Glassport, Pennsylvania


This history is taken from the 1976 Bicentennial Report entitled "Glassport, Pennsylvania - It happened here."



According to some geologists and archaeologists, the Monongahela River once flowed through the area now known as Glassport. This forest was dense, the soil very fertile. The Iroquois Indians lived here. They raised corn, squash and tobacco. The women did the farming while the men hunted and fished for food. There was an Indian burial mound in the area now considered to be the center of town. As the very early settlers cultivated the land, they uncovered many arrowheads, pottery and crude stone implements.

Little information before 1851 is available, but records show that at that time a house owned by Mrs. Jane McClure was standing on the public road leading from Elizabeth to Glassport. Miss Elsie McClure has the deed to the original land grant of 400 acres signed by William Penn It was this old farmhouse that was considered to be the settling place of the first pioneers. Early immigrants came from Finland, England, Scotland, Poland, Italy, Rumania, Serbia and other Slav countries. The oldest house now standing in Glassport is located at Seventh Street and Michigan Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Wojciechowski are the owners. It has been remodeled, but the original structure still remains.

The old Caleb Edmundson cemetery located on Washington Boulevard is still in existence. A tour shows the date of this family's burials. Reading the tombstones, we found:

"Our Father, A. C. Edmundson, Born November 14, 1821, Died September 12, 1882."

"John Edmundson, Died 1862"

"Sam Edmundson Died 1864"

"John Calhoun Died 1883"

"Baby John Johnston died 1846."

This vast acreage was then a part of Elizabeth Township. Richard Wiley, historian, declared that a division of the township was made in 1869 which made Glassport a part of Lincoln Township. As the community grew it merged to form the Port Vue Borough.

Little is written about the Civil War (1861-1865) period. Scattered tales of ardent patriotism and the fear of the Rebels invading their homes give some indication of how these early pioneers upheld their ideals and the right to live in freedom. During this time, the residents were very strong supporters of the Republican Party.

During the War itself, the community formed an unnamed company of militiamen These men met daily at the old Pleasant Valley schoolhouse and conducted drills. Records show no reports that these men were ever called to active service, but it is interesting to note that they were willing to defend the Union.

By March of 1895 the President of the United States Glass Company called a special meeting for the purpose of considering the proposition received from the Glassport Land Company offering to purchase five hundred acres of its property in Port Vue Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania for the price of four hundred and ninety-nine thousand, five hundred dollars ($499,500.00).

It was at this time that Glassport began to take on a distinctive geographical formation that made it almost separate from Port Vue. As the population centered toward the river front and with the coming of the Glass Company, a new unity was developed. That independence led leading citizens to seek detachment from Port Vue Borough and to establish a government of their own. In August of 1902 the articles of incorporation were drawn up and the Borough of Glassport became a reality. Borough officials elected were:

Harry C. Griffin ...........First Burgess

F. C Chester ................First President of Council

W. C. Niven ................First Borough Secretary

The old ordinance book, which is kept by the present borough secretary, Rosemary Bradley, shows that the first ordinance signed August 30, 1902, was for the purpose of "authorizing the paving, grading and curbing" of Broadway from Ohio Avenue to Delaware Avenue.

Glassport has always been a politically oriented community. It first gained fame in the pre-Civil war days when a man named the Honorable Fulton (a Democrat) was very active in the presidential campaign that resulted in Abraham Lincoln being placed in the White House. History shows that he did not support the regular Democratic nominee, Stephen Douglass, but gave his support to John Breckenridge. However, he revealed himself as a true patriot and become an ardent supporter of Lincoln.

Glassport remained a strong Republican stronghold until 1937. Borough officials at that time were Burgess Seward Gross, Tax Collector Grover Delaney, School Director Dr. Walter Feik, President of Council George Pforsich, Councilmen Charles J. Tomedolskey and Harry Reed, Chief of Police Dominic George and Borough Auditor Hays Satterfield.

The Democrats won every office in the Borough in the election of 1937. Joseph Faix, Sr. was elected Burgess. It was also the year Joseph Witkowski was elected the first Democratic Tax Collector, a post he held for over twenty-seven years.

In those days the celebration on election night was truly a memorable event. After all the returns were counted (sometimes in early morning) there was a parade around town, with horns honking and bright railroad flares displayed from car windows. From the back of a truck the band played, stopping at the home of the victorious candidates to play a special tune while the family was called out on the porch to be congratulated. Several times the victor and the defeated candidate lived next door to each other and the rivalry was great.


Harry C. Griffin..................1902-1905
Patrick Kelly ......................1905-1908
U. F. Sparks .......................1908-1911
J. W. Keim .........................1911-1914
John F. Reed Sr ..................1914-1918
James Lucot .......................1918-1926
Charles Redman .................1926-1930
Seward Gross .....................1930-1938
John Faix, Sr. .....................1938-1942 (died in office, July, 20 1942)
Robert Shaw ......................1942-1954
James Thomas ...................1954-1962 (Burgess changed to Mayor October 9, 1961)
Robert Shaw ......................1962-1966
Dominic Borelli ..................1966-1971 (died February 27, 1971)
Charles Goren ....................1971-1976


Before Glassport ever became an official community, it was rather well known. It had the dubious distinction of being the location of the crime for which the first woman in Allegheny County and the second woman in Pennsylvania was hanged. Charlotte Jones and her boyfriend, Henry Fife, were convicted of murdering her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth McMasters and George Wilson, in 1857.

Mr. Charles Shaw in the June 30, 1934 issue of the McKeesport Daily News recalled the story this way: "The murder occurred in an old log cabin located near what is now Harrison Street alongside of a run at the foot of a hill below the present "Red Row." Charlotte and Henry killed the old couple, brother and sister, in order to get enough money to be married."

The murder occurred on April 30, 1857. Charlotte is supposed to have knocked at the door that night and gained entrance, after which she summoned Henry by whistling. The story goes that Henry did the killing, slaying the old man with a dirk and beating the woman to death with a poker. They were hanged in Pittsburgh on February 12, 1858. Charlotte, collapsing after kissing her sweetheart, and Henry going stoically to his death with the words: "Gentlemen, remember, I die game."

There is a legend that on the thirtieth of April every year, if one stands on the site of the old log cabin at midnight, he will hear the echo of the whistle.


Glassport owes not only its growth and progress to industry, but industry also gave our town its name.

It was in the year 1894 that the United States Glass Company was looking for a new location to build a vast new glass plant. Only about fifty (50) persons were living here at that time, but the McKeesport Belle Vernon Railroad ran through this area which made it a very desirable location. Minutes from the Board of Directors' meetings of the United States Glass Company clearly show the interest and concern the company had for this very small community along the Monongahela River.

On January 8, 1894, the President of the United States Glass Company told the Directors that it was important that a distinctive, original, descriptive name should be adopted for the company's proposed new manufacturing location.

The name of "Hylos" which means a "place of crystal" was suggested, but the minutes of this meeting record that a Mr. Ripley and a Mr. Hobbs were successful in their motion to adopt the name of "Glassport" for the new property.

Thus, Glassport was named.

The first Ward was named for Otto Hoffman, a German who invented the old by-product coke system and helped bring the second plant of its kind in the country to Otto. Although Otto is not the official name of the ward, every person in Glassport refers to it by that name.

The United States Glass Co.

The town was built around this mill which came to be known as "the Glass House". Other industries soon followed. The area was originally laid out in a plot plan by the Glassport Land Company, a subsidiary of the United States Glass Company. Telephone service and electric illumination were installed, along with extra train service from McKeesport to Elizabeth. There were morning and evening services for the convenience of the workmen. Many workmen moved into the area and stayed at the boarding houses which quickly came into existence.

The Glass House became one of the world's largest hand craft glass manufacturers in the country. It manufactured various glassware, tobacco jars, coke glasses, meter covers and battery jars. The business was greatly curtailed during the machine age of pressed glassware. A severe tornado which struck Glassport in August of 1963 destroyed Glassport's oldest plant which was originally built at a cost of $68,497.00 in the year 1894.

Bee-Hive Coke Oven Plant

Industries extended from Harrison Avenue along the Monongahela River all the way to Broadway Avenue. Near Harrison Street was located the Bee-Hive Coke Oven Plant with over 100 ovens. This operation was closed when the world's largest "Clairton Coke" plant was constructed.

Severance Manufacturing Co.

Another early industry, the Severance Manufacturing Company, produced railroad, boat and barge spikes and rivets for structural construction. This company was closed when welding processes were perfected and machine riveting devices were developed.

The American Axe & Tool Company

A subsidiary of Kelly Axe Company, the American Axe & Tool Company, manufactured various types of axes and handles. It was also known as the Handle-Shop. In May, 1927, this company relocated in Charleston, W.Va., where the labor market was cheaper and the location more feasible for its product.

The Pittsburgh Steel Foundry

The Pittsburgh Steel Foundry appeared on Glassport's industrial scene just before the turn of the century, in 1899. The plant's first employment of less than fifty didn't make too much of a dent in the labor market, but the Pittsburgh Steel Foundry was destined to become one of the largest and best equipped foundries in the world, supplying castings from 5,000 pounds to over 75 tons. At one time it was the largest producer of railroad side frames and motor frames for the Westinghouse Electric Company.

During the peak of World War II, over 3,200 men were employed and up to 4,000 tons of castings were shipped each month. The plant produced many armor steel castings in addition to other defense castings. There were anchors for the Navy, gun placements, offshore batteries, tank turrets and gun shields. One of the most interesting jobs was the production of the castings for a duplicate set of locks for the Panama Canal.

Heavy machining facilities were purchased from the United States Government at the end of World War II which enabled the company to form a subsidiary, Pittsburgh Engineering & Machine Company, to design and build ferrous and nonferrous precision rolling mills.

In 1959, Pittsburgh Steel Foundry and its associate companies joined the family of Textron, Inc., Providence, Rhode Island.

In 1968 the management concluded that the company had diversified and decided to change the name to "Pittron", a Textron Company, under which it operated from a half-mile long plant on the original site in Glassport. It still ranks as one of the largest and best equipped foundries in the world with casting weights now ranging from 1,000 pounds to over 200,000 pounds.

After a crippling strike in October, 1972, a chapel was set up in a damp, converted storage room. Prayer and bible services were held here. A harmonious relationship existed between management and labor as a result of these gatherings.

Employees of Pittron and members of the community were invited to attend the premier showing of the television documentary special "Miracle of Pittron," produced by Robin Miller, film maker, shown at Glassport Junior High School on Sunday, October 26, 1975. This film was acclaimed by President Gerald R. Ford as a powerful, realistic portrayal of the American industrial scene, its problems, its triumphs, its people. It focused on labor and management finding the long-elusive solution to industrial human relations.

On a Friday afternoon in November, 1973, about four p.m., a 55-ton ladle of molten metal was being readied to pour into a casting mold, a very hazardous operation requiring much caution. Three men on an overhead crane were moving the ladle into place over a mold. As the handle was pulled to release the stopper rod in the huge ladle to start the metal flowing, the rod suddenly snapped and plunged like a rocket through the slag crust on top of the metal. Liquid fire raced everywhere. The fire engulfed the crane, but the three men inside somehow were able to leap to safety down a catwalk. Meanwhile, the swaying ladle slammed against the wall of the foundry, barely missing overhead oxygen and natural-gas lines In a few short minutes a 200-foot-wide area was ablaze. For 15 harrowing minutes, part of the foundry was like the crater of an erupting volcano. Had the ladle hit the gas line, the foundry would have been reduced to rubble in seconds and the lives of many in Glassport would have been endangered. Men who knew the perils of foundry work said "miracle" was the only explanation they knew to escape something like a tragedy with a careening ladle of steel. The following Tuesday, 300 workers stopped operations for a few minutes to hold a thanksgiving service in the chapel.

Bucyrus-Erie Company

In 1974 Bucyrus-Erie Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, manufacturers of mining, drilling and construction machines, recognized a dynamic source of high quality castings and purchased the facilities. The name of the company was changed to "Bucyrus-Erie Glassport." The products produced in the Glassport Plant are playing a particularly important role in the nation's efforts to ease the energy crisis in the oil and fossil fuel fields. Every second of the past 77 years has counted. Now, Bucyrus-Erie Glassport looks forward to making America number one in energy productivity in the world.

The community of Glassport shares this hope for the future and the part it will play in the progress of our nation.

Pittsburgh Steel Company

On March 5, 1900, the Pittsburgh Steel Company established its hoop and band department in Glassport. The plant occupied six acres and employed 270 men. It manufactured flat rim iron during the beginning of the automobile industry. This hot rolled iron work and billets were transported to the Glassport plant from the Monessen Works. The plant went out of existence when new modern plants were built with continuous rolling processes about September, 1931.

Car Shop & Round House

The central location of all railroad activity in the Monongahela Valley was the Car Shop & Round House. The railroads hauled millions of tons of coal, etc. from up the river as far as Brownsville. All cars were weighed in Glassport and trains formed at Third Street for shipment to points west. All the rolling stock was repaired and reconditioned here. Glassport had a YMCA which housed the engineers, brakemen, etc. This industry was abandoned due to steam engines being outmoded and the trucking industry taking away a substantial amount of business from the railroads.


Glassport shared in the famous "gas boom" that put the McKeesport district in a frenzy in 1918. Both oil and gas were struck in the center of Glassport, and the well was productive for years.

The well, situated at Fifth Street and Erie Avenue, was owned by Warren Furman, who sold it to outside interests. The gas was piped into the Pittsburgh Steel Foundry Corporation and the oil to the tracks of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad to be shipped out of town. Many other companies drilled for oil and gas after Furman's luck, but most of them failed.

The hills in Glassport have produced an abundance of coal which supplied the local industries such as the U. S. Glass Co., Pittsburgh Steel Hoop and Band and the Pittsburgh Steel Foundry, who transformed this coal into gas for its furnaces. This was especially true during the World War I years when gas was scarce and priorities had to be secured. Glassport is truly a community which developed around its industrial strength and has continued to flourish over the years.

The Griffin Oil Company

Truly a "home-owned" corporation, the Griffin Oil Company of Glassport stood out as an example of the business ability of its founders and owners.

The company was organized in Glassport, by Glassport men, with Glassport capital. Every one of its founders, owners, officers and employees were Glassporters.

The company began doing business July 12, 1927 and from a small beginning rose to the position of becoming one of the largest independent motor fuel distributors in the state in a short period of seven years. Its five huge tank trucks serviced filling stations in several adjacent counties and in nearby cities and towns. A force of 20 young men, embodying the spirit of the company were on hand day and night to render service to customers. The company's bulk plant at Glassport, contained, beside the gasoline pumps, a complete washing, greasing and overhauling service familiarly known to the trade as a "one-stop service." It was equipped with the most modern up-to-date machinery for rendering service to a motor car. Penzoil gasoline and motor oil were comparatively unknown in this district before the Griffin Oil Company came into existence.


Tube City Iron & Metal Company is engaged in the purchase, sale and processing of scrap iron and steel. The processing includes shearing, compressing, breaking, cutting and fragmentizing of scrap into consumable sizes and densities for direct consumption by steel mills and foundries. Segregation of material in accordance with its chemistry is also done to meet consumer's exacting specifications .

In addition to the processing of scrap iron and steel, Tube City is a broker serving steel mills and foundries from the Ohio Valley to the East Coast.

Tube City Iron & Metal Company was founded in 1926 by David Coslov. Although the Company's origin was in McKeesport, its offices and plant were moved to a larger site in Glassport in 1935. In 1951, the Company purchased land in West Mifflin to expand capacity particularly in the area of processing various grades of iron and steel scrap. The Glassport plant remained active for sometime, especially in the area of non-ferrous metals, but its operations were eventually transferred to the West Mifflin plant.

Over the years since the early 1950's the Company, under the leadership of Leon and Robert Coslov, sons of the founder, has experienced rapid growth. Tube City has expanded both its processing operations as well as its brokerage business and now operates a total of three physical plants and five brokerage offices. However, the Glassport site continues to be the home of the Company's executive offices as well as an important brokerage office.

The scrap industry is currently enjoying a measure of public recognition of its role in the recycling process, which contributes to the cleanliness of the environment as well as the preservation of vital irreplaceable natural resources. It is interesting to point out that although public recognition of the importance of recycling is relatively new, the Company is still serving the same basic function as it did from its very beginning in 1926.

The company is now called Tube City, Inc.


In 1915, one year after World War I engulfed Europe and two years before the entry of the United States on the side of the Allies, an idea was born in the minds of five American men. This idea, which developed the process of welding copper and steel, brought to our town the "Copperweld Corporation" which is known throughout the world today.

Copperweld had its beginning in Rankin, Pennsylvania, when S. E. Cramer, Jacob Roth, F. R. S. Kaplan, Simon Loeb and William Smith, Sr., pooled their resources and, under the name of the Copper Clad Steel Company, began the manufacture of copper-covered steel wire. This product, based on obtaining a molten weld between the copper and the steel, came to be known as "Copperweld (R)." Copperweld rod, wire, and strand has a heavy cladding of copper permanently welded to a steel core.

The company began production in its present Glassport location when it purchased the Axe & Tool Works in May, 1927, and moved from Rankin. Improvements and refinements in the manufacturing process followed. Greater strengths were developed through the use of special alloy steels and more rigid controls.

The use of Copperweld wire grew rapidly, particularly in the utility field. Then came the depression. Through the early years of the depression, efforts of Copperweld's sales department were successful in keeping a working force in the plant which meant employment for members of the community during those crucial years.

One of the principal contracts at that time was with the United States Corps of Engineers who selected non-rusting Copperweld wire for revetment fabric used in flood control programs along the Mississippi River. Army engineers determined that Copperweld wire, with its strength and corrosion resistance, was ideal for reinforcing and tying together articulated concrete mats used to prevent bank erosion. Forty-five years later, Copperweld is still the major supplier of revetments mesh to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers

Copperweld copper conductors were another product that found ready acceptance in the 1930's. This composite strand, used in the building of long-span rural electric lines, formed the basis of the Rural Electrification Program.

In the telephone field, Copperweld wire is used extensively as open and drop wire because it can safely withstand severe storm loads and other operating hazards while performing effectively as a communications circuit. These product qualities enabled Copperweld to help Glassport through the period of wartime production restrictions which started in 1942. The U. S. Army Signal Corps selected Copperweld wire for the telephone line paralleling the Alcan Highway to Alaska The company's ability to produce and deliver the required quantities of wire attracted the attention of the Signal Corps. From then on, Copperweld could not supply material for the United States Army or Navy fast enough. During these war years, hundreds of thousands of miles of Copperweld communication lines were built in practically every country of the world.

As a result, Copperweld's production was devoted entirely to the war effort. In September, 1943, the company was awarded the Army-Navy "E" Flag for meritorious and distinguished service to the country in its time of need. The award, presented by Colonel V. Parker, was accompanied by an official notification that the wire supplied by Copperweld had played an important role on every battle-front during the War. Glassport was proud to be the home of a company that received "four" Army-Navy "E" awards for its outstanding achievements in producing materials essential to the war effort.

In 1959, Alumoweld (R) (aluminum-covered steel) wire and strand became the second bimetallic product line manufactured by Copperweld's Wire and Cable Division in Glassport. Produced through a powder metallurgy process, the Alumoweld product met a growing need in the electric power industry for another strong, corrosion resistant material for both electrical and mechanical applications. Copperweld Steel Company, in recognition of its new corporate nature, changed its name in 1973 to Copperweld Corporation. At the same time, the Wire and Cable Division in Glassport became Copperweld Bimetallics Division, a name which also more accurately reflects its expanded manufacturing capabilities.

The corporation is now a diversified manufacturer of specialty metal products, including specialty tubing, alloy steels, and bimetallic rod, wire and strand.

One of the significant reasons for the Company's progress in recent years has been the development of foreign markets. The Company's sales activities outside the United States are conducted by Copperweld Industries International, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Copperweld Corporation. As a result of these sales efforts, Copperweld and Alumoweld bimetallic wire products, made in our town by many of our people, are used in industrialized and developing countries around the world.

Copperweld Corporation's reputation for good management, made world news for Glassport on August 29, 1976, when it was announced that a foreign firm had indicated a desire to discuss the possibility of making an offer for all of the outstanding shares of Copperweld Corporation stock As a result of this disclosure, the Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily halted trading in Copperweld stock.

On September 2, 1975, the name of the company was revealed as Societe Imetal, a foreign holding company based in Paris, France, owned by the Rothschild family.

Glassport made front page news also in the September issue of the Wall Street Journal with the headlines - "Baron de Rothschild Kindly Rejects Offer to Visit Glassport, Pa. His Bid for Copperweld Stirs A Franco-American Storm." The story continued, "Baron Guy de Rothschild, 1 Rue de Courcelles, Paris is kindly invited to appear in the fire halls Reliance Hose Co. No. 2 Glassport at 10 o'clock in the morning. Also invited were the Subcommittee on Labor Standards for a congressional hearing on the proposed take-over by the French company. In responding to the invitation, Mr. Rothschild, the French financier graciously declined because he did not receive the invitation in sufficient time, but added that he would be pleased to discuss an appropriate time and place for his testimony." (He later came to Pittsburgh for this meeting).

The Wall Street Journal noted it was rather original, inviting a Paris Rothschild to a grimy Pittsburgh-area factory town for a hearing in a fire station.

The members of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States who attended this public hearing, a first for Glassport, on Friday, September 12, 1975 at 10:00 a.m. in the Reliance Hose Co. No. 2 were: The Honorable John H. Dent, Chairman of the Subcommittee, The Honorable Joseph Gaydos, The Honorable John P. Martha, The Honorable H. John Heinz III, The Honorable Charles J. Carney. Also attending were Phillip H. Smith, President and Chairman of Copperweld Corporation, representatives of the United Steel Workers Union, local officials and employees of Copperweld along with interested members of the community.

About 300 devoted Copperwelders from the Bimetallics Division were given a community sendoff early in September when they traveled overnight by bus to New York to demonstrate in Rockefeller Center against the take-over by the French company. While Copperweld through employee demonstrations and legal action, evidenced a fierce determination to keep the Company independent, Imetal was successful in acquiring 69 percent of Copperweld's shares through its tender

In the 1975 annual report of the Copperweld Corporation, the management reports that the outlook for Copperweld and the future, which affects Glassport's future, also, is that Imetal's investment will be beneficial to Copperweld's growth and profitability in the future. A very encouraging fact is that after the conclusion of the Imetal tender offer Copperweld still has some 5,300 investors who own Copperweld shares, many of whom are Copperweld employees and many of whom also are "Glassporters" who long ago had faith in the idea that was born in 1915 in the minds of those five American men.

The company no longer has a site in Glassport.


The Westinghouse Apparatus Service Plant in Glassport is part of the Corporation's Industry Products Company. It performs service and repair operations on electro-mechanical apparatus for the various industrial and utility customers in the tri-state area. The Glassport Plant is part of Westinghouse's worldwide network of apparatus and engineering service operations. Having been built in 1959 to perform a function previously done in Homewood, the plant of 65,000 square feet now employs over 100 people, and provides well over $1,250,000 in payroll dollar input to the area's economy, in addition to purchasing significant amounts of local products and service. Expansion of service capabilities and growth have characterized the operation since its inception, and this trend is expected to continue at an accelerated rate within the next few years. Local management consists of W. A. Harrison, Plant Manager and A. A. Anderson, Customer Service Supervisor.


Dedicated October 16, 1965.

The Borough of Glassport spent over one million dollars to build a sewage treatment plant. The legal answer is because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Clean Streams Act prohibits the discharge of untreated sewage into rivers and streams. Failure to build and operate a sewage plant would have made the Borough of Glassport liable to prosecution under the Clean Streams Act.

There are few people in the world, as fortunate as we here in this country are, namely, to be able to drink water that has been chemically treated. In order to keep it that way, it became necessary to install sewage treatment plants along our rivers and streams, not only for the benefit of this generation, but also for those in the future


A current industry in progress today is Coal Stripping on the Patterson tract (formerly Ziddle's Farm) by the Apex Coal Co., Incorporated. This was started in 1972. The coal is sold to the Electric Utilities Companies. To date, 122,200.83 tons of coal have been removed and approximately 40,000 additional tons are yet to be removed. Monies received from this project is being used by the Borough to pay past debt obligations and for recreation facilities.


The first post office was established in Glassport in 1893 at the request of the United States Glass Company. It was located in the P. & L. E. Railroad Station. The ticket agent, Theodore C. Smith also served as postmaster. But, because of the heavy load of mail for the industries, it was soon moved to its own headquarters in an old frame building on the corner of 7th and Ohio Avenue where Mrs. Rosalind Russell served as Post-mistress.

From there it was moved to 537 Monongahela Avenue in 1906. This building served until 1916 when it was moved to 506 Monongahela Avenue, where it remained until a new modern building was built in March, 1963, at 730 Monongahela Avenue. It is this building that serves the community today.

There was a post office in Otto in 1896, and for a few following years. It was in a one-room frame building near Harrison Street. It was established because of the heavy mail for the coke works, but the old timers claimed that the government never knew about it, and it was soon discontinued.


1893 - Mrs. Rosalind Russell, Mr. William Sparks
1914- 1932 - Mr. Charles H. Lapsley
1932 - 1934 - Mr. Joseph P. Stein
1934- 1944 - Mr. William P. Kohler
1944- 1949 - Mr. David Herlehey
1949- 1956 - Mrs. Pauline E. Hutton
1956- 1965 - Mr. William J. Halovats
1965 - 1976 - Mr. Michael Hrehocik


As industries and businesses flourished, the need for a bank was created. The Glassport National Bank was granted a charter to operate in 1899. But it was not until January 6, 1906, that it was incorporated

Mr. James Evans was one of its very early presidents (1902). In 1915, while Mr. W S. Kearney was treasurer, the name was changed to "The Glassport Trust Company."

Due to the changes of the Banking Code of the Commonwealth, its name was changed again in 1933, and became known as the "Bank of Glassport."

During the depression, the bank was placed under restrictions after President Roosevelt's bank holiday and did not reopen until March 8, 1934. Normal business soon resumed and Glassport was again on a sound business basis.

In November 2, 1962, the "Bank of Glassport" merged into the Peoples Union Bank & Trust Company. Then on January 1, 1970 it was again merged to become The Union National Bank of Pittsburgh.

Through these mergers, a more efficient banking system has been made available to the citizens of the community.


Citizen's Hose Company No. 1 was the first Volunteer Fire Co. in the Borough. Realizing the need of fire protection, about 25 citizens met in the old Borough Building on Erie Avenue (once the Pleasant Valley School) and formed the organization in March, 1901. Its first officers were: Aaron Cole, President (who resigned in favor of William G. Hatfield); John Redman, Recording Secretary; John Cole, Financial Secretary; Harry Rommel, Treasurer; and John Murphy, Chief.

The first apparatus was a hand drawn hose reel donated by the Glassport Land Company. Later the Borough Council bought a hook and ladder and another hose reel, which was used until 1928 when the fire company purchased a La France Chemical truck at a cost of $6,500.00 with only $2,000.00 in the treasury It required six years of holding street fairs, raffles, bingos, carnivals, etc. through depression days to pay for it. It was replaced with more modern equipment, a D-50 International Truck, which in turn was replaced with a Mack 750 gallon pumper in 1952, at a cost of $18,655.00.

The firemen felt that the community should have Ambulance service and so in May of 1941, the first Cadillac Meteor Ambulance was purchased. Twelve years later it was replaced by a Superior Cadillac, fully equipped in case of any emergency.

In 1975, ten members received training as "Emergency Medical Technicians." These men serve the community during emergencies, accompanying the ambulance to the hospital and give aid whenever needed.

There are approximately one hundred volunteers serving this unit. 1976 officers were:
President-Daniel Kolick
Vice President-Dom Mianzo
Recording Secretary-John Fasiska
Treasurer-Donald Beluscak
Financial Secretary-Mike Mochtyak
Chief-John Fasiska
Captain-John D'Angelo
Assistant Captain-Anthony Moranelli
Lieutenant-Ronald Wrag

Reliance Hose Company No. 2, the second Volunteer Fire Company, was organized on Friday, October 13, 1903 with a membership of 13. Gordon Ross was the first president.

After two years of fund raising, this company recently purchased a 1976 American La France 85 foot Aerial Ladder truck, which the men are learning to operate. They also are equipped with two pumpers, one Rescue truck, one fully equipped ambulance and have a River Rescue boat and unit. The present captain is Mr. Arthur Salzman.

In the early days there was bitter rivalry between the two companies, which resulted in many fights, particularly when answering an alarm. However, today they are the best of friends, working together for the benefit of everyone.

For a short time in 1907, there was a third company, known as the Vigilant Hose Company No. 3. It served the hill district, but it did not survive.

Some of the largest fires in the Borough:

1903 - 2nd Ward School - $50,000.00
1907 - Holy Cross Church
1908 - Pittsburgh Steel Co. (Hoop & Band) -$15,000 00
1918 - Glassport Lumber Co. - $10,000.00
1932 - Baird's Garage & Adjoining Buildings $25,000,00
1947 - Glassport Lumber Co - $100,000.00
May, 1951 - Griffin Oil Co.
May, 1951 - U. S. Glass Co. - Gas explosion
Dec. 1951 - 600 Block Monongahela Ave. - $100,000.00
Feb. 18, 1952 - 600 Block Monongahela Ave. $50,000.00
Feb 1957 - Mazur Hotel - $100,000.00
Feb. 8, 1961 - St. John's Lutheran Church - $75,000.00
Feb. 6, 1962 - St. Cecilia's Church - $200,000.00
Sept. 6, 1967 - Bowling Alley (Morrow's) - $20,000,00
July 21, 1969 - Thorofare - Booky's Lounge, Crown Cleaners, and the Laundromat $70,000.00
Oct. 9, 1972 - Darling's Grocery - $250,000.00
Sept. 27, 1973 - Hi Steve's Bargain Mart $125,000.00
Sept. 1973 - Mazur Hotel - $150,000.00


On November 6, 1902, the Burgess and Town Council of the Borough of Glassport approved and enacted an ordinance creating the Police Department, fixing the duties and salary of same. The Burgess was the head of this department. It was the duty of the police to preserve the public peace, patrol the streets and make arrests for all violations of the law. The first police station was the old abandoned Pleasant Valley School building.

