Friday, September 8, 2023

Otto Uhle aka Pop Uhle--Part 2--Supervisor at American Bridge Company, Ambridge, Pennsylvania 1904-1944

Otto and Caroline

And the rabbit hole continues

The Relocation to Pennsylvania

     At some date in 1904, the Otto Uhle family relocated to Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  Otto had been hired at the American Bridge Company as a structural engineer.  Ambridge was the company town located down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh.  [Before his marriage, my grandfather lived in Woodlawn, the company town of the Jones Laughlin Steel Company on the opposite side of the Ohio River when he was employed at American Bridge.]  Ambridge exists today; however, the American Bridge Company is no longer located there. Woodlawn was incorporated into the city of Aliquippa.
1906 Passport Application

       The passport application gives a wealth of information.  

  • The passport was for Otto and his wife
  • Born in Durrmenz, Germany on or about March 11, 1863
  • Emigrated to US onboard the SS Pereire from Havre on or about November 11, 1882
  • Lived in Cleveland, Ohio 24 years from 1882-1904
  • Was naturalized in the Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio on March 27, 1891
  • I am employed as a structural engineer and live in Ambridge, Pennsylvania
  • Temporary trip. Planning to go abroad for about two years for the purpose of residing and performing duties of citizenship.     
Signed by Otto Uhle on December 8, 1906

Description of Applicant

  • Age--43 years
  • Stature--5 feet 8 inches Eng
  • Forehead--High
  • Eyes--Grey
  • Nose--Medium
  • Mouth--Medium
  • Chin--Round
  • Hair--Dark Brown
  • Complexion--Dark
  • Face--Oval

     Otto asked to have the passport sent to Louis Moesen (? difficult to read), 616 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  

     The passport document indicates that Otto and Caroline and would have been in Germany from 1907 to sometime in 1909.  

     Did they miss their oldest daughter's wedding in 1908?  Hard to believe.  Perhaps they returned home in time.

     Twenty-one year old Lena Alana Uhle married twenty-six year old William C. (Christ) Ley on September 22, 1908.  The minister officiating was a Lutheran pastor, Ivan Dietrick.  William C. Ley was the son of William C. Ley and Mary Carr.  At the time of the wedding, William was employed as a grocer.  Lena's address is listed as Economy, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Otto and Caroline were definitely back home for their son's wedding on July 5, 1909.

Photo on Otto and Karoline's Find A Grave Website
Otto and Karoline Uhle

     I was thrilled to find a listing for Otto and Caroline (Karoline) on Find A Grave.  The big plus was the above photo of the family taken at son, David John Uhle's, wedding.  

David and Davina Uhle

     Davina Watson Fyfe, age  twenty-one was the daughter of David Watson Fyfe and Helen Goodwin.  Davina's mother's full name was Margaret M. Goodwin Fyfe and died three years before the wedding.  

     David listed his employment as a structural engineer.  Perhaps he was also employed at American Bridge Company like his father.  This is a very grand wedding for 1909.  David also lists Economy, Beaver County, Pennsylvania as his home.  

Unfortunately, I cannot identify Otto and Caroline's three other children in the wedding photograph.  An interesting aside, Another Uhle married into the Fyfe family.  Henry Walter Uhle, son of Otto and Caroline married Davina's sister, Thelma Fyfe.  

Economy and Ambridge, Pennsylvania Clarification

     I would like to clarify the Economy vs Ambridge, Beaver County, Pennsylvania locales.  I grew up in Pittsburgh and until doing this blog never knew the history of these places.  

     Economy was located on the west side of the Ohio River and was a communal religious community run by the Harmony Society.  The Society disbanded and not only was riverfront land in Economy sold to The American Bridge Company, but also the majority of the land.  Court battles were fought over this sale; however in the end American Bridge owned the property, built a factory and renamed the area Ambridge.  A small section kept the name of Economy, now Old Economy Village.  By 1904, American Bridge Company was posting advertisements for employment.  From Economy to Ambridge: The Marvel City, written by Jeffrey Snedden gives a very comprehensive historical look at this purchase and name change.

     In the wedding documents of two adult children of Otto and Caroline Uhle, the home address is listed as Economy, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  It is possible that the Uhle's relocated in what was then called Economy in 1904 when Otto was hired at American Bridge.  The adult children stayed in that house when Otto and Caroline went to Germany.  The towns name was changed to Ambridge by the 1910 Census Report.

1910 Pennsylvania Census
Ambridge Borough, Beaver County
April 22 & 23, 1910

Residence on Church Street

Otto Uhle, Head, male, age 46, married once, 25 years, born in Germany, both parents born in Germany, immigrated in 1881, naturalized citizen, civil engineer for a Bridge works office, 0 days off in 1909 and in 1910, reads and writes in English, rents a house.

Caroline Uhle, Wife, woman, age 50, married once, 25 years, 4 children, born in Germany, both parents born in Germany, immigrated in 1883, speaks, reads and writes in English, does not work out of the home.

