Meadville, Pennsylvania

Meadville is a city in and the county seat of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States.[5] The city is within 40 miles of Erie, Pennsylvania and within 90 miles of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the first permanent settlement in northwest Pennsylvania. The population was 13,388 at the 2010 census.[6] The city of Meadville is the principal city of the Meadville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. As well as one of two cities, the other being Erie, that make up the larger Erie-Meadville, PA Combined Statistical Area.

City of Meadville
Downtown Meadville
Downtown Meadville
Official seal of Meadville

Etymology: David Mead, founder[1]
Location of Meadville in Crawford County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Meadville in Crawford County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Meadville is located in Pennsylvania
Location of Meadville within Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 41°39′N 80°9′W / 41.650°N 80.150°WCoordinates: 41°39′N 80°9′W / 41.650°N 80.150°W
CountryUnited States
CountyCrawford County
 • MayorH. Leroy Stearns (D)
 • Total4.38 sq mi (11.34 km2)
 • Land4.38 sq mi (11.33 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
1,400 ft (400 m)
 • Total13,388
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,962.52/sq mi (1,143.96/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s)814
FIPS code42-48360
DesignatedNovember 1, 1946[4]
Meadville, PA Allegheny College marker
Keystone Marker for Meadville


Meadville was settled on May 12, 1788, by a party of settlers led by David Mead. Its location was chosen well, for it lies at the confluence of Cussewago Creek and French Creek, and was only a day's travel by boat to the safety of Fort Franklin.

Their settlement was in a large meadow, first cleared by Native Americans led by Chief Custaloga, and well suited for growing maize. The village Custaloga built here was known as Cussewago.

The neighboring Iroquois and Lenape befriended the isolated settlement, but their enemies, including the Wyandots, were not so amiable. The threat of their attacks caused the settlement to be evacuated for a time in 1791.

Around 1800, many of the settlers to the Meadville area came after receiving land bounties for service in the Revolutionary War. Meadville became an important transportation center after construction of the French Creek Feeder Canal in 1837 and of the Beaver and Erie Canal it connected to at Conneaut Lake and subsequent railroad development.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Meadville played a small part in the Underground Railroad helping escaping slaves to freedom. An event in September 1880 led to the end of segregation by race in the state's public schools. At the South Ward schools, Elias Allen tried unsuccessfully to enroll his two children. He appealed to the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas, and Judge Pearson Church declared unconstitutional the 1854 state law mandating separate schools for Negro children. This law was amended, effective July 4, 1881, to prohibit such segregation.[7]

By the late 19th century, Meadville's economy was also driven by logging, agriculture, and iron production. The Talon Corporation, headquartered in Meadville, played a major role in the development of the zipper. Since the clothing industry was largely unaffected by the Great Depression, the community saw a population boom at that time. During World War II, the nearby Keystone Ordnance plant brought additional jobs to the area.

001 Sundback zipper 1917 patent
drawing of 1914 zipper patent filling

The high demand for zippers created favorable conditions for the Talon Company, and so became Meadville's most crucial industry. The company encountered significant difficulties after it was absorbed by Textron industries in 1968, eventually ending up bankrupt. Today, nothing remains of Talon in Meadville except for a few run down buildings. However, as a result of the need for close tolerances and tool and die makers, a cottage industry of tool and die shops was established which resulted in Meadville, earning the city the nickname Tool City with more tool shops per capita than any place else in the United States.

In 1886, a blacksmith from Evansburg, Pennsylvania, George B. DeArment, began hand-forging farrier's tools and selling them from town to town out of the back of a wagon. The business eventually became known as the Champion Bolt and Clipper Company. In 1904, now named Channellock, the company moved to a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) facility in Meadville and added nippers, pinchers and open-end wrenches to its product line. George B. DeArment’s two sons, Almon W. and J. Howard DeArment, became partners in the company in 1911 and expanded the product line again to include hammers. In 1923, the company moved again to a 33,000-square-foot (3,100 m2) facility at its current location. Four years later, the name of the company was changed to the Champion–DeArment Tool Company.[8]

After World War II, Meadville's industrial growth continued. Talon remained a major employer, along with the Erie Railroad, American Viscose Corporation (later known as Avtex Fibers), Channellock tools, and Dad's Pet Food. In the 1980s, the Great Lakes region saw a decline in heavy industry. By the early 1990s, Channellock and Dad's were the only large companies operating in Meadville. This blow to the local economy was softened by subsequent surge in light industry, mainly tool and die machine shops. The area has seen growth in the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century. The song "Bittersweet Motel" by Vermont jam band, Phish, was inspired when keyboardist Page McConnell left a wedding in Meadville and drove to the Pittsburgh Airport.

