John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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

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vania, and there took up stone masonry and carpentry, both of which
trades he learned, working at them the while. His natural aptitude soon
established him firmly in his new home, and he was able to engage in busi-
ness on his own account. He tried many different lines, and was successful
in a greater or less degree in all. He engaged in the grocery and oil trades
at different times, but his chief venture was the founding of the large
brewery which for many years was known as the Koenig & Ober Brewery
His success in brewing was great and he became a man of large substance
and a prominent figure in the community. His business interests were con-
stantly widening and he became the president of the Venango, Central and
Dutch Creek Oil Company. He was also active in politics, a strong Demo-
crat, and represented the old Seventh Ward of Pittsburgh, situated on the
north side of the city, in the Pittsburgh city council. George Ober was
born in 1823, was but seventeen years of age when he came to this country,
and in 1878 retired entirely from active business, his valuable brewery
interests passing on to his sons. He was married to Mary Vogel, a daughter
of Bernard Vogel. To them were born fifteen children, as follows : George
L., deceased, who married a Miss Minzer and was engaged in the drygoods
business in Pittsburgh ; John P., deceased, who married Sarah Eberhart,
and was engaged in the brewing business; Frank L., the subject of this
sketch ; William A., who married Philomena Kuhnele, and now lives in
Portland, Oregon; Elizabeth, who is now Mrs. Phillip Biedenbach, of Pitts-
burgh; Mary, now Mrs. Christopher Brecht, of Franklin, Pennsylvania;
Charles F., who married Mary Amelia Sauer; Henry F., who married
Miss Heid ; Joseph A., deceased ; Matilda, deceased ; Edward R., who
married Minnie Noll; Rosa, widow of John Kraft; Albert E.. deceased,
and Alexander B., a resident of Pittsburgh ; a child died not named.

Frank L. Ober, the third child of George and Mary (Vogel) Ober,
was born January 2, 185 1, in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, and there
passed the early years of his life. He was educated in the local schools,
in all the elementary branches, and then matriculated in the Iron City
College, from which, after distinguishing himself in his studies, he was
graduated with the class of 1869. Having thus completed his education, he
took up the machinist's trade, remaining in this line for a time, until he
entered his father's brewery. When in the year 1878 his father retired
from the business, the concern passed into the hands of Mr. Ober and his
younger brother, Charles F. Ober, and the two continued it under the
name of F. L. Ober & Brother Brewery. The business continued to flourish
and grow under their intelligent management for a period of twenty years,
when, in 1898, they sold out their interests to the Pittsburgh Brewing
Company. Mr. Ober at the j,ame time retired from active business and
removed to Penn township, Allegheny county, where he purchased a fine
farm. The tract itself is small, but it is a valuable property, even apart
from the handsome residence which Mr. Ober has had erected there. In



WESTERN PExNNSYLVANIA 1121

this attractive spot, amid charming rural surroundings, Mr. Ober finds it
possible to gratify his taste for a country life and farming. He has a
model chicken ranch on his, place and makes a specialty of breeding the
Rhode Island Red stock of fowl. He exhibits in all the fairs of the region,
as well as in all the important poultry shows in the country. He has won
many first prizes, including forty-seven silver cups, the various scenes of
his triumphs being laid in New York City, Chicago, Cleveland and Pitts-
burgh, as well as many other places of less importance. His Rhode Island
Reds are noted all over the country. It adds to the credit of his achieve-
ment to learn that all the forty-seven silver cups have been won within a
period of the last four years.

Mr. Ober does not confine his activities to his farm, however. On the
contrary, though retired from business, he still leads an active life and
keeps his sympathies broad. He is a keen and intelligent observer of the
political issues which agitate the country, and a staunch member of the
Republican party. He served his fellow citizens with great efficiency as a
member of the council of Allegheny City, to which office he was elected in
a Democratic ward. He is also a member of the local lodge of the Order
of Elks. Like his ancestors, Mr. Ober is a member of the Catholic church,
and is rearing his children in that faith.

Mr. Ober married (first) Mary E. Stadelman, June 13, 1876. To them
were born six children, three of whom, two boys and one girl, are deceased.
Those living are Elizabeth, now Mrs. J. J. O'Leary, of Oakmont, Pennsyl-
vania ; Matilda, who resides at home ; Robert, who married Edith Fair, and
now resides in Verona, Pennsylvania. Mr. Ober married (second) Isabel
Sauer.

