info@alleghenywest.org
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.

845 N Lincoln Avenue

845 N Lincoln Avenue (Front)

Introduction

John W. Simpson, a flour and grain merchant, had the original house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue built between 1864 and 1865. The original house on the lot had a two-story front section and a long two-story rear ell. It was probably built in the Italianate style, the most popular architectural style in the Pittsburgh area in the 1860s and the 1870s.

Joseph Walton, a prominent coal mine owner and coal merchant, purchased the original house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue for the considerable sum of $20,250 in 1888. Walton never resided at 845 North Lincoln Avenue, but apparently bought the property as a residence for his daughter and son-in-law, Ida Walton Scully and James W. Scully, who married in early 1889. Ida Walton Scully became the full owner of the house in 1894.

During the 1890s, 845 North Lincoln Avenue took on its present form and appearance through a series of additions and alterations. By 1893, the front section of the house was enlarged from two to three stories in height. The house’s Richardsonian Romanesque facade and contemporaneous interior features in the front section may have been added by that time. Over the next six years, the house was further updated by the addition of the three-story library addition to its front section and the removal of its original two-story rear ell and replacement with a larger three-story rear ell. The new rear ell was built with a Marshall Brothers elevator, rooms for servants and an integral carriage section at Chapel Way.

After the 1890s alterations, the only remaining part of the original 1864-65 house was its front section, covered on three sides and within. On the west elevation of the present house, one can see visual evidence of the addition of the facade, third floor and rear ell.

James W. Scully, a member of a prominent Pittsburgh family, was a glass manufacturer when he married Ida Walton and began living at 845 North Lincoln Avenue. His later business activities included serving as a partner in Joseph Walton & Company and as president of the First National Bank of Birmingham on the South Side. He and Ida Walton Scully had three children. Census records show that the family employed as many as six servants who lived in their home.

In 1917, the Scullys sold 845 North Lincoln Avenue to James S. Childs, a shoe, rubber and leather wholesaler whose wife, Alice, was a sister of Ida Scully. The Childs family, with three children, employed five live-in servants at the time of the 1920 census. The family owned and lived in the house until 1923, when they sold the house. The next owners, Samuel and Margaret Crow, lived at 845 North Lincoln Avenue and used the building as a rooming house.

Detailed information on the history of 845 North Lincoln Avenue is contained in the following report.

Ownership

  • March 17, 1790
  • November 2, 1813
  • March 9, 1816
  • June 26, 1858
  • March 19, 1863
  • March 6, 1871
  • March 23, 1871
  • September 28, 1888
  • December 5, 1892
  • May 5, 1894
  • May 9, 1894
  • February 27, 1917
  • May 2, 1923
  • March 11, 1941
  • September 28, 1944
  • May 19, 1960
  • 1982

Charles Wilkins, merchant, of the town of Pittsburgh, conveyed property that included the present site of 845 North Lincoln Avenue to John Irwin, esquire, of the town of Pittsburgh for 30 pounds. This deed conveyed Out Lot 276 in the Reserve Tract opposite Pittsburgh and Lot 69 in the town of Allegheny. Out Lot 276 was a 10-acre tract of land situated on the western side of land laid out for a common, and bounded by what are now Brighton Road, Ridge Avenue, Galveston Avenue and Western Avenue. Lot 69 in the town of Allegheny was a 60′ wide by 240′ deep lot at the comer of Ohio Street and Sandusky Street, measuring 60′ wide on Ohio Street and 240′ deep along Sandusky Street to Strawberry Alley.

(Deed Book Volume 2, Page 97)

William F. Irwin of the borough of Pittsburgh, one of the sons and heirs of John Irwin, rope maker, conveyed property that included the present site of 845 North Lincoln Avenue to John Irwin of the borough of Pittsburgh, another of the sons and heirs of John Irwin, for $1,772. This deed conveyed Out Lots 276, 263 and 268 in the Reserve Tract, containing 10 acres each, and property on Liberty Street (now Liberty Avenue) in Pittsburgh. John Irwin had died intestate and was survived by his widow Mary and four children, Margaret, John, William and Elizabeth.

(DBV 19 P 127)

John and Hannah Irwin of the town of Allegheny conveyed property that included the present site of 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Elizabeth Irwin and Margaret Irwin of the town of Allegheny. This deed conveyed Out Lot 276 in the Reserve Tract and other property in the borough of Pittsburgh. This deed was an amicable partition of the estate of John Irwin.

(DBV 22 P 189)

John and Abigail Irwin of Allegheny City conveyed property that included the present site of 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Daniel Euwer of Pittsburgh for $2,950.

(DBV 135 P 382)

Daniel and Martha Euwer of Allegheny City conveyed property that included the present site of 845 North Lincoln Avenue to John W. Simpson of Allegheny City for $1,000.

(DBV 166 P 29)

The estate of John W. Simpson of Allegheny City conveyed an earlier house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Lewis Collner of Clarion County, Pennsylvania, for $16,000.

(DBV 276 P 243)

Lewis and Sarah Collner of Richland Township, Clarion County, conveyed the earlier house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Jane McKelvy of Pittsburgh for $16,500.

Jane McKelvy died while owning the earlier house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue. She left the house to her daughter, A. Clara Rafferty.

(DBV 276 P 245)

James C. and A. Clara Rafferty of San Diego, California, conveyed the earlier house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Joseph Walton of Allegheny City for $20,250.

(DBV 624 P 452)

Joseph Walton died intestate on December 5, 1892. He was survived by his six children: Samuel B. Walton, John F. Walton, Clara Cook, Ida Walton Scully, Nellie Wood, all adults and Alice F. Walton, a minor.

Samuel B. Walton, John F. and Annie F. Walton, Clara W. and Thomas McK. Cook and James and Nellie Walton Wood, all of Allegheny City, conveyed their interest in the earlier house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Ida Walton Scully, wife of James W. Scully of Allegheny City, for $24,849.04.

(DBV 880 P 131)

D.T. Watson, guardian of Alice F. Walton, minor child of Joseph Walton, conveyed the interest of Alice F. Walton in the earlier house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Ida Walton Scully, wife of James W. Scully of Allegheny City, for $6,212.26.

(DBV 880 P 136)

James W. and Ida Walton Scully of Pittsburgh conveyed 845 North Lincoln Avenue to James S. Childs of Pittsburgh for $1 and other considerations.

(DBV 1894 P 21)

James S. and Alice Walton Childs conveyed 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Margaret N. Crow, wife of Samuel S. Crow, for $24,500.

(DBV 2155 P 419)

Samuel S. Crow died on March 11, 1941. Margaret N. Crow died on April 1, 1941. She was survived by her only child, Samuel S. Crow Jr.

Title to 845 North Lincoln Avenue was placed in the names of Samuel S. Crow Jr. and his wife, Georgea Crow. Samuel S. Crow Jr. died on December 15, 1952.

