Notables

Updates will be made as often as possible.

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1891 Homestead Steel Works Explosion

Find A Grave links currently unavailable

"Buried Beneath Seething Cinder."
"Buried Beneath Seething Cinder."

Photo source: "A Seething Cinder." Pittsburgh Dispatch, 20 Sep 1891, p. 2.

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A Seething Cinder
A Seething Cinder

Source: Pittsburgh Dispatch, Sunday, 20 Sep 1891, p. 2.

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Buried Amid Sorrow.
Buried Amid Sorrow.

Source: Pittsburgh Daily Post, Tuesday, 22 Sep 1891, p. 1

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"Buried Beneath Seething Cinder."
"Buried Beneath Seething Cinder."

Photo source: "A Seething Cinder." Pittsburgh Dispatch, 20 Sep 1891, p. 2.

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On Saturday, September 19, 1891, a horrific accident occurred within the Converting Mill of the Homestead Steel Works of Carnegie, Phipps, & Co, when a chain link parted, exploding nearly five tons of molten cinder from a ladle over six employees, killing one instantly, and fatally burning two others. The remaining three were only slightly burned. 

James Maguire, a 26 year old foreman, was killed instantly after receiving the brunt of the falling molten cinder.  

Jacob Linn, father of five and recent widower, succumbed to his burns on September 20, 1891. 

Both men were buried on September 21, 1891, within the Homestead Cemetery, following a joint Funeral Service at the Methodist Episcopal Church. The mills shut down for the day in observance, and an estimated 10,000 people, including eleven lodges of the Amalgamated Association, lined the streets as the bodies were transported to the Cemetery. At the time, it was recorded as the second largest funeral ever seen within the Homestead area. 

Information and photo sources:

  • “A Seething Cinder.” Pittsburgh Dispatch, 20 Sept. 1891, p. 2. 

  • “Buried Amid Sorrow. .” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 22 Sept. 1891, p. 1.

  • “The Second Homestead Victim Dead.” Pittsburgh Dispatch, 21 Sept. 1891, p. 2.

©2021 by Homestead Cemetery. Proudly created with Wix.com

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1918 Influenza Pandemic Mass Grave

Find A Grave links currently unavailable

The mass grave area is thought to be located in the large unmarked field parallel to 22nd Avenue, towards the Anne Ashley United Methodist Church. Much of the area was originally unmarked, and it's speculated that the need for efficient and numerous burials, as well as the stigma and health concerns of those who had perished from the Spanish flu prevented families from holding traditional ceremonies.

 

According to notes found in the subsequent ledger entries, many of those who were originally buried in this area during the pandemic had been exhumed and reburied near other family members in larger lots.

 

We are working on trying to learn more about those interred within this area. 

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Honorable Donald Arthur Abraham (D)

Find A Grave Link Available

Location: Annex Section H, Lot 5

The Abraham Memorial includes interments of:

Honorable Donald Arthur Abraham (1930 - 1978); 

His parents, Alex Abraham (1887 - 1947) and

Anna Abraham (1893 - 1981);

and Lamia K. Haddad (1868 - 1962)

 

The Honorable Donald A. Abraham served as a Democratic Representative in the PA House of Representatives from Allegheny County from 1974 - 1978. He was born in Munhall on September 26, 1930 and was a 1948 graduate of Munhall High School. He served in the United States Navy from 1951-1955 in the Korean War. He was elected to the Allegheny County Democratic Committee from 1962-1974; elected to the Munhall council from 1964-1976, which served as President from 1969-1974; elected as a Democrat to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1974, and was reelected in 1976. He was tragically killed in a fatal head-on collision on Route 885 after a vehicle crossed the median. He was pronounced deceased at Jefferson Hospital on July 24, 1978. He was 47. 

Information and photo source:

Abraham Monument.jpg
Donald A. Abraham
Donald A. Abraham

Source: PA House of Representatives Biography of Donald A. Abraham.

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Donald Abraham
Donald Abraham

Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 25 July 1978, p. 1.

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Abraham Accident
Abraham Accident

Source: Pittsburgh Press, 25 Jul 1978, p. 7.

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Donald A. Abraham
Donald A. Abraham

Source: PA House of Representatives Biography of Donald A. Abraham.

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William Reginald "Bill" Armour

Find A Grave link available

Location: Old Section A, Lot 31

Bill Armour
William Armour Gravestone.jpg

Bill Armour was a professional baseball player and manager. He was born in Homestead, PA on September 03, 1869, and died at the age of 53 in Minneapolis, MN on December 2, 1922. Armour played as an outfielder for several minor league teams between 1891-1896, before managing the Cleveland Indians, then called the Bronchos, from 1902-1904. He moved to Detroit to manage the Tigers in the 1905-1906 seasons, and is credited with discovering Ty Cobb, aka "The Georgia Peach," who is still ranked as one of baseball's 100 Greatest Players of all time. Armour made major improvements to both teams records during his time with them. Following the close of the 1906 season with the Tigers, Armour purchased the professional Minor League team, the Toledo Mud Hens, which he managed until his resignation in 1911 when he sold his share. He pursued the purchase of another small State League team in Ohio and a short stint as a talent scout for the St. Louis Cardinals between 1911 and 1912, and moved on to manage the businesses of the Milwaukee and Kansas City clubs in 1913 and 1914, respectively. After retiring from baseball, he was heavily involved with a restaurant in Minneapolis.

Information and photo sources:

  • "1901 Cleveland Blues". Baseball-Reference.com. baseball-reference.com. Retrieved January 5, 2014.

  • Al Howell (November 24, 1906). "The Acquisition of the Toledo Club by William R. Armour Very Pleasing to Toledo Fans" (PDF). Sporting Life. p. 5.

  • "Armour's Berth: The Capable and Popular Ex Cleveland Manager Will Undoubtedly Control the More Tractable Detroit Team Next Year" (PDF). Sporting Life. October 1, 1904. p. 11.

  • "Armour's Death Causes Sorrow: Veteran Was Manager at Detroit When Ty Cobb Broke In". The Sporting News. December 7, 1922. p. 1.

  • "Big Teams Carry Too Many Players: Eighteen Men Sufficient for Any One Team Says Veteran Bill Armour". New Castle News. April 28, 1913.

  • "Bill Armour Goes Over Great Divide: Former Manager of Tigers Dies in Minneapolis". Detroit Free Press. December 3, 1922. p. 21.

  • "Bill Armour Minor League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 5, 2014.

  • "Bill Armour Quits Toledo Club: Former Tiger Manager Sells Out Holdings in Maumee City and Acquires Lancaster". Detroit Free Press. November 1911. p. 9.

  • Meinert, Norman J. “HOMESTEAD CEMETERY 2257 Main Street Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 461-1818.” Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA, 5 Dec. 2012, sites.rootsweb.com/~njm1/08Homestead.html.

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Anne Ashley

Find A Grave links available

Location: Old Section D, Lots 35 & 36

The Ashley memorials consist of an obelisk and individual stones set within Old Section D.

Interments include those of:

Anne (McDowell) Ashley, (1794 - 1854);

Her children:

  1. Alexander Ashley, (1831 - 1901), his spouse, Elizabeth Ann (née Cox) Ashley, (1834 - 1923), their son, Charles William Ashley, (1866 - 1913), and his spouse, Anna Martha (née Powell) Ashley, (1869 - 1921);

  2. Rebecca Ashley, (1833 - 1859);

  3. Step-son (?), Thomas K. Ashley, (1820 - 1866)

Anne Ashley was born on July 23, 1794 to parents John Archibald and Jannet "Jane" (née McLin) McDowell, who were children of Irish immigrants. She had one daughter, Hannah (née Ford) Cox, prior to marrying her husband, Charles Ashley (1786 - 1832), with whom she had four children, Sarah Ann Ashley, Charles Wesley Ashley, Alexander Ashley, and Rebecca Ashley. 

More information to come soon.

Ashley Family Obelisk

Photo of Ashley Family Obelisk. Credited to Find-A-Grave user, Anne. Added 5 Nov 2013.

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Paul Vincent "Polly" Birch

Find A Grave link available

Section I Annex, Grave 21

Paul V. Birch is most known for his basketball career, and was once called one of the finest players produced by Pittsburgh. He was born on January 04, 1910 to Polish immigrants, Joseph and Frances (Lemke) Brzezicki, who had initially settled on farmland in Cumberland, Virginia. The family moved to Homestead by 1920, and in May of 1941, his parents applied to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County for a name change of Brzezicki to Birch.

His basketball career started in 1929 at Homestead High School where he helped earn a WPIAL title, but he earned his All-American status at Duquesne University where he played from 1931 - 1934. Following graduation, he played professionally with the New York Celtics from 1935 - 1938 and 1940 - 1942, the Pittsburgh Pirates (a defunct team from the Nat'l Basketball League) from 1938 - 1939, and the Ft. Wayne Pistons (now located in Detroit) from 1941 - 1945, and later went on to coach in the early 1950s.

 

Between the years of 1938 - 1940, Paul also coached the Steelers, his alma mater team, at Homestead High. His squad made it to the 1939 state championship. 

He married his second wife, Florence Militine Brenner, on July 18, 1945 in Fort Wayne. 

Following his retirement from playing professionally, he again returned to Pittsburgh to coach the city's first professional team, the Pittsburgh Ironmen, which was one of 11 charter franchises within the newly formed Basketball Association of America, a precursor to the National Basketball Association. They were based in Duquesne Gardens. The Ironmen only played for one season in 1946, and finished dead last in the Western Division with a record of 15 - 45. The team permanently folded in 1947 before the start of their second season. The BAA and National Basketball League went on to form the National Basketball Association in 1949, and it's noted that the Ironmen are reasonably considered to be the worst team in the entire history of the NBA. 

 

His returned to Fort Wayne as coach in the 1950s before making a final move back home as the coach of the former Rankin, later General Braddock, High School. He stayed through the 1970s, earning a state championship in 1973. 

He was a member of the Western PA and Pittsburgh halls of fame. He died on June 5, 1982, at the age of 72.

Information sources:

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Carnegie Steel Company Strikers

Find A Grave links available

Homestead Strike Victims Historical Mark
Homestead Strike Victims Historical Mark

Erected: 1993 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Location: 40° 23.862′ N, 79° 54.106′ W. Marker is in Munhall, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker is at the intersection of East 22nd Street and Main Street, on the right when traveling east on East 22nd Street. Located in St. Mary's Cemetery across from Homestead Cemetery. Photo source: The Historical Marker Database

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Funeral Procession Steel Strikers
Funeral Procession Steel Strikers

Photo source: “A Seething Cinder.” Pittsburgh Dispatch, 20 Sept. 1891, p. 2.

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Homestead Strike Victims Historical Mark
Homestead Strike Victims Historical Mark

Erected: 1993 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Location: 40° 23.862′ N, 79° 54.106′ W. Marker is in Munhall, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker is at the intersection of East 22nd Street and Main Street, on the right when traveling east on East 22nd Street. Located in St. Mary's Cemetery across from Homestead Cemetery. Photo source: The Historical Marker Database

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Three of the seven Carnegie Steel Company employees killed during the infamous July 6, 1892 "Battle of Homestead" are interred within the Homestead Cemetery. Of the remaining four employees, Peter Ferris, Henry Striegel, and Thomas Weldon lie across the street in St. Mary's Catholic  Cemetery, and George Rutter in Verona. The funerals for the slain men were attended by most in town, with estimates of attendees reaching into the thousands. Brass marching bands led the otherwise silent processions to the cemeteries, where escorts of honor, comprised of fellow union members of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steelworkers, met the hearses.

Shortly after 4:30 AM, Joseph Sotak, a Slovak immigrant, was among the first casualties of the initial Pinkerton engagement. As Captain Frederick H. Heinde, commander of the Pinkerton agents, made ready to cross the gangplank from the barge to rivers edge, fire opened. During the ensuing scuffle, Sotak ran to the aid of Martin Murray, a Welsh employee, who had been wounded by a Pinkerton bullet. As Sotak attempted to drag Murray to safety, he was shot in the mouth and died instantly. He had been a leader of the East European AAISW lodge of steelworkers, and his death helped to unite many ethnic and occupational groups within Homestead. It's said that his July 8, 1892 funeral, held at the Methodist Episcopal Church, stunned the press; traditionally a silent and stoic event for the East European community, accounts of chanting and teeth-bearing by nearly all present were reported at the mention of the Pinkertons. His memorial is located near the 22nd Avenue border and Anne Ashley United Methodist Church in the Singles Section 1 (formerly Old Section B), adult row 5, grave 2. He was laid to rest next to Silas Wain, a fellow striker.
 

Sotak information and photo sources:

  • Krause, Paul. The Battle for Homestead: Politics, Culture, and Steel. Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1992.

Joseph Sotak Grave Marker
Joseph Sotak Grave Marker

Photo Source: Corey Potts

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Joseph Sotak Grave Marker
Joseph Sotak Grave Marker

Photo Source: Corey Potts

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John E. Morris, a Welsh immigrant, aged 28, was a well-liked union member and skilled worker within the Blooming Mill. He was the first to perish in the Pinkertons second effort to reach shore. Shortly after 8 AM, he was shot in the forehead after taking position in the Pump House. During a pause in the skirmish, Morris had paused after taking aim and shooting at a barge, peeking his head out from cover. He fell 60 feet into the well of the building, crying out as he plummeted downwards. His remains were returned to his widow, Hannah (née Richards) Morris, whom he had married on January 27, 1886, and children at their Ninth Avenue home after being carried through the streets. It's said that those who witnessed the procession became incensed, crying out for revenge and blood. He was a member of the Magdala Lodge of the  Independent Order of the Odd Fellows, and the Munhall Lodge of the Amalgamated Association. His memorial is located in the center of Old Section I, Lot 7, next to the IOOF Monument.

Morris information and photo sources:

  • “Funeral of Victims.” The Buffalo Enquirer, 8 Jul 1892, pp. 1.

  • “His Last Farewell.” Pittsburgh Dispatch, 9 Jul 1892, pp. 2.

  • Krause, Paul. The Battle for Homestead: Politics, Culture, and Steel. Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1992.

  • “Muffled Drums Sound Dirges.” Pittsburgh Dispatch, 8 Jul 1892, pp. 1.

John E. Morris
John E. Morris

Photo source: "His Last Farewell." Pittsburgh Dispatch, 9 Jul 1892, p. 2.

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John E. Morris Marker
John E. Morris Marker

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John E. Morris
John E. Morris

Photo source: "His Last Farewell." Pittsburgh Dispatch, 9 Jul 1892, p. 2.

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Silas Wain, an English immigrant, aged 23, was a common laborer in the Bessemer Mill. He was among the workers who rushed the mill yard to confront the Pinkertons. A cannon, from the Grand Army of the Republic home in Swissvale, had been moved by sympathetic workers to the shore opposite the mill in an attempt to sink the Pinkerton barges. Wain was killed when a missed cannon shot exploded next to him, sending a piece of shrapnel into his head.

 

He was standing next to his brother, William Wain, who remained unharmed. The cannons ceased fire upon learning of his death, and were removed. At the time of his death, he was engaged to Eighth Avenue resident and English immigrant, Mary Jones, who collapsed upon hearing the news. His memorial is located near the 22nd Avenue border and Anne Ashley United Methodist Church in the Singles Section 1 (formerly Old Section B), adult row 5, grave 1. He was laid to rest next to Joseph Sotak, a fellow striker.

Wain information and photo sources:

  • "Funeral of Victins." The Buffalo Enquirer, 8 Jul 1892, pp.1.

  • Krause, Paul. The Battle for Homestead: Politics, Culture, and Steel. Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1992.

  • "Muffled Drums Sound Dirges." Pittsburgh Dispatch, 8 Jul 1892, pp. 1.

