Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies
The following biographies were extracted from: Biographical review.: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Pittsburg and the vicinity, Pennsylvania. Boston: Biographical Review Pub. Co., 1897, Author: Anonymous; and Biographies from Other Sources.
Becker, Thomas Albert, clergyman, bishop, was born in 1832 in Pittsburg. Pa. He was created bishop of the new diocese of Wilmington, Del. He contributed largely to reviews and periodicals; especially a series of articles in the American Catholic Quarterly on the idea of a true university attracted wide attention. He died July 29, 1899, in Washington. Ga.
[Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography: Contains Thirty-five Thousand Biographies of the Acknowledged Leaders of Life and Thought of the United States, by William Herringshaw, 1909 - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]
GENERAL WILLIAM BLAKELEY , attorney-at-law, a resident of Pittsburg, was born at Brown's Mills, Cranberry
township, Butler County, Pa., March 10, 1833, son of Lewis and Jane (McAllister) Blakeley. (The genealogy
of the Blakeley family is given in the sketch of his brother, Colonel Archibald Blakeley, found elsewhere in this
William Blakeley attended the common schools of his native town, and later studied at Witherspoon Institute of Butler County, Pennsylvania, under the able administration of the Rev. Loyal Young, D.D. At the age of twenty-one years he entered the law office of his brother Archibald, who was then practising in Butler County. In 1856 he was admitted to the bar, and in September of that year opened an office in Kittanning, Armstrong County. Two years later he was elected District Attorney in that county, and served the full term, winning high praise for his talents and integrity. In that year also, upon recommendation of the Hon. Galusha A. Grow, now Congressman-at-large from Pennsylvania, he was appointed by the Republican County Convention as one of the campaign orators for the Fremont campaign. He made campaign speeches through Westmoreland, Indiana, Jefferson, Clarion, and Venango Counties, in company with the Hon. John Cavocle, M.C., the Hon. Edgar Cowan, afterward United States Senator from Pennsylvania, the Hon. Darwin Phelps, afterward member of Congress, and the Hon. Mr. Grow. Of these five gentlemen only Mr. Grow and General Blakeley, respectively the eldest and the youngest, are now living.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Judge I. Dudley induced District Attorney Blakeley to go to Brady's Bend, and make a "war speech," thinking that it would be the means of securing a large number of recruits. In introducing him as the speaker, Judge Dudley said that, while he was a young and able-bodied man, he was District Attorney, and could not be spared under any circumstances to leave the court and go to the front, and furthermore that the Blakeley family had already supplied its quota of soldiers, as the District Attorney had at the time four brothers in the army. Mr. Blakeley began his speech; and just at the climax a big Irish puddler jumped up and said, "Why the devil don't yer go yerself?" The immediate response was, "You put your name on the list, and I will follow." The puddler replied, "Be jabbers, I'm yer mon," and, coming forward, signed the muster-roll, and was sworn in, Mr. Blakeley immediately following him, amid the cheers of the audience. The company was filled as fast as the boys could sign their names, and there was a surplus on the roll. Blakeley went into Camp Orr, Kittanning, put on soldier clothes, slept on the soft side of a plank, and ate his hard tack with the other boys. He remained here about a week, when he received authority from the War Department to recruit a company of cavalry. Immediately he converted his law office into a recruiting station, and in less than a week's time had recruited a full company of one hundred men for the cavalry service. He reported to the Secretary of War, and was ordered to hold that company and to recruit another. In a few weeks four companies were enlisted, and the order was received to report to the commanding officer at Camp Howe, Pittsburg. The battalion was put into what was known as the Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Colonel James M. Schoonmaker, with Blakeley as Lieutenant Colonel. In 1864 he was made Colonel, and afterward Brigadier-general on recommendation of General Sheridan, for gallant and meritorious services in the field. General Blakeley's battalion was the first at the battle of Antietam; and after that battle the regiment was sent to Harper's Ferry under General Kelley, and performed picket and scouting duty until the following spring. They were then placed under General Averell's brigade, which later became the Second Cavalry Division, and was sent to the Shenandoah Valley and Western Virginia. They afterward served under Siegel Hunter, and finally under Sheridan, until the close of the war at Appomattox.
At the battle of White Post, General Blakeley was thrown from his horse during a charge, and all but trampled to death. His jaw bone was broken in two places; and he was placed in a wagon, and drawn by his men thirty miles to the nearest hospital. Here the Doctor at first refused to dress his wounds, thinking he must surely die. He was next wounded in his foot at the battle of Hedgesville, which followed Gettysburg. One of his most thrilling experiences was while commanding the regiment in what was known as Averell's Salem Raid. The Confederate General Hood had General Burnside shut in at Knoxville, Tenn., with between forty and fifty thousand men, and, as it was impossible for the government to send them supplies, they were starving. The Confederate supplies were stored at Salem on the Roanoke River, not far from Lynchburg. Averell left New Creek, W. Va., in the latter part of November, 1864, with about two thousand picked men. Allowed four hours out of the twenty-four for rest, eating, and sleeping, they reached Salem, and succeeded in capturing a large quantity of stores, and burned goods and rebel army stores estimated to be worth eight or ten millions of dollars. General Hood was obliged to go South, as he could get nothing to supply his army, and General Burnside was relieved from the siege. The War Department did not expect that General Averall would ever return, but it was thought better to lose two thousand men than forty thousand. In the retreat the united commands of Fitz Hugh Lee, Imboden, Early, Jackson, and Rosser, were sent in pursuit of Averell; but he was successful in getting back inside the Union lines. His men were starved and frozen, and the entire command was in a deplorable condition. The men were all allowed two new suits of clothing and a furlough of thirty days, something that has never been done before or since in the army. They forded rivers in the dead of winter, and any number of men lay down and died from cold and exposure. At Jackson's River, General Blakeley's regiment was in the rear, protecting the train. General Averell was required to burn the bridges over the Jackson River at Island Ford and Covington in order to save himself. General Blakeley with his command and the wagon train was on the other side. Finding the river impassable, he destroyed the entire train. General Jackson demanded his immediate and unconditional surrender, which was promptly refused, and was directly followed by a charge by General Blakeley, driving Jackson's command over three miles, capturing three pieces of artillery and many prisoners. General Blakeley finally succeeded in finding a ford, which was reached only by a very narrow path. He then passed through Covington, fording the river at that point, though the rebels were posted on either side ready to attack. Averell took his command over the mountain, where it was believed impossible for troops to go; and his artillery was taken up by means of ropes. He succeeded in reaching Greenbrier River before the place of crossing was reached by General Lee, who had a straight road.
General Blakeley was mustered out of the service June 6, 1865, when he resigned his command. After two years spent in Franklin, Venango County, Pa., in the spring of 1868 he came to Pittsburg, where he engaged in the practice of his profession in civil and criminal cases. A Republican in politics, General Blakeley has taken an active part in every campaign from that of General Scott in 1852 to the defeat of General Harrison in 1892. He has been delegate to all of the party conventions, and has a personal acquaintance with all the leading politicians. He is a member of Union Veteran Legion, Encampment No. 6; and Abe Patterson Post, No. 88, G. A. R., of which he was Commander for three years, and is now the oldest living Past Commander of the post.
On May 27, 1856, General Blakeley married Miss Esther Brown, daughter of Joseph Brown, Butler >County. Three children were born of this union; namely, Mary Z., Jean, and Ada. Mary Z. is now the widow of Captain Charles C. Holliday, of North Springfield, Pa.; Jean is the wife of Charles A. Abrams, of Butler, Pa.; and Ada (deceased) was the wife of Alfred J. Whitaker. Both General and Mr's. Blakeley are members of the Second Presbyterian Church.
BRACKENRIDGE, Henry Marie, jurist and author, son of Hugh Henry Brackenridge: b. Pittsburg, Pa., May 11, 1786; d. there Jan. 18, 1871. From his seventh to his tenth year he was at school at Genevieve, La., for the purpose of learning French; after which his father took personal charge of his education. He was admitted to the bar in 1806 and practiced in Baltimore and Somerset, Md. In 1810 he revisited Louisiana and practiced there a short time, and in 1811 became deputy attorney general for the territory of Orleans, as it was then called. He became district judge in 1812. In the War of 1812 he gave important information to the government, and, moving to Baltimore in 1814, he published a popular history of the war, which was translated into French and Italian. His advocacy of the acknowledgment of the South American republics, in a pamphlet addressed to President Monroe, gained him the appointment of secretary of the commission sent to those republics in 1817. The next year he published A Voyage to South America, containing an extraordinary mass of information. In 1821 he rendered valuable service to General Jackson in Florida. He was United States judge for the western district of Florida until 1832, when he removed to Pittsburg. In 1840 he was elected to Congress, but did not take his seat, being named commissioner under the treaty with Mexico in 1841. From this time he devoted himself to literature. Other works are: Recollections of Persons and Places in the West (1834); Essay on Trusts and Trustees (1842); and A History of the Western Insurrection (1859).