On December 1, 1903, the Burgess, H. C. Griffin approved an ordinance providing for the appropriation of $8,000.00 for the purpose of building a borough hall that would also house the police and a public jail.

The men of good character who serve as policemen must first take special training. They must learn all police regulations, traffic rules of the borough, and a certain amount of the law. They must acquire knowledge in the use of firearms; weapons such as tear-gas shells, riot guns and submachine guns; self defense tactics; and first aid. The police department has grown from one man to the present eight. The salary in 1902 was $2.00 per day. At present, the salary is approximately $50.00 per day, plus all benefits of insurance coverage, hospitalization and a clothing allowance. A pension fund was established in 1959 and has been updated accordingly.

The following are men who have served as Chief of Police since 1912:

1. Chief Smith
2. Chief Webb
3. C. O. Nolder
4. S. J. Pater
5. William Rushe
6. Dominic George
7. Jack Lee
8. Michael Cobak
9. Clarence Urbanski
10. Walter Klimek


The Glassport Auxiliary Police was established in the interest of Civilian Defense. Organizing officers were Frank Finney, Jr., President; Edmund Bowen, Vice Pres.; Treasurer was Hengust Finney; Secretary was Louis Drogoski. The Auxiliary Police Chief was James V. Iacone and the Chief of Borough Police was Clarence Urbanski.

They were organized October 1, 1954 and chartered June 7, 1955.

The purpose of the Auxiliary Police was to aid the Police Department of the Borough in maintenance and restoration of peace and order in the community in the event of any emergency that might arise, also when called upon by the Chief of Police and Burgess to help in matters of Civil Defense.

The Auxiliary Police was also organized to maintain an organization for the social and fraternal enjoyment of its members and to create and foster a spirit of mutual helpfulness toward making better citizens of our republic in a harmonious atmosphere. It also performs all the other lawful duties as authorized by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania relative to Auxiliary Police as now enacted.

In September of 1976, Council passed Ordinance No. 756 creating the position of Special "Auxiliary" Police.

The Special Police have all the powers and duties set forth in the Borough Code for Auxiliary Police and in addition are authorized to issue illegal and overtime parking tickets. The Special Police do not have any other powers or duties. They serve at the discretion of Council and under the supervision of the Mayor and Police Committee of Council.

The present officers for 1976-77 are: Chief, Walter J. Smith; Asst. Chief, Pauline D. Smith; Captain, Alfred Brownfield; Lieutenant, Joseph Nehila; Sergeant of arms, Richard Brownfield. President is William Moore and Sergeant is Virgil Mills. Patrolmen are: Joseph Lavosic, Emil Vallecillo, David Scapellato and Theodore Grabon.


Public Schools

No more fascinating work could be encountered than the tracing of the borough's schools from the time it had only a frame building until the present.

The establishment date of the Edmundson school is not known but it was in use during the days of the Civil War. The first building of which there is any accurate record is the old one-room frame structure, called the Pleasant Valley school, which was built almost on the site of the present Second Ward structure in 1857. A Professor McMichaels is said to have been the principal of that school.

Not only did the Pleasant Valley school serve for academic education, but it was there that the Methodist Church was formed and the Citizen's Hose Company was organized.

The rod was used freely in those early days, as it was every place, but punitive measures were extended in 1902, when the building was abandoned and transformed into the jail and council chamber.

The school leaders were prepared for the abandonment of Pleasant Valley and a four-room brick building was constructed in 1898. In 1903, a six-room addition was built, and just as it was about completed, fire leveled it to the ground. The conflagration raged on a bitter cold winter night, and many still claim the fire was of incendiary origin.

The school officials realized the need of education and they erected another building on the same site, and in 1904, the present Second Ward school was finished. It contained 13 rooms and an auditorium and it was pointed to with pride by every Glassporter.

The First Ward building was erected in 1905, and contained only four rooms. Later a frame addition of four rooms was joined to the old brick section.

The Third Ward school was completed within a short time. The first high school class entered Third Ward school in 1904, but secondary activities later were transferred to the First Ward building. In this "little red schoolhouse," two students sat together in a narrow seat at chapel exercises, study periods were held in a smelly laboratory and English was studied in a room "reserved" for the commercial department. There was no gymnasium, nor was there an auditorium. The first graduating class was in 1908, and had a total of 5 students.

But as quickly as possible, the situation was changed, and in September, 1929, a new modern high school building was opened, containing an auditorium, gymnasium, space for a swimming pool, shop rooms and sections for every type of instruction. Whereas in 1857 education was an ordeal in Glassport, today it is a distinct pleasure. The first head of the school system was John S. Hart, who came from West Newton in June, 1913 to succeed Professor Murray. Melvin J. Naser was principal of the high school and under his guidance and that of Mr. Hart, the high school had taken a leading part in both academic and extra-curricular activities. Mr. Naser later became the School Superintendent, a post he held until 1961.

The Glassport School System remained intact as an independent unit until the mid 1960's when under state law it was joined with the Port Vue, Liberty School System to form the present South Allegheny School System. The South Allegheny School District is composed of the boroughs of Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue. This administrative unit was created in July 1966 as a result of Legislative Act 299 and combined the then existent Lincoln, Glassport and Port Vue-Liberty School Districts.

The Borough of Glassport offered a complete elementary and secondary program to its students prior to reorganization. The Glassport School District operated several elementary schools and a Junior-Senior High School.

The reorganization of these school districts into the South Allegheny School District provided for the provision of a comprehensive elementary and secondary curriculum. The reorganization of the School District also provided for the establishment of separate Junior and Senior High School facilities A comprehensive Vocational-Technical curriculum is offered to high school students at the Steel Valley Vocational Technical School.

On July 18, 1969, the Pennsylvania Department of Education had approved the Long Range Development Plan submitted by the South Allegheny School District. This year as per the South Allegheny Long Range Development Plan and according to information received from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, a Building Planning Committee has been formed and a Citizens' Advisory Committee appointed to study school facilities in the South Allegheny School District.


Student Enrollment from Glassport:

South Allegheny Sr. High - 472
Second Ward School - 248
Third Ward School - 189
Glassport Jr. High - 248

Total - 1,070

First Ward School no longer in existence


South Allegheny School District Officers(1976)

President ........................Ronald Meisl
Vice President .................Joanne McKelvey
Treasurer .......................Vincent Restauri
Solicitor ..........................Gay B. Banes
Secretary ........................Felix P. Zyra



Instruction of children began in the Holy Cross Church basement on April 16, 1906, with classes by Professor Leo Kubkowski. Even at that early date plans were discussed for purchasing land and building a school.

The Church was completely destroyed by a fire on January 21, 1907, and when the second Holy Cross Church was dedicated in 1907, schooling was again resumed in 1908 in the Church basement and further educational plans were discussed. These plans went into effect when the newly appointed pastor arrived in 1909, Rev. Roman H. Gorski. Although the financial situation was critical, it was apparent that a church basement was not suited for extensive teaching. It was decided, therefore, to purchase a house at 7th Street and Indiana Avenue as the beginning of a school program. At the same time, first one building and later two were leased, also on Indiana Avenue, near the building already owned by the parish. In these humble quarters a great work was begun, but there was urgent need for a community of teaching Sisters. The problem was presented to the Bishop who first assigned the newly founded Sisters of the Holy Ghost to teach at Holy Cross School in 1913. Within a year, however, His Excellency Bishop Hugh C. Boyle committed this task to the Felician Sisters. As the number of children increased, serious measures were taken towards providing an adequate school building for them. With this in view, a tract of land was purchased in 1915 at 6th Street and Michigan Avenue.

World War I, followed by a flu epidemic, interrupted all plans for expansion. Again every effort was made to provide the proper facilities for teaching an ever increasing number of pupils, and finally in the year 1928, a new modern school building was erected with a capacity of some 500 children. Thus another milestone was laid in the progress of the parish and community. In that same year the Sisters of the Holy Ghost returned to staff the Holy Cross School in Glassport.


The Saint Cecilia parish school, though completed in 1910, was not officially opened until 1918. Father Philip A. Callery proved to be a most able administrator for the school. He procured the services of the Sisters of Mercy to staff the school and to assume the responsibilities of their new mission at St. Cecilia. One lay teacher, Miss McGowan, was hired for the 7th and 8th grades. As the enrollment in the school grew it was found that the original quarters underneath the church were inadequate and plans were laid for an addition to the school. The addition to the school was constructed in 1925 and provided facilities for a library, an office and a meeting room.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Wheeling Province took over the staffing of the school from 1930 through 1934, to be replaced by the Sisters of Divine Providence.

In February of 1962, a fire, attributed to vandals, destroyed much of the school as well as the interior of the church. Arrangements were made between Holy Cross Church and Saint Cecilia Church to share the facilities of the Holy Cross Church and school, sharing expenses as well, until the necessary renovations were completed.

The children in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades shared the school facilities at Holy Cross and the children in the 1st, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades were provided space in the 3rd Ward public school, through the joint efforts of the public school board officials and Father O'Hara Though there were no apparent problems due to the combined housing of a parochial and public school in the same building, the inconveniences were considerable, and everyone was glad to return to the rebuilt school in September.

During these changing years, the sisters from Divine Providence were reduced to two sisters. This action was due primarily to the decrease in religious vocations and the assuming of other duties by the Sisters. In 1972, there was a merger of the St. Cecilia and Holy Cross Schools to be known as the Glassport Catholic School. Grades 1 through 5 are now taught in the Holy Cross building; grades 6 through 8 in the St Cecilia Building. In 1975, Sister Mary Catherine Pataki, R.S.M. was hired as the C.C.D. Coordinator to enrich the religious program for nonparochial students, her responsibility being to attempt to draw all of these children into the program.

A more detailed history of St. Cecelia's can be found on the occasion of their diamond Jubilee, celebrated in 1976.



In 1895 a group of thirty-five persons met in the Pleasant Valley schoolhouse forming a mission Sunday School.

A Ladies Aid Society was organized to devise ways and means of providing a suitable building. In 1898, this Society plus the Sunday School, decided unanimously to organize a Methodist Episcopal Church. The Glassport Land Company donated the land and the present location of the Church was selected at the corner of 5th Street and Ohio Avenue.

A frame dwelling was built in April, 1898, on this site and the Sunday School held its first meeting in the new church the first Sunday in July. The Glassport Methodist Church was dedicated in November of that same year. Under the supervision of the Reynoldton Church (West Side McKeesport), the Rev. J. B. Uber organized a congregation with ten members and at the Annual Conference of 1899, the Rev. W. I. Robinson was appointed pastor of the church.

Due to the growth of the congregation, it was necessary to have a larger church. In 1906 the cornerstone of the present brick structure was laid and on July 8, 1907, it was dedicated under the pastorate of Rev. W. H. Kirkland.

General improvements have been made from time to time. In 1957, Mrs. Maude Couch left a portion of land in her will to be used for the building of Sunday School facilities. Construction began in 1960 for this addition to the church. In 1963, plans were laid for a new parsonage. Construction began and in 1965, the church had a new parsonage located at 419 North Monongahela Avenue. In 1973, the church was renovated with new carpeting, new pews and lights in the sanctuary and chapel. The present minister is Reverend John H. Creeks.


The beginning of the first Presbyterian Church of Glassport is dated as a church corporation on May 7, 1901, by the committee of the Redstone Presbyters. The legal charter of Corporation was granted by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County on Dec. 14, 1901. From May 7th on, preaching services were conducted for the worship of God with the initial membership of the church numbering thirty-three members. The Reverend Merchant Spargrove Bush, who had been largely instrumental in the organization of the Church, was installed as the first pastor on June 11, 1901. Preaching services were held in the hall over the bank. The first Church edifice was dedicated to the service of God, March 1, 1903.

At a congregation meeting held March 5, 1905, efforts were made for the building of a parsonage. In the following months, the building was erected.

With the growing conviction in the congregation that a new church edifice should soon be erected, the trustees bought an additional lot On February 6, 1927, the first regular preaching service was held in the new sanctuary. A great milestone had been reached with the dedication of the remodeled church building. This remodeling was significant not only because of its scope and beauty, but also for the fact that the entire job was done by the members of the church.

The John Greinert Memorial Bible Class for men and the Philathea Bible Class for women were very active in their support of the church during this time. World War II brought to the ministry the task of ministering to families with loved ones in the service of their country. A special ministry to servicemen was established by the session of the church.

In the spring of 1960, the kitchen and sanctuary underwent a remodeling program. Recent spiritual additions to the church have been a Women's Association, Westminister Fellowship, and a married couples' Sunday School Class.

In the year of 1965, the old manse was torn down and the present one was completed. The Reverend Robert L. Montgomery, who is the present pastor began his service in April 1972.


The First Baptist Church of Glassport had its inception in the mission Sunday School started in March, 1901, by the Isaiah Thropp family in their home at 542 Ohio Avenue. Six months later, the town's one room schoolhouse was rented for worship services.

The mother church, First Baptist Church of McKeesport, purchased a lot on Michigan Avenue. By May 7, 1902, a chapel was erected.

Several members were dismissed by the mother church on April 26, 1905 to organize a regular church in Glassport. By May 14, 1905, the church was officially established. The need for larger quarters almost immediately manifested itself.

On February 17, 1907, the new church home was ready for the congregation. The first Communion service was held. Three months later, the congregation was admitted to membership in both the Pittsburgh Baptist Association and the National Convention of the denomination now known as the American Baptist Churches of the United States of America.

Extensive enlarging and rebuilding programs were conducted in 1925 and 1954. In 1975 the church celebrated its 70th Anniversary. The only surviving charter members are Miss Margaret Thropp and Miss Nancy Thropp, who live in Lincoln Borough. The congregation honored these members on this occasion.

The present minister is the Reverend Valerie Turnbill, their first lady minister.


Prior to the organization of St. Cecilia Parish in 1901, the Catholic families of Glassport (about 12 in number) attended Mass at St. Peter's Church in McKeesport. The children of these families (approximately 10) were gathered together and received Sunday School instruction from Mrs J. B. Russell, proprietress of a general store and postmistress of Glassport. Subsequently, the services of two Mercy nuns from St. Peter's were obtained and Sunday School was conducted in various buildings, including the old Pleasant Valley schoolhouse, the office of the Glassport Land Co., and a room that was at the time used as the "jail."

Though few in number, the Catholic families of Glassport wanted their own parish, and on March 11, 1901, St. Cecilia Parish received official confirmation with the registry of a deed from the Glassport Land Co. to Rev. Richard Phelan for a piece of land on the corner of 8th Street and Cypress Way. The cornerstone for the building was laid by Rt. Rev Msgr. Tobin,-Vicar General of the Diocese of Pittsburgh on May 29, 1901, with a number of 60 families at the time of completion.

Fr. Thomas R. Rea became the first pastor of St. Cecilia on July 17, 1901. The first Mass was celebrated on July 20, 1901 and the first Baptism took place July 21, 1901. A priest's residence was built in 1903 at the same location.

The rapid growth of the town and additional Catholic families being added to the congregation made it apparent that the small frame church was unable to accommodate the increase of Catholic families.

