Harry McCreary






Section B. Lot 95

Harry McCreary was a successful coal and coke-industry, but he is best known as a pioneer in the automobile-tire manufacturing industry. He founded the McCreary Tire and Rubber Company. Now known as Specialty Tires of America, McCreary’s company is still operating in Indiana.
Born in Leechburg, Armstrong County, on October 30, 1863, Harry McCreary was the son of charcoal dealer Hiram McCreary and his wife Ruey Orris McCreary—a native of Hagerstown, Maryland. In the 1880s, Harry McCreary went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at Huff’s Scales, near Greensburg. But he transitioned to developing coke plants with Connellsville businessman J.W. Moore. He built two large coke plants in the Connellsville area for Moore’s company.
McCreary was also a coal-industry innovator, developing washing process still in use today. This process enabled Moore to become a major owner of coal lands and coke operations between Homer City and Blairsville. After Moore died, McCreary eventually became the owner of his highly successful company. By the early twentieth century, he controlled thousands of acres of coal-rich land. After selling the Moore interests to Youngstown Steel Company, McCreary bought the Indiana Coal & Coke Company property. This was later sold to businessman Joseph Wharton, of Philadelphia.
Finally, McCreary constructed the Josephine Furnace Company and sold it along with another 5,000-acre coal field to Corrigan, McKinney & Co. of Cleveland. McCreary’s experience in the coke business proved invaluable in developing Indiana County’s coal and coke industries—powerful economic drivers in Indiana County.
McCreary expanded his business interests to tire manufacturing, opening a factory in 1911 in Wooster, Ohio. In 1914, he began building a plant in Indiana. With McCreary and 11 other employees operating it, the factory first made tires in May 1915. His sons, Ralph W. and Harry C. McCreary, followed as operators of McCreary Tire and Rubber Company.
In the Indiana community, McCreary was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church, secretary of the church council, Bible-class teacher and a generous contributor. McCreary was also known for instituting a YMCA branch in Indiana County and for vigorously supporting the construction of a facility in Indiana, PA. This building, which serves as the Indiana Community Center, houses the Indiana Free Library and the Jimmy Stewart Museum. his vigorous support of ​ On August 16, 1930, Harry McCreary died suddenly at his home on the corner of South 9th and Church Streets. He and his wife, M. Zetta Work McCreary—whom he had married in 1894—are buried, along with other members of their family, in Oakland Cemetery.

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