Charles F. Ober, the younger brother of Frank L. Ober, who was
associated with him in the brewery business, is also a prominent figure in
that region. At the time of the sale of the Ober Brewery to the Pittsburgh
company, Charles F. Ober did not, as his elder brother did, withdraw
entirely from the business. On the contrary he accepted the oflfer of super-
intendency of the concern from the new owners, in which capacity he is
still employed by them. He began his business career in 1873, with a
position in the German Savings and National Bank of Allegheny, continuing
with that institution until he entered the brewing business in partnership
with his brother in 1878. Besides his superintendency in the Pittsburgh
Brewing Company, he now holds a membership in the directorate of the
Provident Trust Company, of the North Side, Pittsburgh.

Charles F. Ober married Mary Amelia Sauer, a native of Allegheny.
Pennsylvania. To them have been born five children, as follows : Amelia,
now Mrs. Joseph Rooney, of Pittsburgh, North Side ; Lucy ; Emma, now
Mrs. Leo Spuhler, of Pittsburgh, North Side; Elmer C, a resident of
Allegheny City, and employed in the German National Bank ; Arthur A.



1122 WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

The McMurrays are of Scotch-Irish ancestry, some of
McMURRAY the bearers of this name coming to America toward the
latter part of the eighteenth century, others coming at a
later date.

Edward McMurray, born in the North of Ireland. February 26, 1799,
emigrated to America in 1857 and settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He
was a man of superior attainments, and found no difficulty in obtaining em-
ployment in the city departments, with which he was identified the remainder
of his life. He was a Republican in political opinion, and an active worker
in the interests of the United Presbyterian church. Mr. McMurray married
in Ireland Anna McCullough, born in that country in 1808, and they had
children : Margaret, died in Ireland ; John, married Jane Bole, is an oil
refiner in Pittsburgh; James, in the plaster business in Pittsburgh, married
Eliza Gutherie; Mary, married Hugh Bole, a brother of the wife of her
brother John, and also lives in Pittsburgh ; Eliza, married John Rainey,
lived in Pittsburgh ; Sarah, married John McKee, a mechanic of Pittsburgh ;
Rebecca, married Alexander Gorman, a contractor of Pittsburgh ; Thomas,
of further mention. Edward McMurray was a member of the Masonic
Order.

Thomas McMurray, son of Edward and Anna (McCullough) Mc-
Murray, was born in the North of Ireland, May 19, 1849. He was a
young lad when he came to this country with his parents, and acquired his
education in the elementary and high schools of Pittsburgh. In early man-
hood he started in the hardware business with Whitmore, Wolf, Dufif &
Company, remaining with this firm for a period of four years. He then
went to Lindsay, Sterritt & Euwer, remaining with them until the firm was
changed to Lindsay, Sterritt & Company. Subsequently he became a partner
of James C. Lindsay & Company, which still later became the Lindsay
Hardware Company, of which Mr. McMurray has now been president
continuously since his election to this office in 1896. For the past twenty-
five years he has lived with his family in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. He
has been an active worker in the interests of the Republican party, and is
now serving his second term as a member of the borough council. For
many years he has been a member of the United Presbyterian church and
has held official position in it for the past ten years. Fraternally he is a
member of the Blue Lodge, Chapter. Consistory, and Veterans, of the
Order of Free and Accepted Masons ; also a Knight Templar and member
of the Order of the Mystic Shrine.

Mr. McMurray married, December 12, 1877, Charlotte, daughter of
Thomas and Jane Barkley, and they have had children: Alfred B., born in
August, 1879, lives in Charleston, West Virginia, married Mary E. Grear;
Thomas E., born in 1883, is a physician in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, mar-
ried Mary Emmett, of Hagerstown, Maryland ; Wesley Gordon, born in
1887, is a traveling salesman and unmarried; Lewis S., born in 1891, is a
student in the University of Pennsylvania: Walter Roy. born in 1895;,
attends the Wilkinsburg high school; Earl Kenneth, born in 1899, a pupil
in the public schools.



WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 1123

The Beattys came to the North of Ireland from Scotland,
BEATTY and from thence emigrated to America, where they have been
resident for a number of generations, and have been highly
respected citizens.

(I) Robert Beatty, who was one of the pioneer settlers of Allegheny
county, Pennsylvania, was a civil engineer, and did almost all the surveying
of the section in his time. He owned a farm of about three hundred acres,
of which he cleared the greater part. In political sentiment he was a Whig,
and his religious affiliation was with the Presbyterian church. He married
Rebecca, a daughter of Judge Colter, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and had
children : William ; Samuel, of further mention ; Priscilla ; Robert ; John ;
James ; Jonathan ; Henry ; Elizabeth ; Mary ; Rebecca ; Margaret ; Richard ;
Eli.

