Monday, March 5, 2007


1856 – 1921

Marvin Frisbee Scaife was born in 1856, the son of William Borrett Scaife (Sept 5, 1812-April 2, 1876) and Mary Frisbee; they were married Dec. 23, 1834.

He became associated with Associated with W. B. Scaife and Sons, a producer of iron products. In 1834 his father had organized the William B. Scaife Company and by the age of 26 he was its sole proprietor. Among other things he invented and produced the prevalent style of Victorian era kitchen range.

Marvin Scaife came from a large family. In addition to his mother Mary, at home in Allegheny in 1880 were four sisters, Cora R (age 40), Mary R (age 37), Alice L (age 34)and Lois E (age 27), as well as brother Walter Bell Scaife (age 21) who was at that time a law student. Also among his siblings but no longer at home: Oliver Perry Scaife (1837-1903), Charles Cook Scaife (born in 1845-1915), William Lucian Scaife (born in 1854; became chairman of the Scaife foundry) and Lauirson L. Scaife (-1926; an attorney of Boston Mass.).

Marvin Scaife graduated from Pittsburgh High School in 1875.

With his brothers, Marvin continued the Scaife family business into its third generation, Jeffrey Scaife having founded it in 1802. In 1888 Marvin was listed along with brothers Oliver and Charles as partners in the business, located at 119 First Avenue, providing structural iron work, roofing, etc.

Marvin F. Scaife married Jennie M Boyle they lived at 3063 Amberson Place in Shadyside in 1920.

Marvin Scaife was a member of the Duquesne Club. He served as vice chairman of the Reception Committee for the Pittsburgh sesqui-centennial celebration, July 4, September 27-October 3, November 25, 1908. He was active in the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society and served as a director of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce in 1918-1920.

* * *

Of course now the Scaife and Mellon families are linked through the marriage of Sarah Cordelia Mellon - daughter of Richard B. Mellon and niece of SFF&HC member Andrew W. Mellon - and Alan Magee Scaife (1900-1958)* - the grandson of Marvin Scaife's brother Charles Cook Scaife (his parents were James Verner Scaife and Mary Magee). They had two children Cordelia Scaife (May) and Richard Mellon Scaife (owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review). During World War II, while Richard and Cordelia's father, Alan Scaife, served in Europe in the OSS, as temporary head of the OSS Secret Intelligence Branch in London, the Scaife family lived in Washington. (Note that SFF&HC member John G A Leishman's grandson Henry B. Hyde was also an OSS officer.)

*August 4, 1958... Died. Alan Magee Scaife, 58, Pittsburgh industrialist and serviceman in both world wars, board chairman of Scaife Co., president of the board of trustees of the University of Pittsburgh, fellow of Yale University's Yale Corporation; of a myocardial infarction; in Pittsburgh. Marrying Sarah Mellon of the banking Mellon family, Scaife stayed with his family firm, became a vice president of T. Mellon & Sons, and member of a dozen big corporate boards, was one of the civic leaders who helped carry out the postwar redevelopment of the city's famed Golden Triangle. He wrote the book: Scaife Company, 1802-1952, oldest manufacturing firm west of the Alleghenies; father to son for five generations. 1952.

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