Biography of Albert M. Custer
Cambria County, PA Biographies

Albert M. Custer is one of the prominent and well known business men of Johnstown, where he is cashier of the Penn Traffic Company. He was born in this city, April 9, 1871, and is a son of Jacob P. and Amanda (Masters) Custer.

Jacob P. Custer was born on the old Custer farm in Shade Township, Somerset County, Pa., July 2, 1844, the son of Jacob and Christina (Kuntz) Custer. Jacob Custer was born in Shade Township, Somerset County, in 1798, and died in 1853. His widow died in 1863. They had 10 children: Henry, Catherine, Susanna, Elizabeth, Martha, George, Samuel; John, served during the Civil war as a member of Company F, One Hundred Ninety eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; Sarah, and Jacob P., father of the subject of this sketch.

Jacob P. Custer was but one year old when his father removed to a farm in Richland Township, Cambria County. He was 11 years of age when his father died, and the following year he entered the employ of the Cambria Iron Works. One year later he bound himself out as an apprentice to a carpenter for three years, learning the trade under the instruction of David Wissinger. At the end of a few months young Jacob was able to superintend the erection of a barn built for Daniel Kriarg, and at the end of two and one half years Mr. Wissinger paid him journeymen's wages for the balance of the time of his apprenticeship. He also presented him with a hundred dollar tool chest. He continued working for Mr. Wissinger for another two and one half years, then held a position for one year in the rolling mill department of the Cambria Iron Works. He ran away from home and enlisted for service during the Civil war in July, 1864, and was in Harrisburg but two days when he was sent home by Governor Curtin, the Governor having received a request from young Jacob's mother to that effect. He was at home but a very few months when his mother died. He re-enlisted at Johnstown as a private in Company F, One Hundred Ninety eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into service Aug. 27, 1864, and honorably discharged June 12, 1865. He was an active participant in the following battles: Hatch's Run, Poplar Grove and Ream Station. He returned home and again entered the employ of the Cambria Iron Works. In 1906 he was appointed superintendent of the mechanical department. After a leave of absence of 18 months due to illness, Mr. Custer returned to the company's employ and for two years served as assistant to the master builder. He was then put in charge of the electric department, being inspector of the entire property. He then had charge of the floating labor, electric light and carpenter shops. He was in charge of the erection of the Franklin plant. Mr. Custer was a Republican and served as councilman from the Tenth Ward for two terms. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Grand Army of the Republic, Emery Fisher Post No. 30. Both Mr. and Mrs. Custer are deceased and are buried in Grand View Cemetery.

Sarah Amanda (Masters) Custer was born in Somerset County, Pa. She was a charter member of the Union Benevolent Association of Conemaugh Valley, and in 1906 served as president. She was also a charter member of the Women's Relief Corps of Johnstown and Emery Fisher Post No. 30. She was the organizer of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Sons of Veterans No. 16, and a charter member of the Johnstown City Hospital, of which she served as vice president in 1906. She was also a member of the Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital.

To Mr. and Mrs. Jacob P. Custer were born six children, as follows: Sarah, married John W. Tittle; Albert M., the subject of this sketch; Minnie May, married Ralph J. Benford, lives in Johnstown; Arthur, lives in Johnstown; Nellie Blanche and Francis Rella, who live in Johnstown.

Albert M. Custer was educated in the public schools of Johnstown and began his business career in the employ of the Wood-Morell Company, which is now the Penn Traffic Company. He has been connected with this business continuously and has advanced from a beginning as book boy to his present responsible position as cashier. Mr. Custer has also been identified with various business developments in the city, being one of the organizers of the Citizens Coal Company, Operators' Coal Mining Company, Dicksonville Coal Company, Johnstown Savings and Loan Company, Seward Deposit Bank, Union Harvester Company, Henderson Brothers, Inc., and American Beron Products Company, Inc., of Reading, Pa. Mr. Custer is vice president of the Johnstown Savings and Loan Company, a director of the U. S. Trust Company, a director of the U. S. Savings Trust Company of Conemaugh, a director and treasurer of the Johnstown Brick and Tile Company, a director of the Friendly City Savings and Loan Association, secretary and treasurer of the Citizens Coal Company, vice president of the Dicksonville Coal Company, vice president of the Operators' Coal Mining Company, a director of the Henderson Brothers, Inc., a director of the Union Harvester Company, and a director of the Seward Deposit Bank.

In 1893 Mr. Custer was united in marriage with Miss Annie Young, the daughter of Simon and Sarah (Shute) Young, natives of Lancaster County, Pa., both now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Custer have been born three children: Donald E., born Oct. 1, 1893, a graduate of Johnstown High School and the University of Pennsylvania, engaged in the practice of law in Johnstown, is a World war veteran; Nina M., married Charles M. Boswell, Jr., a broker of Philadelphia, and they have a son, Charles Richard Boswell; and Helen Y., married William Macqulken, superintendent of the meter department of the Penn Public Service Company.

Mr. Custer is a Republican and has served as a member of the City Council. He is a member of the Methodist Church, is a thirty second degree Mason and member of the Shrine, and belongs to the Sons of Veterans, Rotary Club, and Sunnehanna Country Club.

During the World war Mr. Custer was active in practically all of the war financing campaigns of Cambria County and was treasurer of the Cambria County War Fund Association. The quota of this organization was placed at $1,000,000, and under Mr. Custer's supervision this large fund was handled.

Mr. Custer is representative of the best citizenship of Cambria County, where he and his family are highly esteemed.

History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
By: John E. Gable
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis, 1926

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