Venango County, Pennsylvania

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Venango County
Venango County Courthouse in Franklin.jpg
Venango County Courthouse
Venango County pa seal.jpg
Seal
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Venango County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania in United States.svg
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°24′N79°46′W / 41.4°N 79.76°W / 41.4; -79.76
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Pennsylvania.svg  Pennsylvania
FoundedSeptember 1, 1805
Named for Native American word for otter
Seat Franklin
Largest city Oil City (population)
Sugarcreek (area)
Area
  Total683 sq mi (1,770 km2)
  Land674 sq mi (1,750 km2)
  Water8.6 sq mi (22 km2)  1.3%%
Population
  Estimate 
(2018)
51,266
  Density79/sq mi (31/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 15th
Website www.co.venango.pa.us

Venango County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 54,984. [1] Its county seat is Franklin. [2] The county was created in 1800 and later organized in 1805. [3]

Contents

Venango County comprises the Oil City, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is defined as part of the Pittsburgh media market.

History

Venango County was created on March 12, 1800 from parts of Allegheny and Lycoming Counties. The name "Venango" comes from the Native American name of the region, Onenge, meaning Otter. This was corrupted in English as the Venango River. [4] The settlement at its mouth was likewise called Venango, and is the site of present-day South Side of Oil City, Pennsylvania.

Venango County was home to an oil boom in the years following discovery of natural oil (petroleum) in the mid-1850s.

George Bissell, a Yale University Chemistry professor, and Edwin L. Drake, a former railroad conductor, made the first successful use of a drilling rig on August 28, 1859 near Titusville, Pennsylvania. (Although Titusville is in Crawford County, the first oil well was drilled outside of town, less than a mile inside of the Venango County boundary.) This single well soon exceeded the entire cumulative oil output of Europe since the 1650s. Within weeks oil derricks were erected all over the area. Other oil boom towns located in Venango County included Franklin, Oil City, and the now defunct Pithole City. The principal product of the oil was kerosene.

Drake Well Museum in Cherrytree Township Drake Well, August 2006.jpg
Drake Well Museum in Cherrytree Township

McClintocksville was a small community in Cornplanter Township in Venango County. In 1861, it was the location of Wamsutta Oil Refinery, the first business venture of Henry Huttleston Rogers, who became a leading United States capitalist, businessman, industrialist, financier, and philanthropist. Rogers and his young wife Abbie Palmer Gifford Rogers lived in a one-room shack there along Oil Creek for several years beginning in 1862.

Wells along Benninghoff Run in 1866 McLaurin(1902) pic.088 Oil Rush in Venango County, PA, in 1866.jpg
Wells along Benninghoff Run in 1866

Shortly later, Rogers met oil pioneer Charles Pratt who purchased the entire output of the tiny Wamsutta Oil Refinery. In 1867, Rogers joined Pratt in forming Charles Pratt and Company, which was purchased by Standard Oil in 1874. Rogers became one of the key men in John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust.

After joining Standard Oil, Rogers invested heavily in various industries, including copper, steel, mining, and railways. The Virginian Railway is widely considered his final life's achievement. Rogers amassed a great fortune, estimated at over $100 million, and became one of the wealthiest men in the United States. He was also a generous philanthropist, providing many public works for his hometown of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and financially assisting helping such notables as Mark Twain, Helen Keller, and Dr. Booker T. Washington.

Perhaps in one of history's ironies, another resident of Venango County about the same time as Henry and Abbie Rogers was a little girl named Ida M. Tarbell, whose father was an independent producer whose small business was ruined by the South Improvement Company scheme of 1871 and the conglomerate which became Standard Oil. Introduced to each other in 1902 by their mutual friend Mark Twain, Tarbell who had become an investigative journalist and Rogers, who knew of her work, shared meetings and information over a two-year period which led to her epoch work, The History of the Standard Oil Company , published in 1904, which many historians feel helped fuel public sentiment against the giant company and helped lead to the court-ordered break-up of it in 1911.

The oil heritage of Venanago County is remembered by a Pennsylvania State Park and many heritage sites which help tell the story and memorialize the people of the oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Geography

French Creek (left) meets the Allegheny River at Riverfront Park in Franklin. French creek meets allegheny river.jpg
French Creek (left) meets the Allegheny River at Riverfront Park in Franklin.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 683 square miles (1,770 km2), of which 674 square miles (1,750 km2) is land and 8.6 square miles (22 km2) (1.3%) is water. [5]

