John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Genealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 3) online

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The Irish Legion, formed by the First Consul of France, Napoleon, was
composed of exiled Irishmen and sons of Irishmen born in France. There
were two officers of the Legion by name Gallagher, Captain Patrick, who
was a lieutenant in 1803, and a captain in 1804, and T-ieutcnant Thomas
Gallagher. The Irish Legion followed the fortunes of Napoleon in his wars
in Holland, Portugal, Spain and Germany. In our own Civil War there
served two of the name as officers in General Thomas Francis Meagher's
Irish Brigade: Captain ]\Iichael Gallagher, of the Eighty-eighth New York
Regiment, and Lieutenant James Gallagher, of the Sixty-third New York
Regiment.

Timothy Gallagher was born in Ireland in 1825, and died in Braddock,
Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, in 1904. He emigrated to the United
States in 1857, with his wife and family, and made his home at Port Perry,
where he followed his calling as a stone mason. In political matters he was
a staunch Democrat, and in religious, a devout member of the Catholic
church. He married, in Scotland, Sarah Fitzsimmons, born in Ireland in
1825, died at Braddock, and they had children : John, deceased : Mary ;
Sarah ; Margaret, James and Patrick, deceased ; James W., of further men-
tion ; William and Agnes, deceased ; Alice ; Timothy, deceased.

James W. Gallagher,- son of Timothy and Sarah (Fitzsimmons") Gal-
lagher, was born in Port Perry, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. October
24, 1858. When he was three years of age he came to Braddock, Pennsyl-
vania, with his parents, and there he acquired his education in the public
schools. He learned the trade of painting, but for twenty-eight years has
been an engineer, and altogether has been with the Carnegie Steel Company
for thirty-five years, and is now with the United States Steel Corporation.
He owns a beautiful home at No. 732 Fourth street, North Braddock.
From being a poor lad, who hunted rabbits on the present site of North
Braddock, he has worked his way upward to a position of influence and
affluence. He takes an active interest in the political aflfairs of the com-
munity, giving his strong support to the Democratic party, and has served
as a member of the common council of North Braddock for six years.
His religious affiliation is with the Catholic church. Mr. Gallagher married,
March 4, 1886, Catherine, born in Pittsburgh, March 8, 1865, a daughter of
Thomas and Julia (Kane) Dolan, both natives of Ireland. Both were un-



WESTERN PENNSYL\AX!A 1113

married when tliey came to this comitry. Mr. Dolan found employment in
the Lippincott Axe Factory, then went to Bellefonte, Center county, Penn-
sylvania, then returned to Pittsburgh, and finally purchased a farm in
Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1877, and his wife,
to whom he had been married in the old cathedral by Bishop O'Connor,
died in 1909. They were the parents of children as follows: Mary; Ida;
Michael ; Jennie, deceased ; Catherine, who married Mr. Gallagher, as above
stated; Ella; Alice. Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher have had children: Blanche.
deceased ; Julia Grace, was educated in the public schools of North Brad-
dock, was graduated from the high school there, and is now teaching in
the public schools of that town ; Helen, received her education in North
Braddock and in Curry's Business College, and is now a bookkeeper in the
employ of the Braddock Furniture Company ; Mary, a student at the high
school; James Leo, attending public school ; Thomas Paul, also in the public
schools.



The Phillips family of North Braddock, Pennsylvania, is
PHILLIPS typical of the best character of the English race, that race

which in the early days of American history was most
prominently concerned with the formation of the institutions of the new
republic in the west, and which became the social foundation for that vast
and composite fabric of American citizenship which has subsequently been
reared in safety. The Phillips have been stone cutters for generations in
their native land of Devonshire. Certainly the present Mr. Phillips' father,
grandfather and great-grandfather all followed this trade, to say nothing
of the present generation. Satisfied with conditions in their English home,
the family had lived there from time immemorial, until in the days of
Samuel Phillips, the father of the Mr. Phillips of this sketch, there was
born that spirit of enterprise that has made the English the greatest race
of navigators in the history of the world.

