Peter Joseph Dooher (PJ) and his wife Flora (Whaley) came to Spartansburg before 1910. He served as a depot operator and telegrapher for the Pennsylvania Railroad from about 1910 until he retired about 1940.
During part of this time, he also owned and managed, with his family, a grocery and hardware store in town. The store was in what was known at the time as the Winans Block. (In 2017, that building houses Walton’s Cabin and The Spartansburg Pharmacy.) The building was constructed following the 1898 fire that destroyed the north side of Main Street.
This picture shows the gasoline pump that Mr. Dooher had installed in 1921 according to news from the Titusville Herald (4/26/1921).
The Dooher family was very involved in civic life in Spartansburg. PJ served on the school board for several years, was a member of the volunteer fire department and was a popular and successful baseball coach.
Flora was a member of several service and social clubs in town. In 1937, she attended the Inauguration of FD Roosevelt.
Mr. Dooher was also, apparently an avid fisherman. Another article in the Herald (7/20/1918) was a letter to the editor regarding a difference of opinion with Mr. Langdon, the game warden (7/18/1918)
Paul Dooher, PJ and Flora’s middle son, was involved in a Clear Lake rescue when he was 16 years old.
This family picture was taken in 1957. PJ and Flora are seated and from left to right is Paul, Floyd, Mary, Leo and Jesse.
PJ and Flora on their 53rd Anniversary
The Dooher children and families often returned to visit their hometown and welcomed their parents to their homes.
Leo and his family lived in the Erie area and Leo was a manager of an A&P store in Wesleyville.
Floyd and family lived in Warren/Kane and he worked as a truck driver and as a stationary steam engineer
Paul worked with the Pennsylvania Railroad and as a carpenter on an “electrifying road project” and lived in Washington DC. As a young adult, he worked in Warren and had an accident that was reminiscent of an event in his earlier years (mentioned above). He returned to Spartansburg later in life.
Jesse and family remained in Spartansburg and he was a carpenter with the Pennsylvania Railroad. He worked primarily with the Buffalo area railroad. He was badly burned in an accident while working with the railroad. Following a nearly 2 year recovery, he returned to work with the railroad. He is shown high in the bucket of a specialized truck used to maintain the tracks.
Mary returned to Spartansburg following her college years. She worked as an assistant in the Post Office for a brief time. Later she worked at Aero Supply in Corry.
She married Vernal Torrey whose father operated the Torrey Funeral Home. While her husband was in the service overseas and then recovering from a recurring medical condition, she worked with her father-in-law. She and her husband also had a hardware-type store, and later a shoe store in town. Mary also served as wage-tax collector.
Find-a-grave information for the family: