Charles J. Nieman


CHARLES J. NIEMAN, cashier of the First National Bank of Leechburg, Pa., is also a member and secretary of the board of directors of that bank. Previously to his connection with this institution he held other positions of financial responsibility. Mr. Nieman was born in Allegheny City, this State, March 18, 1870, the youngest son of John C. and Nancy (Zorn) Nieman.

John Christian Nieman, the father, was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, May 23, 1829, was confirmed there in the Lutheran Church by Rev. Mr. Stueber, and came to America in 1847. He attended St. John's Lutheran Church for the time he came here, though he did not become a member of it until after his marriage. He had been called on at different times to fill various offices in the church. In January, 1896, he was elected president of the church and remained in that position until his death.

The family name was spelled "Niemann" by his ancestors. His father, Fredrich Niemann, a lifelong Lutheran, died in Germany in 1872, at the age of seventy years; the mother passed away many years before, in 1845, on Dec. 20th, called in Germany the second day of Christmas.

In 1852 Mr. Nieman married Nancy Zorn, daughter of Jacob and Susannah (Mechling) Zorn. She was born in Lancaster county, Pa., and when a girl came to Allegheny with the family of Rev. Mr. Friedrich, with whom she was staying. To this marriage were born seven children, three of whom are deceased, Mary dying at the age of nineteen, Rebecca when four years old and William H. at the age of fifty-two; he was formerly an officer in St. John's Church. The others are: Sarah, wife of Charles Elste, of Bellevue; Lizzie, wife of G. W. McPherson, of Bellevue, Pa.; Miss Anna, of Bellevue, Pa.; and Charles J.

Jacob Zorn, father of Mrs. Nancy Nieman, was a native of Lancaster county, this State, and served his country during the war of 1812, being one of the brave men who fought under Jackson at the battle of New Orleans. Jacob Zorn's father also served his country during the Revolutionary war. Jacob Zorn was a Lutheran in religious faith, as was also his wife; she died when her daughter Nancy was but two years old.

Charles J. Nieman attended the old Second ward public school on North avenue in Allegheny. The determination of the boy to secure an education was shown even at this early age, for when a pupil in the public schools during the day session he attended German school at night. Later he took a course in the Iron City Commercial College, an institution which was famous in its day. At the age of sixteen he became the messenger in the railroad offices at the Union Station, under the late Thomas D. Messler, who at that time was third vice president of the Pennsylvania Company lines west of Pittsburgh. When still quite young Mr. Nieman was advanced to the position of clerk in the auditor's office for the same company, and after serving fourteen years in railroad work resigned to accept the position of assistant paymaster for the American Sheet Tin Plate Company, Vandergrift (Pa.) Works. Later he was promoted to the position of paymaster at the Vandergrift mills, resigning to become cashier of the First National Bank at Leechburg, Pennsylvania.

The progress of the bank and its growing importance to the business community afford the best evidences of Mr. Nieman's success. The deposits of the First National Bank when he was elected cashier amounted to $250,000, and in five years they have increased to the total of over $600,000, with total resources of $8,000,000. This bank is on the "honor roll", that is, one possessing surplus and profits in excess of capital. Of the 7,500 national banks in the United States, only 1,300 occupy this position.

In this community where he has spent so much of his early life, little need be said of Mr. Nieman as a business man. The growth of the institution for which his most earnest efforts have been made is proof of his efficiency in his present responsibility. His unfailing courtesy, his genial manner under all circumstances, make him particularly fitted to meet the exigencies of modern business life. His acute business sense seems tempered by a manner which enables him to refuse a proposition with as much grace as another would have in conferring a favor.

Mr. Nieman is essentially a domestic man, devoted to his interesting family. He married Edith Dawson, daughter of the late Thomas and Eliza (Eggleson) Dawson, of Bellevue, Pa.; her father was one of the pioneer oil men of the old Smith Ferry field. Mr. and Mrs. Nieman have two daughters, Grace and Jean. The handsome family residence standing on Grant avenue, Leechburg, was at one time the home of Capt. Alfred Hicks, later the home of L. W. Hicks, and then purchased by Mr. Nieman.

Mr. Nieman and family belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church and he has been secretary of its board of trustees since 1907. He is prominent in Masonry, a life long member and past officer of the Bellevue Lodge, No. 530, F. & A. M.; a member of the Duquesne Royal Arch Chapter; Allegheny Commandery, No. 35, K. T., and Coudersport Consistory, thirty-second degree. He is associated also with the Odd Fellows Lodge at Leechburg.

Source: Page(s) 551-552,
Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914

Transcribed September 1998 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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