Amen Corner is a civic organization founded in 1870. We are not religious. We are not political. We espouse no particular social cause. Amen Corner enshrines the qualities of Friendship.
The origin of the name "Amen Corner" and how it came about should be forever archived for future historians to know and savor. The progenitor of the "Amen Corner" was called "The Steps" because the group always met on the steps of a building, be it a downtown church or a pharmacy on Liberty Avenue and Market Street. Legend has it that when "The Steps" began to meet in the corner of the lobby of the William Penn Hotel, lively discussions would be punctuated with "Amen" when a valid point was made. And, thus, a name was born.
Starting in 1927 and until his death on June 16th, 1962, Fred E. Obley was the so-called man behind the scene. Fred was, for several years, one of the City of Pittsburgh's voter registration board members. He was also active in the Republican Party, and for years served as its headquarters manager and handled many campaigns.
Upon his death, the Amen Corner Board of Governors presented an annual award for a number of years given to an outstanding Pittsburgher in Fred's honor and memory. Those so honored included Colonel Joseph Walker, Chief Test Pilot of the U.S. Air Force and, at the time the person who held the world's speed record; Frank L. McGee, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Alcoa; Fred C. Foy, Chairman of the Board of Koppers Co.; Col. Willard F. Rockwell, Chairman of the Board of Rockwell Manufacturing Co.; and Adm. Ben Moreell, Chairman of the Board of J&L Steel.