Oliver F. "O.F." Wharton (About 1842-1903)

Oliver F. "O.F." Wharton's name appears on a list entitled "Members" in the guest register of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club.

O.F. was involved with his brother, Clifton, in Wharton Bros. & Co., Iron Works. The company was located in East Birmingham, Allegheny County, PA. Eventually, East Birmingham merged into Pittsburgh. Wharton Bros. & Co. attached itself to a letter urging the expansion of the Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad to Pittsburgh. This letter appared in the January 24, 1866, edition of the Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette. Upon its extension to Pittsburgh, the railroad came to be known as the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad. Wharton Bros., tended to ship their iron ore on this line.

On September 13, 1871, O.F. attended the East Birmingham Council Meeting. One of the topics of the meeting was the construction of a new sewer system. Mr. Wharton spoke out against the measure on behalf of his neighbors. He suggested that those who wanted the sewer should submit a petition with their names on it so that council could see if there was a majority in favor. At the same meeting Mr. Wharton spoke up about a situation whereby, in East Birmingham, the beds of smallpox patients had been thrown on the riberbanks. Children were then seen playing on these beds. Mr. Wharton stated that in the City of Pittsburgh, such beds were destroyed and that this partice shoud be adopted in East Birmingham.

On October 27, 1874, a meeting was held to organize the Pittsburgh Board of Trade. Among the proposed members of the board were future members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club: John W. Chalfant, Reuben Miller, S.S. Marvin, and John Harper. During the meeting, a list of names to be added to the Committtee was read and the name, "O.F. Wharton," appeared on this list.

For as good as things seemed to be going for O.F., his brother, and their iron works, the Wharton's fell on hard times and had to claim bankruptcy. At this time, it is not clear why they were forced into bankruptcy. To make ends meet, the Wharton's were forced to sell their real estate. In October 1876, the case of Oliver Wharton v. George C. Bergwin appeared before the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, No. 1. Neither the nature of the case nor the outcome were listed, but it most likely had something to do with the bankrupcty. Overseeing this case and other cases before the court were Judges Sterrett, Stowe, and Collier. Interestingly, Judge Stowe came to be the judge that ratified the charter for the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club in 1879.

Also in October of 1876, the case of Wharton V. Duncan appeared before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The case inovlved Clifton and their mother, Oliveretta, more than Oliver, but Oliver's name does appear in the case because Wharton Bros. & Co., Iron Works was referenced.

On February 28, 1878, a sale of the holdings of Clifton and Oliver F. Wharton was held on the grounds of Ormsby Iron Works. Listed for sale was:
"All that certain lot of ground situated in the 25th ward, city of Pittsburgh, late Borough of East Birmingham bounded and described as follows: Beginning at the northwestern corner formed by the intersection of Wharton and 25th streets; thence along said Wharton street westerly to 24th street, thence along said 24th street northerly to Water street, thence along said Water street to 25th street, and thence along said 25th street to Wharton street, on which is erected the Rolling Mill known as the Ormsby Iron Works with Steam Engines, Boilers, Boiling and heating Furnaces, Rolls, Pinions, Housen and other Machinery used in said Mill."

Sources:
1.) "Assignee's Sale of Ormsby Iron Works," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 19, 1878.
2.) "Common Pleas No. 1," Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, October 23, 1876.
3.) "East Birmingham Council," Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, September 13, 1871.
4.) "Local Affairs-Pittsburgh Board of Trade," Pittsburgh Daily Post, October 28, 1874.
5.) Norris, Wilson A., Pennsylvania State Reports, Vol. 83 Comprising Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Vol. 2, (Philadelphia: Kay & Brother), 1877.
6.) Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, December 15, 1875.
7.) "Receipts Pig Metal, Ore and Blooms," Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, April 3, 1872.
8.) "Receipts Pig Metal, Ore and Blooms," Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, April 17, 1872.
9.) "Travelers Guide," Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, January 24, 1866.

Last updated: February 16, 2021

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