From Pittsburgh Streets
Annual Reports of the City Officers.
Improvements at the Water Works—The Board of Health Abolished—The West End Avenue and Federal Street Extension—Healthy Financial Condition of the City—The Charter of the Gas Works—The Fire Department—The New Poor House—Resolutions of Thanks, etc.

Allegheny Councils held a special meeting last evening, for the purpose of receiving the annual reports of the city officers.

Select Council.

This branch was called to order at seven and a-half o'clock by the President, James McBrier. Roll called and minutes read and approved.

Mr. Riddle moved that the rules be suspended in order to take up new business. Carried.

Mr. Riddle presented a remonstrance against the opening of Slope alley. Referred to Survey Committee.

Monthly and annual reports were now presented. The monthly reports were received and accepted. The annual reports were received and ordered to be printed.

The Supply of Water.

Mr. Wettach presented the annual report of the Water Committee.

During the year the water mains have been extended to the Ninth ward, at a cost of $15,000. Water mains have also been laid on Troy Hill, and this district being elevated above the reservoir, a tank, elevated forty feet, is now in course of construction, which will supply the mains with water. The cost will not exceed $10,000. Owing to the rapidly increasing population, and the fact that the engines now running at the works will soon be unable to supply the demand, the Committee obtained authority from Councils to secure a larger engine, and the contract for the same will soon be let. The cost of the new engine is estimated at $95,000.

Report of the Water Assessor.

Mr. Wettach also presented the annual report of the Water Assessor, as follows:

Gentlemen—I respectfully submit the following detailed report of the water assessment for the year 1871:

6,954 Dwellings, with stores and offices $ 85,358 25
160 Offices and stores separate from dwellings 688 00
39 Dwellings with bakeries 460 00
170 Miscellaneous workshops 1,148 00
28 Public and private schools 148 00
3 Seminaries 120 00
6 Public halls 40 00
3 Cotton mills 570 00
1 Woolen mill 250 00
6 Sawmills 383 00
15 Planing mills and sash and door manufactories 710 00
9 Foundries 450 00
1 Car wheel foundry and 1 locomotive manufactory 185 00
4 Flouring mills 475 00
8 White lead and oil mills 1,200 00
8 Dye houses 95 00
8 Machine shops and 1 steel works 250 00
6 Tanneries 155 00
9 Cabinet and turning shops 340 00
8 Breweries with beer halls 610 00
2 Salt works 50 00
3 Taverns with cattleyards attached 370 00
12 Cattle and hog yards 510 00
44 Slaughter houses 505 00
8 Livery stables 450 00
3 Railway stations 145 00
5 Wagon, carriage and plow works 300 00
2 Railway shops and engine houses 1,315 00
8 Soap and Candle factories 310 00
1 State prison (Western Penitentiary) 1,200 00
280 Hose for pavements and lawns 810 00
2 Vinegar manufactories 65 00
1 Bolt and nut manufactory 37 00
2 Malleable iron foundries 230 00
2 Coffin and casket factories 110 00
1 Glass factory 300 00
915 Horses, carriages and buggies 1,600 00
204 Cows 150 00
2 Passenger street railroads 117 94
Total $102,210 29


First Assessment. Second Assessment.
First ward $11,925 95 First ward $  606 60
Second ward 17,511 75 Second ward 635 60
Third ward 19,404 10 Third ward 206 05
Fourth ward 21,833 50 Fourth ward 122 40
Fifth ward 10,214 60 Fifth ward 494 16
Sixth ward 9,393 20 Sixth ward 354 60
Seventh ward 4,810 10 Seventh ward 260 80
Eighth ward 2,830 30 Eighth ward 120 65
Ninth ward 39 86 Ninth ward 1,446 07
Total $97,963 36 Total $4,246 93
Assessment for building purposes $    800 00
Amount by meter, first and second quarters 4,082 74
Estimate by meter, third and fourth quarters 4,000 00
Previous assessments 102,210 29
Total $111,093 03
Receipts last year 104,539 89
Increase $  6,553 14

The foregoing assessments by meter are on 12 tanneries, 11 breweries, 2 cotton factories, 1 woolen mill, 1 railroad, 3 foundries, 1 livery stable, 1 street railroad, 1 gas works. There are 4 rolling mills, 1 blast furnace, 3 oil refineries, House of Refuge, Marine Hospital, 1 feed mill, 1 street railroad, 1 railroad rail mill, 1 white lead works that don't use hydrant water.

Growth of the City.

There are 10,540 families that use hydrant water, an increase of 850 families over last year. The increase has been mostly in the Sixth, Seventh and Ninth wards. There has been erected this year within reach of hydrant water 210 houses, most of which are quite large, are substantially and tastefully build, containing all the modern conveniences. Three large churches—two Catholic and one Lutheran—are partially built, which, when finished, will be handsome and substantial. Also, one large brick school house for the upper end of the Third ward, a very large lead works in the Eighth ward, and a new saw mill in the Fifth ward. Quite a number of alterations and additions have been made to dwellings, many of which are important and tasteful improvements, prominent among which are one on North avenue for Mr. Jas. McBrier, one for I. B. Hains and a dry goods store for A. Erwin & Co. on Federal street. Over 150 houses have been built above and beyond the flow of hydrant water, and there are over 400 houses and 600 families unsupplied with hydrant water. It is a matter for congratulation that Councils at the judicious suggestion of the Water Committee so promptly responded to petitioners, and furnished them an ample supply of excellent, pure soft water.

Respectfully submitted,
David Cornelius, Water Assessor.

The Water Works.

Mr. Wettach also presented the annual report of Wm. Paul, Jr., Superintendent of the Water Works:

Total expenses of works, 1871 $18,062 47
Less amount on hand January 1, 1872 300 00
$17,762 47
Total expenses of permanent improvements, '71 $45,821 56
Less amount on hand January 1, 1872 $2,109 00
Less cash for material and labor 2,076 56
$ 4,185 56 41,636 00
$59,398 47

The time run by both sets of engines during the year equals 414 days of one set 24 hours a day.

During the year there were laid 7,094 feet of 10-in. pipe, 11,129 feet of 6-in., 612 feet of 5-in., 2,597 feet of 4-in. There were constructed 11 ten-inch stop gates, 50 six-inch and 11 four-inch. Forty-two fire plugs were put up and 7 washouts. Whole number of feet of pipe laid 21,432 feet, equal to 4.059 miles.

During the past year there has been little, if any, complaint of scarcity of water, not even from the most elevated portion of the city that have a water supply. The running time of works amounted to 414 days, with an average speed of 12 revolutions per minute, an increase of 33 days and one revolution per minute over that of last year, amounting to 10,074,240 gallons more than was supplied the previous year. A small portion of pipe, which was laid on Troy Hill, has not yet been supplied with water, being at a higher elevation than the present reservoir, but will be supplied the coming year from a tank now in process of construction.

The New Engine.

Plans and specifications have been prepared and contracts will be awarded early in the new year for the construction of an engine and pump capable of lifting 12,000,000 gallons every twenty-four hours.

The report recommended the extension of the 12 inch main by way of Rebecca street to that on Beaver avenue at West Ohio street. Also, the laying of an 8 inch main on Irwin avenue, from Jackson to Beech street, and on Allegheny avenue from Beech street to Ridge avenue.

City Finances.

Mr. Hall, from the Finance Committee, presented the annual report of the Controller as follows:

The total indebtedness, as shown by the last annual report was $751,500 00. There wus [sic] issued during the present year, in pursuance of ordinances and under the direction of the Finance Committee, $264,000 of bonds, while 29,000 have been redeemed and canceled, thus leaving the increase in the debt during the year $235,000, as shown by the tabular statement accompanying, making the total debt at the close of the year $986,500.

Bonds Issued in 1871.

