonic order, and was a memoer of the
Oakmont, Country, and Pennwood clubs, a governor of
the last named. His political belief was Republican. In
religion he was a Methodist, a trustee of Christ Meth-
odist Episcopal Church.

Steele Foster Roberts married (first), April 29, 1880,
Martha Jane, daughter of Dennis and Jane Leonard, of
Pittsburgh, and they became the parents of three chil-
dren, of whom one survives, Jeane Elizabeth. He mar-
ried (second), Sept. 17, 1904, Jeannette B., daughter of
Washington and Sophia (Gray) Bartley, of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Roberts died Feb. 9, 1913. No concluding sen-
tence could be more fitting than the heartfelt remark of
a friend :

Steele P. Roberts was first of all a man and a gen-
tleman, with all the virtues that term implies, chief of
which is a love for one's fellows, and this virtue was
truly exemplified in his life.



CHARLES HARRY BRACKEN. LL. B.— In the

group of professional men who are holding the city of
Pittsburgh in the front line of progress, Charles Henry
Bracken, LL. B., is a prominent figure.



194



HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH



Mr. Bracken comes of one of tht- very earliest fam-
ilies who located in Western Pennsylvania. Rev. Reid
Bracken came to this section in 1778. He was the pioneer
minister who founded the historic Mt. Nebo Church in
Butler county, and his devoted labors did much to cheer
and encourage the early settlers whose lives were, at
best, full of hardship. Reid Bracken, Second, was the
son of this pioneer divine, and the next in line is Charles
Covert Bracken, who married Jennie Martin. Both were
born in Butler county. Pa., and they now reside in the
Carrick district of Pittsburgh.

Charles Harry Bracken, LL. B., is a son of Charles
Covert and Jennie (Martin) Bracken. He was born in
New Brighton, Beaver county, Pa., April 7, 1886. The
family removing to Pittsburgh in the eighth year of his
age, the boy attended the public schools of this city, and
was graduated from the Central High School in the
class of 1905. For his higher education he entered the
University of Pennsylvania, and was graduated in the
class of 1908, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He
entered upon his career immediately, returning to Pitts-
burgh, where he was admitted to the Allegheny county
bar in the following year. Subsequently he was ad-
mitted to the higher courts, both of the State of Penn-
sylvania, and of the United States.

During the twelve years in which Mr. Bracken has
continued the practice of law, he has handled largely
corporation and municipal practice. He has attained
more than ordinary eminence in the profession, and has
won a position of dignity among his colleagues. He is
a director of the Carrick Bank, also a director of the
Bletcher-Anchors Company.

Mr. Bracken's name is identified with civic progress
in various ways. He was a corporator of Brentwood
Borough, and has served since its organization as Bor-
ough Counsel. He has also served upon the school
board of the borough as secretary. Politically, he sup-
ports the principles of the Republican party.

In fraternal circles Mr. Bracken is well known. He
holds the thirty-second degree in the Masonic order, is a
member of Pittsburgh Commandery, No. i. Knights
Templar; of Pittsburgh Consistory, Ancient Accepted
Scottish Rite, and also of Syria Temple, Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is a popular
member of the South Hills Country Club.

On July 12, 191 1, Mr. Bracken married Olive May,
daughter of William R., and Margaret (Hawks) Mc-
Shane. Mrs. Bracken is a graduate of the California
State Normal School, of California, Pa., and for some
time taught in the public schools of Pittsburgh. She is
now active in many civic interests, and is identified with
several of the leading women's clubs. Mr. and Mrs.
Bracken have three children : William Charles ; Harry
Oliver; and Jean Mildred.

The family are members of the Spencer Methodist
Episcopal Church, of Carrick, in which Mr. Bracken is
a member of the board of trustees.



mobile world, and is placing his company in the fore-
front of progress in this section.

Mr. Lemmon is a son of Walter Reed and Mary
Elizabeth (May) Lemmon. The elder Mr. Lemmon was
secretary of the Lemmon, Arnold & Hamilton Casket
Company, now the National Casket Company, of Pitts-
burgh.