French Creek is formed near French Creek, New York and extends for a length of 117 miles (188 km) with a drainage area of 1,270 square miles (3,289 km2). It joins the Allegheny River near Franklin, Pennsylvania. The watershed area includes parts of Erie, Crawford, Venango, and Mercer Counties in Pennsylvania as well as Chautauqua County, New York.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1800 1,130
1810 3,060170.8%
1820 4,91560.6%
1830 9,47092.7%
1840 17,90089.0%
1850 18,3102.3%
1860 25,04336.8%
1870 47,92591.4%
1880 43,670−8.9%
1890 46,6406.8%
1900 49,6486.4%
1910 56,35913.5%
1920 59,1845.0%
1930 63,2266.8%
1940 63,9581.2%
1950 65,3282.1%
1960 65,295−0.1%
1970 62,353−4.5%
1980 64,4443.4%
1990 59,381−7.9%
2000 57,555−3.1%
2010 54,984−4.5%
2018 (est.)51,266 [6] −6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [7]
1790–1960 [8] 1900–1990 [9]
1990–2000 [10] 2010–2017 [1]
Age pyramid for Venango County based on census 2000 data USA Venango County, Pennsylvania age pyramid.svg
Age pyramid for Venango County based on census 2000 data

As of the census [11] of 2000, there were 57,565 people, 22,747 households, and 15,922 families residing in the county. The population density was 85 people per square mile (33/km2). There were 26,904 housing units at an average density of 40 per square mile (15/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.64% White, 1.09% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 43.9% English or Welsh, 12.5% were of German, 11.1% American, 9.9% Irish, 8.3% Scotch-Irish, 2.8% Dutch, 2.1% Italian, and 1.6% French ancestry.

There were 22,747 households, out of which 30.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.80% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.20% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.10 males.

Micropolitan Statistical Area

The United States Office of Management and Budget [12] has designated Venango County as the Oil City, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA). [13] As of the 2010 U.S. Census [14] the micropolitan area ranked 9th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 182nd most populous in the United States with a population of 54,984.

Law and government

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results [15]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 69.8%18,56928.5% 7,5851.7% 447
2016 68.1%16,02126.8% 6,3095.1% 1,200
2012 62.1%13,81535.7% 7,9452.2% 497
2008 58.4%13,71839.3% 9,2382.2% 525
2004 61.2%14,47238.1% 9,0240.7% 163
2000 56.7%11,64239.9% 8,1963.4% 703
1996 43.0%8,39842.0% 8,20515.1% 2,946
1992 39.6%8,54538.2% 8,23022.2% 4,779
1988 56.6%11,46842.6% 8,6240.8% 171
1984 59.4%13,50740.1% 9,1140.5% 104
1980 56.0%11,54737.9% 7,8006.1% 1,257
1976 57.6%12,27040.6% 8,6531.8% 388
1972 67.3%13,99130.3% 6,3022.4% 501
1968 56.1%12,32337.9% 8,3196.0% 1,307
1964 42.9% 9,87356.8%13,0650.4% 84
1960 68.0%17,19331.9% 8,0640.1% 23
1956 75.3%17,10724.6% 5,5940.1% 14
1952 72.2%17,00627.0% 6,3560.9% 204
1948 68.0%11,92029.3% 5,1442.7% 472
1944 68.9%14,91629.7% 6,4261.4% 304
1940 71.9%17,72827.9% 6,8730.2% 57
1936 64.1%17,67633.4% 9,2122.5% 677
1932 64.1%12,23032.3% 6,1743.6% 684
1928 79.0%17,45020.5% 4,5310.5% 108
1924 74.3%10,84112.9% 1,88612.8% 1,865
1920 65.7%7,71822.7% 2,66911.6% 1,359
1916 41.0% 3,85641.9%3,93817.2% 1,616
1912 18.3% 1,66027.6% 2,50754.2%4,925
1908 49.7%4,86828.8% 2,81521.5% 2,105
1904 57.3%5,89217.0% 1,74725.7% 2,639
1900 52.8%5,93135.7% 4,01411.6% 1,299
1896 49.8%5,13344.6% 4,5995.6% 572
1892 49.3%4,09939.6% 3,28811.1% 926
1888 50.5%4,42439.7% 3,4759.9% 863

Venango County has long been powerfully Republican. Only twice since the Civil War has the county selected a Democratic presidential candidate, and only Lyndon Johnson in his 1964 landslide has gained an absolute majority for the Democratic Party. In 1984 Venango County actually voted fractionally more Democratic than the nation at-large due to hostility towards Reaganomics in industrial districts, but by 2016 Donald Trump had gained 68.1 percent to Hillary Clinton's 26.8 percent – figures which were long typical of the county.

County Commissioners

State Senate [16]

State House of Representatives [16]

United States House of Representatives

United States Senate

Economy

Major employers

Pennzoil and Quaker State left the Venango area for Texas. After leaving the area they merged and stopped refining oil. They now concentrate on retail oil and automotive additives produced for them by other companies. As of 2007, the two companies only exist as brand names after the company disappeared because of successive mergers.

