Mystery in Coatesville Hungarian Community

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Did you know that Coatesville had a vibrant Hungarian Community in the early twentieth century? Their culture and customs flourished around the churches they established in the west end of Coatesville along with the Poles, Slovaks and Ukrainians.

 A donation of photographs by Mary Maloney opened my eyes to this community.  As always there are some mysteries to be solved with some identifications for these photographs.  Here is the backstory.


Michael Petrohoy ran a grocery store at 318 Valley Road in the midst of the Hungarian community.  He had come to America in 1902 from Austria- Hungary and worked at Lukens prior to becoming a merchant. He is pictured in this photograph with his wife Elizabeth Barkasy Petrohoy and their four children.

 Two of their daughters, Mary and Elizabeth Petrohoy are pictured as part of the wedding party in this ca. 1915 photograph. They are on the left in the front row.  The donor did not know who the bride and groom were in this picture. Do you recognize them?


Mary and Elizabeth Petrohoy are again pictured in this photograph of a Hungarian funeral at a Protestant Hungarian Church in about 1927. They are among the row of girls wearing white dresses and holding bouquets of flowers.  After doing a little research into the area churches, we identified it as the Magyar Presbyterian Church at the corner of Hope Ave. and Madison Street, today known as the Hope Fellowship Church.


But the big question is, who is the deceased man pictured in the casket?  Any information is greatly appreciated. We want to know more about their funeral customs since we are planning to use these images in a forthcoming exhibition.

 If you have knowledge of the Hungarian Community in Coatesville and would be willing to participate in an oral history interview please contact Pamela Powell photo archivist at