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Subseries 5. Legal Material- Osterling Court Case, 1915-1926

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries contains material that relates to the Fredrick J. Osterling law suit against the Estate of Henry Clay Frick. Frick was so dissatisfied with Osterling job performance that he once told him in a letter dated July 7, 1916, “I don’t believe I will ever as long as I live want to have anything to do with anyone by the name of Osterling.” In the same letter, Frick went on to say, “It would be the silliest kind of a fool that could not see through your performances and way of doing things; I look upon you as being utterly unreliable.” Due to Frick’s discontentment of Osterling’s services, he did not compensate Osterling for his finished work. Frick died in 1919 without paying Osterling, forcing the architect to filed suit against Frick’s estate in 1921. The case finally got to trial in November 3, 1924 and on January 10, 1925, an article in the Pittsburgh Gazette stated that the Osterling case was “… one of the longest trials in the history of the local court.” The trial lasted about seven weeks and the verdict was in favor of Osterling, who was eventually paid for his services.

The legal materials consist of copies of letters, correspondence, court briefs, exhibits, and booklets. The “copies of letters” deal directly with Osterling’s lawsuit but also support letters in the correspondence subseries. The exhibits from the case mostly consist of letters, but some include statements and photographs. These exhibit photographs contain scale models of architectural parts on the building. The majority of exhibits are for the defendant, but there are some for the plaintiff. All exhibits are arranged by original exhibit number and date from 1915 to 1926.


Box 623
Folder 1 Copies of Letters, Between George A. Fuller Company, H.C. Frick, and C.F. Chubb, May 21-November 19, 1917
Folder 2 Copies of Letters, From F.J. Osterling, February 26, 1915-December 10, 1917
Folder 3 Copies of Letters, To F.J. Osterling, March 1, 1915-December 19, 1917
Folder 4 Copies of Letters, Indexes, undated

Box 624
Folder 1 Correspondence, April 19, 1919-November 29, 1921
Folder 2 Correspondence, June 21, 1922-October 23, 1923
Folder 3 Correspondence, April 16-July 30, 1924
Folder 4 Correspondence, August 13-December 30, 1924
Folder 5 Correspondence, January 5-August 6, 1925
Folder 6 Correspondence, December 31, 1925-September 26, 1926
Folder 7 Court Case Briefs, Affidavit of Defense, 1580 Pa., January 1921
Folder 8 Court Case Briefs, Affidavit of Defense and Counterclaim, 1580 Pa., January 1921
Folder 9 Court Case Briefs, Answer of Executors, undated
Folder 10 Court Case Briefs, Answer to Plaintiff’s Statement of Claim, undated
Folder 11 Court Case Briefs, Defendants’ Reply Brief on the Law, 1580 Pa., January 1921
Folder 12 Court Case Briefs, Defendant-Respondent, October 6, 1921
Folder 13 Court Case Briefs, Notice to Produce Papers, 1580 Pa., January 1921
Folder 14 Court Case Briefs, Notice to Produce Plans, Drawings, Sketches, Blue Prints, and Specifications, 1580 Pa., January 1921

Box 625
Folder 1 Court Case Briefs, Opinion of the Supreme Court, November 24-December 21, 1925
Folder 2 Court Case Briefs, Petition for Re-Argument, 102 Pa., March 1925
Folder 3 Court Case Briefs, Petition for Subpoena Duces Tecum, 114 Pa., March 1926
Folder 4 Court Case Briefs, Plaintiff’s Statement and Answer, 1580 Pa., January 1921
Folder 5 Defendants Exhibits, No. 2-30, 32-55
Folder 6 Defendants Exhibits, No. 59-100
Folder 7 Defendants Exhibits, No. 101-142
Folder 8 Defendants Exhibits, No. 144-66
Folder 9 Defendants Exhibits, No. 167-200
Folder 10 Defendants Exhibits, No. 201-229, 231-233
Folder 11 Defendants Exhibits, No. 234-236, (photographs)
Folder 12 Defendants Exhibits, No. 242-245, 247-249, 253-284
Folder 13 Defendants Exhibits, No. 285-305
Folder 14 Defendants Exhibits, No. 306-326

Box 626
Folder 1 Defendants Exhibits, No. 327-350
Folder 2 Defendants Exhibits, No. 351-363
Folder 3 Defendants Exhibits, No. 368-380
Folder 4 Defendants Exhibits, No. 381-395
Folder 5 Plaintiffs Exhibits, No. 104, 107, 109, and 110
Folder 6 Statement of Chubb, undated
Folder 7 Verdict, January 9, 1925-January 10, 1925
Folder 8 Witnesses, Cost, May 25, 1924-December 23, 1924
Folder 9 Witnesses, Memorandum, undated
Folder 10 Witnesses, List, undated
Folder 11 Misc. Case Notes, 1915-1925, undated

Box 627
Folder 1 F.J. Osterling, Appellant v. Estate of Henry Clay Frick, Brief for Appellant, 102 Pa., 1925
Folder 2 F.J. Osterling, Appellant v. Estate of Henry Clay Frick, Brief for Appellees, 102 Pa., 1925
Folder 3 F.J. Osterling, Appellant v. Estate of Henry Clay Frick, Record – Continued, 102 Pa., 1925
Folder 4 F.J. Osterling, Appellant v. Estate of Henry Clay Frick, Chronological Table, 102 Pa, 1925
Folder 5 Misc. Legal Notes, 1914, undated