(II) Samuel Beatty, son of Robert and Rebecca (Colter) Beatty, was
born on the Beatty homestead in Allegheny county, in 1812. He was
educated in the district school of Patton township, and was a very young
man when he commenced farming on the homestead, on which he spent his
entire life. He was active in the cause of religion, and assisted in building
the Cross Roads Presbyterian Church in 1836. In political matters he was
Republican. Mr. Beatty married Anna Jane Glen, a daughter of Squire
David Boggs, of Patton township, and they had children : Lavinia, who died
at the age of four years ; Henry, a veteran of the Civil War, married Emma
Colcleser, and lives in Monroeville ; David, now deceased, married Rachel
Tilford, and lives on the Beatty homestead ; William, married Lenora
Greerson, and lives in Patton township; Cyrus B., of further mention;
Samuel, married Clara McCallister, and lives in Patton township.

(III) Cyrus B. Beatty, son of Samuel and Anna Jane Glen (Boggs)
Beatty, was born on the Beatty homestead. October i, 1854. He was
educated in the public schools of Patton township, and lived on the home-
stead until he was about thirty years of age. He now owns a farm of
sixty-six acres in Patton township, and is actively engaged in agricultural
pursuits. He is also interested in a number of other enterprises, chiefly
connected with coal and gas, and operates a coal bank of his own. He is a
staunch supporter of the Republican party, and has served as a member of
the school board and as auditor. His religious affiliation is with the Presby-
terian church, of which for the past twenty years he has served as elder
and is now serving as secretary of the sessions. He is a member of the
Masonic fraternity, belonging to Valley Lodge, No. 613, of Turtle Creek;
Pittsburgh Consistory, Thirty-second Degree Scottish Rite; Syria Temple,
No. I, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Mr. Beatty mar-
ried, November 28, 1889, Emma J., a daughter of James Atkinson, of Pitts-
burgh, Pennsylvania. They have no children. Mrs. Beatty is a member of
the Eastern Star and other bodies connected with the Masonic Order. She is
a United States Daughter of 1812.



II24 WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

The name of Duff has been a familiar one in this country for
DUFF many generations, and it has always been found in connection
with matters which were for the benefit of the communities in
which the various bearers of it have resided.

(I) Alexander Duff was born on the Duff homestead in Penn township,
and owned about one hundred and fifty acres of land. He was engaged in
general farming and stock raising. He married Mary Bright, and they
had children : John, a farmer of Penn township, Allegheny county, Penn-
sylvania, married Sarah B. Morrow; Bright, went to California in 1849
and died there of typhoid fever; Margaret, married Henry Sniveley, and
lived near Milltown ; Barbara, died unmarried in May, 191 1, having spent
her entire life on the homestead; George, died at the age of twenty-two
years ; Elizabeth, died at the age of twenty years ; Rebecca, married Harrow
Johnston, a farmer of Wilkins township, and died a year after her marriage ;
Parry, of further mention ; Wilson, married Elizabeth Wilson, and lives in
Penn township.

(H) Parry Duff, son of Alexander and Mary (Bright) Duff, was born
on the Duff homestead, August 14, 1846, and died December 19, 1879. He
was a farmer on the homestead all his life, was a supporter of Democratic
principles in political matters, and was a Presbyterian in religious views. He
married, March 14, 1872, Elizabeth, born July 10, 1848, a daughter of
Thomas F. and Mary M. (Burchfield) Butler, whose other children were:
John B., born March 19, 1850, married Jane Garriet; Mary Amanda, born
October 20, 1852, married Isaac N. Carpenter; Lydia Jane, born December
17, 1854, died October 19, 1876; Adah P., born March 22, 1857, married
Dr. William H. Wills; Daniel, born December 3, 1859, died at the age of
twelve years; Margaret A., born May 26, 1862; Isabel, born March 30,
1865, married Wilson Mill, a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Duff had one child.

