A working family’s journey of loss and resilience

How a photo taken a few days after Labor Day 1913 affected a Pittsburgh family for generations By Steve Mellon
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 2, 2022

A photographer employed by the City of Pittsburgh shot this picture of William Faust’s covered body at the Aspinwall Pump Station on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 1913. (Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System)

A working family’s journey of loss and resilience

A working family’s journey of loss and resilience How a photo taken a few days after Labor Day 1913 affected a Pittsburgh family for generations By Steve Mellon | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 2, 2022
By Steve Mellon
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 2, 2022

This story begins with a black-and-white picture shot more than a century ago and now held with thousands of other historic photographs in the University of Pittsburgh archives. The image depicts a construction site — unfinished windows, a thick stone wall, wooden boards and a few bricks scattered on the ground. At the picture’s center, a man lies on his back, covered in blankets. Only the soles of his work boots and an elbow poke through. This is William Faust.

A few weeks ago, William’s 90-year-old nephew Hank Faust sat at the kitchen table of his Pine home and gazed at the picture for the first time. Hank never met his uncle, but he knows what happened that day. Sometimes, when he’s driving along Freeport Road, he’ll catch a glimpse of a stately old building across the street from a Taco Bell restaurant. In those moments, he thinks of his Uncle William.

But William is just one part of the Faust family story. There’s plenty more. History battered his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, his father. Early September was an especially brutal time. Hank’s sister, Anna Faust Beck, 81, wonders how her grandmother, Anna Faust, survived all of the grief.

Pittsburghers take pride in their reputation as tough, hard-working people. The roots of that reputation extend deep into the past and find their anchors in families like the Fausts. Their difficult stories, and the stories of their times, illuminate this city’s scarred but resilient soul.

Kate Mills, left, the cook and only woman killed in the Alice explosion, and her daughter Emily, 17, the boat’s chambermaid, as seen in The Pittsburgh Press on Aug. 31, 1913.

Labor Day

The days surrounding Labor Day in 1913 were destined to bring heartache to many in Pittsburgh. Troubles began the morning of Saturday, Aug. 30, with a towboat named Alice pushing several empty barges up the Ohio River, 8 miles north of Downtown. A layer of fog covered the calm water. Just past 6 o’clock, the Alice and its barges passed through lock 2 between Neville Island and Glenfield. The vessel’s captain waved to the lock master, and the Alice continued its journey. Deckhands could look to the north and see the massive Dixmont Home for the Insane looming on a bluff. Trains rumbled along tracks near the river.

A lock employee watched the towboat begin to disappear into the river’s mist. At 6:25, he saw the vessel break open “like an eggshell,” as one newspaper reported. The roar of an explosion rattled windows and jarred residents from their sleep. Wooden beams, twisted iron and other debris flew through the air, splashing down in the river or landing on the cultivated fields of Neville Island. One of the Alice’s three 6-ton boilers flew 1,600 feet, tumbling through a cornfield, splintering fences and trees before coming to a stop near a streetcar line.

Neville Island residents rushed to the shore. The Alice had a double crew so the boat could stay on the river for extended periods, but bystanders heard no screams or cries for help. Survivors were by then quietly struggling for their lives, clinging to floating debris or trying to free themselves from the boat’s sinking remains.

News of the disaster traveled quickly. The Pittsburgh Press scrambled to send a reporter and photographer to fill its Saturday afternoon edition with the details. One of the dead was Kate Mills, a mother who served as the boat’s cook. Her daughter, Emily, a chambermaid, survived. Authorities found two bodies in the water; divers spent the next few days searching for others.

Forty-eight hours after the explosion, on Monday morning, the river coughed up two more victims while 12,000 tradespeople lined up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to march in the annual Labor Day parade. The already long list of Pittsburgh workers killed on the job had grown by eight. And the week was just beginning.

A lone worker is visible on the roof of the Aspinall Pump Station in this photograph, shot by a photographer employed by the City of Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 1913. (Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System)

The Fausts

William Faust lived with his parents, Bernard and Anna, and five siblings in a narrow, two-story house perched on Norwood Avenue in the North Side’s Perry Hilltop neighborhood. Bernard and Anna were both in their 50s. Their children still living at home ranged in age from 11 to 26. Anna’s 80-year-old father, Joe Wieseckle, lived with them. Wieseckle immigrated from Germany as a young man and had worked as a gravedigger.

On Labor Day in 1913, Ben Faust celebrated his 22nd birthday while workers paraded Downtown and authorities continued to search for Alice’s victims. William, just 23, was one year older than Ben. A few years earlier, Ben and William had worked as drug store clerks. Now both were sheet metal workers, as was their older brother, Michael.

The next day, Pittsburgh returned to work. The Alice disaster had disappeared from newspapers by Wednesday, Sept. 3. William stepped out of his family’s crowded house that day and headed to a construction site near the city’s border with Aspinwall. He worked there for a company contracted to build the Aspinwall Pump Station, part of Pittsburgh’s sprawling new water works.

On this day, he climbed to the building’s roof, high above telegraph and telephone poles and stepped along boards that served as scaffolding. He’d spend his shift covering seams with copper flashing.

A photographer arrived later in the day, using a bulky camera and tripod to take pictures of the construction site. This wasn’t unusual. The city was proud of its new water works and regularly sent photographers to document its construction.

After shooting a few images of the pump station’s interior, the photographer carried his equipment a few hundred yards east and snapped a picture of the entire building. In the photo, a tiny, solitary worker is perched near the roof’s peak. This may be William Faust. He worked alone that day, according to later testimony.

As 4 o’clock approached and the work day neared its end, a foreman called out to Faust and asked how much solder he needed for the next day’s work. Faust was hammering a nail into a support so he could climb from one scaffolding section to another, the foreman said. While he was hammering, the board supporting Faust broke loose. He skidded down the steep slate, over the roof’s edge and plummeted to the ground. Fellow workers rushed to his side.

The commotion caught the attention of the photographer. He got close to the accident scene, where he found Faust, his skull broken, his body already covered. After shooting a picture, the photographer backed off several yards and snapped a picture of the entire building. A scaffold board dangles at the top of the frame.

Authorities transported William’s body to the county morgue and informed his brother, Michael. At age 33, he was the oldest of the Faust children and lived with his wife, Anna, on the South Side. Michael had to identify his brother’s broken body.

On Norwood Avenue, Bernard and Anna Faust absorbed the news of their son’s death and experienced a familiar pain. An online family history indicates the Fausts lost at least three young children. All were born in the 1880s and died between the ages of 2 and 5.

More than a century later, Bernard and Anna’s granddaughter, Anna Faust Beck, would find the tombstones of a few of those children during a visit to a Pittsburgh cemetery.

“I can’t believe how my grandmother survived emotionally,” she said. “She lost a set of infant twins and a 5-year-old on the same day.” Anna was told the children died of diphtheria, a throat infection.

William Faust is buried at St. Mary Cemetery in Ross. (Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette)

As the day grew dark, Anna and Bernard planned a funeral in a house suddenly less crowded. A week that began with a celebration of workers quickly morphed into ceremonies burying them.

The Alice’s dead were mourned in homes on the North Side and in Knoxville, Elizabeth, Monongahela and Rochester. At a house on an alley in Lawrenceville, mourners gathered Sept. 4 for the funeral of Kate Mills, the cook and the only woman among the Alice’s victims. Her 17-year-old daughter Emily survived, but grief wrecked her. The explosion that tore her mother apart also killed her fiance, first mate Harry Mays.

On Saturday, the Faust family conducted a brief funeral for William at their home, then proceeded two blocks south to the Church of the Annunciation for a requiem Mass. Bernard and Anna buried William on a hillside at St. Mary Cemetery in Ross. His tombstone reads, “Our Son.”

William’s death lacked the horrifying violence of those killed aboard the Alice, so in the eyes of newspaper editors it warranted only a brief story among obituaries. Jurors at a coroner’s hearing in late September heard construction supervisors testify that William’s hammering jarred loose the scaffolding. Jurors ruled the death accidental.

A few weeks later, another jury considered the Alice disaster. A safety valve had been set to allow dangerous levels of pressure in a boiler, the jurors learned. They recommended that a grand jury look into charges of criminal neglect against the boat’s owner, W.B. Sand Co., as well one of the Alice’s surviving engineers.

Newspapers then stopped covering the story and moved on. So did the company that owned the Alice. On Nov. 1, the Pittsburgh Post published a classified ad that read, “Wanted — Cook for River Steamer, Rogers Sand Co., Wood and Water sts.”

At left, Ben Faust shows his playful side in an undated picture that may have been shot near his family’s Norwood Avenue home on Pittsburgh’s North Side. At right, Ben in uniform. He would be forever changed by his service in World War I. (Photograph courtesy of Hank Faust)

Pittsburgh at war

A cannon boomed from a hillside overlooking Pittsburgh at 7 o’clock on the morning of Tuesday, June 5, 1917. The report reverberated across Downtown, signaling the beginning of an extraordinary day. The city buzzed. Cars and motorcycles rumbled to and from the Allegheny County County Courthouse. Saloons closed for the day in an effort to keep everyone sober. Officials hoped things would go smoothly. Just in case, they cleared 600 beds at Western Penitentiary on the North Side.

In Pittsburgh and across the nation, men headed to local precincts to register for the draft. America’s long debate over whether to join the bloody meat grinder of a war being waged in Europe ended in April 1917 with the U.S. declaring war on Germany. Anti-draft riots broke out in New York. Officials here worried: How would Pittsburgh react?

The answer came quickly. Many men arrived early at their precincts and waited in line for doors to open. In one case, the number of registrants overwhelmed precinct workers, so a group of school teachers was summoned and sworn in to assist.

The next day, newspapers reported that at least 142,000 Allegheny County men had signed registration cards — thousands more than anticipated. Ben Faust was among them. Registration cards contained 12 questions, including this one: “Do you claim exemption from draft?” Ben responded, “Yes, on account of an injured wrist.”

Uncle Sam wanted him anyway. The Army sent Ben to Fort Lee, Va., then shipped him to France in time for one of the deadliest military campaigns in American history.

Members of Ben Faust’s unit — Company K, 320th Infantry — shortly after arrival at Camp Lee, Virginia in 1918. Most men in the 320th were Pittsburghers. (Photograph courtesy of Hank Faust)

In late September 1918, he and other members of the 320th Infantry gathered in northeastern France and marched down muddy roads to the war’s front line. The smell of gunpowder and death filled the air. A U.S. soldier passing a trench once used by French forces noticed a human skull and a leg bone, still protruding from a shoe — remains left to rot on the battlefield.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive began at 5:03 a.m. Sept. 26. One Pittsburgh soldier kept a diary of his battle experience, which was later published in The Pittsburgh Press. He described the 320th Infantry’s initial advance, preceded by a massive artillery bombardment of the German lines. ”The noise made by the cannon and machine guns behind us was terrific,” he wrote. “You couldn’t hear the man next to you. … Soon after we started, Sergeant Halsey was shot in the neck and spit the bullet out of his mouth, later dying.”

The American troops, many of them untested, rose up to assault veteran German forces who’d learned how to protect themselves in trenches. Machine gun fire tore through the advancing doughboys. German artillery pounded them.

On Sept. 29, near a tiny place called Bethencourt, a bullet found Ben Faust. Records say he was wounded in the right buttocks, but his nephew says the wound was in his groin.

He remained in Europe four more months before the Army shipped him home in early February 1919. He continued his recovery in a military hospital in Carlisle, Pa. Ben Faust’s stint in the Army ended in September of that year. Scarred, he returned to his Norwood Avenue home. The war, however, was not yet done with him.

Clara Faust’s picture as seen in Daily Post on Sept. 7, 1920, one day after the accident at Niagara Falls.

Labor Day 1920

By age 62, Anna Faust had buried at least four of her children and had waved goodbye to another as he departed for The Great War. Ben, at least, had survived and returned home to Norwood Avenue, so perhaps Anna should have felt at ease on Labor Day of 1920.

She didn’t. Perhaps it was an echo of the sharp grief that crashed down on her seven years ago, almost to the day, when she learned of William’s death. Or maybe it had something to do with her daughter, Clara.

Clara, 25, worked as a clerk in the Union Station offices of the Pennsylvania Railroad. She had fallen in love with one of her co-workers, a tall, 26-year-old man with blue eyes and light hair. His name was William Lee. Now engaged, Clara and William had decided to make a Labor Day visit to Niagara Falls.

Her mother didn’t like the idea, Unmarried young women should not travel alone with single men, Anna said. But a mother’s advice was no match for love. Clara and William boarded a train Saturday morning, planning to be back in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Anna would feel better then, with all of her children nearby.

Clara and William spent Monday, Sept. 6, exploring Niagara Falls. Back in Pittsburgh, families gathered in city parks for Labor Day picnics. Late in the afternoon, a man approached the Faust home and stepped onto the wooden porch. Anna answered the door. The man identified himself as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post. Before he could deliver the news that had hummed over the wire a short time ago, Anna breathed a single word: “Clara.”

Sometime after lunch, Clara and William had joined several other tourists for a journey to Cave of the Winds, an overhanging ledge of rock behind Bridal Veil Falls, one of three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls. A tour leader guided the group down hundreds of steps and across a series of rickety bridges, taking them ever closer to a 20-foot thick wall of cascading water. A cloud of mist enveloped the tourists, who wore oilskins to stay dry.

The entrance to Cave of the Winds at Niagara Falls, circa 1900. (New York Public Library)

Clara took William’s hand and followed a couple from Detroit across the final bridge and up some steps. A husband and wife from Brooklyn followed behind. That couple was still on the bridge when five tons of shale broke loose from the ledge high above and tumbled down unnoticed, the sound smothered by the fall’s roar. Falling rock wiped out the bridge and the Brooklyn couple. Rocks struck Clara Faust, tearing her from William’s grasp and hurling her to the mist and rocks below. William, too, was struck but not carried away. He stood on the path, bloodied from wounds to his head, and cried out for help.

Crew members on the tourist steamer Maid of the Mist climbed into a small boat and rowed dangerously close to the falls to recover the dead — Clara Faust, and the couple from Brooklyn, soon identified as Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Hartman.

Anna Faust couldn’t bear to hear the details of the tragedy. She withdrew into the house, leaving her 23-year-old son, Harry, to talk to the Post reporter about his sister and her engagement. The family produced a picture of Clara that could be published in the newspaper.

Later that night, Harry boarded a train to Niagara Falls so he could accompany his sister’s broken body on its journey home. Harry asked his mother to join him on the trip. She declined.

Newspapers across the country ran stories of the accident on their front pages. In Pittsburgh, the Post’s headline was: “Pittsburgh Girl Killed at Niagara.” Clara Faust and the Brooklyn couple were the first to die at the Cave of the Winds since its opening in the mid 1800s. Engineers inspected the site and decided it should remain closed. It reopened a few years later as a changed attraction. The path taking tourists behind the falls remained forever closed.

On Friday, Sept. 9, Anna and Bernard Faust gathered once again with their surviving sons and daughters on the week of Labor Day to mourn the loss of a child.

Elizabeth and Ben Faust enjoy a happy moment in a picture circa dated 1930. (Photograph courtesy of Hank Faust)

Faust brothers

Change continued to buffet the Faust family in the following years. Bernard Faust died in 1927; Anna followed her husband to the grave five years later. Ben married Elizabeth Staab, 25, who worked as a clerk at the grocery store operated by her father, a German immigrant. A few years later, Ben’s younger brother, Harry, married Elizabeth’s sister, Marie.

Harry and Marie started a family. First came son Hank, then daughters Rose, Anna and Bernice, then another son Richard. For Ben and Elizabeth, however, there would be no children.

This was one of the tragedies of Ben’s life for he adored children. “Uncle Ben” always carried a handful of quarters to hand out when kids came to visit, nephew Hank recalled.

What happened to Ben in Europe remains a mystery — Hank has no memories of his uncle discussing his war experience. It’s clear, however, that he emerged from World War I a damaged man, both physically and emotionally.

Hank clearly recalls visiting his maternal grandmother’s house in West View when he was 6 or 7 years old and seeing his Uncle Ben. On occasion, Ben’s happy-go-lucky nature would dissolve into anguish. This usually happened after he’d been drinking. He wept uncontrollably and spoke vaguely about the war. In these painful moments, he said the bullet wound to his groin made it impossible for him and Elizabeth to have children.

His mother-in-law tried to calm him. “Ben, you have to get control of yourself,’” she’d say.

Ben and Elizabeth stayed busy. She played organ at St. Alphonsus church, and he continued laboring as a sheet metal worker, often taking out-of-town jobs in places like Buffalo and Chicago. While home, he threw his energies into building a house with a detached garage near Rt. 19 in Pine.