On July 26, 1906, the Russell family donated the seven-eighths of an acre on the corner of 8th Street and Ohio Avenue for the site of a new and larger church for the congregation. The laying of the cornerstone for the new church was done by Rev. Monsignor F. Tobin, vicar general, of Pittsburgh. The ceremonies started at 3:00 p.m. on the afternoon of Sunday, May 29, 1910. The combination church and school was partially finished at that time, but work was done rapidly with the First Mass celebrated March 26, 1911. It was dedicated May 11, 1911 by the Rt. Rev. Regis Canevin, Bishop of Pittsburgh. The old structure served as a parish hall and activity center.

A home was purchased located at the corner of 7th Street and Vermont Avenue for a convent. This is the present location of the Wojciechowski Funeral Home. In 1941, a new convent was constructed on parish property boasting all modern conveniences and accommodations for ten Sisters.

In February of 1962, the church was faced with the tragedy of a fire which destroyed the interior of the church. The church, beautifully remodeled due to Fr. O'Hara's administration was ready in December for the parishioners to return. In September of 1975, the parish purchased the Dripp's home at the corner of 8th Street and Cypress Way to be used as the new convent.

In anticipation of the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee, the cornerstone was opened in November, 1975. Inside was found a handwritten note commemorating the event, and a copy of the newspaper carrying the announcement of the cornerstone laying to be held the following Sunday. Also included in the box were seven coins. The formal opening of the cornerstone was scheduled for Sunday, June 27, 1976. A Mass of Thanksgiving was held, followed by a dinner in honor of guests attending the ceremony.

The parish in 1976 numbered over 800 families with Father George Parme as pastor.

A more detailed history of St. Cecelia's can be found on the occasion of their diamond Jubilee, celebrated in 1976.


At the turn of the century, following the arrival of several industries, various groups of immigrants arrived in Glassport, among these were the Poles. Strong in their faith and loyal to the Church, these pioneers found it necessary to travel to St. Mary's Church in McKeesport to fulfill their religious obligations. Occasionally they attended Mass in St. Cecilia's Church.

During Holy Week in 1902, a group of men gathered in a storeroom which was owned and operated by Mr. John Kantorczyk at the corner of 7th Street and Indiana Avenue to discuss the possibility of establishing their own church. A delegation was dispatched to the Most Reverend Richard Phelan, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The Bishop, understanding the need of these people to preserve their Polish heritage, appointed the Reverend Albert J. Garstka as Pastor, to organize the people and establish a parish under the title of The Holy Cross.

In August 1902, Father Garstka arrived and for a time held services for the Poles in St Cecilia's Church. Later, a hall was rented in the Wolf Building at 8th Street and Monongahela Avenue which served as a temporary Church until 1906.

Land at the corner of 7th and Delaware Avenue was purchased in 1904 for the sum of $2,000.00. The following year the construction of the first Holy Cross Church got underway. It was dedicated in June, 1906, by Most Reverend Regis Canevin, Bishop of Pittsburgh.

On January 21, 1907, both the rectory and the church were completely destroyed by fire. The second Holy Cross was dedicated October 20, 1907 It was built of brick and covered with concrete somewhat like the stucco building of a later era. Schooling was resumed in the Church basement.

Reverend Roman H Gorski was appointed Pastor in 1909 and served the parish for 28 years. He was young and zealous. Under his guidance the Church established schools and grew in membership. Six men of the parish were ordained priests and some thirty young women became nuns.

By 1937, it became evident that a new Church was needed. Father Krajewski started a drive for funds. The generosity of the people paid off all the debts and some $130,000.00 was accumulated for the building funds. In January 1952 the architect, H. Ernest Clark of Monessen was engaged to draw up and prepare plans for a new church and Rectory.

After very slow progress the Church was completed and dedicated on November 14, 1954. It stands as a living memorial to the Polish people of Glassport. Reverend Stanislaus Jozwiak is the present pastor.


The Pentecostal Mission was started around 1914 by Reverend William Casley, and Warren Furman. Originally services were conducted on the second floor of the Furman Building at 6th Street and Michigan Avenue. The first congregation was composed of 20 people but it grew rapidly. In 1934, it had a membership of more than 150 members.

Services were held in the first quarters for about 14 years. In 1928, the congregation moved to new quarters on Monongahela Avenue in order to accommodate the increased enrollment.

This Mission is no longer in existence.


In the year of 1906, thirteen families of the Jewish faith held a meeting and decided to form a synagogue. The congregation applied for a charter and at the first regular meeting September 29, 1906, Mr. Charles Weisenthal, one of the founding fathers, was chosen as the first president. The other founding fathers were Mr. Max Broder, Mr. Jacob Lazar, Mr Sam Miller, Mr Ben Perlstein, Mr. Max Papernick, Mr A. A. Radon, Mr. Meyer Weiss and Mr. Saul Weiss.

Until September, 1916, all services were held in Furman's Hall, Sixth Street in Glassport. It was at this time that the members of the congregation felt their quarters were inadequate and decided to build a synagogue. The Ladies Aid Society purchased a lot and presented it to the congregation and the edifice was erected upon it. It was located on Ohio Avenue. When the new building was started, the congregation numbered fourteen members.

The Congregation B'nai Israel celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Sunday, February 5, 1956. Toastmaster for the program was the honorable Judge Samuel A. Weiss. Also present was one of its founding fathers, Mr. Charles Weisenthal.

At present, the congregation has no rabbi.


In 1937, a tent meeting held by the Reverend Lloyd Stewart on Monongahela and Harrison Street, resulted in the formation of the church known as the "Living Word Tabernacle." When the Reverend Andrew McDearmid succeeded Reverend Stewart, the church voted to become an "Assembly of God" church.

It was during the Reverend McDearmid's pastorate that the congregation purchased a wood church in Oakland, Maryland and had it transported to its present location on 5th and Ohio. The brick work was done by Arthur Milligan and his sons. The building was formally dedicated in February, 1948. Other pastors serving this church have been: Reverend Harold Crosby, Reverend Howard Sprout, Reverend Robert Schamback, Reverend Arthur Davies and the present pastor, the Reverend Robert Whitehair.

The building was formally dedicated on February, 1948.

Other pastors serving this church have been: Reverend Harold Crosby, Reverend Howard Sproul, Reverend Robert Schamback, Reverend Arthur Davies and the present pastor, the Reverend Robert Whitehair.


The parish was organized on April 10, 1932 with 100 families. The Reverend Alexander Ulitsky was the first pastor. The parish was composed of families who came originally from the Podkarpatska Russian district in central Europe. Members of the congregation held divine services in a temporary chapel at 423 Monongahela Avenue. This church is no longer in existence.


Rev. W. I Guss of Duquesne, Dr. J. Elmer Bittle and Rev T. A. Himes of McKeesport canvassed Glassport and found a good many Lutheran families living there in 1909. These families organized a parish on March 10, 1910. Rev. Himes served as the first pastor. These first services were held in the Baptist church on Ohio Avenue.

The congregation was received into the general synod at Charleroi in October, 1910 At that time the congregation adopted the name of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glassport. The first roster contained 13 names.

In August, 1912, Reverend Andrew C. Curran took up his duties as the first resident and regularly elected pastor of the church. The church was used for the first time on October 13, 1912. The charter was adopted by the congregation on April 9, 1913.

The church celebrated its 50th Golden Anniversary in 1960.

On Wednesday, February 8, 1961, the church building was destroyed by fire. Sunday School and Church services were held at No 1 Fire Hall. On July 31, the congregation moved to accept plans for the building of a new Church, to be built on the same site. Ground breaking was held November 4, 1962. Sunday, July 14, 1963, the cornerstone was laid and on December 1, 1965, a dedication worship service was held. December 1, 1968, the 5th anniversary of the dedication of the new sanctuary was observed. During June 19-21, 1970, the congregation celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the founding of its parish.

Dr. Paul Schnur was the last pastor, who retired in 1975. Today, there are various supply ministers who officiate at the services.


The Church of Jesus Christ is located at 614 Michigan Avenue, Glassport. The headquarters for the Church is located in Monongahela, Pa. The Church found its way to Glassport in 1920.

The members met at several buildings in Glassport for 20 years until its dedication of their new building in 1939. The stone building which took about a year and a half to erect, was built entirely by its members. Contributions from Glassport residents along with the members helped pay for the cost of materials.

The dedication services were arranged by Isaac Smith, presiding Elder of the Church. Approximately 250 people attended the dedication services at the Church.

Today, the Church is under the direction of Presiding Elder John Ali, Elder Alma Nolfi, and Elder Peter DiPiero. The present membership totals 57 members.




Throughout the years, the Polish National Alliance Group 750 has earned for itself a major niche in the community. Its many achievements, loyalty, and dedication has created a warm spot in the hearts of the people, regardless of their race, color, or creed.

Organized December 15, 1905, the first meeting was held at 612 Indiana Avenue under the leadership of Mr. John Piotrzkowski. Present were: Theodore Piotrzkowski, Sofja Makrucka, Ignacy Piotrzkowski, Jan Makrucki, Jan Gebetowicz, Joseph Gebetowicz, Adolph Lutoslawski, Piotr Anuszkiewicz and Stanislaw Szulc. The purpose of the meeting was to build an organization that would help preserve their Polish heritage, give the members social outlets and to help raise the moral and educational standards of the Polish-American youth of Glassport.

On April 27, 1912, a charter was granted by the Honorable Judge Davis of the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. The building known as the "Glytheraw Hotel," located at the corner of Indiana and Sixth Street, was purchased for the sum of $3,900. The outstanding event of the year was a field meet under the sponsorship of the "Sokols," a gymnastic team.

During the years of World War I, many drives were sponsored for the benefit of the suppressed people of Poland. Contributions were made to the "Polish Army" relief and to the "Golden Polish Book." Thirty-two thousand dollars was collected for the sale of "Polish War Bonds." The membership was very active with the American Red Cross and gave services of food, clothing, medicine and finances during the time of the "Flu Epidemic," and the strike.

Feeling the need to become involved in Civic Affairs, the "Polish American Political Club" was formed in 1923. It had a membership of over 400; congressmen, judges, senators, legislators, doctors, lawyers, teachers, business executives, mill supervisors, nurses, people of every walk of life. Everyone worked diligently in promoting various activities for the youth and for the community.

World War II found the organization busy with Bond Drives, Scrap Drives, Overseas Packages, Family Activities and all community projects that supported the War Effort. Ninety-two men and women served in the Armed Forces. Six were killed in action.

In following years, the Association has sponsored Little League baseball and football teams, basketball and golf teams, family picnics, civic and religious programs, parades, and testimonial banquets honoring many professional, business, and political individuals plus sports figures. They participate in all community dedications (school, churches, post office, fire halls, American Legion, swimming pool, etc.). They support "Alliance College," the finest Polish College in the country. The members are justly proud of their history of 71 years of service.


1976 Officers:

Frank Hostick - President
Ralph Tyskiewicz - Vice President
Nicholas J. Siudela - Treasurer


The Railroad Department of the Young Men's Christian Association of Glassport was organized on November 4, 1918 and had a very successful first year. They enrolled 365 members, held a number of successful social functions, conducted many religious meetings, established a library, operated a day and night restaurant and accommodated all comers with rooms at a very moderate cost.

An efficient Board of Management composed of citizens of Glassport conducted the work very satisfactorily. All the privileges of the building were available to the citizens of Glassport. The Y.M.C.A was a clean place of enjoyment and a place to hang your hat.

It is no longer in existence.


The immigrants coming to this country from Italy at the turn of the century found a strong need for communal living for self-preservation. This need expanded to include insurance, civic and social benefits, thus was organized the SONS OF ITALY in Glassport.

The first meeting was held at 742 Monongahela Avenue, August, 1918. Nicola Borrelli was elected the first Venerable. Other officers to serve that year were Luigi D'Angelo, Guiseppe Schillace, and Filippo Fasano. The Charter was granted on June 8, 1919, under the official name Loggia Libera Italia No. 941.

The Lodge began its growth from 43 members to over 100 in the next few years One of the great achievements of the Lodge in those early years was the Columbus Day celebration of 1928. The standout feature of the parade was a huge replica of Columbus "flagship, Santa Maria". It realistically gave the illusion of floating on water as it proceeded up Monongahela Avenue. Some years later, after World War II, the Lodge sponsored a "Welcome Home" party for all the community servicemen.

A building fund committee was appointed in 1940 and worked endlessly on money projects until the present building was built in 1951. It was at this time that the Ladies Auxiliary was formed.

The year 1956 saw the beginning of the Feast of the Assumption Celebrations. The whole community joined in the parties, dinners, dances, parades and concerts. One of the most popular features was the huge fireworks display, held in the stadium. Thousands of the area residents came from everywhere to enjoy the spectacular display. The club had selected a Queen and her court to reign during the celebrations. Everyone had fun.

Some of the men who served over the years were:

Nicola Borrelli, Luigi Di Martino, Tom Reynolds, Anthony D'Angelo, Guiseppe Gattone, Liuge D'Angelo, Frank Molinari, Arch Buono, Paul Trunzo, Frank Truby, Fiore De Julius, Joseph Borrelli, and Pasquale Tiberi.

The Ladies Auxiliary is a very important part of the success of the Lodge. The women constantly sponsored dinners to make money. They prepared and served the food and even catered weddings and community celebrations. Through their efforts, the complete kitchen and dining rooms were furnished. Especially honored for their contribution are:

Carmella Reynolds, Mary Martino, Esther De Julius, Jane Dragoski, Jean D'Angelo, Hilda Przywarthy, Elizabeth Truby, and Elizabeth Angelo.

More of the history is contained in the Sons of Italy Page.


The Rotary Club of Glassport was chartered in 1925. Its first President was Mr. Edward Hodgson who served for two years, followed by Mr. Martin Baker who served for one year.

The Rotary Club began as an organization of business and professional men of Glassport who met once a week for dinner to discuss their professions and businesses towards the betterment of Glassport.

The name was changed to South Allegheny Rotary Club in 1970, with Mr Norman Rosenberg as its first president.

As a Glassport Club, it sponsored a banquet honoring Glassport's first football All American, Lou Kusserow.

It sponsors banquets honoring all Glassport Senior High seniors and the entire football team. It also aids in all community affairs.

In 1970, Mr. Davis Grove, one of its members, was elected Governor of District No 730, the only Glassporter so honored. In 1971, Rose Pensenstadler of Glassport, was the recipient of a paid Rotary Foundation Scholarship that enabled her to attend the University of Helsinki in Finland.

The following are various projects that the club presently aids or sponsors: Glassport Halloween Parade, McKeesport Hospital, Glassport Little League, Girl Scout Camp, Cancer Society, Auberle Home for Boys and the Samuel Weiss Library. It also sends students from South Allegheny High School to the Youth Leadership Conference and also the World's Affair Council.

At present, Mr Jerry Roberts is the President.


and American Legion Auxiliary

The Glassport American Legion Post No. 443, was organized in April, 1929. The first meeting was held in the council chambers of the borough building. There were fifty charter members. Mr. Andrew Edding was the first Commander, officers serving with him were: Arthur Mayou, Michael Cobak, Herman Freyer, Paul Fabry, John Thomas and Craig Mawhinney. Soon after the Post was organized, Borough Council donated a lot adjoining the Memorial on a 99 year lease. The School Board then donated the abandoned First Ward School Building, which was moved to that location. This little building served the membership. In 1947, property across the street was purchased with a new building in mind.