(Ill) Alexander Duff, son of Parry and Elizabeth (Butler) Duff,
was born on the Duff homestead, Penn township, July 7, 1874. He was
educated in the public schools of his native township, in those of Wilkins-
burg, and in the Wilkinsburg Academy. In early manhood he commenced
following farming, and has made this his life work. He has a fine farm of
seventy acres, on which he raises fruits and vegetables, and also has a
fine herd of dairy cows. He is one of the prosperous farmers of his section,
owing to the progressive methods he applies to all his undertakings. Po-
litically he is Independent, and in religious belief, a member of the Presby-
terian church. Mr. Duff married, in 1893, Nellie B., born April 27, 1874,
a daughter of Oliver and Harriet (Shaffer) Duff, the former a Civil War
veteran, and they have had children: Ruth, born August 3, 1894; Lester,
born July 13, 1896; Eleanor, born February 24, 1898; Hazel, born August
25, 1900; Alexander, Jr., born July 7, 1911.



This was a name of frequent occurrence among the Scotch-

GILMORE Irish immigrants who settled in this country throughout

the eighteenth century. It was carried from Scotland to



WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 1125

the Nortli of Ireland about a century prior to its arrival here, and has con-
tributed many excellent citizens to the United States.

(I) John Gilmore was born in Ireland, and emigrated to the United
States in 1833, accompanied by his wife and only child. His wife died at
sea, and Mr. Gilmore with his son settled in Penn township, Allegheny
county, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1840. The name of his wife before
marriage was Ann McCune.

(II) Francis Gilmore, son of John and Ann (McCune) Gilmore, was
born in county Down, Ireland, March 29, 1801, and in 1843 purchased
forty-seven acres of land in Penn township, near Wilkinsburg. This was
covered with timber, and he cleared the land and erected a number of
buildings on it. The fine brick house in which his children are now living
was erected by him. He was a staunch supporter of Republican principles,
and was for many years an elder in the United Presbyterian church. Mr.
Gilmore married Jane, who died September 6, 1890, a daughter of John
Johnston, Esq. Children : John Hastings, of further mention ; Martha
Ann, who lives with her brother ; James and Margaret, who died in infancy.

John Johnston, father of Mrs. Jane (Johnston) Gilmore, was born in
Ireland in 1745, and died in Pennsylvania, in July, 1810. He was the
recipient of an excellent education in his native land, and came to this
country at the age of seventeen years. He readily found employment in
the Land Office, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and, upon the outbreak of
the Revolutionary War, became the private secretary of General Washing-
ton. For the services he rendered in this capacity, he received, as part
payment, six hundred and twenty acres of land in Wilkins township, Alle-
gheny county. Three hundred acres are in what in now Penn township.
On this he settled, and suffered greatly from the depredations of the
Indians. While living there he farmed the Two Mile Bottom where Pitts-
burgh now stands. He was a strong Whig in political affairs, and served
as justice of the peace for many years being in office at the time of his
death. He was a ruling elder of the Beulah Presbyterian Church, and
called her first pastor. He married Martha, a daughter of William and
Jane Mishkimans, both born in Ireland, and they had children: James M.
and Nancy, twins ; Jane, who married Francis Gilmore, as above stated.

(III) John Hastings Gilmore, son of Francis and Jane (Johnston)
Gilmore, was born on the Gilmore homestead, Penn township, Allegheny
county, Pennsylvania, May 29, 1846. He was educated in the public schools
of Penn township and Wilkinsburg, and then became identified with agri-
cultural pursuits. He farmed in association with his father, until the death
of the latter in 1893. from which time he cultivated the farm alone until
1899, when he retired from its active cultivation. He and his sister live in
the home built by his father. Politically Mr. Gilmore is a Republican, and
has served as school director for a period of eleven years. His religious
affiliation is with the United Presbyterian church.



II26 WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

This name undoubtedly originated with a person tall of stature.
LONG An account of its origin in England, which may be regarded as

more or less authentic, asserts that one of the family of Preux,
who was an attendant on the lord treasurer of Hungerford, acquired the
soubriquet of Long Henry, on account of his great height. Having mar-
ried a lady of quality, he adopted the prefix as a surname, changing the
appellation to Henry Long, and thus becoming the founder of the Longs of
Wiltshire. The name is also to be found in Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire,
Norfolk and Suffolk, and is known to have existed in the reign of Edward
L Several Americans of this name have won national distinction, including
the Hon. John Davis Long, secretary of the navy.

(I) Matthew Long was born in England, and came to America prior
to the Revolutionary War. He was a young man at that time, and fought
bravely in the ranks of the Continental army. He was a member of Beulah
Church, and is buried in the old churchyard.