To Samuel Phillips the opportunities ofifered by the new world held out
a temptation not to be resisted, and in 1883, when forty-four years of age,
he left his family in Devonshire and migrated to the new world to estab-
lish for them there a new home. His travels first led him to Canada,
where he arrived the same year with his oldest son. John C. Phillips, and
after remaining there a year he finally made his way to the United States
and to North Braddock, Pennsylvania. In this Pennsylvania town he and
his son John C. established themselves in business, and here they were
gradually joined by the members of their family. Gilbert B. Phillips
arrived in 1890, and finally the remainder of the household, with Mrs.
Phillips in 1893. They lived in their new American home for ten years,
and the family had already begun to take a prominent position in the affairs
of the town when Mrs. Phillips died in 1903. She was survived by her
husband until 1905, when his death occurred also. To them were born ten
children, all but two of whom came to America, namely: i. John C. who
came with his father to America, settling in North Braddock in 1884. and



III4 WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

he has since had a most successful career in this country ; his birth occurred
in Devonshire, England, April 14, i860, so that though he spent his child-
hood and early youth in his native land, and there received his education,
he was nevertheless a very young man when he began his active life in the
United States; he at once took up his father's occupation and became a
stone cutter and mason, and soon developed a large business as contractor
in that line ; he was extremely successful in his business, which he pursued
uninterruptedly for a space of twenty years, finally retiring to a life of
leisure in his beautiful home at No. 306 Hawkins avenue. North Braddock,
and there continues to live at the present time ; he has been extremely
active in the life of his community, particularly in church work and politics ;
his religious affiliations are with the United Brethren church, while politic-
ally he is a Republican; he has served three times as a member of the com-
mon council of North Braddock, and is still one of that body; in 1888 he
married Martha Jane Meredith, a native of Braddock, Pennsylvania ; they
have no children. 2. Minnie. 3. Rhoda, who is now a resident of Plymouth,
England. 4. Harry. 5. Maud Mary. 6. Jessie, still resides in England. 7.
Gilbert B., of whom further. 8. Elizabeth Ann, now a resident of Jiamil-
ton, Ontario. 9. William E., also a successful brick contractor of Brad-
dock, Pennsylvania; he was one of the children who came to this country
in 1893 with Mrs. Phillips, and now owns a handsome residence at No. 199
Lobinger avenue. North Braddock ; he is a member of the United Presby-
terian church ; he married, in 1899, Margaret Fife, of Braddock. 10.
Robert E., deceased. Mrs. Phillips, the wife of Samuel Phillips and the
mother of his ten children, just enumerated, was before her marriage Ann
Alford, and like her husband, a native of Devonshire, and like him born
in the year 1839. She was the daughter of Robert Alford, of that region,
where he followed the trade of shoemaker.

Gilbert B. Phillips, the seventh child of Samuel and Ann (Alford)
Phillips, was born in the ancestral home of his family, Devonshire, England,
July 31, 1874. He obtained his education in the public schools of his native
region, remaining with his mother and the rest of the family when his
father and eldest brother set out for the New World in 1883. Eight years
later, when he was but sixteen years of age, he joined his father in North
Braddock, Pennsylvania, and there apprenticed himself to learn the trade of
stone mason, with John C. Phillips, his brother. He had already done some
work as brick mason, before lea-ving England, and this, together with his
natural aptitude, gave him a quick mastery of his trade. This he worked
at as a journeyman until the year 1900, when he was able to realize his
wish to set up in the contracting business for himself. The firm of Phillips
& George, general contractors, was established in North Braddock, and at
once met with great success in that rapidly growing community. Among
the most important buildings erected by Phillips & George have been the
United Brethren church, the large apartments known as the Smith Flats,
and ten of the handsome brick residences on Braddock avenue. Eight
years ago Mr. Phillips built a beautiful house for himself at No. 1005



WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 1115

Spring street, North Braddock, and still resides there with his family.
While the duties in connection with his business as contractor are none of the
lightest and absorb much of his time and attention, Mr. Phillips by no
means confines his efiforts to these personal interests. On the contrary, he
is keenly interested in all aspects of the life of the busy community of
which he forms a part, and takes a prominent part therein. He is a keen
observer of the course of political events, and has identified himself with
no party, preferring to remain independent of such association, and free to
cast his ballot and exert his influence in any direction and for any cause
which his reason dictates. Mr. Phillips is a staunch member of the Calvary
Presbyterian Church, and a generous supporter of the many benevolences
connected with its work.