(DBV 2816 P 299)

Georgea Crow of Pittsburgh conveyed 845 North Lincoln Avenue to Alexander Watson Jr. and Merl N. Dickenson for $39,000.

(DBV 3857 P 261)

Full title to 845 North Lincoln Avenue passed to Alexander Watson Jr.

Age of the House

Local historical records indicate that the first house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue was built between 1864 and 1865. Between 1890 and 1893, the front section of the house was enlarged by the addition of a third story and the construction of a small addition to the rear elevation of the front section. A small wood frame addition at the back of the rear ell was also removed between 1890 and 1893.

The addition of the third story was followed by the addition of a new facade in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The new facade was accompanied by the remodeling of the interior with a stairway, woodwork, mantels, doors and other features typical of Richardsonian Romanesque houses. Historical records do not make clear whether the Richardsonian Romanesque facade was added when the third story was built, between 1890 and 1893, or when the library addition to the side of the house was built later in the 1890s.
Between 1895 and 1899, the transformation of 845 North Lincoln Avenue to its present form was completed by the construction of a three-story addition to the east side of the front section and the removal of the two-story rear ell of the original house and its replacement with a three-story rear ell.

First House Construction (1864-1865)

John W. Simpson purchased a lot on Central Street (now North Lincoln Avenue) that included the present site of 845 North Lincoln Avenue on March 19,1863. Simpson paid $1000 for the lot, which measured 48′ wide along Ridge and North Lincoln avenues and 285.5′ deep. The purchase, at seven cents per square foot, was comparable to or lower than prices paid for other undeveloped lots in Allegheny West at the time, and indicates that the lot was undeveloped.

The 1863 and 1864 Pittsburgh city directories listed John W. Simpson as living on Beaver Street (now Arch Street) in Allegheny City. Simpson, a flour and grain merchant, was listed at 66 Central Street in the 1865 directory, and at 64 Central Street (present 845 North Lincoln Avenue) in 1866. It is likely that Simpson lived in the original house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue by 1865, as house numbers may not yet have been standardized on the relatively new street and the house that then stood at 66 Central Street (an earlier dwelling on the present site of 841 North Lincoln Avenue) was owned and occupied by Joseph Tilton and his family.
An 1872 plat map confirms that the first house at present 845 North Lincoln Avenue had been built.

Fire insurance maps depict buildings with more detail than the 1872 plat map. The first fire insurance map of part of Allegheny West, published in 1884, depicts the first house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue as two stories in height. It is likely that the front section of the house had a side-gabled roof, with an attic, and the rear ell had a shed roof that slanted toward the side yard. The rear ell also had a one-story addition that extended back to Chapel Way.
An 1890 plat map depicts the original house with essentially the same footprint as the 1884 fire insurance map had shown. The 1890 plat map shows that the one-story rear addition to the rear ell was of wood frame construction.

Alteration and Addition (1890-1893)

The next fire insurance map, in 1893, shows that the front section of the first house had been enlarged to a full three stories, and the rear ell was still two stories. The front section had been enlarged by an addition to its rear elevation, which filled in the “notch” between the front section and the rear ell. The filling in of the notch appears likely to have taken place before the third story of the front section was added, suggesting that the third story of the front section was constructed between 1890 and 1893. The third story of the rear elevation was clad in slate, although it was apparently not a mansard roof. The one-story frame addition at the rear of the house had been removed.
The house was then owned by Joseph Walton, who had purchased it in 1888. Walton never lived in the house, but allowed his daughter and son-in-law, Ida and James W. Scully, to occupy it.

Alteration and Addition (1895-1899)

The house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue took on its present form through additional alterations that took place between 1895 and 1899. The house was then owned by Ida Scully, who continued to live there with her husband, James W. Scully. Joseph Walton died in 1892, and in 1894 Ida Scully acquired her siblings’ interests in the property and became full owner.

The three-story front section of845 North Lincoln Avenue displays the Richardsonian Romanesque style, which was used in the Pittsburgh area between about 1890 and 1900. As the 1893 fire insurance map depicts the original front section of the house as being three stories, it is possible that the addition of the Richardsonian Romanesque facade took place by that year.

Allegheny City building permit dockets, available beginning in 1894, document changes to 845 North Lincoln Avenue after that year.

On October 8,1895, James W. Scully received a permit for what was described as an alteration to a two-story section of 845 North Lincoln Avenue. The section of the house that was to be altered measured 12′ wide by 16′ deep. The alteration had an estimated construction cost of $850. Building permit records provide no farther information on the 1895 alteration of the house.
On August 14,1896, Scully received a permit for the construction of a three-story brick addition to 845 North Lincoln Avenue. The addition was to measure 22’4″ wide by 20’3″ deep and had an estimated construction cost of $3,300. This permit appears to have been taken for construction of the side addition to the front section of the house.

On July 15, 1899, Scully received a permit for the construction of a new three-story rear ell at 845 North Lincoln Avenue. The addition was to be of brick construction, was to measure 29′ wide by 79′ deep, and had an estimated construction cost of $14,000.

The next fire insurance map to depict 845 North Lincoln Avenue, published in 1906, shows the house’s present footprint.

Construction Cost

In addition to the $20,250 that Joseph Walton paid for 845 North Lincoln Avenue, an additional $19,720 was outlaid to outfit the house for his daughter, Ida in 1888 – a total of $39,970.

The total estimated construction cost of the 1895-1899 alteration and additions to 845 North Lincoln Avenue was $18,150. Estimated construction costs of other buildings in Allegheny City in the 1890s included:

  • Allen Chapel, Columbus Avenue and Fulton Street, Manchester, 1894 – $3,000
  • 4017 Northminster Street, Brighton Heights, 1895 – $3,200
  • 3504 Perrysville Avenue, Observatory Hill, 1897 – $3,650
  • a carriage house at 705 Brighton Road, Allegheny West, 1898 – $4,500
  • 1623 Rhine Street, Spring Hill, 1897 – $5,000
  • 1235 Page Street, Manchester, 1898 – $5,000
  • 930 West North Avenue, Allegheny West, 1895 – $5,317
  • 2014 Osgood Street, Fineview, 1894 – $5,400
  • 61 Riverview Avenue, 1898 – $5,500
  • 3344 Perrysville Avenue, Observatory Hill, 1896 – $8,400
  • 940 West North Avenue, Allegheny West, 1895 – $10,000
  • 836 West North Avenue, 1895-1896 – $12,000

A 1906 renovation saw many additions to the house at 845 North Lincoln Avenue but, due to the annexation of Allegheny City coinciding with this year, many records of cost have been mislaid.

The Contractors

James W. and Ida Scully employed prominent local building contractors for the 1895-1899 alteration and additions to 845 North Lincoln Avenue.

