Biography of John Fite
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

JOHN FITE, the proprietor of the Elgin butter, cheese and egg house, at Nos. 537 to 545 Liberty Ave., Pittsburg, is well known in mercantile circles. His father, George Fite, was a native of Germany, but came to America in 1843 and settled in what is now the city of McKeesport, where the subject of this sketch was born, Sept. 9, 1846. In the schools of McKeesport he received the major part of his education, and at the age of fourteen years went into a general store at McKeesport as a clerk. During the eight years he remained in this position he learned many things concerning the business of buying and selling goods. When he was about twenty two years old he came to Pittsburg as a salesman in the dry goods store of Love Bros., at the corner of Fourth and Market streets. He remained with this firm for about twelve years, when he decided to go into business for himself. Starting with a small capital, he began selling Elgin creamery butter and cheese to dealers. From this humble beginning he has managed, by indefatigable industry and the application of modern business methods, to build up one of the largest wholesale houses in his line in the city of Pittsburg, doing a volume of business of more than $1,000,000 annually. While living at McKeesport he was married to Miss Elizabeth Gorthardt, and to the marriage seven children were born, of whom three sons and two daughters are still living. The sons all occupy responsible positions in their father's business. W. G. Fite is the credit man of the house, Charles J. is the principal buyer, and Frank S. is the floor manager. One daughter, Luella M., is married, and the other, Clara M., is living with her parents at home. Mr. Fite is also the owner of considerable real estate in the city of Pittsburg. Most of his property is located in the East End, in the vicinity of Highland Park and Jeannette. Notwithstanding the demands of his constantly growing business, he still finds time to attend to church duties and indulge in social intercourse. His entire family are members of the Bethany Lutheran church of Pittsburg. He is a thirty second degree Mason, being a member of Pittsburg lodge, No. 508, Pittsburg consistory of the Scottish Rite, and Syria temple of the Mystic Shrine. Politically, he is a loyal republican, though he rarely takes an active part in the contests of the political arena, preferring to give his attention to his business, and the visitor to the Elgin butter, cheese and egg house never fails to come away with the impression that it is one of the best conducted mercantile concerns in the great and busy city of Pittsburg.


From:
Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
personal and genealogical with portraits.
Publishers: Northwestern Historical Association
Madison, Wis. 1904.


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