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 George Hood Owston

George Hood Owston

Leetsdale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 13 Mar 1924 (aged 44)
East McKeesport, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial North Versailles, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 30501958 · View Source
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George Hood Owston was the third child of Newton French Owston and Merry Emma Merriman. Although his grave lists his birth as 1880 and his death certificate lists his birth year as 1878, his actual birth year was 1879.

He was named after George W. Hood a railroad engineer from Leetsdale, PA who apparently worked with his father (then a railroad fireman) on the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne, and Chicago Railroad.

The family lived in Leetsdale, PA, Willimatic, CT, and East Hartford, CT. Upon the death of his mother, he and his sister Martha and brothers Charles and Ovington moved to McKeesport, PA and were raised by their maternal grandmother, Sarah Ann Jones Merriman.

On June 7, 1911, he married Lora Gardner Dalton (nee Day) - the widow of
Timothy Dalton. Lora was the sister-in-law of George's uncle, John Freemont Merriman. Although Lora and Timothy Dalton had five children, she and George had one child: Charles Ellsworth Owston.

Although a barber by trade, George also worked briefly as fireman on the railroad, as a time keeper at the Carnegie Steel Mill in Duquesne, PA, as a pipe cutter at the McKeesport Tube Works, and as a laborer at the Westinghouse Airbrake Company.

A semi-professional musician, George played guitar, cello, violin, and concert harp. Stories have been told about George and his brother Charley, who played mandolin, attaining solitude while practicing their music. The two brothers would moor a raft on the Youghiogheny River where they could practice without being interrupted by others. Because of his ability as a guitarist, George also was accepted into Gypsy (Rom) society as one of the few local Gaje allowed to visit their camp.

Besides studying Esperanto, George was a noted eccentric. Although raised as a Methodist, he was fascinated with Egyptology, astral projection, Rosicrucianism, and Freemasonary. He joined the Youghiogheny Lodge No. 583 of McKeesport, PA as an Entered Apprentice on February 21, 1905. He advanced to Fellow Craft on March 28, 1905 and became a Master Mason on April 28, 1905.

As an asthmatic, George's physician recommended that he take an ocean voyage. This he did in 1905 to England where he paid his way by stoking the ship furnaces in return for his passage.

His asthma would contribute to his death from pneumonia in 1924. The story has been told that in order to avoid interruption by his wife's family who were visiting their home, he took his wireless set into the attic so that he might listen to the radio. The cold temperatures were also a contributing factor to his demise.


The Daily News
March 14, 1924

George H. Owston, aged 45 years died yesterday morning at 7 o'clock at home in Punta Gorda avenue, East McKeesport, following four days ill with pneumonia. He was a former resident of this city and moved to East McKeesport over a year ago. He was employed by the Westinghouse Airbrake works at Wilmerding. He survived by his wife, Mrs. Lora Owston; one son, Ellsworth; and by three daughters, Mrs. Elmer Allen and Mrs. Daniel McLaughlin, both of his city and Mrs. Raymond Baldridge, of Canton, Ohio. Mr. Owston was a member of Youghiogheny lodge No. 583 F. and A. M. of this city and of the East McKeesport M.E. church. The funeral will be conducted at the home Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock in charge of his pastor and interment will be in Grandview cemetery.


The Daily News
March 15, 1924
Page 15

Funeral services for George H. Owston of Punta Gorda avenue, East McKeesport, will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment at Grandview cemetery.

Family Members

  • Created by: Dr. James M. Owston
  • Added: 11 Oct 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 30501958
  • Dr. James M. Owston
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Hood Owston (14 Dec 1879–13 Mar 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 30501958, citing Grandview Cemetery, North Versailles, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Dr. James M. Owston (contributor 47059231) .