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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JACOB B. SHALE, postmaster, McKeesport, was born in Ligonier valley, July 9, 1855, a son of John P. (deceased) and Rebecca Shale, who still lives at the old homestead with John P. Shale, Jr. Mr. Shale lived on the farm with his parents until the death of his father in 1866, when he and John P., his brother, and his mother and sister moved to a farm on Chestnut ridge left to them by the father. Here he remained until June, 1872, when he accepted an agency with the Grover & Baker Sewing-Machine company. This business he followed until the panic of 1873, when he closed out his stock, settled with the company and resigned his position. Afterward he turned his attention to the carpenters trade, which he followed until December 18, 1877, when he came to McKeesport and embarked in the grocery business, at No. 21 Market street. Here he remained one year and three months, and then bought the grocery store of John Rex, No. 180 Fifth avenue, at which stand he carried on business for six months. Then buying the dry-goods and grocery business and stock of J. B. Manning, in the Bowman block, he took his brother, John P., into partnership. Under the name of Shale Bros., they worked together one year, when John P. sold his interest to J. B. and returned to the farm. J. B. then managed the business for himself until October, 1882, when he again sold a half-interest, this time to W. J. Sharples, who at present continues to be his partner, and Mr. Shale erected the Second Ward planing-mill, which he operated up to the date of his appointment as postmaster of McKeesport, December 4, 1885, since which time he has given his time and attention to the postal service, and has made a good record as a public man. When he took charge of the office the revenue was about $8,000 per year, the office assigned to the third class, the salary only $1,900 with $300 allowance for rent, light, fuel and furniture. At present writing, the revenue is about $13,000 per year, the office assigned to the second class, the salary $2,300 with $575 allowance for rent, light, fuel and furniture, and $1,200 for clerk hire. The office has been moved to more convenient quarters, and on the 1st of April, 1888, after a long, hard struggle, the postmaster succeeded in having the free delivery of mail established at this office.

Mr. Shale, at the age of fourteen, connected himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has been a consistent member since, and also one of the trustees of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of the borough for many years. He has dealt considerably in real estate, and is at present president of the McKeesport Building & Loan association. He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, the Board of Trade, the board of directors of Versailles Cemetery, and the board of directors of the Young Men’s Christian association. In politics he is a democrat, and was prominently mentioned as a candidate for Congress in 1888 from the twenty-fourth district.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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