Peter A Smeltzer


PETER A. SMELTZER, proprietor of the "Valley House" at Yatesboro, Armstrong county, and a large landowner in that section, was born in this part of the county, in Plum Creek township, Feb. 8, 1863, and is a son of Peter George Smeltzer, an old settler of that township.

Peter George Smeltzer was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., near Greensburg, and died July 5, 1883, aged seventy-two years. He was a lifelong farmer, and on coming to Armstrong county settled in Plum Creek township, where he became the owner of a tract of 200 acres. His land was in the woods when he settled on it, and he had to clear it before he could cultivate it, but by hard work he prospered, and he became one of the substantial and well-known citizens of his locality. He lived on his farm until his death. His wife, Mary M. (Cribbs), is buried in St. Thomas cemetery at Gastown, in Plum Creek township. They were the parents of a large family, namely: Elizabeth, Christopher C., Ellen, George W., Robert G., Levi G., Henry S., Catherine, Jane, Caroline, Leah and Peter A.

Peter A. Smeltzer attended school in Plum Creek township and grew to manhood on the home farm. When he commenced on his own account he became interested in a store at Green Oak, in his native township, where he was located for three and a half years, after which he returned home and was in the store business there for one year. He next removed to the borough of Rural Valley, where he did business for about eight years, after which he was located at Apollo for about two years. From there he went to Vandergrift, where he engaged in the hotel business, carrying on what is now known as the "American House," but he remained only a short time, removing to the place which became known as Smeltzer, in Cowanshannock township. He established the post office at that point, and continued to reside there for about ten years, at the end of that time turning to farming, settling on a place of ninety-seven acres when he owned, in Cowanshannock township. After a year and a half of farming he came to Yatesboro and took charge of the "Valley House" as proprietor. Mr. Smeltzer has an up-to-date hotel, with twenty-four guest rooms, all supplied with modern conveniences, and conducted in a business-like manner which has been well rewarded in the increasing patronage this house enjoys. Though he has made a success of the hotel business it has not taken all his time, for he is very much interested in the real estate business in the development of a tract of 326 acres known as the George K. Ormond farm, which he purchased in the spring of 1911. It is situated about one mile above the borough of Rural Valley, and is known as New Scottdale. Mr. Smeltzer has laid part of this property out in building lots, which he is selling, and is planning a most desirable residential section.

Mr. Smeltzer's activity in local public affairs has been principally in connection with school matters. He was school director of Cowanshannock township for a period of nine years, and served as president, secretary and treasurer of the board, doing good work in every capacity. He is a Democrat in political sentiment.

Mr. Smeltzer married Sarah A. Rankin, daughter of Mathew Rankin, of Cowanshannock township, and they have had a family of four children: Bessie I., Pearl, Addison and Wanda. the family are Presbyterians in religious connection.

Source: Page 806, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 1998 by James R Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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