George A. Cochrane

The Scullys hired George A. Cochrane for the 1895 alteration to the house. George A. Cochrane lived at 1612 Sedgwick Street in Manchester and his business was located at 1210 Columbus Avenue in the same neighborhood. Other work by Cochrane, a Civil War veteran, in Allegheny West included the construction of Calvary United Methodist Church and houses at 721 Brighton Road, 841 North Lincoln Avenue, and 911 Ridge Avenue.
Cochran also built a large public bath house at 35th and Butler streets in Lawrenceville, a house at 1023 Murray Hill Avenue in Squirrel Hill and a house at 6824 Juniata Place in Point Breeze.

L. Benz & Brothers

The firm of L. Benz & Brothers constructed the 1896 side addition to the front section of 845 North Lincoln Avenue. L. Benz & Brothers was then located at 125 South 12th Street on the South Side. The firm’s principals were Lawrence Benz of Arlington Avenue, Ferdinand Benz of 125 South 12th Street, John Benz of 1100 Frederick Street, and Philip Benz of 2112 Sarah Street, all on the South Side.

Like most 19th century contracting firms in Pittsburgh, L. Benz & Brothers did nearly all of its work within about a mile of its location. It appears likely that the firm was hired to build the addition to 845 North Lincoln Avenue because Ferdinand Benz and James W. Scully served together as directors of the First National Bank of Birmingham at South 12th and East Carson streets on the South Side.
Larger construction projects by L. Benz & Brothers included the construction of the original buildings of the Duquesne Brewery, Saint Casimir’s School at South 22nd and Jane Streets, three buildings for Thomas Coffin & Company and the Dixon-Woods Company at South 30th and Jane Streets, and commercial/residential buildings at 2004 East Carson Street and 126 Pius Street, all on the South Side.

A & S Wilson

The firm of A & S Wilson constructed the large rear ell at 845 North Lincoln Avenue in 1899. A & S Wilson was located at 541-551 Third Avenue, Downtown. The firm was a partnership of Adam Wilson of 318 North Neville Street, Oakland, J. Charles

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Marshall Brothers

The 1899 rear ell addition to 845 North Lincoln Avenue was constructed with an elevator that was manufactured by Marshall Brothers. The firm operated what was known as the Iron City Elevator and Machine Works at 341-347 Diamond Street, Downtown. Marshall Brothers was then a partnership of George V. Marshall of 814 Saint James Street and Robert Marshall of 707 South Aiken Avenue, both in Shadyside.
Marshall Brothers was a predecessor of the Marshall Elevator Company, which remains in business on Pittsburgh’s South Side under the ninth generation of Marshall family ownership and management. The company began operation in Pittsburgh in 1818 as a foundry, and is now among the oldest manufacturing businesses in the United States.

Architectural Style

The 1890s facade of 845 North Lincoln Avenue was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The style is shown in the facade’s arched door and window openings, asymmetrical design, terra cotta and brick belt courses connecting window sills, deepset window openings, and sandstone entry porch and sandstone foundation veneer.

The Richardsonian Romanesque style was widely used in the design of public buildings and upper-class and upper-middle-class homes built in the United States between the late 1880s and about 1900. The style was used less frequently than the contemporaneous Queen Anne style because of its cost.
The Richardsonian Romanesque style was developed in the 1870s and 1880s by Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Richardson designed two buildings in Pittsburgh: the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail (1884-88) and Emmanuel Episcopal Church at the corner of West North and Allegheny Avenues in Allegheny West (1885-86). Richardson was among the most influential architects in the United States between the late 1880s and late 1890s.

Known records do not identify an architect who is credited with design of 845 North Lincoln Avenue.

The Home Today

Photos by Chris Siewers

Through the Years


Residents

The Scullys

Pittsburgh city directories, U.S. census records, Allegheny County marriage license records and other sources provide information on James W. and Ida Walton Scully.

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The Childses

James H. and Alice Walton Childs owned and lived at 845 North Lincoln Avenue between 1917 and 1923.

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The 1900 Census

James W and Ida W Scully lived at 845 North Lincoln Avenue with their three children and seven servants as of the 1900 census.

  • James W Scully, 42
  • Ida W Scully, 36
  • James W Scully Jr., 9
  • Alice W Scully, 3
  • Walton T Scully, 1
  • Sabina T Rankin, 62
  • Mary Twerny, 24
  • Kate Twerny, 23
  • John Lewis, 34
  • Rose Bradley, 39
  • Margaret Mccany, 18
  • Elise Mueller, 39

The 1910 Census

James W and Ida W Scully lived at 845 North Lincoln Avenue with their three children and six servants as of the 1910 census.

  • James W Scully, 52
  • Ida W Scully, 43
  • James W Scully Jr., 19
  • Alice W Scully, 13
  • Walton Scully, 11
  • Elise Muller, 25
  • Clara Johnson, 38
  • Arnice Allingham, 29
  • Louise Reichart, 26
  • Jean S Michner, 28
  • William Dickson, 37

The 1930 Census

Samuel and Margaret Crow became the owners of 845 North Lincoln Avenue in 1923. The couple turned the dwelling into a rooming house. The 1930 census recorded 22 residents of 845 North Lincoln Avenue:

  • Samuel Crow, 54, who had no occupation; he had born in Pennsylvania, as had his parents
  • Margaret Crow, 50, the landlady of the rooming house; also born in Pennsylvania to parents born in Pennsylvania
  • Samuel Crow Jr., 25, with no occupation
  • Georgea Crow, 26, wife of Samuel Crow Jr., a Greek immigrant who worked as an interpreter in a department store
  • Ida M. Swichard, 50, a corseteer in a department store, born in Pennsylvania
  • Jane McDowell, 45, a saleslady in a department store, born in Ohio
  • Walter J. Muckle, 50, a salesman with a stock brokerage, born in Pennsylvania
  • Sara Muckle, 35, a private secretary in a broker’s office and apparently the wife of Walter J. Muckle, born in Pennsylvania
  • Arabella Hall, 50, a saleswoman in a department store, born in Ohio
  • Rebecca McKinsie, 56, a housekeeper in a rooming house, born in Pennsylvania
  • Clara Cummings, 38, a public school teacher, born in Pennsylvania
  • A. Woodward, 60, a saleswoman in a department store
  • Henry Harris, 90, with no occupation, born in Pennsylvania
  • Morrison A. Bryan, 32, an orchestra musician born in Pennsylvania
  • Helen Bryan, 28, with no occupation and apparently the wife of Morrison A. Bryan, born in Pennsylvania
  • Robert E. Paget, 49, a bridge construction engineer, born in Tennessee
  • Lily Paget, 49, with no occupation and apparently the wife of Robert Paget, born in Tennessee
  • Walter B. Paget, 24, a stationary engineer working on a bridge and apparently the son of Robert and Lily Paget, born in Tennessee
  • Dorothy A. Paget, 14, apparently the daughter of Robert and Lily Paget, born in Tennessee
  • John L. Cummings, 70, with no occupation, born in Pennsylvania
  • Vera Kennedy, 36, with no occupation, born in Pennsylvania
  • Vera J. Kennedy, six, apparently a daughter of Vera Kennedy, born in Pennsylvania

Records of the 1930 census also show that 845 North Lincoln Avenue had an estimated value of $24,000 and that Samuel and Margaret Crow owned a radio.

