Guide to the Wolfe Family Papers and Photographs 1830s-1990s

Senator John Heinz History Center

Summary Information

Repository
Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Title
Wolfe Family Papers and Photographs
Creator
Wolfe Family
Collection Number
MSS 0707
Date [inclusive]
1830s-1990s
Extent
8.25 linear feet (8 boxes)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Abstract
The Wolfe Family Papers and Photographs document the family’s history in Pittsburgh, Pa. since the 1830s. The collection contains photographs of family members, Charles H. Wolfe, Jr’s World War II correspondence, early twentieth century diaries, certificates, letters of Dr. Barnett A. Wolfe from the 1830s and 1840s, newspaper clippings, and genealogical research records.
Sponsor Note
This collection has been made accessible as part of an NHPRC-funded Basic Processing grant.

Preferred Citation

Wolfe Family Papers and Photographs, 1830s-1990s, MSS 0707, Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives, Senator John Heinz History Center

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History

Dr. Barnett A. Wolfe was born in Shippensburg, Pa., in 1814, and studied medicine in Philadelphia prior to moving west to Pittsburgh in the 1830s. He operated a physician’s office and lived in Birmingham (now Pittsburgh’s Southside) where he married Eleanor Blackmore in 1845, the sister of James Blackmore, who served twice as Pittsburgh’s mayor between 1868-1869 and 1872-1875. Dr. Barnett A. Wolfe died in 1875. The couple had six children including two sons, William Barnett Wolfe and Charles Adam Wolfe. William operated Wolfe Brush Company and was one of the founders of Merchants and Manufacturers Association of Pittsburgh. William B. Wolfe died in 1906. Louise Wolfe, daughter of William B. Wolfe and Emma Bingler, married Robert Grove of Ketchum, Macleod and Grove, Inc.

Charles Adam Wolfe, Sr. (1859-1926) married Caroline Hamilton Childs in 1886. The couple had five children including Charles Holmes Wolfe, who was born in Pittsburgh in 1887 and died in 1951. He served with the United States Army in World War I and was wounded in the Battle of the Argonne in October 1918. He married Madeline Dougherty in 1919 and the two had four sons.

Their eldest son, Charles Holmes Wolfe, Jr., was born in 1920 and attended Milton Academy from 1935 through 1938. He studied at Harvard University for four years where he earned his bachelor’s degree. Wolfe, Jr. served as a non-commissioned intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II, afterwards attending law school at the University of Pittsburgh. He married Suzanne Marie Offill in 1952 and had two children. Wolfe, Jr. joined the Pittsburgh law office of Reed, Smith, Shaw, and McClay as a partner in 1981. Charles Holmes Wolfe, Jr. died in 2005.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Wolfe Family Papers and Photographs document the family’s history in Pittsburgh, Pa., since the 1830s. The collection contains photographs of family members, letters from the 1830s and 1840s, World War II correspondence, early twentieth century diaries, certificates, personal event invitations, newspapers clippings, and genealogical research records. The collection is housed in eight boxes, and has been labeled according to content.

Charles H. Wolfe, Jr. , boxes 1 and 3 (1930s-1990s)

Boxes one and three primarily consist of the correspondence of Charles H. Wolfe, Jr. with family members and friends. Box one includes letters from the 1970s through 1990s between Wolfe, Jr. and Roman Catholic Church officials, as well as with his son Thomas. Also included are daily diaries and travel logs kept by Wolfe, Jr. between 1934 through 1936 and following WWII, along with European travel maps and destination guides. Box three consists of correspondence between Wolfe, Jr. and his parents during his service in World War II from 1943 through 1945. There are several additional folders of correspondence between Wolfe, Jr. and other family and friends as well. Box three also contains documents relating to his time at Harvard University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Charles H. Wolfe, Sr., boxes 2 and 4 (1850s-1940s)

Box two consists mainly of manuscripts and photographic materials related to Charles H. Wolfe, Sr. and other family members. There are numerous invitations for weddings and parties sent to the Wolfes, Wolfe, the wills of Madeline Wolfe and Wolfe, Sr. and other estate administration documents. There are World War I photographs and postcards depicting war scenes and European cities, a portrait of young Wolfe, Sr. from 1893, an ambrotype of Dr. Barnett Wolfe from 1854, as well as a daguerreotype of Thomas Blackmore from the mid 19th century. The box also contains two written histories of Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood. Rachel Aiken compiled a History of Shadyside from 1828-1873, and a Mrs. Spencer wrote   Mrs. Spencer’s History of Shadyside in 1944.

Personal Invitations, box 4 (1930s-1990s)

Box four contains loose invitations, correspondence, and several event programs. The materials in this box primarily consist of the invitations to weddings, dance hall ceremonies, and graduations.

Family History and Dr. B.A. Wolfe Letters, box 5 (1830s-1950s)

Box five contains genealogical information about the family, diaries of Charles H. Wolfe, Sr., and correspondence of Dr. Barnett A. Wolfe. There are numerous letters, notes, and charts documenting the history of the Wolfe and Blackmore families compiled by Wolfe, Jr. There is a typed manuscript of the History of the 79th Division: 1 June 1944 – 30 June 1944, with which Wolfe, Jr. served, Wolfe, Sr’s daily diaries from 1904 through 1906 and into 1910, and a hand written manuscript of his World War I experience. The box contains letters dating from the 1830s and 1840s from Dr. Barnett A. Wolfe to his sister and friends, first while studying in Philadelphia and then after moving west to Pittsburgh. This box also contains a Springhill Cemetery Burial Lot deed purchased in 1864 by Dr. B.A. Wolfe.

Genealogical Research, boxes 6-7 (1830s-1990s)

Boxes six and seven include a variety of genealogical research documenting the histories of the Wolfe, Blackmore, Childs, and Holmes families in Allegheny County, Pa. The research primarily focuses on Wolfe family marriages and connections with the above mentioned families. The documents consist of letters to family members, hand-written charts, and typed genealogical accounts.

Grove-Wolfe, box 8 (1920s-1970s)

Box eight consists of pictures of Robert Grove, who married Louise Wolfe, and facsimiles of Grove family listings from local directories.

Additionally, there are three wrapped items: scrapbook A contains newspaper clippings and several photographs from a Wolfe child’s time at Dartmouth College during the 1920s; album B consists of one memoriam booklet honoring William Barnett Wolfe, owner of the Wolfe Brush Company who died in 1906; album C contains congratulatory letters and photographs following Robert Grove’s retirement from Ketchum, Macleod and Grove, Inc., in 1956.

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Arrangement

  • Boxes one and three , Charles H. Wolfe, Jr.
  • Box two , Charles H. Wolfe, Sr. and Family
  • Box four , Personal invitations
  • Box five , Family history and Dr. B.A. Wolfe letters
  • Boxes six and seven , Genealogical Research
  • Box eight , Groves-Wolfe

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Senator John Heinz History Center Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania , July 2012

Senator John Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-454-6364
library@heinzhistorycenter.org
http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/libraryArchives.aspx

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Acquisition Information

Gift from Charles Holmes Wolfe, Jr. in 1997, 2002, 2003.

Archives accession # 2002.0237 1996.0051

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Alex J. Toner on 01/18/12.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Ketchum, Macleod and Grove, Inc.
  • Wolfe Brush Company.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Blackmore Family.
  • Childs Family.
  • Holmes Family.
  • Groves, Robert.

Subject(s)

  • World War, 1939-1945--Correspondence.
  • World War, 1914-1918--Photographs.
  • Soldiers--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh.

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