Breniser Family

BRENISER FAMILY. The numerous and well known family of which Harry R. Breniser, of Ligonier, is a member, has been for at least a century identified with Westmoreland county. Peter Breniser, so far as is known, spent his entire life as a farmer in Derry township. His children were: Abram, Peter, Jacob, mentioned hereafter: Barbara, married Tobias Kimmell; Susan, married Cyrus Cavin: and Christopher, a merchant at Hillside.

Jacob Breniser, son of Peter Breniser, was born in 1819, in Derry township, and during his early manhood was a farmer and stock drover. In 1850he moved to the Ligonier valley and settled about two miles north of Ligonier village. He subsequently moved to the borough, where he engaged in mercantile business during the remainder of his life. He married Sarah Hargnett, and they had children: John, Albert, Peter, mentioned hereafter; Susan, wife of John Johnson; Catherine, married J. Q. A. Blair; Nettie, wife of William Thomas: Sarah, wife of S. S. Dice; and Ida, married Charles Bassart.

Peter Breniser, son of Jacob and Sarah (Hargnett) Breniser, was born April 12, 1851, in Ligonier township, and until he was twenty-five years of age remained with his father on the homestead. He then married and began farming for himself on the home farm. In 1881 he moved to Ligonier borough and established what is now known as the National Hotel, of which he was proprietor for two years. He then went to Greensburg, where for six years he was proprietor of the Zimmerman House. Thence he removed to Dubois and for two years and a half conducted the National Hotel, after which he returned to the Ligonier valley and for a brief period resumed the life of a farmer. In 1900 he built the Hotel Breniser, at Ligonier, which he successfully conducted for a time, and then transferred the management to his son, Harry R. Breniser. Mr. Breniser married, October, 1876, Hulda J., daughter of Jesse Ramsey, and they have three children: May, a graduate of Duff's Business College, Pittsburg, now manager of D. H. Tollman's loan office; Harry R., mentioned hereafter; and Hargnett, at home.

Harry R. Breniser, son of Peter and Hulda J. (Ramsey) Breniser, was born November 5, 1879, at the Breniser homestead; and was educated at the Iron City College, Pittsburg, from which institution he graduated. He is now the successful proprietor of the Hotel Breniser, which is in all respects the most modern establishment of the kind in the Ligonier valley. He is a Republican in politics, member of Ligonier Lodge, No. 331. A. F. and A. M., Greensburg Chapter, R. A. M., K. T., and Latrobe Lodge No. 907, B. P. O. E. Harry R. Breniser married, March 9, 1906, Mary I. Grove, a resident of Ligonier, and sister of Dr. W. W. Grove, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and Dr. J. O. Grove, of Bradenville, Pennsylvania.

Source: Page(s) 78-79, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed May 2007 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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