Mr. Norman Papernick was elected Commander in 1955. It was largely due to his determination and hard work that the present building was constructed. With the help of a few dedicated men, they obtained the necessary loans, arranged contracts, and after endless weeks of work, saw their dream come true in 1957. The Copperweld Steel Co. donated the beautiful bronze wall plaque as a memorial to our Glassport boys who died in the service of their country.

Since the beginning, the Legion has been a very vital part of the community. They have sponsored many civic programs: Memorial Day Programs & Parades, children's parties, Girl Scout Troops, youth sports, spelling bees, art contest, and they go to the various Veteran Hospitals where they provide entertainment, parties and gifts for the veterans. For years they have sponsored two local boys at the Keystone State Camp for leadership and furnished wheelchairs and other equipment for the elderly and disabled.

Post Officers 1976 :

Harry Thompson ............Commander
Donald Gallagher ............Senior Vice Commander
Wayne Layhue ...............Junior Vice Commander
George Pattakos .............Adjutant
Edward Case ..................Finance Officer
Raymond Krills ...............Chaplain
John Vavrek ...................Judge Advocate
George Pattakos .............Service Officer
William Przywarty ..........Sergeant-of-Arms
Charles Puka ..................Sergeant-of-Arms

The sale of poppies on the Annual Poppy Day was handled by the men of the post until 1931, when the "Auxiliary" to the post was formed. There were thirty-eight Charter members. The original officers were:

Mrs. George Payne - President
Mrs. Andrew Edding - 1st Vice President
Mrs. Melvin Naser - 2nd Vice President
Mrs. T. C Lapsley - Secretary
Mrs. J. R. Cothery - Treasurer
Mrs. J. R. Schiverha - Historian
Mrs. Fred Cloque - Chaplain
Mrs George Hayes - Sergeant at Arms

With the help of the Auxiliary, the Post has been able to serve veterans and their families.

Auxiliary Officers 1976

Mrs. Catherine March ........Senior Vice Commander
Mrs. Diane Upperman .........Junior Vice Commander
Mrs. Shirley Furman ...........Adjutant
Mrs. Pat Jones ...................Finance Officer
Mrs. Peg Shirley .................Chaplain
Mrs. Elsie Conklin ..............Judge Advocate
Mrs. Clara Grace ................Service Officer
Mrs. Pat Webb ...................Sergeant-of-Arms
Mrs. Robin Hodnak .............Sergeant-of-Arms


The Glassport Women's Club was organized in January 1939. As the years went by, the club members agreed that Glassport needed a Library and plans were started for immediate action.

A "Benefit Bazaar" was planned to raise money for a children's "Library Room." The bazaar was held on three Michigan Avenue lawns; Naser's, Raden's and Hough's. It was a full evening of entertainment and games with hand-made articles and food for sale. Proceeds were spent to buy 100 children's books. On November 9, 1940, "Book Donation Day" in Glassport was planned by the Library Committee. The town canvass of books totaled 265. Friends and the Allegheny Federation of Women's Clubs added 150 more.

A booklet entitled "A Community Attempt to Give a Public Library" was printed by the Women's Club with advertising space for merchants to buy, and thus donate to the effort of obtaining additional books.


The first "Reading Room" was opened for public inspection November 5, 1941. On November 7, 1941, the first Public Library of Glassport opened its doors to "readers" during National Book Week, at the Second Ward School-Room 11. There were 1800 books on the shelves and 152 children and adults received Library Readers Cards that evening. For a total of eight years Second Ward School housed the Glassport Library.


Room 11 in Second Ward School was needed as a classroom, so the next "Library" was located at Richard's empty store room on 723 Monongahela Avenue. During National Library Week, April, 1952, many more books were donated This was the Library for 41/2 years.


The Library moved to another store room across Monongahela Avenue to 721, where it remained for 6 l/2 years. On May 26, 1954, Glassport Borough Council announced plans for a future Library Building to be built on land adjacent to the Borough Building (granted by the Council to the Lion's Club). The Lion's Club formed a Library project committee and granted concessions at the new swimming pool to raise money for the project.


The Lion's Club renovated the old Citizen's Hose Co. headquarters in the Borough Building (5th Street and Monongahela Ave.) for use as the next Library facility. On May 15, 1958, the Glassport Lion's Club officials broke ground for the construction of the Samuel A. Weiss Community Library, with an estimated cost of $65,000.00. Upon its completion, the club was to turn the building over to the borough for maintenance. On May 14, 1960, library materials were moved by Borough truck to this location, the fourth. The dedication took place June 28, 1960; renamed "Samuel A. Weiss-Glassport Community Library" in honor of the town's distinguished lawyer and judge. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 p.m., open to the public, was followed by a Lion's Club commemorative dinner at the Mazur Hotel, where the judge was feted. On July 6, 1969, the Library Room was opened for public use. At that date the book count was 2,122. Library fund raising was at its height in 1960. By September, 1960, the book count had risen to 2,630. "Memorial Books" donated helped fill the shelves. Library membership at this time was 1200 readers.

On March 17, 1961, "The Samuel A. Weiss Glassport Community Library" was to be incorporated so as to be eligible for private funds and grants of money. A legal notice was filed in newspapers "to grant a charter to the proposed non-profit corporation know as the "Samuel A Weiss-Glassport Community Library." Articles of Incorporation were filed in the office of the Prothonotary of Allegheny County of Pittsburgh. This legally allows the Corporate Board to receive grants, endowments and donations to improve the library facilities. The Women's Club, now incorporated, elected 9 directors and 11 trustees to meet for the purpose of discussing and planning library business. December, 1961, showed a registered reader's membership of 1,150. The Library Building Fund was increasing due to the various fund raising events being held.

By 1963, the Library needed to expand. It had a reader's membership of 1,471. "Ground was broken" for the addition to the Library on January 29, 1963. Library lending services were soon terminated awaiting the completion of the new wing, facing the Memorial Park, along Monongahela Avenue.


The dedication of the Library addition to the Samuel A Weiss Community Library took place with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 3, 1964, with a dedication program following at the Mazur Hotel. Guests and town residents inspected the two rooms, again ready for the "business" of lending books to "readers."

Women's Club projects, donations from private individuals, industries, and businesses and the various events held by groups are constantly helping to purchase up-to-date reading material.

In December of 1975, the Glassport Women's Club Library Committee was presented a movie projector by the Dr. Roy Hickes Testimonial Committee in the name of Dr. Hickes, Glassport educator. This piece of equipment will extend future Library services to the community.


Judge Weiss, born in Poland, settled in Glassport and received his primary education in the borough schools. He entered the University of Pittsburgh, then transferred to Duquesne University where he received his legal training. He was active in all sports and was captain of his baseball and football teams at Duquesne.

A former president of the Eastern Intercollegiate Football Officials Association, he officiated in over 1,000 high school, college and national professional football league games all over America.

He was elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1934 and 1936 and elected to the United States Congress in 1940, 1942, and 1944. As sponsor of the "Free Postage Bill" for service men and the "Ernie Pyle Fight Pay Bill" he received national acclaim. In 1945, he was elected Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County and was reselected in 1955 with the endorsement and support of both political parties.

He was vice president of the Supreme Lodge of B'nai B'rith; president of the Roselia Foundling and Maternity Hospital; vice president of the National Jewish Hospital of Denver, Colorado; member of the board of the Montefiore Hospital; member of the board of trustees of Duquesne University; member of the board of directors of the Boys Club of McKeesport; member of the Elks, Eagles, Moose, Lions, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity.

In awards received he cannot be outdone. He has been the recipient of awards for meritorious service from Duquesne University, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, the Amvets, the Jewish War Veterans, the Tri-State Athletic Association and the Boys Club of Allegheny County.

He was married to the former Jeannette E. Hoffman and the father of a son and daughter. Judge Weiss passed away February, 1977.


The Glassport Lions Club was chartered with Lions International on February 7, 1940, at a dinner held in Bill Green's Casino on April 4, 1940. The charter was officially presented to Dr. E. L. Erhard by Dr. A. S. Haines, the then District Governor. The sponsoring club was the McKeesport Lions, with Dr. J. A Walk as president and Sidney Kaplan as Secretary. Judge John P. Hester was the club's first secretary, and Judge Samuel A. Weiss was second Vice president.

One of the first projects was the purchase of a resuscitator for the Glassport Police Department, and also the purchase of an Ortho-rator. During the war years, the Lions contributed candy and cigarettes to those men leaving for the service and sent cigarettes to the armed forces overseas. They held paper drives, scrap drives and held War Bond drives to aid the war effort.

After the war, they donated food to needy families at Christmas, gave prizes for the best Christmas Lighting display and later laid plans for having the Chest X-ray Unit come into our community.

In 1950, they began and completed the construction of a fountain in the Memorial Park which has continued to add beauty to our community over the years. The fountain has just recently been completely overhauled, and repairs made to the pumps during the winter. The energetic Lions put on a minstrel show for two nights which earned over $1,000 for the club fund They purchased a scoreboard for the new Glassport Stadium, initiated the Annual Awards Dinner to senior basketball team members, collected and sent funds to the Stroudsburg Lions Club to assist those who lost their possessions during the flood.

Since 1940, the Lions have been purchasing glasses for needy residents of our community, contributing to the Pennsylvania Lions Eye Research Foundation, Beacon Lodge (Summer Camp for Blind Adults & Children), Western Penna. School for Blind children, Leader Dogs, Eye Mobile, helped purchase an Eye Microscope for McKeesport Hospital, helped build a school in Guatemala and in 1976, furnished a room in the new wing of the McKeesport Hospital at a cost of $5,000. They contributed flowers and records to the school for handicapped children in West Mifflin. The club is continually collecting old glasses, lens and frames which are packaged and forwarded to help some needy eyes.

Of course one of the most outstanding contributions to the Borough of Glassport is the Samuel A. Weiss Community Library, which was begun in 1958, a beautiful new wing was added in 1964. Major contributions of time, money and materials were made by many dedicated Lions, civic-minded individuals, businessmen, and borough industries to make this library one of the most outstanding in the state.

Not to rest on their wonderful accomplishments of the past, the Glassport Lions Club undertook a most ambitious project, that of completely renovating and re-landscaping the Memorial Park. It planted evergreens on a raised mound behind the park as a background, resodded the lawn, removed the hedges, planted flowers that bloom throughout the year, and a general dressing up.

They established an annual "Rigatoni Night," when they give all the Lions in this zone an opportunity to join together for a night of friendship and an outstanding meal, also an annual dinner honoring the Glassport Women's Club for their efforts and time in managing the Library. They have helped to support a minor league team in the Glassport Little League, and other community projects.

Many of its members have served the community in various civic, fraternal and church organizations, members of Borough Council and Glassport and South Allegheny School Boards. They have served in various offices of the District Lions Organization, and have had one District Governor of District 14-B in Lion, Anthony P. DeJulius.

All these things have been planned, initiated and completed by a dedicated group of civic-minded men in our community who have pledged to devote their time, their energies, and their resources to the club's programs of Community and Humanitarian service. It is these individuals that have and are presently making up the Glassport Lions Club, and who have abided by our Slogan: L - Liberty, I - Intelligence, O - Our, N - Nation's, S - Safety.


The Glassport Young Women's Club began in July, 1959 with ten (10) members. This led to Allegheny County Federation, and on to State Federation, then to General Federation, which is International. The object of this club is to create and maintain an organized center for women's work, thought and action, and to aid in civic, educational, and charitable activities of our community and state. Club colors are green and white and the carnation is the club flower.

Through their seventeen (17) years of existence they have provided donations to community services, recognition and awards to students, donations to children's athletic groups, nursing scholarships, annual holiday food baskets for the needy, business awards, volunteer work for underprivileged county children and veterans, sponsor to girl scout troop 1082 and social functions for members, friends and families.

Mrs. Ray L. Cegelski is the president of the club at this time. Their project now is "equipment for senior citizens" and their theme for the year 1976-1977 is "take refuge in society."

Although the membership is small, this organization has been a very vital part of the community. Their dedicated service and youthful approach has made possible many interesting and beneficial programs. They are a great inspiration to everyone.


The Glassport Senior Citizens were organized in January, 1965, with thirty-eight members. U. S. Workers Local 1306 donated the use of their hall at 528 Monongahela Avenue for their meetings.

The first officers were President Charles J. Resnick, Vice President William Fescemyer, Secretary Robert Baran, Treasurer Frank D. Rommel. The Trustees were Fred Kass, Eugene Conley, John Smith and Howard Artle.

They became affiliated with the National Council of Senior Citizens in February, 1966. Affiliation with the State Council came in March, 1968.

A Nutrition Program, serving 50 meals a day, was initiated on April 22, 1974. The Senior Citizens became incorporated on April 3, 1975. This was step one toward asking for grants. Fred Kass submitted a proposal on August 20, 1975 for a Multi-Purpose Center. On January 1, 1976 a Neighborhood Center was in operation. This included a Caseworker and Outreach worker.

The present officers are Fred Kass, President; Jean Price, Vice President; Helen Kostkas, Recording Secretary; Alice Helsel, Financial Secretary and James Anderson, Treasurer. A second funding for the purchase of a building at 6th and Monongahela Avenue should be received shortly. Present membership is over 400.


In May of 1967, through the efforts of the Senior Citizens, Glassport was chosen as a site to open a Community Center. Glassport was one of eight Centers comprising the Mon-Yough Community Action Committee. In January of 1969, it was combined with Allegheny County and became known as the Allegheny County Office of Economic Opportunity. The Center is located at 719 Monongahela Avenue. At one time the Glassport Center had a staff of five employees, but now it has diminished to only one employee.

When the Center was first originated, it was designed to meet the needs of the poor and disadvantaged, but since then the program has been restructured not only to meet the needs of the poor but also to include all the segments of the Community.

Some of the services the Center provides are: Legal Services, Nutrition, GED, Transportation to medical facilities for the elderly, filing property tax and rent rebate forms, Counseling, Technical Assistance, Manpower Program, Referral Services and Summer Employment for Youth. They also provide many small and personal services too numerous to mention.


The idea for an organization of Catholic men was born in the fertile mind of Nate Bonadio, was nurtured through its early years by an unselfish, hardworking Board of Directors, and reached its maturity under the careful guidance of several administrations .

The purpose for which this organization was formed is aptly stated in its constitution, "The maintenance of an association to promote peace and goodwill on earth, for the social enjoyment of its members and for their physical, cultural and civil education, and improvement, and in pursuance thereof, to engage in and encourage such social, athletic, cultural and civic activity, and undertakings as will fulfill those objectives."

The aspirations as stated in the club's "aims" have been a factor in our Borough's progress since 1950. It has been foremost in the promotion of organized sports for children as well as for adults. Civic endeavors of the club have been highlighted by the open forums held periodically with church and civic leaders acting as moderators. The cultural aim will gather momentum as the finances of the group warrants. Peace and goodwill are preached constantly and are the living by-words of the CMO.

The club dedicated the Bicentennial entry to their original Board of Directors which was composed of: George J. Bartko(deceased ), John Brenner, Paul Trunzo, Anthony M. Iacone, Michael Hrehocik, Stephen J. Fedak, Franklin Milligan, John Yablonski, Joseph A. Jacobson(deceased), Melvin Phillips, and Anthony Bonadio

Present officers are: President - Patrick Feebly, Vice President - Edward Valencik, Secretary-Stephen Fedak, Treasurer - Paul Trunzo, Chaplain-Anthony Spagnola, Trustees - John Deliman, Frank Chadwick, Al Solan, John Trunzo and Walter Szmyd.



Glassport did more than its "bit" during World War I both in man-power and with money.

Glassport's share of the Five Liberty Loans was greatly oversubscribed. Great credit is given to Mrs. J. M. May, Mrs. P. J. Morrissey, Mrs. R. J. Francis and members of the Glassport Trust Company and to their fellow workers who so earnestly worked to obtain the result of the Liberty Loans.

The total quota for the five drives was $488,200.00 and the total amount received was $706,600.00, or $218,400.00 over the quota. From these figures is it any wonder that the boys and girls at the front had the courage to fight and win such a great victory in the great World War knowing that the women members of the community worked so untiringly for their success?

The Glassport Branch of the Red Cross also performed excellent work during the war period. The following is a brief history of the Glassport Unit. December, 1916, Mr. M. J Webster was appointed chairman of a membership drive in which $1,468.72 was raised. January, 1917, the Glassport Unit was properly organized and officers were elected. Mrs. F. B. Turney was elected the first president. Along with vice president, secretary, and treasurer, there were also chairmen for the following committees: knitting, sewing, and surgical dressings. An inspector was also elected.

Many women nursed sore fingers from nights of knitting sweaters and socks and sewing other clothing for the boys in Khaki. The first Red Cross Roll Call raised $2,278.05 in December, 1917. In May, 1918, a Red Cross War Fund Drive was made in which $9,508.38 was raised. A second Red Cross Call was made and $2,510.00 was raised. In November, 1918, a third Red Cross Roll Call was made, which was just as successful as the others.


The Honor Roll Tablet was erected by the Glassport Council, Glassport War Chest Association and Honor Roll Association. The grounds were purchased from the funds obtained by these three groups of men and women. The dedication of the Honor Roll Memorial Tablet took place November 11, 1919, following a parade which ended at the monument. The Honorable T. C. Jones of McKeesport was the principal speaker of the day. Also on the program was representation from the Honor Roll Committee, Borough Council, Red Cross, Citizens' Hose Company No. 1 and Draft Board Zone No. 9.

The Drinking Fountain was donated and erected by the Citizens Hose Company No. 1 in honor of the men and women who so gallantly gave their services to their country in the Great World War.

The Floral Decoration for the Monument and the two ornamental trees for the Urns were donated by the Keystone Select Klub of Glassport.

On the Tablet was seen 308 names of those who answered the call. Three hundred six were soldiers, sailors, and marines, while two were nurses, Miss Cecelia Schnupp and Miss Lilian Davis, who enlisted with the Pittsburgh Unit and were attached to Base Hospital No. 27 After eighteen months of service in France, they were discharged with great credit to our government and community.

Of the 310 who answered the call, there were 10 boys killed in battle; 2 boys died of disease while in camp; 6 boys were wounded in action and 4 were gassed while in action.

The first Glassport boy killed in World War I was Vincent J. Tavalaro who was a member of St. Cecilia Parish. A tree was planted on the parish grounds in his honor and still stands there at 804 Michigan Ave.


Let's go back to "Glassport in the year 1919" and take a nostalgic stroll up "main street", "Monongahela Avenue".

We'll begin at 5th and Monongahela and stop at "The Sweet Shoppe" (formerly "The Goodie Garden"), visit with the proprietor, E. J. McGovern while we make our selection of "penny candy" from his show cases.

Across the street stands "The Fifth Avenue Hotel," owned by J. P. Morrissey, which accomodates many Glass House and Foundry workmen.

Just for fun, we'll pretend we want to buy either a new "Maxwell, Chalmers or Roamer" car at "I. L. Close Motors Co." at 502-4 Monongahela Avenue. Cost about $450.

We can also pick up a freshly killed chicken at "The Glassport Poultry Co." dressed while you wait at 527, then go on to "The A. Brown Tailor Shop" and leave grandfather's suit there to be mended and cleaned.

At the "Pater Brothers", 510 Monongahela Avenue we can find many "good things to eat" or if we have forgotten anything we can phone them later at "Number 82-R".

The boys might like to stop in at "John Kolodriej's Pool Room" while Dad gets his hair cut at "H. R. March's Barber Shop" and Mary gets grandmother's prescription at "McClaren's Pharmacy".

"B. Perlstein & Sons are just getting in their order of fresh fish and oysters for the week-end. We must also remember to stop at "M. Krasik's Jewelry Store" for mother's birthday gift.

If we have time we can come back and stop at "The Garrick Theatre" at 6th & Monongahela, The House of Supreme Photoplays where there is "Something New Every Day".

For our fresh milk we can stop at "I. Mayhugh's Dairy" up on 727 Vermont Avenue.

Mr. H. B. McChain's fresh and smoked meats can't be beat. He is at 527 l/2 Monongahela Avenue; also Gross Brothers and "The National" owned by Milton Snyder can supply the rest of our groceries and meat.

We must be sure to ask "Mr. Henry R. Fisher, the Painter & Paper Hanger," to schedule us for next week.


As we continue our walk, we can hear in the distance that wonderful music of the "calliope" which means the "Showboat" is on its way up the river and will be stopping in town. This reminds me, Johnny wants us to buy some "Emerson" Records at "Mae Dobbins" at 605 Monongahela.

Before we start for home we'll pick up some "fresh baked bread" at "The Eagle Bakery" at 6th & Indiana, and then be sure to see what "J. Papernick & Sons" has on sale at his grocery, meat and dry goods store.

"David O'Mansky should have some new fashions in at his store for us to look over. "Mr. Fabry" can surely find the nails we need to fix our "boardwalk", in his hardware store at 627 Monongahela.

Others we might visit the next time could be "Arthur W. Day Druggist" at 631 Monongahela, "Lapsley Bros., General Contractors & Builders" office and yard at 508 Monongahela Avenue; "Philip Greenfield, Plumber"; Henry F. Klein, Electrician; Liberty Meat Market at 610; V E. Griffin, Real Estate & Fire Insurance, at 612 l/2.

Hope we didn't miss too many, but our town back in "1919" could truly boast about their business section- not one, but four meat and grocery markets to choose from.

And, if you didn't feel like cooking at home, you could always stop at A. J. Tomedolskey's "Monongahela House" where the best home cooked meals were served daily for the town folk and hard working men from the mills.


Glassport was hard hit by the Depression. It was the year 1929, (Herbert Hoover was President) when the stock market crashed and business started to go downhill. Factories started to lay off men. Most people were out of work. Those lucky enough to have jobs, worked two or three days a week. Only a few men who worked at the "Tin Mill", in Port Vue were fortunate enough to have full time employment.

Under Presidential order, the banks declared a "Holiday". The Glassport Trust Company closed its doors. It did not take long for the people to deplete their savings. People were hungry and mentally depressed.

The government set up soup kitchens, which gave free food such as beans, flour and lard to those who qualified. Shoes and coal were available to those who had none.

It was during this time that Sam Antico organized a group of friends and neighbors called the "Glassport Unemployed Council." They descended upon the relief organization and demanded jobs, food, and clothing. Some citizens were given jobs with the W. P. A. (Works Program Administration), and the C. W. A (Citizens Works Administration). They worked on local projects; sewers on Vermont Avenue, roads were built (Maryland and Vermont Avenues), a French drain was built on the stadium property and many trees were planted. Young men joined the C .C .C . (Civilian Conservation Corp). But even with this help, many families were forced to go on relief (welfare).

Franklin Roosevelt became President in 1933. The average take home pay of a "Glass House" worker was $7.00 a week. Copperwelders were making $2.60 a day and the Foundry paid about $3.60 a day. The average electric bill was a dollar a month, gas was $1.19 a month. Most homes were heated by coal that sold for two dollars a ton. Some lucky families could afford telephones for which they paid $2.50 a month. Milk sold for ten cents a quart, bread was ten cents a loaf, coffee was twenty-nine cents a pound. Street car checks were three for a quarter and for another quarter you could go to the beautiful Memorial Theater in McKeesport to see a live stage production plus a movie. Junk men roamed the alleys where people were glad to sell old rags, irons, and junk to earn a few extra pennies. Times were hard and people struggled to provide the necessities of life.

The "Glassport Unemployed Council" had great influence in the local labor movement and the formation of the unions. They organized the first Labor Day Parade in 1937.

In 1939, Local Number 1306 of the Pittsburgh Steel Foundry went out on strike that lasted three months. There was great bitterness. The Foundry tried to bring in "strike breakers", but the whole labor movement of the McKeesport area came to the support of the union.

Slowly the workers improved their lot. More factories went back into operation. More jobs were available, salaries increased, working conditions improved, banks were back in business, the stock market got back on its feet. Although there was not a "chicken in every pot", a unity and spirit was present that moved the people forward.


Ration Board

With World War II came the Office of Price Administration, better known as the "Ration Board" which was set up in 1942. Board members were selected and served without compensation. Grover C. Delaney, former tax collector; L. V. Dumas, funeral director; and Dr. Walter C. Feick, dentist, were the first board members. Mr. Ray Hornfeck, druggist also became a member. Lois (Milton) Adams and the former Betty Claypool worked in the office which was first located in "Red" Cothery's Garage at Fourth and Monongahela. The Glassport office served a large territory which included Elizabeth Township. After six months the Glassport office joined McKeesport and moved to Walnut Street.

Merchants were required to take inventory of their merchandise and allotments were then set up. Sugar was the first item rationed. Each member of the family had to register and received a book of stamps which they had to present at the stores. Gasoline, fuel oil and tires were rationed next and later other food items.

The office force worked all day and many times into the night as the Board had to review and pass authorization on all applications for gas. Those whose driving was all local received an "A" Ration Book Those who traveled received a "B" or "C" Sticker depending upon their mileage.


Glassport's Draft Board was set up on October 16, 1940, with Glenn Jones, Dr. Erhardt, Ray Caldwell and Duane Watkins serving as members. Mary Hays, Dorothy Trunzo and Viola Davis were on the office force whose headquarters were in the bank building.


Who can forget the departure of the first group to be called after the Pearl Harbor Invasion? Almost all of Glassport turned out, (including the band), at the corners of Sixth Street to bid farewell to the men of our town who were on their way to defend us. After getting their instructions, candy and cigarettes at the draft board office, they marched out and boarded the waiting street car. Tearful mothers, fathers, sweethearts and friends clung to their loved ones as they hung out of the street car windows as it moved on to meet the train in McKeesport which would take them into the Pittsburgh train station.


The ladies will well remember the scarcity of silk stockings --nylons-- and how they had to resort to "painting" their legs as a substitute.

The long lines waiting to purchase "butter" made it truly a luxury during the war days.

It was almost impossible to buy a car. The dealers had long lists of people wanting to purchase new cars who had to wait their turn as deliveries were made almost one at a time. The more popular the model or make, the longer the wait.


Due to the shortage of men who were called upon to serve their country, and the increase in production of war materials, many women went to work in the mills. Many worked seven days a week.

But, thank God, we can also remember the day our town joined others all over the country in celebration of V-J Day. At first everyone flocked to their church to give thanks to God. Traffic literally stood still as people everywhere got in their cars and joined the parade around the towns, stopping to celebrate here and there with their loved ones.


For those left at home there were such things as "Air Raid Black Outs" At the sound of the siren everyone had to be off the streets, all lights had to be out, drapes drawn and traffic stopped. Complete darkness and quiet were the orders while air raid wardens with their white helmets patrolled the streets to enforce these orders. Not even a cigarette was to be lit, until the "all clear" signal was heard.


A new hero was added to the list of district men distinguishing themselves on the fighting fronts.

He was Private Ray Raszewski, Glassport paratrooper who, in a letter to his mother, reported the capture of 232 enemy soldiers on the French coast without firing a single shot.

The surrender, he reported, came after he conversed in Polish, the native tongue of his mother, (Mrs. Elizabeth Raszewski) with a Czechoslovakian member of the Nazi army and convinced him of the futility of continued resistance. The Czech passed the word along to his fellow soldiers, most of them Italians, Poles and every nationality but German. They soon agreed to give up.

Thus, the Glassport paratrooper excelled even the feat of the World War I hero, Sergeant Alvin C. York, who single-handedly took 132 of the enemy in the Battle of the Argonne in France in 1918. A salute to Private Ray Raszewski.


Miss Flora Buzella, 26, of 300 Erie Street was the first Glassport girl to be appointed to the WAVES and entered with the rank of apprentice seaman.

Miss Buzella was a graduate of Glassport High School, an accomplished contralto soloist having appeared in many district entertainments as well as the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh. She was an employee of the Copperweld Corporation at the time she entered the service.

She entered the Naval Training School at Bloomington, Indiana where she graduated with the rating of Petty Officer, 3rd Class. Bloomington was the only co-ed school in the country.

Miss Buzella said "This is one chapter in my life I shall never forget".

The WAVE graduates were sent to different points all over the country to replace men in positions for which they were trained, thus releasing many valuable men for active duty.


A. E. (Art) Franklin, a former Glassporter and graduate of Glassport High School in 1939, qualifies as an "old war-horse" in the space program He started his career when the space program was wandering around in a fog. He headed up the team in the very early days of the space program that conducted the first egress test of a space capsule in the Gulf of Mexico. That exercise is one way of illustrating the evolutionary path that Art traveled since the infant days of space flight.

The test, with John Glenn in the capsule, came off without a hitch, but a heavy fog settled in over the test area. The three ships involved lost contact with one another and to complicate matters the tow rope on the capsule broke. After much tooting of fog horns and groping through the fog, the expedition made it safely back to port with data that indicated that the egress plan was reliable.

Mr. Franklin joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at Langley Field Research Center in 1956. In 1958 he became a member of the Manned Space Task Group and in 1960 went to Cape Canaveral, now Cape Kennedy, to work as a coordinator on the Mercury/Atlas launches. Art was an integral part of the five-man team in the Gemini Launch Vehicles Systems Office. He became the John F. Kennedy Space Center's lead flight systems engineer at Launch Complex 14 which earned for him the reputation of one of the most valuable men in the Kennedy Space Center's missions and operations until his death in 1972. Art Franklin and his brother, Richard L. Franklin, sons of Mrs. & Mrs Lewis J. Franklin, served their country as Captains in the Air Force and were awarded various decorations for meritorious service.

The President of The United States Comes Through Our Town

On a crisp October afternoon in 1962, President John F. Kennedy passed through Glassport. Hundreds lined the motorcade route along Monongahela Avenue to get what for most of them was their first "in person" glimpse of a Chief Executive of the United States.

The date was October 13, 1962, and the occasion was a mid-term election stumping tour of Western Pennsylvania. After delivering a speech to the solidly packed throng jammed in the municipal parking lot at Lysle Blvd. and Walnut St. in McKeesport, the President motored on through Glassport to the Clairton area.

