From Pittsburgh Streets

"An ordinance for new name: The common body receives motion regarding Virgin alley matter: Oliver avenue favored: Leading business men express pleasure at proposal: With surveys committee." Pittsburg Press, Feb. 27, 1904, p. 1. 141827699.

The Common Body Receives Motion Regarding Virgin Alley Matter

At the meeting of Common Council last night, J. G. Armstrong introduced an ordinance changing the name of Virgin alley from Liberty avenue to Grant street, to Oliver avenue, out of respect to the memory of the late Henry W. Oliver. This is the name suggested by The Press some days ago, and the idea seemed to be popular among the members of Common Council, who referred it to the committee on surveys.

The heads of several of Pittsburg's banking institutions and prominent business men were seen this morning by The Press regarding the change proposed, and all were in hearty accord with the idea. They believe the proper chord has been struck in suggesting that the memory of Mr. Oliver be so commemorated.

Joshua Rhodes, the wel-known [sic] financier, said: "When a man goes so far out of his way to benefit his fellow man as did the late Henry W. Oliver, I think it nothing more than right that something fitting be done by the people to commemorate his name, especially when it can be done so easily as by changing the name Virgin alley to Oliver avenue. I heartily favor the change."

H. C. McEldowney, president of the Union Trust Co., said: "Something to show the real appreciation of Mr. Oliver's kindness should be done by the people of Pittsburg, and I think the proposition to change the name of Virgin alley to Oliver avenue a fitting and neat way of showing it. We have but few like Mr. Oliver was, and I most heartily coincide with the idea proposed by The Press that the name of the thoroughfare for which he did so much should be changed to Oliver avenue in his memory."

James I. Buchanan, president of the Pittsburg Trust Co., said: "Put me down by all means as in favor of the change contemplated. It will be a nice tribute to the memory of Mr. Oliver. There are but few people who were not benefited in some way by the acts of Mr. Oliver in life, and his acts will live long after him. What he did to have Virgin alley widened is not fully known by all people, and now that it has been widened at least part of the way, it seems necessary that the term 'alley' be cut off. Since this is to be, it would be well to honor Mr. Oliver's memory by making it Oliver avenue. I am most heartily in favor of the change."

T. Hart Given, president of the Farmers Deposit National Bank, said: "The naming of Virgin alley Oliver avenue would be nothing more than right, out of respect to the memory of one who did a world of good in the downtown district. The city saw but few such good men as Mr. Oliver, and there were none so unselfish as he. One could talk for days on what he did to make things easier for those he left behind. Virgin alley is not a high-sounding name, nor does it express much. I really think we have outgrown such a name. I am very much in favor of the change proposed by The Press—that of making it Oliver avenue instead of Virgin alley."

Maj. A. P. Burchfield said: "There could certainly be no more befitting testimonial to be offered the memory of Mr. Oliver than that this little thoroughfare be named in his honor. His memory surely deserves such recognition, as he was the true and tried friend of Pittsburg. When others would not go to the front in the matter of the widening of Virgin alley, Mr. Oliver did, and he went down deep into his pocket. He bought the property of those who announced themselves opposed to the widening of the narrow little way, and then turned over to the city enough to make the way broad. I should like to see it named Oliver avenue and be widened clear to the top of the hill. Yes, I am in favor of the change in name."

Aside from the personal interest he is taking in the matter as author of the ordinance asking for the change of name of Virgin alley, Mr. Armstrong states that it is a debt the city owes the memory of Mr. Oliver to commemorate his deeds of kindness in some befitting style. He said:

"I am heartily in favor of any movement that tends to perpetuate the memmemory [sic] of Mr. Oliver in the minds of the people of this city. The welfare of the citizens was always uppermost in his mind. Stories of his beneficence are being told daily and incidents, small as they may seem on first view, are caccumulating fast toward bringing into clearer relief this trait in his character. In building the free baths on the South Side, Mr. Oliver benefited the residents of that section of the city in a way that will not soon be forgotten by them. It remains for the people now to make the gratitude lasting and to dedicate in some way a memorial of Mr. Oliver for the benefit of generations to come. And to do this I know of no better course than to change the name of the present Virgin alley to Oliver avenue, as proposed."

Robert Wardrop, president of the Peoples National Bank, said: "Mr. Oliver did so much for Pittsburg that is [sic] would be as little as the people of this great town can do to name a thoroughfare for him and an excellent opening is offered in Virgin alley which through the late efforts of Mr. Oliver has grown beyond its former limits. I think the term Oliver avenue will be a great improvement on Virgin alley, and I am in favor of the change suggested by The Press."

E. H. Jennings, president of the Colonial Trust Co., said: "Nothing would please me better than that Virgin alley should be changed to Oliver avenue. Mr. Henry W. Oliver was a man among men and Pittsburg people should do something along this line to help others remember him. Nothing could be more appropriate than changing the name of this little thoroughfare, which, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Oliver in life will soon be one of the leading highways of the down-town district."

Col. Hugh Young, president of the Federal National, said: "Let us have the name changed to Oliver avenue by all means. Our children and our children's children should have something to remind them of a man who unselfishly did much to help the condition of other people. Mr. Henry W. Oliver was a man who put self aside when he saw that by an expenditure of his money he could better conditions for other people. This was shown, and plainly, by the work he did to widen Virgin alley. I favor changing the name of Virgin alley to Oliver avenue."