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.

Clarion County, Pennsylvania

Clarion County Education, Geography, and History

Clarion County, Pennsylvania Courthouse

Clarion County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 39,988. Its county seat is Clarion. The county was formed on March 11, 1839, from parts of Venango and Armstrong counties. Clarion county is entirely defined as part of the Pittsburgh media market.

Etymology - Origin of Clarion County Name

Named for the Clarion River, a tributary of the Allegheny River, approximately 110 mi (177 km) long, in west central Pennsylvania in the United States. It drains a mountainous area of the Allegheny Plateau in the Ohio River watershed, flowing through narrow serpentine valleys and hardwood forests.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Clarion County History

Created on March 11, 1839 from parts of Venango and Armstrong Counties and named for the Clarion River. Clarion, the county seat, was incorporated as a borough on April 6, 1841.

Formed on land acquired from Indians by the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1784, it was first owned by the Holland, Pickering, and Bingham land development companies. Settlement began in 1797, and a lumber industry sprang up which relied on floating logs down the Clarion River to the Allegheny. Boat building developed and lumber was also used for making charcoal- needed for a local iron industry- but the lumber based economy played out by 1900 because the trees were not replaced. Cook Forest State Park is the home of the only significant stand of primeval trees in the state. An oil boom lasted from 1869 to 1879; bituminous coal mining began in 1877. Surface strip bituminous coal mining has been in operation since 1920. Having both fire clay and natural gas, a pottery industry flourished in the nineteenth century. The Philadelphia and Erie Railroad was built through the county in the 1870s. The 40,000 population of 1880 was not equaled again until the 1980 census. There is a farming tradition; in total receipts from farm products Clarion ranks about 44th among the 67 counties. Farms occupy 31 percent of the land. There were Underground Railroad stations at Clarion, Rimersburg, and Shippensville.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 609 square miles (1,577 km2), of which, 602 square miles (1,560 km2) of it is land and 7 square miles (17 km2) of it (1.07%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Forest County (north)
  • Jefferson County (east)
  • Armstrong County (south)
  • Butler County (southwest)
  • Venango County (west)


Colleges and universities

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

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