Suntanned, characteristically hatless and with all the vigor of a seasoned campaigner he waved and greeted all along the way, even taking time to stop in front of the American Legion to congratulate a bride and bridegroom, Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Sago.

The untimely death of President Kennedy in November, 1963, had a personal impact for the thousands of area residents who remembered the day he came through our town.

Mrs. Robert Sago received good wishes from her family and many friends Saturday, but the one she will probably remember longest came unexpectedly from President John F. Kennedy who said "Lots of luck and God Bless You" to the happy bride as she watched the presidential motorcade pass through Glassport. Mrs. Sago, the former Dolores Ann Merta, and her husband were standing outside the Glassport Legion Home where their wedding reception was being held.


The hands of the clock in the Glassport Police Station clung together on the number 10, stopped when the power failed moments before the disaster at 9:50 p.m., Saturday, August 3, 1963. In less than 2 minutes, winds estimated at up to 90 miles an hour, hit the town with all the fury of a tornado. Buildings were leveled to the ground, garages collapsed, porch furniture was hurled hundreds of feet into the air, metal awnings and roofs were whipped into grotesque forms, trees were uprooted and cars parked on the streets were flattened by the falling debris. Sheets of heavy rain washed out roads and power lines dangled from utility poles, creating a total black-out. There was no telephone service. A state of emergency was declared by Mayor Shaw.

Although it was never officially called a tornado, the violent storm had all its characteristics; funnel clouds, heavy rain, 90 mile an hour winds, buildings collapsed from the inside out and the storm skipped about hitting certain areas only.

Property damage ran into the millions. The full force of the storm hit the U.S. Glass House (never worked again), Copperweld, the High School Stadium, and the Steel City Lumber Company. Sheets of corrugated steel were ripped from Copperweld and tossed far up the hill. The roof of the Reliance Hose Co. was dumped in the entrance way of Copperweld Office Building which had been severely damaged by flying debris. Copperweld's new office building (2 years old) built in the excess of $500,000.00 was "practically in shambles". The heaviest losses were in the casting department, the rolling mill, ground rod department, laboratory and the engineering departments. Gratefully, the mill was closed for the annual summer vacation or the loss of lives may have been heavy.

Glassport Memorial Stadium damages were estimated at $100,000.00. Heavy steel floodlights were bent and twisted, one set of lights was flung over a car parked in front of the Roller Rink. The steel bleachers were crumpled like paper and huge holes were punched in the concrete wall. Broadway Roller Rink on Ohio Avenue had a group of approximately 25 teenagers inside when the wind virtually disintegrated the building. The roof was torn off and the walls collapsed, trapping the youngsters inside. By the grace of God, none of the youngsters were seriously injured but the building was never used again.

The Petrosky Hotel was seriously damaged. Mr. William Petrosky and Mr. Robert Martin's dead bodies were found in the debris.

After a few moments of mass confusion, people immediately went to work. Neighbors helped neighbors and strangers. Soldiers from the United States Army Nike Unit at Irwin came in to serve as police, auxiliary firemen and volunteers. Teams of doctors and nurses rushed to the hospital to help the wounded. The Salvation Army set up a mobile canteen and served food to the weary workers. The Red Cross set up disaster headquarters in the Westinghouse Electric Corp. offices on Ohio Avenue. Workers distributed canvasses and tar paper to families whose windows were blown out and whose roofs were blown off. Cots and blankets were given to those who needed them, and meals were served to the needy. Numerous homes were flattened or partially destroyed by the blast. Plate glass windows in homes and businesses were shattered. Some walls in homes collapsed outward leaving the floors of furniture exposed as in a giant doll house.

The utility companies went to work. Telephone service was repaired. Duquesne Light took over nine hours of labor and 20,000 feet of cable to end the black-out. Borough workers and volunteers cleared debris and every man helped as best he could All in all-it was a night of terror that will not be forgotten. The damage was great but it was truly a miracle that more lives were not lost.


Year and Event

1857 Pleasant Valley School
1893 United States Post Office
1894 United States Glass House came to town
1895 Formation of the First Methodist Church
1898 Second Ward School built
1899 Pittsburgh Steel Foundry founded, Bank of Glassport founded
1900 Pittsburgh Steel Company-Hoop Mill
1901 First Presbyterian Church founded, First Baptist Church built, St. Cecilia Church established
1902 Glassport Borough incorporated, First Volunteer Fire Company formed, Police Department founded
1903 Street car service instituted
1904 Present Second Ward School built, Third Ward School built
1905 Polish National Alliance Group 750 founded
1906 Holy Cross Church built, Congregation B'nai Israel founded
1909 St. John's Lutheran Church built
1914 Pentecostal Church established
1918 Flu epidemic, Y.M.C.A. very active in community, Furman oil boom
1919 Honor Roll Memorial Park dedicated
1920 Church of Jesus Christ built, Show Boat visits Glassport
1927 Copperweld came to town
1928 Glassport-Clairton Bridge dedicated
1929 Glassport High School built
1932 Holy Spirit Greek Catholic Church organized
1934 Harvy Schauffler awarded U.S. Oratorical Championship
1936 "Death Takes a Holiday" presented by Glassport Little Theater
1937 Assembly of God Church founded
1940 Formation of the Lions Club
1941 Pearl Harbor - December 7th
1942 Old cannons from Memorial Park donated to the scrap drive
1943 Honor Roll dedicated
1945 V.E. Day-May, V.J. Day-August
1946 Celebration of "Copperweld Day"
1948 Lou Kusserow named "All American"
1949 Glassport Eagles, Aerie 1185 celebrated 45th anniversary
1950 Glassport Memorial Football Stadium erected
1954 Swimming pool built
1959 Richie Lucas named "All American"
1961 Judge John P. Hester elected Judge of Allegheny County
1962 President John F. Kennedy campaigns in Glassport
1963 Tornado hits town
1966 Glassport schools become South Allegheny School district, Joseph M. Gaydos elected State Congressman
1968 Joseph M. Gaydos elected to U. S. House of Representatives
1972 Elmer Shuster elected State Congressman
1974 Rae Papernick honored as "Woman of the Year" by the Allied Veterans of the McKeesport area
1975 Formation of the Glassport Bicentennial Committee, Bicentennial year of activities, Firemen begin training Emergency Medical Technicians
1976 Swine flu shots given


The community of Glassport has always been "athletic conscious." The desire to play, good teamwork and the fighting spirit of Glassporters through the years have molded champions in all the various sports. The heartwarming thrill of seeing "our team" win has been relived over and over again in our memories.

Professional Football The Glassport Odds-1913

The "Glassport Odds" formed in 1913 became one of the best semi-pro football teams in western Pennsylvania. "Sammy" Weiss played with the team, along with "Joe" Witkowski, "Lemons" Urbanski, "Fritz" Quinn and his brother, Norman Quinn. "Forty" Zeleski was the star kicker for the Glassport Odds.


The Griffin Oilers-1929

With "Barney" Morrow as Manager, the "Glassport Morrows" pro baseball team was formed in 1929. They became the first champion team of the Daily News Baseball League which also began in 1929.

In 1930 the "Glassport Morrows" became the "Griffin Oilers" and repeated as champs for a few more years. This team was sponsored by the Griffin Oil Company, also of Glassport.

One of the star pitchers of the "Oilers", as they were known, was William "Bimi" Hopkins, also known as "Big Six", who stood six feet plus and helped the Glassporters win several pennants.

In picking a star team of yesteryear we would have to take Jack Snyder (who is in his 90's and still lives in our area), John Germak and Bob Lauder as catchers, with Henry "Red" Sisco for the first base. "Bumper" Mansfield would play at second base with "Mike" Turkaly, "Mooney" Stevens or "Dutch" King at shortstop. "Punk" Barr, "Gibbs" McLean and "Pete" Palm would be the third base men. In the outfield we would have "Yuntz" McKeeta in left field along with "Artie" Duncan and "Red" Herlehy. Bill Reid could hit and run while "Mun" Carnahan and "Yuntz" McKeeta would supply the "bombs".

Others who played with the Griffin Oilers were "Sours" Mehalchik, "Nuchie" Ponzo, "Shoes" Carson, John Hynock and Paul Fedor. Barney Morrow was the champion manager of those days. The team was very active until World War II.

Magwa's Softball Team

Joe Witkowski was the sponsor for the Magwa Softball Team which was active around 1940. Playing on the team were Nick Trunzo, Val Uziel, Flo Roberts, Gabby Witkowski, Burt Hays, Paul Trunzo, Ropes Gribshaw, Alex Carpella, Moe Uziel, Chester Iwanowski and Rege Pater.

Glassport Junior Police Baseball Team

With coach Frankie Porto, the Glassport Junior Police Baseball Team were the first half champions in the McKeesport Recreation League in July, 1945. Members of the team included Mike Marcenella, Moe Jefferson, "Chillers" Dragos, George Liebel, Joe Como, Frank Dorazio, J. Kraynak, Dale Rankin, Bernie Jefferson, Stan Worek, Ed Valencik, Chester Tudek, and manager Robert H. Shaw.

Father & Son Act

When the Daily News League All-Stars played the Brewers at Cycler Park back in 1936, a fatherand-son combination performed for the All Stars. Vince McKeeta was chosen all-star left-fielder by the fans of the league while his dad, John "Yuntz" McKeeta was chosen to pilot the Stars. Young McKeeta was also a grid star for Duquesne University. Mr Vincent McKeeta is now superintendent of South Allegheny Schools.

National Pro League Football Player

In 1952 a crowd of more than 200 turned out at the Mazur Hotel to pay tribute to one of the borough's top football stars, George Hays, Jr. who starred as a first-year man in the National Pro League as an end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hays had been a standout player at St. Bonaventure College prior to joining the Steelers. The testimonial banquet was attended by Judge Samuel A. Weiss, toastmaster, Johnny Michelosen, Steeler coach, James Iacone, chairman of the banquet committee, Joe Como, St. Vincent College center, Evan Richards, president of Reliance Hose Co No. 2, John "Babe" Kastan, Boston University back, and Lou Kusserow, New York Yankee halfback. The affair was sponsored by Reliance Hose Co. No. 2 of Glassport.

Roller Hockey

The stick-and-skate competition known as the cousin of ice hockey, roller hockey, was featured at the Broadway Roller Rink for many years. Known first as the "Glassport Bees" and later as the "Glassport Jets", the team operated over 19 years in practice and competition. Their main scoring threat, their "front line" line ups were wing Richard Elko, center Duane Dearfield and wing Ted Majzer. Jet defensemen were Ed Corbin. Danny Mayhugh, Len Storer, Harold Moore and Edward Yanko with John Kazmierezyk as goalie. Other Jet players were Chuck Fahlor, Jerry Whitney and Andy Komondor. Eugene Komondor coached the team assisted by William Durney and Frank Simonetta.



Glassport High School football dates back to 1929. Through the years the school had many champion teams in the WPIAL playoffs. They were known as the "Glassport Gladiators".

In 1930 Roy M. Hickes was the assistant coach. He became head coach in 1932, and was rated the best coach in Monongahela Valley.

Five times in eight years -- from 1931 to 1939 -- the Glassport High School Gladiators reigned as Class B champions of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League.

In 1933 Glassport was awarded, along with Springdale, the Class B Co-championship of the WPIAL. Three members of the 1936 champion team were named by Fred Alger of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to the All Star Team. They were Henry Kopezynski as end, "Hawk" Wargo for tackle and Bob Davis for guard. The champs in 1937 named on the Daily News All-Scholastic Grid Team were "Zoom" Laughlin, Eugene Tyskiewicz and Joe Razewski.

Co-Champs in 1938 were Steve Milkovich, Mike Kurka, Bill Hornfeck, Milfred Snyder, Mike Wargo, Bill Boyle and Ray Dwyer.

The crowned Class B Champions of 1939 were Glenn Biddle, John Wiernicki, Morris Harris, Pete Milkovich, Chuck Mihalko, Leo "Ducky" Melcarsky, Alex Carapella, Joe Mawritz, Al D'Annunzio, Ed Razewski, Ray Wawrzeniak, Joe Karnash, Pete Padgett, Joe Worek, Paul Anthony, Joe Connelly, Sam DePole, Burton Hays and Andy Kurta. Assistant coach that year was Vince McKeeta.

In true Gladiator tradition the 1943 eleven with coach Myron Ghetian won the WPIAL Class "A" Co-Championship with Rudolph Knezevic as right tackle, Alan Kuffner pass receiver, Ernest Patello left guard and Frances Conley quarterback.

All American Football Players

All American Football Player in 1948 was Glassport's own Lou Kusserow, Columbia University back. On November 22, 1948 a delegation of 30 hometown rooters, headed by George Streza and Al Ferrarara made the trip to Baker Field to see Columbia defeat Syracuse. Kusserow was presented with gifts from Glassport's Chamber of Commerce, Junior Police and St John Lutheran Church by Burgess Robert F. Shaw.

Back in 1954, halfback Richie Lucas, broke into the McKeesport-Glassport game as a substitute and ran 36 yards for a touchdown to help the Gladiators beat McKeesport 13-0. As quarterback for Penn State, he was also the winner of the Maxwell Trophy as the most outstanding college player of the year and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.

Richie Lucas also won the honor of being chosen All American Football Player in the year 1959. On November 21, he was presented with the Post 443 American Legion Athletic Award.


Winning the Class A WPIAL Championship

Michael "Pickles" Perkosky a wartime replacement coach, did an excellent job of coaching the Gladiators to the Class "A" Championship of 1944, with Joe Como at center, Dan Natale quarterback, Ted Ghetian halfback, and Lou Kusserow fullback. The final game was played at night before 6,000 fans on a very wet soggy field. The score was 25-13. Lou Kusserow, the star of the game, was strongly supported by a well trained team.


1976 was also "The Year of the Gladiator". With Coach Zukauckas at the head, the team won their first Big 10 Conference. Elected to the All Big Ten Team were Tom Braddock, Matt DiBernardo, Dan Fescemeyer, Tom Liptak, Bob Hornfeck, Dave Opfar and Darnel Richardson. In the Gladiator Club Point award Mike Gazda emerged with top award. 1976 most valuable player was Tom Liptak. Coach Zukauckas was elected "Coach of the Year" in the Big Ten Conference.


Basketball, with its speed and sheer excitement, has attracted many players and spectators. 1934 and 1935 were sectional champion years for the school team. The 1936 team under the leadership of Coach Roy M. Hickes was in runner up position in the Class B WPIAL Basketball Tourney, with players George Anthony, Frank Lebowitz, Don Null, Henry Kopezynski, Artie Andrews, Kenny Null and Jack Scherer. Glassport was on the short end of a 29-27 score.

With Bob Whirl as coach, Section XVI championship games were won in 1940, 1943, 1944, 1945 and 1947. The line-up in 1945 included L. Kusserow, S. Karnash, M. Lebowitz, T. Ghetian and M. Korposh.

In 1950 Section 19 championship was won with Myron Ghetian as head coach. Players on this team included Steve Deliman, Elmer Shuster, Oliver Dudley, Jack Fabry and Bob Murphy. Led by Bill Hornfeck, Ken Denne and George Levkulich more recently, varsity basketball continues to provide the excitement of competition. Top scorer for 1976 season was Mark Wawrzeniak with 112 points and leading rebounder Mike Gazka with 68.