Strains in the couple’s relationship became apparent during Sunday dinners with Ben’s brothers and other relatives. The couple frequently argued and hurled insults, Hank recalled. “My grandma was there and she would say, ‘Now Ben, you don’t mean that’ and ‘Liz, you don’t mean what you’re saying. Come on. Enjoy dinner.’ Grandma was trying to settled them down.’”

In the spring of 1943, Ben began making repairs to a private road that ran across his property. One day in late March, he felt ill, so he paused his work and went inside to rest. His condition quickly worsened. Ben died the afternoon of Wednesday, March 31 from bacterial meningitis.

The loss shocked family members. “He got sick and died before anyone knew what happened to him,” Anna Faust Beck said.

Concerned the bacteria could spread, health officials fumigated several rooms in Ben and Elizabeth’s house. Family members gathered for a private funeral service at St. Alphonsus cemetery. Ben’s casket remained closed and sealed. Children were not allowed to attend.

Michael Faust in later years with niece Anna Faust (now Anna Beck) and nephew Richard Faust. (Photograph courtesy of Anna Beck)

Uncle Mike

Michael and Anna Faust celebrated the birth of their first child, Joseph, in July 1909. The child survived only three days. A year later, Anna gave birth to another son, William. The family moved to a two-story home they’d purchased on Fredonia Street in the city’s Elliot neighborhood.

Things got rough in the 1920s. Anna died of heart disease in 1923. Michael never remarried. By 1930, the early years of the Great Depression, he was out of work. He and William shared their house with a rent-paying couple raising two young daughters. Families boarded at the Fredonia Street home for years.

Well-dressed Michael Faust, circa 1910. Faust had a long career as a sheet metal worker. (Photograph courtesy of Hank Faust)

Hank Faust and Anna Faust Beck remember their uncle as a man who always dressed well and had a talent for numbers.

“Uncle Mike was sort of a mathematician,” Hank said. “He always had a pencil in his pocket. He’d wear it out. If you were building a fireplace, he’d get out his pencil and figure out exactly how many bricks you’d need. He’d always be right.”

When Hank was a child, his uncle would sometimes visit and stay for dinner. Michael’s left hand shook uncontrollably, so he’d use his right hand to hold it steady while lifting food to his mouth. Hank later asked his father about this and was told Uncle Mike “drank too much beer and whiskey over a long period of time and it affected his nerves.” By then, however, Michael had quit drinking, Hank said.

Hank and his sister possess two pictures of their Uncle Mike. One image shows him as a young man wearing a suit and tie, his trousers cuffed. On his head rests a flat cap, popular among workers in the 1910s and ’20s. The other picture shows him as an older man, in the mid 1940s. Anna Faust Beck is in that picture, too. She’s a young girl holding a doll. Her younger brother, Richard, sits off to the side. Michael is thin, almost gaunt, and stares seriously into the camera. He’s still dapper, wearing dark trousers, a buttoned shirt and suspenders.

Michael Faust died suddenly at his Fredonia Street home on Friday, Feb. 7, 1958. He was 76.

Marie and Harry Faust in the 1960s. (Photograph courtesy of Hank Faust)

Surviving son

Harry Faust, Bernard and Anna’s youngest son, did not follow his brothers’ path into the sheet metal trade. He worked as a mechanic, first for Studebaker, then for a Buick dealership, where he eventually became service manager. He and his wife, Marie, lost their house in West View due to financial problems sometime after 1940, Hank said, so the family moved into an old church building that had been converted to apartments on Route 19. Anna Beck was born there.

The church’s sprawling basement served as a roller skating rink for young Hank. During World War II, the Fausts raised chickens. At one time, they filled the basement with about 1,200 chicks in incubators.

Hank Faust spent the first several years of his life in this house, seen here in the late 1930s, on Clearview Avenue in West View. He said his parents Bernard and Marie Faust lost the house due to financial difficulties around the year 1940. (Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette)

In the mid 1940s, the old church was sold and the Fausts had to move. Harry and Marie bought property in McCandless, but building a house would take time. Where would the family live in the meantime? Elizabeth still lived in the home she and Ben had built years earlier in Pine, so she stepped in to help her sister and brother-in-law.

But the house wasn’t big enough for Harry and Marie’s entire brood. Only the daughters moved in with Elizabeth. The rest of the family — mom and dad and sons Hank and Richard — moved into Elizabeth’s detached two-car garage, which had no plumbing.

“We had to carry water from the house, about 50-75 feet away, “ Hank said. “We had an outhouse over the hill.”

On a few occasions, members Harry Faust’s family lived in this detached garage on Ben and Elizabeth Faust’s Pine property. (Photograph courtesy of Anna Beck).

Hank & Josephine

The garage figures largely in Hank’s life. In 1953, he married Josephine Rush, and the couple moved into a Squirrel Hill apartment. Hank worked as a mechanic in a Buick dealership, but a downturn in the automobile industry took a chunk out of his paycheck. Then Josephine quit her job to recover from a miscarriage. The couple needed to cut expenses, so he called his Aunt Elizabeth to see if the garage was still available.

It was. The couple moved there in 1954 and stayed about 18 months before things settled for them financially. They made the best of it. Elizabeth parked her 1939 Buick in one of the garage bays, so Hank and Josephine would sit with their feet propped on the car’s bumper and watch TV.

“I burned five tons of coal in a potbelly stove that winter,” Hank said. “That pipe would glow red — cherry red. Oh, I think I could have burned the garage down.”

After several months, Josephine returned to her job at a bank, and Hank moved up from his position as a mechanic to become, like his father, manager of a Buick dealership’s service department. The couple moved into a Glenshaw apartment, and eventually built a home in Hampton. They raised two daughters and a son.

Hank Faust as a Buick service manager, circa 1960. (Photograph courtesy of Hank Faust)

For several years in the early 1970s, he worked a side job, delivering mushroom compost. In the spring months, he’d rise about 2:30 am to pick up a load of compost in his truck, come home, change clothes and drive his car to the Buick dealership. After his shift there, he’d drive home to change again, then deliver the compost.

“I put two girls through college that way,” he said.

After retiring from the Buick dealership, he worked 15 years as a mail carrier for the Postal Service.

Hank’s father, Harry, smoked Lucky Strike cigarettes, a longtime habit that eventually caught up with him. Walking up steps left him struggling for breath in his later years. Harry developed emphysema.

On Sept. 2, 1970, Harry lay in a bed at Pittsburgh’s Presbyterian Hospital and held Hank’s hand.

“I guess you think I’m crazy,” he said to his son. “No, I don’t think you’re crazy, dad,” Hank replied. Then Harry died.

Hank Faust, 90, at his Pine home on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. (Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette)

Legacy of labor

These days, Hank keeps busy by taking care of his 1½ acres in Pine. He’s slender and wiry, his skin brown from working in the sun. He likes using the skills he’s learned in his long life to solve problems. Not long ago, he needed a log splitter. Instead of buying one, he made his own with a salvaged motor and an I-beam.

Josephine died in 2013, and Hank still misses her. He’s proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, but doesn’t spend much time thinking about his family’s legacy. When pressed on this issue, he says, “We’re pretty much a hard-working group. Pretty much on the level, you know.”

His sister, Anna Faust Beck, now lives in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake. The Fausts’ long and often tragic history has taught her to treasure her family members. For years, she and her brothers and sisters, along with their spouses, vacationed together at the beach. They played cards, laughed, shared family stories, and cooked.

“We’re pretty decent cooks, so the highlight was that each person made their specialties,” she said.

It’s a family tradition. She remembers when Bernard and Anna’s surviving children gathered for similar visits years ago.

“It was laughter all around,” she said. “They just enjoyed being together. Maybe they appreciated each other more because they had lost so much.”


The Pittsburgh Post, The Pittsburgh Press and the Gazette Times accessed through newspapers.com; census reports, death certificates and military records accessed through ancestry.com; William Faust coroner’s report, accessed through University of Pittsburgh Archives Service Center; “The Great War in America” by Garrett Peck, Pegasus books (2018); “Pennsylvanians at Meuse-Argonne: The 28th, 79th and 80th Divisions in the Last Major Offensive of the Great War” by Tyler Gum, Pennsylvania Heritage (spring 2018); Cave of the Winds history, niagarafallsinfo.com.

Top photo: A photographer employed by the City of Pittsburgh shot this picture of William Faust’s covered body at the Aspinwall Pump Station on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 1913. (Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System)

Story and research: Steve Mellon, smellon@post-gazette.com.
Design and development: Tyler Pecyna/Post-Gazette, tpecyna@post-gazette.com