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Chapter Five, Part 1 -The Flueckigers (Flickingers) of Old Economy Village

My great-grandfather Gottlieb Flueckiger was born in 1842, probably in Rohsbachgraben, Bern, Switzerland. He was a laborer who joined the Swiss Emigration to America, departing Liverpool on December 12, 1868, on the M/V Cuba and arriving in New York. He eventually made his way to Allegheny City, Pa., now The Northside. While living and there, he met his wife, Rosina Schmatz, born in either Switzerland, or in Alsace-Lorraine in 1849. She emigrated in 1874, aboard the M/V Thuringia. They met and married, and Gottlieb Jr. was born February 2, 1876, in Old Allegheny City (now the North Side of Pittsburgh), Pa. When their son was 9 months old, they moved north along the Ohio River to Old Economy, in Beaver County.
The Flueckigers were among the first non-celibate working couples hired by the Harmonist Society. Their records show Gottlieb was employed as a contract laborer; he received good marks for his labor, and began steady work. In 1878 they had their daughter Rosina, and are recorded in the 1880 US census as living on Pitt St. up near the community’s orchards. The 1900 census reports them to be living in Economy Village, with Gottlieb working as a farmer, and Gottlieb Jr. employed as a farm hand. Their daughters Amelia (Milly)- b. 1884, Alice – b. 1887, and Bertha Mary (my grandmother) – b.1888, also lived at home. Of the family’s nine children, only four survived. Old Economy’s Listing of Farms indicates that Gottlieb worked his way up from laborer to being the orchardist of the Bottom Orchard. Hmmm, here I am also an orchardist!!
I have discovered that Gottlieb Sr. played the cornet in the Economy Band, and was a yodeler! His son, Gottlieb Jr. played the big drum in the marching band.
Gottlieb Sr. died on August 28, 1901, and is buried in the Old Economy Cemetery. His son’s obituary refers to his father as “an associate of Old Economy”. The Harmonist Society was also nearing to its end, but the Flueckigers stayed near Ambridge for awhile.
Gottlieb Jr. married Mary Pearce on January 8, 1901. He became a teamster for the new Ambridge Boro, and then took work in the steel mills. By 1910, his family, including daughter Mary b. 1903, and son Ira b. 1904 lived in their new house at 1639 Henrici St. Their daughter Mary died in October 1913, and her father bought a plot in Sewickley Cemetery. By 1920 he was employed as an electrician at American Bridge Company. By 1920 the family name was changed to Flickinger, and Gottlieb Jr. changed his first name to Fred. Their youngest daughter Hazel {who I remember} was born in 1918. On January 7, 1924 they moved to 1124 Maplewood Ave. In September, 1929, Fred he became a machinist for National Metal Molding Co.
Fred G. Flickinger died tragically at home on January 7th, 1929. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, and of the first Presbyterian Church. His widow began an in-home business as a seamstress. and his ten year old daughter had to take on the house work. Ira, now a welder in the pipe mill, lived at home to help support their mother, who died in 1967. Hazel married Alexander Teets and moved to California; she died in 2003. Ira died in December, 1974. Except for Hazel, they are buried in the Sewickley Cemetery as is Mary’s younger brother, blacksmith Joseph Pearce.
Fred’s younger sister, Amelia married Oscar Bauman, a Leetsdale grocer, soon before Ambridge formed. They had Fern b. 1908, May b. 1910, and William b.1917. The 1920 US Census lists long-widowed Rosina as “mother in law”. By 1930 the Baumans and their children had all moved to DeLand, Florida, where Oscar operated a feed store.
By 1913 Bertha worked as a postal clerk, advancing to asst. post mistress. Her mother stayed with her on Locust St. Within a year she married Thomas John Dunn. His family moved to Ambridge, from Etna in 1906. He had worked for US Steel in Pittsburgh, and was tranferred to their new structural steel fabricating mill – the Bridge Works. Thomas and Bertha Dunn lived at 718 14th St. and had 4 children. Read about the Dunns on the proceeding four parts of Chapter Four. The far-flung Flickingers will continue their tale next week.

compiled and written by Thos, J. Dunn/ Marti 21 Feb 2009
PS: Updated 15 Jun 2009, and 5 Feb 2010

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