[Source: THE SOUTH in the Building of the Nation Volume XI; Ed. by James Curtis Ballagh, Walter Lynwood Fleming & Southern Historical Publication Society; Publ. 1909; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack.]
DAVID Z. BRICKELL, vice-president and treasurer of the
Chambers and McKee Glass Company at Pittsburg, comes of Scotch-Irish origin. The Scotch-Irish family is traced
back to a Scotchman, who is alleged to have been drived from his own country to Ireland by religious persecution.
From the Emerald Isle in after years four of this ancestor's descendants, brothers, emigrated to America, all locating
at first in Redstone, Pa., whence afterward one went to Steubenville, Ohio, and another to Columbus. All
were men of deep religious convictions, being United Presbyterians, or Covenanters. George Brickell, the
grandfather of David Z., was born and reared in Redstone, Fayette County. From there he came to Pittsburg,
where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death. He served his country as a soldier in the
War of 1812. One of his brothers, John Brickell, when a boy was taken prisoner by the Delaware Indians, and
help a captive for four and a half years, being liberated at Fort Defiance shortly after the treaty at Greenville.
The grandfather married Lydia Lovejoy, of Boston, Mass., of whose children by him ten attained maturity; namely,
Sarah, Elizabeth, John, William, Susan, Samuel, Robert, James, Zachariah, and Lydia. Elizabeth married James
Allison, father of Dr. James Allison; Susan became the wife of Enoch Holmes, of this city; and Lydia successfully
married James Evans and James Craig. With the exception of James all of the sons here mentioned were pioneer
steamboat engineers and captains. Robert and Samuel removed to Cincinnati, whence they ran river boats to
John Brickell, the father of David Z., was born in Pittsburg, December 7, 1796. Having completed his education in the subscription schools of the city, he learned the machinist's trade. He was then engaged as an engineer on the river steamers for a time, after which he received charge of a boat, being one of the earliest steamboat men in this vicinity. In 1832, at the mouth of Sook's Run, he built the steamboat "Boston," and ran it between Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. During the Mexican War, while going by the Rio Grande River to Mexico no the steamer "Rough and Ready," a government transport boat, he was stricken with the Chagres fever, which reduced him to the condition of an invalid and finally resulted in his death in 1861, after his return to his home. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Milner Lodge, F. & A. M., of Pittsburg. On December 5, 1822, at the Smithfield Methodist Episcopal Church, by the Rev. Richard Tidings, a noted preacher of that day, he was united in marriage with Miss Catharine E. Zilhart, daughter of David Zilhart, of Pittsburg. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, August 4, 1800, she came with her parents to Pittsburg at the age of five and died here, December 1, 1892. She bore her husband five children, four of whom grew to maturity. These were: David Z., the subject of this sketch; John who died in San Francisco, November 27, 1894, leaving a family; William B., whose death occurred December 23, 1894; and Anna B., the first-born; who is the widow of the late William Stone. Both parents were members of the Liberty Street Methodist Episcopal Church.