The 1930 census is the most recent census that provides detailed information on occupants of 845 North Lincoln Avenue. Manuscript census records are withheld from the public for 72 years, to protect the privacy of persons enumerated.

Supplementary Materials

The following materials accompany this report:

  • a copy of part of an 1852 map depicting Allegheny City
  • a copy of an 1872 plat map of the area around 845 North Lincoln Avenue
  • copies of parts of fire insurance maps of the area around 845 North Lincoln Avenue, published in 1884, 1893, 1906 and 1926, and the 1926 map, updated by the publisher to 1950
  • a listing for the Scully family in the 1920 Pittsburgh Social Secretaire
  • a description of the Walton sisters from the 1888 edition of The Social Mirror
  • an article detailing the sale of James W. Scully’s country home in Sewickley from the Daily Post, May 24, 1912
  • an article describing a dance held for Alice Walton Scully from the Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 15, 1915
  • a listing for The Crossways Shop, run by Ida Walton Scully, in the 1917 R.L. Polk & Co. Pittsburgh city directory
  • a photo of Joseph Walton from the 1901 Notable Men of Pittsburgh and Vicinity
  • the death notice of James W. Scully, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 16, 1934
  • the death notice of Ida Walton Scully, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 11, 1951
  • the death notice of Alice Walton Childs, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 16, 1963
  • the death notice of James H. Childs, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 23, 1963
  • the obituary of Rachel Mellon Walton, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 4, 2006
  • a story on the home’s inclusion in the Allegheny West Wine & Garden Tour from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 30, 2015

A Researched History
By: Carol J. Peterson

all photos by Chris Siewers, unless otherwise noted

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

840 N Lincoln Avenue

840 N Lincoln Avenue (Front)

Introduction

Robert and Martha Graham had 840 North Lincoln Avenue built between 1861 and 1863.The house was constructed on a lot that Martha Graham had purchased for $450 in 1861. It was one of the first houses built on North Lincoln Avenue (originally Central Street) following the 1858 subdivision of land bounded by Ridge, Allegheny and Western avenues and Brighton Road.

The Grahams almost certainly had 840 North Lincoln Avenue built in the Italianate style, the most popular architectural style in southwestern Pennsylvania between the late 1850s and the 1880s. The architectural firm Kiehnel and Elliott designed a 1918 remodeling with elements of the Mission and Spanish Eclectic styles. Kiehnel and Elliott designed a number of significant buildings in Pittsburgh and southern Florida between 1906 and 1930, and several examples of the firm’s work are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 1858 subdivision of the Irwin rope walk property created the lot on which 840 North Lincoln Avenue stands, and the street itself. The Irwin family operated a rope walk, or factory, between 1813 and 1858. Robert Graham managed the rope walk for the Irwins in the 1850s, and possibly earlier. While living at 840 North Lincoln Avenue, Graham worked as a salesman, superintendent, watchman, and laborer.

Martha Jane “Mattie” Graham, a daughter of Robert and Martha, lived in the house for years after her parents’ deaths. She was prominent in her own right as one of the first female public school principals in Pittsburgh, serving in that position at the Grant School on Grant Street, Downtown between about 1879 and 1912. When she died in 1919, Pittsburgh newspapers noted that the banker Andrew Mellon was among her former students, and Andrew Carnegie was a friend.

Harry and Margaret Teufel bought 840 North Lincoln Avenue in 1917, and had the house remodeled the following year. Harry Teufel was then a Pittsburgh Gage & Supply Company salesman, and had previously operated hotels in Pittsburgh, Allegheny City and Beaver Falls. He and Margaret Teufel had no children, and the 1920 census found them living at 840 North Lincoln Avenue with a lodger named Margaret Thomas. The Teufels sold the house later in 1920, for $13,000.
The former Graham house at 840 North Lincoln Avenue has now had a total of 19 owners.

Detailed information on the history of the house is contained in the following report.

Ownership

  • March 17, 1790
  • November 2, 1813
  • March 9, 1816
  • October 14, 1861
  • February 21, 1879
  • June 17, 1896
  • December 31, 1901
  • April 8, 1916
  • April 18, 1916
  • July 7. 1916
  • December 12, 1917
  • December 12, 1917
  • May 1, 1920
  • February 6, 1946
  • February 9, 1946
  • December 9, 1952
  • December 20, 1952
  • May 27, 1953
  • August 18, 1958
  • September 27, 1961
  • February 24, 1982
  • March 14, 1988
  • September 22, 1999
  • December 28, 2004
  • June 8, 2007

Charles Wilkins, merchant, of the town of Pittsburgh conveyed property that included the site of 840 North Lincoln Avenue to John Irwin, esquire, of the town of Pittsburgh for £30. This deed conveyed Out Lot 276 in the Reserve Tract Opposite Pittsburgh and Lot 69 in the town of Allegheny. Out Lot 276 was a ten-acre tract of land situated on the western side of land laid out for a common and bounded by what are now Brighton Road and Ridge, Galveston and Western avenues. Lot 69 in the town of Allegheny was a 60’ wide by 240’ deep lot at the corner of East Ohio and Sandusky streets.

John Irwin died intestate. He was survived by his widow, Mary, and four children: Margaret, John, William F. and Elizabeth.

(Deed Book Volume 2, Page 97)

William F. Irwin of the borough of Pittsburgh, one of the sons and heirs of John Irwin, rope maker, conveyed Out Lots 276, 263 and 268 in the Reserve Tract Opposite Pittsburgh, containing ten acres each, and property on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh to John Irwin of the borough of Pittsburgh for $1772.

(DBV 19 P 127)

John, Elizabeth, and Margaret Irwin, all of Allegheny town, amicably partitioned property that had belonged to John Irwin, deceased. John Irwin received title to Out Lot 276 in the Reserve Tract Opposite Pittsburgh, and other property.

(Deed Book 22: 189)

John and Abigail Irwin of Allegheny County conveyed a lot that contained the present site of 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Martha Graham of Allegheny City for S450. The lot measured 24’ wide by 140’9-5/8” deep, and was known as Lot 51 in a plan of lots laid out by John Irwin

(DBV 151 P 437) (Plan Book Volume 2, Page 173)

Martha Graham died on February 21, 1879. In her will, dated January 16, 1879, she left 840 North Lincoln Avenue to her husband, Robert Graham, during his life, with title to pass at his death to her son, William F. Graham, and daughter, Martha Jane Graham. Robert Graham died on December 31, 1883. William F. Graham died on June 24, 1889, survived by his widow, Mary E. Graham, and one child, Bessie Graham.

(Will Book Volume 22, Page 52)

Martha Jane Graham, Bessie Graham and Mary E. Graham, all of Allegheny City, conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to B.F. Jones of Allegheny City for $13,000.

(DBV 943 P 180)

Benjamin F. and Mary McMasters Jones of Allegheny City conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Elizabeth M. Horne of Pittsburgh for $1.
(DBV 1154 P 371)

Elizabeth M. Horne of Sewickley Heights conveyed 840 and 838 North Lincoln Avenue to Richard E. McClure of Pittsburgh for $1 and other considerations (tax stamps suggest a price of $10,000).

(DBV 1850 P 412)

Richard E. McClure of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 and 838 North Lincoln Avenue to Thomas H. Hasson of Pittsburgh for $1 and other considerations (tax stamps suggest a price of $7,500).

(Deed Book 1850: 411)

Thomas H. and Amelia S. Hasson of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Bernard B. McGinnis of Pittsburgh for $4,800. This conveyance was subject to two unrecorded May 1, 1916 agreements between Thomas H. Hasson and T.C. Hill: (1) that the lavatory built on the house at 838 North Lincoln Avenue, which encroached upon the lot at 840 North Lincoln Avenue, was to be removed by the said T.C. Hill within 30 days written notice to do so, the material therein and the contents thereof to be the property of the said T.C. Hill; and (2) that the bath room attached to the property at 840 North Lincoln Avenue, which was attached to and encroached upon the wall of 838 North Lincoln Avenue, was to be removed at the expense of Hasson any time upon 30 days written notice from T.C. Hill to do so.

(DBV 1865 P 192)

Bernard B. McGinnis of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Frank X. Behen of Penn Township for $5,000. This deed and subsequent deeds conveyed the lot on which the house now stands, consisting of Lot 51 in the Irwin plan excepting a narrow triangular strip of ground that Bernard B. McGinnis had conveyed to Martha Jane Graham, then owner of the property at 842 North Lincoln Avenue. The strip of ground was described as beginning at a point 12’6” north of North Lincoln Avenue at the line dividing Lots 50 and 51 in the John Irwin plan of lots and running northwest 69.5’, southwest 7.375”, and southeast 69.5’ to the place of beginning.

(DBV 1923 P 13) (DBV 1890 P 72)

Frank X. and Mary S. Behen of Penn Township conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Harry P. Teufel of Pittsburgh for $6,500.

(DBV 1923 P 11)

Harry P. and Margaret I. Teufel of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to William C. McNamara of Pittsburgh for $13,000.

(DBV 1992 P 614)

William C. and Mary McNamara of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Margaret P. McNamara of Pittsburgh in consideration of $1 and love and affection.

(DBV 2873 P 349)

Margaret P. McNamara of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to William C. and Mary McNamara of Pittsburgh for $1 and other considerations.

(DBV 2879 P 222)

Title to 840 North Lincoln Avenue was placed in the names of Mary McNamara, Margaret P. Neuberger and Kathryn M. Mitchell.

(DBV 3369 P 385)

Mary McNamara died on December 20, 1952. Her sole heirs were her two daughters, Kathryn M. Mitchell and Margaret P. Neuberger.

L. Clair and Kathryn M. Mitchell of Mt. Lebanon and Margaret P. and Raymond F. Neuberger of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Kamel and Zahwa Shaheen of Pittsburgh for $11,000.

(DBV 3254 P 397)

Kamel and Zahwa Shaheen of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Walter D. and Anna Belle Shelton of Pittsburgh for $11,000.

(DBV 3705 P 633)

Walter D. and Anna Belle Shelton of Pittsburgh conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Marion Thomas of Pittsburgh for $12,000.

(DBV 3918 P 473)

The estate of Marion Thomas conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue and 838 North Lincoln Avenue to Philip W. Thomas, her son

(DBV 6446 P 423)

Philip W. Thomas of Allegheny County conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Michael R. Bozzone of Allegheny County for $38,000.

(DBV 7744 P 471)

Michael R. and Natalie M. Bozzone conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to John Bartholomew Holt for $133,000.

(DBV 10590 P 584)

John Bartholomew Holt conveyed 840 North Lincoln Avenue to Cory D. and Kari J. Reslerfor $209,900.

(DBV 12315 P 339)

Douglas Debelak and Debra E. Kelly purchased 840 North Lincoln Avenue from Cory D. and Kari J. Resler on June 8, 2007.

(DBV 13270 P 573)

Age of the House

Local historical records indicate that Robert and Martha Graham had 840 North Lincoln Avenue built between 1862 and 1863. Harry P. and Margaret Teufel had the house remodeled with elements of the Mission and Spanish Eclectic styles in 1918.

Construction

Martha Graham purchased the lot on which 840 North Lincoln Avenue stands on October 14, 1861. Graham paid $450 for the lot, measuring 24’ wide by 140’9-5/8” deep. This purchase, at 13 cents per square foot, was comparable to prices paid for other undeveloped lots in lower Allegheny City at the time.

An 1862 map depicting building coverage in Allegheny City and Pittsburgh does not show any buildings on North Lincoln Avenue. The 1863 and 1864 Pittsburgh city directories listed Robert Graham, Martha Graham’s husband, as living in an un-numbered house on Central Street (now North Lincoln Avenue) near Tremont (now Galveston) Street for the first time.
Following the assignment of house numbers in the area, the 1867 city directory listed Robert Graham at 67 Lincoln Avenue (now 840 North Lincoln Avenue) for the first time. An 1872 plat map confirms that the house had been built.

Allegheny County mortgage records contain no record of any loan that could have been used to finance construction of 840 North Lincoln Avenue.

Remodeling in 1918

Harry P. Teufel purchased 840 North Lincoln Avenue on December 12, 1917, paying $6,500. The Builders’ Bulletin, a weekly Pittsburgh construction industry magazine, reported in its issue of April 3, 1918, that Teufel had hired J.A. Cornelius for work at 840 North Lincoln Avenue that had been designed by the Pittsburgh architectural firm Kiehnel and Elliott.
Harry P. and Margaret Teufel sold 840 North Lincoln Avenue for $13,000 on May 1, 1920. The increase in property value is consistent with significant exterior and interior remodeling having taken place since the 1917 sale.

The Architects: 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.

Learn More

Architectural Style

The 1918 remodeling of 840 North Lincoln Avenue combined elements of the Mission style and the Spanish Eclectic style. Some of the remodeling features, such as the house’s stucco cladding and tile roof, were used with both architectural styles. The large square porch supports are components of the Mission style, and the round-arched openings between the supports are Spanish Eclectic components. The remodeled eaves, with wide overhangs, are typical of Mission homes but not those built in the Spanish Eclectic style. Although the house has some Mission features, it lacks the distinctive curved parapet with which nearly all houses in the style were built.