Sewerage bonds for payment of city's part on main sewers $ 83,000
Bonds for refunding district sewer assessments 140,000
Bonds for water extension 12,000
Bonds for park improvements 29,000
Total 264,000

It will be seen from the above that that increase has been for sewerage, water and public improvements. I would state that provisions have been made for the redemption of all the bonds issued during the year, also that provisions have been made for the bulk of the entire indebtedness of the city as it matures. There is maturing January 1, 1872, $16,000 in bonds. The attention of your Committee on Finance has been called to the fact, and provision has been made for their payment. The credit of the city is as good as it could be desired, par having been received for every bond issued during the year. In conclusion I desire to express my thanks to your Finance Committee for their pleasant co-operation in matters of finance, and also to your honorable bodies for your manifestation of confidence in electing me to this office. The following condensed statement exhibits the receipts and disbursements:

The balance on hand per last annual report was $ 87,448 29
The receipts from all sources have been 880,798 32
Total receipts $968,246 61
The gross expenditures have been 942,205 03
Balance on hand $26,041 58

Monthly Report.

Mr. Hall also presented the monthly report of the Controller, of which the following is a


 1. Salaries $1,676 44
 3. Fire Department 2,382 95
 4. Printing 63 70
 5. Streets 344 50
 6. Wharves 91 00
 7. Surveys 478 00
 8. Police 3,378 75
 9. Contingent Fund 408 18
11. Water Works 686 50
13. Gas 183 11
16. City Property 69 40
$9,762 53

Mr. Hall also presented the report of the Finance Committee. The report stated that the Committee had under consideration a report from the Controller showing a deficiency in the regular city funds, and calling the attention of the Committee to the fact that there was maturing January 1, 1872, $16,000 in bonds. The Committee reported the following resolution:

Resolved, By the Select and Common Councils of the City of Allegheny that the Treasurer be and that he is hereby authorized to borrow $40,000 to meet the bonds maturing January 1, 1872, and also the current expenses.

The Streets.

Mr. J. C. Patterson presented the annual report of the Street Committee.

The number of streets graded and paved during the year was 29, the length of which was 3 4-10 miles, and cost $93,878 15. The total length in miles of streets graded and paved within the city is 59 9-10 miles, and cost $1,331,612 06.

The number of sewers, main and lateral, constructed this year aggregate in length 4½ miles, and cost $141,927 27. The total length of all the sewers is 9¼ miles, and cost $305,775 77. The cost of cleansing, repairing streets and constructing flag stone crossings is $28,502 56. The amount collected from passenger railways is $433 50.

The West End Avenue Improvement.

Relative to the proposed West End avenue improvement, the committee reported that while they are favorable to this improvement, in the discussion of the matter it was developed that the company had not progressed far enough in their portion of the work, to justify the committee in making any recommendation or suggesting any action.

The Troy Hill Road.

The most important improvement in contemplation is that of the Troy Hill road. The district to be made accessible by this road is rapidly growing in population, wealth and influence. A plan has been submitted and approved by Councils, widening this thoroughfare to a uniform width of forty feet, and fixing such a grade as will make it easy of access. Legislation has already been procured to extend Lowrie street, located on Troy Hill, through Reserve township and Millvale borough, to connect with the Ewalt street bridge.

The Federal Street Extension.

Of all the improvements in contemplation, the extension of Federal street is first in importance. Federal street being the principal business street, and dividing the city into two apparently equal grand divisions, and doubly important because immediately connecting this city with Pittsburgh, there can be no question but that it must constantly gain in importance. If this street were opened, and a grade fixed that it could be used for ordinary travel, no improvement would be more profitable, or be of greater advantage. Councils approved the act authorizing this improvement, but owing to the Legislative dead lock of last session it failed to become a law, having only passed one branch. The committee recommended prompt action in this matter.

An ordinance has been adopted, relieving the Street Commissioner of the superintendence of all new grading and paving, and transferring this duty to the Engineer's office. During the year, the committee spent considerable time in changing the names of streets which had been duplicated, and considerable dissatisfaction has been manifested by those residing on the respective streets.

The Engineer's Office.

Mr. Patterson also presented the annual report of Charles Davis, City Engineer, as follows:

I herewith submit a report of the business and operations of this department for the current year:

Street Improvements.

The total length of streets graded and paved during the year is 3 4-10 miles, and which was done at a cost of $93,878 15. Tables here accompany the report, giving the names of streets paved, the surveys made and the grades established.

Cobble stone has been exclusively used, with one exception, the paving of Stockton avenue with Stowe foundation pavement. One matter, in reference to maintaining streets, deserves especial attention at this time—that is a more rigid system of permits for breaking the pavement for water, gas and sewer connections, and other purposes. This matter should be placed in the hands of the Street Commissioner, and all repairing should be done by him, at the cost of parties operating the streets.

Lot Registry.

The bulk of the property descriptions has now been received and entered up. This record makes eight books double elephant size, and of ninety pages each. This department is under the charge of Mr. James Brown, acting as Registrar and general office clerk. The record has become invaluable for reference in all matters pertaining to location, description or ownership of property for taxable and other purposes.

During the year 566 surveys have been made, realizing to the city $1,337.


Twenty-three thousand one hundred and seven feet, or four and one-half miles have been built within the year at a cost of $141,921 27. The city has now thirteen and three-fourth [sic] miles of sewers, of which five and one fourth miles are pipe of varying diameters of from twelve to eighteen inches. The cost of sewers to date was $447,697 04. Of late, under the supervision of the Sewer Commission, the cost of constructing sewers has been materially reduced, and their efficiency largely increased. There is now no dissatisfaction with sewer assessments, although there is treble the amount of work done than there was two years ago.

The plans of record are kept up as the work progresses, showing location and depth of sewers, the position of house slants, street inlets and manholes, and all particulars of construction. These plans now make two volumes of sheets double elephant size, thirty sheets in all. The change of execution of work in the sewer department continues with Mr. Wm. H. Faulkner acting as superintendent of constrvction [sic].

Sewer Permits.

One hundred and seventy-six permits have been issued and the proceeds, $236, paid to the City Treasurer. A table is inserted in this part of the report giving the names of parties licensed to tap sewers.

A book of nine sheets, similar to sewer record, showing location of pipes and appurtenances, has been prepared for the use of the Water Department. These plans, both pipe and sewer, were made by Mr. Charles J. Reed, an assistant of the office.

Street Bridges.

The old wooden bridges at Ridge and West Ohio streets, over the railroad crossings, are soon to give way to substantial iron structures. These bridges are both in process of construction and will be put to place this winter. They are erected by the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad Company.

A public drinking fountain has been erected by the city under the supervision of the City Property Committee, on Federal street, opposite City Hall, at a cost of $475. The Second and Third ward squares have been put in shape with walks and grass plots, and the walks paved with Scrimshaw concrete pavement. This work was done by the Park Commission at a cost of $2,386 80.

Mr. Patterson also presented the annual report of the City Solicitor, reviewing a number of cases he had on trial for the city.

The Board of Health.

Mr. Schoyer presented the report of the Health Officer, Mr. J. B. Williams. The report gave a lengthy account of the operations of the Board of Health since its organization about four months since, the facts of which have already been published. The total expenses of the Board were $5,510 89. The net receipts were $95 11. The appropriations were $6,000.

When the ordinance adopted in Common Council, repealing the ordinance creating the Board of Health was brought up, a protracted discussion ensued. The action of Common Council was concurred in, and a resolution offered empowering Alex. Hanna to take charge of the City Hospital at Claremont until such time as Council shall make other provisions for taking charge of the same.

The School Money.

Mr. McBrier (Mr. Schoyer in the Chair) presented a report from the Special Committee appointed to take into consideration and confer with the Board of Control in relation to having the school taxes collected by the City Treasurer, and also a bill for the employment of the unexpended balances of the city, in which they stated they had conferred with a committee from the Board of Control and had prepared a bill covering both subjects referred to them, which bill was reported to the Board of control but had not been acted upon by them. The committee therefore reported progress and recommended that the matter be referred to an appropriate committee from the incoming council to attend to it. The report was received and filed.

Mr. Riddle presented an ordinance repealing the ordinance changing the name of Western avenue to West Ohio street. Passed finally. C. C. non-concurred.

Resolutions of thanks were tendered the city officers, President McBrier, the clerk of Select Council, and retiring members, after which Councils adjourned sine die.


This branch was called to order by the President, Alfred Slack, at seven and a half o'clock.

Mr. Hastings presented an ordinance creating a Board of Health. Adopted.

Mr. Ashworth, an ordinance requiring flagmen to be stationed at the various crossings in the Eighth ward. Adopted.

Mr. Cooke, a resolution to have the lots corner of Page and Manhattan streets and the corner of Fayette and Manhatten [sic] streets filled up. Adopted.


Mr. Voegtley presented the annual report of the Committee on Printing, showing that the expenses were $4,947 75, an increase of $277 26 over the previous year. An appropriation of $5,000 had been made, thus leaving a balance of $52 25. The Committee recommended that the number of official papers be reduced to two, instead of three, as formerly, one English and one German newspaper.

The ordinance was then presented, and after considerable discussion passed finally.

Mr. Rowbottom, from the Gas Committee, submitted a monthly report recommending the erection of a number of gas lamps.

Gas Committee's Report.

Mr. Rowbottom also presented the following annual report of that Committee:

The expenditures during the past year reached $16,649 92; 124 additional lamps and posts have been erected, making the total number of lamps 628, costing an average of $19 15 for each lamp. Gas mains have been laid upon the principal streets in Seventh, Eighth and Ninth wards. Lamps have been erected, as a general thing, wherever petitioned for. The Committee recommended the enforcement of present ordinances which provide that lamps shall not be put out until daylight.

The Gas Works.

The report then closed by stating that in pursuance of the charter of the Gas Company, "On and after the first Monday of May, 1873, the Councils shall have the right to purchase the whole of the stock in the Gas Company, provided six months notification is given by Councils of their intention so to purchase." The committee made no suggestions in reference to this matter.

Report of the Committee on Fire Engines and Hose.

Mr. Hastings presented the annual report of the Committee on Fire Engines and Hose.

The Fire Department is efficient, reliable and economical. The only improvement to be made to complete the fire alarm system in this city, is the adtion [sic] of a central alarm bell, which could be done for $5,000. The report then referred to the recommendations of Chief Crow, and stated that the committee approved them. The report closed with a resolution tendering the thanks of the committee to Chief Engineer, James Crow, and the Superintesdent [sic], L. D. McCandless for the efficient manner in which they have discharged their several duties.

The Fire Alarm Telegraph.

Mr. Hastings also presented the annual report of Mr. McCandless, Superintendent of the Fire Alarm Telegraph. The report strongly recommended a change of insulation, as the defective insulation which now exists in the alarm telegraph causes great inconvenience. The report also recommended an alarm bell, a change of battery, increase of the salary of the Superintendent, and also that the alarm boxes be painted.

The Fire Department.

Mr. Hastings, from the Committee on Fire Engines and Hose, presented the following annual report of the Chief Engineer:

The total expenses of the Fire Department for the year 1871 were $38,056 25.

The several companies have been prompt in their response to alarms, and active in the discharge of their respective duties at fires. During the past year the department has been districted, so that but two steamers and three hose carriages run to each signal box on the first alarm, and the remainder of the department leave their horses attached to the engines for thirty minutes, waiting on the second alarm.

The Fire Alarm Telegraph, under the superintendency of L. D. McCandless, is working admirably, and has given general satisfaction. There are in the Department 19 horses, 2 first-class Amoskeag engines, 2 second-class Amoskeag engines, 6 hose carriages, 1 hook and ladder truck, 6 engine houses, 7,000 feet of hose, 3,000 feet of which have been in service from seven to nine years, and have become altogether unreliable. The remaining 4,000 feet are in good condition. A new engine house has been built on Madison avenue for the General Grant engine company. A new engine has been purchased for the Good Will company at a cost of $4,500 00. During the past year two and a half miles of additional wire have been put up by extending the fire alarm telegraph to the Ninth ward. The line now is thirty-three miles in length, with forty-three signal boxes, extending over all parts of the city, with an average of four keys distributed for each box at the nearest dwelling houses, and drug stores, and with the police, etc., affording every advantage to citizens for striking alarms.


