Sunday, February 25, 2007


H. C. Yeager –
1848 – ?

Henry C. Yeager, known as Harry, was born in 1848. He was the son of Christian Yeager and Elizabeth E. Harman Yeager, both of whom were also born in Pennsylvania. Christian Yeager was one of the leading merchants in Pittsburgh in the pre Civil War era and beyond. The firm was called C. Yeager and Company. They advertised themselves as importers and jobbers of dry goods and notions; their dry goods and trimming wholesaler business was located at 110 Market Street, Pittsburgh. Joseph Horne, the founder of the Pittsburgh department store dynasty and the father of South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club member Durbin Horne, worked for Christian Yeager when he first arrived in Pittsburgh from Bedford PA.

The dry goods business was in their genes. Here is a biographical sketch for H C Yeager’s maternal grandfather, Daniel Harman:
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Daniel Harman, father of Mrs. Reuben A. Baer, was born in Lancaster county, and died in 1862 at the age of seventy-two years. He was buried in Woodward Hill cemetery, Lancaster. The parents of Mr. Harman were John and Esther (Kendrick) Harman, farming people of Lancaster county. For many years Daniel Harman was well known in the city of Lancaster, where he was a successful merchant, conducting a large store, his stock including dry goods, groceries, china, etc. On account of failing health, he retired from active business some years prior to his death. He was one of the leading, active members of St. John's Lutheran Church, and was one of its most liberal supporters. Mr. Harman was at the time of his death regarded as one of the wealthy and prominent citizens who had always done his full duty in the advancement of the best interests of Lancaster.

Daniel Harman was married in Lancaster, to Miss Susannah Herbst, who was born in Philadelphia, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Herbst, of that city. Mr. Herbst, a wealthy merchant of Philadelphia settled in Lancaster after his retirement, and there passed the remainder of his life. Mrs. Herbst died in 1871, at the age of seventy-two, and was interred by the side of her husband in the beautiful Woodward Hill cemetery in Lancaster. The children born to Mr.. and Mrs. Harman were as follows: Henry, who died in Lancaster; William Beates, who died in Cairo, Ill. during the Civil War, having been a soldier of Co. B. 1st Pa. Reserves; Elizabeth E., who died in 1901, the wife of Christian Yeager, a prominent retired merchant of Allegheny, Pa.; Anna M., who is the widow of William W. Wills, of Wilkinsburg, Pa., who carried on a wholesale and retail variety business; Mary L., widow of Reuben A. Baer; Susannah who died unmarried; and John and Samuel, who removed from Pennsylvania, the former becoming a merchant in Maryland, where he died, and the latter dying in California. These families are among the leading ones in Lancaster, and are truly representative of its commercial prosperity and social importance.
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The Christian and Elizabeth E. Yeager had at least six children. Here is the family in 1870 living in Allegheny, PA.

Christian Yeager; age 54
Elizabeth Yeager, age 46
William Yeager, age 45
Harry C. Yeager, age 22
Edward H. Yeager, age 20
Lillie Yeager, age 18
Mary H. Yeager, 15
Frederick, age 12
Charles K.; age 10

More about Christian Yeager:

Circa 1859…
A group of 31 leading citizens of Pittsburgh whose interest in astronomy was awakened by the discovery of Donati’s comet, including Christian Yeager, formed the Allegheny Telescope Association, the precursor of the Allegheny Observatory. (Thomas Howe, C G Hussey, Felix Brunot and John H Shoenberger were also among this group).

In 1867 Christian Yeager was listed as a board member of Dollar Bank (chartered in 1855)… John H Shoenberger is also a director of the bank. Christian Yeager was a director of the Merchant’s bank founded in 1864 and of the Mechanics Bank, of which H S McKee was also a director. Christian was also a deacon of the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pittsburgh and then a charter member of the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Allegheny, which became Trinity Lutheran Church. Christian served as the treasurer of the Pennsylvania Reform School.

H C Yeager would have been 41 at the time of the Johnstown Flood.

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