Courtesy of the Senator John Heinz History Center
1826 - 1892
Born in Bedford County, Joseph Horne came to Pittsburgh in 1848, where he took a job as a clerk in Christian Yeager's store on Market Street. Showing great aptitude in the retail business, he was promoted swiftly, and in 1849, he went into business for himself as Joseph Horne & Co., selling "trimmings and fancy goods." A savvy advertiser, his ads were a regular fixture in the Pittsburgh newspapers. With a reputation for fairness and honesty, Horne's store more than quadrupled in value during the Civil War. As Pittsburgh's economy boomed, so did residents' appetites for East Coast sophistication. Horne brought them Paris fashions, fine textiles and elegant china patterns. Horne's store was so successful, he had to relocate from Fourth Avenue to Market Street and ultimately to Penn Avenue to expand operations. Horne built the business block that hosted his seven-story department store which became a Pittsburgh landmark.
Involved in Pittsburgh's civic life, he joined the Liberty Street M.E. Church in 1847 and was one of the founders of Christ Church, also serving as the superintendent of its Sunday School. He was a trustee of Allegheny College, Western University of Pennsylvania (University of Pittsburgh), Pittsburgh Female College, West Penn Hospital and Dixmont Asylum.
Joseph Horne opened Savings Account No. 6000 on March 31, 1862, in trust for his son Durbin, then eight years old. He listed his occupation as "Dry Goods." Durbin Horne attended Yale and became a member and eventually president of the Joseph Horne Company.