Friday, September 29, 2023

Robert Bell Frederick, Sr. and Mary Alice Bradley Frederick


     Robert Bell Frederick, Sr. is my maternal granduncle.  His birth record has the name of his older brother, William Walter Frederick attached to it.  The above record is actually Robert's as Walter was born in 1871.  I was able to locate the actual Columbiana County, Ohio Birth Record Book and Alfred Frederick did list the birth to William Walter.  Robert Bell Frederick, was born on October 25, 1873 in Franklin Square, Columbiana County, Ohio to Alfred F. Frederick and Lucinda Bell Orr Frederick.  

     Robert grew up in Franklin Square, Columbiana and Salem, towns in Columbiana County, Ohio.  His father was a brakeman with the P&LE railroad and was probably absent much of the week.  Living in towns, Robert spent time with friends, in school and many of his relations lived nearby.  His was not a rural life.  

     A very important clue to Bob's middle name, which was always seen as an initial "B", was given to me by his daughter-in-law, Roxanne Anderson Frederick, wife to Robert B. Frederick, Jr.  The "B" stood for Bell, an old family friend, and actually a relation.  Bob's mother's middle name was also Bell.  The Bell's were friends of Lucinda's mother, Nancy Agnes Cannon Orr McCormick.  Lucinda actually lived with the Bell's for a time after her father's death.  Robert Bell and his wife, Dorothy Betz Bell, are enumerated under the Frederick's on the 1880 census.  There is an extended story about them on Alfred and Lucinda's blog.

     Roxanne's understanding was that there was a falling out between the two families and although Robert Bell Frederick had been named for Robert Bell, following the disagreement, only the initial "B" was utilized.  No documents that I have seen show anything but the middle initial.  Without Roxanne's clue, I would not known about the Bells.

     I want to note that Dorothy Betz Bell was a cousin to Alfred Frederick's mother, Mary Betz Frederick.  it may have been at a family gathering that Alfred and Lucinda met for the first time.


Robert Bell Frederick
About age 13

     As far as I have been able to find on the various genealogy websites, the few, precious photographs of the Frederick family from the late 1800's were saved by my maternal grandmother.  This group photograph of the Frederick children is in my possession as are the original carte de visites and cabinet cards of parents, Alfred and Lucinda.

The Salem Daily News
Salem, Ohio
 November 29, 1892
 Page 3

The Salem Daily News
Salem, Ohio
 August 24, 1895
 Page 3

The Salem Daily News
Salem, Ohio
 October 15, 1895
 Page 3

The Salem Daily News
Salem, Ohio
 February 11, 1896
Page 5

 The Salem Daily News
Salem, Ohio
 March 18, 1896
Page 5

The Salem Daily News
Salem, Ohio
 March 20, 1896
Page 5

The Salem Daily News
Salem, Ohio
 March 30, 1897
Page 5

     Someone, probably Lucinda, Robert's mother, must have had a direct line to The Salem Daily News.  Unfortunately, he is the only Frederick sibling who was mentioned in articles.  I have used the last article, as well as one mentioning Lucinda in Salem visiting from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, both dated in March, 1897 as the year the entire family had moved to the Pittsburgh area. 


1900 Pennsylvania Federal Census
Esplen Brough, Allegheny County
June 7, 1900

     Robert is enumerated with his parents on the 1900 Pennsylvania census.  His birth is listed as September 1873, age 26, born in Ohio and employed as a flagman for the railroad.  By 1900, his father, Alfred had lost a leg in a train accident, one older brother, Walter had died of typhoid fever, his other older brother Albert had married and his older sister, Edna had married.  

     The Frederick's were living in the borough of Esplen, next to McKees Rocks, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  The P&LE ran along the Ohio River through Esplen and McKees Rocks..  Both Robert and his father were employed by the P&LE.

Railroad Flagman
The Iron Road

     Robert, by age 26, had worked his way up to flagman, which was a senior brakeman.  He could read, had not been killed in an accident and was competent.  He picked up the orders at each station, collected fares from passengers riding in a car on a freight train.  The flagman would also be on the tracks waving a flag ahead of a train that had stopped due to an issue, to warn oncoming trains.


