Valentine Steckman, the well known hotel-keeper of Bedford, died on Tuesday at 3:35 a. m. He had been sick since January 18, 1899.
Valentine Steckman was a son of Henry and Elizabeth Steckman and was born in Monroe township, eight miles southeast of Everett, September 23, 1819. He was educated in the common schools of his native township. He learned the carpenter trade and followed that occupation until he went into the hotel business. Among the notable buildings he erected was the Barndollar M. E. church, at Everett.
He moved to Everett in 1842. In 1846 he obtained a license and conducted a hotel there until 1849, when he came to Bedford and took charge of the Union hotel. In 1856 he leased the Mengel House(now the Hotel Waverly) and conducted it for four years. Then for two years he kept a livery stable. In 1862 he purchased the Union hotel, where he lived until April 1897, when he sold that property to Edward Dill and moved into his house nearby, where he continued to entertain the traveling public.
On July 10, 1842, the deceased was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Huston, of Everett, Rev. Father Thomas Heyden officiating. To this union four children were born, namely, Mrs. James Corboy, of Bedford; Miss Alice Steckman, at home; Daniel Steckman, who was killed in the war of the rebellion at Fort Wagner July 11, 1863; and Francis Steckman, who lost his life in the battle at Cold Harbor June 3, 1864. Mrs. Steckman died in 1853.
On August 28, 1854, decedent was joined in wedlock to Miss Catharine Meloy, daughter of William Meloy, Rev. Father Heyden again officiating. Eight children were born to them, five of whom are living – Misses Ettie and Katie and Mr. James Steckman, at home; Mrs. Charles Speicer, of Lanaster; and Mrs. George A. Calhoun, of Bedford. Three children have passed into the great beyond – Philip Steckman, who died June 25, 1864; Miss Jennie Steckman, June 7, 1883; and George Steckman, February 21, 1898. The deceased was a brother of Fredrick Steckman, of Altoona; James Steckman, of Everett; Mrs. Sarah Mortimore, of Marshall county, Indiana; and Mrs. Elizabeth Morris, of Charlesville.
The funeral services were held in the St. Thomas Roman Catholic church – of which decedent was a member – yesterday morning at half past nine o’clock and were conducted by Rev. Father Denis Cashman. Interment was made in the Catholic cemetery.
In the death of Valentine Steckman, Bedford suffers the loss of one of its best citizens. He was a broad gauge, intelligent and honest man. His word was as good as his bond, and his generosity and kindness were unbounded. As a landlord Mr. Steckman was very successful. Countless patrons of his hotel have testified to the courteous treatment and excellent accommodations they received. In 1887 he concluded to dispense with the bar and since that time has not applied for a liquor license. Just before he died Mr. Steckman requested his children to extend his thanks, through the papers, to his friends and neighbors for their aid, sympathy and interest in his welfare during his last illness.
Source: The Bedford Gazette, Bedford, Pennsylvania, Friday, 22 September 1899