At least three men important in Pittsburgh’s early history bore the name Neville: General John Neville, his son Colonel Presley Neville, and his grandson Neville B. Craig.
General John Neville (1731–1803) was an officer in the Revolutionary War. He was a private in the ill-fated expedition of General Edward Braddock (eponym of Braddock Avenue) to Fort Duquesne in 1755.[5, 7] As a captain, he commanded the Virginia troops that occupied Fort Pitt in 1775, remaining there for two years.[5, 9, 10, 13, 14] In 1794, he was appointed “Inspector of Excise” by President Washington to collect the recently enacted “whiskey tax.” The tax was very unpopular in western Pennsylvania. Neville suffered repeated threats on his life, and his house was attacked and burned—a critical event in the Whiskey Rebellion.[9, 11, 12, 14] General Neville is the source of the name of Neville Island, formerly Montour’s Island, in the Ohio River.
John Neville’s son, Colonel Presley Neville (1755–1818), served from 1804 to 1805 as the Chief Burgess of the Borough of Pittsburgh (the equivalent of mayor before the 1816 city charter).
Neville B. Craig (1787–1863), a newspaper editor and early historian of Pittsburgh, was the son of Isaac Craig (eponym of Craig Street) and grandson of General John Neville. He was born in the Fort Pitt Block House in 1787.[7, 9] He bought the Pittsburgh Gazette in 1829 and was its editor until 1841. In 1846 he began a monthly historical magazine called Olden Time, and later published a History of Pittsburgh.[5, 9]
Bob Regan says “there are two possibilities reported in the literature” for the origin of the name of Neville Street, listing John Neville and Presley Neville. James K. DeLaney and Lillian Thomas point to John Neville.[6, 17] Some sources claim Presley Neville. And at least one source associates Neville Street with Neville B. Craig.
There is an unmarked segment of Neville Street in Lower Lawrenceville, in Skunk Hollow, just west of where the Bloomfield Bridge crosses the ravine. A building of the M. O’Herron Company displays a sign with the address “3807 Neville St.” The Hopkins atlas from 1889–1890 shows Neville Street running continuously from Thirty-Third Street to Forward Avenue in Four Mile Run (today Saline Street),[2, 3] though the portion south of Forbes Avenue is called Boundary Street in both earlier and later maps.[1, 15]
Atlas of the cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1882. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1882-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1882 layer at http://esriurl.com/pittsburgh.
Atlas of the city of Pittsburgh, vol. 2. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1889. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1889-volume-2-atlas-pittsburgh; included in the 1890 layer at http://esriurl.com/pittsburgh.
Atlas of the city of Pittsburgh, vol. 4. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1890-volume-4-atlas-pittsburgh; included in the 1890 layer at http://esriurl.com/pittsburgh.
Carlin, Margaret. “How our streets got their names.” Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 6, 1966, Pittsburgh’s Family Magazine, p. 10. Newspapers.com 149098376.
Craig, Neville B. The History of Pittsburgh: With a brief notice of its facilities of communication, and other advantages for commercial and manufacturing purposes. John H. Mellor, Pittsburgh, 1851. Google Books cE0OAAAAIAAJ; HathiTrust 001263103.
DeLaney, James K. “Spectres of past haunt Pittsburgh’s corner signposts: Street names ‘pennants of tribute.’” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 30, 1967, Daily Magazine, [p. 1]. Newspapers.com 88235360.
Fleming, George Thornton. History of Pittsburgh and Environs: From prehistoric days to the beginning of the American Revolution, vol. 1. American Historical Society, New York and Chicago, 1922. Google Books 7ctaAAAAYAAJ, ffQMAAAAYAAJ, S88wAQAAMAAJ, tzUafgt-eskC; HathiTrust 011262563; Historic Pittsburgh 01aee9405m.
“Historical society discusses lives of early Pittsburgh men.” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Feb. 9, 1926, p. 8. Newspapers.com 86463468.
Lambing, A. A., and White, J. W. F. Allegheny County: Its Early History and Subsequent Development. Snowden & Peterson, Pittsburgh, 1888, pp. 47, 52. Google Books 6bY-AAAAYAAJ; HathiTrust 008957728, 100693049; Historic Pittsburgh 00aee8946m; Internet Archive centennialhistor00lamb; LCCN 18008828.
Ibid., p. 86.
Miller, Annie Clark. Early Land Marks and Names of Old Pittsburgh: An address delivered before the Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution at Carnegie Institute, Nov. 30, 1923. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924, pp. 16–17. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill.
Ibid., p. 22.
Mulkearn, Lois, and Pugh, Edwin V. A Traveler’s Guide to Historic Western Pennsylvania. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 1954, pp. 90–91. Historic Pittsburgh 31735057894978.
Real estate plat-book of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 1. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1898. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1898-volume-1-plat-book-pittsburgh-east.
Regan, Bob. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, p. 72. ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5.
Thomas, Lillian. “City plays the name game.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 26, 2001, pp. C-5, C-8. Newspapers.com 90410524, 90410540; http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/20010326streetnamesreg6.asp.