With global crude oil prices touching US$100 in early 2008, long-dormant interest reawakened in Venango County's remaining oil reserves, 70% undrilled by one estimate. High prices make less accessible oil deposits worth extracting. For instance, a Canadian firm proposed drilling several large mines and allowing oil to flood the tunnels. [17]

Education

Map of Venango County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts Map of Venango County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Map of Venango County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Public school districts

Partial districts

These public school districts are only partially in Venango County:

Colleges and universities

Transportation

Airport

Major highways

Recreation

Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests

Attractions and tourism

Communities

Map of Venango County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue). Map of Venango County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels.png
Map of Venango County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Venango County:

Cities

Boroughs

Townships

Census-designated places

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Venango County. [14]

county seat

RankCity/Town/etc.Municipal typePopulation (2018 Census)
1 Oil City City9,897
2. Cranberry Township6,789
3 Franklin City6,231
4 Sugar Creek Borough5,008
5. Cornplanter Township2,316
6 Hasson Heights CDP1,437
7 Woodland Heights CDP1,726
8 Cherrytree Township1,378
9 Seneca CDP1,289
10 Pleasantville Borough887
11 Polk Borough826
12 Emlenton (partially in Clarion County )Borough625
13 Rouseville Borough523
14 Clintonville Borough508
15 Cooperstown Borough460
16 Kennerdell CDP247
17 Barkeyville Borough207
18 Utica Borough189
19 Hannasville CDP176

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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Cornplanter Township, Venango County, Pennsylvania Township in Pennsylvania, United States

Cornplanter Township is a township in Venango County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,687 at the 2000 census.

Franklin, Pennsylvania Place in Pennsylvania, United States

Franklin is a city in Venango County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,078 in the 2018 census. It is the county seat of Venango County. Franklin is part of the Oil City, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. Franklin was ranked in America's Top Ten Streets in 2019. Franklin is known for the three day autumn festival known as Applefest in October which attracts hundreds of visitors.

Oil City, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

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Pithole, Pennsylvania Ghost town in Pennsylvania, United States

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Oil Creek State Park Former oilfield in Pennsylvania

Oil Creek State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on 6,250 acres (2,529 ha) in Cherrytree, Cornplanter and Oil Creek Townships, Venango County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park is adjacent to Drake Well Museum, the site of the first successful commercial oil well in the United States, that was drilled under the direction of Colonel Edwin Drake. Oil Creek State Park follows Oil Creek, between Titusville and Oil City, and is on Pennsylvania Route 8. While the creek is the park's main recreational attraction, it also contains the sites of the first oil boomtown and much of Pennsylvania's original oil industry. The park contains a museum, tableaux, and trails to help visitors understand the history of the oil industry there, and an excursion train.

Oil Creek (Allegheny River tributary)

Oil Creek is a 46.7-mile (75.2 km) tributary of the Allegheny River in Venango and Crawford counties in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It has a drainage area of 319 square miles (830 km2) and joins the Allegheny at Oil City. Attractions along the river include the Drake Well Museum and Oil Creek State Park. The stream was named after the oil that was found along its banks before the historic oil strike by Edwin Drake in Titusville, which Oil Creek flows through. Oil Creek is popular with canoeists and fishers. The creek is rated as a beginners creek for those interested in learning how to safely use canoes and kayaks. Oil Creek is a cold water fishery with bass and trout living in its waters.

French Creek Council

The French Creek Council serves Boy Scouts in six counties in northwestern Pennsylvania and one township in Ohio. The council was organized in 1972 from a merger of the former Washington Trail Council of Erie, Custaloga Council of Sharon and Colonel Drake Council of Oil City, Pennsylvania. It has headquarters in Erie, Pennsylvania.

References

  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. "Pennsylvania: Individual County Chronologies". Pennsylvania Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  4. Donehoo, George (1995). "French Creek". Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania. Gateway Press. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  6. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  9. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  11. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  12. "Office of Management and Budget – The White House" . Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. 1 2 CNMP, US Census Bureau. "This site has been redesigned and relocated. – U.S. Census Bureau". census.gov. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  15. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  16. 1 2 Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Find Your Legislator". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  17. "As Oil Prices Soar, Prospectors Return to Pennsylvania". The Wall Street Journal. February 19, 2008. Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2008.
  18. "Siverly Populated Place Profile / Venango County, Pennsylvania Data". pennsylvania.hometownlocator.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.

Coordinates: 41°24′N79°46′W / 41.40°N 79.76°W / 41.40; -79.76