Valentine Neubert

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VALENTINE NEUBERT has been in business in Kittanning for over half a century, and though he has withdrawn from active participation in affairs to some extent his holdings are so large in a number of the important manufacturing and financial concerns in the borough that he necessarily maintains a lively interest in local industrial conditions. He is a native of Germany, and his father, also named Valentine, passed about half of his life in that country, where all his seven children were born. The father learned the trade of cabinetmaker, which he followed in his native land until he brought his family to America, in 1845. They crossed the ocean from Havre, landing at New York, and though the voyage was of necessity made in a sailing vessel, it was unusually short for that time. Coming westward to Pittsburgh, PA., the family journeyed thence by wagon to St. Mary's, Elk county, where they made a permanent settlement, though the mother died there not long afterward, of homesickness. She was born in 1800. She was a member of the Catholic Church and was buried in the Catholic cemetery at St. Mary's, where her husband was interred many years later. He lived to the age of seventy-six years, and also died at St. Mary's, where he had a very successful business career as a contractor and builder. He was a member of the Catholic church, and a Democrat in politics, in which, however, he took no active part.

Valentine Neubert, one of the sons of Valentine, was born in Bavaria, Aug. 21, 1836, and received his education in Germany and at St. Mary's, Pa. Being only a boy when his mother died he left home and went to live in the family of John Wilson, at Clarion, Pa., although at the time he could not talk much English. After remaining one winter there he came thence direct to Kittanning, on Jan. 13, 1849, and has resided here ever since. At that time there were no waterworks at Kittanning, and Mr. Neubert and his brother Nick, who had learned the trade of cabinetmaker with Nathaniel Henry, bought a water cart and horse and engaged in delivering water to homes and to contractors where building operations were going on. Valentine Neubert did the hauling, and was thus engaged for about two years. He was next employed to carry mail for Joseph Clark, who held the carrier contract, going horseback from Kittanning to Brookville, his route taking him through Mahoning, Red Bank Furnace, Texas, New Bethlehem, Mohneys, Greenville and Troy (now Summerville), and back from Brookville on the same road. The round trip took about three days. After about a year of this work he began to drive stage for Nick Keller, from Kittanning to Kellersburg, Armstrong county, and later he also drove stage between Brookville and Clarion and between Philipsburg and Tyrone. Returning to Kittanning, he bought out John Vorhauer, who had a hotel business in a building owned by General Orr. Mr. Neubert carried on a hotel there for many years, in 1879 moving from that location to the site on which he built what is now the "Citizens Hotel." There he continued the hotel business for eighteen years, with the success which marked him as one of the most popular hotel-keepers of Kittanning in his day. He retired from this line June 29, 1893, though he continues to own the "Citizens Hotel" property.

Meantime Mr. Neubert had acquired other interests in the borough. He was one of the organizers, in 1890, of the Safe Deposit & Title Guaranty Company, which is the second largest bank in Kittanning, and in the establishment of which he was associated with George Fox, James McCullogh, M. F. Leason and Alexander Reynolds. When Mr. Neubert and the gentlemen named erected the bank building, in 1900, it was considered far ahead of the times for a place like Kittanning, but time has proved the accuracy of their judgment as to what was required, and the bank itself holds its own among the solid financial institutions of this section. Mr. Neubert is still a heavy stockholder. He is a director of the Elk Brewing Company, of which he was president at the time the present building was constructed, and a director of the Kittanning Plate Glass Company, in which he is the heaviest stockholder; he helped to organize this concern. In company with Messrs. Leason, Buffington and Moesta, and his son Charles Neubert, Mr. Neubert organized the Manorville Coffin Manufacturing Company, and established works; this enterprise has been abandoned. He was one of the company that bought from the Baileys the Mirror Factory known as the Ford City Mirror Works, which also has since been abandoned. He was president and manager of the Rayburn and Citizens' Water Companies (both of whose plants he erected), supplying water to the courthouse at Kittanning and to Wickboro, and sold both to the present concern which has the waterworks, the Armstrong Water Company. Some years ago Mr. Neubert was interested in oil and gas wells, operating principally in Armstrong and Butler counties, Pa., and at Newport, Ohio.

For years Mr. Neubert has had valuable real-estate holdings. Besides the "Citizens' Hotel" he has other extensive interests in business and residence property in Kittanning, and a considerable acreage of farm land in Armstrong county. For some time he was associated with George Fox in real estate operations in Kittanning. He moved to his present home, No. 327 North McKean street, after giving up the hotel business, building the fine modern brick residence which he and his family have since occupied. Mr. Neubert has devoted himself to business, taking no active part in public affairs, though his influence and substantial encouragement of progressive movements have done much for the welfare of the town. He has never held any office but that of member of town councils, in which he served several terms. Politically he is a Democrat.

On March 3, 1861, Mr. Neubert married Mary Miller, like himself a native of Bavaria, Germany. Her parents died in Germany, and she came to America about 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Neubert have had seven children, all born at Kittanning, namely: Charles married Virginia Hooks; Louis lives in Kittanning; Frank, unmarried, is at home; George was run over by a railroad train, dying two hours after the accident (he was twenty-four years old); Mary is the wife of H. J. Lindeman and lives at Kittanning; Annie is the widow of Harry Hague and resides with her parents; John V. is engaged in purchasing supplies for the New York Central Railroad Company (he married Frederica McConnell, and resides in New York city).

Source: Pages 5998-600, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 1999 by Connie Mateer 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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