Silas Wain Grave Marker
Silas Wain Grave Marker

Photo source: Corey Potts

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Silas Wain Grave Marker
Silas Wain Grave Marker

Photo source: Corey Potts

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Speaker John F. Cox (R)

Find A Grave link available

Location: Old Section D, Lot 26

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John Freemont Cox, born October 6, 1852, was raised on his father’s Mifflin Township farm and attended Westminster College. In 1875, he graduated from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, studying law. He married Ms. Elvira Violet Ackard, daughter of Captain A. C. Ackard, and together, they had two children, Robert P. Cox and Anna L. (Cox) Dittman.  Mr. Cox worked as a schoolteacher in Homestead, for three years before continuing his law studies at the office of Major W. C. Moreland and John H. Kerr, of Pittsburgh. At the time of his death, he was a ranking member of the reputable law firm that included himself, George W. Brawner, Jr., John Kulamer, and Mead J. Mulvihill.  

Mr. Cox was elected the burgess (Mayor) of Homestead and held that position for two years. He was admitted to the Allegheny County Bar in January of 1880, and practiced law for the remainder of his life.  In November of 1884, he was elected to the 6th District of Allegheny County in the PA House of Representatives. He was re-elected the following term, 1887-1888, and following a 20-year gap, returned to serve in the House for two additional terms in 1909-1910 and 1911-1912, following a large-majority election of several hundred votes over his opponents. He was seen as a "uniformly fair" Speaker by both his Democrat and Republican diplomats.

He was a member of the Judiciary Committee and of the General Election Committee, and was appointed chairman of the Retrenchments and Reform Committee during the 1887-1888 term. He withdrew his nomination to the House in 1888 with the intent of running for District Attorney of Allegheny County; however, he retired from the election early on.  Later, he considered running for Governor, but instead turned his attention once again to the State House. He was re-elected to the House in November of 1908, and on January 5, 1909, he was elected as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 

While serving as Speaker, Mr. Cox oversaw several significant legislative measures. Act 143 of 1909 created the Legislative Reference Bureau. Another success of the 1909-1910 session was Act 210 of 1909, one of the state’s first laws regulating child labor in the mining industry; the law prohibited minors under the age of 14 from working in mines, and limited the number of hours a minor between 14-16 years of age could work to 58 in a week. This law also required employers to verify the age of workers and the minors working would have to obtain a certificate from their local school district before they were authorized to work in the mines. Also enacted in 1909 was Act 174, which regulated the use of automobiles in the state. It required owners to have their car registered with the state and mandated that vehicle operators obtain a driver’s license. The law also set the state speed limit at 24 miles per hour on rural roads and 12 miles per hour in towns and cities.

As Speaker, he welcomed the first African-American, Harry W. Bass, to the PA House of Representatives. Representative Bass, a Republican from Philadelphia, went on to serve two consecutive terms in the House. Also during his time as Speaker, in 1909, the House increased from 204 to 207 members for a period of 16 years. Mr. Cox was again elected to the Speakership for the 1911-1912 session, but he was unable to serve for most of this time due to declining health. During his final legislation sessions, he frequently gave up his chair to other members due to "sinking spells."

He was also a member of the Homestead lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Homestead lodge of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and was an honorary member of the Homestead Gen. Charles Griffin Post of  the G. A. R.

John F. Cox died at 10:30 AM on November 6, 1911, from renal failure at his residence of 427 Fifth Avenue, Homestead. 

His funeral services, led by Rev. L. R. Jones, were held at the First Methodist Episcopal Church (10th and Ann Streets) at 2 PM on November 8, 1911. His pall-bearers included nephews and prominent Homestead citizens, Andrew F. McClure and Charles W. Ashley, Esq. He was survived by his wife; son, Robert P. Cox; daughter, Anna L. Dittman; granddaughter, Sorothy Dittman; sisters, Elizabeth Ashley and Mrs. Boyd Kelly; and brothers, William and George Cox.

His namesake roadway, Cox Avenue, intersects Muldowney Avenue in Lincoln Place. 


Information gathered from:

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John Dixon

Find A Grave link available

Location: Old Section A, Lot 144

John Dixon, and English immigrant, was one of the best-known and wealthiest residents of Homestead during his lifetime. He was born in 1831 and moved to Pittsburgh as a young man before settling in Homestead in 1881, and was a large holder of real estate through the borough with properties that included the 8th Avenue First National Bank building and 9th Avenue Homestead Masonic block (now part of the Q Development Homestead Masonic Hall Lofts luxury apartment building). Upon his death at the age of 70 in 1901, Mr. Dixon left an estate worth over $50,000.00, which equates to nearly $1.6 million today. He never married, and was survived by two brothers and a sister. 

His namesake roadway, Dixon Street, runs perpendicular to E. 8th Avenue from the railroad tracks to E. 10th Avenue.

Information gathered from:

"John Dixon." The Pittsburgh Press, 11 May 1901, p. 11.

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Rodger P. Evans

Find A Grave Links Available

Location: Old Section E, Lot 2

The Evans monument consists of a tall obelisk and individual stones directly behind the Bronze Soldier's Monument in Old Section E. Interments include:

Rodger P. Evans, (1846 - 1908), his wife, Jane, (1850 - 1890), and their daughter, Maggie, (1871 - 1874);

Rodger P. Evans, a Welsh immigrant, lived in Hazelwood with his family. He was the owner of a hotel on Dixon Street, and died of pneumonia and Bright's Disease at the age of 60. 

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Earl Dewaine Fawcett, Sr.,
"Charlie Lewis" the Circus Clown

Find A Grave Link Available

Location: Old Section G, Lot 50

Earl Fawcett Grave Marker
Earl Fawcett Grave Marker

Photo source: Richard Boyer, via findagrave.com.

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CHARLIE LEWIS: Clark & Walters
CHARLIE LEWIS: Clark & Walters

Charlie Lewis on Clark & Walters Circus in Carl Junction, MO, circa 1966. Photo source: Pat Cashin's Clown Alley, "CHARLIE LEWIS: Clark & Walters." Published Mon., May 12, 2008.

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Charlie Lewis: Clown Cop
Charlie Lewis: Clown Cop

Photo source: Pat Cashin's Clown Alley, "CHARLIE LEWIS: Clown Cop. Published Wed., May 31, 2006.

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Earl Fawcett Grave Marker
Earl Fawcett Grave Marker

Photo source: Richard Boyer, via findagrave.com.

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The Fawcett memorial sits within Old Section G, next to a pine

 

Epitaph:

The funny circus clown known as "Charlie Lewis"

Jack of all trades, true master of mirth

Now on extended tour with the greatest show not on this earth!!

My dad the clown

Earl Dewaine Fawcett Sr.

Feb. 6, 1898 - Dec. 26, 1969

Earl D. Fawcett, born on February 6, 1898, was raised in Homestead. Mr. Fawcett began clowning at the age of 14 and continued until shortly before his death in 1969. Early in his career as a well-known Pittsburgh entertainer, he wore a red wig and checkered suit to advertise attractions, night clubs, and theater shows.

 

He was best known for his time as a member of the beloved Shrine Circus, playing as clown "Charlie Lewis." According to Mr. Greg DeSanto, a former employee of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the Shrine Circus would hire local clowns to fill parts of the show from the 1940's through the 1960's. "Charlie Lewis," along with Otto Griebling, Happy Kellums, Joe and Chester Sherman, Charlie Cheer, Felix Adler, BoBo Barnett, and Pelulza were among the many who regularly who worked during that time. 

 

 

 

Information and photo sources:

  • “Bird in Hand, Etc.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1 May 1936, p. 6.

  • Bishop, Pete. “Elegy for a Clown.” The Pittsburgh Press, 1983, pp. 12–13.

  • Cashin, Pat. “CHARLIE LEWIS: Clown Cop.” Pat Cashin's Clown Alley, 31 May 2006, clownalley.blogspot.com/search?q=charlie+lewis.

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Charlie Lewis, pictured far left in white hat. Photo courtesy of Greg DeSanto of the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center.

Charlie Lewis, pictured center in red hat with trombone. Photo courtesy of Greg DeSanto of the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center.