(H) John Long, son of Matthew Long, the immigrant, was born on
the homestead founded by his father in Penn township, Allegheny county,
Pennsylvania, and married Rebecca Brown. Children : Matthew ; Sarah ;
Rebecca ; Samuel, was a member of the One Hundred and First Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War; Elizabeth M. Mr.
Long was a member of the L^nited Presbyterian church.

(III) Matthew Long, son of John and Rebecca (Brown) Long, was
born on the Long homestead, November lo, 1827, and died November 6,
1904. He was educated in the public schools of Penn township, and all his
life was engaged in farming operations. He married, in 1858, Matilda
Dufif, and had children : John, Frank and Harry, died in infan-^y : Ella
M.. married Benjamin Harrison; Araminta, married John W. Harrison;
Samuel Morrow, of further mention : Matilda B., married James Morrow ;
Margaret J., married Harry Swisshelm. Mr. Long was a Democrat and a
member of the United Presbyterian church.

(IV) Samuel Morrow Long, son of Matthew and Matilda (Dufif) Long,
was born on the Long homestead, Penn township, Allegheny county, Penn-
sylvania, April 8, 1865. He was educated in the public schools of his native
township, and, like his father, has been identified with farming all his life.
He has made many improvements on the homestead, among them being the
erection of a fine brick dwelling house in 1910. He and his wife are mem-
bers of the United Presbyterian church, and he has served as treasurer of
the church and Sunday school. Mr. Long married, January 12, 1895, Sadie,
a daughter of James and Mary (Donald) Donaldson, and they have had
children: Mary, born October 8, 1899; Harry, born May 6, 1901 ; Frances,
born April 20, 1903; Warren, })orn July 2, 1906; Alice Isabel, born June 8,
1912. In political matters Mr. Long is a Prohibitionist.



Frank D. Gibson is a member of an old and highly regarded

GIBSON Pennsylvania family, a family which furnished the pioneers

of the western part of that state, the men upon whose courage



WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 1127

and energy the great development of that section of the country is founded.
When they went into that region they found a wilderness, peopled by
savages, hostile to themselves, and looking with suspicion upon their every
advance. Yet in spite of these difficulties they cleared the country, cultivated
the land, and built houses which, though rude and primitive, were yet the
forerunners of all the mighty industrial growth which has come after.

f I) Anthony Gibson, grandfather of Frank D. Gibson, came to Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, a pioneer, bringing with him his wife, and settling
there permanently, clearing his land and farming until his death. After
that his wife removed to Braddock, Pennsylvania, where she continued to
live until the year 1902, when she died at the venerable age of eighty-nine
years. They were the parents of three children, as follows: George, of
whom further; Caroline and Lester, all of whom are now deceased.

(II) George Gibson, eldest child of Anthony Gibson, was born in
Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1842, and there passed his child-
hood, attending the local public schools, and learning the trade of brick
making. About 1865. when he was twenty-three years of age, he removed
from his native place to Braddock, Pennsylvania, and there engaged in
brick manufacture for a considerable period of years. At the time of the
breaking out of the Civil War, Mr. Gibson joined the Union army, enlisting
at Pittsburgh, in 1861, in Company A, Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania
Volunteer Infantry. He was later transferred to Company D, One Hundred
and Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and served until the
close of that historic struggle, seeing much active campaigning during the
time, and undergoing many hardships and perils. His lyother Lester also
enlisted in the Union army, and gave up his life for his country, dying
while in camp from an injury. George Gibson, however, survived the
ordeal, and returned to his home in Pennsylvania, to enjoy many years of
honored and honoraMe citizenship. His death finally occurred on February
23, 1907, at the age of sixty-five years. He was a member of the Grand
Army of the Republic and of the Union Veteran Legion. He was a staunch
member of the Republican party, and a man who gave much thought and
attention to the great political questions agitating the country in his day. He
married, April 16. 1865, Rebecca Dick, a native of Pittsburgh, born in 1847.
Mrs. Gibson was a daughter of John and Rebecca (Bart) Dick, he a native
of Ireland, whence he came to Braddock, Pennsylvania, and there followed
the trade of carpenter for a number of years, and then moved to Pittsburgh.
where he finally died in the year 1848. His wife, who had been Rebecca
Bart, was born in England, but came with her parents in the early days to
the United States and to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she met and mar-
ried Mr. Dick, and eventually died two years after his death. To Mr. and
Mrs. Dick were born three children, as follows : Fannie Louisa ; Frank,



Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanGenealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 3) → online text (page 5 of 92)