806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

The Scullys

Ida Walton Scully was born in Allegheny County on September 13,1863. She was one of at least seven children of Joseph Walton, a coal mine owner, coal shipper and coal merchant in Downtown Pittsburgh, and Annie Walton, both born in Pennsylvania. In the early 1860s, the Walton family lived on East Carson Street in the borough of East Birmingham (the present South Side Flats between South 17th and South 27th streets).

When Ida Walton was a small child her family moved to Manchester. The family lived in a large house at 1203 Western Avenue, at the lower end of Fontella Street, on a lot of about 1.75 acres that extended back to Ridge Avenue. Ida Scully resided at that address until she was married. The family’s move to Western Avenue indicates that Joseph Walton had prospered in business, and suggests that the Waltons were among the socially prominent families of Pittsburgh.

In September 1888, Joseph Walton purchased a substantial house at what is now 845 North Lincoln Avenue. Walton apparently bought the house to provide a residence for Ida Walton and Pittsburgh glass manufacturer James W. Scully, who were married on February 21, 1889. Pittsburgh directories listed James W. Scully at 64 Lincoln Avenue (845 North Lincoln Avenue) beginning in 1889.

James Wood Scully was born in Allegheny City on September 6, 1857. He was one of at least three children of James O’Hara Scully, a partner in the Eagle Iron Works on the South Side, and Margaret I. Townsend Scully, both born in Pennsylvania. James O’Hara Scully died in the late 1850s, leaving Margaret I. Scully a widow with three small children. She was apparently financially secure as a widow, as the 1860 census recorded her as owning real estate worth $12,000 (comparable to $600,000 or more in the early 21st century) and having a personal estate of $3,000. In 1860 Margaret I. Scully and her three children shared a home in Downtown Pittsburgh with members of the Townsend family.

James W. Scully worked as a clerk and as a bookkeeper as a young man in the 1870s. In the early 1880s, Scully became a partner in the Sterling Fire Brick Works with an older brother, Henry R. Scully. In about 1885, Scully joined the firm of William McCully & Company, manufacturers of glass vials, bottles, and other goods. The firm’s offices were on Wood Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. He was a partner in William McCully & Company when he married Ida Walton in 1889, and until 1894-1895.

The Scullys’ first child, James W. Jr., was born in June 1890. Records of the 1890 manuscript census, which would provide information on the Scully family and any other residents of their home in that year, were destroyed in a warehouse fire following the completion of the census. The Scullys had two more children in the 1890s: Alice W., born in 1897, and Walton T., born in 1898.

In 1894-1895, James W. Scully became a partner in Joseph Walton & Company, the coal mining and distributing company that had been owned by his late father-in-law. He remained with that firm for approximately three years. It is possible that Scully’s role with Joseph Walton & Company, combined with inheritance associated with Joseph Walton’s passing and the growth of the young Scully family, provided the impetus and means for the remodeling and enlargement of the house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue between late 1895 and late 1899.

In about 1897, James W. Scully left Joseph Walton & Company. For the next several years, his primary occupation was serving as president and then as vice-president of the First National Bank of Birmingham, at South 12th and East Carson streets on the South Side.

The 1900 census recorded 12 residents of 845 North Lincoln Avenue. James W. Scully, 42, was a banker and broker who owned his home without a mortgage. He and Ida Scully, 36, had three children: James W. Jr., nine, Alice W., three and Walton T., one. Sabina T. Rankin, a widowed aunt of James W. Scully, lived with the family. The other residents of 845 North Lincoln Avenue were the Scully family’s six servants:

  • Mary Sweeney, 24, who had immigrated from Ireland in 1892
  • Kate Sweeney, 23, who had immigrated from Ireland in 1892
  • John Lewis, 34, born in Virginia, and possibly a coachman
  • Rose Bradley, 39, who had immigrated from Ireland in 1890
  • Margaret McCany, 18, who had immigrated from Ireland in 1899
  • Elise Mueller, 39, who had immigrated from Switzerland in 1891

In about 1905, James W. Scully became a partner in a stock and bond brokerage, Scully Painter & Beech. The firm’s offices were in Pittsburgh’s financial district, on the second floor of what is now the Bank Center at 307 Fourth Avenue. Scully’s partners were Charles A. Painter of 1029 Western Avenue, Daniel Beech of Knoxville, then a borough above the South Side, and Edwin S. Fairley of Bellevue. Scully Painter & Beech was a member of the New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh stock exchanges and the Chicago Board of Trade. James W. Scully was also a partner in R.L. Scoville & Company, investment bankers, in the same building.

In 1910, according to census records, the five members of the Scully family lived at 845 North Lincoln Avenue with six household staff persons. The 1910 census, unlike that of 1900, recorded the household roles of each staff person:

  • Elise Mueller, a nurse
  • Clara Johnson, 38, a cook who had immigrated from Sweden in 1889
  • Annice Allingham, 29, a laundress who had immigrated from Ireland in 1899
  • Louise Reichert, 26, a maid who had immigrated from Germany in 1903
  • Jean S. Michner, 28, a waitress who had immigrated from Scotland in 1903
  • William Dickson, 37, an African-American servant born in Pennsylvania

James W. Scully remained a partner in Scully, Painter & Beech until the early 1910s, when he retired or otherwise left the business world. The Scullys owned 845 North Lincoln Avenue until 1917, when they conveyed the house to James H. Childs, the husband of Alice Walton Childs, the youngest sibling of Ida Walton Scully.

