Butler County, Pennsylvania

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Butler County, Pennsylvania
Butler County Courthouse, Butler.jpg
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Butler County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 12, 1800
Named for Richard Butler
Seat Butler
Largest city Butler
 • Total 795 sq mi (2,059 km2)
 • Land 789 sq mi (2,044 km2)
 • Water 6.1 sq mi (16 km2), 0.8%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 185,943
 • Density 236/sq mi (91/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.co.butler.pa.us
Designated June 11, 1982[1]

Butler County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 183,862.[2] Its county seat is Butler.[3] Butler County was created on March 12, 1800, from part of Allegheny County and named in honor of General Richard Butler, a hero of the American Revolution.

Butler County is included in the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Some famous inventions and discoveries were made in Butler County. It was in Saxonburg, that the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, John Roebling, invented his revolutionary "wire rope." At what is now known as Oil Creek, Butler County resident William Smith and Edwin Drake first proved that oil could be tapped from underground for consistent supply. The Jeep was developed in Butler County by American Bantam in 1941.

Famous politicians have lived in and traveled through Butler County. George Washington passed through during the French and Indian War. Butler's only U.S. Senator, Walter Lowrie, built a home in 1828 that still stands behind the Butler County Courthouse. The Butler County Historical Society's office is located in this home. Butler's highest ranked federal official ever is William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from 1994-1997. He graduated from Butler High School in 1945. In 1923, President Warren G. Harding's funeral train passed through Butler County on its way back to Washington D.C. John F. Kennedy delivered a speech in front of the Butler County Courthouse during the United States presidential election, 1960. Hubert Humphrey also spoke in Butler during this time period. Then in 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech in Saxonburg to rally support for President George W. Bush during the United States presidential election, 2004. Bret Michaels, lead singer of the rock band Poison was also born here in 1963.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 795 square miles (2,060 km2), of which 789 square miles (2,040 km2) is land and 6.1 square miles (16 km2) (0.8%) is water.[4]

It is the location of Moraine State Park, with the 3,000-acre (12 km2) glacial lake, Lake Arthur. Lake Arthur is used for fishing and sailing, and the surrounding park is used for hiking and hunting.


Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 3,916
1810 7,346 87.6%
1820 10,193 38.8%
1830 14,581 43.0%
1840 22,378 53.5%
1850 30,346 35.6%
1860 35,594 17.3%
1870 36,510 2.6%
1880 52,536 43.9%
1890 55,339 5.3%
1900 56,962 2.9%
1910 72,689 27.6%
1920 77,270 6.3%
1930 80,480 4.2%
1940 87,590 8.8%
1950 97,320 11.1%
1960 114,639 17.8%
1970 127,941 11.6%
1980 147,912 15.6%
1990 152,013 2.8%
2000 174,083 14.5%
2010 183,862 5.6%
Est. 2014 185,943 [5] 1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[2]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 174,083 people, 65,862 households, and 46,827 families residing in the county. The population density was 221 people per square mile (85/km²). There were 69,868 housing units at an average density of 89 per square mile (34/km²). The racial/ethnic makeup of the county is 96.5% White, 0.9% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, 0.7% from two or more races; and 0.9% Hispanic or Latino of any race. 35% were of German, 12% Irish, 11% Italian, 7% English, 6% American 5% Polish, and 4% Scotch-Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 65,862 households out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.80% were married couples living together, 8.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.80 males.

Law and government

Elected county officials

County judges

  • Thomas Doerr (President Judge)
  • Marilyn Horan
  • Timothy McCune
  • Kelly Streib
  • William Shaffer
  • S. Michael Yeager

District judges

  • Kevin P. O'Donnell
  • Bill O'Donnell
  • Lewis Stoughton
  • Sue Elaine Haggerty
  • David Kovach
  • B.T. Fullerton
  • Wayne Seibel

State Senate

State House of Representatives

United States House of Representatives

United States Senate


Unlike the rest of traditionally Democratic Western Pennsylvania, Butler County has leaned towards the Republican Party. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Butler was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican George W. Bush 62% to Democrat Al Gore 35%. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican George W. Bush 64% to Democrat John Kerry 35%. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican John McCain 63% to Democrat Barack Obama 35%. Additionally, John McCain carried every Western Pennsylvania county except for Allegheny County and Erie County, in sharp contrast to previous years, like 2004, in which Democratic candidate John Kerry carried 5 counties in Western Pennsylvania. As of May 2007, there are 121,719 registered voters in Butler County.[11]

  • Democratic: 42,630 (33.35%)
  • Republican: 61,621 (51.36%)
  • Other Parties / Independent: 6,529 (5.44%)


File:Map of Butler County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Map of Butler County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Colleges and universities

Technical schools

Public school districts

In 2008, Pennsylvania School Districts were ranked by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic performance as demonstrated in 3 years of PSSA results.[12]




There are 2 Pennsylvania state parks in Butler County.

  • Jennings Environmental Education Center is the home of the only protected relict prairie in Pennsylvania.
  • Moraine State Park The gently rolling hills, lush forests and sparkling waters disguise a land that has endured the effects of continental glaciers and massive mineral extraction. Each year over one million people visit the 16,725-acre (67.68 km2) park, yet never realize that many people helped restore the park from prior coal mining and oil and gas drilling practices. Today, the park is an outstanding example of environmental engineering achievement. During the third great ice advance about 140,000 years ago, a continental glacier dammed area creeks making three glacial lakes. To the north, Slippery Rock Creek filled giant Lake Edmund. To the southeast, extinct McConnells Run filled tiny Lake Prouty. In the middle, Muddy Creek filled the medium-sized Lake Watts.

Before the glacier dam. Slippery Rock and Muddy creeks flowed north while extinct McConnells Run flowed south. The glacier dammed Lake Prouty on the edge of the drainage divide. Eventually Lake Pouty spilled over and rushed to the south, carving Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. Lakes Watts and Edmund drained into the gorge, digging it deeper and making Slippery Rock and Muddy creeks flow south. Areas of the 400-foot (120 m) deep Slippery Rock Gorge may be seen at nearby McConnells Mill State Park.

The glacier created a landscape of rolling hills topped with hardwood trees and swamps in the valley bottoms. Moraines containing gravel, sand and clay were draped upon the landscape and silt was left on the extinct lake bottoms. Reference to: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateParks/parks/moraine/moraine_history.aspx




Major highways



File:Map of Butler County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels.png
Map of Butler 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 Butler County:




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

Several of these communities, most notably Renfrew, Lyndora, Herman, Sarver, Cabot, Boyers, and Forestville, have post offices and zip codes, but aren't officially incorporated under Pennsylvania law, and exist entirely within townships.

In popular culture

Butler County has often been used as a setting for films shot in the North Pittsburgh area. Such films include:

Films set in Butler County, but not necessarily filmed there.

Novels set in Butler County.

Benjamin's Field, a trilogy by local author J. J. Knights[16]

See also


  1. "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2014-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Running for Office" (PDF). Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved 2010-07-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Pennsylvania Public School Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007.
  13. Keener, Craig (2010-07-22). "Stone Church site of sci-fi film" Butler Eagle. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
  14. Stonesifer, Jared (2010-06-09). "Angle Action in Valencia" Butler Eagle. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  15. "'A Separate Life' Mars actress, director takes film to Cannes festival". Butler Eagle. May 26, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. http://www.butlereagle.com/article/20150730/ARTSENTERTAINMENT02/707309915

External links

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