1904 Pittsburgh City Directory
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

     The Fredericks had moved into the City of Pittsburgh by 1904.  Robert is listed in the directory under his sister, Martha (my maternal grandmother).  Both are at home with Alfred and Lucinda, 5125 Liberty Avenue.  Robert is not listed with a job.  Perhaps he is no longer with the railroad and looking for other employment.

     United in Marriage thirty two year old Robert B. Frederick and twenty five year old Mary Alice Bradley on June 20, 1906 by Thomas Jefferson Danner, Rector at S. John's Protestant Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

     A second marriage record for Robert and Mary Alice.  This one was of interest to me as my maternal grandmother, Martha M. Frederick, signed as a witness to the wedding.  

     Copies of these two documents were sent to me back in 1994 by Roxanne Anderson Frederick, wife of Robert B. Frederick, Jr.

     Mary Alice Bradley Frederick was born on October 1, 1880 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  She was the daughter of William Bradley and Mary Elizabeth Pickering Bradley.  Interestingly, the Bradley Family also lived on River Avenue in Esplen, Pennsylvania in 1900 not far from the Fredericks.  My mother referred to her aunt as Aunt Alice.

     Bob and Alice welcomed their first child, a son, William Walter Frederick who was born on April 9, 1907 in Ben Avon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  The family lived on Monitor Avenue.  Bob is listed as an assistant traffic manager.  I'm not certain if this employment is with the railroad or another company.  My guess is that Bob and Alice named their son after Bob's brother, William Walter Frederick, who died in 1899.

     Another document shared by Roxanne Anderson Frederick.  The baptism of William Walter Frederick, first child of Robert and Alice Frederick.  The service was performed by Thomas Jefferson Danner, Rector of St. John's Methodist Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

     On May 29, 1909, two year old, William Walter Frederick died at home, 14 Monitor Avenue, Ben Avon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  He was buried in Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  

     Four months after the death of their firstborn, the Frederick's welcomed a second son, Donald Bradley Frederick on September 21, 1909.  He was born at home, 416 Forest Avenue, Avalon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  The Frederick's moved from Ben Avon during the summer.  Checking Google maps, there is not a listing for Forest Avenue in Avalon today.     

     Bob is listed as a brakeman with the railroad, the same dangerous work his father performed before he lost a leg.  With the advent of air brakes, the job became less treacherous.
67 Jackson
Bellevue, Pennsylvania

     Between the birth of their son, Donald in September and the death of Bob's mother, Lucinda Bell Orr Frederick, on December 15, 1909, Bob and Alice moved into 67 Jackson in Bellevue, Pennsylvania.

1910 Pennsylvania Federal Census
Bellevue, Allegheny County
May 2, 1910

Robert B. Frederick, head, age 31, married one time, married 3 years, born in Ohio, both parents born in Ohio, employed as a conductor with the railroad, renting a house at 67 Jackson, Bellevue, Pennsylvania.

Mary A. Frederick, wife, age 26, married one time, married 3 years, mother of 2 children, 1 living, born in Pennsylvania, father born in England, mother born in Pennsylvania.

Donald B. Frederick, son, age 6/12, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio.

Alfred F. Frederick, father, age 73, widower, born in Ohio, father's birth is unknown, mother born in Germany, employed as a switchman with the railroad.

Martha M. Frederick (my maternal grandmother), sister, age 30, single, born in Ohio, both parents born in Ohio, employed as a stenographer with a bridge company.

     Bob is now the head of the household.  His widowed father and sister are living in the house.  Bob is employed as a conductor with the railroad and note his father, Alfred F. Frederick, at age seventy three, is still working.  

180 Kendall
Bellevue, Pennsylvania

     Robert Bell Frederick, Jr. was born on December 2, 1911 in Bellevue, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  The family was living at 180 Kendall in Bellevue.  Bob is listed as a car clerk.  I have no idea what that is--a conductor a new job?

1912 Pittsburgh City Directory
page 550

     The 1912 Pittsburgh City Directory answered my question as to where Robert Frederick was working when his son was born in 1911.  The address in the directory is his work address for Heyl & Patterson, Inc., the company where he worked until his retirement.

318 McKinleyAvenue
Avalon, Pennsylvania

World War I Draft Registration
September 12, 1918

1920 Pennsylvania Federal Census
Avalon, Allegheny County
January 1, 1920

318 McKinley Avenue
Avalon, Pennsylvania

Robert B. Frederick, head, married, age 46, born in Ohio, both parents born in Ohio, employed as a traffic manager for a contracting engineer, renting the house at 318 McKinley Avenue, Avalon, Pennsylvania.

Mary A. Frederick, wife, married, age 39, born in Pennsylvania, father born in England, mother born in Pennsylvania.

Donald B. Frederick, son, single, age 10, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in Pennsylvania.

Robert B. Frederick, son, single, age 8, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in Pennsylvania,.

Alfred Frederick, father, widowed, age 83, born in Ohio, both parents born in the United States. My maternal great grandfather.

Donald Bradley Frederick

Robert Bell Frederick, Jr.
     From the photo files of my maternal grandmother, Martha Marie Frederick Stark.  Her two nephews holding her daughter (my mother), Martha Jean Stark.  Circa 1922.

732 Taylor Avenue
Avalon, Pennsylvania

1930 Pennsylvania Federal Census
Avalon, Allegheny County
April 2, 1930

Robert B. Frederick, head, owns a radio, age 56, married, age at first marriage 32, born in Ohio, both parents born in Ohio, employed as a traffic manager at construction engineers, rents a house at 732 Taylor Avenue.

Mary A. Frederick, wife, age 49, married, age at first marriage 25, born in Pennsylvania, father born in England, mother born in Pennsylvania.

Donald B. Frederick, son, age 20, single, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in Pennsylvania, accountant at sheet tin manufacturer.

Robert B. Frederick, son, age 18, single, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in Pennsylvania, filing at steam railroad.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 May 15, 1937
Page 12

     On May 14, 1937, twenty seven year old Donald Bradley Fredrick married thirty year old Grace Olive Hunter.  Grace was born on August 14, 1906 in Millvale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  She was the daughter of Harry Hunter and Elsie Dora Nicely Hunter.

     A few days shy of two years later, Don and Grace welcomed their first child and Bob and Mary's first grandchild,  Donna Lynn Frederick.

The Pittsburgh Press
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 November 30, 1937
Page 28

     On June 24, 1939, twenty-seven year old Robert Bell Frederick, Jr. married twenty-four year old Elizabeth Roxanne Anderson at Crafton, Pennsylvania.  Roxanne was the daughter of Thomas Anderson, born in Belfast, Ireland and Catherine Malone Anderson born in Antiquity, Meigs County, Ohio.  

344 Elizabeth Avenue
Avalon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

1940 Pennsylvania Census
Avalon Borough, Allegheny County
April 4, 1940

344 Elizabeth Avenue
Avalon, Pennsylvania

     Frederick, Robert Sr., Head, male, white, age 66, married, finished 4 years of high school, born in Ohio, lived in the same house in 1935, employed as a traffic manager with a steel fabrication mill, worked 52 weeks in 1939, income $2,100.  The Frederick's are renting their house for $60.00 a month.

     Frederick, Mary.  Wife,  female, white, age 59, married, finished 8 yeas of school, born n Pennsylvania, lived in the same house in 1935, works in the house. 

     Joyous occasions in the 1940's decade were the births of three more grandchildren.  Robert Bell Frederick III to Robert Jr. and Roxanne in 1941, Carol Bradley Frederick to Don and Grace in 1943 and Thomas Anderson Frederick to Robert Jr. and Roxanne in 1944.

246 Lincoln Avenue
Bellevue, Pennsylvania

1950 Pennsylvania Census
Bellevue, Allegheny County
April 18, 1950

     What a lovely home.  It appears today that this home is two apartments.  In 1950, only Bob and Mary lived here.  There are some interior photographs out on line.  My paternal grandparents lived very near on Lincoln Avenue.  I wonder if my Mom knew her Aunt and Uncle lived so close to her in-laws?

     Bob was also enumerated on a special line and that part of the census is attached under the primary enumeration.

246 Lincoln Avenue
Bellevue, Allegheny County

     Frederick, Robert B. Sr., Head, white, male, age 76, married, born in Ohio, doing something else for work.

     Frederick, Mary A., Wife, white, female, age 69, married, born in Pennsylvania, works in the house.

Answers by Robert Frederick on the Special Line.

     Mother and father both born in the United States.  Highest grade in school S 10 (sophomore year).  He finished that grade.  No money earned in 1949 from work.  How much money did he receive from pensions, interest, etc.--do not understand the answer.  Originally $1105.00 was listed, then drawn through and $11.00 looks to be the answer. Received $248 in interest payments.  Never served in the armed forces.

This cute little first birthday card
sent by Robert and Mary Frederick
to my brother

     Signed Aunt Alice and Uncle Bob.  

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 9, 1958
page 26

     Tragedy struck the Frederick family on September 7, 1958 when Bob and Alice's oldest son, Donald Bradley Frederick, died at age forty-eight  in East Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  

324 South Home Avenue

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
January 29, 1959
page 16

     Robert Bell Frederick, Sr. died at age eighty-five in January 27, 1959 in the Frederick apartment, 323 South Home Avenue, Avalon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  His death was caused by cerebral arteriosclerosis which began ten years earlier.   

     Bob was buried in Allegheny County Memorial Park on January 30, 1959.  I have visited his burial site and found grave markers for his son and daughter-in-law, Robert Bell Frederick, Jr and Elizabeth Roxanne Frederick, and grandson, Robert Bell Frederick III.

1995 Crafton Boulevard
Crafton, Pennsylvania

     Sometime following her husband's death, Alice Frederick moved to Crafton, Pennsylvania and lived with her son and daughter-in-law, Bob, Jr. and Rixie Frederick.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
November 20, 1968
page 34

     Mary Alice Bradley Frederick, age eighty-eight, died on November 18, 1968 at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Alice had arteriosclerotic disease; however a fall at home in Crafton, fracturing a number of bones, admitted her to the hospital eleven days before her death

     Mary Alice Bradley Frederick was buried on November 21, 1968 at Allegheny County Memorial Park, Allison Park, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  She is buried beside her husband and surrounded by family members.


     One evening my mother stayed overnight and I taped her responses to family questions.  She remembered that her Aunt Alice had sparkling clean windows and that Uncle Bob and her two cousins, Don and Bob had clean white shirts daily.  She reminded me that during this time in Pittsburgh, the city was filthy with dark smog from the steel mills.  White shirts had to be washed daily and were hung in the basement to dry--not outside.  Uncle Bob had nice places to live in Avalon.  Aunt Alice was a nice person, Uncle Bob was quiet.  Mom remembered that when her family lived on California Avenue (circa 1929 to 1935) in Avalon, both Frederick and Stark family members would visit; however, once they moved to Florence Avenue (circa 1935), only Cousin Don would come for family dinners. (Once Don married in 1937, he lived on Florence Avenue thru 1944).

     I grew up never hearing anything about Bob and Alice Frederick.  I never met them and was old enough when they died (Bob, I would have been eleven.  Alice I would have been twenty-one) to have remembered any occasion with them.  My maternal grandmother (Teek) never spoke of her brother which is surprising since he and Alice lived fairly close to her in Avalon.  My mother's usual response to any questions about her family was that she had a very small family.  Not so!  They simply all grew apart.

Three Faces
George Duncan and Sons
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

     I was told by a grand daughter of Bob and Alice Frederick that when Bob's mother, Lucinda Bell Orr Frederick, died, that her collection of Three Faces glassware passed to Bob and Alice.  Alice did not like or want it and packed the entire collection up and gave it to the Salvation Army.  Ouch!  I sure wish that collection had come my way. 😂

Other Frederick Blogs on Flipside

Robert Bell Frederick and Mary Alice Bradley Frederick--Tombstone Tuesday

Robert Bell Frederick, Jr and Elizabeth Roxanne Anderson Frederick--Tombstone Tuesday

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