Henry W. Uhle, Son, male, single, age 20, born in Ohio, both parents born in Germany, works on his own as a stenographer at a bank, worked all of 1909, out of work 4 months in 1910, speaks, reads and writes in English.
Fanny Uhle, Daughter, woman, age 17, single, born in Ohio, both parents born in Germany, not employed, not in school, speaks, reads and writes in English.

David Uhle, Head, male, age 25, married once, 0 years, born in Ohio, both parents born in Germany, speaks, reads and writes in English, civil engineer for a Bridge works office, 0 days off in 1909 and in 1910.

Davine Uhle, Wife, woman, age 22, married once, 0 years, 0 children, born in West Virginia, both parents born in Scotland, speaks, reads and writes in English, not employed outside the home.

     Unfortunately, the address of the house on Church Street is not given.  The Sanborn Fire Insurance has assisted me in the past with other blogs and they came to my rescue again.  In 1905 they mapped out Economy and Ambridge, Pennsylvania.  Church Street is located within the Economy boundaries.  The majority of houses are built within Economy with many street in Ambridge are empty.

1905 Sanborn Insurance Map
Ambridge and Economy, Pennsylvania

Sanborn Insurance Map
Ambridge, Pennsylvania
French Point 
4 houses on Church Street

1905 Sanborn Insurance Map
Section 9
 Economy, Pennsylvania
Center of Economy
Church Street runs through the middle

1905 Sanborn Insurance Map
Economy, Pennsylvania
Section 8
8 houses on Church Street
Nothing built on Church Street beyond.

     I found two Pittsburgh newspaper articles that mentioned Otto Uhle in 1910.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
August 19, 1910

     This article announces the Labor Day meeting of the German-American Alliance of Bever County, Pennsylvania.  Maenerchors (German social clubs, the earliest were singing societies) will entertain.  Otto Uhle is the secretary of the arrangement committee of the alliance, Economy. Pennsylvania.  This article gives some history of Economy.  

The Pittsburgh Press
August 28, 1910

     A second article regarding the Labor Day German-American Alliance celebration in Economy, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  Otto Uhle is mentioned.

The Pittsburgh Press
May 26, 1912

The Pittsburgh Daily Post
December 29, 1912

The Pittsburgh Press
December 29, 1912

      Otto is valued member of the Harmonic Maennerchor having been elected  as a delegate to attended the German-American state convention and to the board of control.
Harmonie Mannenchor
Ambridge, Pennsylvania
August 4, 1912

     I imagine Otto Uhle is in this photograph.  One of the men with a moustache.  I was thrilled to find this photo on the Internet, Indiana Memories Hosted Digital Collections.  

The Allentown Leader
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Monday, July 6, 1914

     Twenty-four year old Henry Walter Uhle, son of Otto Uhle and Caroline Stieglitz Uhle married eighteen year old Thelma A. Fyfe, daughter of David Fyfe and Helen Goodwin, on July 5, 1914 at Bethlehem, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.   

     Thelma's parents were both deceased by the time of the marriage.  Henry's brother, David John Uhle was living in Lehigh County and it is possible that Henry met Thelma at his brother's home.  Thelma was the younger sister of David's wife, Davina.  

335 Forest Avenue
Ben Avon, Pennsylvania

     Address given in the 1914 marriage license of Henry W. Uhle and Thelma A. Fyfe.  Otto and Caroline Uhle and their son, Henry Walter Uhle lived at 335 Forest Avenue, Ben Avon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  The house was built in 1908.

1916 Pittsburgh City Directory

     In 1916, the two Uhle families list Corona Street in the Brighton Heights area of Pittsburgh.   Henry is working as an agent for Prudential Insurance Company at 3844 Corona Street, a building that no longer exists.  It is unknown if Henry was also living in the building.  A house exists today at the 3448 Corona Street address; however realtor records list 1932 as the date it was built.  The actual house that Otto and Caroline lived in does not exist on Corona.

     About 1917, twenty-four year old Fannie E. Uhle, daughter of Otto and Caroline Ule, married twenty-four year old John Ellsworth Blickenstaff, son of Nehemiah Rooklyn Blickenstaff and Ida Louise Shuff.  I have not located a marriage document for them.  I have estimated the year of their marriage from the 1920 Pennsylvania census.  That year the Blickenstaff family was sharing a home at 2225 Perrysville Avenue in Pittsburgh with Henry and Thelma Uhle.  Both men were clerks for an insurance company.  

1920 Pennsylvania Census
City of Pittsburgh
January 13, 1920

Residence 3448 Corona Street

Otto Uhle.  Head, owns home with a mortgage, male, white, age 56, married, immigrated 1881, naturalized 1891, can read and write, born in Württemberg, language German, mother and father both born in Württemberg and speak German, can speak English, Employed as a draftsman with a bridge company.

Caroline Uhle.  Wife, female, white, age 59, married, immigrated 1884, naturalized 1891, born in Württemberg, language German, mother and father both born in Württemberg and speak German, can speak English, not employed.

     I mentioned earlier that the current house located at 3448 Corona Street must not be the same house the Uhle's lived in.  The current house is listed as having been built in 1932.

