This column is part of a feature series which focuses on a different Centre County family each week. Five new columns will be released each month unless some technical difficulty enters the picture.
This column's focus is on Steel. An effort has been made to identify all persons carrying that name in the 1890 U.S. Census, using the Centre County business directory which was formed from a preliminary review of that census before the larger set of 1890 U.S. Census records was destroyed by fire. (Sadly, the postal directory does not typically provide the ages of females, but it's the best record we've got).
There are no books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte that apparently deal in part with the Steel family.
There are 6 first-name entries for Steel in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are several mentions of the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898), with one having a full-length biographical profile: George Washington Steele (b. 1853, s/o William Wilson and Elizabeth (Mays) Steele).
And, now, your ancestors' Steel neighbors in 1890:
Franklin Steele, 78, laborer--35 S. Thomas William L. Steele, 46, carpenter--136 S. Spring Harriet David 17 Mary A. Margaret Grace Bertha William 10 Julia Frank
BENNER Township:Mary--Bellefonte Elizabeth E.
HUSTON Township:George, 37, farmer--Martha Nettie Mattie Ellwood 2 Jasper, 30, laborer--Martha Ida Olive Margaret Collis Samuel, 34, farmer--Martha Josephine William M. 9 Mary R. Margaret E. Sarah M. Ellsworth 2 mos. William, 66, farmer--Martha Elizabeth Warren 23 Annie
RUSH Township:William F. Steele, 36, carpenter--Philipsburg Augustus H.
SPRING Township:James N., 38, laborer--Axemann Mary E. Perry C. 75 Samuel S., 32, laborer--Axemann Lillie A. Arthur J. 6
WALKER Township:Perry C. Steele, 42, mason--Zion Sarah J.--Zion Clara A. Minnie M. William H. 16