Jesse H. Lippincott (1842-1894)

Jesse H. Lippincott
Jesse H. Lippincott

Most of the following is taken directly from, Historic Structures Report, Appendices: Clubhouse, Brown Cottage, Moorhead Cottage, and Clubhouse Annex, for the National Park Service. Any text that is not directly from this source will appear in italics.

"Jesse H. Lippincott was born February 18, 1842 at Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County. He was the son of the merchant Joseph H. and Eliza Strickler Lippincott. His family connection is large; his great-great-great grandparents were Richard and Abigail Lippincott from England and Richard was a descendant in the twelfth generation from Robert De Lughencott who in the reign of Henry II held the Manor of Hughcott, Devonshire. The family was granted 8 coats of arms from the College of Heralds.

Jesse H. enlisted in the Civil War and served three years in the Twenty-eighth regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, after which he returned to Pittsburgh and entered the grocery business with a store at the corner of Smithfield Street and Second Avenue." He entlisted as a private in the 28th Pennsylvania Company B, then was transferred to Company H on April 29, 1864. Lippincott was engaged in the glassmaking business. "A few years later, he began the Rochester Tumbler Company, which grew to be the largest tumbler manufacturer in the world." The Rochester-Tumbler Company, which was the principle employer in Rochester, for 27 years was organized in the spring of 1872. J.H. Lippincott was secretary and treasurer of the company as well as a director. At the peak of its success the company was making 150,000 tumblers a day and employed 1100 people. "He was one of the original stockholders in the Bell Telephone Company, Hostetter Coke Company, and the Wheeling and Bridgewater Gas Company. Also, he held the positions of President of the First National Bank of Braddock, one of the directors of the Fifth National Bank of Pittsburgh and the First National Bank of Rochester." He and Philander C. Knox were directors of the Fifth National Bank of Pittsburgh, located at 16 Sixth Street, founded in 1871. He was also on the board of this bank with South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club members George W. Huff, James C. Clark, and John L. Lloyd. A man named Richard Coulter was also on the board of directors of this bank.

"In addition, Jesse H. settled the estate of C.P. Markle & Sons valued at $1,000,000, and was the founder of the Banner Baking Powder Company. He purchased the Edison Phonograph Company and spent the rest of his life's effort to bring the phonograph, which was before its time, into popular use. Jesse H. brought the first phonograph to Pittsburgh. It was while in this endeavor that his health began to fail him and he was advised by physicians to live a quieter life. He chose to do so in Newton Center, Ma.

Jesse H. was married" twice-first to Mary Richardson, then to Lily Richardson "and had three children. He was a member of the Fourth Avenue Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, where for several years he was trustee and treasurer. Jesse H. Lippincott died in Newton Center, Ma. on April 18, 1894 of brain paralysis. Rev. Lemuel C. Barnes, the pastor of Fourth Avenue Baptist Church, conducted the funeral in Newton Center. Jesse H. was buried in Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh."

The following is an article that appeared in The Indiana (PA) Progress, on November 20, 1879:
"Interest in the thrilling story of the collision of the Guion steamer Arizona [sic] with an iceberg, off the banks of New Foundland, is increased by the fact that a prominent Pittsburgher, Mr. Jesse H. Lippincott, was on board and was one of the three hundred souls who escaped so narrowly a dreadful fate. The vessel sailed from New York on Tuesday, November 4th. She was the pioneer ship of a fleet destined to compete in fleetness and commodiousness with the White Star Line, and was 464 feet long, 46 feet in breadth of beam, and 37 feet in depth of hold. She had a gross tonnage of 5,400 tons. Among the passengers were Mr. S.B. Guion, the owner of the ship, his sister and two young nieces, and it was held that their presence was a double guarantee of the general safety. The vessel struck on Friday evening. The crash was terrific, and as the stout hull of the magnificient ship trembled from the schock the stoutest heart grew still. The excitement for a time was intense, but when it was learned by a thorough investigation, that the ship was watertight, the passengers held a thanksgiving service when this announcement was made, closing with that grand old hymn, 'Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.' the catastrophe seems to have been caused by carelessness on the part of the lookout. The vessel was headed towards St. Johns, and landed there in safety on Saturday morning. Not a life was lost, though the escape was regarded by every one as a remarkably narrow one. Five sailors, in their bunks in the forward part of the ship, were injured in the crash, but not seriously. A telegram received here yesterday stated that Mr. Lippincott could go forward on the steamer Caspian [sic] or the Nevada. [sic]"

Last updated: January 18, 2024

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