Connellsville

Connellsville

[kon-lz-vil]
Connellsville, city (1990 pop. 9,229), Fayette co., SW Pa., on the Youghiogheny River in the Allegheny Mts.; settled c.1770, inc. as a borough 1806, as a city 1911. A significant producer of coal and coke, the city also has railroad shops. Its manufactures include machinery, chemicals, and paper products. The attack upon Henry C. Frick by the anarchist Alexander Berkman occurred (1892) in Connellsville during the Homestead strike. A branch of Pennsylvania State Univ. is south of the city.

Connellsville is a city in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, USA, 57 miles (92 km) southeast of Pittsburgh on the Youghiogheny River, a tributary of the Monongahela River. It is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. In 1890, 5,629 people lived in Connellsville, which was a borough at that time. 7,170 people lived in Connellsville in 1900; 12,845 in the new city of Connellsville in 1910; 13,804 in 1920; and 13,608 in 1940. The population was 9,146 at the 2000 census.

Geography

Connellsville is located at (40.016231, -79.589888).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.1 km²), of which, 2.3 square miles (5.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (4.66%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,146 people, 3,963 households, and 2,377 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,053.5 people per square mile (1,562.5/km²). There were 4,434 housing units at an average density of 1,965.2/sq mi (757.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.54% White, 3.93% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.54% of the population.

There were 3,963 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,070, and the median income for a family was $28,105. Males had a median income of $28,942 versus $23,016 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,165. About 22.4% of families and 28.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.5% of those under age 18 and 16.4% of those age 65 or over.

History

During the French and Indian War, a British army commanded by General Edward Braddock approached Fort Duquesne, crossing the Youghiogheny river at Stewart's Crossing, situated in the middle of modern Connellsville. Connellsville was officially founded as a township in 1793 by Zachariah Connell, a militia captain during the American Revolution. Connellsville became a borough in 1806 and a city in 1909 when it unified with the nearby town of New Haven.

Coal mining became big business in Connellsville during the later half of the nineteenth century, and the city became the center of the Connellsville coalfield. Heavy industry brought much wealth to the Fayette county region. However, such prosperity remained restricted to a wealthy elite. Many immigrants of Italian and Slavic origins worked the coal mines and coke ovens in a state of poverty.

Connellsville was the home of two prominent athletes of the first half of the 20th century: University of Notre Dame quarterback and 1947 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lujack and 1936 Olympic 800 meter gold medalist John Woodruff. Displays honoring the two star athletes can be found in Connellsville Area High School. Each year, a 5-kilometer road race is held in Connellsville to honor Woodruff.

As the coal industry faltered in the 1950s, a wave of deindustrialization affected Connellsville, removing the sources of wealth that had sustained it in the past and resulted in a decrease in the city's population. The city remains a railroad junction, and new sources of revenue are becoming available. Recently, modern sewage systems were extended beyond the city limits, providing a draw for large businesses. The city has also promoted its location along the Laurel Highlands as a tourist attraction.

Education

Connellsville is served by the Connellsville Area School District.

Media

The Daily Courier, a newspaper based in the city, has been in publication for over a century.To date Connellsville is served by some of the best educational systems in the country and has every right to be proud of it.

Services

Highlands Hospital, one of three hospitals in the county, is located in Connellsville.

Transportation

The main route through Connellsville is US 119. US 119 links Connellsville with nearby cities Uniontown and Greensburg, and provides access to many of the business on the outskirts of the city. PA 201 ends in Connellsville, and PA 711 serves as the main street through downtown before heading into the local mountains.

Amtrak's provides passenger rail service to Connellsville, with service to Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, and other points in between.

Parks and Trails

The Youghiogheny River Trail, a 43-mile crushed limestone trail, runs through Connellsville.

Festivities

  • Saint Rita's Street Fair
  • Annual West Side Hill Italian Bash
  • Heritage Days
  • Timber Days
  • Geranium Festival
  • Braddock's Crossing

Trivia

  • Connellsville is the hometown of The Clarks, a popular Pittsburgh rock band.
  • Edwin S. Porter, director of the motion picture, The Great Train Robbery (1903 film), is a native of the city.
  • Connellsville is the hometown of jazz trombonist Harold Betters, nicknamed "Mr. Trombone."
  • Connellsville's Little League team is a six-time winner of the Pennsylvania Little League State Championship (1963, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1993).

References

External links

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