Monday, March 16, 2015

Pittsburgh Death of Nathan T. Velar

When McKinley was President, Nathan T. Velar was appointed in 1897 to be the first black postmaster in the country. His death was reported in The Pittsburgh Courier in August 25, 1928, which can be viewed on

Pittsburgh Death of Nathan Velar
"The community has lost one of its most noble citizens--Nathan T. Velar! A grand, old warrior whose rugged personality and aggressive spirit inspired local color and impetus forty years ago! 
Mr. Velar's political and civic career began in 1888. Although he was a familiar figure in various community efforts, it was the political field that claimed his major interest. He was a staunch Republican and his zealous activity soon won him recognition among foremost leaders of is party.
Mr. Velar was born in Frederickstown, Mo., September 12, 1858. He was educated, however, in Sparta, Ill., where his family moved when he was young. He came to Pennsylvania at an early age and settled in Rankin. In 1892, Mr. Velar moved to Brenton [sic], Pa., where he served as postmaster for ten years.
In 1889 he was elected school director and in 1890 chosen a member of the Borough Council of Rankin. He was also a member of the Afro-American Republican Club. In business he gained an honorable reputation; in early years he was connected with the Carnegie Steel Company.
Mr. Velar is survived by a widow, seven sons, four daughters and many grandchildren. Since his death Tuesday evening, telegrams of sympathy from county, city and borough officials and friends have flooded into his late residence, 601 Boundary street, East Pittsburgh." 


  1. And to this day, we his numerous descendants in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Toledo, and elsewhere are grateful for the legacy he left for us.

    1. I am so honored that you visited my blog and took the time to leave a comment. You must be very proud of your ancestor!

    2. I feel honored to be named after the first Black Postmaster of the United States... especially knowing that he is my ancestor.

  2. This is cool. He is my boyfriends great ancestor per there family history and family tree.

  3. PS. All of my boyfriends Velar family are in Pittsburgh, Virginia and some moved to California.


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