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Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Looking down Main Street in June 2021
Looking down Main Street in June 2021
Location of Latrobe in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Location of Latrobe in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
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Coordinates: 40°18′54″N 79°22′52″W / 40.31500°N 79.38111°W / 40.31500; -79.38111Coordinates: 40°18′54″N 79°22′52″W / 40.31500°N 79.38111°W / 40.31500; -79.38111
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Westmoreland
Settled 1852
Incorporated (borough) May 24, 1854
Incorporated (city) 1999
Government
 • Type City council
Area
 • Total 2.32 sq mi (6.00 km2)
 • Land 2.32 sq mi (6.00 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
997 ft (304 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 8,338
 • Estimate 
(2020)
8,060
 • Density 3,380.83/sq mi (1,305.60/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
15650
Area code(s) 724
FIPS code 42-41680

Latrobe is a city in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in the United States and part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

The city population was 8,338 as of the 2010 census (9,265 in 1990). It is located near Pennsylvania's scenic Chestnut Ridge. Latrobe was incorporated as a borough in 1854, and as a city in 1999. The current mayor is Rosemarie M. Wolford.

Latrobe is the home of Saint Vincent Archabbey, the Latrobe Brewery (the original brewer of Rolling Rock beer), and Saint Vincent College. Latrobe was the home of golfer Arnold Palmer. It was the childhood home of children's television personality Fred Rogers. The banana split was invented there by David Strickler in 1904. Latrobe is also home to the training camp of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Latrobe was long recognized as the site of the first professional American football game in 1895 until research proved otherwise.

History

In 1852, Oliver Barnes (a civil engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad) laid out the plans for the community that was incorporated in 1854 as the Borough of Latrobe. Barnes named the town for his best friend and college classmate, Benjamin Latrobe, who was a civil engineer for the B&O Railroad. (His father, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, was the architect who rebuilt the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. after the War of 1812.)

Its location along the route of the Pennsylvania Railroad helped Latrobe develop into a significant industrial hub. Latrobe was also served by the Ligonier Valley Railroad from 1877 to 1952.

In 1904, the banana split was invented in Latrobe by David Evans Strickler at Strickler's Drug Store.

Two interurban (long-distance trolley) lines served Latrobe: The Westmoreland County Railway Company connected Latrobe to Derry, operating 1904 to 1932. Also, Latrobe Street Railway Company began operations in 1900, connecting Latrobe to Kingston. That line was purchased by West Penn Railways, which eventually linked it with its network running through Youngstown, Pleasant Unity, and eventually to Greensburg and Uniontown. Service ceased in 1952.

Latrobe has two sites on the National Register of Historic Places within its city boundaries:

Early professional football team

1897 Latrobe
Latrobe's Pro Football Team in 1897

From 1895 until 1909, Latrobe was the home of the Latrobe Athletic Association, one of the earliest professional football teams. The team's quarterback, John Brallier, became the first football player to admit playing for money. In 1895 he accepted $10 and expenses to play for Latrobe in a 12-0 victory over the Jeannette Athletic Club. Brallier was thought to be the very first professional football player, until the 1960s. It was then, that documents surfaced showing that William "Pudge" Heffelfinger, a former three-time All-American from Yale, was employed to play guard for the Allegheny Athletic Association three years earlier. In 1897, Latrobe was the first football team to play a full season with a team composed entirely of professional players. In 1898 Latrobe and two players from their rivals, the Greensburg Athletic Association, formed the very first professional football all-star team for a game against the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club, to be played at Pittsburgh's Exposition Park. Duquesne went on to win the game 16-0. On November 18, 1905, Latrobe defeated the Canton Bulldogs, which later became a founding member, and two-time champion, of the National Football League, 6-0.

Aside from Brallier, the Latrobe Athletic Association included several of the era's top players, such as: Ed Abbaticchio, Charles Barney, Alf Bull, Jack Gass, Walter Okeson, Harry Ryan, Doggie Trenchard, Eddie Wood and manager Dave Berry.

Geography

Latrobe is located at 40°18′54″N 79°22′52″W / 40.31500°N 79.38111°W / 40.31500; -79.38111 (40.314940, -79.381171). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all land.

Demographics

Mozart Hall, Latrobe, Pennsylvania - 20210605
Mozart Hall (1890)
Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 758
1870 1,127 48.7%
1880 1,815 61.0%
1890 3,589 97.7%
1900 4,614 28.6%
1910 8,777 90.2%
1920 9,484 8.1%
1930 10,644 12.2%
1940 11,111 4.4%
1950 11,811 6.3%
1960 11,932 1.0%
1970 11,749 −1.5%
1980 10,799 −8.1%
1990 9,265 −14.2%
2000 8,944 −3.5%
2010 8,338 −6.8%
2020 (est.) 8,060 −3.3%

As of the census of 2010, 8,338 people, 3,786 households, and 2,458 families resided in the city. The population density was 3,913.6 people per square mile (1,509.8/km2). The 4,258 housing units averaged 1,852.8 per square mile (714.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.78% White, 0.32% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.31% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.37% of the population.

Of 3,786 households, 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were not families. About 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city, the population was distribute as 1,730 persons under the age of 18, 429 persons from 20 to 24, 2583 persons from 25 to 49, 1780 persons from 50 to 64, and 1614 persons who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,268, and for a family was $42,168. Males had a median income of $31,802 versus $22,227 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,208. About 6.5% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Federally, Latrobe is part of Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district.

Latrobe-pennsylvania-railroad-station
Latrobe Railroad Station (1903)
National Register of Historic Places

Transportation

Notable people

  • Walt Corey, National Football League player and coach
  • Keith Ferrazzi, author and entrepreneur
  • Dennis Ferry, trumpeter for Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
  • Gregory S. Forbes, meteorologist and severe weather expert for the Weather Channel
  • Hanna Green, track and field runner
  • Kevin Guskiewicz, Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Francis J. Harvey, United States Secretary of the Army
  • Daniel Lentz, classical composer
  • Chris Lightcap, jazz bassist
  • Jackie Mason, comedian and actor, ordained a rabbi in Latrobe
  • Arnold Palmer, iconic professional golfer, member of World Golf Hall of Fame
  • Fred Rogers, host of PBS series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, lived in Latrobe from birth through high school. He is buried in Unity Cemetery.
  • Eliza Kennedy Smith, also known as Mrs. R. Templeton Smith; suffragist, civic activist, and government watchdog, and president of the Allegheny County League of Women Voters
  • Andy Stynchula, National Football League player
  • Boniface Wimmer, Benedictine monk, founded Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1845
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