From Pittsburgh Streets

"Marbury street." Pittsburgh Morning Post, Feb. 10, 1847, p. 2. 88174296.


Mr. Craig, in the last number of the Olden Time, throws some light upon the origin of the name of this street. We copy the whole article, as it is not very long:

We have long been puzzled to know why the street which runs right by our dwelling to the Allegheny river, was called Marbury street. We have often made inquiries of old residents, but never until within a short time got any information. Judge Wilkins, a few days ago, informed us that an application had been made to him to prepare the papers to procure from Government some arrears of pay or pension due to an old soldier.

Upon examining the necessary documents, he discovered that the soldier had belonged to the company of a Captain Marbury, and that he was discharged from the service at Fort Pitt, in June, 1784.

So that Captain Marbury was here in June, 1784, while Vickroy was laying out the town of Pittsburgh. Marbury street was laid out partly along the glacis and partly in the ditch of the Fort, and close by the main entrance into it.—Now we can readily imagine that friendship may have existed between Vickroy and Captain Marbury, and that the former was willing to compliment the latter by naming the street after him. Or even without undertaking to explain exactly how it happened, we may readily conclude from the facts of Captain Marbury being in the Fort, and Marbury street just outside of it, that one was called after the other.

We have often heard Vickroy talk about playing ball against what he called the wall of the Fort, meaning what military men call the revetment. This ball playing may perhaps have taken place in that very part of the ditch where Marbury street was laid, and Vickroy being engaged in both the sport and survey, and Captain Marbury perhaps in the former, the supposed compliment would very naturally follow.

Our mind, at least, is satisfied as to the name of the only street in Pittsburgh whose origin we were ignorant of.