F. A. Seitz

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F. A. SEITZ, a representative business man of Freeport, Pa., and formerly postmaster for five years, was born at Pittsburgh, Pa., Oct. 27, 1849, son of Henry and Kathryn (Wagoner) Seitz. The parents were born in Germany.

 In 1848 Henry Seitz with his wife and their one daughter came to America and settled at Pittsburgh, Pa., where he went into the public house business and for three years conducted the "Diamond Hotel" in that city.

In his early life Henry Seitz had been especially trained for the stage and became a popular actor, filling many engagements in different parts of the country. One of his acts was the impersonating of William Tell in the celebrated historic act of shooting an apple off the head of his son, and when he performed the feat on the Cincinnati stage F.A. Seitz took the part of the child. Henry Seitz lost his life in a fire in 1854, in which the theater at New Orleans, La., where he was playing at the time, was totally destroyed. His widow survived the shock but three years.

F.A. Seitz was thus left an orphan when young and he was placed in an Orphans' home at Mount Auburn, near Cincinnati, where he remained until 1859. In that year he came by way of the canal to Freeport, Pa., where he remained until 1866, when he went to Kittanning, and in 1867 to Philadelphia, there learning the trade of baker. After perfecting himself in this trade he returned to Freeport, and in June, 1871, embarked in the bakery and confectionery business. He had but little capital, and at the end of the first year his books showed $150 on the wrong side of the ledger. He did not permit this, however, to discourage him, but made still greater endeavors to establish himself, and finally, adding the wholesaling of ice cream to his other activities, found an avenue of great profit. In the course of time every line of the industry was prospering, and he continued it, making and disposing of a pure product at a reasonable price, with sufficient profit to encourage him to make still wider plans for business extension. Just about this time, however, his many competitors found themselves in a position to undersell him, the expense of keeping his product up to its high grade making it impossible for him to find a profitable wholesale trade, and at the present time,

though still in the business, he supplies only a limited trade. His pure, delicious product, however, made his name well known all over western Pennsylvania. He is now operating an extensive bakery and confectionery establishment at Freeport, and is also, in association with his sons, interested in the retail grocery business.

Mr. Seitz is public-spirited and enterprising and has, interested himself in many of the successful movements which have proved beneficial to his city and county. He was one of the charter members of the Freeport telephone system and a charter member of the Enterprise Gas Company, which was the first concern of its kind to obtain a charter to supply natural gas in Pennsylvania, and was one of its directors; when this company sold out to the T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Company, it gave him more time to attend to his other interests. In 1883 he was one of the organizers and founders of the Freeport Water Works and was a director, but later disposed of his interest therein, and he was also one of the founders of the Freeport Building and Loan Association, which began business Jan. 17, 1887, from which date until 1906 Mr. Seitz was president. This was one of the most important enterprises ever successfully undertaken and carried out at Freeport in the interest of the man with limited capital. Many of the substantial citizens of Freeport at the present day availed themselves of the opportunity offered by the organization and secured property that, in degree, became a foundation on which they built up their business prosperity.

It has been said of Mr. Seitz that he is one of the wheelhorses of the Democratic party in Armstrong county, and it certainly is a fact that he has a large amount of influence which he judiciously uses for the benefit of his friends, his party and his community. He has seldom accepted political office for himself, but served as postmaster of the city for five years under the administration of the late President Cleveland, proving an efficient and satisfactory official in every way.

On Jan. 1, 1871, Mr. Seitz was married at Philadelphia, Pa., to Katherine Walsh, the ceremony being performed by the rector of St. Ann's Church. Five children have been born to them, two sons only surviving, Frederick Carl and Henry A. Frederick Carl Seitz is a graduate of Duff's business college, Pittsburgh, and is associated with his father, as is his younger brother, Henry A., who is also a graduate of the Pittsburgh Dental College. Like their father the young men are wide-awake, enterprising and successful men of business.  

Source: Page 468-496, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed May 1999 by Michael S. Caldwell 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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