Receiving his early education at the Hill School, of
Pottstown, Pa., from which institution he was gradu-
ated in 1907, Mr. Lemmon entered the University of
Pennsylvania, and was graduated in 1912 with the de-
gree of Bachelor of Science. He at once entered the
business world, starting as salesman for the Oldsmobile
Company of Pittsburgh. His ability was apparent from
the first, and he was recognized as a young man who
would not long remain in a subordinate position. He
was made assistant manager of the company early in
1914, then in August of that year, in association with
G. S. Morrow, Mr. Lemmon took over the interests of
the local Oldsmobile Company. On Aug. i, 1916, he
bought out the interest of Mr. Morrow and became the
active president of the company. Beginning with about
fifteen employees, he has developed the business of the
company until now si.xty-eight people are regularly re-
quired to handle the business. In 1920 the company dis-
continued handling the Oldsmobile cars, and became dis-
tributors in this district for the Cole Aero Eight cars.
The business, already a leading automobile interest of
Pittsburgh, is rapidly growing, and bids fair to outstrip
many of its competitors.

Mr. Lemmon, like so many other young men of the
day, dropped the business in which he was making such
excellent headway to follow the colors overseas. He
served as lieutenant in the Air Service, enlisting in the
fall of 1917 and serving until January, 1919, at the
General Air Service headquarters in Paris. He was
mustered out at Garden City, Long Island.

Socially Mr. Lemmon is very popular. He is a mem-
ber of the Pittsburgh Automobile Club, Pittsburgh Ath-
letic Association, Pittsburgh Field Club, the Country
Club, University Club, and the Kiwanis Club. He is a
member of the Masonic order, belonging to Fellowship
Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons. His religious con-
victions place his membership in the Second Presbyterian
Church. He is a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity,
and also of the West Penn Cot Club. In politics he is
a Republican. Mr. Lemmon is fond of out-of-door
sports, especially golf and tennis.

Mr. Lemmon married, Dec. 15, 1915, in St. Andrew's
Episcopal Church, of Pittsburgh, Harriet DeForest
Haskell, daughter of Ledyard S. and Jean Rider (De-
Forest) Haskell, of this city, and they have two chil-
dren : Jean Elizabeth and Harriet Haskell Lemmon.
Mr. Lemmon's city residence is at No. 6429 Bartlett
street, and his summer home at Geneva-on-the-Lake,
Ohio.



BRICE WALTER LEMMON— Brice Walter Lem-
mon, president of the B. W. Lemmon Company, of Pitts-
burgh, is a man of broad business experience in the auto-



FERDINAND G. AFFELDT— Ferdinand G. Af-

feldt, secretary-treasurer and general manager of the
B. W. Lemmon Company, of Pittsburgh, is widely known
in automobile circles, both here and in Michigan.



BIOGRAPHICAL



195



Mr. Affeldt was born in Lansing, Mich., in 1887, and is
a son of John M. and Rose V. (Bauman) Affeldt, his
father being a merchant of that city. The boy received
his education in the grammar and high schools of Lan-
sing, then took one year at business college. A business
career was the future that appealed to him, and the
business of the day was automobiles. For several years
he traveled for the Oldsmobile Company in their Lan-
sing district, with ever increasing success. In August,
1915, he became associated with the Oldsmobile Com-
pany of Pittsburgh, then, in 19 1 6, was made secretary-
treasurer and general manager of the B. W. Lemmon
Company, who are now distributors of the Cole Aero
Eight cars. This company is one of the leading auto-
mobile firms of Pittsburgh. Mr. Affeldt is a member
of the Pittsburgh Board of Trade and the Chamber of
Commerce, the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, and the
Pittsburgh Automobile Club ; he attends the Point Breeze
Presbyterian Church. Golf and motoring are his favor-
ite recreations.

Mr. Affeldt married, in Pittsburgh, in 1917, Elda V.
Eckert, daughter of Oscar J. and Harriet (Gass) Eckert,
of this city. Mr. and Mrs. Affeldt reside at No. 6757
Thomas boulevard.