Pittsburgh directory listings indicate that James W. Scully left 845 North Lincoln Avenue in about 1914. Directories no longer listed Scully, and listed Ida Scully as the head of the family. After James and Ida Scully sold the house in 1917, Ida Scully moved to her childhood home at 1203 Western Avenue, by then the home of her sister, Clara Walton Cook, and brother-in-law, Thomas McK. Cook. James W. Scully did not move to 1203 Western Avenue, and his residence and activities after 1914 are unknown. Scully was no longer listed in Pittsburgh city directories or Blue Books, and was apparently not enumerated in Pennsylvania in the 1920 census. He died in Saint Margaret Hospital in Lawrenceville on July 15, 1934, at age 76.

Ida Scully and at least one of her children, Alice, lived at 1203 Western Avenue for a number of years. In about 1917 Ida Scully became the proprietor of the Crossways Shop, which sold “exclusive furniture and novelties” in the Monongahela Bank Building at 213 Sixth Avenue, Downtown. She operated the Crossways Shop into the 1930s. She died on October 9, 1951, at age 88.

Josephine Dale

Josephine Dale was born Josephine Noe Alden in 1815 in Newark, New Jersey. She was a daughter of the Reverend Timothy Alden, founder of Allegheny College in Meadville, and a descendant of John Alden, who had crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower.

In 1829, at age 14, Josephine Noe Alden was brought by her parents to Pittsburgh. She soon married William Maitland, and the couple had two daughters, Mary and Margaret, in 1835. William Maitland died and left Josephine Noe Maitland a widow at age 26 in 1841.

By 1852, Josephine Noe Maitland lived in Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh’s Northside), residing on the East Commons (now Cedar Avenue) at the corner of Water Street. Josephine Noe Maitland, 40, married Dr. Thomas Dale, 45, a physician who lived on the South Commons, in 1855. Dr. Thomas Dale was a native of Delaware.

Dr. Thomas and Josephine Noe Dale began living on the South Commons between Sandusky and Federal Streets. An immediate neighbor was I. Morrison, then Mayor of Allegheny City.

The 1860 manuscript census shows that Dr. Thomas and Josephine Noe Dale lived on the South Commons with other family members and three servants. The census taken in that year does not provide information on familial relationships of persons enumerated, making it difficult to determine the relationships of some members of the Dale household.

Living with Thomas and Josephine Noe Dale were Mary Maitland, 25, a public school teacher, Margaret Maitland, 25, who had no occupation, M. Dale (female), 28, R. Dale (male), 21, a clerk, L. Dale (female), 12, J. McLane (female), 23, apparently a boarder, and three servants: H. Coyle (female), 40, born in Ireland, R. Rooney (female), 26, born in Ireland, and W. Burke (male), 28, born in New Jersey. E. Coyle, 13, probably a child of H. Coyle, also lived with the family.

The Dale family moved from the South Commons to 19 Stockton Avenue, near Federal Street, in 1863, lived there until about 1869, then moved to 205 Western Avenue in Allegheny West, where they lived when the 1870 census was taken. The 1870 manuscript census enumerated Dr. Thomas and Josephine Noe Dale, Josephine Noe Dale’s daughters Mary and Margaret Maitland, both 35, Louisa Dale, 21, and a servant whose first name was Annie.

The 1870 manuscript census, the last census to provide information on assets of persons enumerated, reported that Dr. Thomas Dale owned no real estate and had a personal estate of $10,000.

The Dale family moved to 38 Monterey Street (now 1222 Monterey Street) in what is now the Mexican War Streets area in about 1872. Dr. Thomas Dale died at about this time, on January 7, 1872. Josephine Noe Dale bought the lot on which 912 Galveston Avenue stands the following year, and had the house built by March 1874.

During the 1870’s, Margaret Maitland married Thomas Bakewell, an attorney who was a member of a family that owned a glass factory on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

The 1880 manuscript census enumerated Josephine Noe Dale, 65, her daughter Mary Maitland, 43, a school teacher, and four boarders living at 140 Grant Avenue. The boarders were Thomas Swartz, 31, a druggist who had been born in Pennsylvania, his wife Carrie, 22, born in New Jersey, their daughter Anna E., four months, and Louisa Long, 49, who was widowed or divorced and a native of Pennsylvania. No servants were reported to live at 140 Grant Avenue.

The 1890 manuscript census, which would provide information on residents of 140 Grant Avenue in that year, was destroyed in a fire following its completion.

Josephine Noe Dale lived at 140 Grant Avenue until her death in August 1898 in Cape May, New Jersey, shortly after a fall in Cape May. Funeral services were held at her home.

Pittsburgh city directories indicate that Mary Maitland lived at 912 Grant Avenue for the first few years of the 20th century, then died or left the Pittsburgh area. The 1900 census, however, did not enumerate Mary Maitland at 912 Grant Avenue.

Although descendants of Josephine Noe Dale owned 912 Galveston Avenue through 1942, no family members lived in
the house, which was divided into small apartments and maintained as a rental property.


The Social Mirror

“Mrs. Dale, of Allegheny, widow of Dr. Thomas Dale, was a Miss Alden of Puritan stock. She was a sister of the late Mrs. James B. McFadden. Mrs. Dale’s daughter, Miss Maitland, lives with her; another daughter, Mrs. Thomas Bakewell, residing in Riverside, California.”

