John Ralph Leister

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JOHN RALPH LEISTER, the leading photographer of Kittanning, was born Jan. 5, 1882, in Manor township, Armstrong county, and is a son of John E. and Hannah (O'Brien) Leister. His father is of German descent and his mother Irish, the father being American born and the mother coming from Ireland when she was but eight years old.

John E. Leister, the father, was born in 1844 in North Buffalo township, Armstrong county, and was a laborer (miner) by occupation. He and his wife have had five children, three living and two who died in infancy. Those living are: John R.; William H., who married Margaret Schreckengost, and has three children: William Ward, Hannah and Martha; and Joseph A., who married Anna French and has one child, Yola.

John R. Leister was educated in the public schools of Kittanning and began the labors of life as a glass polisher in the Wickboro Mirror Works, meanwhile taking up the study of photography. He worked with C. S. Hornstrom and on June 26, 1903, bought the studio of C. C. Shadle, on Market street, Kittanning, where he is now located.

Mr. Leister is not only an artist in every sense of the word, but is also a musician of note, being a member of the Musicians' Union of the United States and one of the leaders in the Musical circles of Kittanning and the county. His photographic work ranks with that of the operators in the larger cities and when he has gained in years and experience he will be classed among the leaders of photographic art in America.

On April 16, 1912, Mr. Leister married Esther M., daughter of Mr. and Mr. S. A. Donnelly, and they have on child, John Ralph, at this writing 10 months old.

Source: Page 749, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 1998 by Doris Rizza for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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