GEORGE L. WALTER— Nominally retired from

business since 1915, George L. Walter retains numerous
financial and advisory connections with interests in the
neighborhood of Pittsburgh and Sharpsburg, Pa., the
latter place his home since 1879. Mr. Walter's associ-
ations have not been confined to business and industry,
for he has found time to devote generously to the public
service, and, by the votes of his fellows, has been
placed in practically every borough office within their
gift. His identification with Pittsburgh and its environs
dates from his birth, and he has contributed substan-
tially to the development of its resources, the outline
of his life and work contained in the following para-
graphs.

George L. Walter is a son of Peter and Anna B.
(Niderhauser) Walter, his father having come to Pitts-
burgh in 183 1 and here marrying in 1S33, his wife a
native of Switzerland. Peter Walter was a shoemaker
and conducted a retail shoe store on Market street,
until his death about i860. Mrs. Walter then moved
the family home to the Fourth Ward of Allegheny, and
here George L. Walter's schooling began in the old
Fourth Ward School. He was one of ten children,
three boys and seven girls, of whom he is one of three
survivors, two of his sisters residing in Denver, Colo.
His brother, Peter Walter, Jr., was long active in po-
litical affairs in Allegheny.

As a youth of fifteen years, George L. Walter en-
tered the Western University, and attended this insti-
tution for six months, leaving at the end of this time
to begin the business of life. The Workingman's
Savings Bank, of Allegheny, was organized at this time,
and he became a bank messenger, continuing in the
employ of this institution until 1879, and rising through
the various grades of service, including bookkeeper and
teller, to the office of cashier. He was the youngest
man to hold the office of cashier in a Pennsylvania bank.
In 1879 Mr. Walter severed his connection with The



Workingman's Savings Bank and came to Sharpsburg,
Pennsylvania, where, with Messrs. Darragh and Yer-
kins, he organized the firm of Walter, Yerkins &
Company. This company built a saw and planing mill
at the foot of Thirteenth street. They bought their
lumber at the camps at the headwaters of the Allegheny
river, rafted it to the mill, which had a daily output
of twelve thousand feet, and retailed the manufactured
product. For three years this mill enjoyed a pros-

perous career, but the establishment of mills further
up the river, and nearer the source of supply, made
heavy inroads into their business, and the firm was
dissolved. Mr. Walter later was an organizer of the
lumber firm of Walter & Saint, which later became
Geo. L. Walter & Company. This business increased to
such magnitude as to make incorporation imperative, so
the George L. Walter Lumber Company was formed,
of which Mr. Walter was president, Fred W. Pilgrim,
vice-president, and Charles C. Brenner, secretary and
treasurer. Mr. Walter remained at the head of this
enterprise until his retirement in 1915, and his wise
direction resulted in the upbuilding of a business ot
such large dimensions, that its operations were wide-
spread throughout the surrounding territory. Its phys-
ical properties were extensive, and numerous buildings
were constructed from time to time, and new yards
opened to accommodate its rapid development and
steady progress. The company had a branch yard at
Dehaven, Pa., from which center the country trade was
supplied. In 1915 Mr. Walter transferred his interests,
and retired from the company.

One of Mr. Walter's most successful and profitable
single operations in the lumber trade was the organiza-
tion, in 1884, of the Sewickley Oak Lumber Company,
which purchased the old McCain property and twenty-
six hundred acres near Leetsdale and Sewickley. He
erected a portable saw mill and cleared this area of valu-
able hard wood. In 1889, in association with Henry
Warner, Henry J. Heinz, L. H. Smith and A. P.
Kirtland, Mr. Walter was organizer of the Aspinwall
Land Company and became secretary and treasurer of
this concern, which plotted and sold the town site of
the present borough of Aspinwall. The founders of this
most successful enterprise are, with the exception of
Mr. Walter, all deceased, and he has become the owner
of the holdings of the original incorporators.