The Pittsburgh Bulletin

“The death on Monday, of Mrs. Josephine Noe Dale, widow of Dr. Thomas F. Dale, took place at Cape May, and removed a venerable and most highly esteemed woman, prominent in social circles in her day in the two cities, and related to some of the foremost families of Pittsburgh and Allegheny. She was bom in Newark, N. J., her father being the Reverend Timothy Alden, founder of Allegheny College in Meadeville. In 1829 she came to the city and was married to William Maitland who died in 1841. In 1855 she married Dr. Dale. Her warm heart and sympathetic nature impelled her to active charitable and philanthropic work during the Civil War and thereafter so that her name became identified with good deeds well done. She was prominent in the management of the Home for the Friendless, the Relief Society of Allegheny and similar institutions. The deceased was an original member of the North Presbyterian Church, Allegheny, and was . deeply interested in its concerns. Her gifts of mind and person were exceptional. A few weeks ago Mrs. Dale sustained injuries from a fall on the boardwalk at Cape May Point resulting in her death. She is survived by two daughters – Miss Maitland of Allegheny and Mrs. Thomas Bakewell of California. These were with their mother at the time of her death. The funeral services were held on Thursday afternoon from the main residence on Grant Avenue, Allegheny.”

The Sweitzers

J. (Jacob) Bowman Sweitzer was born on Independence Day, 1821, in Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, along the Monongahela River. Sweitzer, of Swiss descent, was a son of Henry Sweitzer, a manufacturer and Ann Elliott Bowman Sweitzer.

After graduating from Jefferson College in Canonsburg and studying law with a Washington County attorney, J. Bowman Sweitzer became an attorney in 1845. In 1846, Sweitzer moved to Pittsburgh, living at 115 Third Avenue. Sweitzer was appointed United States Attorney for Western Pennsylvania by 1850.

J. Bowman Sweitzer, 30, married Mary Holmes Stevenson, 24, on June 15, 1852. Mary Holmes Stevenson was a daughter of Dr. Henry Stevenson of 99 Fourth Avenue in Pittsburgh, and a granddaughter of early Pittsburgh residents Dr. George Stevenson and John Darragh. The Sweitzers began living at 101 Fourth Avenue. The Sweitzer and Stevenson homes were located on the northern side of Fourth Avenue, between Wood and Smithfield Streets, on or close to the present location of the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania at 337 Fourth Avenue.

The 1860 manuscript census enumerated J. Bowman and Mary Sweitzer, their two children, and three servants in
their Fourth Avenue home. The census reported that J. Bowman Sweitzer, 38, was an attorney at law who owned real estate valued at $2,000 and had a personal estate of $1,000. Mary Sweitzer had no occupation. The couple had two children: Annie B., four, and Henry S., two.

The Sweitzers’ servants in 1860 were Ann Sauls, 16, Mary Ward, 20, and Hannah Dougan, 25, all born in Ireland.

In 1861, J. Bowman Sweitzer left his position as United States Attorney and entered the Union Army. Sweitzer served with distinction in the Civil War through 1864, and his activities were described extensively an entry in Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania, accompanying this report.

J. Bowman Sweitzer returned to his family in Pittsburgh in 1864, at age 43. Sweitzer and his wife Mary, still living at 101 Fourth Avenue, had two additional children after Sweitzer’s return from the battlefield. Sweitzer was retired until 1869, when he was appointed Supervisor of Internal Revenue by the federal government.

The 1870 manuscript census shows that the Sweitzers’ children were Annie, 13, Henry, 11, both attending school, and J. Bowman Jr., four, and O’Hara Denny, two. The census enumerated no servants living with the Sweitzer family.

The 1870 manuscript census shows that J. Bowman Sweitzer owned real estate worth $20,000 and had a personal estate of $10,000.

J. Bowman Sweitzer was appointed Prothonotary of the Supreme Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in November 1873.

The Sweitzer family lived at 101 Fourth Avenue until 1884, when J. Bowman Sweitzer bought 81 Beech Avenue.

In the late 1880’s, J. Bowman Sweitzer Jr. became an attorney and began working as a clerk in the office of the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Harry S. Sweitzer became a partner in Dean & Sweitzer, insurance agents, located at 401 Wood Street in Pittsburgh. Sweitzer’s partner was George W. Dean of 20 Arch Street, in what is now the Allegheny Center Mall area.

J. Bowman Sweitzer died at home on November 9, 1888. Sweitzer’s death was attributed to blood poisoning caused
by kidney disease. The Pittsburg Press carried his obituary on its front page.

The 1890 manuscript census, which would provide information on residents of 842 Beech Avenue in that year, was destroyed in a fire following its completion.

The 1900 manuscript census does not provide information on residents of 842 Beech Avenue, suggesting that the house was temporarily vacant or skipped by the census taker.

Mary Sweitzer lived at 842 Beech Avenue through 1910, when the census enumerated Mary Sweitzer and her son Harry S. Sweitzer, an insurance salesman, living at 842 Beech Avenue with no other family members or servants. Mary Sweitzer apparently lived outside the Pittsburgh area between 1911 and her death in 1912.

After the death of Harry S. Sweitzer in about 1911, the last member of the Sweitzer family to live at 842 Beech Avenue was O’Hara Denny Sweitzer, who was listed as living in the house in 1912.

The children of J. Bowman and Mary Sweitzer maintained 842 Beech Avenue as rental property between 1913 and 1925, when they sold the house.

The Gibsons

Robert M. Gibson was born in Taylorstown, Washington County, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 1828. His parents were Robert MacDowell and Sallie Wishart Gibson, both born in Pennsylvania. Gibson was educated at Watrings Academy in or near Taylorstown. As a young adult, Gibson taught school in Washington County and Illinois and worked in a Washington County attorney’s office, and then became an attorney himself without having attended college or law school.

Robert Gibson and his wife Eliza were married in the 1850’s. Eliza Gibson had been born in Pennsylvania to parents who were natives of Pennsylvania.

