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The Darlingtons (Harry)

Harry Darlington Jr. was born May 8, 1888, when his family lived at 50 Irwin Avenue (now 721 Brighton Road). His parents were Harry Darlington and Mary E. McCullough Darlington. Harry Darlington Jr. was born about two years before his parents demolished an earlier mansion on the site of 721 Brighton Road and built what is now known as the Darlington house.

Harry Darlington was an industrialist whose business pursuits included founding the Westmoreland & Cambria Natural Gas Company, operation of a brewery, and many corporate directorships. At the time of Harry Darlington Jr.’s birth, Harry Darlington operated a brewery at 110-112 First Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. Mary E. McCullough Darlington was the daughter of Jacob Nessly McCullough, a vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and Rebecca T. Andrews McCullough.

According to the 1900 manuscript census, Harry Darlington Jr., then 12, lived at 50 Irwin Avenue with his parents, sister, and five servants. The census reported that Harry Darlington, 62, had been born in Pennsylvania to parents who had been born in England. Darlington owned his home fully. The census gave his occupation as “capitalist.”

Margaret E. McCullough Darlington, 44, had been born in Ohio to parents also born in Ohio. In 1900 the Darlingtons had been married 23 years and had had five children, with two children still living. In addition to Harry Darlington Jr., the Darlingtons had a daughter, Rebecca M., 20, who had no occupation.

The Darlingtons’ servants were Margaret Griffin, 31, who was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States in 1883; Julia Griffin, 29, who was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States in 1888; Bridget Carey, 48, born in Ireland and immigrated in 1873; Rose McCague, 36, born in Ireland and immigrated in 1883; and Loraine Oger, 21, born in Pennsylvania and of German descent.

The census also reported that all residents of 721 Irwin Avenue were able to read and write.

Harry Darlington Jr. first appeared in the Pittsburgh city directory in 1909, when he lived at 72 Irwin Avenue (now 709 Brighton Road). At the time, Darlington worked with his father in Room 42 of the Fidelity Building, 341 Fourth Avenue. Directories did not indicate the type of business in which the Darlingtons were engaged.

Sources provide conflicting information on whether Harry Darlington Jr. was married at the time of the 1910 census. The 1910 manuscript census reported that the younger Darlington, then 22, lived at 709 Irwin Avenue with a 20 year old woman identified as Lasheda W. Darlington, his wife. The census indicated that Lasheda W. Darlington had been born in Ohio, that the couple had been married one year, and that eight servants also lived at 709 Irwin Avenue.

Biographical materials indicate that Harry Darlington Jr. was first married in 1917, when he married Ethel Shields. Allegheny County marriage license applications contain no record of Darlington applying for a marriage license in or before 1910, and an index of weddings reported in Pittsburgh newspapers also does not mention Harry Darlington Jr. It seems likely that a census taker incorrectly recorded one of the many servants living at 709 Irwin Avenue as Harry Darlington Jr.’s wife.

The 1910 census reported that servants living at 709 Irwin Avenue were Bridget O’Neill, 30, who had been born in Ireland and immigrated in 1900; Howard Challingsworth, 30, born in England and immigrated in 1902; Louise Tiefenbuner, 34, born in Austrian Germany and immigrated in 1905; Elizabeth Yems, 32, born in Canada and immigrated in 1892; Josephine O’Hara, 24, born in Ireland and immigrated in 1903; Agnes P. Rintone, 35, born in Scotland and immigrated in 1892; Franklin C. Hubener, 38, born in New Jersey and of German descent; and Julia M. Dartoux, 39, born in France and immigrated in 1909.

The 1910 census also reported that Harry Darlington Jr. owned 709 Irwin Avenue fully, and gave Darlington’s occupation as “own income.” In 1910, the census also reported Darlington’s father’s occupation as “own income.”

Directories listed Harry Darlington Jr. as living at 72 or 709 Irwin Avenue and working in the Fidelity Building through 1918. Darlington was listed at 721 Irwin Avenue beginning in 1919; his father had died in 1914, and his mother in 1918. Continuing to work in the Fidelity Building, Darlington lived at 721 Irwin Avenue through 1925.

Harry Darlington Jr. was listed as living in Sewickley Heights and working in the Union Bank Building between 1926 and 1931. Darlington died on June 25, 1931.

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