Among Mr. Walter's interests unconnected with the
lumber trade are: his presidency of the Farmers' and
Mechanics' Bank of Sharpsburg, an office he has held
for ten years, having 'been a director for a much longer
period; and his directorship of the Ward Baking Com-
pany, in which he is a large stockholder. Mr. Walter's
political faith is Republican, and he has filled almost
every office in the borough of Sharpsburg, including
member of the Borough Council, and school board, and
burgess. He is also a director of Thorn Hill School.
Since 1876 he has fraternized with the Masonic order,
and his memberships are in Stuckrath Lodge, Free and
Accepted Masons, of Pittsburgh, North Side; Allegheny
Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Allegheny Commandery,
No. 35, Knights Templar; and Syria Temple, Ancient
Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He has given
liberally of his time and effort for the welfare and ad-



196



HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH



vancement of his community, and Sharpsburg acknowl-
edges a heavy debt to his energetic, progressive, public
spirit. Mr. Walter has a multitude of friends, made
in business and in civic connection, and holds their
confidence and respect for straightforward and de-
pendable qualities of citizenship and manhood.

Mr. Walter married, in 1S84, Bella S. Kelly, of
Saltsburg, Pa. There were two sons of this marriage:
George L. Walter, Jr., and Howard K. Walter.

George L. Walter, Jr., was born in Sharpsburg, Pa.,
prepared for college in the Sharpsburg schools and
at Kiskiminetas, and was graduated from Cornell Uni-
versity. He studied law in the Pittsburgh Law School ;
was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Pittsburgh for
three years. He married Marie, daughter of Charles
S. Fagan. When the United States entered the World
War he enlisted and was sent to the officers' training
camp at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, where he received
a lieutenant's commission, and was ordered overseas
to join the American Expeditionary Forces in August,
1918, attached to the 34th Regiment of United States
Infantry. He died in France, Jan. 23, 1919, having just
prior to his death been recommended for a captaincy.
His death, no less a part of the national sacrifice than
had it occurred on the field of battle, came with par-
ticular shock and sadness, because the signing of the
armistice had brought relief to his family from the
anxiety of the days of warfare.

Howard K. Walter, the second son, was born in
Sharpsburg, attended school at Sharpsburg and Kis-
kiminetas, and was graduated from Harvard Law
School. He enlisted in the United States army at the
outbreak of war, was commissioned lieutenant at Platts-
burg Training Camp, served in the American Expedi-
tionary Forces, and upon his return took up the practice
of law in Pittsburgh with the firm of Patterson, Craw-
ford, Miller & Arensberg.



WILLIAM ALBERT CHALLENER— Rarely does

the profession of the law give to any city a more
brilliant group of men than that in which Pittsburgh
takes just pride, and the reputation of William Albert
Challener for extensive knowledge of and successful
practice in his profession, is more than a local one.

Mr. Challener's family is of English origin, and
both his parents were born in England, coming to
America in their youth. William H. Challener, Mr.
Challener's father, was a pioneer coal miner of the
Pittsburgh district; later he engaged in farming in
Washington county, whence he removed to McKees-
port. Pa., where he conducted a general store. He was
born Jan. 8, 1837, and died May 4, 1905. He married
Jane Clasper, who came to America in her thirteenth
year, with her family. She was born in 1831, and is
still living.

William Albert Challener was 'born in Monongahela
City, Pa., Dec. 24, 1866, and is a son of William H.
and Jane (Clasper) Challener. He received his early
education in the public schools near his home, then was
employed on the farm until his twentieth year. At this
time he set out to realize a long-cherished ambition,
undaunted by the long period of exacting preparation
intervening between him and his goal. He entered the



old Newell Institute, then an academy of high standing,
to prepare himself for the study of the law. Completing
the usual three years' course in one year of intensive
study, the young man entered the law offices of J. Scott
Ferguson, where he read law. He continued here for
one year, then while employed with a real estate firm,
pursued his studies during the evening, finishing the
prescribed course in a period of two years.

On March 17, 1S90, Mr. Challener was admitted to
the Allegheny County Bar, and subsequently was ad-
mitted to the State Supreme Court, and to the Federal
Courts of the United States. He entered upon his pro-
fessional career with the courage and determination
which are the forerunners of high achievement. During
more than thirty years of active practice he has dis-
tinguished himself in more than one direction. As
counsel for various medical societies, it is believed that
he has handled more medico-legal cases than any other
member of the Allegheny County Bar. He has had
a large volume of general railway practice, and for



Online LibraryGeorge T. (George Thornton) FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs, from prehistoric days to the beginning of the American revolution .. (Volume 5) → online text (page 52 of 91)