Gilbert B. Phillips married, December i, 1901, Nellie Louise Wilks, a
native of New York City, born December 21, 1881, daughter of Joseph and
Sarah (Bowdler) W'ilks, of that city. Mr. Wilks was a native of England
and his wife of Ireland. They came to this country in early youth and
were later married here. He was a machinist in the employ of the West-
inghouse Company, East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and died in the year
1912 at the age of sixty-seven years. His wife survives him. To them
were born seven children, as follows : Emily, deceased ; Sarah ; William ;
Nellie L., now Mrs. Gilbert B. Phillips, of this sketch; Joseph; Frances;
Isabel. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert B. Phillips are the parents of three children,
all sons, as follows: Fernley Barrington, born January 31, 1903; John
Charles, born October 12, 1913: Gilbert Francis, twin of John Charles.



This name has been known for many generations in Germany,
KUEHN and the qualities it expresses — bold, keen, aggressive, pro-
gressive — have characterized its bearers both in Germany and
in this country.

(I) Ludwig Kuehn was born in Prussia, Germany, July 24, 1822, and
died in 1866. He was the owner of a brick yard. He married Augusta,
born June 22., 1830, a daughter of William Schmidt. Children: Carl, of
further mention; Matilda, now deceased, married William Greenburg, and
lived at West End, Pittsburgh; Friedrich ; Ludwig; Augusta; Bertha,
married August Schmidt ; Henrietta, married John Speelman, lives at South
Side, Pittsburgh; Julius. Mrs. Kuehn married (second) John Steinberg,
and had one child, Edward.

(II) Carl Kuehn, eldest child of Ludwig and Augusta (Schmidt)
Kuehn, was born in Prussia, Germany, June 18, 1852. He received a sub-
.'-tantial and practical education in his native country, and emigrated to the
United States at the age of twenty years, arriving in this country January
30, 1872. He settled at Swissvale, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, where
he was engaged in gardening for a period of fourteen years. July 3, 1889,
he purchased his present place, and removed to it November 18, 1891.
The original purchase was one hundred and three acres, but Mr. Kuehn has
added to it so that the entire farm now consists of two hundred and four-



ni6 WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

teen acres, a part of which is cultivated as follows : Eight acres for grape
culture, two for raspberries, two for currants, four for peaches, one for
gooseberries, two for cherries, three for plums, and two for apples. In
addition to this he cultivates a large tract for general garden truck, and
finds a ready sale for all his output at the nearby markets, by reason of the
excellent quality of all of his products. He has made many improvements
on his land, conducting everything in the most modern and up-to-date
manner. He has erected a fine large barn, and remodeled the dwelling
house entirely, fitting it up with all modern improvements and conveniences.
His farm is considered by those competent to judge of such matters as one
of the finest and most prosperous in Allegheny county. Politically Mr.
Kuehn is a Republican, and his religious affiliation is with the German
Lutheran church, to which he is a liberal contributor.

Mr. Kuehn married. May 3, 1877, Christiana, born February 18, 1859,
a daughter of George and Margaret (Taylor) Shaller, and they have had
children : Margaret, married Herman Rush and lives in Patton township ;
Frank L., unmarried, lives in Patton township; Matilda, married Edward
Koch, lives in Pitcairn, Allegheny county ; Charles, married Verna Moose,
lives in Patton township; Bertha, married Eniil Kaus; Emma, Frederick
and Marie, living with parents.



The Foltz family has for many years been identified with the
FOLTZ varied interests of the sections of the state of Pennsylvania in

which are located the counties of Bucks and Westmoreland,
the earlier members of the family being among the pioneers, enduring the
hardships and danger of that troubulous period, and also participating in
the early wars, in which they displayed great bravery and prowess.

(I) Henry Foltz, great-grandfather of Heister Clymer Foltz, of Turtle
Creek, was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he was reared and
educated, and where he resided until 1776, when he removed to Westmore-
land county, Pennsylvania, in company with Daniel Boone, and took up
land on Indiana creek, some of his descendants still residing on the same.
He improved and cultivated his land, under his careful management it
changing from an almost wilderness to fertile fields which yielded an
abundant harvest. Among his children was Henry Walters, of whom
further, and John, who was a well known naturalist, and died in Central
America.

(II) Henry Walters Foltz, son of Henry Foltz, was born in West-
moreland county, Pennsylvania, and there spent his entire lifetime, engaged
in the occupation of farming. He married Mary Elizabeth Smitley, a
native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and among their children
was William Gcflden, of whom further.