In addition to the Meadville Downtown Historic District, several buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Baldwin-Reynolds House, Bentley Hall (Allegheny College), Independent Congregational Church, Dr. J. R. Mosier Office, Roueche House, Ruter Hall (Allegheny College), and Judge Henry Shippen House.[9]



Meadville is the home of Allegheny College, a liberal arts college with approximately 2100 students. Allegheny College, the second oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains, was founded in Meadville in 1815 and is the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains that has kept its original name. Allegheny was founded in April 1815[10][10] by the Reverend Timothy Alden, a graduate of Harvard's School of Divinity. The college was historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church after 1833, although it is currently non-sectarian. The first class, consisting of four male students, began their studies on July 4, 1816, without any formal academic buildings. Within six years, Alden accumulated sufficient funds to begin building a campus. The first building erected, the library, was designed by Alden himself, and is a notable example of early American architecture. Bentley Hall is named in honor of Dr. William Bentley, who donated his private library to the College, a collection of considerable value and significance. In 1824, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Alden, expressing the hope that his University of Virginia could someday possess the richness of Allegheny's library.[11] Alden served as president of the college until 1831, when financial and enrollment difficulties forced his resignation. Ruter Hall was built in 1853.[12]

Meadville Theological School was established in 1844 by a wealthy businessman and Unitarian named Harm Jan Huidekoper. It moved to Chicago in 1926.[13]

Primary and secondary education

List of schools in Meadville, Pennsylvania

  • Meadville Area Senior High School (1,025)
  • Meadville Middle School (515)
  • Neason Hill Elementary School (317)
  • First District Elementary School (315)
  • Second District Elementary School (245)
  • West End Elementary School (100)
  • Calvary Baptist Christian Academy (unknown)
  • Seton Catholic School (unknown)


Meadville is located at 41°39′N 80°9′W / 41.650°N 80.150°W (41.642, −80.147).[14]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201612,964[3]−3.2%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 13,685 people, 5,436 households, and 2,891 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,145.2 people per square mile (1,214.7/km²). There were 5,985 housing units at an average density of 1,375.5 per square mile (531.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.98% White, 5.01% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population.

There were 5,436 households, out of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.8% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out, with 19.4% under the age of 18, 20.0% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,402, and the median income for a family was $38,227. Males had a median income of $32,813 versus $22,579 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,290. About 13.7% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.3% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people


  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 204.
  2. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 13, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. ^ [1] Retrieved on December 14, 2008.
  8. ^ Ward, Logan (May 2009). "Top 50 Important Tools". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  9. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  10. ^ a b Stewart, Anne W. (February 7, 2003). "Nothing New Under the Sun". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
  11. ^ Haskins, Charles H.; Hull, William I. (1902). A History of Education in Pennsylvania. Washington Government Printing Office. p. 10.
  12. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes John P. Davis (December 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Ruter Hall" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 5, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  13. ^ Harm Jan Huidekoper, Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  16. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  17. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  18. ^ Hevesi, Dennis. "Carl F. Hovde, Former Columbia Dean, Dies at 82", The New York Times, September 10, 2009 Accessed September 11, 2009.

External links

Amy Palmiero-Winters

Amy Palmiero-Winters (born August 18, 1972) is a below-knee amputee who currently holds eleven world records in various events. In 2010, she was awarded the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States and the ESPN ESPY Award as the top female athlete with a disability in the world.

Arthur Laban Bates

Arthur Laban Bates (June 6, 1859 – August 26, 1934) was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Pennsylvania.

Arthur L. Bates (nephew of John Milton Thayer) was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He studied under tutors and was graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville in 1880. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1882. He attended Oxford University in England, in 1882 and 1883. He commenced the practice of law in Meadville in 1884, and was also engaged in the newspaper publishing business in 1899. He served as city solicitor of Meadville from 1889 to 1896.

Bates was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-seventh and to the five succeeding Congresses. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1912. He was a delegate to the International Peace Conference at Brussels in 1905 and at Rome in 1911. He resumed the practice of law and the publishing business in Meadville, and was also engaged in banking. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1924. He died in Meadville in 1934. Interment in Greendale Cemetery.

