John F. Mitinger

JOHN F. MITINGER. Among the old and honored families of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, noted for their honor and integrity of character, may be mentioned the Mitinger family, descendants of a German ancestry. 

Samuel Mitinger, father of John F. Mitinger, and founder of the Westmoreland county branch of the family, was born in one of the New England states, where he was reared and educated. During young manhood he came to Pennsylvania and located in East Huntingdon township, Westmoreland county, near the present city of Greensburg, where he identified himself with agricultural pursuits, which he continued until his decease, which occurred in the year 1867. He was one of the prominent farmers and dairymen of the county, and was the pioneer in the establishment of a milk route with wagon delivery in the city of Greensburg. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and at the time of his demise was an advocate of the principles of the Republican party. He married Catherine Poorman, who bore him seven children, five of whom are living at the present time (1905) : William Leonard, whose person sketch follows this in the work ; James McConaughy, of Greensburg ; Charles Austin, a resident of Wilkinsburg, a suburb of the city of Pittsburg ; Lizzie, at home ; and Dr. Joseph Edwin, whose personal sketch follows that of William Leonard. At the death of Samuel Mitinger his widow was left with a family of seven small children, for whom she provided to the best of her ability, and as the sons approached years of Maturity they proved themselves worthy of the devotion of their mother, being energetic, willing to work and ready to assist her in every possible way. Mrs. Mitinger died June 29, 1984. 

John F. Mitinger, son of Samuel and Catherine (Poorman) Mitinger, was born in South Huntingdon township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, October 5, 1851. He resided on the farm until the age of sixteen years, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Greensburg, in which city the remainder of his life was spent. He obtained a fair education in the common schools of his native county, but owing to the death of his father the practical duties and responsibilities were early placed upon his shoulders. His first employment after locating in Greensburg was that of driving a work team, but shortly afterwards he secured a position as messenger in the local office of the Adams Express Company. Later he became a clerk in the restaurant and ice cream business of Joseph Taylor, which whom he remained until 1879, when he engaged in business on his own account in the building now occupied by the Singer Sewing Machine Company, in East Pittsburg street, where he continued operations for a number of years and where he laid the foundation for the comfortable fortune which he acquired during his active career. In 1886 he purchased what is now known as the Mitinger Block, in South Main street, remodeling the building when the growth of his business demanded increased facilities, and there continuing to conduct a general baking and confectionery business until his death, his establishment being the leading one in that line in the city. He controlled a large wholesale and retail trade, special attention being given to the manufacture of candies and ice cream. The enterprise is still carried forward by his brothers, who are classed among the prominent business men of the community. 

Mr. Mitinger identified himself with various civic and business interests of importance, and was essentially public-spirited and progressive in his attitude as a citizen and business man. He was stockholder and director in the Westmoreland National Bank and treasurer of the Greensburg Building and Loan Association. He early became a member of the Greensburg fire department, in which he always evinced a deep interest. He was a valued member of the Pennsylvania Fireman's Association, of which he was president in 0900, and he previously served as president of the Western Pennsylvania Firemen's Association, in which about thirty counties are represented. He was chief of the Greensburg fire department at the time of his death, having been the incumbent for three terms. Honest, straightforward and endowed with marked executive ability, Mr. Mitinger amassed a handsome competency, his estate at the time of his decease, August 1, 1904, being conservatively estimated at a valuation of one hundred thousand dollars. A very considerable portion of this was devised to various institutions, and his bequests were the largest in this line ever made by any citizen of Greensburg. He remembered the church with which he was connected, the Greensburg Hospital, the Children's Aid Society, the Greensburg hose companies, as well as many relatives and intimate friends. His name was a synonym of honor and his loss was deeply felt in the Burdines and social life of the city, with whose interests he had been so long and prominently connected. 

Source Pages 60 & 61 History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N. Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906 
Transcribed January 1, 2000 by Marilynn Wienke for the Westmoreland County History Project 
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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