(III) William Golden Foltz, son of Henry Walters Foltz. was born
in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and died in 1898, aged sixty-two
years. Fie was a farmer, but retired after spending many years as a mer-
chant in the village of Kecksburg. He was successful in his business, and



WESTERN' PENNSYLVANIA 1117

took an active part in public affairs, holding several local offices, the duties
of which he performed in a highly creditable manner. He married Eliza-
beth Griffith, a native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, daughter of
John and Sina (Newell) Griffith.

(IV) Heister Clymer Foltz, son of William Golden Foltz, was born
at Mammoth, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1866. He at-
tended the public schools of his native place, Curry Institute and the Sixth
Avenue Business College at Pittsburgh. He began his active career as a
hod carrier, and later served an apprenticeship at the trade of carpenter,
and after serving some time as a journeyman was appointed to the position
of foreman for the firm of William Miller & Sons, building contractors.
In 1908 he took up his residence in Turtle Creek, and in partnership with
C. W. Palmer engaged in the building contracting business under the style
of Palmer & Foltz, which later was changed to H. C. Foltz, the present
style. In addition to this, which has proven a successful enterprise, he has
dealt extensively in real estate, from which he derives a good income. He
is one of the organizers, a director and a member of the executive committee
of the First National Bank of Turtle Creek. He has served as treasurer
of the borough of Turtle Creek, and for two years was a member of the
Union High School Board, his influence bringing about the erection of the
Union High School, which has proven a valuable addition to the school
system in that place. He is well read, especially along the lines of phil-
osophy, travel, politics and economics, to which he has devoted considerable
time and study. Mr. Foltz is unmarried.



From the German Empire there has come to this country many

LEAX men whom we now claim as our citizens, men who are willing

if necessary to lay down their lives to preserve the Union, men

who are conscientious in the performance of each and every duty, and

among these are the members of the Leax family.

(I) John Leax was born in Saxony, Germany, and there spent his
entire life. He was a farmer and gardener by occupation, and from these
lines of work he provided a comfortable home for his family. He married
Wilhimina George, a native of Saxony, Germany, who bore him nine
children: William, of whom further; Paulina, became the wife of Frank
Trommer, a native of Germany, a painter by trade, and they emigrated to
the United States in 1880, locating in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and they
were the parents of four children : Thomas, Anna, Lena, Francis ; John,
of whom further ; Hattie, who married James Avery, of Pittsburgh, Penn-
^^yl\•ania : Earnistina. Wilhimina. .\nna, Linda, Ida, all remained in Germany.

(II) William Leax, son of John and Wilhimina (G«orge) Leax, was
born in Saxony, Germany. After completing his studies in the common
schools of his home town, he served an apprenticeship at the trade of
butcher, becoming expert in that line and was engaged in the same in his
native land until 1879, in which year he emigrated to the United States
and settled in Wilkins township, .Allegheny county. Pennsylvania, on what



iii8 WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

is called No. 3 Hill. He secured employment in the digging of coal, at
which he worked until 1898, when he rented some land and conducted
gardening operations thereon for two years. He then purchased eighteen
or twenty acres in Turtle Creek, where his son, William Leax, now lives,
and he continued his gardening operations there until his death, on Easter
Sunday, 191 1. During his residence there he re-built the house, making
it more commodious and comfortable, and since his death his son has
erected a new barn, thus adding greatly to the appearance of the place.
Mr. Leax married Anna Meuschke, born in Saxony, Germany, died in
Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, July 29, 1913. They were the parents of eight
children : Lena, married John Roehn ; Anna, deceased ; Mary, married
Henry Myers ; Emma, married Charles Mains ; William, of whom further ;
Flora; Henry; Paul. The family are members of the German Lutheran
church of Braddock.

(H) John (2) Leax, son of John (i) and Wilhimina (George) Leax,
was born in Saxony, Germany, March 20, 1853. In 1882 he left his
native land for the New World, locating in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania,
where he has since resided. His first occupation was digging coal in the
section of the state in which he located, and he continued at the same until
1900, in which year he purchased ten acres of land in the vicinity of Turtle
Creek and there successfully conducts gardening operations. He is the
owner of an attractive residence, which he has fitted up in excellent shape
for the use of his family. He is well known and respected in the community
as a man of upright character, leads a quiet and unassuming life, spending
his leisure time in his home. Mr. Leax married, in 1876, Anstina Scheerer,
in Germany, where she was born, daughter of August and Fredericka
Scheerer. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Leax: William, John, Ada, Minnie,
Anna.

