Pennsylvania Counties
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Pennsylvania Counties

There are sixty-seven counties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States of America. The city of Philadelphia is coterminous with Philadelphia County, and governmental functions have been consolidated since 1854.

Beaver County, Pennsylvania

Beaver County Education, Geography, and History

Beaver County, Pennsylvania Courthouse

Beaver County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 170,539. Its county seat is Beaver. The county was created on March 12, 1800, from parts of Allegheny and Washington Counties. It took its name from the Beaver River.

Beaver County is part of the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Beaver County Name

Named for the The Beaver River, a tributary of the Ohio River in western Pennsylvania in the United States with a length of approximately 21 mi (34 km). It flows through a historically important coal-producing region north of Pittsburgh. The Beaver River is formed in Lawrence County by the confluence of the Mahoning and Shenango rivers at a point approximately 3 mi southwest of New Castle.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Beaver County History

Created on March 12, 1800 from parts of Allegheny and Washington Counties, and named for the Beaver River. It was attached to Allegheny County until 1803. Beaver, the county seat, was incorporated as a borough on March 29, 1802.

Beaver's many water routes gave rise to several Indian communities, most memorably Logstown. Pennsylvania acquired the area from Indians in the two treaties of Fort Stanwix (1768 and 1784), known as the New Purchase and the Last Purchase. Permanent settlement began in 1772. Fort McIntosh was important during the Revolution. "Mad Anthony" Wayne's Legionville was the training base for his 1794 Fallen Timbers campaign. The many streams favored the growth of water mills, and a canal reached eventually to Erie. Navigational improvement of the Ohio River progressed continually from the 1830s to 1936. The Harmonists utopian group arrived in 1824, flourished economically for several decades, and then lost vitality. Quality glass and pottery making were early industries. An oil boom took place from 1860 to 1890; gas is still important. In the early twentieth century "Big Steel" arrived in the form of Jones and Laughlin Co. at Aliquippa, Crucible Steel at Midland, and the American Bridge unit of US Steel at Ambridge. This made the population swell. Trolleys made commuting to Pittsburgh easy by 1905. The Conway Railroad Yard became the world's biggest dispatching point, and the entire Ohio Valley became one industrial park. Many innovative manufacturers came to the area to produce items such as seamless pipe, oil drilling gear, steel barges, auto parts, and electric-arc steel. Westinghouse Electric chose the county as did oil refiners Valvoline and Arco. Deindustrialization, a national trend, was severe in the area by the 1970s, although the Shippingport nuclear plant and Greater Pittsburgh Airport offset the impact of factory closings. In the period 1987 to 1992 value added to the economy from manufacturing increased by 92 percent. Some bituminous coal is surface mined, and one-fifth of the land is farmed.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km2), of which, 434 square miles (1,125 km2) of it is land and 10 square miles (25 km2) of it (2.18%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Lawrence County (north)
  • Butler County (east)
  • Allegheny County (southeast)
  • Washington County (southeast)
  • Hancock County, West Virginia (west)
  • Columbiana County, Ohio (west)


Colleges and universities

Geneva College
Penn State Beaver Campus
Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry

Community, junior, and technical colleges

Community College of Beaver County

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County Resources
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