My favorite piece of art hanging up in our apartment

My favorite piece of art hanging up in our apartment happens to be my family tree from the Valentour side. My brother curt gave it to me during one of his moves siting he didn’t have the room for it anymore.

Thank You Curt. I absolutely love it.

The start of the family tree is in Naninne, Belgium.

Some members moved to Soissons, France and stayed. It is 62 miles northeast of Paris and one of the most ancient towns in France.

The rest came to America in 1876 and stayed in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. 1800’s is not very far back in the heritage but I’ll take it. Maybe I can do some research when I’m retired and find out more about the ancestry.

I did a search for Ferdenande Quinet Valentour and found this:

AUGUST VALENTOUR, owner and proprietor of the Bazaar Store, located in his building, at McDonald, is well acquainted with and needs no introduction to the thousands of French-speaking people of this and other French settlements of western Pennsylvania.

He was born in Belgium, January 24, 1860, and is the youngest child of Florent and Ferdenande (Quinet) Val­entour. When four years old his parents moved to France. He attended public school until the age of ten, then worked in a glass house until the fall of 1871, when in company with his brothers, Victor, Joseph and Oliver, aged respectively 25, 23, and 20 years, came to Pittsburg, where August began his own independent and eventful career by working in the various glass houses then flour­ishing in Pittsburg. In the fall of 1874 he joined his
brothers, Victor and Joseph, who had settled at Midway, Allegheny County, and there worked two years in the mines. Then in the spring of 1876, in company with his parents, who had lately arrived, he moved on a farm in Fayette County, and engaged in the timber business (which business his father had followed all his life), shipping staves to Belgium.

It was then that August, appreciating the necessity of an English education, applied himself relentlessly during the spare moments after the day’s labor, with the sole assistance of a small dictionary, towards mastering the English language sufficiently to be able to cope with the additional duty devolved upon him through this business.

Four years later, having used up all the timber on their farm, his father, in quest of more timber, moved to Mississippi, against the advice of August, who re­turned to Midway. Then in the fall of 1881 he joined his father in Mississippi and for the two following years worked in the cotton fields and at the timber business.

On July 4, 1883, the sanitary condition of that coun­try not being to his liking, he returned and located in McDonald. He worked in the different mines for about two years, then secured a position in a grocery store in Shadyside, and was then with J. D. Sauters for about five years. Then in 1891 he opened up a clothing store, conducting it until 1902, when he started in his present business.

In July, 1887, Mr. Valentour was married to Miss Mary L. Chambon, a daughter of Louis and Adele (Baguet) Chambon. She died in 1892, leaving two children, Adele F. and Louis F., and in 1896 Mr. Valentour married Miss Marie C. Voye, a daughter of Joseph and Clemence (Re­bould) Voye. To this second union two children have been bom, Marie J. and August F.

In politics Mr. Valentour has always been identified with the Republican party. Is a member of present Coun­cil and of numerous French and English speaking frater­nal organizations.

His father and mother, sister Mary, brothers Oliver and Victor are deceased. His sister Virginia resides in France and brother Joseph in Jackson, Miss., and brother Theophilis in Kentucky.

(Source: 20th Century History of the City of Washington and Washington County, Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens, Joseph F. McFarland, Chicago, Ill., Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co., 1910, p.1225.)

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. LOL. My youngest sister has discovered that our great, great grandfather was a Republican.

    I am very glad you have this Lizzie. Interesting you found the information about the Bazaar store. I have an old postcard I bought of ebay that was printed in PA by Valentour Bazaar. Now I know the rest of that story.

    Also, per our grandfather, what you are referring to as “art” was actually a product of one of the earliest forms of a copy machine.

  2. Machel Pettingill says:

    Lizzie – My maternal grandparents lived at the Valentour Apartments in McDonald, PA when I was a little girl (I’m nearly 62). I remember my grandfather looking out his kitchen window that faced an A&P grocery store. I wonder if any of it is still there. If you or anyone have photos of that area, I would appreciate seeing them! I plan to return to McDonald to visit and started Googleing McDonald when I found your blog. Also, in response to Curtis’ post, that was probably called a mimeograph machine.

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