Robert Gibson practiced law in Washington County between 1853 and 1868, when he moved to the Pittsburgh area, opening an office at 103 Fifth Avenue in what is now Downtown Pittsburgh. Gibson and his family rented a home at Wilson and Liberty Streets in Pitt Township (now 32nd Street and Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Strip District) in 1868 and 1869. In September 1869, Robert Gibson bought a lot containing two houses at the southwestern corner of Beech Street (now Beech Avenue) and Freemont Street (later Grant Street, now Galveston Avenue) for $18,000. Gibson and his family began living in one of the houses, then known as 148 Grant Street.

The 1870 manuscript census enumerated Robert Gibson and his family at 148 Grant Street. The census reported that Robert Gibson, 41, was an attorney and that Eliza Gibson, 34, kept house. In 1870, the Gibsons had six children: John, 11, Sallie, 11, Lucy, nine, Amanda, five, Robert Jr., five and Barnett L., one.

The 1870 manuscript census, the last census to provide information on assets of persons enumerated, reported that Robert Gibson owned real estate worth $25,000 and had a personal estate of $2,000.

One servant lived with the Gibson family at 148 Grant Street in 1870: Mary Snyder, 21, who had been born in Pennsylvania.

In 1870, Robert Gibson formed a partnership, Weir & Gibson, attorneys, with H.W. Weir of Bidwell and Sheffield Streets in Manchester. The firm was located at 100 Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh. Robert Gibson and his family lived at 148 Grant Street until 1875, when the Gibsons moved to their newly built home at 81 Beech Street.

The 1880 manuscript census enumerated the Gibson family and their servants at 81 Beech Street. Five of Robert and Eliza Gibson’s children lived at home in 1880: Sallie, 20, Lena, 18, Amanda, 15, Robert Jr., 14 and Barnett L., 12.
Four servants lived with the Wilson family at 81 Beech Street in 1880. Amanda Holmes, 47, was an African-American woman who had been born in Virginia to parents born in Virginia. Amanda Holmes was reported to be married, but not living with her husband. Her sons Silas, 15, and Burnett, 11, both born in Texas, were also servants of the Gibson family. Sarah Thompson, 40, was a white woman who had been born in Pennsylvania to parents born in Pennsylvania. Like Amanda Holmes, Sarah Thompson was married but not living with her husband.

The census also reported that Amanda and Burnett Holmes were not able to read or write, and that Silas and Burnett Holmes did not attend school.

Robert M. Gibson died at home at 81 Beech Avenue at age 54 on November 26, 1882. His death was attributed to lung disease and overwork. Within a few months after Gibson’s death, Wilson Beall of Wellsburg, West Virginia,
instituted foreclosure proceedings against Gibson’s widow Eliza.

Eliza Gibson was listed as the widow of Robert Gibson and living at 81 Beech Avenue in the 1883 Pittsburgh city directory. She was not listed in subsequent directories, indicating that she and her children had left the Pittsburgh area.

The Teufels

Harry Peter Teufel was born in Allegheny City on July 21, 1875. He was one of at least two children of Frank Teufel, a beer salesman born in Berlin, Germany and Gertrude Teufel, from Alsace-Loraine. The Teufel family lived on East Ohio Street near Cedar Avenue, in Deutschtown, during at least part of Harry’s childhood.

In 1896, at 21, Teufel married Margaret I. Mittendorf, 26. Mittendorf was born in Ohio in about 1870. During at least part of her childhood, she and her parents and siblings lived on a farm in Ohio township, Monroe County, along the Ohio River in the southeastern part of the state. Her parents were Benjamin Mittendorf, a German immigrant, and Susan Mittendorf, born in Ohio to immigrants from Wurtemburg and Switzerland.

Harry and Margaret Teufel appear to have had no children. After marrying, the couple lived near the present site of Allegheny General Hospital, and then in an apartment at 409 East Ohio Street in Deutschtown. Harry Teufel began working as a clerk for the Pittsburgh Gage & Supply Company, which made railroad, mill and mining supplies. The company’s offices were at 309 Water Street (Fort Pitt Boulevard), Downtown.

The Teufels lived in Beaver Falls, Beaver County, between about 1903 and 1906, while Harry Teufel ran the Windsor Hotel at 10th Avenue and 11th Street there. Returning to Pittsburgh, Teufel managed a hotel at 1317 Reedsdale Street on the Northside, at or near the present site of the north end of the West End Bridge. Census records from 1910 show that he and Margaret Teufel lived in the building with a nephew, a servant and a cook. Harry Teufel ran the Larkins Hotel at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Grant Street, Downtown, between approximately 1912 and 1915. He was also the proprietor of Ward’s Hotel in Tyrone, Blair County, at some point.

Teufel returned to the Pittsburgh Gage & Supply Company in about 1915, working as a clerk. He and Margaret Teufel rented an apartment in the Kinder Building at Western Avenue and Galveston Street. Harry Teufel became a salesman with the company in 1917 or 1918, around the time that he purchased an older dwelling at 840 North Lincoln Avenue and commissioned its remodeling with Spanish Eclectic and Mission influences.

The Teufels’ purchase and remodeling of 840 North Lincoln Avenue represented a considerable investment within a short time, and suggests that the couple did well financially in the second half of the 1920s. It is possible that Harry Teufel was able to save a significant amount of money while running hotels between about 1903 and 1915. It is also possible that Teufel enjoyed an increase in income as a result of the surge in industrial activity that was part of preparation for World War I, and a result of the war itself.

The 1920 census recorded Harry P. Teufel, 44, and Margaret Teufel, 49, at 840 North Lincoln Avenue. The couple shared their home with a lodger, Margaret Thomas, 21. The Teufels sold the house about four months later, in May 1920.

The Teufels lived in the Kinder Building again between 1921 and 1924. They lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey, between 1925 and 1927, and moved in about 1928 to a house that they purchased or had built at 3861 Perrysville Avenue in the Observatory Hill area. Harry P. Teufel appears to have left the Pittsburgh Gage & Supply Company, and did not work again. The couple moved in about 1931 to an apartment at 12 East North Avenue.