The Mission and Spanish Eclectic styles were both popular at the time that 840 North Lincoln Avenue was remodeled. A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia and Lee McAlester (1992) states that the Mission style was popular between about 1890 and 1920, and the Spanish Eclectic style was in use between about 1915 and 1940.

The form of 840 North Lincoln Avenue and the house’s original construction in the 1860s indicate that the house was almost certainly built in the ltalianate style, the most popular architectural in the Pittsburgh area between the late 1850s and the mid-1880s. .
In urban neighborhoods like Allegheny West, where high land costs encouraged construction of houses of about 20’ or less in width, ltalianate house exteriors were characterized primarily by side-gabled roofs, arched door and window openings, prominent or projecting door and window hoods, and decorative brackets beneath box gutters.

ltalianate interiors often included flared newel posts and spindles, marble or wood mantels with arched openings, four-panel doors with porcelain knobs and ornamented cast iron hinges, and non-symmetrical door and window trim. In the Pittsburgh area, many ltalianate houses were built with stairways that incorporated landings located about three steps below the main level of the second floor. Most local ltalianate houses also featured two-over-two double-hung windows, although some later or larger examples were constructed with one-over-one double-hung windows.

Street Name and Numbering

The house at 840 North Lincoln Avenue was originally an unnumbered house on Central Street. The street was renamed Lincoln Avenue within about a year after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, and house numbers were assigned on the street in 1866 or 1867. The house was re-numbered 840 when the Northside’s modern street numbering system was put in place in 1899.

Lincoln Avenue became Lynndale Avenue in about 1909, when Pittsburgh city government changed a number of street named to avoid duplication that resulted from Pittsburgh’s 1907 annexation of Allegheny City (now the Northside). The street was renamed North Lincoln Avenue in about 1913.

The Home Today

Photos by Chris Siewers

Residents

The Grahams

Pittsburgh city directories, U.S. census records, an obituary, a will, and other sources provide information on Robert and Martha Graham, the first owners of 840 North Lincoln Avenue, and their daughter, Martha Jane Graham, who owned and lived in the house until 1896.

Learn More

The Teufels

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.

Learn More

Occupants, 1897-1917

Occupants of 840 North Lincoln Avenue between 1896 and 1899 are unknown. Members of the Gregg family rented the house between 1900 and 1915.

The 1900 census enumerated William P. Gregg as the head of the household at 840 North Lincoln Avenue. Gregg, 55, was unmarried and had been born in Pennsylvania to Irish immigrants. The census recorded Gregg with no occupation; some Pittsburgh directories listed him as a hatter, a hat salesman, or as a clerk.

Other members of Gregg’s household in 1900 were:

  • his sister, Anna Gregg Roberts, 45, who was living apart from her husband; she had no occupation
  • Mary C. Roberts, 15, the only child of Anna Gregg Roberts
  • Martha Gregg Atwell, 59, a sister of William and Anna, and the widow of Charles Atwell

Mary C. Roberts began working as a public school teacher during the first decade of the new century. James P. Gregg, a Bureau of Health clerk and a brother of William P. Gregg, moved to the house by 1910.

The 1917 Pittsburgh directory listed Florence Place, a teacher at Latimer Junior High School at Tripoli and James Streets in Deutschtown, as living at 840 North Lincoln Avenue. James Place, a laborer, and Lula Place, with no occupation, also lived in the house.

The 1930 Census

The 1930 census enumerated William C. and Mary McNamara and their children living at 840 North Lincoln Avenue. William C. McNamara, 51, was a clerk in the Pittsburgh Stock Exchange. He had been born in Pennsylvania, like his parents; Mary McNamara had been born in Pennsylvania to German immigrants.

In 1930, the McNamaras had been married for 11 years. They had two children: Catherine, ten, and Patrick, nine.
Records of the 1930 census also show that 840 North Lincoln Avenue had an estimated value of $13,000, and that the McNamara family owned a “radio set”.

The 1930 census is the last census that provides information on residents of 840 North Lincoln Avenue. Manuscript census records are withheld from public view for 72 years, to protect the privacy of persons who were enumerated.

Neighborhood Development

During and immediately after the Civil War, following the 1858 subdivision of the rope walk property, North Lincoln Avenue developed as a mixture of middle-class housing and mansions. The new Allegheny West neighborhood became a desirable alternative to older sections of Allegheny City like the East and South Commons and lower Federal Street, which contained residential, commercial and industrial land uses. Many of the original residents of the mansions and middle-class houses that line North Lincoln Avenue were merchants and manufacturers who previously lived in Downtown Pittsburgh or older sections of Allegheny City.

Learn More

Rope Walk

840 North Lincoln Avenue occupies part of the site of a rope walk, or factory, that was operated by members of the Irwin family until 1858.

Learn More

Supplementary Materials

The following materials accompany this report:

Maps

  • a copy of part of an 1872 plat map of the Second Ward of Allegheny City
  • copies of parts of fire insurance maps of the area around 840 North Lincoln Avenue, published in 1884, 1893, 1906 and 1926

Graham

  • a copy of the will of Martha Graham (Allegheny County Will Book Volume 22, Page 52)
  • information on Martha Jane Graham, from The Social Mirror (1888)
  • the obituary of Martha Jane Graham, from the Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 23, 1919

Teufel


A Researched History
By: Carol J. Peterson

all photos by Chris Siewers, unless otherwise noted

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…
T
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.

John Irwin & The Rope Walk

John Irwin founded the first rope walk in western Pennsylvania in 1794 on a site near Smithficld Street and the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh. Irwin, who had been wounded in a Revolutionary W ar battle, left the management of the rope walk to his wife, Mary and son, John.

After the elder Irwin’s death in 1808, at age 50, the younger John Irwin purchased his mother’s share in the business and assumed responsibility for its operation.

The younger John Irwin moved the rope walk to Allegheny City in 1813. The rope walk originally occupied a site bounded by what are now Brighton Road, Ridge Avenue, Galveston Avenue and Western Avenue. The site occupied Out Lot 276 in the Reserve Tract Opposite Pittsburgh.

The younger John Irwin brought his son, Henry into the business in 1835, and renamed the business John Irwin & Son. In 1847, John Irwin Jr. (actually the third John Irwin) joined the business, which became known as John Irwin & Sons.

At some point between 1835 and 1847, the rope walk expanded westward onto Out Lot 275 to a point 100′ east of Allegheny Avenue, by leasing land owned by Harmar and Elizabeth F. Denny. In 1847, the Irwins purchased the land they had leased from the Dennys.

An 1852 map shows that the rope walk’s main building was located at what is now the eastern end of North Lincoln Avenue, facing Brighton Road.

