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Life in Washington Co., PA "Little Washington" 
1700s to Present


in The City of Washington
Washington County PA

These pages are dedicated to the
employees of the former Jessop Steel Corp.

See Mills and Plants

JOSEPH FERDINAND FLORIAN, past employee at Jessop Steel Corp.

came in contact with 25,000 volts of electricity at Jessop Steel
 and was instantly killed

Submitted by Judith Florian, his granddaughter


written by Judith Florian

JOSEPH FERDINAND FLORIAN: Son of Ferdinand Florian [b. 1869 Bavaria, Germany] and Mary "Grossy" Ackerman Florian, Joseph was born Aug. 17, 1900 in Washington, Pa. "He attended Washington High School, and quit in 1916 after his sophomore year. He went to work for his brother, Francis L., in the Washington Wiring Company. In the early days of radio, he attended the Factory Service Indoctrination School, Majestic Radio Factory, Chicago, Ill. After he completed radio school, he went back to work for his brother, Francis. About 1933, due to the Depression, Francis moved the Washington Wiring Company out of the business district to his garage at the rear of 275 Donnan Avenue, Washington, Pa. Joe moved the radio equipment to the living room of his home, 643 Allison Avenue, Washington, Pa. and set up ‘Joe’s Radio Shop’. He operated this repair shop until 1950 when he decided to close it down. In July 1941, he went to work (as an electrician) for Jessop Steel Co., Washington, Pa. He worked there until Dec. 8, 1952, at which time he met with a tragic accident. In the course of his work, he came in contact with 25,000 volts of electricity and was instantly killed." [This is quoted from the work of Joseph F. "Bud" Florian, Jr., courtesy of his daughter, Roseanne Florian Bunnell.] On Oct. 7, 1922, Joseph married Daisy Irene Hatfield. Five children were born to Joseph and Irene: Mary Dolores b. June 24, 1923; Jean Marie b. Jan. 23, 1925; Joseph Ferdinand, Jr., b. Apr. 22, 1926; James Francis b. Dec. 9, 1927 and John Richard Florian b. Sept. 20, 1930. Joseph Sr. was a member of St. Hilary’s Roman Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, Holy Name Society, and the American Legion, all Washington, Pa. He lived in the same city his entire life, lastly at 643 Allison Ave. Joseph died Mon., Dec. 8, 1952 and was buried Thurs., Dec. 11 in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Washington Co., Pa. He was 52 yrs. old, 3 months, and 21 days old at his death. See The History of Washington County, Pennsylvania by Earle R. Forrest: Chicago The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1926, Vol. 2, pp. 524-527 for biographical sketch about Francis L. Florian with photo on p. 525.

DAISY IRENE HATFIELD FLORIAN:Daughter of Charles Preston Hatfield and Madge Violet Gantz Hatfield, Daisy I. "Irene" was born Jan. 28, 1904 in Webster, Westmoreland Co., Pa. Daisy Irene was the oldest of 4 children. Her brother and sisters were Lawrence M. "Bud", Grace R., Dorothy E. She attended Lone Pine School, Washington High School, Washington Business College, and W & J Adult Education Program [1955-6]. On Oct. 7, 1922, Irene married Joseph Ferdinand Florian, Sr. in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Martin’s Ferry, Ohio. Five children were born to Joseph and Irene: Mary Dolores b. June 24, 1923; Jean Marie b. Jan. 23, 1925; Joseph Ferdinand, Jr., b. Apr. 22, 1926; James Francis b. Dec. 9, 1927 and John Richard Florian b. Sept. 20, 1930. She worked at Radio Supply, Jefferson Ave., Washington Co., Pa. as a bookkeeper and accountant until her retirement. Originally a member of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Canonsburg, she switched to Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church and later, she was a member of St. Hilary’s Roman Catholic Church, both in Washington, Pa. Her son, Jack, and his wife made their home with Daisy Irene [several homes]. She was a resident at Kade’s Nursing Home during some of her last illnesses. On Tues., July 11, 1995, at age 91, (Daisy) Irene died after a long illness. She was buried Fri., July 14, 1995 in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Washington, Pa. Daisy I. was 91 years, 5 months, 16 days old when she died.

"Obituary" and "Funeral Notice" for JOSEPH FERDINAND FLORIAN, see The Reporter newspaper, Washington Co., Pa., Mon. Dec. 8, 1952, p. 1 and p. 10, and see Tues., Dec. 9, 1952, p. 8; "Funeral Notice," p. 18; see The Observer newspaper, Washington Co., Pa., Dec. 9, 1952, front page, Photo with Caption: "Is Electrocuted. "Joseph F. Florian, 52, was instantly killed yesterday while at work at Jessop Steel Company where he was an electrician. His death occurred when he came in contact with a 25,000 volt line atop a circuit breaker." Article "Man Killed At Jessop Plant - Joseph Florian, 52, Is Electrocuted," front page and p. 10. His son, James F. Florian, is listed on page 10, column one.

According to Rose Florian, the funeral for Joseph F. Florian was huge. He was well-liked and had a lot of friends.

See Article from the Post-Tribune, Gary, In., "Grandfather Was My Hero," by Dolores Fetcko about her Grandfather Ferdinand Florian.

"Obituary" and "Funeral Notice" for DAISY IRENE HATFIELD FLORIAN - see The Observer-Reporter, Washington Co., Pa., Weds., July 12, 1995, p. 

NOTE: Irene had 38 grandchildren, 131 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren at the time of her death; the figures given in the "Obituary" were incorrect.

NOTE: See The Florian Family History: The History of Ferdinand and Mary Catherine Ackerman Florian, Compiled by Joseph Ferdinand Florian, Jr. and Roseanne Florian Bunnell, 1992, p. 3, p. 8 [Indexed.]

The above write-ups are quoted by the author from the book The Preacher and His Kids: Descendants of Reverend Daniel Lane of Washington County Pennsylvania. Focusing on the family of Daniel Lane and Anna England Lane; with a short history of known information of the LANE family in Frederick Co., Md. [until 1809], and in Washington Co., Pa. [from 1809 on], then spreading across the nation [early 1900's]. By: Ruth Elizabeth Lane McGary and Judith Ann Florian, With Catherine Louise Caldwell, Copyright 1993, First Printed 2005, All Common Law Copyrights Protected.




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See Mills and Plants



Washington County PA was founded in 1781 (but explorers and settlers came as early as the 1740s). The county has played a significant role in Pennsylvania and American history. George Washington as a youth had surveyed west of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia for his brother's father-in-law. Prior to becoming a General, young George was tapped to lead soldier into Ohio during the French & Indian war. During colonial times, General Washington, later as US President, George Washington visited the area several times. During the Whiskey Rebellion, Washington played a central role. Washington County PA was the first county in the United States of America to be named in honor of George Washington.

On my section, "The RockDoctor's Virtual Guide to Southwestern Pennsylvania", I have pages about George Washington and Historical Military Conflicts Affecting SW PA 

These Genealogical and Historical Societies might help you in your research..


California Area Historical Society
429 Wood Street
California PA 15419

Greater Canonsburg Heritage Society
169 E. Pike Street
Canonsburg PA 15317

David Bradford House 
175 South Main Street
Washington PA 15301

Donora Historical Society (Est. 1946) moved from their old location. 
They are now at:
Donora Smog Museum and Historical Society 
595 McKean Aveue
P.O. Box 522, Donora, Pennsylvania, 15033

Duncan Glass Journal

The Nat. Duncan Glass Society
PO Box 965
Washington PA 15301

Jefferson College Historical Society
220 N. Central Ave 
Canonsburg PA 15317

Jefferson Township Historical Society
PO Box 383
Burgettstown PA 15021
Phone: 724-947-9015
Fax: 724-729-3509

McKeever Study/Library Association
84 W. Main Street
West Middletown PA 15379

Greater Monessen Historical Society
505 Donner Ave
Monessen, PA 15062
(724) 684-8460

Monongahela Area Historical Society
P.O. Box 152
Monongahela PA 15063

Morris Township Historical Society 
186C Dunns Station Rd. 
Prosperity PA 15329

Peter's Creek Historical Society
c/o Fred Braun
115 Great Oaks Rd.
McMurray PA 15317

Rostraver Township Historical Society
No current address known.

Venetia Heritage Society
117 McCombs Road
Venetia PA 15367

Washington County Historical Society
49 E. Maiden Street
Washington PA 15301

Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania
PO Box 894
Washington, PA 15301
Phone: 724-222-7022
Public meetings: the second Sunday of each month from September - May at Citizens Library, Washington, PA.

Washington County History & Landmarks Foundation
PO Box 274
Washington, PA 15301
Phone: 724-225-6740
Preservation, promotion, and education of historic architecture in Washington County.

Washington County Historical Society
49 East Maiden Street
Washington, PA 15301
Phone: 724-225-6740
Fax: 724-225-8495
Operates The LeMoyne House. Teaches and preserves county history.

West Alexander Historical Society
PO Box 3
West Alexander, PA 15376
Phone: 724-484-7475
Promotion and preservation of c.1796 village on Old National Road.

Greene County Historical Society Museum
PO Box 127
Waynesburg, PA 15370
Phone: 724-627-3204
Fax: 724-627-3204
Public history exhibits: Greene County Poor Farm from the 1860's, a 52-room building. Open seasonally. Address: 918 Rolling Meadows Road, Waynesburg.

*This list is not an official listing of all the historical societies or related organizations in Washington County PA.  Email me at the address below to update list.




This page was last updated on Sunday, December 20, 2015 05:25

Judith Ann Florian
Girard, Ohio 44420

Copyright Notice - Data / info. for individuals and surnames may be reproduced for personal family histories only, but not for any commercial use or sale. Please give credit to Judith Florian and Catherine L. Caldwell for newspaper items and original documents. You may use J. Florian's research conclusions if credit is given. No other data or images may be reproduced without permission. © 2005 to present, Judith Florian, Copyright All rights reserved.

Backgrounds by Marie. The background was chosen specifically to emphasize the matriarchal role of women in "the life" of children and families, and the resilience of all the women of southwestern Pennsylvania.