From Harness Maker to Modern Day Philanthropist

Photo of State St. in Oil City, circa 1915-1918. Levi Newsome’s saddle and harness shop was located at 109 State St. Photo courtesy of Oil City Library.

Harness maker Levi Newsome, Jr. died in 1967.

This year, he purchased 36 new patient recliners for UPMC Northwest.

Born in 1881 in Oil City, Levi Jr. was the son of Levi Newsome, Sr. and Mary Newsome. Levi Sr. was a well-known saddler and harness maker who moved to Oil City in 1862 and established a harness shop on State Street. After his father’s death in 1903, Levi Jr. took over management of the business. His mother Mary’s passing in 1926 was the impetus for Levi to establish a trust for the maintenance of a room at the Oil City Hospital in her memory.

Oil City and Franklin Hospitals merged in 1992 and became part of UPMC in 2001. In 2003, the newly built hospital, UPMC Northwest, opened its doors. Throughout these changes, the Levi Newsome Trust has continued to ensure the highest quality in our hospital’s patient rooms. It most recently funded the purchase of new recliners to replace those missing or damaged in rooms across four units.

UPMC Northwest maintenance employees Ryan Beichner and Greg Dehner adjust one of the new recliners purchased by the Levi Newsome Trust.

Recliners provide a comfortable place for patients and visitors to rest during their hospital stay or visit. Being in the hospital can be stressful, but homey touches like reclining chairs in patient rooms make it a little less so. Levi Newsome’s fund provides for amenities like these that improve the patient and visitor experience and foster physical and emotional wellbeing.

Though Levi died 57 years ago, his legacy lives on in the patient rooms at UPMC Northwest. Patients and visitors will relax and recuperate in the chairs he purchased for many years to come, finding hope and healing together in our hospital.

Just like Levi, you can leave your legacy by making a planned gift to the Northwest Hospital Foundation. Making a bequest in your will, naming Northwest Hospital Foundation as a beneficiary on your retirement account, or creating a charitable remainder trust costs you nothing today and makes all the difference tomorrow.

For more information about making a planned gift, please contact Executive Director Theresa Edder at or 814.676.7145.

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