David Z. Brickell is also a native of Pittsburg. Born October 7, 1825, he was educated in the public and private schools of his native city. In the week following the big fire of 1845, when his uncle Samuel came to Pittsburg and bought the steamer "Manhattan," he went with his uncle in the capacity of second clerk on that boat. He had been employed in that position nine months when the steamer sunk at Devil's Island, on the upper Mississippi. Returning then to Pittsburg, he clerked in a broker's office for more than a year, then purchased an interest in the steamer "Highlander," and went on board it as clerk under Captain Henry Force. He continued in the steamboat business until after the war, serving as pilot and captain for twenty-one years. In company with Captain W. W. Martin, he built and ran a number of river steamers. At intervals throughout the war, having charge of the "Florence," he transported troops and supplies for the government from Cincinnati and Columbus to Parkersburg by way of the Big Kanawha River. On the day that Tennessee seceded, after stopping at Memphis with the steamer "Nevada," he continued on his way to New Orleans, arriving there on the day preceding that of the Mardi Gras, unloaded his vessel, and succeeded in getting above Cairo, Ill., on his return trip, in season to avoid the blockade. Mr. Brickell was at Milliken's Bend during the siege of Vicksburg. Subsequently he carried his boat up Hatchies River in company with other transports under the protection of gunboats, having a brief encounter on the way. In 1865 he retired from boating, and with others bought the Kittaning Rolling Mills, and under the firm name of Martin, Oliver & Brickell was in business until the burning of the mill three years later. Going then to Smartville, Cal., to visit his brother John, he spent six months in that locality. On his return to his native city he accepted the position of right-of-way commissioner for the Pittsburg, Virginia & Charleston Railroad Company, and held it for two years. During the ensuing three years he was superintendent of the Castle Shannon coal road, after which he had charge of the South Side Gas Works for five years. In 1891 Mr. Brickell became a member of the Chambers & McKee Glass Company, with which he has since been officially connected, as mentioned above. The company manufactures window glass at the rate of twnety-four hundred boxes evey twenty-four hours, their plant being the largest of the kind in the world, and giving employment to about fourteen hundred men. Mr. Brickell has also other financial interests. In 1873 he was elected president of the South Side Railway Company, a position of the South Side Railway Company, a position which he retained until the road was absorbed by the Pittsburg & Birmingham line, in which he is still interested. He is likewise a director of the Manufacturers' Bank, the Mercantile Bank, the Mercantile Trust Company, and the First National Bank of Jeannette, Pa.
On December 23, 1851, Mr. Brickell married Miss Mary N. McCarty, daughter of John McCarty, of Steubenville, Ohio. Of the three children born of the union, but one is now living; namely, William D. Brickell, the owner and publisher of the Columbus Evening Dispatch, of Columbus, Ohio. Mrs. Brickell lived but a few years after her marriage, passing away July 12, 1856. She was a most estimable woman and a devoted member of the Methodist Protestant church. Mr. Brickell belongs to St. John's Lodge, No. 219, F. & A. M., of this city. In politics he votes for the best men, regardless of party. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church on Smithfield Street.
BRIDENBAUGH, SAMUEL HELD: Clergyman: born Jan. 28, 1849, at Sinking Valley, Blair County, Pa. Son of Henry H. and Susan (Sprankle) Bridenbaugh. He was educated in public schools, at Mercersburg Academy, in Franklin and Marshall Academy, Lancaster, Pa., and Franklin and Marshall College, whence he was graduated, with honor in 1872, and from the Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1875; he received A. B. in 1872: A. M. in 1875, and the D. D. degree from Franklin and Marshall College, 1896. He married at Chambersburg. Pa., Jan. 19, 1876, Lydia A. Bowman, and they have had three children, John H., born in 1877, George B., born in 1886. and Rev. Paul S. Bridenbaugh, A. M. , S. T. B.. who died Aug. 31,1904. He was ordained to the ministry of the Reformed Church in the United States in 1875: was pastor at Claysburg, Pa., one and one-half years. He taught at Martinsburg, Pa.. as principal of academy one year; and pastor at Berlin, Pa., eight years; Trinity Reformed Church; Bloomsburg, Pa., two years; Reformed Church of the Ascension, Norristown, Pa., five years, and of the Second Reformed Church, Reading, Pa., since 1892. During his pastorates at Claysburg, Berlin and Reading, succeeded in having erected at each place a beautiful church edifice. While pastor at Berlin he represented the Pittsburgh Synod as Synodical editor of the Reformed Church Messenger. Since 1893 he has been a member of the Board of Home Missions of Reformed Church. In 1896 and 1904 he was delegate from the Reformed Church of the United States to the Alliance of the Reformed Churches of the World, at Glasgow, Scotland and Liverpool, England. Has been a contributor to Reformed Quarterly Review and other Church periodicals. He is a member of the Goethean Literary Society and the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Address: 228 South Sixth Street, Reading, Pa.
Source: Who's who in Pennsylvania: A biographical dictionary of contemporaries edited by John W. Leonard, 1908, Submitted by Nancy Piper
Thomas D. Burleigh was educated in the district schools of
On February 27, 1853, Mr. Burleigh married Miss Mary L. Cook, who was born January 4, 1828, in Friendship, Me.,
and died January 19, 1893, in
Back to Genealogy Trails
Back to Pennsylvania Trails History and Genealogy