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The Von Bonnhorst Family
Baron Carl "Charles" Franz Willhelm2 Von Bonnhorst son of Charles William Von Bonnhorst was born 16 Aug 1774 in Thalsheim, near Wallendorff, Westphalia

Descended from the German nobility, Carl Franz William Baron Von Bonnhorst, was born in Hesse Cassell, and came to the United States in 1808. Carl Von Bonnhorst had a military education and entered the Prussian army at age seventeen. He served on the staff of Field Marshall Blucher and commanded an artillery corps at the battle of Jena. He retired from the army with an honorable discharge signed by the king himself.

In 1808 Mr. von Bonnhorst emigrated to Philadelphia and there met and married Rebecca Taylor, daughter of John and Anna Taylor, who was descended from Samuel Blassell, one of the chancellors of Pennsylvania while it was a Royal province. Shortly after his marriage Carl and Rebecca Von Bonnhorst moved from Philadelphia to Allegheny County and in 1820 to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On 23 November 1810 he purchased a farm opposite on the Monongahela river where his children were born. There he established a grazing farm, stocking it with imported Merino sheep.

The farm was not a success and after the death of his wife Carl Von Bonnhorst moved to Pittsburgh, studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He was later elected alderman of Pittsburgh.

The children of Carl and Rebecca Von Bonnhorst were Charles Gustavus, born 13 June 1812 , Sydney Frances, born 17 September 1814, and Frederick Alexander, born 14 November 1815.
In 1843 he was strcken with paralysis and died one year later, on 21 Feb 1844.

Sydney Francis Von Bonnhorst was born 17 Sep 1814 in Mifflin Twp., Allegheny Co., PA. He married Mary A. Murphy 1836 in Fleecedale, Chartiers Twp., PA.

Mr. Von Bonnhorst first entered business under John D. Davis, one of Pittsburgh's leading merchants. .He was also invested in the Point Steam Mill Cracker Bakery. Later he became clerk then cashier in the Bank of the United States and was sent to New Brighton to close the bank branch there. Eventually he entered the mercantile business until he was elected secretary and treasurer of the P. & S. R. R. Co. and held that position until 1861.

On 22 March 1861 he was appointed postmaster of Pittsburgh by Abraham Lincoln. At that time the carrier service consisted on two men, but through his efforts the service was increased to eight carriers. He was a strong advocate of the free delivery system of mail by carriers which was inaugurated during his term. At the time of his leaving office there were twenty-six clerks employed in his office. He held the position of Postmaster until 1866.

Mr. Von Bonnhorst was connected with several financial institutions until his death. He was elected secretary-treasurer of the newly chartered People's Savings Bank in 1866. From 1870 to 1974 he became the second manager of the Pittsburgh Clearing-house Association.

The first Von Bonnhorst home was near the Fall Hole, the next one on Prospect Avenue in Ingram. The third one was built by Sydney's son George and was called "Mahogany Mansion".

Sydney Francis Von Bonnhorst died 23 Jul 1887 in Allegheny Co., PA