There were sixty-one alarms of fire, none of which were false. The loss was comparatively light, aggregating $134,000, with an insurance of $60,000. The largest fire during the year was the burning of Howard's paper mill in the Sixth ward the night of March 23d, involving a loss of $60,000. The only serious accident was at the fire which occurred at the machine shop or [sic] Thomas Carlin in the Fourth ward, where a man named Wm. Kenneweg was so injured as to render him a cripple for life.

The report recommemded [sic] the location of a hose company in the Ninth ward, as the nearest engine house is now one and a-half miles from the ward. Also, the purchase of 3,000 feet more hose, and the appointment of an additional man to each steam engine company. The report also recommended the purchase of another lot and the erection of a new engine house for the Columbia company. The report then closed by officially announcing the death of Hugh Larimer, late Engineer of the Hope Fire Company.

The Markets.

Mr. Comley presented the annual report of the Committee on Markets.

The receipts during the year from markets were $15,900.40; Second ward scales, $3,896.98; Diamond scales, $3,320.01; Fourth ward scales, $99.20. Total, $23,216.59, showing a decrease of $60.91 from the report of last year.

Mr. Comley alse [sic] presented the monthly report of the Committee.

The Coffimittee [sic] reported adversely to granting the petition for a new market house in the Fourth ward. The Committee reported an ordinance changing the day of holding markets from Friday to Thursday. The receipts from markets and weigh scales for the month of December were $2,537 94.

The report was received and the ordinance laid over.

The Poor Farm.

Mr. McNeill submitted the following annual report of the Board of Poor Directors:

The average number of inmates at the Farm during the year has been 117. At present there are 113, 26 of whom are in the insane department. The cost of maintaining the inmates has been $7,302 19, showing a yearly cost of $62 41 per inmate, and a weekly cost of $1 20. The drugs purchased for the Farm amounted to $110 05. The prescriptions furnished to poor families amounted to $467 40. In addition to the insane patients at the Farm, there are 25 others at Dixmont who have been maintained during the year at an expense of $3,757 02. The number of families getting relief is 24. There has been collected by the Secretary of the Board from all sources $2,748 43.

The New Building.

The amount expended on the new building fund is about $52,000, of which $16,395 00 was expended in the purchase of the farm, and the balance toward the erection of the new house. The new building is progressing finely, and by the end of next year will be ready for occupancy.

The above report was accompanied by the report of the Steward at the Farm, D. T. Johnson, showing the receipts of the Farm to be $457 16. The inventory of stock, produce, &c., at the Farm amounts to $3,227 64.

Cost of the Farm.

The expenditures amounted to $25,542 25. The receipts reached $3,162 39. Net cost of the Farm $22,379 96.

Report of the Poor Farm Physician.

The report of the Board of Directors of the Poor, was also accompanied by the report of the Poor Farm Physician.

Of the number of inmates (332) nearly all of them have required medical or surgical attention. Only three cases of small-pox occurred in the Home. During the year 17 deaths occurred. The total number in the insane department was 48. About 40 insane patients have been examined and sent to the asylum. In addition to the visits to the Poor House, the physician paid 556 visits to the city poor, and 231 patients have visited his office for counsel. The number of prescriptions issued was 800.

Poor Farm Committee.

Mr. McNeill, also presented the annual report of the Committee on Poor Farm. The Committee recommended that the eastern wing of the new building now in course of erection be used for hospital purposes. The building proper, when completed will be large enough twenty years hence for all the poor likely to seek shelter therein. The Committee also reported that they have examined the financial affairs of the Board, and find everything satisfactory.

Wharves and Landings.

Mr. Hastings presented the annual report of the Committee on Wharves and Landings.

The total receipts of the Wharfmasters of the Eastern and Western Districts were $3,825 00, an increase of $73 over the previous year. The expenditures were $4,533 40. The report then states that an addition was made to that portion of the wharf lying between the Suspension and Hand street bridges. A roadway leading from the foot of Allegheny to the river has also been constructed. Another landing in front of the Water Works is in process of construction.

Resolutions of thanks were tendered the Clerk of Common Council and the retiring members.

Business from Select Council was now taken up, and all actions of that body concurred in except where otherwise noted.

Common Council then adjourned sine die.