Harry Teufel died on June 4, 1933, at 58. Pittsburgh newspapers reported that he died “suddenly,” but did not state the cause of his death.

Margaret Teufel lived in apartments and rented rooms in the Central North Side for several years after she was widowed. She appears to have died or left Pittsburgh in about 1941.

The Grahams

Robert and Martha Farrell Graham were born in Ireland, Robert in 1802 and Martha in 1799.

They were married and living in Pennsylvania by 1837, when their son William F. was born. Martha Jane “Mattie” Graham, their other child who is known today, was born in Pennsylvania in 1839. Although a 1919 obituary of Martha Jane Graham stated that she “was born in Lincoln avenue, old Allegheny,” North Lincoln Avenue was created in 1858, and known records do not document the family’s residence prior to 1850.

Pittsburgh city directories published before 1850 did not list Robert Graham, and the family was not enumerated in Allegheny County in the 1840 population census. The 1850 Pittsburgh directory contains the earliest known documentation of the family’s presence in the Pittsburgh area. The directory listed Robert Graham as manager of a rope walk (rope factory) and living in an un-numbered house on Western Avenue (then Water Lane) in the neighborhood now called Allegheny West.

After the rope walk closed, Pittsburgh directories listed Robert Graham as a salesman, superintendent, watchman, and laborer. His workplaces during that time are not known. Martha Graham bought an undeveloped lot on the former rope walk site in 1861, and she and Robert Graham had 840 North Lincoln Avenue built on the lot by 1863. The Grahams had a larger house built at 842 North Lincoln Avenue later in the 1860s and rented that house to tenants.

Martha Jane Graham became a public school teacher at age 18, in the late 1850s. After teaching in Allegheny City for a year, according to her obituary, she began a long career at the Grant School on Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. She was a teacher until about 1879, when she became one of Pittsburgh’s first female principals. She held that position at the Grant School until she retired in 1912. As a female principal, Graham earned several hundred dollars per year, less than her male counterparts but more than female schoolteachers.

The 1870 census was the first census taken following the construction of 840 North Lincoln Avenue. Robert Graham was enumerated as a watchman at a car station and Martha Graham did not work outside the house. Martha Jane was recorded as having no occupation, although Pittsburgh directories document that she taught school. The census reported that Robert Graham owned real estate valued at $22,000, consistent with the size, location and brick construction of 840 and 842 North Lincoln Avenue, and had a personal estate of $10,000. Graham’s total assets of $32,000 were comparable to $1 million or more in the early 21st century.

Martha Graham died in 1879, at 80. At the time of the 1880 census, Robert Graham, 78 and retired, lived at 840 North Lincoln Avenue with Martha Jane Graham, 41, and his widowed sister Rebecca Toner, 60. A servant, Norah Mooney, also lived in the house. Mooney, 22, had immigrated from Ireland. Robert Graham died in 1883.

The Social Mirror, an 1888 book about prominent Pittsburgh women, reported that “Mattie Graham, the principal of the Grant School, is one of the phenomenally successful women. She is forcible and determined, yet full of a genial warmheartedness that wins her pupils’ love. Miss Graham is intellectual, well versed in ancient and modern literature- in short, keeps up with the times, a bright, smart, capable woman.”

Possibly to help make ends meet, in about 1887 Graham began to share her home at 840 North Lincoln Avenue with Jennie Ralston, an unmarried public school teacher, and William Ralston, who had no occupation. Jennie Ralston became principal of the Pittsburgh Normal School, a training school for teachers, in about 1890. William Ralston appears to have died or moved from the house in about 1895.

Martha J. Graham sold 840 North Lincoln Avenue in 1896, for $13,000. She and Jennie Ralston moved to Oakland, and over the next 23 years rented a series of apartments together in that neighborhood. Graham died on July 22, 1919, at 79, at St. Francis Hospital in Lawrenceville.

Kiehnel and Elliott

The architectural firm that designed the 1918 remodeling of 840 North Lincoln Avenue was a partnership of Richard Kiehnel of 910 Jancey Street, Morningside, and John B. Elliott of 212 Amber Street in East Liberty. In 1918, Kiehnel and Elliott had offices at 245 Fourth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Kiehnel and Elliott practiced architecture between 1906 and about 1929 (the firm was known as Kiehnel, Elliott and Chalfant beginning in 1926). The firm was founded in Pittsburgh and designed a number of buildings, including dwellings, here. The firm began receiving, commissions in south Florida by the early 1910s and opened an office in Miami in 1922.

Kiehnel and Elliott took advantage of rapid development in south Florida in the 1910s and 1920s and prepared plans for a number of significant buildings there. At least several of the south Florida buildings that Kiehnel and Elliott designed have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in part for their architectural significance.