The rope walk site contained a small number of homes on Western Avenue that may have housed rope walk employees. Structures that apparently remain from the time of the rope walk are two vernacular Greek Revival style double houses at 831-833 Western Avenue and 843-845 Western Avenue and another building at 903-905 Western Avenue, now known as Allegheny Court.

Pittsburgh city directories of the 1850’s show that Robert Graham of Water Lane (now Western Avenue) managed the rope walk. Graham later built and lived at 840 North Lincoln Avenue (then 67 Lincoln Avenue). Graham also built a house at 842 North Lincoln Avenue (65 Lincoln Avenue) that he rented to tenants.

The rope walk ceased operation in 1858. Subsequently, the younger John Irwin subdivided the rope walk site and sold it as building lots on Ridge, North Lincoln, Western and Galveston Avenues. Irwin lived on Irwin Avenue (now Brighton Road) until about 1859, when he moved to Sewickley.

Henry Irwin, apparently a son of John Irwin, was a salt manufacturer and president of the Manchester Railway Company. He continued to live on Irwin Avenue after John Irwin moved to Sewickley. During the 1870’s, a son, Hemy Jr., became a partner in Irwin & Company, a coal company on Galveston Avenue near the Ohio River. Lewis Irwin, another son, became a partner in Holdship & Irwin, an oil firm, and rented a house at 824 Beech Avenue in the 1880’s.

Lewis Irwin helped change the architectural appearance of Allegheny West in 1887, when he commissioned the firm of Longfellow, Alden & Harlow to design a new residence for him at the southwestern comer of Western Avenue and Brighton Road. The house, with some similarity to Sunnyledge at Fifth and Wilkins Avenues in Squirrel Hill, was dramatically different from nearby homes built in more traditional styles. Irwin also had Longfellow, Alden & Harlow design a double house at the southeastern comer of Western Avenue and Rope Way. The Irwin houses were among the earliest of several Longfellow, Alden & Harlow houses in Allegheny West; those which remain include the Pontefract mansion on North Lincoln Avenue west of Allegheny Avenue, the house at 838 North Lincoln Avenue and the Rosenbach house at 836 Western Avenue.

Members of the Irwin family lived on the former rope walk site until about 1920. Lewis Irwin appears to have been the last family member to live there. After he and other family members relocated to Sewickley, the former Irwin houses were used as apartments and rooming houses. The houses were demolished in the 1950’s.

835 N Lincoln Avenue

Under Renovation in 2018

Under Renovation in 2018

Introduction

John Frazier, a partner in a prominent Allegheny City contracting firm, constructed 835 North Lincoln Avenue between 1864 and 1867. Frazier built the house on a lot that he had purchased for $3,200 in 1864. The lot was part of a subdivision of the Rope Walk, a rope manufacturing facility that occupied the site between 1813 and 1858.

John Frazier, born in Pennsylvania in about 1826, was a partner in Frazier Brothers while he lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue. Frazier Brothers, located in Manchester, was one of the most active contracting firms in western Allegheny City during the last third of the twentieth century. In addition to building houses for homeowners and speculatively, the firm also speculated in and subdivided land and operated a lumber yard and a planing mill. Its other two principals constructed landmark homes that still stand on Pennsylvania Avenue in Manchester.

John Frazier and his family lived-at 835 North Lincoln Avenue through 1875. Residents of the house during that time included Frazier, his wife, Eleanor, their two daughters, and Dr. John and Elizabeth Cowden, parents of Eleanor Frazier. The family also employed two servants, Amanda iVlcKain and Betsy Grant, who lived in the house.

In 1875, John and Eleanor sold 835 North Lincoln Avenue for $48,000.

The family subsequently lived on Sheffield Street and on West North Avenue in Manchester.

Mark W. Watson, who purchased 835 North Lincoln Avenue in 1875, was a partner in the Pittsburgh glass manufacturing firm of William McCully & Company. Watson, an Ohio native, also served as president of the Exchange National Bank of Pittsburgh and of two public utility companies while living at 835 North Lincoln Avenue. He lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue with his second wife, Harriet Marshall Watson, and six children from his first and second marriages. The Watson family employed five servants who lived in their home.

Members ot the Watson family lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue until 1909, when Mark W. Watson died. The Watson family owned the house until 1925. During the 1910’s, the family converted 835 North Lincoln Avenue to an apartment building.

Detailed information on the history of 835 North Lincoln Avenue is contained in the following report. ‘

Ownership

  • March 10, 1925
  • March 19, 1951
  • March 4, 1988
  • December 14, 1988
  • January 2, 1989
  • June 14, 1994

Martha Watson Sewell and Henry and Harriet B.W Chalfant. all of Pittsburgh. Doria S. and Harriet Watson Sproul Bolton, of London, England, and Julia Watson Home of Santa Barbara, California, conveyed 835 and 841 North Lincoln Avenue to William J. and Pearl A. Schaffer of Pittsburgh for $34,500.

(Deed Book Volume 2237, Page 621)

William J. and Pearl A. Schaffer of Blairsville, Indiana County, conveyed 835 North Lincoln Avenue to David T. Mosse of Pittsburgh for $20,000

(DVB 3134, P 355)

Allegheny County Sheriff Eugene L. Coon conveyed 835 North Lincoln Avenue and other properties to American Property Consultants (75% interest) and Italian Tannery Group Inc. (25% interest) for $6277.24. This deed conveyed a total of 18 properties in Allegheny County. The properties were sold at sheriff’s sale as the result of a suit filed by Richard H. Mosse, Sharon B. Mosse, Linda Mosse Baer and Judith Mosse Kruger against Daniels Realty Company, a Pennsylvania General Partnership, Mosse Realty’ Company, a Pennsylvania General Partnership, Pittsburgh Associates, a general partner. Michael N. Appell, a general partner, Martin J Stamler, a general partner, and Mosse Investment Corporation, a Pennsylvania corporation.

(DVB 7849, P 311)

Italian Tannery Group Inc. conveyed its 25% interest in 835 North Lincoln Avenue, as part of a group of 18 properties, to Oakland Real Property Associates for $10 and considerations.

(DVB 7940, P 450)

American Property Consultants conveyed its 75% interest in 835 North Lincoln Avenue, as part of a group of 18 properties, to Oakland Real Property Associates for $10 and considerations.

(DVB 7940, P 468)

Oakland Real Property Associates conveyed 835 North Lincoln Avenue to Frank L. Colosimo for $165,000.

(DVB 9238, P 359)

Age of the House

Construction

John Frazier, an Allegheny City building contractor, built 835 North Lincoln Avenue as a home for himself and his family between 1864 and 1867.

John Frazier purchased property that included the lot on which 835 North Lincoln Avenue now stands on February 1, 1864. Frazier paid $3200 lfor the property, which measured 48′ wide along North Lincoln Avenue (then Central Street) by 285’7.75″ deep to Ridge Avenue. This purchase, at 23 cents per square foot, was comparable to prices paid for other undeveloped lots in Allegheny West at the time, and indicates that 835 North Lincoln Avenue had not yet been built.