Glassport High School Girl's Basketball Team of 1936 won the position of runner up in the WPIAL Championship race and later in the A.M.A. Tournament. Coached by Marie Stabler were Anastasia Bill, Millie Gaydos, Maybelle Baldwin, Jean Granger, Rhoda Ranta, Kathleen Deremer, Stella Grimes and Ethel Gaydos.

The 1976 girl's basketball team was coached by Miss Petrick. High scorer was Vicki Cornman with 162 points and high rebounder was Beth Kane.

Other Scholastic Sports-1976

Other scholastic sports in 1976 included boys' volleyball, baseball, wrestling, hockey, track and bowling.


The Little Leagues made their appearance in Glassport about 1951.

The Glassport Otto A. A. Midgets were the Champions of the Mon-Yough Little League for 1952. Coaches were Muchek Belarski, J. Thomas, T. Pullin, M. Weinberg, R. Zebrowski, I. Ehrencich and J. Hohl. Phil Economos was the business manager and "Chillers" Dragos was the team manager. Players included W. Marshall, B. Boak, R. Bosich, C. Sample, T. Campano, T. Miller and M. Dworek.

Playing on the Glassport Little League All Stars of "1961" were J. Gribschaw, J. Oley, W. Hough, N. Martino, H. Craine, F. Brezicki, P. Tomasello, R. Molinari, A. Zak, J. Synkowski, K. Mawritz, J. Pavlack, J. Sowerby, J. T. Oley, F. Piekut, W. Bradley, A. Haywood, A. Simco, B. Muic, R. Jaskolski, T. Benner, L. Richards, R. Todaro, F. Trunzo and M. Laychak.

Glassport Athletic Association (GAA) sports program includes summer sports, boy's baseball and girl's softball teams for the various age groups. Fall sports are boy's midget football (for pre-high schoolers), boy's basketball and girl's volleyball.

The Glassport Slow Pitch Teams are Lizik's, Wojies, Glassporters, Hoagies, Legions and Macks.



LOCATION: The Borough of Glassport is 16 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along the Monongahela River in Allegheny County on Route 239 near the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers. The Pennsylvania Turnpike is 16 miles west of the Borough.

GROSS AREA: 1.52 square miles. Glassport was originally a part of Lincoln Township and later a part of the Borough of Port Vue.

FOUNDED: 1894 by the United States Glass Co.



POPULATION IN 1976: 7,092.

ASSESSED VALUATION IN 1976: $15,686,560.00.

COMMISSION FORM OF GOVERNMENT: 1 Mayor and 7 Councilmen elected at large. 13 Borough employees, 200 volunteer firemen. 8 policemen and 5 employees in various debts.

SCHOOLS: South Allegheny Jointure, Glassport Central Catholic (Holy Cross and St. Cecilia)

SCHOOL BOARD: 9 members elected at large.

SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEES: 85 elementary teachers, 65 high school teachers. 7 principals and supervisors. 43 employees in various departments. Total employees in school district-201.

TOTAL STUDENT ENROLLMENT: 2,921 as of November, 1976.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES: 8 teachers, 2 principals, 4 others-Total 14.


CHURCHES: 2 Catholic, 6 Protestant and 1 Jewish Congregation.

SEWAGE PLANT: 1 --- Glassport Sewage Treatment Plant

BUSLINES: 1-Port Authority Transit.

BANKS: 1-Union National Bank of Pittsburgh.

RAILROADS: 1-Pittsburgh and Lake Erie

BOROUGH PARKS: 1-Memorial Park, 1-Recreational Park.

STADIUM: 1-South Allegheny Stadium.

SWIMMING POOL: 1-Community Swimming Pool.

INDUSTRIES: Copperweld Bimetallics Division, Bucyrus Erie Company, Westinghouse Electric Company and Tube City Iron and Metal Co.

BUSINESSES: Plotkins Hardware, Fox Rubber Company, Glasolier Company, Builders Supply Company.


1-Gas Company Office
2-Dry Cleaners
2-Drug Stores
1-Bowling Alley
1-P & L E Freight Station
1-P & L E Scale House
1-P & L E Field Headquarters
1-Radiator Shop
11-Gas Stations and Auto Repair Shops
19-Cafes and Bars
3-Hardware Shops
35-Other Small Businesses


3-Notary Public Offices
1-Justice of Peace
3-Attorney Offices
2-Funeral Establishments
1-Public Accountant Office
3-Dental Offices
14-Barber Shops and Beauty Shops


Polish National Alliance
American Legion Post No. 443 and Auxiliary
Glassport Woman's Club
Young Woman's Club
Lion's Club
Rotary Club
Odd Fellows
Sons of Italy
Christian Men's Organization
Auxiliary Police and Firemen
Senior Citizens Community Action
Various Church Organizations


The stars and stripes of the flag of the United State of America are familiar to everyone and all of us know the symbol of the Pennsylvania State flag. Now at this time, Girl Scout Troop 1205 would like to introduce to you the Glassport Boro Banner, their symbol and their meaning.

As a requirement for a community badge, which states: "Take part in a service project and help your community," Girl Scout Troop 1205 chose to make a community banner.

My plans and sketches were stated, assembled and taken before Glassport Boro Council members in the spring of 1968. From the many ideas submitted by the girl scouts, Council members chose me and permission was given for me to be made. It was decided by Council to keep the original Glassport Senior High School colors of red and black.

For months I was carried "Top Secret" in a small case. I felt important! My drip material was cut, pinned, sewed and handled with care. My staff, my standard and my spiral top were all hand made. My black symbol represents the shape of our town in a field of red. The all red "G" represents Glassport the name of our town, the former glass industry and the port location on the Monongahela River and, of course, the original Gladiator. In the year 1894, Glassport was a tract of land laid out and appropriately named.

As I progressed, the girls carried me from scout meetings, to members' homes and now to the presentation to His Honor, Dominic Borelli, Mayor of Glassport and to the members of Council.

The Council Chambers of Glassport will be my home and I will stand proudly, representing a labor of love and citizenship of Girl Scout Troop 1205.

Do you remember ??

During his travels throughout the Borough seeking information for this book Mr. Joseph Pensenstadler ("Penny") was invariably asked the question, "Do you remember when - - - ?" The following thoughts came from the memories of many senior citizens.

When the Frederick Coursin Family who owned a mansion in Coursin Hollow would ride into Glassport in their "surrey with the fringe on top" for all the townfolk to come and see?

When we had the watering trough for horses at the corner of Seventh and Ohio Avenue? When Glassport had a "bathing beach" run by Bill Yough at the empty field where Copperweld is now located?

When the only way to go to the Gaubauer Farms (the present location of the Irwin Works) at Camden Hill, was to take the skiff across the river at Third Street for the price of one nickel?

When the Showboat came to town?

When the Glassport Ice Company sent it's horse and buggy around town selling ice?

When Glassport High School students went on strike to protest the discharge of their Supervising Principal, Mr. John S. Hart?

When the No. 99 Evans Avenue Streetcar took you from Glassport to McKeesport for only ten cents?

When the Glassport Little Theatre Guild presented "Death Takes a Holiday" on April 22, 23, 1936?

When "Henry the Huckster" went around town selling fruits and vegetables in his horse and wagon?

When "Barney the Cop" made his rounds on foot every hour?

When Mr. Mastroianni lit the gas lights?

When old-time family picnics were held at Piekut's Grove (presently Washington Blvd.)?

When you could buy a bottle of "medicine" for one dollar that would guarantee to rid you of your tapeworms at the medicine shows held regularly at the Polish Hall?

When the world renowned sports figure, Honus Wagner, paid for an ad in the 1924 edition of the Glahisean?

When the American Legion sponsored the first radio broadcast staged in Glassport in 1937; entitled "Crazy Mike"?

When the Downing Transfer Company not only handled freight but would move furniture and sell you ice?

When "Lemons" was the Chief of Police?

When you could buy delicious pastries and home made ice cream at Stallings?

When the Purity Dairy owned by Andy Skodol, the Glassport Lumber Company owned by the Lapsley Brothers and Mr. Anthony's Crystal Shop and Seaches "5 & 10" were part of the businesses in Glassport?

When the Stars of Rebecca would send their sponsored Girl Scout troops to entertain the "Old Folks"?

When they could not dig the graves fast enough during the Flu Epidemic of 1918?

When the Strand Theatre was located on the corner of Sixth Street and was owned by Mr. J. P. Morissey?

When the Star Theatre, owned by Stella Gorris, opened with the showing of the movie "Pigskin Parade"?

When Dr. Erhardt made house calls in his Horse and Buggy?

When everyone wanted to learn to bowl at the beautiful "Morrow's Bowling Alley"?

When the first Skating Rink located at Monongahela and First Street had a tent roof?

When "Fuzzy" had the Broadway Roller Rink?

When you could go to the tennis courts at the end of the Ninth Street ball field?

When the Veterans of Foreign Wars opened their first meeting place?

When everyone ran outdoors to see the Airplane go over?


The Glassport Times was a local newspaper published in the early thirties which covered "Home and Valley News". Their slogan was "the only newspaper in the world that gives a Shoot about Glassport." It was published every Friday morning and sold for 3c a copy.

The Third Ward School was turned into a hospital in 1918-1919 because of the flu epidemic. Due to the severity of the epidemic, Glassport lost many of its citizens. According to the old timers, a teaspoon of whiskey plus a bag of garlic tied around the neck would ward off the germs.

The various forensic activities of the year 1934 brought high honors to Glassport High School with the excellent results of the readings, orations and extemporaneous speaking contests. These honors were not only the highest that had ever been accorded to the school, but also established an enviable record in Allegheny County.

Tuesday, November 23, 1937, the Rotary Club honored the Glassport High School's winning football squad (Class B-W.P.I.A.L. Champions) at a banquet held at the Presbyterian Church. Heads of the sports department of the Pittsburgh SunTelegraph, Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette were in attendance to honor the winning team.

The Ambulance Corps of the Glassport Civilian Defense Council was organized in March, 1943. Heading this unit of the Borough's Air Raid Defenses was Dr. Thomas Richards, local physician.

The trolley service from McKeesport to Glassport ended on September 1, 1963; thus marking an end to the "Trolley Era" in this area.


Whiskey was being made in stables up on the "hill" and was stored in private homes on upper floors well supported by heavy wooden beams.

Various families were known as distributors, living within a block radius of one another. There were "moonshine runners" who ran deliveries between Glassport and Homestead and Glassport and Monessen, delivering the moonshine. Coupe automobiles had built-up springs in the rear with false bottoms enabling the cars to carry the load of whiskey or moonshine. When the cars were loaded, the springs came down to a normal height making the car take on a normal appearance. The runners earned as much as $30.00 a week for performing this service.

There were federal raids periodically.

One raid on Delaware Avenue had much humor connected with it. The Federal Agents were alerted to a storage home and made the usual raid. They overturned the drums containing the moonshine and punctured each one with a pick. This caused the contents of the drums to start flowing down the stairs from the 2nd floor storage place. When the men living in the vicinity discovered what had occurred, they were seen running from all directions with clean 10-gallon scrub buckets to catch the overflow. Later that day you could see these happy Glassporters sprawled out on the empty lots unable to make it home. Wives were seen at the scene attempting to gather up their men folk. The neighborhood had a most unusual aroma for many days after the raid.



The first meeting of the Glassport Bicentennial Committee was held May 8, 1975 in the American Legion Post No. 443 home. Mayor Charles Gorun became the honorary chairman and presiding officer. In attendance was representation from 25 local groups and organizations.

Gentlemen who had attended the Governer's Conference of the Pennsylvania Bicentennial Celebration at Hershey, Pa. informed these interested individuals of the various projects which could be undertaken for a successful Bicentennial celebration.

The following are the officers of the Bicentennial Committee:

Honorary Chairman - Mayor Charles Gorun
Committee Co-Chairmen - Mr. Edwin Stetz and Mr. Andrew Kurta
Secretary - Mrs. Rae Papernick
Treasurer - Mr. Paul Starinsky
Historian - Mr. Raymond Krills

In commemoration of the thirteen original colonies, A Planning Commission was appointed which consisted of thirteen representatives from various groups. They are as follows:

1. Anne Dzurko................. Community, Chairman
2. Florence Tomedolsky.... Catholic Faith, Secretary
3. William Carns................ Protestant Faith
4. Dr. Joseph Como........... Education
5. Peter Kaysan................. Industry
6. John Mianzo (deceased) Fireman
7. Steve Orlando............... Fraternal Organizations
8. Rae Papernick............... Jewish Faith
9. Ralph Pater.................... Business
10. Anthony Pepe............... Civic
11. Angelo Schinosi............ Labor
12. Bruce Sechrist............... Youth
13. John Vavrek.................. Veterans

The following committees were appointed:

Ways and Means Chairman Mr. Nicholas Siudela
By-Laws Chairman Mr. Andrew Kurta
Historian Chairman Mr. Raymod Krills
Public Relations Chairman Mr. Joseph Winzek
Street Fair Chairman Mr. John DePiero

Bicentennial Calendar of Events

American Legion Corn Roast

Lions Club Old timers Dance

Ways and Means Committee Raffle

Young Woman's Club Red-White-Blue Salad Bar

Bicentennial Parade

Bicentennial Program at the Stadium

American Legion Art Contest - Bicentennial Posters and Spelling Contest (schools)

Woman's Club Old Fashion Box Social

South Allegheny Junior Class Play - "Crucible"

Golden Agers Concert and Sing-a-long

United States Steel Male Choir

Young Woman's Club Art Show in the Bank

Italian Band Sunday Band Concerts (3)

Bicentennial Community Fair Week

Winners of Oldest Glassport Resident Contest


We have seen many changes and many "happenings" in our town since it was given the name of "Glassport" by the U. S. Glass Company back in 1894.

While it has progressed and grown, we who are living here in this year of 1976 can't help but wish that by some stroke of magic we might roll back the years, just for a day, and take that stroll up Monongahela Avenue to see it as it was in "1919".

But, alas, the past is o'er, the future lies ahead.

We can look forward to that future with the hope that our youth will bring new life to our town of "Glassport".

In this, the Bicentennial Year of our nation, we call upon God's help that all our towns across the nation may continue to survive and grow, especially the town we call "home".

And let us not forget that we have "survived" only because of the courage and hard labor of the many Americans, such as the people of Glassport, who through the years built our factories, schools, churches and small towns. If they didn't give up then, we can't give up now. Mere nostalgia and reliving the glories of the past should guide us to a new commitment.


The committee thanks all those individuals (too numerous to list) for supplying information and materials needed in compiling this history. Special accolades go to the following:

Mr. Ralph Farmerie of South Allegheny history department for providing us with vital information; Mr. Joseph Pensenstadler for his many hours of research and personal interviews; Mr. Raymond Krills, Miss Florence Tomedolsky, Mrs. Jean Price and Mr. Walter Klimek for supplying photographs; Miss Peppy DeSai for typing material; and the Glassport American Legion Post No. 443 for the use of their hall at no charge to the committee for meetings and various events that were held there.

--THE HERITAGE COMMITTEE (Anne Dzurko, Rae Papernick and Florence Tomedolsky)

Page last updated June 17, 2012