Jane Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Jane Street
Neighborhoods Arlington, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes
Origin of name Jane Ormsby

Some sources say that Jane Street was named for Jane Ormsby Bedford (1769–1790), daughter of John Ormsby (1720–1805). She married Dr. Nathaniel Bedford (eponym of Bedford Avenue) but died at the young age of 21.[1]:21–22[2] Dr. Bedford later laid out the town of Birmingham (part of today's South Side), and it is said that he named Jane Street after his late wife.[2][3][4][5] However, Ed Vidunas points out that Jane Street (and the other parallel streets with women's names) were in East Birmingham (east of South 17th Street), not Birmingham (west of South 17th).[6]

Oliver Ormsby Page, the great-great-grandson of John Ormsby, wrote to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1933 to set the record straight: these streets were named for the daughters of John Ormsby's son Oliver Ormsby (1767–1832).[7] This is also confirmed by an 1890 Pittsburg Dispatch column with recollections of John Gallagher, who came to Birmingham in 1816: "Sarah, Mary, Jane and Sidney streets were named after the daughters of Oliver Ormsby, and Wharton street after a son-in-law."[8] Oliver's daughter Jane Ormsby (1803–1839) married Robert Graham Ormsby in 1820.[1]:24

Other South Side streets are named after Oliver Ormsby's other daughters: Sidney Street, Sarah Street, Mary Street, and Josephine Street.[9] See Ormsby Street for more about the Ormsby family.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Oliver Ormsby Page. A Short Account of the Family of Ormsby of Pittsburgh. Joel Munsell's Sons, Albany, N. Y., 1892. Internet Archive ashortaccountfa00pagegoog, shortaccountoffa00page; https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Short_Account_of_the_Family_of_Ormsby_of_Pittsburgh. [view source]ormsby
  2. 2.0 2.1 E. W. Hassler. "Dr. Bedford's gift: The site of the Southside market house came from the old settler: He was prominent and wealthy: Owned much land south of the Monongahela river: His grave on Mount Oliver." Pittsburgh Post, June 18, 1893, p. 9. Newspapers.com 87578785. Cut and pasted in [Pennsylvania county histories], vol. 3 (Allegheny County), pp. 118–121 (Internet Archive pennsylvaniacoun03unse_0), an untitled scrapbook of newspaper clippings from the State Library of Pennsylvania, call number 974.8 P38611. [view source]bedfords-gift
  3. Franklin Toker. Pittsburgh: An urban portrait, p. 132. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Penna., 1986, ISBN 0-271-00415-0. LCCN 85-71786. [view source]toker
  4. Chris Potter. "My husband recently got a job on the South Side, and we noticed there are a lot of streets named after women. How come?" You Had to Ask. Pittsburgh City Paper, Dec. 29, 2005. https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/Content?oid=1337601. [view source]south-side-women
  5. Franklin Toker. Pittsburgh: A new portrait, p. 160. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8229-4371-6. LCCN 2009022903. [view source]toker-new
  6. Ed Vidunas and pittsburghbrewers.com. "John Ormsby family: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203." Pittsburgh Brewers: Every brewery ever in Pittsburgh, June 20, 2020. http://www.pittsburghbrewers.com/styled-57/styled-58/; archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20220117154541/http://www.pittsburghbrewers.com/styled-57/styled-58/. [view source]vidunas-ormsby
  7. Flashbacks. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 21, 1933, p. 8. Newspapers.com 90310579. [view source]flashbacks
  8. "Tales of old times: When the Southside was a small village amid the woodlands: Memoirs of early residents: The neglected grave of the founder of Birmingham borough: The first church, school and mill." Pittsburg Dispatch, Mar. 1, 1890, second part, p. 9. Newspapers.com 76218651. [view source]tales
  9. Ruth Ayers. "Do you know this place—?: Ormsby estate on South Side now cluttered with tenements: Old mansion now only part of overcrowded district: Horses once raced where children romp and play now." Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 16, 1934, p. 21. Newspapers.com 146695755. [view source]ayers-do-you-know