Uniontown’s Prince of the Gilded Age

Nothing captures the attention of the press more than a good scandal. In Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in January 1915, it had one. The financial collapse of coal baron Josiah V. Thompson, and the ruin of his bank, summoned a reporter from the New York Tribune to the Fayette County seat. Stepping off at the Pennsyl¬≠vania Railroad station, the unidentified reporter hurried to Thompson’s office...
read more

John O’Hara: The Child Becomes the Man

He had dreams,as do all boys. At the age of twelve, he was “looking forward to the day when, like Clint Shaefer, he would own his own Mercer; when, like Al Cullum, he would be on his way to Yale; when, like Bill Ulmer, he would know the 16th Arrondissement better than the third ward.” They were Pottsville fellows, Shaefer, Cullum, and Ulmer – and so was the boy. He was John...
read more

David L. Lawrence, the Deft Hand Behind Pittsburgh’s – and Pennsylvania’s – Politics

David Leo Lawrence (1889-1966), governor of Pennsylvania from 1959 to 1963, and mayor of Pittsburgh from 1946 to 1959, during the city’s first heralded renaissance, was a professional politician to the very core. Ranked as one of America’s great chief executives among big cities, Lawrence immersed himself in politics, beginning at the age of fourteen when he became a city Democratic...
read more