Bill Daddio

Louis William "Bill" Daddio (April 26, 1916 – July 5, 1989) was an American football player, coach, and scout. He was an All-American at end at the University of Pittsburgh and played with the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL) from 1941 to 1942 and the Buffalo Bisons of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946. Daddio served as the head football coach at Allegheny College from 1947 to 1951, compiling a record of 14–18–5. He was later an assistant football coach at Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame and a personnel director for the Philadelphia Eagles. From 1969 until his retirement in 1987, he worked as a scout for the Denver Broncos.

Brad Roae

Bradley T. "Brad" Roae ( ROY) (born April 6, 1967) is a Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 6th legislative district, which consists of parts of Crawford County. He was first elected in 2006.Roae attended Gannon University, graduating in 1990. He then worked a commercial underwriter for Erie Insurance. He is an EMT and a volunteer firefighter with the East Mead Volunteer Fire Department.Following the 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy, Roae successfully challenged 15-year incumbent Teresa Forcier, who voted against, but accepted the pay raise. Roae then went on to defeat Democrat Keith Abbott in the general election. Upon taking his seat, Roae was appointed to the newly formed Speaker's Commission on Legislative Reform. He refuses to use the legislature's taxpayer-funded mass-mailing "newsletters" and public service announcements. Initially, he claimed he would decline to use a vehicle from the legislature's taxpayer-funded fleet, the $152 per diem, and did not keep the legislature's automatic annual Cost Of Living Adjustment. According to a 2015 article by the Erie Times News though, while his expenses were the lowest among local lawmakers, he spent $13,323 during the previous two-year period.*(Source)


Channellock is an American company that produces hand tools. It is best known for its pliers—the company manufactures more than 140 types of pliers—particularly its eponymous style of tongue-and-groove, slip-joint pliers. Its pliers have distinctive sky-blue handle grips (see photo); the company has been using the same trademarked shade of blue since 1956.It also produces cutting pliers, linemen's pliers, long nose pliers, adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, nutdrivers and special-purpose pliers, as well as multi-function tools for the fire service and other first responders. According to the company, as of 2009, all of its pliers were manufactured at one of its two facilities in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Crawford County, Pennsylvania

Crawford County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 88,765. Its county seat is Meadville. The county was created on March 12, 1800, from part of Allegheny County and named for Colonel William Crawford.Crawford County comprises the Meadville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Erie-Meadville, PA Combined Statistical Area.

Darwin Abel Finney

Darwin Abel Finney (August 11, 1814 – August 25, 1868) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Eddie Onslow

Edward Joseph Onslow (February 17, 1893 – May 8, 1981) was a first baseman in American Major League Baseball who played for the Detroit Tigers (1912–13), Cleveland Indians (1918) and Washington Senators (1927). Born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, he was the younger brother of Jack Onslow, a catcher, coach and scout in the major leagues, and the manager of the 1949–50 Chicago White Sox.

Eddie Onslow threw and batted left-handed, stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 170 pounds (77 kg). His playing career in professional baseball lasted for two decades (1911–29; 1931), and included seven consecutive outstanding seasons (1918–24) for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League, during which Onslow hit over .300 each year and made his managerial debut as playing skipper of the 1922 Leafs. He led the team to a 76–88 record.

Like his elder brother, Onslow also was a longtime minor league manager. He also scouted for the White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics.

In parts of four major league seasons he played in 64 games, with 207 at bats, 19 runs scored, 48 hits, three doubles, two triples, one home run, 22 runs batted in, four stolen bases, nine bases on balls, a .232 batting average, .271 on-base percentage, .280 slugging percentage, 58 total bases and four sacrifice hits.

He was elected to the International League Hall of Fame in 1951 and died in Dennison, Ohio, thirty years later at the age of 88.

Gary Blackwood (author)

Gary Blackwood (born October 23, 1945) is an American author known for The Shakespeare Stealer trilogy. Born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Blackwood sold his first story when he was nineteen. In 1998, he published The Shakespeare Stealer, a historical fiction novel about an orphan, Widge, who is sent to steal Hamlet from William Shakespeare and The Lord Chamberlain's Men. After it won the 1999 ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Blackwood published two sequels, Shakespeare's Scribe (2000) and Shakespeare's Spy (2003). Since then, he has continued writing historical fiction, such as Around the World in 100 Days (2010), which the Smithsonian named a 2010 Notable Book for Children and Kirkus Book Reviews one of 2010's Best Books for Teens.

Henry S. Huidekoper

Henry Shippen Huidekoper (July 17, 1839 – November 9, 1918) was a Union Army lieutenant colonel from Pennsylvania who received the United States military's highest decorations for bravery, the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.