(Ill) William (2) Leax, son of William (i) Leax, was born in
Wilkins township, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, January 4, 1885. He
was a student in the public schools of that locality, and since entering upon
his active business career has conducted the homestead farm, performing
all kinds of gardening work. He is thorough and painstaking, active, pro-
gressive and enterprising, and therefore deserves the success which is sure
to crown his eiTorts. He is popular in the community, and has a wide
circle of friends. He is unmarried.



The Duffs were among the earliest settlers of Allegheny county,
DUFF Pennsylvania, and have always borne their share bravely as good
citizens and patriotic supporters of the rights of their country.
(I) John Duff, a farmer of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, married
Mary Shakeley, and had children: James, born August 4, 1782; married
Kitty Fisher; William, born October 11, 1784, married Mary Johnston;
Mary, born October 22, 1786, married Frank Wilson ; John, of further
mention; David, born January 8, 1791. married Nancy Henderson; Mar-
garet, born September 15, 1792, married John Park; George, born Febru-



WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 1119

ary 6, 1894, married Jane Morrow, Alexander, born January 26, 1796,
married Mary Bright; Esther, born July 14, 1801, married John Richard-
son; Elizabeth, born November 3, 1803, married James Park; Samuel,
born February 15, 1807, married Jane Wilson; Matilda, born June 12, 1813.

(II) John Duff, son of John and Mary (Shakeley) Duff, was born in
what was then Wilkins township, and is now Penn township, April 25,
1789. He was a farmer and stone mason, and in 1840 purchased fifty acres
of land in Penn township. Politically he was a Democrat, and he was a
member of the United Presbyterian church. Mr. Duff married, May 2,
1824, Isabelle Fisher, and they had children : Mary Ann, deceased, born
April 4, 1827; Matilda, deceased, was born April 18, 1829, married Matthew
Long; George, deceased, born October i, 1831, died young; Eliza Jane,
deceased, born August 20, 1834, married James Morrow ; Margaret, born
November i, 1834; John A., of further mention; Morrow, of further men-
tion; Sarah J., born November 21, 1843, married John H. Morrow; a
son, who died in infancy.

(III) John A. Duff, son of John and Isabelle (Fisher) Duff, was born
in Penn township, November i, 1837. He was educated in his native town-
ship, and in 1856 commenced farming operations independently. October
3, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and First Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and served until May 17, 1865, when he
was honorably discharged. He was actively engaged at Yorktown, Williams-
burg and Fair Oaks. He was captured at Plymouth, North Carolina, April
20, 1864, and released at Jacksonville, April 28, 1865. He is a prominent
member of the local post at Wilkinsburg of the Grand Army of the Republic.
After the war he went west for a time, then returned to Penn township,
where he cultivates a fine farm of eighty-five acres.

(Ill) Morrow Duff, son of John and Isabelle (Fisher) Duff, was born
January 21, 1841, and has spent all his life in Penn township. He married
Anna F., born November 16, 1853, a daughter of William Mays, a veteran
of the Civil War, during which he attained the rank of captain. Children:
Fanny Gertrude, born October 17, 1881, now deceased; Mary Isabel, born
September 25, 1883, married Bennett Beswarick, has children: Frances and
James; Hester Irene, born July 17, 1886; John \\'alter, born July 27, 1890,
died at the age of thirteen years.



Frank L. Ober is a member of an old and highly respected

OBER French family, and a type of the best character of that strong

race, which, though it has not contributed as largely as many

other European peoples to the population of this country, has nevertheless

grafted upon American citizenship its own splendid qualities of steadfast

purpose and intelligent thrift.

His grandfather, Peter Ober, was born and lived his entire life in
France, where he held the responsible position of game warden in the
forests of his native region.

George Ober, son of Peter Ober, the father of our subject, was the



II20 ' WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

emigrant ancestor of the family in this country. Of an enterprising nature,
he came as a mere boy to the United States, seeking for greater oppor-
tunity than was to be found at home. He settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsyl-



Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanGenealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 3) → online text (page 4 of 92)