Can’t find a Barber!

Nearly a lost art, but every neighborhood had one, and now one can hardly be found. What is that you say? “The Local Barber”. It was much more than just a place to get a haircut. A great place to catch up on the local happenings along with a social gathering place. Local news traveled there almost as fast as today’s internet, and more than likely before it went to press in the newspaper.

Chris and I, along with others plan to do a more in-depth research of local barbers. It is hard for the younger generation to comprehend the importance of our town when Kittanning was in it’s hey day. Hopefully through this site we can enlighten them. Today the youngsters have all this techno gadgets, and which the older generation can also share along, but they will may never be able to experience small town living as it was. From the older officers that I’ve worked with and people that enjoy talking about the old times, Saturday was the day to go to town, and also to get a hair cut.

One local barber in business before the 1920’s was Alex Bonner. His daughter Mary Miller stated he started out with Felix Schuey on N. Mckean St. in downtown Kittanning. Later on he had a barber shop next to his residence at 204 Arthur St. in West Kittanning.

Alex and son Harry Bonner


Promotional Advertisement

The photo above was taken at the West Kittanning barber shop in 1940. The photo to the left was for some sort of promotional/advertisement type-ticket sponsored by West Kittanning Firehall. In association was Yount’s Hall and a free haircut from Alex Bonner.  Maybe our West Kittanning friends can provide us some information on Yount’s Hall.  With over 20 barbers listed in the 1920’s, a complimentary gift was also a promotional item, as competition was surely a factor. Picture below is a Comb Case, that held your personal comb.

Comb Case

Photos courtesy of Harry Bonner

25 Replies to “Can’t find a Barber!”

    1. Still 1 operating on S. Jefferson St, down beside where the Pizza House was, but operating on limited schedule!

  1. “A cut above”, Pete……nice work! With 9 of us kids at home, I rarely saw the inside of a barber shop…..’scept fer shootin’ pool in Shuey’s. “We rack ’em, you crack ’em!”

  2. Shuey’s Barber Shop was by far the most interesting and awesome example of what a barber shop was all about in the early 1900’s and thru the 70’s. The pool hall in the back was a vestage of manly traits and I remember it well. I have been collecting barber shop items for 30 years and none ever met up to the standard of Shueys.

  3. Tice, As you mentioned I just did read some articles regarding Schuey’s Pool Room. Pretty amazing, if you have anymore info regarding this please share. One was, there was a guy who worked at PPG 8 hours, played pool 8 hrs, slept, and started over.

  4. I corrected the address of Alex Bonner’s West Kittanning barbershop to 204 Arthur St. The parents of Alex Bonner family did live on Central Ave. at one time.

  5. I have a little memory of going into the Alexander barber shop when I was really young. I can’t remember who it was that took me there, but I remember setting with several older gentlemen while they all waited for their turn in the barbers chair.

  6. Ralph Tarr, Tarrs Barber Shop in West Kitt was also very popular. There was also a barber shop for many years in a step down level at the Sgro Hotel.. Harold Bish was the barber.

  7. My dad remembers a barber shop on South Jefferson Street. On Saturdays the shop at Noel Ford worked a half day and he would stop there to get his hair cut before going home.

    1. Chet Stockdale had a shop on the corner across from Nolte’s where the pizza shop is now. Was called the “Spookie” shop before that. There also was a barber shop a little farther up Jefferson beside the State Store.

  8. There was also a shop on N. Jefferson beside Sloan’s drugstore. And let’s not forget Fred Sgarlata beside Allens. And also the one just a few doors up from The Saloon.

  9. My grandfather was a barber in Kittanning or W. Kittanning. His name was William Harve, or Harvey William McCullough. I do not know where he was located at & would hope one of you could help me.
    My grandmother, his wife,Sarah Jane Bowser McCullough, worked at the old Clark’s, now Dizzie Lizzie’s making pies.
    I would appreciate it very much if any of you have any kind of information regarding both of them, even pictures, as I have none.
    Thanks, Bev

    1. I will look up as I have a lot of Old Directories. Do you have a time period? I have several lists of barbers. Also check out a story I did on George’s Cafe that in on this site. It was were Dizzie Lizzies is now and they also had George’s Bakery later on. My grandmother was a waitress at Clark’s as it was called in the 40’s. Evelyn (Hoganmiller) Wolfe/Mohler.

  10. I am the mother of Karen Elizabeth Kane Staggs, who is the daughter Ronald Eugene Kane, and granddaughter of Walte and Leonar Kane who also had several brothers one named William. I believe they were born in Kittanning I am assuming in the early 1900’s. His Mother or Father’s sister was Mary Gifford don’t know her maiden last name who married Henry Gifford of Indiana, PA. They lived in Silver Spring Maryland for over 50 years and he was in the #602 Steamfitters union. I am actually looking for anthing about the Kane family for my daughter Karen. I do know that at some point Walter and his wife, Leona, moved to Yatesboro PA where he was a coal miner for many years. They lived in Erie PA until their death.

    1. I do not have much on the Kane family. My family connections in this area comprise of the Tarrtown, Furnace Run, Wick Boro, and Washington Twp. areas. I thought I saw something on a Gifford and may have been connected to the Rimer area. I will see if I can locate that info for.

  11. I am the great-granddaughter of Felix Shuey and pleased to read this blog. He was dearly loved in our family and his legacy lives on to this day!

    1. So glad you posted. My dad, Robert Pollard Simpson used to take us to Shueys to get our haircut when we were kids. This was late 60s. We’d shoot pool there. The older Shuey cut my Dads hair I’m guessing in around 1940. My grandma Pearl lived up on Johnston Ave. Any old pics you can email would be great

  12. I’m looking for any old photos of a Barber/Billiards shop run by August “Gus” Kirscht, on main street, in Kittanning Pa, called “The Owl.” There was an actual owl there!
    ANY leads would be much appreciated!

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