Other work in and near Pittsburgh by Kiehnel and Elliott included the design of:

  • New Castle High School, circa 1907
  • the First National Bank of Pitcairn, circa 1910
  • the Central Turnverein, Oakland, 1911-1912
  • the Stengel House, 4136 Bigelow Boulevard, Schenley Farms, 1913
  • a carriage house at 1203 Murray Hill Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 1915
  • Greenfield School, Greenfield, designed in 1916 and built 1922-1923
  • 745 South Linden Avenue, Point Breeze, 1917
  • additions and alterations to 5300 Fifth Avenue, Shadyside, 1917
  • 5757 Wilkins Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 1917-1918
  • 1035 North Highland Avenue, Highland Park, 1917-1918
  • 1315 Cordova Road, Highland Park, 1717-1918
  • an apartment building at Centre and Aiken avenues, Shadyside, 1926-1927
  • Baxter School, Baxter Street, Homewood, 1937 (National Register of Historic Places)

Work in Florida by Kiehnel and Elliott, or by Richard Kiehnel in his own practice after 1930, included:

  • the United States Post Office and Court House, 110 NE First Avenue, 1912-1914 (NRHP)
  • “El Jardin”, 3747 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, a mansion for John Bindley, president of the Pittsburgh Steel Products Company and the Duquesne National Bank, 1918 (NRHP)
  • Coral Gables Elementary School, 105 Menorca Drive, 1923-1926 (NRHP)
  • the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, 1924
  • Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 DeSoto Boulevard, 1924 (NRHP)
  • the Coconut Grove Playhouse, 3500 Main Highway, Miami, 1926
  • houses in Miami Shores for the Shoreland Company, 1926-later (all NRHP)
    • 10108 NE First Avenue
    • 107 NE 96th Street
    • 121 NE 100th Street
    • 145 NE 95th Street
    • 257 NE 91st Street
    • 262 NE 96th Street
    • 273 NE 98th Street
    • 276 NE 98th Street
    • 310 NE 99th Street
    • 361 NE 97th Street
    • 384 NE 94th Street
    • 431 NE 94th Street
  • Miami Senior High School, 2450 SW First Street, 1927 (NRHP)
  • the Snell Arcade, St. Petersburg. 1928
  • the Riverside Methodist Church, Miami, 1938
  • the Surfside Park Homes, Miami, 1938-1941
  • buildings at Rollins College, Winter Park, 1930s-1941
    • Alumni House
    • the Annie Russell Theater
    • the Dyer Memorial Building
    • Fox Hall
    • Lucy Cross Hall
    • Strong Hall
    • Lyman Hall
    • Mayflower Hall
    • Pugsley Hall
    • Rollins Hall
    • the Student Center
  • the Second Church of Christ Scientist, Coconut Grove, 1940
  • the Concord Plaza Hotel, Miami, 1941
  • the President Madison Hotel, Miami Beach, 1941
  • a house at 3551 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, for Frank Semple of Pittsburgh

The Watsons

Mark Walton Watson was born in Massilon. Ohio, in April 1828. His parents were born in Pennsylvania. Known records do not provide additional information on Watson’s parents or on his childhood.

Watson lived in Massilon until 1852, when he moved to Pittsburgh at age 24. Watson became a partner in William McCully & Company, a Pittsburgh glass manufacturing firm. Although Watson’s 1909 obituary stated that he joined McCully & Company in 1858, it should be noted that the 1856 Pittsburgh directory listed Watson as a partner in the firm. McCully & Company’s offices were then located on Wood Street between the present Boulevard of the Allies and Fort Pitt Boulevard.

In 1856, Mark W. Watson had been married for about three years to Margaret A. McCully, the daughter of the senior partner of his firm. The Watson family then lived at 154 Second Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh, near the offices of McCully & Company. By 1860, the family moved to Penn Avenue, Downtown, on the present site of Gateway Center. The family’s immediate neighborhood was then home to a number of wealthy manufacturers and merchants and was one of the most prestigious residential communities in the Pittsburgh area.

The 1860 census enumerated the Watson family in their home on Penn Avenue. Mark W. Watson, 32, was enumerated as a glass manufacturer and Margaret A. Watson, 29, had no occupation. The couple had three children: Martha, six, John, three, and Joseph H. one. The family’s status was evidenced by the four household staff persons who lived in their home: Mary F. Walker, 21, a cook; Mary Abermele, 18, a housemaid; Susan M. Campbell, 18, a housemaid and William Genwig, 19, a coachman.

Joseph H. Watson appears to have died during the 1860’s.

Mark W. Watson, according to his obituary, was active as a volunteer during the Civil War. Watson aided in the shipment of supplies to the Union army and in the construction of fortifications around sites in Pittsburgh which were considered vulnerable to attack.

Margaret A. Watson died in 1860 or 1861. In 1861 or 1862, Mark W. Watson was remarried to Harriet Marshall of Stockton Avenue, Allegheny City. Marshall, born in Pennsylvania in May 1845, was a daughter of James Marshall, the owner of a foundry at Wood Street and Liberty Avenue, Downtown, and president of the Farmers Deposit National Bank. Harriet Marshall Watson began living with the Watson family in their home on Penn Avenue. She and Mark W. Watson had four children. Mary, born in 1867, Harriet in 1869, Julia in 1872, and Amy in 1880.

Mark W. Watson became a member of the board of the Exchange National Bank of Pittsburgh by the late 1860’s. Watson later served as vice-president and president of the bank.

In 1870, according to census records, Mark W. Watson owned real estate valued ai $50,000 and had a personal estate of $100,000. Four household staff persons lived in the Watson home: Maria Lovitt, 19 and Mary Palmer, 24, both servants; William Brooks, 30, a coachman and Mary Baldwin, 47, a nurse.

The Watson family lived on Penn Avenue until 1875, when Mark W.Watson purchased 835 North Lincoln Avenue from John and Eleanor Frazier. The 1876 Pittsburgh directory shows that the Watson family had moved into 835 North Lincoln Avenue (then 68 Lincoln Avenue).

The 1880 census was the first census taken after the Watson family moved to 835 North Lincoln Avenue. Mark W. Watson, 52, was enumerated as a glass merchant, and Harriet Watson, 35, had no occupation. Six of Mark W. Watson’s children lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue: Margaret, 25, John, 23, listed as a glass merchant, Mary, 13, Harriet, 11, Julia, eight, and Amy, six.

