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J.G. Backofen

J.G. Backofen
One of the best known residents of Pittsburgh died on Wednesday evening
at his residence on Sheridan Avenue, East End in his 84th year.  Mr
Backofen came to Pittsburgh in 1833 and has resided here continuously
ever since.  He was born at Nuremburg, Germany in 1807 and after
receiving a complete education came to America.  In 1855, two years
after his arrival in this city, he established, under the name of
Backofen and Ehman, a German newspaper, The Pittsburgh Courier.  He was
also proprietor of a book and stationary store at that time, which was
the leading place of its kind.  In 1858, his son George W. became
associated, in the book store, which was removed from Liberty Street to
Smithfield Street and subsequently to Wood Street, its present location.

 Mr. Backofen was one of the founders of the Dollar Savings Bank and one
of the incorporators of the German Library Association in 1840.  He was
consolat Agent for several European Powers of the time and was one of
the oldest members of the Odd Fellows and Masonite fraternities in this
section.  He was also one of the leading members of the Smithfield
Street German Church and was connected with several financial and
insurance companies.  Deceased was one of the original Republicans and
was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in LaFayette Hall
in 1855, which brought about the formation of the party.  Though active
in politics, Mr. Backofen never held office and once refused the
Republican nomination for Sheriff.  Two years ago, he retired from
active business in favor of his son.  His ? estimide wife died last
December.  Six children George W, Lawrence, ?, Susanne, Malwine and
Emma, survive him.  The funeral will be private at 2 oclock this

(Source: August, 24, 1889, Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette)
(Contributor: Dave Kraska,

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