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Independent Order of the
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs

Find A Grave link currently unavailable

Located in Old Section I, in center of Section

IOOF
IOOF

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IOOF Epitaph
IOOF Epitaph

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IOOF
IOOF

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This cryptic monument, engraved with "I. O. O. F.,"  includes an epitaph dedicating the monument to the "memory of deceased members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs." The memorial is located in the center of Old Section I.

The principles of the Independent Order are "to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan." A sick/funeral benefit, as well as entire cemeteries, were provided by local Lodges to their members and as charity. A large plot would sometimes be purchased within a cemetery, such as what is located here. Headstones would often be depicted with a heart in an open palm, or show a three-link chain containing the letters, F, L, and T, which stood for friendship, love, and truth.

Two lodges were located in Homestead. The Magdala Lodge # 991 was instituted on January 9, 1883, and consolidated on January 8, 1963 with the Homestead Lodge #1049, originally instituted on June 28, 1892. Homestead #1049 went defunct on October 21, 1978.

For more information about the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, please click here.

Information received from IOOF Grand Secretary, Justin C. Bailey, 2021.

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Fireman Thomas W. Jacobs

Find A Grave link currently unavailable

Location: Old Section E, Lot 52

"One was killed, three injured."
"One was killed, three injured."

Source: "One was killed, three injured." Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 11 September 1904, p. 11.

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Fireman Jacobs Buried.
Fireman Jacobs Buried.

Source: Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, Wednesday, 14 Sep 1904, p. 4.

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"One was killed, three injured."
"One was killed, three injured."

Source: "One was killed, three injured." Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 11 September 1904, p. 11.

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Fireman Thomas W. Jacobs, a member of engine company No. 1 of Homestead, died as a result of head trauma while fighting a recurring blaze in the Harbison-Walker Refractories plant fire on Saturday, September 10, 1904. A falling smokestack struck Jacobs, along with several other fire fighters. He was taken to Mercy Hospital where he died from a concussion of the brain shortly afterwards. He was 49 years old. He was buried in the Homestead Cemetery on Tuesday, September 13th, following a service at the Fourth Avenue Baptist Church in Homestead. His funeral, the first in the borough for a fireman, was recorded as one of the largest ever attended in the borough, with members of the surrounding boroughs fire department marching to the cemetery.

Information source:

  • "Fireman Jacobs Buried." Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 14 Sep 1904, p. 4.

  • "One was killed, three injured." Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 11 September 1904, p. 11.

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Alexander M. "Alex" Jones

Find A Grave Link Available

Location: Old Section E, Lot 99

A. Jones.jpg

Born on December 25, 1869 in Bradford, Pennsylvania, Jones played four years in the majors as a pitcher. His resume is as follows: Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1889), Louisville Colonels & the Washington Senators (1892), Philadelphia Phillies (1894) and finally the Detroit Tigers (1903). He died on April 4, 1941.

Mr. Jones does not have an individual headstone, but the family lot is marked by a family stone. 

Special thanks to Mr. Vince Ciaramella for his help.

Information gratefully received from author, Vincent Ciaramalla:

  • Ciaramella, Vincent T., et al. Greats in the Graveyard: A Guide to Baseball Players and Personalities Buried in Allegheny County. Independently Published, 2020.

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John D. Kerr

Find A Grave Link Available

Located in Old Section I, Lot 62

John D. Kerr, born 1852, in Worthington of Armstrong County, moved to Homestead in his youth. He was co-founder and operator of the Feath & Kerr Lumber Company, originally located at Third and McClure Streets in Homestead. Following the death of his partner, J. C. Feath, Thomas J. Ingram purchased the remaining interest in 1882, thus organizing the Kerr & Ingram Lumber and Millwork Company. By the close of 1922, the company had purchased the former Homestead Brewery property at 7th Avenue and West Street, and was producing roughly 9,000,000 feet of lumber per year, servicing clients throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. In retirement, Kerr sold his portion of the company to Ingram in November of 1922. The company retained the name of Kerr & Ingram. He died at the age of 76 in 1929. Kerr had been involved within the Homestead community as a member of the Homestead School Board, the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Homestead, and the Homestead Lodge B. P. O. Elks. His estate was valued at $51,000.00 upon his death.

Information sources:

  • "Arrange Rites for Homestead Lumber Dealer." The Pittsburgh Press, 03 May 1929, p. 53.

  • Horn, S. F., editor. “The Latest Plans of Lumbermen; Becomes Sole Owner.” Southern Lumberman, 25 Nov. 1922, pp. 41–41. Thomas J. Ingram Acquires Interest of John Kerr in Kerr & Ingram, Pittsburgh.

  • “John D. Kerr Funeral.” Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, 4 May 1929, pp. 13–13.

  • "Kin of Homestead Man Share $51,000." The Pittsburgh Press, 23 May 1929, p. 25.

  • Meinert, Norman J. “HOMESTEAD CEMETERY 2257 Main Street Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 461-1818.” Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA, 5 Dec. 2012, sites.rootsweb.com/~njm1/08Homestead.html.

  • Vojtko, Margaret Mary. “In Memoriam Homestead Cemetery - 1896-1986.” The Valley Mirror, 8 Jan. 1987, pp. 8–12.

Arrange Rites for Homestead Lumber Dealer
Arrange Rites for Homestead Lumber Dealer

Source: Pittsburgh Press, Friday, 03 May 1929, p. 53.

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Kerr Family Monument
Kerr Family Monument

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John D. Kerr Grave Marker
John D. Kerr Grave Marker

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Arrange Rites for Homestead Lumber Dealer
Arrange Rites for Homestead Lumber Dealer

Source: Pittsburgh Press, Friday, 03 May 1929, p. 53.

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The McClure Family

Find A Grave Links Available

Located in Old Section D, Lots 31, 32, 33, 41, 42, & 43

overlooking the property of the former family estate.

The McClure memorial consists of a large obelisk surrounded by smaller stones. Interments include those of:

Abdiel McClure, (1816 – 1887) and his spouse, Anne "Annie" Wiles (Risher) McClure, (1818 – 1895);

 

Their children:

1. Sarah Risher (McClure) Taylor, (1839 – 1922);

2. Matthew L. McClure, (1841 – 1912) and his spouse, Hannah S. (Read) McClure, (1842 – 1919);

3. Martha Denny McClure, (1844 – 1927);

4. Daniel Risher McClure, (1846 – 1938) and his spouse, Mary Ellen (Gleadall) McClure, (1847 – 1905), along with their infant son, (1877);

5. William Edgar McClure, (1849 – 1853);

6. Susan Elizabeth McClure, (1854 – 1862);

7. Otto Munson McClure, (1857 – 1863)

8. Jennie (Ramsey) McClure, (1855 – 1879), wife of John Henry McClure (son of Abdiel and Annie McClure, buried elsewhere), and their son, Joseph Ramsey McClure, (1879 – 1889).

Abdiel McClure

The McClure family history begins after John McClure, Sr., born 1723,(buried in Lebanon Church Cemetery, West Mifflin), moved to the greater Pittsburgh area in the 1760s from Carslisle, PA. Having inherited much land and a manor house from his father who had purchased nearly 6,500 acres from the Penn family, John became a well-known and successful Pittsburgh merchant. He received a contract to supply Fort Pitt through government favor, and managed the abandoned Fort McIntosh. Through his supply line, he amassed a fortune through trading with local Native Americans. For $262, he purchased nearly 330 acres of land, called "Amity," which is now what we know as the entire borough of Homestead, the steel works area, and a portion of the borough of Munhall. When John was killed in 1811 allegedly by the Native Americans he had traded with, his land was willed in succession from his son, John M. McClure (buried in Lebanon Church Cemetery, West Mifflin), to his grandson, Abdiel McClure. Abdiel is credited with the creation of the Homestead area, by dividing and parceling his land into 60x120 foot lots. His business, the Homestead Bank and Life Insurance company, was responsible for marketing and selling the lots to those looking to escape the polluted downtown areas and create a peaceful suburban community.