In 1880. five servants lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue:

  • William Writ, 23, an African-American servant who had been born in Ohio
  • Timothy Brown, an Alrican-American driver, born in Pennsylvania
  • Mary Mason, 40, a nurse and Welsh immigrant
  • Mary Peterson, 28, an African-American chambermaid, born in Virginia
  • Ellen Thomas, 27, an African-American cook, born in Maryland

In the early 1880’s, Mark W. Watson was still a partner in McCully & Company. He became president of the Exchange National Bank around that time, while continuing his role with McCully amp; Company. Watson, like many other manufacturers with capital to invest, began to expand his business activities to include investment in various local manufacturing and transportation concerns.

He may have already joined the board of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, organized in the 1870’s. By the turn of the century, Watson also served on the boards of the Pittsburgh. McKeesport & Youghiogheny Railroad, the Standard Underground Cable Company and the Monongahcla Water Company. He eventually became president of the latter two companies.

Records of the 1890 manuscript census, which would provide information on the Watson family and any other residents of 835 North Lincoln Avenue in that year, were destroyed in a warehouse fire following the completion of the census.

Julia M. Watson, the seeond-youngest child of Mark W. and Harriet Watson, was married on October 11, 1893. Her bridegroom was Bernard S. Horne, a son of department store owner Joseph Horne. In its Society column, the Pittsburgh Press provided a detailed account of the Watson’s iconic wedding and reception, both held “at the residence of the parents of the popular little maiden.” The Press report included descriptions of the interior of 835 North Lincoln Avenue:

the shower of blossoms that in honor of this happy day has transformed the rich, dark rooms of the Watson house into a veritable bower of floral beauty..

[The dining room] is a mahogany room where in the polished wood arc inserted immense cabinets of the same glistening with silver and china. Above finishing the wall to the ceiling is a stamped Tyme castle tapestry…
he stairway is close at hand, winding down from a great window above…

At the time of the 1900 census, five members of the Watson family lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue: Mark W. Watson. 72, enumerated as a banker, Harriet, 55, Amy, 20, Julia Watson Horne, 28, who was living apart from her husband and Mark Horne, three, a son of Julia Watson Horne.

Five household staff persons lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue in 1900:

  • Mary Keeley, 26, a maid who had been born in New York and was of Irish descent
  • Delia Keeley, 30, a seamstress born in Virginia to Irish immigrant parents
  • Henrietta Brunett, 30, an African-American cook who had been born in Virginia
  • Anna Alless, 24, a nurse born in Ohio
  • Maggie Gibbons, 23, a laundress who had been born in West Virginia to Irish immigrant parents

Harriet Watson died on May 23, 1906 at age 61.

Mark W. Watson remained president of William McCully & Company through 1905 or later. Watson still served as president of the Exchange National Bank, the Standard Underground Cable Company and the Monongahela Water Company when he died on June 1, 1909. He was 81 years old.

Available records do not indicate that any members of the Watson family lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue after the death of Mark W. Watson. The 1910 census did not enumerate anyone in the house, indicating that it was vacant. Pittsburgh city directories published during the 1910’s did not list any of the Watson children as living in the house. By 1920, the house, still owned by the Watson family, contained at least seven apartments. Heirs of Mark W. Watson sold 835 North Lincoln Avenue in 1925.

The Fraziers

John Frazier was born in Pennsylvania in about 1826. Frazier’s father was an Irish immigrant, and his mother was born in Pennsylvania. It is possible that Frazier was born and raised in Butler County, where his wife was raised, or in the Jefferson County, Pennsylvania area, where Frazier and other family members later owned a planing mill. Available records, however, do not identify Frazier’s birthplace.

John Frazier and his wife, Eleanor, were married in or before the early 1850’s. The couple had two children who lived long enough to be enumerated in decennial censuses: Elizabeth, born in 1854, and Ella J., born in 1859.

Eleanor Frazier was born in Portersville, Butler County, in about 1827. She was one of at least six children of Dr. John and Elizabeth Cowden, both Pennsylvania natives.

The Frazier family began living in Pittsburgh by 1856, when John Frazier was listed in the city directory as a carpenter living on Ohio Lane (now Western Avenue) in Manchester. By 1860, John Frazier and one of his brothers founded the firm of John & George Frazier, carpenters, located on an alley near Fulton Street in Manchester.

The 1860 census enumerated the Frazier family at their home on Western Avenue. John Frazier, 34, was enumerated as a master carpenter, and Eleanor Frazier, 33, had no occupation. The couple’s children were Elizabeth, six years, and Ella J., six months.

In 1860, according to census records, John Frazier owned real estate worth $10,173 and had a personal estate of $2,000 At that time, before Civil War-era inflation doubled the value of real estate in Pittsburgh, a typical brick house of eight rooms on a full lot in Frazier’s neighborhood was worth about $3,000.

John Frazier and his brothers, George of Western Avenue and William of North Lincoln Avenue, founded the firm of Frazier Brothers in about 1865. The firm was initially located at the corner of Pitt and Strawberry Alleys in Allegheny City (on the present site ot Divine Providence Hospital). In 1866, Frazier Brothers moved to the corner of Western Avenue and Sedgwick Street in Manchester, where it opened a lumber yard. Frazier Brothers also operated saw mills along the Clarion River near Brookville, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.

In 1869, Frazier Brothers purchased the lumber yard of another firm on Gas Alley in or near Allegheny West. The lumber yard was destroyed by fire a short time after Frazier Brothers took title to the property. Within a short time, Frazier Brothers moved to Market Street in Manchester (now Metropolitan Street; between Route 65 and the Ohio River).