After graduating from Harvard, he accepted a commission as an officer in the Union Army. While fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg, he was wounded twice and had to have his arm amputated due to the wounds. For his actions during the battle, he received the Medal of Honor. He attempted to rejoin the Union Army, but was forced to resign due to his injuries. In 1870, he accepted an appointment as a major general in the Pennsylvania National Guard.

In 1877 Huidekoper was sent to help put an end to a severe railroad strike in Pennsylvania. He accepted a job as the postmaster of Philadelphia and worked for a few years in the telephone industry before becoming an overseer at Harvard College. He died in 1918 and is buried in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Jack Dunn (baseball)

John Joseph Dunn (October 6, 1872 – October 22, 1928) was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball at the turn of the 20th century who later went on to become a minor league baseball club owner.

Jay Tessmer

Jay Tessmer (born December 26, 1971 in Meadville, Pennsylvania), is a former relief pitcher for Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. Tessmer played baseball for eight years, nearly all of them spent with an affiliate of the Yankees. He retired after the 2002 season, where he saw the most of his action with the Yankees' AAA affiliate, the Columbus Clippers.

Lloyd Sharrar

Lloyd Sharrar (February 27, 1936 – January 30, 1984) was an American basketball player who was a college All-American at West Virginia University (WVU) and played for several years in the Amateur Athletic Union. He was also a second round pick of the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1958 NBA draft.

Meghan Allen

Meghan Allen (born November 12, 1980 in Meadville, Pennsylvania) is an American softcore model and reality show contestant. She was Playboy Cyber Girl of the Month for January 2008. Meghan first appeared on the NBC reality show Fear Factor in 2004. Together with James Wise, her boyfriend at the time, she competed in the Couples edition, doing 8 episodes of the show altogether. In 2008 Allen was a participant in the reality show Momma's Boys on NBC.

Scott Wike

Scott Wike (April 6, 1834 – January 15, 1901) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.

Born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Wike moved with his parents to Quincy, Illinois, in 1838 and to Pike County in 1844.

He graduated from Lombard University, in Galesburg, in 1857.

He studied law.

He was admitted to the bar in 1858.

Wike graduated from Harvard Law School in 1859 and commenced practice the same year in Pittsfield, Illinois.

He served as member of the State house of representatives 1863-1867.

Wike was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress.

Wike was elected to the Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses (March 4, 1889 – March 3, 1893).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1892.

He was appointed an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during the second administration of President Cleveland and served from July 1, 1893, to May 4, 1897.

He resumed the practice of law in Pittsfield, Illinois.

He died near Barry, Illinois, January 15, 1901.

The Meadville Tribune

The Meadville Tribune is a seven-day morning daily newspaper published in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and covering Crawford County. It is owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.

Thomas A. Osborn

Thomas Andrew Osborn (October 26, 1836 – February 4, 1898) was the sixth Governor of Kansas.

Osborn was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania. As a young man, he was apprenticed as a printer, from which he supported himself through Allegheny College. In 1856 he began to study law under a Meadville judge and was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1857. He married Julia Delahey and they had one child.In November 1857, Osborn moved to Lawrence, Kansas where he became a compositor for the Herald of Freedom. The following year, Osborn was practicing law in Elwood, Kansas and was known to be a Republican and Free-State supporter. He was elected to the state senate in December 1859. He became president of the senate in 1861 and presided over impeachment proceedings of the governor.

Osborn was appointed U. S. Marshall and held that post from 1865 to 1867. Elected in 1872, and reelected in 1874, he was Governor of Kansas from 1873 to 1877.

Osborn was Minister to Chile from 1877 to 1881 and Minister to Brazil from 1881 to 1885,Osborn's wife died in 1892. In 1898 he was engaged to Marguerite Fowler Richmond of Meadville, Pennsylvania. While awaiting their wedding, Osborn died and his body was returned to Kansas. He is buried in Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas.

Vicki Van Meter

Victoria Louise "Vicki" Van Meter (March 13, 1982 – March 15, 2008) was an American aviator. She was known for setting several "youngest pilot" distance-flying records. At the age of 11, she was the youngest "pilot" to fly east to west across the continental United States of America, and the youngest female pilot to cross in either direction.


WARC (90.3 FM) is a student-run, non-commercial, Federal Communications Commission-registered college radio station owned and operated by Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, United States.

The WARC studio is located on the main floor of the Henderson Campus Center, located on the campus of Allegheny College. On October 3, 2014, WARC began broadcasting streaming online.

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