 

Among the parcel that he kept for himself, he built a lumber planing mill which he ran until his death, and wisely set apart building lots for churches and schools. Of note, the land currently housing the Homestead United Presbyterian Church on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Ann Street, was donated by Abdiel, a charter member of the Church. In 1880, the 113 acre area, along with an additional 100 acres of land purchased from the West family by the Bank, was formally incorporated as the borough of Homestead, named after the McClure "homestead" of over 100 years. Another tract of land was purchased in 1881 by Andrew Kolman, who went on to build the Pittsburgh Bessemer Steel Works. This mill was the beginnings of the steel boom that Homestead would be noted for by the turn of the century.

According to his entry in the 1889 History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Abdiel was "a man of unusual ability. His influence was felt in religious and business matters, and he was universally loved and respected. In political circles he was recognized as an upright, honest gentleman. He was a republican, and held the office of county recorded from 1863 to 1866. In the latter part of his life he identified with temperance reform and was an earnest worker and supported of that cause. After his term of office as recorded expired, he farmed the "Homestead," and also became interested in a wholesale business in Pittsburgh...His life was an example worthy of emulation. He was a quiet and thoughtful man, of a just and peaceful disposition, honest and equitable in the extreme. He was justice of the peace a number of times, and he was often chosen to settle estates. He was an earnest Christian and a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church." Abdiel married Anne Wiles Risher, born 14 Dec 1818, and had eight children.

Matthew L. McClure

Matthew was a son of Abdiel and Anne McClure. The 1889 History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, writes that Matthew was "born at Homestead, Dec. 24, 1841, where he received his education and learned the trade of carpenter. In September, 1862, he enlisted in Co. H, 14th P. C., and served with his regiment under Gens. Hunter, Averill and Sheridan in the Army of Western Virginia. At the close of the war, he returned home, and was clerk for his father in the county recorder's office; then engaged in the lumber business in Pittsburgh." He married Sarah S. Read of Union City, PA, on September 13, 1866, and had two children, Abdiel R. and Florence L. McClure. He served as a councilman and assessor of Homestead. According to his 1912 obituary, he had been a member of the Alexander Hays Post No. 3 G. A. R. and of the Union Veteran Legion.

Daniel R. McClure

Daniel was a son of Abdiel and Anne McClure. The 1889 History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania writes that Daniel was "born at Homestead, Oct. 17, 1846; is a graduate of Duff's College. He also attended the Penn Institute. He was a deputy county recorder two years. After traveling for his health he accepted the position of bookkepper for the old Fort Pitt Bank. He ranks among the leading business-men of Homestead, has taken an active interest in anything that is of benefit to that town, and has been councilman four years. Mr. McClure is a director of the First National Bank, and president of the Homestead Building & Loan association." He married Mary Ellen Gleadall on February 22, 1876, and had three children, Daniel R., Mary G., and Robert M. McClure. He died on 23 Aug 1938 in Los Angeles, CA, following a month-long illness.

The McClure's namesake roadway, McClure Street, connects E. 6th Avenue to 22nd Avenue in Homestead. Amity street, which connects E. Waterfront Drive to E. 12th Avenue, is the namesake of the Amity area purchased by John McClure, Sr.

Information sources:

  • Barkes, Kevin. “Cemetery Bares Famous Names, History.” 5 Dec. 1973, pp. 7–7.

  • Cushing, Thomas. History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (A. Warner & Co., Chicago, 1889, Part 2, p. 279-280, 577)

  • Leftwich, Mariruth. “Smithsonian Learning Lab Resource: Chapter 1: Plans for a New Community.” Smithsonian Learning Lab, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, 10 Jul. 2017, https://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/XLjFBfsXExXLw5Yh#r/153798

  • Meinert, Norman J. “HOMESTEAD CEMETERY 2257 Main Street Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 461-1818.” Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA, 5 Dec. 2012, sites.rootsweb.com/~njm1/08Homestead.html.

  • Rishel, Joseph F. "Founding Families of Pittsburgh: The Evolution of a Regional Elite 1760-1910. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1990.

  • Vojtko, Margaret Mary. “In Memoriam Homestead Cemetery - 1896-1986.” The Valley Mirror, 8 Jan. 1987, pp. 8–12.

McClure Family Monument
McClure Family Monument

Side A

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McClure Family Monument
McClure Family Monument

Side B

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Joseph Ramsey McClure
Joseph Ramsey McClure

Son of John Henry and Jennie McClure

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McClure Family Monument
McClure Family Monument

Side A

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Abdiel McClure

Portrait of Abdiel McClure. Photo source: Leftwich, Mariruth. “Smithsonian Learning Lab Resource: Abdiel McClure biography.” Smithsonian Learning Lab, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, 28 Jun. 2017, https://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/XLjFBfsXExXLw5Yh#r/150115

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Robert McWhinney

Find A Grave links available

Located within Old Section I, Lots 52 & 89 (extended family)

The McWhinney memorial consists of a large family memorial surrounded by several individual stones.

Interments include those of:

Robert McWhinney, (1862 - 1918), and his spouse, Ada E. McWhinney, (1869 - 1952);

Robert McWhinney, aged 56, was a well-known real estate mogul. He had been born in Hazelwood to an Irish family; his grandfather, Andrew McWhinney, was the original owner of a large farm that would become the location for the Mesta Machine Company and Liberty Plate Mill. Robert served as Postmaster of Homestead, and was the Burgess of Homestead from 1894-1896, before being elected as a member of the Eleventh Legislature where he served five terms. He was active in the legislature and introduced several bills to protect coal miners. He was a longstanding member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Homestead, secretary of the Homestead and Mifflin Street Railway Company, and held large amounts of property through the surrounding boroughs. He had also been a former President of the Homestead Hospital, and was credited with organizing several enterprises around the town. He died on September 26, 1918. His funeral arrangements were handled by Gillen & Coulter of Homestead, and he was buried on September 29, 1918 in Homestead Cemetery.

The family's namesake roadway, McWhinney Street, connects Caroline Street to Rebecca Street in Munhall. 

Information and photos gathered from:

  • "Robert McWhinney," Pittsburgh Daily Post, 27 September 1918, p. 7.

  • "The Death Roll. Robert McWhinney," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 27 September 1918, p. 4.

Photo source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 27 Sept 1918, p. 4.
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Rep. Charles J. Mesta (R)

Find A Grave links available

Location: Old Section I, Lot 12

The Mesta memorial consists of a large family memorial and four individual markers.

Interments include those of:

Charles J. Mesta, Vice-President of Mesta Machine, (1872-1922), and his former spouse, Harriot "Hattie" (Rambler) Mesta, (1870-1902);

Kathyrn A. (Fisher) Mesta, (1897-1925);

Merle Arthur Mesta, (1895-1932)

These are relatives and employees of George F. Mesta, the extremely successful manufacturing engineer and 1898 founder of the West-Homestead based Mesta Machine Company, after merging the Leechburg Foundry & Machine Company with the Robinson-Rhea Manufacturing Company. At it's peak during his oversight, Mesta employed over 3,000 people within his mile-long plant, and manufactured rolling equipment and other heavy machinery used by steel mills throughout the United States. Upon his death in 1925, his fortune was estimated to be worth upwards of $74 million dollars. 

According to the PA House of Representatives, Charles J. Mesta was born in Bethel Township of Allegheny County on February 20, 1873. He attended the Western University Pennsylvania (now known as the University of Pittsburgh), before working with the engineering department at Leechburg Foundry and Machine Company, and later as their superintendent. Following the merger that led to the Mesta Machine Company, Charles was elevated to the seat of second Vice-President, and worked as a sales manager upon his death. He took an active part in making West Homestead a borough in 1902, and was a member of its first Council. He went further to serve in the 1907 term of the PA House of Representatives as an elected Republican official, and is credited with fathering a bill to organize the State constabulary, and was integral in legislation against unethical "bucket shops" which were firms that allowed their customers, usually unwitting investors, to gamble on stock prices, often using dangerously high levels of leverage. On May 6, 1923, his body, along with a 35-caliber revolver, was found in his downtown Oliver Building office by his brother, Fred E. Mesta, and brother-in-law, W. J. Hirth. His death was ruled a suicide by the Coroner, noting a bullet hole in his right temple. His family claims that he had been suffering from nervous breakdowns for some time prior to his death.  He was 50 years old.

Information gathered from:

  • Barkes, Kevin. “Cemetery Bares Famous Names, History.” 5 Dec. 1973, pp. 7–7.

  • Center, Legislativate Data Processing. “CHARLES J. MESTA.” The Official Website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly., www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/BiosHistory/MemBio.cfm?ID=3646&body=H.

  • "Charles Mesta Dies From Bullet Wound." The Pittsburgh Daily Post, 7 Mar 1923, p. 2.

  • "Charles Mesta Ends His Life With Revolver." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7 Mar 1923, p. 1.

  • “George Mesta.” Find A Grave, 16 Nov. 2000, www.findagrave.com/memorial/18500/george-mesta.

  •  "George Mesta, Noted Engineer, Dies Here"; subscription availability, The New York Times, 23 April 1925, page 25.

  • Meinert, Norman J. “HOMESTEAD CEMETERY 2257 Main Street Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 461-1818.” Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA, 5 Dec. 2012, sites.rootsweb.com/~njm1/08Homestead.html.

  • "Millionaire Found Dead." The News-Journal, Lancaster, 7 Mar 1923, p. 1.

  • "The Death Record. Mrs. Harriet Mesta." The Pittsburgh Press, 2 Dec 1902, p. 2.

  • Vojtko, Margaret Mary. “In Memoriam Homestead Cemetery - 1896-1986.” The Valley Mirror, 8 Jan. 1987, pp. 8–12.

Mesta Family Marker
Mesta Family Marker

Photo source: Kyra Mangold-Ostovich

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Charles J. Mesta, VP of Mesta Machine
Charles J. Mesta, VP of Mesta Machine

Photo source: Kyra Mangold-Ostovich

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Merle Arthur Mesta
Merle Arthur Mesta

Photo source: Kyra Mangold-Ostovich

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Mesta Family Marker
Mesta Family Marker

Photo source: Kyra Mangold-Ostovich

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Henry George Miller

Find A Grave Links Available

Located in Old Section A, Lot 155

Henry G. Miller, (1906 - 1942)

Henry G. Miller, a resident of 1376 McClure Street of Homestead, was a musician staff member for the KDKA radio station. He died at the age of 36 on December 9, 1942 in Passavant Hospital. According to his death certificate, he had developed cardiovascular issues following a long battle with bronchiectasis in his right lung.

 

His funeral arrangements were handled by the Anderson Funeral Home, where a Funeral Service was held on Saturday, December 12, 1942, 2 PM, prior to his interment at the Homestead Cemetery.

He was born on April 22, 1906 to Austrian immigrants, Stephen and Sarah (Mantach) Miller. 

Information gathered from:

  • "Henry George Miller," The Pittsburgh Press, 10 December 1942, p. 33.

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Dr. George H. Munhall

Find A Grave Links Available

Location: Old Section E, Lot 9

Dr. George H. Munhall
Dr. George H. Munhall

Source: Kyra Mangold-Ostovich

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Dr. George Munhall Dies in Homestead
Dr. George Munhall Dies in Homestead

Source: The Pittsburgh Press, 27 Sep 1934, p. 2.

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Munhall Children
Munhall Children

Names and dates unknown. Source: Kyra Mangold-Ostovich

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Dr. George H. Munhall
Dr. George H. Munhall

Source: Kyra Mangold-Ostovich

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Interments include those of:

Dr. George H. Munhall, (1856-1934) and his spouse, Isabella L. (Lowry) Munhall, (1853-1934), along with their children (unnamed, no dates available)

The Munhall name became notable in the region for brothers William, Capt. John, and Michael Munhall. Following the deaths of their parents in their childhood, the siblings came to Pittsburgh in 1834, and found work in coal-mines. John opened a successful mercantile business in Elizabeth, PA, at the age of 17. The panic of 1857 left the him stranded with his entire capital in trust to the miners. In the following year, John, along with his brothers, built the steamboat, "J. S. Cosgrove" after felling timber from the virgin territory. By John's retirement in 1867, the brothers had grown the fleet to include the steamboats "Grey Eagle," "Brilliant," and "Albion." John relocated from Oil City, PA, to an area known as the Bellwood Mines in 1880. This land eventually became known as the "Munhall Estate," and sat adjacent to farmland owned and operated by the City of Pittsburgh. The City Farm, as it was known, acted as a poor house and mental institution until 1892 when the structures were razed, and the land was portioned and sold to be repurposed for the expanding steel mills owned by Carnegie, Phipps & Co. The Munhall borough was founded in 1901 and included the Munhall Estate and portions of the sold city farmland. John and William Munhall rest in a family plot in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, and Michael Munhall rests at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Pittsburgh. Dr. George Munhall is a son of Capt. John and Henrietta (Cunningham) Munhall

Information gathered from:

  • "Dr. George Munhall Dies in Homestead." The Pittsburgh Press, 27 Sep 1934, p. 2.

  • Barkes, Kevin. “Cemetery Bares Famous Names, History.” 5 Dec. 1973, pp. 7–7.

  • "John Munhall." A. Warner & Co., History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1889.

  • Meinert, Norman J. “HOMESTEAD CEMETERY 2257 Main Street Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 461-1818.” Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA, 5 Dec. 2012, sites.rootsweb.com/~njm1/08Homestead.html.

  • Vojtko, Margaret Mary. “In Memoriam Homestead Cemetery - 1896-1986.” The Valley Mirror, 8 Jan. 1987, pp. 8–12.

  • “William Munhall, Founder of Borough, Passes Away.” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, 10 Dec. 1915, pp. 6–6.

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Daniel Frederick Negley

Find a Grave links available

Location: Soldier's Circle, Grave 10

Interments include those of:

Daniel Frederick Negley, (1843 - 1910) and his second spouse, Rachel Cecelia (McDonald) Negley, (1849 - 1932).

Daniel is laid to rest in the Soldier's Circle; his wife is buried nearby in Old Section F, lot 82.

Alexander Negley, was born in Sweden in 1734 and immigrated to America with his family at the age of five in 1739. He worked as a blacksmith and served as a Private in the American Revolutionary War before settling in Allegheny County. He was among the first white men to inhabit the East Liberty area after after purchasing a 278-acre farm called "Fertile Bottom" along the Allegheny River in 1778. The family quickly rose to sit among the financial elite within the city and developed the area which was formally annexed by Pittsburgh in 1868. Daniel F. Negley, the twice great-grandson of Alexander Negley, was a son of the wealthy pioneer settler of Western Pennsylvania, Casper Negley (buried in Allegheny Cemetery, Lawrenceville). Their family farm sat at the entrance of Highland Park, part of which was later used to build a mansion for Senator William Flinn. 

According to Daniel’s 1910 obituary, he died at the age of 70 at his residence on 255 West Eighth Avenue in Homestead; he was a prominent steel worker and had been a resident in the district for the past 12 years. At the outbreak of the Civil war, he enlisted in Company I, Third Pennsylvania Volunteers and was injured at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. He was a member of the Lutheran church, the G. A. R., and the Army and Navy Union. He is buried within the Soldiers Circle within the Homestead Cemetery.

The family’s namesake roadways, South and North Negley Avenues, connect the suburbs of Highland Park Historic District, East Liberty, Friendship, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill North, and Squirrel Hill South

Information gathered from:​

  • “Daniel F. Negley.” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 16 Mar 1910, pp. 3.

  • “Death Record: Daniel F. Negley.” The Pittsburgh Press, 15 Mar 1910, pp 5.

  • “Guide to the Negley Family Papers 1862-1922.” Historic Pittsburgh, historicpittsburgh.org/islandora/object/pitt%3AUS-QQS-mss863/viewer.

  • "Personal - Casper Negley." The Pittsburgh Daily Post. 12 May 1877, pp.4.

  • Rishel, Joseph F. "Founding Families of Pittsburgh: The Evolution of a Regional Elite 1760-1910. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1990.

  • "Veteran - Daniel F. Negley Came of an Old Pittsburg Family." The Daily Messenger, Pittsburgh. 14 Mar 1910, pp. 8.

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The Posey Family

Find A Grave links available

Location: Old Section D, Lot 88

Cumberland_Posey_1913.jpg

The Posey memorials consist of an obelisk and individual stones. Interments include those of:

Capt. Cumberland Willis "C.W" Posey, Sr., (1858 - 1925), and his spouse, Angelina S.  "Anna" (Stevens) Posey, (1861 - 1917);

Their children:

1. Cumberland Willis Posey, Jr., Homestead Grays owner, (1890-1946), his spouse, Ethel Shaw (Truman) Posey, (1893-1986), and their daughter, Beatrice K. Posey, (1921 - 1998);

2. Beatrice (Posey) Baker, (1884 - 1961), her spouse, Evan Edward Baker, (1885 - 1963), their child, Evan Posey Baker, (1912 - 1993), and his spouse, Mary E. Baker, (1934 - 2015).

Captain Cumberland Willis "C.W." Posey, Sr.

Cumberland Willis Posey, Sr., was born on August 30, 1858, to freed slaves, Rev. Alexander and Margaret "Willis" Posey in Charles County, MD. He married Angeline Stevens on May 9, 1883, in Athens County, OH, and had three children, including the 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Cumberland Willis “Cum” Posey, Jr., who is also buried in the Homestead Cemetery. As a youth, Mr. Posey, Sr. worked as a deck sweeper on a ferry boat that operated in Ohio, where he garnered an interest in learning the machinery of the vessel. This led to a passion in engineering, and, at the age of 19, secured an engineering license.

After moving to Pittsburgh, he was appointed as a chief engineer and began to take an interest in building large scale boats. Throughout his career, he built 41 steam ships that traveled the Pittsburgh waterways. Throughout his fluid entrepreneurial and industrial career, he managed the Delta Coal Company, opened the Posey Steamboat Company and organized the Preston Coal Company, which allowed his steamboats to transport coal, and partnered with the Diamond Coal Company for two decades.

His affluence allowed the family to live in a sizable home on E. 13th Street in Homestead. According to his obituary, Mr. Posey was president of The Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Co. for 14 years, president of the Board of Directors of the Warren M. E. Church for 15 years, treasurer of the Douglas Land and Investment Co., president of the Loendi Club for three years, a member of the True Reformers, Masons, St. Lukes, Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, Household of Ruth, and the Y. M. C. A., Board of Directors of the colored Y. M. C. A., and he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Modern Savings and Trust Company. Mr. Posey was 67 when he died on June 5, 1925, from complications of an illness at his home in Homestead. He was considered to be a great pioneer of industry, and one of the wealthiest men in Pittsburgh.

For more information on Captain Posey and his life, please visit:​

Cumberland Willis Posey, Jr.

Cumberland Willis Posey, Jr., was a professional basketball and baseball player. He was born on June 20, 1890, in Homestead, PA, and died in Pittsburgh, PA from cancer complications in 1946, at the age of 55. Posey was considered to be the best Black basketball player of his time, leading Homestead High School to a 1908 championship. He played for Penn State before transferring to the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a degree in pharmaceuticals. There, he formed the Monticello Athletic Association team that won the Colored Basketball World's Championship in 1912. He went on to play at Duquesne University under the name "Charles Cumbert," and was later inducted to their Sports Hall of Fame under his real name. In 1911, he began playing baseball for the Homestead Grays. By 1916, he was managing the team, and became owner in the early 1920s. He is famed with building the team into the leading East franchise of the Negro Leagues, winning 9 consecutive pennants from 1397-1945, among several others. Posey was posthumously inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Information on Mr. Posey, Sr. gathered from:

  • “C. W. Posey Is Victim of Illness.” The Pittsburgh Courier, 13 June 1925, pp. 1–2.

Information on Mr. Posey, Jr. gathered from:

  • Alumni Directory University of Pittsburgh 1798-1916. 2. The General Alumni Association of the University of Pittsburgh. 1916. p. 164. Retrieved May 1, 2016.

  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 03 February 2021), memorial page for Cumberland Willis Posey Jr. (20 Jun 1890–28 Mar 1946), Find a Grave Memorial no. 11404, citing Homestead Cemetery, Munhall, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .

  • Meinert, Norman J. “HOMESTEAD CEMETERY 2257 Main Street Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 461-1818.” Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA, 5 Dec. 2012, sites.rootsweb.com/~njm1/08Homestead.html

CW and Anna Posey, 1890s. Photos courtesy of the 1910 Pennsylvania Negro Business Director

CW and Anna Posey, 1890s. Photos courtesy of the 1910 Pennsylvania Negro Business Directory.

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The Trautman Family

Find A Grave Links Available

The Trautman memorials sit within several sections of the Cemetery, and consist of an obelisk and individual stones. Interments of the large extended family include those of:

 

Frederick Trautman, (1840-1901) and his spouse, Margaret (Durst) Trautman, (1850 - 1906), located in Old Section D, Lot 148;

Trautman obelisk

Adam J. Trautman, (1882-1885);

Freddie A. Trautman, (1876-1877);

Henrietta Trautman, (1884-1900);

Louisa Trautman, (1886-1889);

Minnie Trautman, (1891-1893)

Trautman stone

Henry D. Trautman, (1871-1961) and his spouse, Augusta M. (Brickner) Trautman, (1870-1931), located in Old Section F, Lot 95, and their daughter, Irene Margarette Trautman, (1896-1923);

Clarence Trautman, (1903-1905);

Delores Trautman, (1914-1937);

Hazel Trautman, (1897-1898);

Viola M. Trautman, (1909) 

Jacob Henry Trautman, (1868-1906) and his spouse, Carrie Dorothea (Motz) Trautman, (1875-1938), located in Old Section D, lot 92;

Caroline Trautman, (1874 1945);

Clarence Trautman, (1873-1918);

Elizabeth Trautman, (1896-1898);

Elmer A. Trautman, (1903-1934);

Henry N. Trautman, (1871 - 1905) and his spouse, Freda Marie (Starke) Trautman, (1873-1906), located in Old Section C, Lot 21;

Frederick Trautman, originally of Beyon, Germany, immigrated to the US with his parents as a young child before settling in Ohio. After starting his own family, he moved to Homestead in 1888. He died in 1901 after battling a year-long illness, leaving an estate worth over $23,000.00 to his widow. Their namesake roadway, Trautman Street, connects W. Miller Avenue to Main Street in Munhall, and houses the baseball complex, Trautman Field. 

Information gathered from:

  • “Estates of Decedents: Wills Filed for Probate and Disposition of Much Property.” The Pittsburgh Press, 12 Nov. 1901, p. 2.

  • Meinert, Norman J. “HOMESTEAD CEMETERY 2257 Main Street Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 461-1818.” Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA, 5 Dec. 2012, sites.rootsweb.com/~njm1/08Homestead.html.

  • “The Death Record: Frederick Trautman.” The Pittsburgh Press, 4 Nov. 1901, pp. 7–7.

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The Tunie Family

Find A Grave Links Available

The Tunie memorials are located within the B Annex area of the Cemetery, located just inside the Farragut Street entrance. Interments include those of:

Rev. Edgar Price Tunie, D. D., (1893 - 1968), and his spouse, Effie D. Tunie, (1891 - 1963);

Their children:

  1. Edgar P. Tunie, Jr., (1918 - 1987), and his spouse, Sharnelle C. Tunie, (1930)

  2. James Waddy Tunie, Sr., (1927 - 2012), and his daughter, Terri L. (Tunie) Reed, (1955 - 1992);

Rev. Donald A. Tunie, PhD, (1932 - 1965), “Absent from the body, present with the Lord;”

Kenneth B. Tunie, (1923 - 2004) and his spouse, Norma J. Tunie, (1932 - 1993);

The Tunies have been a prominent family within the Homestead area for nearly a century. Rev. Dr. Edgar P. Tunie, served as Pastor for the Clark Memorial Baptist Church of Homestead, still located on Glenn Street, for 32 years until his passing at the age of 74 in 1968. He had been a member of the Pittsburgh Ministerial Association, Homestead Ministerium, Board of the Salvation Army, executive board of the Homestead Community Center, Race Relations Commission, Pittsburgh Council of Churches, and the executive committee of the Homestead Area NAACP.

 

Mr. James W. Tunie, Sr., a son of Rev. Dr. Tunie, went on to found the Tunie Funeral Home, Inc., in 1960 which has faithfully serviced the Homestead and surrounding areas since its incorporation. Alongside his ex-wife, Ms. Evelyn Hawkins Tunie, another of the firms funeral directors, Mr. Tunie, Sr., grew the business, relocating over time. He was a dedicated and compassionate funeral director until his passing in 2012 at the age of 85. The business remains a pillar of strength to those they serve within the Homestead community. 

Information gathered from:

  • McConnell Schaarsmith, Amy. “Obituary: James W. Tunie Sr. / Funeral Home Owner in Homestead since 1960.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 19 Dec. 2012.

  • Meinert, Norman J. “HOMESTEAD CEMETERY 2257 Main Street Homestead, PA 15120 (412) 461-1818.” Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA, 5 Dec. 2012, sites.rootsweb.com/~njm1/08Homestead.html.

  • “Rev. Dr. Edgar P. Tunie.” The Pittsburgh Press, 27 Feb. 1968, pp. 42–42.

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The Vondera Family

Find A Grave Link Currently Unavailable

Location: TO BE ADDED

Interment include those of:

F. H. Vondera (? - 18 February 1897)

F. H. Vondera, a member of the St. Paul's German Protestant Church in Braddock, was a Homestead farmer noted for his honesty and integrity. He was born in Prussia and moved to Pittsburgh in 1847. His sons, Frank and Charles managed the property after his death in 1897. A third son, C. T. Vondera, was a successful Homestead merchant. His funeral, led by Rev. C. Engelder, took place on February 20, 1897. 

Their namesake roadway connects Farragut Street with Homestead-Duquesne Road in Munhall.

Information gathered from:

  • "Gathered to Rest," Pittsburgh Press, 19 Feb 1897, p. 11.

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The West Family

Find A Grave Links Available

The Wests were a prominent family heavily involved with the development of the Homestead and Steel Valley areas. The family owned and operated a successful bricklaying business located along the Homestead portion of the Monongahela River. Several members of the West family served as members of the original Homestead Cemetery Company Board after it's incorporation in 1886. The West monuments consist of a tall obelisk and surrounding stones in Old Section I, Lots 68, 69, & 70. The obelisk, marking the burials of Lowry H. West and his wife, Eliza J. West, was shortened by five feet in the first half of the 20th century because it was continually struck by lightning. Surrounding extended family members can be found nearby in Old Section I, Lots 60, 63, & 66, and Old Section G, Lots 1, 2, & 3. Their namesake roadway, West Street, divides the East and West portions of Homestead, connecting 8th Avenue to E. 22nd Avenue. Interments include siblings, 

  1. Lowry Hay West, (1826-1901), organizer and first President of the Homestead Cemetery, his spouse, Eliza Jane (Snyder) West, (1825-1907); their son, North West, organizer and first Treasurer of the Homestead Cemetery, (1852 - 1911), his spouse, Martha "Mattie" West (burial as of yet unconfirmed, and dates unknown), and their daughters, S. Madaline West, (1890 - 1903), and Marguerite West, (1887 - 1889);

  2. Matthew Hay West, (1836 – 1888), and his spouse, Ann Wesley West, (1839 – 1907);

  3. Captain Edward West, (1838 – 1900), his spouse, Anna Marie (Noble) West, (1839 – 1898), their daughter, Flora T. (West) Ackard, (1867 – 1933), and her spouse, Alby O. Ackard, (1858 – 1941);

Lowry H. West

Lowry H. West, was a pioneer resident of Homestead. He was born on February 1, 1826, in a log cabin built by his grandfather in colonial times, to parents, Joseph (d. 1873) and Sarah (Whitaker) West, of whom were among the earliest settlers in Mifflin Township, and was one of ten children. Lowry was named after relative, Col. Alexander Lowry, who came from the north of Ireland to Lancaster Co., PA, in 1729, and went on to command the Lancaster militia at the Battle of Brandywine in the Revolutionary War. Lowry married Eliza Jane Snyder, a Pittsburgh native, on October 30, 1851, and raised six children, including North West, a fellow organizer and first Treasurer of the Homestead Cemetery. Lowry, along with Abdiel McClure, are credited with founding the First Presbyterian Church within the borough in 1873. His death occurred after falling ill on October 30, 1901, the date of his golden wedding anniversary to Eliza, and died on November 14, 1901, at their family home on West Street and Fifth Avenue. He left an estate worth over $90,000.00, which would be worth over $2, 876,000.00 today.

North West

Born August 15, 1852, North West, a native of Homestead and prominent businessman, died of apoplexy in Johnstown, PA, a day before his 59th birthday, on August 14, 1911. Mr. West conducted a wholesale paper store in Pittsburgh, called N. West & Co., of Water Street, prior to manufacturing paper roofing in Johnstown following the purchase and relocation of his plant by the Cambria Steel Company. He continued as general manager until his death, but the Cambria Steel Co. soon afterward sold it to the Barrett Manufacturing Co. He was married to Martha “Mattie” Walker on June 1, 1876. Mr. West was one of the organizers and the only treasurer of the Homestead Cemetery Association. He was a member of the Johnstown Lodge of Elks.

 

General information gathered from:

  • Barkes, Kevin. “Cemetery Bares Famous Names, History.” 5 Dec. 1973, pp. 7–7.

  • Vojtko, Margaret Mary. “In Memoriam Homestead Cemetery - 1896-1986.” The Valley Mirror, 8 Jan. 1987, pp. 8–12.

Information on Lowry H. West gathered from:

  • History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, by Thomas Cushing, A. Warner & Co., 1889.

  • “Lowry H. West.” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 15 Nov. 1901, p. 2.

  • “News of the Courts.” The Pittsburgh Press, 20 Nov. 1901, p. 7.

Information on North West gathered from:

  • History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, by Thomas Cushing, A. Warner & Co., 1889.

  • “Hymeneal.” Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 3 June 1876, p. 4.

  • “North West.” The Pittsburgh Press, 15 Aug. 1911, p. 10.

  • 10.

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The Whitaker Family

Find A Grave Links Currently Unavailable

The Whitaker borough, incorporated on January 4, 1904, is named for James Whitaker, a pioneer, who came to the area in 1767 with his family. He is credited as being the first European settler in the area. Prior to its incorporation, the Whitaker area was part of the former Mifflin Township.

Information gathered from:

  • Ackerman, Jan (May 10, 1984). "Town names carry bit of history". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 6. Retrieved 18 February 2021.

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Charles H. "Lefty" Williams

The Williams Memorial sits within the Annex section of the Cemetery. 

Charles Henry "Lefty" Williams was a professional pitcher for the Homestead Grays. Born on September 24, 1894 in Tanners, VA, Williams pitched his first season in 1921 for the Grays. With the exception of the 1932 season where he pitched with the Detroit Wolves, Williams played for Homestead throughout his entire career, retiring in 1935. He died in Homestead at the age of 57 on April 26, 1952.

Information gathered from:

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Henry Hugo Youngman

No Find A Grave Link Currently Available

Born: November 21, 1865

Died: January 23, 1936

German born Henry Youngman played thirteen games for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1890) as a second baseman and third baseman.

Information gratefully received from author, Vincent Ciaramalla:

  • Ciaramella, Vincent T., et al. Greats in the Graveyard: A Guide to Baseball Players and Personalities Buried in Allegheny County. Independently Published, 2020.

This list is regularly updated, so check back often for new information!

 

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Munhall, PA 15120, USA

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