     The story of "Pop" Otto Uhle has finally caught up to his association with my grandfather.  My Pop Pop was corresponding with his supervisor at the American Bridge Company during his service in World War I with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.  The surviving letter mentions that my grandfather and Pop Uhle sent several letters to each other.  

     The fact that my grandfather thought so much of his supervisor to correspond with him gives insight into Otto Uhle's character.  A giving man who fostered friendships with his colleagues, even younger ones.  Otto probably was a man who helped his team members grow and succeed.  

     In early April, 1925, the Uhle's made a voyage to Germany to visit relatives.  The passport application gives great personal information and also a photograph of them both.  

1925 Passport Photo

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Sunday, March 29, 1925

The SS Stuttgart
United States to Germany

SS Columbus Germany to United States

Passenger List
Bremen to New York
Departed Bremen July 30, 1925
Arrived in New York August 7, 1925

     Some time following the trip to Germany, Otto and Caroline moved into their son, Henry's home at 3452 Corona Street.  This house would have been a house or two away from their previous residence at 3448 Corona Street.  

1929 Pittsburgh City Directory

1930 Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Census
April 2, 1930

3452 Corona Street

Uhle, Henry W. head, owns the house, worth $10,000. has a radio, male, white, age 40, married, was 24 years old when married, can read and write, born in Ohio, both parents born in Germany, can speak English, employed as a life insurance agent, is not a veteran.

Uhle, Thelma, wife, female, white, age 34, married was 18 when married, can read and write, born in West Virginia, both parents born in Scotland, can speak in English, no employment outside the home.

Uhle, Henry W. Jr., son, male, white, age 11, single, attended school, can read and write, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in West Virginia, can speak in English.

Uhle, Betty Jane, daughter, daughter, female, age 8, single, attended school, cannot read or write, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in West Virginia, speak in English left blank.

Uhle, Otto, father, male, white, age 67, married, married at age 21, can read and write, born in Germany, both parents born in Germany, language spoken in the home before coming to the US was German, immigrated in 1890, naturalized citizen, can speak in English, not employed.

Uhle, Caroline, mother, female, white, age 70, married, married at age 24, can read and write, born in Germany, both parents born in Germany, language spoken in the home before coming to the US was German, immigrated in 1895, naturalized citizen, can speak in English, not employed.

     There is a house today located at 3452 Corona Street; however, I do not believe it is the house the Uhle's lived in.  


186 Grove Avenue
Ross Township
Evergreen Heights, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

     Sometime between the 1930 census and 1935, Henry Uhle purchased this lovely home.  His parents, Otto and Caroline Uhle, also moved with Henry and his family.  

1940 Pennsylvania Census
Evergreen Heights, Ross Township, Allegheny County
April 15, 1940

186 Grove Avenue
Home owned, worth $11,000.00

Henry W. Uhle, Head, male, white, 50 years old, married, 4 years of high school, born in Ohio, same house in 1935, employed as an insurance salesman with an insurance company, annual salary $5,000.00.

Thelma A. Uhle, Wife, female, white, 44 years old, married, 4 years of high school, born in West Virginia, same house in 1935.

Betty J. Uhle, Daughter, female, white, 18 years old, single, attending high school 11th grade, born in Pennsylvania, same house in 1935.

Otto Uhle, Father, male, white, 77 yeas old, married, 8 years of school, born in Germany, Naturalized citizen, same house in 1935.

Caroline Uhle, Mother, female, white, 80 years old, married, 8 years of school, born in Germany, Naturalized citizen, same house in 1935.  

The Pittsburgh Press
Wednesday, October 8, 1941
page 10

     Otto Uhle was among twelve other members of the Engineering Employees Association of the Ambridge plant of the American Bridge Company.  I wonder if my grandfather was in attendance?

The Pittsburgh Press
Sunday, February 14, 1943
page 27

     The death certificate information was given by Otto Uhle and he spelled her name with a "K"--Karoline.  She died at age eighty-four, on February 12, 1943 at her daughter's, Lena Alana Uhle Ley,                    home in Ben Avon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Her birthdate is listed as October 26, 1856 and her birthplace, Germany.  Her father, Heinrich Stieglitz and her mother, Christiane Loon.  She was buried in Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Monday, April 3, 1944
page 20

     Otto Uhle, age eighty-one, died on April 1, 1944 at his daughter's, Lena Alana Uhle Ley, home in Ben Avon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Birthday given is March 11, 1863.  Father, David J. Uhle and mother, Christina Stahl.  Otto was buried in Homewood Cemetery.  The information on the death certificate was given by his daughter, Lena Uhle Ley.

The Uhle Children:

David John Uhle
March 31, 1885
Cleveland, Ohio
June 14, 1980
St Petersburg, Florida
Burial Unknown

Lena Alana Uhle Ley
February 4, 1887
Cleveland, Ohio
August 3, 1979
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Henry Walter Uhle
August 5, 1889
Cleveland, Ohio
December 6, 1979
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Burial unknown

Fannie E. Uhle Blickenstaff
November 1,  1892
Cleveland, Ohio
January, 1979
Lockport, New York


Otto Uhle aka Pop Uhle--Part 1--Germany to Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio 1885-1904

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