Frazier Brothers appears to have been well-positioned to take advantage of the thriving post-Civil War economy. The firm constructed houses that were commissioned by Allegheny City homeowners, built other houses as speculative ventures, engaged in lumber sales and land speculation and also constructed landmark homes in Allegheny West and Manchester for its three principals.

Homes built by Frazier Brothers included:

  • 824-830 Beech Avenue, Allegheny West, built between 1870 and 1872
  • 1130-34 Sheffield Street, Manchester, built before 1872
  • a row of 10 houses on Bidwell Street between Decatur and North Franklin Streets, Manchester built before 1872
  • 835 North Lincoln Avenue, the home of John Frazier, built between 1864 and 1867
  • 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, Manchester, the home of George Frazier, built 1872-73
  • 1414 Pennsylvania Avenue, Manchester, the home of William Frazier, built 1875-1876

Two streets in Manchester were apparently named for Frazier Brothers. An 1872 plat map of Manchester shows that Fontella Street was known as Frazier Street and that Decatur Street was known as Fraziers Alley.

John Frazier’s construction of 835 North Lincoln Avenue, a larger house than most contractors in the Pittsburgh area occupied during the nineteenth century, documents the success of Frazier Brothers during the post-Civil War era. Some years later, in 1886, Pennsylvania Historical Review reported that the firm operated a factory and lumberyard, had 100 full-time employees and was “one of the most active and most extensive [contracting and lumber firms] in this region.”

The Frazier family began living at 835 North Lincoln Avenue by 1867. Dr. John and Elizabeth Cowden, the parents of Eleanor Frazier, began living in the house with the Fraziers in or shortly before 1870.

The 1870 census was the first census taken following construction of 835 North Lincoln Avenue. Census records show that the Frazier home was occupied by six family members: John Frazier, 44, enumerated as a lumber merchant; Eleanor, 43, with no occupation; Ella J., 11; William Frazier, 30, a partner in Frazier Brothers and enumerated as a lumber merchant; and Dr. John and Elizabeth Cowden, both 74.

Three unrelated persons lived with the Frazier family at 835 North Lincoln Avenue in 1870. Amanda McKain, 19 and Betsy Grant, 18, both servants, and Henry Brown, 17, with no recorded occupation.

The 1870 manuscript census, the last census to provide information on assets of persons enumerated, reported that John Frazier owned real estate valued at $120,000 and had a personal estate of $20,000.

The Fraziers and Cowdens lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue through 1875. In that year, John and Eleanor Frazier sold the house for $48,000 and moved to a house on Sheffield Street in Manchester. Available records do not indicate why the Fraziers sold 835 North Lincoln Avenue. It is possible that the decision to sell the house was associated with an economic depression that diminished home construction between 1873 and 1877.

John Frazier and his family moved from Sheffield Street to West North Avenue in Manchester (then Fayette Street) during the 1880’s. Frazier remained partner in Frazier Brothers until he retired toward the end of that decade.
John Frazier lived on West North Avenue until he died on December 1, 1895 Available records do not indicate when Eleanor Frazier died.

Neighborhood Development

During and immediately alter the Civil War, following the 1858 subdivision of the former Rope Walk property, the new Allegheny West neighborhood became a genteel alternative to sections of Allegheny City like the east and south commons and the Anderson Street area, which were crowded and contained mixed residential, commercial and industrial uses by 1870. Most of the original residents of the mansions and middle-class houses that line North Lincoln Avenue were manufacturers and merchants who previously lived in Downtown Pittsburgh or older sections of Allegheny City.

As Allegheny West developed. North Lincoln Avenue came to include a mixture of mansions and middle-class housing. Simultaneously, some of the region’s wealthiest families constructed mansions on Ridge Avenue and Brighton Road, most homes on Beech and Galveston Avenues were built for middle-class families, and Western Avenue developed as an unlikely mixture of mansions, homes of middle-class and working-class families and small industrial sites.

Between the late 1860’s and early 1880’s, most homes that were built on 25′ wide lots on Western, North Lincoln and Beech Avenue were worth between $11,000 and $13,000. Larger Allegheny West homes occupying double lots were worth $20,000 or more. An example is a home at 940 North Lincoln Avenue, which was sold for $20,000 in 1871. Smaller brick homes of six rooms on full single lots – prevalent in the Mexican War Streets, Lawrenceville and South Side neighborhoods – were worth $4,500 to $6,500.

Properly values in Allegheny West and Manchester climbed steadily during the l870’s and 1850’s, with remaining undeveloped lots selling for about $1.60 to $1.80 per square foot by the late l880’s. Before the introduction of electric streetcar lines in about 1890, the majority of middle-class families – who could not afford carriages and drivers – lived within a walking distance of employment sites. Some household heads commuted by horsecar or cable car, which were more affordable than private transportation but costlier than the electric streetcars of a few years later.

In about 1890, “streetcar suburbs” such as Friendship and Shadyside in Pittsburgh’s East End began to develop after introduction of electric streetcars. Offered the opportunity to purchase lots with 30′ to 50′ frontage for 40 to 60 cents per square foot, in neighborhoods that were further from industry, many middle-class residents of Allegheny West and Manchester moved to these neighborhoods within the next decade.

By 1900, Allegheny West property values fell, and about half of the middle-class houses on Western, North Lincoln and Beech Avenues were rented as single-family dwellings to families who were not quite as well-off as their predecessors. Allegheny West’s wealthier residents remained in their homes longer than their middle-class neighbors, possibly because they were able to escape to summer homes near Sewickley.

By the early 1920’s, when almost all of the millionaire residents of Brighton Road and Ridge Avenue fled to the Sewickley area, most of the formerly middle-class homes on Western, North Lincoln and Beech Avenues were either divided into apartments or used as rooming houses.