The 1867 Pittsburgh directory listed John Frazier as living at 68 Central Street for the first time. Plat maps, insurance maps, and city directories published during the nineteenth century indicate that 835 North Lincoln Avenue was known as 68 Central Street in 1807 and as 68 Lincoln Avenue between 1868 and 1899.

John Frazier was listed in Pittsburgh city directories published in 1865 and 1800 as living in an un-numbered house or houses on Central Street. It is possible that Frazier lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue by that time. However, it should be noted that Frazier had lived on North Lincoln Avenue since 1863, the year before he purchased the site of 835 North Lincoln Avenue.

Architectural Style

The shape of 835 North Lincoln, remaining exterior architectural details and the time at which it was built suggest that John Frazier built the house in the ltalianate style and with some influence of the Greek Revival style. The house was constructed with a hipped roof, the most common roof type for earlier and free-standing ltalianate houses in the Pittsburgh area. It’s is possible that the house was orignally topped by a cupola.

Exteriors of ltalianate houses built in Pittsburgh were characterized by arched door and window openings, prominent or projecting door and window hoods and decorative brackets supporting box gutters. Interior details of ltalianate homes usually included flared newel posts and spindles, plaster medallions above ceiling light fixtures, crown molding (then known as plaster cornice), marble or wood mantels with arched openings, four-panel doors with porcelain knobs and ornamented cast iron lunges and non-symmetncal door and window trim with diagonally mitered corners. In Pittsburgh, many ltalianate homes were built with stairways that incorporated landings located about three steps below the main level of the second floor. Most ltalianate homes also featured two-over-two double hung windows.

The Italianate style was the prevailing architectural style for homes and commercial buildings constructed in the Pittsburgh area between the mid-1860’s and about 1885.

The smaller size of the third floor windows and the use of dentil trim above them indicate the influence of the Greek Revival style in construction of 835 North Lincoln Avenue. The Greek Revival style was the predominant architectural style for homes constructed in southwestern Pennsylvania between about 1830 and 1860. The style’s hallmarks included low-pitched roofs, prominent use of columns, elaborate classically-inspired trim around door and window openings, shorter third-floor windows, sidelights and transoms around front door openings and dentil trim.

Available records do not identify an architect who is credited with design of 835 North Lincoln Avenue.

Addition

The large rear addition to 835 North Lincoln Avenue was constructed between 1872 and 1882. The addition was not depicted on a plat map of the First Ward of Allegheny City that was published in 1872. The next available map, published in 1882, shows that the addition had been built.

Through the Years

 

Residents

The Fraziers

Pittsburgh city directories, U.S. census records, biographical materials and other sources provide information on John and Eleanor Frazier, the first owners of 835 North Lincoln Avenue.

Learn More

The Watsons

Local historical records also provide information on Mark W. Watson, who purchased 835 North Lincoln Avenue in 1875. Watson lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue until his death in 1909, and members of his family owned the house until 1925.

Learn More

Occupants in 1920

In 1920, according lo census records, 835 North Lincoln Avenue contained seven occupied apartments. Census records list the heads of the households as Percy Browning, Hugh Mulholland, Fred Knapp Miller, John Derstine, George D. Barret, Roy Gibson, and Carl Edward Maider.

Percy and Agnes Browning occupied the first apartment that was enumerated at 835 North Lincoln Avenue in 1920. Percy Browning, 37, was a boiler maker and Agnes Biowning, 35, had no occupation. The childless couple had immigrated From England in 1906.

Hugh Mulholland, 60, was a Kentucky native and employed as a manager by an oil company. His wife, Julia Gertrude Mulholland, 49, did not work. She had been born in Massachusetts.

Fred Knapp Miller was a 34-year-old salesman who worked for a beef company. He and his wife, I. Josephine Miller, 27, were Pennsylvania natives.

John Derstine was a 20-year-old machinist. His wife, Estella, was 18. The Derstines were the parents of the only child who lived at 835 North Lincoln Avenue when the 1920 census was taken. John Derstine Jr. was six months old. All three members of the Derstine family were Pennsylvania natives.

George D. and Irene M. Barret occupied the fifth apartment that was enumerated at 835 North Lincoln Avenue in 1920. George D. Barret, 23, was a draftsman, and Irene M Barret. 18, did not work. The couple, natives of West Virginia, had no children.

Roy Gibson, an adding machine salesman, was 40 years old and an Ohio native. His wife, Lillian, had been born in Arkansas. She did not work.

Carl Edward Marder, 43, worked as a laborer in a steel mill. He had been born m Pennsylvania. Dorothy I., his Scottish-born wife, was 41 and did not work.

The census also enumerated two men as lodgers at 835 North Lincoln Avenue, without indicating in which apartment they lived. L.S. David, 28, was a civil engineer in a fabricating plant. He had been born in South Carolina. John Geib Jr., 32, was a candy and tobacco salesman. He was a native of Pennsylvania.

The 1920 census is the most recent census that provides detailed information on occupants of 835 North Lincoln Avenue. Manuscript census records arc withheld from the public for 72 years, to protect the privacy of persons enumerated.

Neighborhood Development

During and immediately after the Civil War, following the 1858 subdivision of the rope walk property, North Lincoln Avenue developed as a mixture of middle-class housing and mansions. The new Allegheny West neighborhood became a desirable alternative to older sections of Allegheny City like the East and South Commons and lower Federal Street, which contained residential, commercial and industrial land uses. Many of the original residents of the mansions and middle-class houses that line North Lincoln Avenue were merchants and manufacturers who previously lived in Downtown Pittsburgh or older sections of Allegheny City.

Learn More

Rope Walk

835 North Lincoln Avenue occupies part of the site of a rope walk, or factory, that was operated by members of the Irwin family until 1858.

Learn More

Supplementary Materials

The following materials accompany this report:

Maps

  • a copy of part of an 1852 map depleting the Allegheny City area
  • copies of plat maps of the area around 835 North Lincoln Avenue, published in 1872, 1907 and 1925
  • a copy of an 1884 fire insurance map of the area around 835 North Lincoln Avenue

Frazier/Cowden

Watson

  • a copy of a photograph of Mark W. Watson from Notable Men of Pittsburgh and the Vicinity
  • an article on the death of Mark W. Watson from the Pittsburgh Press, June 1 1909
  • the obituary of Harriet Watson from the Pittsburgh Press, May 24, 1906
  • an advertisement for William McCully & Company from Pittsburgh: Its Industry and Commerce (1870)
  • an article on the wedding of Julia Watson and Bernard S. Horne from the Pittsburgh Press, October 11, 1893
  • a copy of an advertisement for the Exchange National Bank from the 1903 Pittsburgh city directory

 


A Researched History
By: Carol J. Peterson

all photos by Chris Siewers, unless otherwise noted