Biography of Thomas E. Ventress
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

THOMAS EDGAR VENTRESS, who holds the responsible position of foreman in the United States Steel Corporation at Swissvale, Pennsylvania, was born September 7, 1850, in Elizabeth, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, a son of Michael and Isabella (Garrett) Ventress. His father was born on "the ninth day of the ninth month of the ninth year of the nineteenth cen­tury" September 9, 1809, near Whitley and Scarboro, England. He came to America in 1835, locating at Elizabeth, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, where he followed ship building. He served as captain of the State Militia, but when the Civil war broke out he was too aged to enter the service of his country. He belonged toe the West Elizabeth Presbyterian church and was a Democrat in political views until Lincoln's second election, when he cast a Republican ballot and did so ever afterwards. His death occurred in August, 1894 He married Isabella Garrett, near Frederick, Washington county, Pennsylvania, and they became the parents of eight children as follows: 1. Anna. 2. Mary. 3. Adaline. 4. George. 5. Hannah Jane. 6. Michael, who died in infancy. 7. Thomas Edgar, of this notice. 8. Adeline. Anna, the eldest child, married James Elliott, of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania; Mary married Andrew McKinley, of the same township; and Adaline, married John F. Blair, of Jefferson township.

Thomas Edgar Ventress, the seventh in order of birth in the family of Michael and Isabella (Garrett) Ventress, was educated in the Elizabeth public schools, in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, and from the autumn of 1863 to the spring of 1866 he was employed as an errand boy by Joseph Horne & Company, the dray goods merchant of Pittsburg fame. He was but thirteen years of age at the date of his leaving this mercantile establishment, and at once went onto the People's line of packet boats, which ran from Pittsburg to Morganstown, continuing from 1866 to 1869, when he abandoned the life of a boatman, for a short time engaging in the feed business in Elizabeth, which enterprise he sold out and again sought his fortune on the river, work­ing on the packet boat "Elizabeth," plying between Elizabeth and Pittsburg, from 1869 to 1873, at the termination of which time he engaged with the Jones Brothers' Coal Works as weighmaster; here he served from 1873 until 1879, and then came to Swissvale, near Pittsburg proper, and there embarked in the grocery business, conducting the same until 1884, when he sold his store and in 1885 was employed as tax collector's clerk in the county treas­urer's office of Allegheny county. After one year's service in that position and in 1886 he was employed in the rail mills of the Homestead Steel Works for a short time, but during the same year went with the United States Steel Corporation, where he has been constantly employed as a foreman at Swissvale.

Mr. Ventress was married September 3, 1874, to Flotilla Appelgate, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Biggerel) Appelgate, of Elizabeth, where James Appelgate carried on ship building. The children born to Thomas Edgar and Florilla (Appelgate) Ventress, three in number, were named as follows: 1. Adlie Charlotte, born July 28, 1875. 2. Elizabeth, born August 30, 1877. 3. Frank Edgar, born May 20, 1884. The last named is now with the Allegheny Light Company. Mr. Ventress is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Blue lodge; is a member of the Swissvale Presbyterian church, and in politics is an independent Republican.

A Century and a half of
Pittsburg and her people.
By: John Newton Boucher
The Lewis Publishing Company

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