Samuel Strassburger (1842-1922) immigrated to Pittsburgh from Leutershausen, Germany, about 1867, and settled in old Allegheny City. With Charles Falk, he opened Strassburger & Falk, a clothing and furnishings store on Federal Street. When Falk withdrew, Strassburger and Meyer Joseph opened Strassburger & Joseph. “The firm handled ready-made goods, but specialized in those which required a European connection,” Michelle Pailthrop wrote in The German-Jewish Elite of Pittsburgh. The shop housed the inaugural meeting of the B’nai B’rith Sar Sholem Lodge No. 154.
In 1876, Samuel Strassburger married Julia Morganstern (1854-1929), a Pittsburgh native educated in some of the early city schools. They had three children, Harvey, William and Eugene. The family eventually moved to 5734 Aylesboro Street in Squirrel Hill.
Harvey Strassburger (1877-c.1950) married Lillian Lehman. For his 50th birthday, he turned the Concordia Club into the Harvey Strassburger Circus. He covered the ballroom floor in sawdust, erected a canvas tent, filled the rafters with balloons and hired vendors to hand out peanuts and pink lemonade. “Clowns, acrobats, midgets, bareback riders, jugglers, skeletons, ballet dancers and various wild animals were ably and picturesquely portrayed by the various guests, and the pageant or parade preceding the opening of the circus was indeed a brilliant and colorful one,” the Jewish Criterion reported.
William J. Strassburger (1879-1953) attended the University of Pittsburgh and later Columbia University where he studied architecture. Early in his career, he worked in the plate glass industry, which he represented at a 1911 U.S. Congressional committee hearing concerning a proposed free trade agreement with Canada. He was also involved in engine manufacturing and later in the stone and lime industries before pursuing his interest in architecture by developing a skyscraper on Grant’s Hill downtown. The 40-story Grant Building was the tallest building in Pittsburgh from 1928 until 1932 and was one of the first skyscrapers in the country to include underground parking facilities.
An avid painter, Strassburger was a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and exhibited a collection of his childhood artwork at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
Eugene B. Strassburger (1886-1978) graduated from Central High School, Harvard University and Harvard Law School before joining the Pittsburgh law firm of William H. Lemon. After Lemon died in 1919, Strassburger and his associate J. Frank McKenna reorganized the firm as Strassburger and McKenna. Strassburger was also a professor at Duquesne Law School from 1920 to 1940 and served in the U.S. Army during World War I.
In 1915, Eugene B. Strassburger married Constance Block, the daughter of a prominent of Kansas City, Missouri, lawyer. They had three children, Eugene B. Jr., Joan and Martha. They lived in old Allegheny City before moving to 6515 Beacon Street.
In 1936, the three Strassburger brothers helped their cousin Julius Strassburger, a German leather buyer, escape Nazi Germany with his wife and children and settle in Delaware.
Eugene B. Strassburger Jr. (1917-1984) also graduated from Harvard Law School. He joined Strassburger and McKenna about 1941 but soon suspended his career to serve as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. About 1940, he married Jane Schanfarber. They had three children, Elaine, Eugene B. III and Edwin J.
Eugene B. Strassburger III (1943-), a Harvard Law School graduate, worked for the family law firm before becoming a judge on the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in 1978. He is currently a senior judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Edwin J. Strassburger graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the president of the law firm of Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky.