• Kyra Mangold-Ostovich

Voices of the Past: William J. and Massey F. Ammerman (November 8, 2021)

Voices of the Past will showcase an interesting person or family within the Cemetery each week.


William Joseph and Massey (Fleck) Ammerman

Born: August 25, 1862 and February 03, 1860, respectively

Died: September 26, 1942 and November 15, 1947, respectively



William and his wife, Massey, formerly of 904 McClure Street, were family members of the long-standing Homestead-based company, Ammerman Cleaners and Dyers, located on Buttermilk Hollow Road. They were members of the First Baptist Church, and had been residents of Homestead for over 30 years.


Mr. Ammerman, born in Unionville to parents, Ithamer and Mary (née Irvin) Ammerman, died at the age of 80 from rabies, the second local Homestead case of the 1942 summer, after suffering a bite on his left hand from a feral dog while on the job as a watchman. It's reported in the newspaper that the second bite victim had been a gasoline service station proprietor that had died some weeks prior.


Mrs. Ammerman, born in Bald Eagle to parents Stewart and Mary Fleck, passed following a lingering cardiac illness, some five years later at the age of 88. She had been a member of the Dames of Malta, the Rebeccas (the female counter-parts to the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows), and the Women's Christian Temperance Union.


Their funeral arrangements were both handled by Gillen & Coulter Co., of 9th Avenue in Homestead. Mr. Ammerman's service was at the funeral home on September 29, 1942, at 2 PM, led by Rev. R. I. Porter of the First Baptist Church. Mrs. Ammerman's service was held at the funeral home on November 18, 1947, at 2 PM.


They had two sons, Duane H. and Lester A. Ammerman; 3 grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren.

Information gathered from:

  • "Ammerman Services," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 29 September 1942, p. 18

  • "Duane Ammerman, Services on Tuesday," Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, 18 June 1946, p. 27

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

  • “Mrs. Massey F. Ammerman,” The Pittsburgh Press, 17 November 1947, pp. 21–21

  • "Mrs. Massey T. Ammerman," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 18 November 1947, p. 7

  • Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, PA; Pennsylvania (State). Death Certificates, 1906-1968; Certificate Number Range: 077351-079750

  • Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, PA; Pennsylvania (State). Death Certificates, 1906-1968; Certificate Number Range: 092851-095400

  • “Second Rabies Death Occurs in Homestead.” The Pittsburgh Press, 28 September 1942, pp. 28–28

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