Albert Lee Iseman


ALBERT LEE ISEMAN, business man of Freeport, was born Sept. 11, 1868, in Armstrong county, a son of Andrew and Mary Ann (Grinder) Iseman, The founders of the Iseman and Grinder families came from Germany to the United States at an early day, settling in the Eastern States.

Andrew Iseman was born July 14, 1818, and his wife was born April 4, 1825. He was a highly respected man during his useful life, which was terminated in 1906, his wife following him to the grave, Nov. 30, 1911. There were seven children in their family, five of whom are still living, and Albert Lee Iseman is the youngest of them all. The father was a consistent member of the Lutheran Church and for two different terms represented the local denomination in the assembly. Politically he was a Democrat.

Albert Lee Iseman attended school until he was sixteen years old, and has since regretted that his father's financial affairs necessitated his leaving at that time. But he has added to his store of knowledge by reading and observation. Until he was twenty years old he remained at home, but being ambitious he felt that he could accomplish more away from the family circle. He secured a position as tool dresser in the oil fields of Pennsylvania, at one dollar per day. Because of his fidelity he was promoted to be a driller, working in this capacity for four years. Having saved money enough to buy himself a drilling outfit he undertook the drilling of oil and gas wells by contract, which he found difficult to obtain on account of having no friends or acquaintances in that line of business to whom he could apply for help, having to rely solely on himself. By years of determination and hard work, and after numerous disappointments, he worked himself up to be in touch with some of the largest gas companies of the Pittsburgh district.

After following this line for a few years he became one of the organizers of the Cumberland Gas Company, which was organized in 1899, and has been and continues to be a success. Then in the year 1903 he was also one of the promoters of the Beckett, Iseman Oil & Gas Company, and also the heaviest stockholder, the company still doing an active business at the present time in different states. In 1908 the demands on his time and energy were so heavy that he was either compelled to dispose of his drilling or contracting end of the work, or take a partner, and he chose the latter course, forming an association with his brother J. H. Iseman, the drilling business being done under the name of A. L. & J. H. Iseman, which firm continues to exist at the present time. Mr. Iseman became a stockholder of the Freeport Telephone Company when it was organized, later becoming a director, and he is still an active member of the board. This company, in addition to local wires, has long distance connections and has lines all over the country.

The same natural ability that enables to poor lad of twenty to develop into the prosperous business man of today makes it possibly for Mr. Iseman to promote and carry to success completion undertakings of great magnitude. A number of enterprises of Freeport and contiguous territory which have been successful may be credited to his example and assistance. He has always been progressive relative to home improvements.

In October, 1907, Mr. Iseman organized and had chartered the Ben Franklin Coal Company, chartered in Pennsylvania, capitalized at $200,000; this company is now operating two mines, and after adding proper equipment will have a daily tonnage of from 1, 000 to 1,5000 tons. Mr. Iseman owns fifty per cent of the stock of this company. In April, 1912, Mr. Iseman, in company with three others, organized the Ben Franklin Coal Company of West Virginia, chartered in West Virginia at $250,000, which has a bright future.

Source: Pages 631-632, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 2001 by Lynn Beatty for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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